A "Home" cell phone?

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dm200
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A "Home" cell phone?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:18 pm

The concept of a "home phone", for many or most of us has changed a lot in recent years.

I still like the idea of a separate "home" phone, though. Since many cell phones are now much less expensive than an actual home phone, I wonder about changing our "home number" to an added "cell phone" on out plan - then just leave a very inexpensive "dumb phone" at home and that is out "home phone".

Anyone do that?

TravelforFun
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by TravelforFun » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:23 pm

Some of my friends still have a home number (land line) but I don't dial those numbers anymore. I dial their mobile numbers. I don't see a need for a home number.

TravelforFun

bampf
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by bampf » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:24 pm

Google Voice. OOBI

123
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by 123 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:24 pm

You can mostly eliminate any cost for the "home phone" is you use something like Google Voice for Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). If you've got internet you can use a device like https://www.amazon.com/Ooma-Telo-Free-P ... =ooma+telo or https://www.amazon.com/OBi200-1-Port-Ad ... words=oobi
Last edited by 123 on Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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neilpilot
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by neilpilot » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:25 pm

If you really want a dedicated "Home phone" then why not VOIP? Likely even less expensive than a cell phone in most mobile plans. OTOH I could add a mobile phone to my XFINITY plan for under $3/mo, so long as it isn't used for data.

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lthenderson
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:28 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:23 pm
Some of my friends still have a home number (land line) but I don't dial those numbers anymore. I dial their mobile numbers. I don't see a need for a home number.

TravelforFun
I see a need for a land line phone number just so that I don't have to give out my cellphone number to every business that I deal with that might have a legitimate need to someday call me or perhaps sell my phone number to a telemarketer, whichever makes them the most money. My brother recently had to give up his old cellphone number because he was getting a dozen telemarketer calls a day. He was surprised that I have never gotten a single one until he learned that I still have a land line phone number. It is well worth the $16/year it costs me for the land line.

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meowcat
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by meowcat » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:54 pm

We need a dedicated land line for our security system. Otherwise, we wouldn't have one.
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bertilak
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by bertilak » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:17 pm

meowcat wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:54 pm
We need a dedicated land line for our security system. Otherwise, we wouldn't have one.
Check to see if your security system can be upgraded to cellular service. ADT did that for me and only charged $100. It does NOT tap into my existing cell phone -- they have there own built-in cellular unit. I can log into the system via the Internet to monitor the camera, look at status, turn things on and off, etc.
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meowcat
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by meowcat » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:24 pm

bertilak wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:17 pm
meowcat wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:54 pm
We need a dedicated land line for our security system. Otherwise, we wouldn't have one.
Check to see if your security system can be upgraded to cellular service. ADT did that for me and only charged $100. It does NOT tap into my existing cell phone -- they have there own built-in cellular unit. I can log into the system via the Internet to monitor the camera, look at status, turn things on and off, etc.
Thanks for the info. We have ADT, also, I'll check on that.
More people should learn to tell their dollars where to go instead of asking them where they went. | -Roger Babson

RudyS
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by RudyS » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:58 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:28 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:23 pm
Some of my friends still have a home number (land line) but I don't dial those numbers anymore. I dial their mobile numbers. I don't see a need for a home number.

TravelforFun
I see a need for a land line phone number just so that I don't have to give out my cellphone number to every business that I deal with that might have a legitimate need to someday call me or perhaps sell my phone number to a telemarketer, whichever makes them the most money. My brother recently had to give up his old cellphone number because he was getting a dozen telemarketer calls a day. He was surprised that I have never gotten a single one until he learned that I still have a land line phone number. It is well worth the $16/year it costs me for the land line.
Where can I get a landline for $16/year? Is it local service only (no outgoing long distance service)?

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dm200
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:12 pm

I think we pay over $50 per month (Verizon FiOS) for our "home" phone.

DW and I each have cell phones, but I would like another shared "home" number.

euroswiss
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by euroswiss » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:35 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:28 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:23 pm
Some of my friends still have a home number (land line) but I don't dial those numbers anymore. I dial their mobile numbers. I don't see a need for a home number.

