VoIP phone: Any advice....

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Ykcor
Posts: 198
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:42 am

VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by Ykcor »

Tired of seeing that $40 on my AT&T bill each month for a landline that we seldom use, except its attached to our alarm system and rarely use for more extended calls when cell battery low. I had considered OOMA once, but my modem not adjacent to a phone line wire. BTW, the AT&T is thru the internet and not truly a copper wire landline. I'm ok with it but not the $480 a year it costs.
Broken Man 1999
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Location: West coast of Florida, inland on high ground!

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

We have ooma, and just plugged ooma into the router and the telephone base unit into ooma and placed the cordless extensions throughout the house.

We don't use the existing phone wiring/jacks at all.

Although the router and ooma and telephone base unit are all on my desk, we can retrieve voice mails from any extension. So while we have access to the telephone base unit, we don't have to have it as handy as it is, as the base unit can support several handsets.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain
02nz
Posts: 5565
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by 02nz »

Besides Ooma, there's Magic Jack (we've used for several years, works great), and Google Voice (free but needs an Obihai device if you want to use with a traditional phone).
Poor Rod
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:48 pm

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by Poor Rod »

I was going to suggest using something like powerline adapters to bring a LAN connection closer to your telephone wiring, but I just noticed that there is a Ooma Telo Air that works over wifi, so that would fix that problem if you have wifi. I did the same thing a couple of years ago to ditch CenturyLink. I was tired not only of the $35 per month telephone charge, but the associated $30 in fees, surcharges, etc. that practically doubled the phone bill.

The Ooma monthly bill is just under $7, and that's for the 911 service fee, some regulatory charges, and taxes. Which shows just how much CenturyLink was a horrible deal for me.

My wife insists on a landline because she needs to send or receive a fax about twice a year. I laugh at this as I would simply refuse to do business with anyone that still used faxes. But she insists on it, so we have it. An alarm system is actually a good reason for a landline though.
Figuring_it_out
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:54 am

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by Figuring_it_out »

FAX over VOIP is a little dicy. Sometimes it works sometimes not. Of course even regular faxes were the same way but its works with VOIP.

I have one brokerage that only works with an old school fax hooked to a POTS line.
theta
Posts: 133
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:50 pm

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by theta »

A couple of ideas:

For those who need a fax line, there are lots of fax-over-IP services out there. Especially good for once or twice a year.

For alarm systems, there are several systems that do not require a landline. See this article:
https://www.safewise.com/home-security- ... phoneline/
othermike27
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:14 am
Location: Chicago Metro

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by othermike27 »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:56 pm We have ooma, and just plugged ooma into the router and the telephone base unit into ooma and placed the cordless extensions throughout the house.

We don't use the existing phone wiring/jacks at all.

Although the router and ooma and telephone base unit are all on my desk, we can retrieve voice mails from any extension. So while we have access to the telephone base unit, we don't have to have it as handy as it is, as the base unit can support several handsets.

Broken Man 1999
+1

Just combined a house move with major cord-cutting. Went from AT&T U-verse bundle with VOIP home number to complete unbundling. Now using Ooma for the home phone (ported the number). New wiring setup is: Xfinity internet cable to modem (mine, not theirs) and ethernet cable from modem to router/wireless access point. Then, ethernet cable from router to Ooma Telo unit and RJ11 phone cord from Ooma to base unit of a Panasonic DECT6 cordless phone system, with wireless extension units around the house. No traditional phone wiring or jacks required. Ooma will sell you a couple different phones if you want, or you can use your own like I did. Ooma also has an app for your cell phone.
Very happy with the new setup (and the new overall cost).
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Watty
Posts: 20703
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by Watty »

othermike27 wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 6:51 am
Broken Man 1999 wrote: Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:56 pm We have ooma, and just plugged ooma into the router and the telephone base unit into ooma and placed the cordless extensions throughout the house.

We don't use the existing phone wiring/jacks at all.

Although the router and ooma and telephone base unit are all on my desk, we can retrieve voice mails from any extension. So while we have access to the telephone base unit, we don't have to have it as handy as it is, as the base unit can support several handsets.

