I have used Vonage since 2005 after reading a VoIP review, and I absolutely love it. The price of the service includes long distance in the United States and Canada, and some other countries as well. For the countries that are not free, the rates are excellent.
As far as quality goes, the sound is about as good as a cell phone call, and it is not as clear as a landline. I have found that a corded phone works better than a cordless one. Many of the bells and whistles that regular phone companies charge for are included in the price.
You get voicemail, call forwarding, call waiting, and other features included in the bundle. In addition, you can chose to have voicemail messages transcribed and e-mailed to you for an additional price. In addition, you have the option of adding a “soft phone” to your account. This is a phone number assigned to a computer. This is especially useful for people who travel abroad often, as you can make phone calls to the United States at no extra charge, as long as you have an internet connection.
Billing is also very convenient. You must provide Vonage with your credit card number, and the company then charges it automatically every month. You can log into their website to see your bill and usage. One drawback is that you do not receive paper statements.
Another drawback is that your actual bill will be about ten dollars higher than the nominal charge, because of taxes, fees, and surcharges. Emergency calls (911) are different from a regular landline. Since Vonage works anywhere you have internet, your phone number is not attached to a physical location, so the 911 dispatcher has no way of knowing where you are located. If you want the benefit of the emergency dispatcher knowing your location, you must register your address through the Vonage website. You must do this every time you move.
Though I believe Voice over IP technology has a long way to go in order to become as clear and reliable as landlines, the price is a huge incentive to switch. I would not go back to a regular landline after using Vonage for a few years.