TravelforFun
I see a need for a land line phone number just so that I don't have to give out my cellphone number to every business that I deal with that might have a legitimate need to someday call me or perhaps sell my phone number to a telemarketer, whichever makes them the most money. My brother recently had to give up his old cellphone number because he was getting a dozen telemarketer calls a day. He was surprised that I have never gotten a single one until he learned that I still have a land line phone number. It is well worth the $16/year it costs me for the land line.
Excellent point - I almost never give out my cell number to businesses for this reason. That said, I don't have an ACTUAL landline anymore. I'm using Ooma for VOIP. Once you have the device, it is about 5 bucks in taxes/fees every month. Well worth it to me (it does assume you have access to reasonably fast internet)

Invest4lt
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by Invest4lt » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:37 pm

I use a free Google voice phone number for giving out to websites and other distributions. It’s even on my business cards. It has the option of ringing directly on my cell (I never do that). It also works as voice mail and emails me the transcript and link to listen to the message. Works great for me, but ymmv.

euroswiss
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by euroswiss » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:38 pm

meowcat wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:54 pm
We need a dedicated land line for our security system. Otherwise, we wouldn't have one.
You can use VOIP (Ooma or something like that) for your security system as long as your internet connection is reasonably stable. That makes it a lot cheaper

remomnyc
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by remomnyc » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:43 pm

Our "home" phone is a prepaid sim card in a desk phone that stays plugged in at home. I think it costs us about $5/month.

student
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by student » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:50 pm

Another vote for google voice. Another possibility is Xfinity Mobile if you have cable with them. viewtopic.php?t=220754

Nummerkins
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by Nummerkins » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:52 pm

Verizon sells a device that takes the cell signal as input and has phone jacks as the output. You can still use your regular old phones but the calls are routed over the cell network instead of landline.

You could also just use another cell phone as well as others have suggested.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:55 pm

Google voice will give you a number for free and you have lots of controls from the web page login as to how they’re routed, voicemail, etc. I would never pay for just an extra number using voip or another cell phone. The reason people keep landlines is not usually for the extra number. It is for some reason having to do with perceived extra value over cell phones—the power or cell service going out and still being able to dial 991, etc. As the older generations die off or becom wise to the new ways however, I see less and less people with landlines.

Edit. I use my google voice number differently. It is my spam number that I give out to a company or other non-friendly entity when proving a number can not be avoided.

2015
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by 2015 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:21 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:28 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:23 pm
Some of my friends still have a home number (land line) but I don't dial those numbers anymore. I dial their mobile numbers. I don't see a need for a home number.

TravelforFun
I see a need for a land line phone number just so that I don't have to give out my cellphone number to every business that I deal with that might have a legitimate need to someday call me or perhaps sell my phone number to a telemarketer, whichever makes them the most money. My brother recently had to give up his old cellphone number because he was getting a dozen telemarketer calls a day. He was surprised that I have never gotten a single one until he learned that I still have a land line phone number. It is well worth the $16/year it costs me for the land line.
I only have a cell and never provide my phone number unless it's a vendor I'm interested in having a relationship with (e.g., Vanguard). If a vendor I'm not interested in having a relationship asks for it, I provide a false number (this includes all online shopping vendors). I never answer my cell unless it's someone I know or am expecting a call from. What's more, I use the Legal Call Blocker app on my phone to block spam calls and thus receive almost none now. I received more unwanted calls on my landline when I had one.

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wander
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by wander » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:08 pm

I'd like to call home because my spouse's phone is often muted. The landline phone will ring.

GettingThere
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by GettingThere » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:36 pm

I have a cell phone that I have given to several friends and coworkers on occasions when I need to be reachable but may not be at home or work.

The challenge now is to get them to use my home phone instead of the cell phone. Cell phone service is very poor in our home and I usually leave my cell phone muted.

So yes, a home phone, in our case VOIP, is important. But I just can’t get anyone to use it. A home “cell” phone would suffer some of the same difficulties, i.e. no service. We live in a suburb of DC, so I imagine this condition comes as a surprise to some of our friends.

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Dendritic Tree
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by Dendritic Tree » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:03 pm

I’ve never had a landline and I don’t really get the point of them. If you’re trying to avoid telemarketers by giving them a landline, don’t you still have to deal with those calls to your landline? If you really want a decoy number you can ignore, why not just give out a fake one?

