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Residential VoIP use was the breeding ground for the VoIP revolution. Since residential installations are relatively simple and require little to no maintenance, it was easy for early adopters to make the switch. With an internet connection, a residential user needs only a digital VoIP telephone or an analog telephone adapter (ATA) to take advantage of VoIP's cost savings.

Now that VoIP telephony has taken off, residential users have innumerable options for equipment and service providers. You can keep using your old telephones. You can also purchase brand new, wireless, VoIP telephones--or you can purchase corded VoIP telephones for nostalgia. Whatever phone you use, you should see an incredible reduction in your long distance and international calling bills.

Potential residential VoIP users with home networks, even relatively elaborate ones, can also deploy VoIP telephony with a minimum of time and effort. All that is needed is a modem and a compatible VoIP router (or a combination router-modem VoIP gateway). Most VoIP providers can supply the correct equipment for your home network.

Another reason to choose a VoIP provider carefully concerns the fact that 911 emergency calls placed over the Internet are almost always routed to distant emergency response centers. Many established VoIP providers have developed systems for correctly routing emergency calls; others, however, have not. If you do not have a cell phone or other means of placing calls (aside from your VoIP system), make sure to inquire about this important issue with any potential service providers.