VOIP - what do you use?

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CULater
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VOIP - what do you use?

Post by CULater » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:03 am

I've been using an ObiTalk device with Google Voice for years to provide totally free domestic local and long distance phone service over my internet. Only cost is purchase price of $44 for the Obi 200. It has worked very well for me and since I use Google Voice on my cellphone, both my home phone and cellphone operate on the same phone number so I only have one phone number.

I'm not familiar with all the VOIP possibilities out there. Is there any reason to switch from the Obi? Is there something else that would be better/more desirable that I should look at and why?
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jebmke
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by jebmke » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:09 am

Other than free and working well, what would you be looking for?

Our VOIP is bundled with our ISP service. The only advantage to this is that if there is a disruption to the internet, the ISP is highly motivated since they are also cutting off our phone service and access to emergency services. When we have an internet outage, I always report it as a "phone outage".
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Watty
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by Watty » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:46 am

CULater wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:03 am
Is there any reason to switch from the Obi? Is there something else that would be better/more desirable that I should look at and why?
I have not looked at it in a while but some VOIP systems may have better filtering of junk calls and you may have more options on how to set up the filtering.

If you are having problems with those then some other solution might be better.

I use Ooma premium which is not the cheapest but it does a pretty good job of filtering the spam calls and I don't even get the one ring that Nomorerobo used to do with my prior VOIP provider.

Notsobad
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by Notsobad » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:52 am

We use ooma basic since we wanted a home phone line. Works fine. Only a few people call this number.

Winston19
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by Winston19 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:28 am

Also a long time ooma user works well and without the premium service is cheap.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by CULater » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:33 am

How does Ooma work?
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by orlandoman » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:53 am

Winston19 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:28 am
Also a long time ooma user works well and without the premium service is cheap.
+1, but I opted for the premium service
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Broken Man 1999
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:08 pm

We have had ooma since November 2010. The service is the standard, not premium.

Here is my itemized monthly bill:

Description/Amount
Regulatory Compliance Fee (What's this?) $1.60
911 Service Fee (What's this?) $1.00
Local Interconnect Recovery Fee (What's this?) $1.90
State and local taxes, fees and surcharges $.82
Total: $5.32

I used Vonage for a couple of years, but they were constantly increasing our bill. I could always talk them back down, but I got tired of calling them. Prior to Vonage we used MagicJack, in the day when you had to have your PC on for the service to work. Hey, crude, but it worked!

We had very decent voice quality even with MagicJack. But of the three VoIP services we have used, ooma has the best voice quality by far.

At the moment we are using our original ooma device, the old hub. Though, I have another ooma device in my closet as a backup when the old hub dies. DW dropped it when we were putting everything back together after our remodel, but still works fine, case was broken. Ugly, but functional.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by Chris_529 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:18 pm

We use MagicJack. A little "dongle" plugs into your router...the first year of service is free (included in the cost of the dongle) -- I think I paid $39 for it? I just renewed for another 3 years @ $89.

No issues to report. I'd recommend it.

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snackdog
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by snackdog » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:23 pm

We use obitalk which is free and works great over the home wifi. To get 911 service I use GoogleVoice via Callcentric for $1.95/month. If it weren't for fussy occasional renters (and the liability if I didn't have phone service with 911 location), we wouldn't use anything but our mobile phones and Wifi calls.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by 02nz » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:44 pm

OP, anything dissatisfy you about Obitalk?

We've been using MagicJack for a long time now (maybe 6-7 years). It's always worked great. But the prices keep going up. It's now $89 for 3 years, whereas previously it was $99 for 5 years ($10 cheaper per year). I think when our MagciJack subscription expires in a few months I'll give Obitalk/Google Voice a try. I already have Google Voice and bought the Obitalk a few years ago, but right then Google Voice stopped supporting the device, so hopefully second time is the charm.

We've also tried Ooma but call quality was pretty poor - MagicJack was much better. Surprising, as Ooma seems like the more professional outfit.