Broken Man 1999
+1

Just combined a house move with major cord-cutting. Went from AT&T U-verse bundle with VOIP home number to complete unbundling. Now using Ooma for the home phone (ported the number). New wiring setup is: Xfinity internet cable to modem (mine, not theirs) and ethernet cable from modem to router/wireless access point. Then, ethernet cable from router to Ooma Telo unit and RJ11 phone cord from Ooma to base unit of a Panasonic DECT6 cordless phone system, with wireless extension units around the house. No traditional phone wiring or jacks required. Ooma will sell you a couple different phones if you want, or you can use your own like I did. Ooma also has an app for your cell phone.
Very happy with the new setup (and the new overall cost).
That is exactly the setup that I have. Costco will periodically have cordless phone systems on sale with around four phones.

I forget the details but I pay a few bucks extra a month to upgrade my Ooma plan to get better spam call filtering. That helps but I still get some spam calls that I need to manually block the number of.
sycamore
Posts: 1225
Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 12:06 pm

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by sycamore »

+1 to the Ooma Telo Air model idea.
Hook my Panasonic cordless base station into it. Don't have to use wired ethernetor house phone wiring.
leviathan
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:03 pm

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by leviathan »

1) ooma
I bought 2 ooma units (one for me and another for my parents overseas) when there was absolutely no fee/tax.
I am still using them coupled with cordless phones.
If you buy ooma now, you have to pay some fees/taxes monthly.
I guess that it is still much cheaper than conventional phone plans.
International calls can be expensive.
911 service works without any extra charge.
Fax works by adding a few extra #s (99* or something).
2) google voice/obihai
I also have another phone line with google voice with obihai device.
It is a backup plan in case ooma is not working. I also use it when I have to call internationally (2 cents/minute).
There is no monthly fees/taxes with google voice/obihai.
But for emergency service (911), you may have to arrange something separately.
Fax just works.
earlyout
Posts: 1431
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:24 pm

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by earlyout »

An OBI200 with the wifi adapter and service from VOIP.ms. This connected to a 4 phone Panasonic wireless system scattered around the house. Average annual cost 1917-1919, $52.00 including 911.
dcabler
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Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:30 am

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by dcabler »

We went through the same thing 7 or 8 years ago. We went with Ooma. The box we have only works with a wired Ethernet connection, but they did sell a wifi add-on at the time. Looks like the Ooma Air now has Wifi built in which gives you more options as to where to place the box. A little annoying that they charge you to transfer your number, but so be it.

We opted to connect the Ooma into our house phone wiring so the phones we already have just plain work. If you do this, just be sure to disconnect your house wiring from your local phone company - there should be a junction box somewhere where you can just disconnect the cable.

Paid for itself in short order. If the box ever dies, I'll probably cancel it and just use our mobile phones. Will of course need to go through all people we do business with (along with a few relatives) and make sure that everybody is using our mobile number for contact.

Cheers.
tm3
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:16 pm

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by tm3 »

My experience with OOMA is that getting it to work with alarm monitoring can be tricky or impossible; apparently it integrates with some alarm systems and not with others (I believe that GE is one of the systems that it works with). My cable service that I get internet from offers phone for $10/mo compared to $5/mo for OOMA and with seamless alarm integration so that was a no brainer for me.

If you don't want to change your alarm service (and I did not) I think you need to be cautious with your choice of VOIP.
acegolfer
Posts: 2284
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:40 am

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by acegolfer »

If you want to use your existing RJ11 cables throughout your home and your existing phone system, here are some VOIP options:

SIP ATA + SIP account (ie callcentric, OOMA)
Obihai device + Google Voice account
Magicjack (USB dongle plugged into a PC)

All these options don't require the device to be near modem.
lairdb
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:16 am

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by lairdb »

Note the cautions about fax over VOIP -- alarm over VOIP can be subject to the same issues for the same reasons and is much harder to detect and diagnose.

Reach out to your alarm company and ask if they offer direct internet connection with cellular backup (and if they don't, or want to ding you hard, consider changing companies.) Then you have no further use for the landline -- at which point you port the number to a VOIP provider to get fancy VOIP features while keeping the number for legacy callers.
lazydavid
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by lazydavid »

earlyout wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:49 am An OBI200 with the wifi adapter and service from VOIP.ms. This connected to a 4 phone Panasonic wireless system scattered around the house. Average annual cost 1917-1919, $52.00 including 911.
You had VOIP during World War I? Cool! No wonder it was so expensive. :P
BuddyJet
Posts: 609
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Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by BuddyJet »

For alarm, my system uses internet with cell fallback. More secure than phone since line can’t be cut. Also allows control of system by my cell phone.