I did live in an area with poor cell reception about 10 years ago, but I got a Microcell to provide my own little cloud of cell coverage and it worked great. My kids don’t even know what a landline is. Even their toy phones are smartphones these days. I do remember my parents had a (cordless) landline when I was a kid, but even they have ditched a landline in retirement and use cell phones only.

So why get a spare cell phone for a “home” line? Why not just use your regular cell phone, and be careful with whom you share your real number?

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lthenderson
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:06 am

Dendritic Tree wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:03 pm
I’ve never had a landline and I don’t really get the point of them. If you’re trying to avoid telemarketers by giving them a landline, don’t you still have to deal with those calls to your landline? If you really want a decoy number you can ignore, why not just give out a fake one?
My landline's ringer is silent so it just goes to an answering machine which I check once a day for messages. Spammers never leave messages but occasionally someone legitimate leaves a message and I return the call. I have found it hard to differentiate which companies will sell their information, i.e. my phone number, and which ones won't so they all are given the landline. This is also the reason why a fake won't work because if it is a legitimate call, I still want to receive it.

Bottom line is I just don't want to have to pull my cellphone out of my pocket whenever it rings/vibrates and determine if the call is legitimate or not before answering/ignoring. It is distracting to those around me and distracting to me. By separating my landline calls from my cellphone calls, I know if my cellphone rings/vibrates, it is important without having to check first.

bungalow10
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by bungalow10 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:38 am

There are some good ideas on this thread! I am finding we need a home phone again, after about 15 years of not having one. Our oldest child is 10 and I really wish we had a phone so he could 1. get/make calls and not use my cell phone and 2. we (DH or I) can reach anyone that is at our house - sitter, oldest child, relative, etc.

I think that Verizon device sounds promising. I really don't want another cell just because it may walk off with a child (we have three kids, I don't see having one "house" cell phone going over very well) or not be charged when we need it.
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an_asker
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by an_asker » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:23 am

euroswiss wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:35 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:28 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:23 pm
Some of my friends still have a home number (land line) but I don't dial those numbers anymore. I dial their mobile numbers. I don't see a need for a home number.

TravelforFun
I see a need for a land line phone number just so that I don't have to give out my cellphone number to every business that I deal with that might have a legitimate need to someday call me or perhaps sell my phone number to a telemarketer, whichever makes them the most money. My brother recently had to give up his old cellphone number because he was getting a dozen telemarketer calls a day. He was surprised that I have never gotten a single one until he learned that I still have a land line phone number. It is well worth the $16/year it costs me for the land line.
Excellent point - I almost never give out my cell number to businesses for this reason. That said, I don't have an ACTUAL landline anymore. I'm using Ooma for VOIP. Once you have the device, it is about 5 bucks in taxes/fees every month. Well worth it to me (it does assume you have access to reasonably fast internet)
+1 for Ooma!

targ
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by targ » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:03 pm

If you want a free "cellular landline", and if your house is already wired for a landline, get yourself a bluetooth gateway and a FreedomPop cell phone.

After the upfront hardware cost ($100-$200 depending on the hardware you need and choose), you can have basic "landline" service for free. Using a FP cell phone and a BT gateway, whenever someone calls that cell number, all the landline phones in your house ring. Conversely, when you pick up one of your landline phones, the call goes out over the FP cell phone via the BT gateway.

Of course, the basic FP free plan has only a small number of minutes so it would only really work if you have little need for calls over the "landline." But, if you need more, there are plenty of other low cost cell plans that you could implement in the same way.

Also, if you combine this set up with GoogleVoice as others have mentioned, you can give out your GV number and have it ring your cell phone and your "landline" phone at the same time so you would get the call wherever you are.

Side note, FYI, and not intended to endorse, but this was the BT gateway I tried: http://goo.gl/9qGfPE
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tev9876
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by tev9876 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:15 pm

Another vote for Google Voice. I actually have three GV numbers.

The first was set up as a "junk mail" number and is still used that way. It does not ring through to any device but will send me an e-mail and text message if someone leaves a message. This is given out for anything that requires a number that I will never want to talk to.

Second is my old cell number that my friends and family have. My company gave me a work phone and I got tired of carrying two phones (they don't care about personal use). I ported my number from T-Mobile to GV (one time $20 charge) and it now rings through to my work cell and any other device I happen to be logged into Google on. If I'm laying on the couch with my laptop and hear the cell phone chime with a text I can just log in from the laptop and reply with a real keyboard instead of getting up to find the phone.