Years ago I used Vonage but it was way overpriced compared to the alternatives.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by sycamore » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:11 pm

I use Ooma basic. Sound quality not as quite as good as we had with Ma Bell but close enough. At the time, it seemed like a toss-up between Ooma and Obi. Can't say switching to Ooma would be worth it for you.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by retire2022 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:44 pm

CUlater

Is this the Obi you are using? https://www.amazon.com/OBi202-2-Port-Ad ... 44-6108719

Is there an subscription fee? and what is it currently?
Last edited by retire2022 on Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:46 pm

I had VOIP at work before I retired, and I hated it. I refuse to use it in my retired status.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by brukster » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:53 pm

We have had voip.ms for several years. Runs around $5 month with the DID (phone number), 911 service, and calls at under a penny/minute. We're not heavy users. It provides for voicemail, caller id filtering, phone book, hunt groups, and more things that are business oriented. I use hunt groups with nomorobo to screen telemarketers. We have been happy with it.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by southerndoc » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:00 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:33 am
How does Ooma work?
I used Ooma for my home office and ditched it. The quality was horrible.

I ended up using RingCentral and love it. It's more expensive, but the quality is top notch (with HD Voice). Have an app on my iPhone that I can make/take calls to/from my office number.

VoIP quality for most providers -- including AT&T and Xfinity -- has been lacking. They definitely could use some work on their products. Some of it, however, is out of their control. Latency becomes a problem sometimes.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by aristotelian » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:06 pm

Why do you need VOIP if you have cellphones?

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by CULater » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:23 pm

retire2022 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:44 pm
CUlater

Is this the Obi you are using? https://www.amazon.com/OBi202-2-Port-Ad ... 44-6108719

Is there an subscription fee? and what is it currently?
I use the Obi 200, has one phone port. I connect that to my base phone and can use all the satellite phones in the home with that. With Google Voice there is no subscription fee, but you have to get a Google Voice number. You can port your existing phone number to Google Voice if you want to use that as your GV number. All calls to that number can be forwarded to other phone numbers, such as the number for your cellphone. Other VOIP services carry a subscription fee of some sort but GV is free.
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pyld76
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by pyld76 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:32 pm

southerndoc wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:00 pm
CULater wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:33 am
How does Ooma work?
I used Ooma for my home office and ditched it. The quality was horrible.

I ended up using RingCentral and love it. It's more expensive, but the quality is top notch (with HD Voice). Have an app on my iPhone that I can make/take calls to/from my office number.

VoIP quality for most providers -- including AT&T and Xfinity -- has been lacking. They definitely could use some work on their products. Some of it, however, is out of their control. Latency becomes a problem sometimes.
A couple of observations:

1. VoIP latency/jitter is absolutely within the control of a network provider. I rolled out a global network of more than 700 locations with ATT as the network and voice switching provider. They quite deliberately give a very high priority to voice traffic in a deployment like this. As a result, the MOS (quality measurement) is superior to a copper analogue or digital voice circuit.

2. Even for home deployments, if you are buying, say Xfinity’s voice product, they have control of the data plane and prioritization from their modem on out. If there are quality problems it means that the coax to the service premise is horrible or there is a misconfiguration.

3. For something like OOMA, the quality depends on your local network, your ISPs network, and any other networks between your premise and the OOMA switching gateway. I prioritize this traffic correctly, my ISP has decent peering connections to a relatively close OOMA gateway. The quality of my OOMA calls is significantly better than a copper telephone connection or non-HD voice cell phone call and approaching that of a HD voice cell phone call. I have a family member with OOMA who hates it. Loves in the middle of nowhere with a sub-1megabit/sec DSL line.

TLDR: if your internet provider offers a phone and the quality is off, complain. It should not be and need not be. If you roll your own, it is almost entirely dependent on the quality of the end to end connection, which can be problematic. As an aside, latency is annoying but not at all fatal to a VOIP call (if this wasn’t the case, modern cell phones that use VoLTE would suck). The true enemy is jitter (the variability of end to end packet latency).

I recommend OOMA with the caution that their early telo hardware was hot trash. Near as I can tell, it’s fine now.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by southerndoc » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:00 am

pyld76 wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:32 pm
southerndoc wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:00 pm
CULater wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:33 am
How does Ooma work?
I used Ooma for my home office and ditched it. The quality was horrible.