For phone, I use an Obihai200 with Anveo.com service. Costs about $8/mo. Works ok for occasional outgoing fax. For incoming fax, I use a Anveo.com “free” for incoming fax via email. That cost is about $1.50/mo for phone number.
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.
sean.mcgrath
Posts: 513
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Location: US in NL

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by sean.mcgrath »

acegolfer wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:33 am If you want to use your existing RJ11 cables throughout your home and your existing phone system, here are some VOIP options:

SIP ATA + SIP account (ie callcentric, OOMA)
Obihai device + Google Voice account
Magicjack (USB dongle plugged into a PC)

All these options don't require the device to be near modem.
Indeed. We have Ooma in our cottage. It is a very simple choice. You can plug everything into your internal wiring as long as you unplug the phone company line at the network interface. Otherwise they are still providing power which will cause static. You unplug it on the consumer side, not on theirs. :happy

If you are more adventurous, at home I have a real SIP ATA (cisco/netgear) that I configure however I want. I use my own VOIP service provider and a phone number from Google. I can link landline calls to internet calls, conf call in our cell phones, and even change the dial tones to Australia if I feel like it.
earlyout
Posts: 1431
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:24 pm

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by earlyout »

lazydavid wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:57 am
earlyout wrote: Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:49 am An OBI200 with the wifi adapter and service from VOIP.ms. This connected to a 4 phone Panasonic wireless system scattered around the house. Average annual cost 1917-1919, $52.00 including 911.
You had VOIP during World War I? Cool! No wonder it was so expensive. :P
Sometimes the fingers aren't connected to the head.
jerryk68
Posts: 199
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:56 pm

Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by jerryk68 »

Our phone was in a bundle plan with Verizon when we decided two years ago to cut the cord and go with Google Voice (GV) (free) using the Obihai 200 ($50) device. We decided to port our Verizon number to GV via T-Mobile (under $50) as GV did not accept Verizon number directly.

Works great it has a better voice quality than Verizon and we use Windows 10 Fax & Scan program (free) for our monthly medical claim that we fax to a former employer. Never had an issue with the fax. Keep in mind that if the electricity or the internet goes off you do not have phone or fax service unlike with Verizon which rarely went off when the electricity went off.

Also GV does not offer 911 or E911 service. You have to buy E911 service and you can get it thru the Obihai device. Prices for E911 service range from about $12 a year to about $25 a year. we currently use GV911.com for E911 service ($12 a year). If I want to confirm my E911 service I call 922 and it repeats my address it has on record for my E911 service. I also confirmed with my county service provider that E911 works. 911 service does not know your location but E911 service knows your address. Smart911 service (free) is offer by my county which gives the police additional information like who lives in the house, other phone numbers, medications, mental health or dementia issues of an occupant of the house. You are giving the emergency responders additional information that you want them to have before they arrive.

Don't cheap out on E911 service as it is expected especially for the elderly and guests .
smackboy1
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Re: VoIP phone: Any advice....

Post by smackboy1 »

I have been using OBI202 for VOIP for years for 4 phone #s (a.k.a. DIDs) on 3 lines (a.k.a. channels). I have used Google Voice but the failure of consistent quality made me switch to Callcentric. Callcentric supports T.38 for fax over VOIP. Internet is via cable by Comcast/Xfinity.

The best thing I can say about my VOIP service is that it's much much cheaper than copper wire telephone service. It's not very reliable. We mostly use VOIP for receiving incoming calls and for the occasional fax. It is very difficult to reliably send any faxes more than a few pages over VOIP. Almost all our outgoing calls are cell phone. The problem is that VOIP is completely dependent on internet quality of service (QoS). If there is any kind of latency or jitter with the internet, it's very difficult to maintain any kind of conversation. Our internet like all ISPs occasionally has QoS problems so almost all important phone calls we use cell. We do not even use Verizon wifi calling on our because it's frustrating to lose a phone call because of intermittent internet QoS problems.

Imagine being on hold for tech support for 30 mins and then, they cannot hear you speaking and hang up. Almost all our calls are on cell. VOIP is a backup.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
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