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Vonage for Home review

A fantastic, affordable VoIP option for SMBs

Vonage for Home
(Image: © Vonage for Home)

TechRadar Verdict

Everything an SMB needs to stay connected

Pros

  • +

    Fast, straightforward installation

  • +

    Comes with a free mobile app

Cons

  • -

    Larger firms may need a more advanced feature set

Despite its name, Vonage for Home should not be discounted by businesses that are looking for a new VoIP solution. While Vonage does offer its own enterprise VoIP solution - Vonage Business Cloud (opens in new tab) - it is better suited for larger businesses, the kind that will make the most of its collaboration and CRM integrations. 

This is our all-in-one roundup looking at the Vonage for Home VoIP service. On this page, after our brief intro, you’ll find 

(a) an overview of the Vonage for Home VoIP service and its key features

(b) a look at the Installation and Setup process

(c) a look at Vonage for Home's various Pricing Plans

You can jump to the review section that interests you most by clicking on the links in the bar at the top of this page, but bear in mind that this article is really designed to be read all the way through, as businesses will benefit from assessing the service in its entirety before deciding if it meets their needs. 

Vonage for Home, on the other hand, is a wonderfully affordable and time-tested option from Vonage that represents a fantastic VoIP option for SMBs or sole traders. The service comes complete with great international calling rates, online tracking, easy transportability, anonymous call blocking, and excellent call quality. 

There are numerous advanced calling features included at no extra cost and Vonage Extensions, a mobile app offered free-of-charge to Vonage customers, means you can take your Vonage calling plan with you wherever you go.

Although many businesses have recently been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, communication tools like VoIP telephony and video conferencing platforms (opens in new tab) have proven their worth. For smaller firms, in particular, VoIP solutions have allowed their employees to remain connected with colleagues and customers even when they’ve not been able to visit the workplace. Alternatively, for SMBs that are have always worked from a home office environment, VoIP tools have long been associated with reliability. And that’s certainly what’s on offer with Vonage for Home.


Key features

Vonage for Home Key Features

(Image credit: Vonage for Home)

Just because Vonage for Home sounds like it is geared towards residential use, doesn’t mean that SMB users have to miss out on any of the essential features you expect to be included with a B2B VoIP solution. Some of the most popular features on offer here are VoiceMail Plus, which lets users receive their voicemail messages by phone, email (opens in new tab), or through their online account, and Caller Display, which reveals the number of the incoming caller.

Other commonly employed features include Call Divert, which allows users to divert incoming calls to another number, and International Call Barring, which prevents users from making international calls. Altogether, these features give SMB owners more control over their telephony network. Whether they are sole traders or have a handful of employees, being able to see who is calling and transfer calls appropriately is a great way of ensuring that important conversations aren’t missed. 

Other call management features include an anonymous caller block, the option of keeping your own number private when making a call, and a do not disturb option that diverts all incoming calls to voicemail. Another feature that small businesses will be thankful for is SimulRing, which lets multiple lines ring at once when an incoming call is received. When important calls are expected, this can be a great way of ensuring that customers aren’t neglected. When SimulRing is employed, the caller is much more likely to get through, with the first recipient to answer, taking the call.

Vonage for Home also offers several advanced features that SMBs may want to consider. This includes three-way calling, which is particularly useful with more firms adopting hybrid working (opens in new tab) policies. In-person meetings may become less and less common in the workplaces of the future, increasing the importance of having different conferencing call options. There are also other features that will give SMBs more autonomy regarding how they receive their calls. Call Hunt lets incoming calls be distributed to multiple lines on your account, Ring Lists allow you to control how an incoming call is routed, and there’s also the option of adding a dedicated fax line. 

For small businesses that simply need a reliable VoIP offering that comes with all the standard features that you’d expect, then Vonage for Home ticks all the boxes. It may not have fancy integrations with CRM platforms (opens in new tab) like those that are on offer with the Vonage Business Cloud platform, but for many SMBs that is unlikely to be an issue. 