I ended up using RingCentral and love it. It's more expensive, but the quality is top notch (with HD Voice). Have an app on my iPhone that I can make/take calls to/from my office number.

VoIP quality for most providers -- including AT&T and Xfinity -- has been lacking. They definitely could use some work on their products. Some of it, however, is out of their control. Latency becomes a problem sometimes.
A couple of observations:

1. VoIP latency/jitter is absolutely within the control of a network provider. I rolled out a global network of more than 700 locations with ATT as the network and voice switching provider. They quite deliberately give a very high priority to voice traffic in a deployment like this. As a result, the MOS (quality measurement) is superior to a copper analogue or digital voice circuit.

2. Even for home deployments, if you are buying, say Xfinity’s voice product, they have control of the data plane and prioritization from their modem on out. If there are quality problems it means that the coax to the service premise is horrible or there is a misconfiguration.

3. For something like OOMA, the quality depends on your local network, your ISPs network, and any other networks between your premise and the OOMA switching gateway. I prioritize this traffic correctly, my ISP has decent peering connections to a relatively close OOMA gateway. The quality of my OOMA calls is significantly better than a copper telephone connection or non-HD voice cell phone call and approaching that of a HD voice cell phone call. I have a family member with OOMA who hates it. Loves in the middle of nowhere with a sub-1megabit/sec DSL line.

TLDR: if your internet provider offers a phone and the quality is off, complain. It should not be and need not be. If you roll your own, it is almost entirely dependent on the quality of the end to end connection, which can be problematic. As an aside, latency is annoying but not at all fatal to a VOIP call (if this wasn’t the case, modern cell phones that use VoLTE would suck). The true enemy is jitter (the variability of end to end packet latency).

I recommend OOMA with the caution that their early telo hardware was hot trash. Near as I can tell, it’s fine now.
I have Xfinity/Comcast Gigabit Pro (fiber, 2+1 Gbps down, 1 Gbps up). Latency was definitely not a problem on my end. Ooma apparently was the problem.

My parents have AT&T Fiber. Their VoIP is horrible as well. They get 1 Gbps down/up (symmetric) with low latency.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by chambers136 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:41 am

I've had Ooma basic service for about 8 years and have not had a single problem with it. Call quality is as clear as any other phones I used, whether at work or wherever.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by bob60014 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:54 am

aristotelian wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:06 pm
Why do you need VOIP if you have cellphones?
+1 This. Especially if using a carrier and a Google Voice or similar second number.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by Winston19 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:34 am

aristotelian wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:06 pm
Why do you need VOIP if you have cellphones?
Kids old enough to stay home alone who don't have cell phones.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by A440 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:39 am

+1 for Ooma basic. No problems with call quality. ~$5/month. We've had it for about 4 years now. FIOS is not available in our town. I was so frustrated with our antiquated phone lines that I used a tree lopper to cut the line from the street to our Verizon box after our Ooma was in place and working. After we got Ooma the only reason for the phone line was for the birds to sit on it and make a mess on our cars.
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by finfire » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:40 am

I use vonage for work at home.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by aristotelian » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:57 am

Winston19 wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:34 am
aristotelian wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:06 pm
Why do you need VOIP if you have cellphones?
Kids old enough to stay home alone who don't have cell phones.
That does not appear to be OPs scenario, but in any case Tello has dumb phone plans for $5/month. If they are old enough to stay at home, they are probably going to friends houses and activities so why not give them a phone?

pyld76
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by pyld76 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:19 am

southerndoc wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:00 am

I have Xfinity/Comcast Gigabit Pro (fiber, 2+1 Gbps down, 1 Gbps up). Latency was definitely not a problem on my end. Ooma apparently was the problem.