Third was set up for buying a car a few years ago - might have been recycled now for lack of use. I knew internet shopping 40 dealers was going to generate calls forever, so I got a throwaway GV number and stopped checking it after I bought the truck.

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flossy21
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by flossy21 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:02 pm

Ooma's a great solution. It costs me about $5.00 and change a month.

You hook the Ooma box up to your router and then plug the Ooma out line into any phone jack in your house. It powers all the phone jacks from there so you can have a base unit anywhere and auxiliary handsets all over the house.

https://www.ooma.com/

I also have a cordless base unit that integrates our cell phones via Bluetooth. That way when my cell or my wife's cell is called it rings through all the handsets in the house.

With this setup we can just beach the cells on a charger and still get calls on the home handsets anywhere in the house.

neilpilot
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by neilpilot » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:06 pm

tev9876 wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:15 pm

Third was set up for buying a car a few years ago - might have been recycled now for lack of use. I knew internet shopping 40 dealers was going to generate calls forever, so I got a throwaway GV number and stopped checking it after I bought the truck.
When I internet shopped for a new car recently, I held back my number until I had a 2nd round of quotes. Dealers would ask for my number, but I simply told them that negotiation would be strictly by email until I made my decision.

2015
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by 2015 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:30 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:06 am
Dendritic Tree wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:03 pm
I’ve never had a landline and I don’t really get the point of them. If you’re trying to avoid telemarketers by giving them a landline, don’t you still have to deal with those calls to your landline? If you really want a decoy number you can ignore, why not just give out a fake one?
My landline's ringer is silent so it just goes to an answering machine which I check once a day for messages. Spammers never leave messages but occasionally someone legitimate leaves a message and I return the call. I have found it hard to differentiate which companies will sell their information, i.e. my phone number, and which ones won't so they all are given the landline. This is also the reason why a fake won't work because if it is a legitimate call, I still want to receive it.

Bottom line is I just don't want to have to pull my cellphone out of my pocket whenever it rings/vibrates and determine if the call is legitimate or not before answering/ignoring. It is distracting to those around me and distracting to me. By separating my landline calls from my cellphone calls, I know if my cellphone rings/vibrates, it is important without having to check first.
Unlike some friends of mine, I am not tied (addicted?) to my phone (some friends will even have a conversation with you with their hand on their cell phone...hmm....). I almost never take my cell with me when I leave the house as I don't view anything as that important that I have to be available immediately. This strategy has never been an issue for me and I've never missed anything important. I never answer the phone unless I want to, which is seldom. Important calls have their own specific special ringtones attached so those I answer.

I don't see the point of landline phones anymore either, particularly since telemarketers can be totally blocked. The point of a smartphone is it does just about everything many other (separate, clunky, physical) devices used to.

tidelandp
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by tidelandp » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:45 pm

flossy21 wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:02 pm
Ooma's a great solution. It costs me about $5.00 and change a month.

You hook the Ooma box up to your router and then plug the Ooma out line into any phone jack in your house. It powers all the phone jacks from there so you can have a base unit anywhere and auxiliary handsets all over the house.

https://www.ooma.com/

I also have a cordless base unit that integrates our cell phones via Bluetooth. That way when my cell or my wife's cell is called it rings through all the handsets in the house.

With this setup we can just beach the cells on a charger and still get calls on the home handsets anywhere in the house.
Is Ooma a device manufacturer or service provider? I currently get phone bundled with internet service through a cable company. With Ooma, would I be able to drop existing phone plan? From quick look at Ooma site, I'm unsure what it would replace. Any clarification would be appreciated.

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flamesabers
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by flamesabers » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:23 pm

flossy21 wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:02 pm
Ooma's a great solution. It costs me about $5.00 and change a month.

You hook the Ooma box up to your router and then plug the Ooma out line into any phone jack in your house. It powers all the phone jacks from there so you can have a base unit anywhere and auxiliary handsets all over the house.

https://www.ooma.com/

I also have a cordless base unit that integrates our cell phones via Bluetooth. That way when my cell or my wife's cell is called it rings through all the handsets in the house.

