Vonage is the largest, and most well known stand-alone VoIP service provider in North America. Many people have seen their commercials on television. But who are their main competitors? In this article we dive into why Vonage is so popular and how some alternative providers compare.
Why is Vonage Service so Popular?
According to the most recent Vonage financial results that were recently released, Vonage has in the region of 2.4 million subscribers and offers VoIP service in North America (USA & Canada) and the United Kingdom. This is a significant user base considering the high number of competitors that Vonage has in the VoIP industry. Vonage is a very well known VoIP service brand and has heavily marketed its name and services across various media channels to target its potential customer base.
Here are a few key benefits of Vonage that may explain its popularity:
- Only $9.99/month for the first 3 months (1 year contract required - rate increases to $26.99 per month plus taxes + fees after first 3 months)
- Unlimited calling to over 60 countries
- Free Vonage mobile app that allows both free calling and texting worldwide
Here are a few items to consider carefully before signing up:
- Monthly rate goes to $26.99 plus taxes + fees after the first 3 months. This is very high for residential based VoIP when compared to some of the Vonage competitors.
- 1 Year contract is required with Vonage - this is not typical.
- Unlimited international calling is not a typical feature offered by VoIP companies. You will need to make a lot of international calls to make this high monthly fee worthwhile.
- There are over 300 Vonage reviews on WhichVoIP with approximately 65% of Vonage users not recommending the service for various reasons.
How some Competitors compare to Vonage
Vonage is a popular choice for home phone service but it is critical to evaluate Vonage alternatives as it could save you a lot of money and a lot of hassle. Most providers include some free international calling minutes at a much cheaper rate than Vonage with low per minute fees after the included minutes are used up. View alternatives to Vonage using our comparison table on the right hand side of this page.
To evaluate Vonage competitors, WhichVoIP looked at 2 basic items:
- Estimated total cost for first year of service (at time of writing)
- International calling evaluation (let's pick India as the destination country being called for evaluation purposes).
First year cost - Current deal is $9.99 (3 months) + $26.99 (9 months), so 1 year cost is $272.88 before any taxes and fees (average rate of $22.74/month).
International Calling - Unlimited free calling included (within reasonable use policy limits of 3,000 minutes per month)
Vonage Competitor Number 1: PhonePower
First year cost - Current deal is $143 for 2 years so 1 year cost is $71.50 before any taxes and fees (approximately $5.99/month).
International Calling - 60 minutes free per month then $0.028 per minute to call India. Comparing to Vonage at $22.74 for unlimited calls, the $22.74 spent with PhonePower would provide an estimated $16.75 ($22.74 - $5.99) available budget for international calling. This is the equivalent of approximately 598 minutes (almost 10 hours) of calls to India at $0.028/minute. So in total if you are a PhonePower user, you will get up to around 11 hours of calling to India every month before you pay the same rate as Vonage.
One additional example is with calls to China. The rate is $0.018/min resulting in almost 16 hours of calling to China every month, before reaching the Vonage monthly cost.
Vonage Competitor Number 2: VoIPo
First year cost - Current deal is $149 for 2 years so 1 year cost is $74.50 before any taxes and fees ($6.21/month).
International Calling - 60 minutes free per month then $0.02 per minute to call India. Comparing to Vonage at $22.74 for unlimited calls, the $22.74 spent with VoIPo would provide an estimated $16.61 ($22.74 - $6.21) available budget for international calling. This is the equivalent of approximately 830 minutes (almost 14 hours) of calls to India at $0.02/minute. So in total if you are a VoIPo user, you will get up to around 15 hours of calling to India every month before you pay the same rate as Vonage.
These are two examples of residential based competitors to Vonage. When it comes to business competitors to Vonage business plans, the comparison is more clear cut and typically comes down to price per seat.
Other Alternatives to Vonage
Vonage is a popular choice for home phone service but it is critical to evaluate other alternatives as it could save you a lot of money and a lot of hassle. Most providers include some free international calling minutes at a much cheaper rate than Vonage with low per minute fees after the included minutes are used up. Visit the popular providers listed in the table to the right to evaluate alternatives to Vonage.
In conclusion, Vonage is a well known brand with a comparatively high cost service that includes unlimited international calling as a key differentiating feature. If you are considering Vonage as an option for your phone service in 2014, it is critical to evaluate your international calling needs to get value for money. Above all, be sure to read through the WhichVoIP Vonage review section, as even if the marketing promises a certain level service and features, the reality may be very different as there have been quite a few Vonage complaints.
Vonage Recent Submitted User Feedback
The following provides a summary of recently submitted ratings by Vonage users:
OCT 28th, 2014Dave (2.6)No
OCT 14th, 2014Raj (2.7)No
OCT 13th, 2014Eduard (2.6)No
JUN 9th, 2014Saverio (3.3)No
JUN 4th, 2014Ana (2.7)No
View ALL user submitted ratings: VONAGE USER REVIEWS