Installation and Setup

Vonage for Home Installation

(Image credit: Vonage for Home)

Many smaller firms might not have access to IT teams or large numbers of technical staff to help with the installation of new workplace digital tools. As such, ease-of-use is one of the most important goals for any VoIP solution - and one that Vonage for Home undoubtedly meets. 

Getting started with Vonage for Home is straightforward. First users should activate their Vonage account before setting up their Vonage Box. However, there’s no need to worry about either of these steps. No engineer visits are required and there are no installation costs to contend with. In fact, individuals can even keep their existing phone numbers. Setup is as simple as plugging your Vonage Box into your home router, and then connecting your home/business phone to your Vonage Box. Any mobile device can connect to the Vonage service remotely over a Wi-Fi connection. 

With the installation complete, SMBs can start making calls straight away, whether that’s from a mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop, office, or home phone. Like other VoIP services, Vonage works by sending audio data over an internet connection. Unlike with traditional phone systems, this means that calls are significantly cheaper (particularly international calls). It also allows businesses to access the kinds of advanced features that simply wouldn’t be possible with a traditional landline. 

With modern workplace trends meaning that employees are less and less likely to be sat at the same desk from nine until five every day between Monday and Friday, the added mobility provided by VoIP solutions like Vonage for Home is essential. SMBs can’t afford to neglect potential customers because their employees are based in a variety of locations. With Vonage for Home, for example, the ability to answer calls to a work number from a variety of devices means that the number of missed calls will be significantly reduced. 

Another factor making Vonage for Home easy to use is the addition of the Vonage Extensions mobile app (opens in new tab). This allows businesses to use their landline plan on their smartphone, meaning they can make calls remotely as long as they are connected to either an LTE  mobile data plan or a Wi-Fi connection. Having this added flexibility means that small businesses and their employees can enjoy the added freedom of working wherever they like, without the worry of missing an important phone call. 

Vonage for Home Pricing Plans

(Image credit: Vonage for Home)

Pricing plans

Vonage for Home offers numerous different pricing plans, depending on a company’s home market. For example, Vonage North America provides unlimited nationwide calling (as well as unlimited calls to Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico) for $9.99 a month for the first six months. This plan also comes with a free phone adapter, free shipping, and free activation. UK customers, meanwhile have the option of two different plans: Talk UK and Premium. They cost £10.25 and £13.25 per month respectively, with the latter plan coming with reduced calling rates and free international calls to five countries.

Vonage also offers its customers a number of different international plans, which may be worth exploring for SMBs that conduct a lot of business overseas. The most extensive of these is the Vonage World plan, which comes with all the standard VoIP features, plus unlimited international calling to landlines in more than 60 countries and mobile phones in 10 countries. The regular price for this plan is $27.99 a month, but customers will only be charged $9.99 a month for the first six months when they sign up for a 12-month agreement. 

Vonage for Home also offers several add-on features that can be acquired for an extra fee. This includes the ability to use a virtual number. Many SMBs like to use a virtual number when contacting customers because they can employ a local area code, which helps give businesses a local feel regardless of where they are physically located. Virtual numbers cost between $5 and $10 per number. 

Businesses can also add a dedicated fax line for an additional $9.99 per month, additional calling lines for $9.99 for the first three months (although prices do increase after this), and toll-free 1-800 numbers for $4.99 per month. In addition, businesses can purchase a Vonage softphone, accessible from their computer, for an extra $9.99 a month. This comes with 500 minutes per month. 

For SMBs that are still relying on old-fashioned landline phones, switching to Vonage for Home could result in some significant savings. Plus, because extra features can be added quickly if required, this is a VoIP service that provides the kind of flexible pricing that small businesses often prefer. 

Final verdict

Don’t let the name fool you, Vonage for Home is a great VoIP option for small businesses. With its affordable rates, simple installation, and impressive list of features, SMBs will find a VoIP platform that ticks all the boxes. The inclusion of the free mobile app, Vonage Extensions, is also a nice bonus, allowing firms to take calls on the go, wherever they are. 

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.