My parents have AT&T Fiber. Their VoIP is horrible as well. They get 1 Gbps down/up (symmetric) with low latency.
That's possible. Again, however, "latency" (and by that, I mean the specific end to end delay) is rarely the problem. Normal people won't notice a one-way delay of 120-150ms. It's tolerable at 250ms one way (if it wasn't, cell service in a lot of places would simply not work). Jitter (the variability in latency) is usually the culprit. Or, having a massive bandwidth guarantees neither good latency nor acceptable jitter so the size of the circuit, provided it isn't overloaded and causing jitter, really doesn't matter. I've rendered VoIP services to the third world on a lousy 2meg/second circuit with measures taken to prioritize VoIP and minimize jitter despite 80ms or so of latency to the VoIP switch. I can make (trivially) OOMA or Magicjack or google voice break on a gigabit fiber circuit break by overloading the consumer grade LAN gear which (usually) makes up home networks.

If your folks have AT&T provided VoIP over fiber (u-verse?) and it sucks? Complain. That's entirely within AT&T's capability to solve. If the VoIP provider isn't AT&T, it might not be fixable--the network path to the VoIP gateway/switch has to be good the entire way.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by southerndoc » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:52 am

Sorry, I think I got latency and jitter mixed up.

They have complained. Numerous times. Still hasn't been resolved. They send a technician out and nothing changes.

FWIW, my problems with Ooma weren't on my end. People on the other end complained about broken communication, garbled speech, etc. (I wasn't having a stroke when I was on the phone with them.)

Maybe Ooma has improved since I used it.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by msi » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:36 pm

CULater wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:33 am
How does Ooma work?
You pay upfront for Ooma's VOIP adapter and then the actual service is free. You only have to pay taxes/fees each month, which for me are just under $6.

If you want Ooma Premier, which adds a bunch of features and another line, then that's another $10/mo.

We haven't had any problems with call quality/reliability on Premier.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by MrJones » Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:57 pm

I'd hesitate to call it "totally free." When a product appears so, it's usually because you are the product, as the saying goes.

If personal data privacy is something you value now or might in the future, that one reason to consider switching. Another reason is to get high quality codecs, which I find makes a great difference for me whenever the other party also has it enabled. If not, your setup sounds pretty good.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by jerryk68 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:35 pm

When I cut the cord my home phone (Verizon) was tied to my cable service so I ported that number to a T-Mobile account (approx $20) and then ported the number from T-Mobile to Google Voice account (approx $20) using the Obihai 200 (approx $50). There are no monthly charges except the yearly charge from Anveo for 911 service (approx $25 a year). We both have cell phones but DW wanted to keep our old house phone number since she had it some 20 years and that is the number we give out when a phone number is requested. We still get approximately 4 to 6 scam calls a day on that house phone but we rarely answer that phone. We have it set it up that after 3 rings it goes to voicemail. I also needed a phone to fax sensitive documents containing SSN, DOB and banking information to my former employer on a monthly basis to receive medical retirement benefits and Google Voice can do this using Windows 10 Fax & Scan. I would add that we have a battery backup for the router so that my Obihai 200 can get a few extra hours of emergency service should I need it as Google Voice will not work if the router has no power. I am very happy with Obihai/Google Voice and would recommend it.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by krafty81 » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:34 pm

Very happy with Ooma premium. I like the website and the fact that they forward VM to my cellphone. Also good at spam blocking. Used it overseas with great success. Still have Ooma - no price changes that I am aware of.

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by sunny_socal » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:28 am

Well OP you already have possibly best VOIP solution! Are you bragging? :wink:

We've also been on GV/Obi for years and have been very pleased. :beer

It's interesting to note that our new-construction home didn't even come with traditional phone lines, only internet. The Obi box can plug into any such outlet directly.

If you need additional ports (eg in kitchen) these powerline Ethernet adapters are great:

https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/powerline/

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by wanderer » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:40 am

brukster wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:53 pm
We have had voip.ms for several years. Runs around $5 month with the DID (phone number), 911 service, and calls at under a penny/minute. We're not heavy users. It provides for voicemail, caller id filtering, phone book, hunt groups, and more things that are business oriented. I use hunt groups with nomorobo to screen telemarketers. We have been happy with it.
+1

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by mpnret » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:34 am

msi wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:36 pm
CULater wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:33 am
How does Ooma work?
You pay upfront for Ooma's VOIP adapter and then the actual service is free. You only have to pay taxes/fees each month, which for me are just under $6.

If you want Ooma Premier, which adds a bunch of features and another line, then that's another $10/mo.