With this setup we can just beach the cells on a charger and still get calls on the home handsets anywhere in the house.
I have a similar setup, except I use Net-Talk. Net-Talk has plans in which you can prepay for 1+ year at a time. What I like about Net-Talk is if someone calls and leaves a message, I'll get an audio file of the message sent straight to my email inbox.

One downside with Net-Talk (and probably any other VOIP) is the quality of the call may get impaired if you're downloading something on your computer at the same time. This might not be an issue if your internet speed is high enough.

CurlyDave
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by CurlyDave » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:23 am

dm200 wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:18 pm
...Anyone do that?
We did it about 8 months ago.

Our need was slightly different -- we have an elevator in the house and need a phone in it in case of emergency. A land line shared between the elevator and a fax machine got up to about $80/month and I decided to do without fax capabilities and added a 120 Volt outlet in the phone box in the elevator. Now a cell phone and a charger live in the box. I think the extra line costs about $25 on our regular plan. The only calls are when I test it about once a month, or when someone can't find their personal cell phone and we have to call it to locate it.

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just frank
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by just frank » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:35 am

WE just do Oobi VOIP and Google Voice. Service is FREE and includes US long-distance. Crystal clear and with voicemail.

I think adding the 911 service costs like $5/year. We did that.

I don't get all you folks spending hundreds of dollars a year for this.

inbox788
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by inbox788 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:27 am

OOMA and Obi are great VOIP home phones, but they're dependent on your ISP. If you want to use a cell phone at home, Panasonic makes a cordless phone with Link2Cell that routes calls through the cell phone.

https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-KX-TGD ... 071X94JQ4/

The main advantages are that you don't need any land services and you can place the cell phone where it gets best signal(near the Link2Cell within bluetooth distance).

http://www.panasonic.com/mobile/qr/link2cell/

What cell phone company and plan will you be using and how much is it per month? Do you have internet service where you plan to use it?

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flossy21
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by flossy21 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:11 pm

tidelandp wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:45 pm
flossy21 wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:02 pm
Ooma's a great solution. It costs me about $5.00 and change a month.

You hook the Ooma box up to your router and then plug the Ooma out line into any phone jack in your house. It powers all the phone jacks from there so you can have a base unit anywhere and auxiliary handsets all over the house.

https://www.ooma.com/

I also have a cordless base unit that integrates our cell phones via Bluetooth. That way when my cell or my wife's cell is called it rings through all the handsets in the house.

With this setup we can just beach the cells on a charger and still get calls on the home handsets anywhere in the house.
Is Ooma a device manufacturer or service provider? I currently get phone bundled with internet service through a cable company. With Ooma, would I be able to drop existing phone plan? From quick look at Ooma site, I'm unsure what it would replace. Any clarification would be appreciated.
Ooma is a service provider. You buy the Ooma box from them and then all you pay is the taxes/fees each month. Things like FCC fee, line access fee, etc. The fees depend on your state. Mine is about $5 and change a month. There is no ongoing subscription costs for Ooma.

In your case you would drop your phone service. Keep in mind that this may increase your monthly internet service cost due to the unbundling but you'll be saving the cost of the phone each month.

Here's a diagram of how to hook it up so that it drives your whole house phone system...

Image

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just frank
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by just frank » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:08 pm

And Obi is a similar VOIP box with no monthly fee at all. But you use Google to handle your voicemail (also for free) and a separate vendor for 911 support (for $5/year).

Long-distance is 'included', as in no extra cost.

tidelandp
Posts: 332
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by tidelandp » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:22 pm

flossy21 wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:11 pm
tidelandp wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:45 pm
flossy21 wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:02 pm
Ooma's a great solution. It costs me about $5.00 and change a month.

You hook the Ooma box up to your router and then plug the Ooma out line into any phone jack in your house. It powers all the phone jacks from there so you can have a base unit anywhere and auxiliary handsets all over the house.

https://www.ooma.com/

I also have a cordless base unit that integrates our cell phones via Bluetooth. That way when my cell or my wife's cell is called it rings through all the handsets in the house.

