"Vonage is a good choice"5.0 starson by The Ancient
Pros: Very cost effective, Has abilities far beyond a standard phone, Great international rates, Compared to a standard phone there is no comparison this is the future of phone comunication and it is here.
Cons: Requires some technical knowledge for proper setup
Summary: To start let me put forth my credentials BA EE Purdue University, Engineer for 5 Years. AKA you can put some stock in my opinions. To be most helpful I'm going to include some details and examples for those who want the "cliff note" version Vonage good, get a fast ip ie comcast (8mps!)even if you have a satalite as I do for tv just do your internet with comcast you won't be sorry, dsl will work but is slower and will have problems isn't the idea to stop paying the phone company? get linksys non wireless router, If not working right 9/10 it is not setup properly on your end. If you know what you are doing great if not see below. First off don't get a voip home phone. Proper Set-up is impractical and with out proper setup you will have many problems from jagged conversation to echoes accross the phone. The best solution is to go with a non-wireless router. This has several advantages the most obvious is expandability. A voip device has what is called a mac address this uniquely identifies a device your phone number is associate with it essentialy making that your phone line except that you can pick it up and go anywhere. a voip phone would would limit you to a single line and make the phones you already own useless (Yes I know there are some phones that have a seconday port on it for additional lines, but this still limits how many phones you can use) A. wireless voip router is a mistake for a couple of reasons. Like a wireless voip phone it needs to be placed 10 to 15 feet away from other wireless equipment to avoid risk of distortion on your calls. and 2 Wireless protocols are changing rapidly geting a wireless voip router lmiits you to it's wireless speed and prevents you from upgrading. Which comes to a important point you say you don't own a router thats not an issue well the fact is that technology including the livingroom and kitchen is going that direction. If you don't own one you will want to soon, and with HD content on the way related applications will make it very important to have the fastest possible wireless speeds. So we have our non-wireless router maxamize its use. take your phone line out puts and plug them directly into the wall phone jacks (both if you are wired for two lines or just line one if you only have one) then (very important) go to your phone interface outside on the user interface side use a screw driver open it up and disconnect any phone lines that our pluged in wrapp black elc tape around it and close the box. Congratulations you are now your own phone server and your entire home is ready use all of you phone lines just as have always done. It is ggod to be very neat and tidy with you connections to avoid problems. To test your system call your line on a cell phone. (important) place the cell phone on mute then put both up to your ears and read a script don't let the delay bother you that is normal but listen for any echos or distortions or cut offs. echoes and distortions are most likely a symptom of wiring keep electrical wires away from communication wires. if cutting off words youmost likely have bandwith problem if you have a fast ip check other devices such as computers downloading typicaly isn't a problem bu uploading is. If you are using a peer to peer network be sure you have limited you upload speed to a small number as well as check for viruses and spyware that could be eating up your band with. Don't bother transfering phone number unless you really need to it just complicates things, most phone companies for a very small fee will add a forwarding number to the disconnected message. Finnaly this is an incredible service that is very future oriented and has great additional features like virtual numbers imagagine not just being able to call long-distance, but them being able to call you back for free using a virtual number that is local to them. I do find it nessesary to point out because of how positive I am that I'm not a vonage employee or any other voip service employee nor do recieve any money from the sale of any voip product. I just happen to have some knowledge and experience hope it helps.