We haven't had any problems with call quality/reliability on Premier.
+1 on Ooma Premier. Many years ago I bought the adapter at Costco and now only pay the taxes/fees and I also added Premier. Excellent spam blocking.

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CULater
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by CULater » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:35 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:28 am
Well OP you already have possibly best VOIP solution! Are you bragging? :wink:

We've also been on GV/Obi for years and have been very pleased. :beer

It's interesting to note that our new-construction home didn't even come with traditional phone lines, only internet. The Obi box can plug into any such outlet directly.

If you need additional ports (eg in kitchen) these powerline Ethernet adapters are great:

https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/powerline/
Maybe you can explain how this works. I have the Obi connected to the router and then a phone connected to the Obi phone port. I can use other satellite phones b/c they work off the base phone connected to the Obi. Is there another way I can do this and have phones throughout the house?
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by WhyNotUs » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:53 pm

Ooma basic for a number that some former clients still occasionally use.
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jerryk68
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by jerryk68 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:31 am

CULater wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:35 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:28 am
Well OP you already have possibly best VOIP solution! Are you bragging? :wink:

We've also been on GV/Obi for years and have been very pleased. :beer

It's interesting to note that our new-construction home didn't even come with traditional phone lines, only internet. The Obi box can plug into any such outlet directly.

If you need additional ports (eg in kitchen) these powerline Ethernet adapters are great:

https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/powerline/
Maybe you can explain how this works. I have the Obi connected to the router and then a phone connected to the Obi phone port. I can use other satellite phones b/c they work off the base phone connected to the Obi. Is there another way I can do this and have phones throughout the house?
Referencing my previous post on this thread. After porting my phone from Verizon it took a couple days for the house line to go dead. Shortly after it went dead I plugged a phone line from the Obi to the wall jack. The Obi powered six phones in my house (3 bedrooms, kitchen, family room and basement).

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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by CULater » Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:54 am

jerryk68 wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:31 am
CULater wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:35 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:28 am
Well OP you already have possibly best VOIP solution! Are you bragging? :wink:

We've also been on GV/Obi for years and have been very pleased. :beer

It's interesting to note that our new-construction home didn't even come with traditional phone lines, only internet. The Obi box can plug into any such outlet directly.

If you need additional ports (eg in kitchen) these powerline Ethernet adapters are great:

https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/powerline/
Maybe you can explain how this works. I have the Obi connected to the router and then a phone connected to the Obi phone port. I can use other satellite phones b/c they work off the base phone connected to the Obi. Is there another way I can do this and have phones throughout the house?
Referencing my previous post on this thread. After porting my phone from Verizon it took a couple days for the house line to go dead. Shortly after it went dead I plugged a phone line from the Obi to the wall jack. The Obi powered six phones in my house (3 bedrooms, kitchen, family room and basement).
Wow. I gotta try this. Thanks.
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by SimonJester » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:34 am

jerryk68 wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:31 am
Referencing my previous post on this thread. After porting my phone from Verizon it took a couple days for the house line to go dead. Shortly after it went dead I plugged a phone line from the Obi to the wall jack. The Obi powered six phones in my house (3 bedrooms, kitchen, family room and basement).

Just a word of caution, you should try to disconnect the Phone companies line from your inside wiring. This is done for several reasons to include preventing stray lightning voltage from hitting your equipment. But more importantly that big long wire is acting like an antenna on the system which can introduce noise into your line. Also if for some reason the phone company should send ring voltage down the line it could damage your equipment.

I am using Poly Obihai with Google voice and Call Centric for 911 Costs $2.50 per month.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

LSLover
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 1:39 pm

Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by LSLover » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:07 am

SimonJester wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:34 am
jerryk68 wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:31 am
Referencing my previous post on this thread. After porting my phone from Verizon it took a couple days for the house line to go dead. Shortly after it went dead I plugged a phone line from the Obi to the wall jack. The Obi powered six phones in my house (3 bedrooms, kitchen, family room and basement).