With this setup we can just beach the cells on a charger and still get calls on the home handsets anywhere in the house.
Is Ooma a device manufacturer or service provider? I currently get phone bundled with internet service through a cable company. With Ooma, would I be able to drop existing phone plan? From quick look at Ooma site, I'm unsure what it would replace. Any clarification would be appreciated.
Ooma is a service provider. You buy the Ooma box from them and then all you pay is the taxes/fees each month. Things like FCC fee, line access fee, etc. The fees depend on your state. Mine is about $5 and change a month. There is no ongoing subscription costs for Ooma.

In your case you would drop your phone service. Keep in mind that this may increase your monthly internet service cost due to the unbundling but you'll be saving the cost of the phone each month.

Here's a diagram of how to hook it up so that it drives your whole house phone system...

Image
flossy21, thanks for the very concise explanation. My “taxes, surcharges & fees” on just the phone are close to $17 a month, with $7 and $4 going to federal subscriber line charge and 911 for my city, respectively. It sounds like switching to Ooma would bring no relief there. From the FAQs, I understand there’s a one-time charge for porting your existing phone # — $39.99, unless you sign up for an annual subscription to Ooma Premier — in addition to cost of Ooma box. They say porting would take 3 weeks and advise maintaining existing phone service during that time, adding another upfront cost to consider.

inbox788
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by inbox788 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:32 pm

tidelandp wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:22 pm
flossy21, thanks for the very concise explanation. My “taxes, surcharges & fees” on just the phone are close to $17 a month, with $7 and $4 going to federal subscriber line charge and 911 for my city, respectively. It sounds like switching to Ooma would bring no relief there. From the FAQs, I understand there’s a one-time charge for porting your existing phone # — $39.99, unless you sign up for an annual subscription to Ooma Premier — in addition to cost of Ooma box. They say porting would take 3 weeks and advise maintaining existing phone service during that time, adding another upfront cost to consider.
Some taxes are passed on, but surcharges and fees are lies...they're just costs and charges the company passes on that they make appear to be government determined. Some are costs they pay governments and agencies, but these companies have a lot of leeway as to how they collect it (i.e. by user vs usage) as well as not to collect it (and include it in the monthly fees). Part of the reason for not including it in the monthly costs is sales tax is a percentage of the monthly costs, so they don't have to pay extra sales tax on 911 fees.
https://www.cnet.com/news/is-at-ts-admi ... ing-rates/
Anyway, sorry about the rant, but there's a good chance Ooma fees are lower. Check it here and let us know how it compares to your current service (what is it?).

https://shop.ooma.com/tax_calculator

http://support.ooma.com/home/taxes-and-fees/

tidelandp
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:02 am

Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by tidelandp » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:50 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:32 pm
tidelandp wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:22 pm
flossy21, thanks for the very concise explanation. My “taxes, surcharges & fees” on just the phone are close to $17 a month, with $7 and $4 going to federal subscriber line charge and 911 for my city, respectively. It sounds like switching to Ooma would bring no relief there. From the FAQs, I understand there’s a one-time charge for porting your existing phone # — $39.99, unless you sign up for an annual subscription to Ooma Premier — in addition to cost of Ooma box. They say porting would take 3 weeks and advise maintaining existing phone service during that time, adding another upfront cost to consider.
Some taxes are passed on, but surcharges and fees are lies...they're just costs and charges the company passes on that they make appear to be government determined. Some are costs they pay governments and agencies, but these companies have a lot of leeway as to how they collect it (i.e. by user vs usage) as well as not to collect it (and include it in the monthly fees). Part of the reason for not including it in the monthly costs is sales tax is a percentage of the monthly costs, so they don't have to pay extra sales tax on 911 fees.
https://www.cnet.com/news/is-at-ts-admi ... ing-rates/
Anyway, sorry about the rant, but there's a good chance Ooma fees are lower. Check it here and let us know how it compares to your current service (what is it?).

https://shop.ooma.com/tax_calculator

http://support.ooma.com/home/taxes-and-fees/

That's very helpful, inbox788. After entering zip code in the taxes and fees calculator, I was given a choice of two city names, one actually my city, the other my neighborhood. Depending on selection, result could be $6 (neighborhood) or $11 (city). My phone (and internet) provider is RCN, a cable company. Since September of last year, monthly rental fee on their modem has jumped from $6 to $7, and now $11, at least for me. If I stay with them, I will need to buy my own modem. Ooma would plug into phone jack on that modem, I assume.

lynneny
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by lynneny » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:08 pm

Would Google Voice work overseas? And still be free? I travel a lot internationally and have to pay $10/day for AT&T's international service so I'm wondering if GV is an option.

