Vonage is one of the better-known VoIP providers, and for good reason: its call plans are simple and geared towards home users, and it has a clear and well-designed website.
There’s a free-phone service line, a free call-back service, a free 30-day trial and even a link to Vonage’s Twitter page. Vonage wants to be your friend.
Once you’ve registered, you’re sent a free VoIP adaptor that plugs into your broadband router. Setup is easy thanks to the clear instructions, and there’s no technical knowledge needed. However, if you want to use your own VoIP hardware or a softphone you’re on your own, as Vonage’s site only offers installation advice for its own hardware.
The call plans all include free calls to UK landlines, but you can choose to add individual countries or a package that includes varying numbers of countries. This caters for those with family in a particular country, as well as those who have a wide circle of international contacts, although the choice of countries is limited in the cheaper plans.
International calls are where Vonage really shines, and if the country you call most is included in one of the plans then you really are on to a winner – and even if it’s not, the V-Plan 2 package we tested (which doesn’t include India in its unlimited tariff) still came out fourth-cheapest in our International usage scenario. However, Vonage isn’t as cheap for UK or mobile calls and you’re limited to using Vonage’s equipment, so it just misses out on an award.