Just a word of caution, you should try to disconnect the Phone companies line from your inside wiring. This is done for several reasons to include preventing stray lightning voltage from hitting your equipment. But more importantly that big long wire is acting like an antenna on the system which can introduce noise into your line. Also if for some reason the phone company should send ring voltage down the line it could damage your equipment.

I am using Poly Obihai with Google voice and Call Centric for 911 Costs $2.50 per month.
Do you use Obihai OBi200?

mrmass
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 6:35 pm

Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by mrmass » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:18 am

I'm considering a move to VOIP but am concerned about 911. Has anyone here using VOIP needed to call 911?

SimonJester
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by SimonJester » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:26 am

LSLover wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:07 am
Do you use Obihai OBi200?
Yes, only issues I have had, if my internet goes out sometimes I need to reboot the Obi to get service back. For some odd reason every time I call my father's cell phone when connecting I get nothing but a loud static. He can call me back and I can call him a 2nd time no issues. His number is the only one doing it so I think its something with his old flip phone.
mrmass wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:18 am
I'm considering a move to VOIP but am concerned about 911. Has anyone here using VOIP needed to call 911?
I have not but Call Centric has an option where you can test and verify your setup is working for 911 without having to place an actual 911 call.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

jerryk68
Posts: 185
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by jerryk68 » Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:19 pm

mrmass wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:18 am
I'm considering a move to VOIP but am concerned about 911. Has anyone here using VOIP needed to call 911?
I have never called 911 and hope that I never have too. I did a lot of research on 911 service when I went with VOIP. I have seen previous posts in other similar threads with people stating they get 911 service for free and they also have a cell that has 911 service. Don't cheap out on 911 service. It's important to have 911 service on any landline because it's expected that a landline has 911 service. It is especially important with kids and the elderly. Smart911 does not provide free 911 service. It is not a free 911 provider for the Obihai device. It is a service usually paid for by 911 providers so that additional information can be had that will help emergency personnel responding to a call. I have seen other posts in other threads claiming it is a 911 service when it is not a provider but it enhances a 911 service call. Here is a couple in my area.

https://sussexcountyde.gov/smart911

https://www.chesco.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=579

I use Anveo ($25 a year) which allows you to confirm the service by dialing 933 plus when 911 is dialed I think 4 or 5 texts or emails go out to people you list letting them know 911 was dialed. Callcentric is another service that I am thinking about trying. There are others but do your research to make sure it meets your needs.

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sunny_socal
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:32 am

CULater wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:35 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:28 am
Well OP you already have possibly best VOIP solution! Are you bragging? :wink:

We've also been on GV/Obi for years and have been very pleased. :beer

It's interesting to note that our new-construction home didn't even come with traditional phone lines, only internet. The Obi box can plug into any such outlet directly.

If you need additional ports (eg in kitchen) these powerline Ethernet adapters are great:

https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/powerline/
Maybe you can explain how this works. I have the Obi connected to the router and then a phone connected to the Obi phone port. I can use other satellite phones b/c they work off the base phone connected to the Obi. Is there another way I can do this and have phones throughout the house?
Yes, we also have it set up such that the 'phone line' plugs into the Obi and connects the phone base station. We then have mobile handsets throughout the house.

I was talking about where to place the Obi itself. In an Ethernet-only house the ports may not be conveniently located (eg. could be set up for a TV) while a kitchen bar may be a better place for the phone base station. To bring ethernet into the kitchen the powerline adapters are useful. Connect such an adapter to your router and plug it into a nearby AC outlet. At the desired endpoint plug in another adapter into an AC outlet and *poof* you have an ethernet port!

If a house has 'phone line' installed then indeed one can plug the Obi into that and the phone base station may connect to it. As mentioned earlier it's best to disconnect the provider's end if going this route.

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CULater
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by CULater » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:48 am

sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:32 am
CULater wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:35 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:28 am
Well OP you already have possibly best VOIP solution! Are you bragging? :wink:

We've also been on GV/Obi for years and have been very pleased. :beer

It's interesting to note that our new-construction home didn't even come with traditional phone lines, only internet. The Obi box can plug into any such outlet directly.