Separately, I keep a landline because 1) reception is better at home than on my cell and 2) it still works when storms temporarily knock out cell towers.

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flossy21
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by flossy21 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:07 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:32 pm
tidelandp wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:22 pm
flossy21, thanks for the very concise explanation. My “taxes, surcharges & fees” on just the phone are close to $17 a month, with $7 and $4 going to federal subscriber line charge and 911 for my city, respectively. It sounds like switching to Ooma would bring no relief there. From the FAQs, I understand there’s a one-time charge for porting your existing phone # — $39.99, unless you sign up for an annual subscription to Ooma Premier — in addition to cost of Ooma box. They say porting would take 3 weeks and advise maintaining existing phone service during that time, adding another upfront cost to consider.
Some taxes are passed on, but surcharges and fees are lies...they're just costs and charges the company passes on that they make appear to be government determined. Some are costs they pay governments and agencies, but these companies have a lot of leeway as to how they collect it (i.e. by user vs usage) as well as not to collect it (and include it in the monthly fees). Part of the reason for not including it in the monthly costs is sales tax is a percentage of the monthly costs, so they don't have to pay extra sales tax on 911 fees.
https://www.cnet.com/news/is-at-ts-admi ... ing-rates/
Anyway, sorry about the rant, but there's a good chance Ooma fees are lower. Check it here and let us know how it compares to your current service (what is it?).

https://shop.ooma.com/tax_calculator

http://support.ooma.com/home/taxes-and-fees/
I pulled the bill from last month. The cost was $5.08 and it breaks down like this...

Sales Tax: $0.24
Regulatory Compliance Fee: $1.49
911 Service Fee: $1.00
Local Interconnection Recovery Fee: $1.60
State 911: $0.75

statman
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:07 pm

Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by statman » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:35 pm

Another vote for VOIP. We use Vonage. We make use of:
Two numbers, for summer/winter homes, both ring the same Vonage box, which we take with us. So local number in both places.
Free or very cheap international calls -- my wife calls China weekly.
Voicemail transcripts sent to my email -- easier than getting them from a phone.
Use phone with 4 receivers (office, bedroom, basement, kitchen) -- no running to find the cell phone.
I assume any good VOIP provider offers these. And that using a cell as home phone misses some of them.

inbox788
Posts: 5511
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by inbox788 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:40 pm

tidelandp wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:50 pm
That's very helpful, inbox788. After entering zip code in the taxes and fees calculator, I was given a choice of two city names, one actually my city, the other my neighborhood. Depending on selection, result could be $6 (neighborhood) or $11 (city). My phone (and internet) provider is RCN, a cable company. Since September of last year, monthly rental fee on their modem has jumped from $6 to $7, and now $11, at least for me. If I stay with them, I will need to buy my own modem. Ooma would plug into phone jack on that modem, I assume.
Sounds like the difference between $6 and $11 is some sort of city tax. If you know of a $5 telcom city tax, then it means Ooma is passing the whole thing thru.

No, the phone jack on the modem provides phone service. The phone jack on Ooma does the same thing. VoIP stands for Voice over IP, and both services work the same way. Right now, you plug your phone or home wiring into the cable box. You'd simply unplug it from the cable box and plug it into the Ooma box. You would also need to connect the Ooma box to your ISP either via a network plug or Wifi/Bluetooth (with extra adapter). Network wiring is much better.

tidelandp
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:02 am

Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by tidelandp » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:20 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:40 pm
tidelandp wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:50 pm
That's very helpful, inbox788. After entering zip code in the taxes and fees calculator, I was given a choice of two city names, one actually my city, the other my neighborhood. Depending on selection, result could be $6 (neighborhood) or $11 (city). My phone (and internet) provider is RCN, a cable company. Since September of last year, monthly rental fee on their modem has jumped from $6 to $7, and now $11, at least for me. If I stay with them, I will need to buy my own modem. Ooma would plug into phone jack on that modem, I assume.
Sounds like the difference between $6 and $11 is some sort of city tax. If you know of a $5 telcom city tax, then it means Ooma is passing the whole thing thru.

