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Packet 8

There's no doubt in my mind. Of the services I've used, Packet 8 is by far the best VoIP provider out there.

Packet8's several monthly plans include the $39.99 Virtual Office, with auto attendant and conference bridge, the $29.99 Freedom Unlimited Videophone, which includes a full-motion real-time video phone made by Packet 8 owner 8x8, and Packet 8 Freedom Unlimited - the one I opted for (Figure 7). Freedom Unlimited specifies unrestricted free calling throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as to all Packet8 subscribers worldwide.

Packet8 Plan Features

Figure 7: Packet8 Plan Features
(click image to enlarge)

As I began the account application process, to my delight, I found that Packet 8 has the U.S. covered like a blanket. Even some rural areas have local phone availability and I had no trouble obtaining service to Portland. The sign-up screens were intuitively laid out and quick to load.

Packet 8 requires extra equipment and installation step, but it's worth it. Packet 8's kit comes with a Packet8-branded DTA 310 terminal gateway. You simply Plug the DTA310 into your router using a standard Ethernet cable (included in the kit), plug in your power supply, and the plug your telephone into the DTA310.

Packet 8's shining virtue is its superior configurability for home and office networks. If you want to use your Packet 8 service on more than one phone line, purchase a multiple analog jack extension connector and then plug it into the DTA-310 phone jack. This connector will allow you to use up to three phones on a single Packet8 line.

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