If you need additional ports (eg in kitchen) these powerline Ethernet adapters are great:

https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/powerline/
Maybe you can explain how this works. I have the Obi connected to the router and then a phone connected to the Obi phone port. I can use other satellite phones b/c they work off the base phone connected to the Obi. Is there another way I can do this and have phones throughout the house?
Yes, we also have it set up such that the 'phone line' plugs into the Obi and connects the phone base station. We then have mobile handsets throughout the house.

I was talking about where to place the Obi itself. In an Ethernet-only house the ports may not be conveniently located (eg. could be set up for a TV) while a kitchen bar may be a better place for the phone base station. To bring ethernet into the kitchen the powerline adapters are useful. Connect such an adapter to your router and plug it into a nearby AC outlet. At the desired endpoint plug in another adapter into an AC outlet and *poof* you have an ethernet port!

If a house has 'phone line' installed then indeed one can plug the Obi into that and the phone base station may connect to it. As mentioned earlier it's best to disconnect the provider's end if going this route.
Thanks for this info. This is the method I'll have to try because I just discovered the apt I'm moving into has no phone jacks at all! I would like to place the base phone in the kitchen but the internet port is located in the office bedroom. If I understand you, I should be able to plug in the AC adapter into an outlet in the kitchen and then move the Obi and connected base phone into the kitchen, correct?
On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

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sunny_socal
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:36 pm

CULater wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:48 am
sunny_socal wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:32 am
CULater wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:35 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:28 am
Well OP you already have possibly best VOIP solution! Are you bragging? :wink:

We've also been on GV/Obi for years and have been very pleased. :beer

It's interesting to note that our new-construction home didn't even come with traditional phone lines, only internet. The Obi box can plug into any such outlet directly.

If you need additional ports (eg in kitchen) these powerline Ethernet adapters are great:

https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/powerline/
Maybe you can explain how this works. I have the Obi connected to the router and then a phone connected to the Obi phone port. I can use other satellite phones b/c they work off the base phone connected to the Obi. Is there another way I can do this and have phones throughout the house?
Yes, we also have it set up such that the 'phone line' plugs into the Obi and connects the phone base station. We then have mobile handsets throughout the house.

I was talking about where to place the Obi itself. In an Ethernet-only house the ports may not be conveniently located (eg. could be set up for a TV) while a kitchen bar may be a better place for the phone base station. To bring ethernet into the kitchen the powerline adapters are useful. Connect such an adapter to your router and plug it into a nearby AC outlet. At the desired endpoint plug in another adapter into an AC outlet and *poof* you have an ethernet port!

If a house has 'phone line' installed then indeed one can plug the Obi into that and the phone base station may connect to it. As mentioned earlier it's best to disconnect the provider's end if going this route.
Thanks for this info. This is the method I'll have to try because I just discovered the apt I'm moving into has no phone jacks at all! I would like to place the base phone in the kitchen but the internet port is located in the office bedroom. If I understand you, I should be able to plug in the AC adapter into an outlet in the kitchen and then move the Obi and connected base phone into the kitchen, correct?
Exactly! We have 3 of these powerline ethernet adapters throughout the house. To add more just plug into an AC outlet and hit the little 'pair' button on the device. Setup is effortless.

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CULater
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by CULater » Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:47 pm

Exactly! We have 3 of these powerline ethernet adapters throughout the house. To add more just plug into an AC outlet and hit the little 'pair' button on the device. Setup is effortless.
The other way I can do it is to buy the wireless dongle that plugs into the USB port on the Obi. Then you can connect the Obi wirelessly to the router. Costs $25 on Amazon. Is this a cheaper way to go and should it work OK?
On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

alter
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:27 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by alter » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:01 pm

I use Ooma. Paying 5 bucks a month is definitely worth it, it is the only number I give out for business/general use. My cell phone is only used for personal contacts.

MathWizard
Posts: 3722
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Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Post by MathWizard » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:03 pm

Vonage.

I also have an ObiTalk with Google Voice, but some in-laws had trouble with it, so we went back to Vonage.

The ObiTalk works fine outgoing. I think the ObiTalk would work with incoming, but my wife wanted Vonage back.
We got a good price to come back, and will switch to our ISP if it jumps back up to $45/month. We can always go
back to the ObiTalk.

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