SOHO VoIP (Small Office/Home Office)

The advent of Voice over IP has introduced a whole new phone service option to both home users and businesses alike. One market segment that has benefited greatly is the Small Office / Home Office (often referred to as SOHO) business customer. This niche market can take advantage of the solutions targeted at the home user as well as the solutions targeted at small businesses, providing many options.

The phone service market targeting Small Offices and Home Offices and indeed Small to Medium sized Businesses (SMB) has become very competitive recently and as such the winner is undoubtedly the customer. Companies offering Voice over IP service are cutting their prices and offering feature sets you would expect for large businesses. This is very valuable to small businesses as the features such as auto attendant and the quality of service give the appearance of a much larger business. Follow these simple steps to finding the right choice for your phone service needs.

  1. Read our Small Office / Home Office (SOHO) VoIP phone systems guide below if you are new to this technology.
  2. Compare home providers (great for 1-2 lines) and business providers (great for 2+ lines or expanding).
  3. To save time simply complete the form to the right to get free custom pricing quotes from award winning providers.

Provider Options for SOHO Needing 1 to 2 Lines

If your SOHO business only requires 1-2 phones and you do NOT anticipate that to expand in the future then a residential style plan can be a great choice, particularly for a home business. Here are some popular options.

Provider* Highlights Startup Reviews More Info
  • Save 53%+ on Your Phone Bill
  • Over 40 Included Features
  • Easy Setup & Free Adapter to Use
  • No Contract or Cancellation Fee
30-day Money Back 4.6

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  • Special: Limited Time Offer
  • No setup fees - US Based Support
  • Free Adapter, 50+ features
  • No Annual Prepay
No Cancel Fees 4.4

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  • Special: $149 for 2 Yr's service
  • Free 2nd line + Int'l mins
  • Free setup. No contract
  • 45+ features. US-based support
30-day Money Back 3.8

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Provider Options for the Expanding SOHO

If your SOHO business is currently small and only using 1 or 2 lines BUT you expect to grow that number, OR you already need 2+ phones then we would suggest considering a business service provider like the options listed below.

Provider* Highlights Startup Reviews More Info
  • Over 84,000 Businesses Trust Vonage
  • 36% Savings and No Annual Contract
  • In-house Customer and Tech Support
  • NEW! Amazon Chime Incl, no Extra Cost
Cancel Anytime 4.4

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  • Simple to Use for Admins/Users
  • No Fees for Add-ons/Upgrades/Features
  • Unlimited Calls, from $19.95/mo
  • Get First Month Free!
Free Trial 4.6

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  • Powerful Communication Features
  • Fast, Easy, Free Setup & Install
  • Trusted by 50,000+ Customers
  • Unlimited Calls. Flexible Pricing.
30-day Money Back 4.5

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A Guide to SOHO VoIP Phone Service

A typical home office or small business solution is highlighted in the diagram below. Note that additional phone lines and PCs can be added simply by connecting them to the LAN side of the router. Note that all the calls are handled by your service provider at their office. This is often referred to as a "Hosted" solution. The advantage here is that scalability is a simple exercise and everything, data and voice, is sent over your broadband connection.

Typical small office / home office (SOHO) VoIP solution

Not every SOHO setup for VoIP is the same though and it is important to ensure that your voice traffic receives a higher priority than data traffic. Otherwise your calls may be choppy or disconnected when large data uploads or downloads are occurring in parallel with phone calls. This is easily accomplished through use of Quality of Service (QoS) which is the terminology that refers to various protocols that enable traffic prioritization. For more information on QoS and to evaluate other potential equipment setups, please visit our VoIP setup section.

Arguments Against Voice over IP for SOHO Environments

As with any technology or service, there are naysayers that will convince you against trying it because they are concerned about potential issues such as:

Essential Features that can Benefit your Small Office

Although you have a small or home office, you likely still want to give the perception of a larger company and will definitely want to demonstrate a professional appearance to all new or existing customers. Here are some key features that can give a big business feel to your small company:

An Alternative Solution - Virtual Office Business Phone Number Service

With BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) becoming more and more popular with businesses, there are more companies now offering a service that can provide you with all the features of a business phone service that you will likely need, while utilizing your existing phones. These services are quick and easy to setup and can be one of the most cost effective phone service solutions for small businesses. To learn more about these service, please visit our article on how to turn any phone into a business phone system.

SOHO VoIP Quotes

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