No, the phone jack on the modem provides phone service. The phone jack on Ooma does the same thing. VoIP stands for Voice over IP, and both services work the same way. Right now, you plug your phone or home wiring into the cable box. You'd simply unplug it from the cable box and plug it into the Ooma box. You would also need to connect the Ooma box to your ISP either via a network plug or Wifi/Bluetooth (with extra adapter). Network wiring is much better.
The difference is my city’s 911 surcharge which apparently went up to $5 on Jan. 1. I’m impressed that Ooma had latest info; RCN charged me old rate in January bill, which means another increase is forthcoming. I also learned that different 911 charges prevail within state. There’s one for my city and another (lower rate) for balance of state. The Ooma tax calculator showed them to be additive, so total might be overstated. Once I get serious about switching, I will need to call Ooma for a definitive accounting. This discussion has inspired me to investigate alternatives. Thanks very much for your help.

OnTrack
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by OnTrack » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:41 pm

I noticed a couple of posts saying they give out false phone numbers. Hopefully, they give out a number that doesn't belong to someone else such as fictional phone numbers xxx-555-0100 through xxx-555-0199.

gretah
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by gretah » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:14 am

I have been following this thread closely hoping to learn.

So thanks to everyone who posted!

My local internet providers are expensive and nasty. I would like to connect to the internet via my cell phone and via public wifi (like at the library). And I would like to connect my home computer set up to my cell phone and access the internet that way.
btw - no cable TV connection needed. Cut the cable 7 years ago.

Clark Howard at www.Clark.com has been talking about some of the bigger cell companies offering a very high-speed, wider-band connection via cell phone for this later in 2018.

Last week I spoke with T Mobile about this. They said the high speed, broader band connection should be available this fall. At that time the service would be $90 a month. That seems ridiculously expensive to me. It would still be cheaper than a home internet connection plus a cell phone fee but sheesh.......

Anyone finding better deals? I'll be moving in a few months and would love to tell the local internet providers "no thanks" and blow them off.


btw - I give my previous phone number to anyone who requires a number and will spam me and share the data. Phone company will not give it out to a new person for a year or two.

euroswiss
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by euroswiss » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:48 pm

tidelandp wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:22 pm


flossy21, thanks for the very concise explanation. My “taxes, surcharges & fees” on just the phone are close to $17 a month, with $7 and $4 going to federal subscriber line charge and 911 for my city, respectively. It sounds like switching to Ooma would bring no relief there. From the FAQs, I understand there’s a one-time charge for porting your existing phone # — $39.99, unless you sign up for an annual subscription to Ooma Premier — in addition to cost of Ooma box. They say porting would take 3 weeks and advise maintaining existing phone service during that time, adding another upfront cost to consider.
Yes, they do charge for porting the number (if you don;t subscribe to the Premier service). They say it can take 3 weeks but in reality it likely doesn't. Mine took one day. Also, when you activate the device, you pick a new number. The new number works instantaneously (i.e. you can make calls and receive calls on that number) while you wait for the porting. If you decide to port your old number, then the new number will go away once the old number is ported. So, you are not totally without service while you wait.
Finally, also important to add: Ooma is indeed free (except for the $5 taxes/fees), BUT ONLY FOR CALLS IN THE US. Foreign countries are billed via a pre-paid plan (most of them are about 2 or 3 cents a minute, but check your specific country you want to call to make sure). You can fund, reload, check the prepaid portion on your account tab at the Ooma website.

oxothuk
Posts: 348
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by oxothuk » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:11 pm

Are there any privacy concerns with using OOMA? How does OOMA make money on their "free" service?

miamivice
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Re: A "Home" cell phone?

Post by miamivice » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:20 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:18 pm
The concept of a "home phone", for many or most of us has changed a lot in recent years.

I still like the idea of a separate "home" phone, though. Since many cell phones are now much less expensive than an actual home phone, I wonder about changing our "home number" to an added "cell phone" on out plan - then just leave a very inexpensive "dumb phone" at home and that is out "home phone".

Anyone do that?
I would go with MagicJack. It's $35/year for service, plus maybe $40 in one time start up costs. It works like a normal landline. I have it with little to no complaints.

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