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VoIP.ms Review

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Introduction

VoIP.ms is a Canada-based voice over IP (VoIP) phone service provider that primarily targets business customers. The company is one of the top providers for VoIP trunking, which refers to connecting a VoIP system into a company’s existing phone system infrastructure.

VoIP.ms operates its own geographically distributed VoIP servers across the United States and Canada. This provides reliable nationwide coverage for companies with locations across multiple states and provinces.

The service can integrate with popular PBX systems like Asterisk and 3CX as well as many office telephones and SIP devices. This makes it easy to convert an existing phone system setup into VoIP to take advantage of the cost savings and flexibility VoIP provides.

Some key things to know about VoIP.ms:

  • Founded in 2007 based in Montreal, Canada with servers across the US and Canada.
  • Mainly targets small and midsize business customers rather than residential VoIP.
  • Known for competitive wholesale VoIP rates and advanced features.
  • Users have total control over account settings rather than pre-configured plans.
  • Supports number porting to bring existing business phone numbers onto VoIP.ms service.
  • Usage-based pricing with per minute rates and monthly fees for add-ons. No multi-year contracts.

VoIP.ms is ideal for companies that want the cost savings of VoIP along with customized features. However, the extensive capabilities and configuration options make it better suited for technically capable customers rather than general consumer usage.

Pros

VoIP.ms stands apart from other business VoIP providers in several areas:

Competitive Wholesale Pricing

One of the biggest advantages of VoIP.ms is the low per minute rates for calls. This makes it very inexpensive to make regional, long distance, and international calls.

VoIP.ms does not advertise specific pricing on their website. Customers need to open an account to view the detailed rates. However, published analysis shows the per minute rates are highly competitive:

  • As low as $0.005 per minute for US and Canadian calling
  • $0.013 per minute for calls to Mexico and Europe
  • Under $0.19 per minute for most other countries

These represent wholesale rates substantially lower than rivals like RingCentral and Nextiva. Bulk minutes packages can drive per minute costs even lower for frequent callers.

The savings are clear for heavy telephone users. Companies can realize 60% or greater savings versus traditional analog lines and popular VoIP competitors. VoIP.ms also does not inflate international rates excessively as some providers do.

Good Customer Support and Extensive Wiki

VoIP.ms maintains a highly detailed documentation wiki that acts as an invaluable technical resource for users. The wiki covers step-by-step guidance on setup, configuration, integrations, troubleshooting, and advanced features.

For any issues not addressed in the wiki, customers can open support tickets by email and phone. Support representatives typically respond quickly within business hours. The team is knowledgeable on working through technical problems.

Between the expansive wiki and reliable support, users can get issues resolved promptly. Online forums are also available for community advice.

Complete Control Over Configuration Settings

Rather than preset calling plans, VoIP.ms offers complete backend control over account settings and calling options. This allows customizing the service to meet specific needs.

In the VoIP.ms control panel, users can configure:

  • Detailed rules for call routing, call handling and failover capabilities
  • Voicemail settings like greetings, email forwarding, and notifications
  • Time of day and holiday call routing to account for office hours
  • Extension dialing capabilities and assignment of direct numbers
  • Caller ID functions for outbound and inbound calls
  • Interactive voice menus for auto attendants
  • Enabling of recording disclaimers and recording of calls
  • 911 safety profile for registered addresses
  • Fax capabilities and settings

No coding is required to configure these settings. The system provides tremendous flexibility suitable for developers and companies with complex communications workflows.

SMS and Shortcode Support

VoIP.ms enables sending and receiving text messages over a business number using SIP protocol rather than traditional carriers. This avoids paying excessive SMS fees charged by wireless providers.

SMS capabilities include:

  • Sending SMS to US and Canadian numbers directly from account panel
  • Replying to received texts from assigned numbers
  • Receiving voice call and SMS alerts to email
  • Support for long codes and short codes
  • Vanity numbers to customize a shortcode

Two-way texting provides an additional communication channel with customers at very affordable rates. Short codes can support high volume automated campaigns.

Supports Call Attendant Features, Online Fax Numbers, and Call Failover

VoIP.ms equips administrators with call attendant functionality like park, pickup, transfers and call queues for advanced call handling. Numbers can be configured to ring multiple devices simultaneously to always connect calls.

To enable faxing over VoIP connections, VoIP.ms provides online fax numbers. Users can send faxes directly within their control panel. Incoming faxes are converted and emailed as PDF files.

For redundancy, VoIP.ms enables configuring failover numbers in case issues arise with the primary business number. This ensures no disruption to incoming call connectivity.

These capabilities provide resilient, sophisticated voice and fax services suitable for mission-critical business operations.

Cons

While VoIP.ms has many advantages, there are some potential drawbacks to weigh:

Steep Learning Curve for Beginners Due to Extensive Features

The hands-on control over settings enables customization but also adds complexity. VoIP.ms has a much steeper learning curve than a simple plug-and-play service. There can be a substantial time investment to become familiar with the system.

The myriad of configuration options may overwhelm inexperienced VoIP users. Without technical knowledge, it is difficult to setup an optimal system. Businesses may need to enlist technical assistance to implement the platform successfully.

Some Users Report Poor Voice Quality if Not Using Standard Rates

To achieve the lowest per minute rates, VoIP.ms utilizes some non-standard codecs and connection routes. A portion of customers report this can result in choppy voice quality and lag depending on locations. Quality issues seem more prevalent when calling overseas destinations.

However, users that stick with VoIP.ms recommended standard rates typically report very good call quality. But the potential quality trade-off for bargain rates should be tested firsthand.

SMS/MMS UI Can Be Delayed, Have Storage Time Limits, and Be Somewhat Unreliable

This ties into the service being better geared for voice calling. While SMS capabilities are a nice bonus, some users complain of a laggy, basic texting interface. Automated responses may be delayed at times. There are also limits on storage duration for messages.

For businesses relying heavily on texting support, a dedicated SMS platform may be preferable over VoIP.ms integrated text features.

Customer Service May Be Unresponsive at Times

While support is generally good, some customers report intermittent instances where support tickets go unanswered for multiple days. This seems to occur mainly during peak service disruptions.

Lack of responsiveness could be frustrating when guidance is needed to resolve a technical issue quickly. But VoIP.ms does ultimately provide good support the majority of the time.

Setup and Management

As a DIY VoIP platform, VoIP.ms places the onus on the user for setup and management. Here is an overview of what’s required:

Extensive Wiki to Help Users Set Up and Manage Accounts

The setup process for VoIP.ms has a learning curve given the hands-on nature. Fortunately, the wiki provides extensive guides that technical users can follow to configure their account correctly.

For small businesses with simple needs, the initial setup may only require:

  • Selecting a phone number from available area codes
  • Setting up a SIP device like an IP phone or SIP client software
  • Configuring the SIP device to authenticate with VoIP.ms credentials
  • Configuring dial plans to enable calling destinations
  • Setting up 911 profile for registered address
  • Purchasing prepaid credit to fund account based on estimated usage
  • Testing outbound and inbound calls/texts to confirm functioning

For advanced capabilities like call groups, IVRs, calling rules, and CRM integrations, the wiki provides clear step-by-step instructions. Technical staff can easily follow along to enable customized workflows.

Ongoing account management like adding numbers, updating settings, monitoring usage, and troubleshooting can all be performed through the online control panel.

Service Is Not User-Friendly for Consumers But Offers Benefits for Businesses

VoIP.ms does not cater to residential customers. The tools are designed for administrators with technical knowledge to manage a multi-line business phone system. Typical consumers would likely find the tool overwhelming.

But for businesses that stand to realize major savings from low VoIP trunking rates, the advanced capabilities are worth the effort. Small businesses may even be able to manage setup internally with an IT-savvy staff member. The DIY approach grants businesses control rather than being limited to simple pre-packaged plans.

VoIP.ms also appeals to developers building custom VoIP solutions. Open API access facilitates advanced integrations.

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