OT: Alternatives to landline and VOIP telephones?

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I rarely use my land line. I probably make 5-6 calls/month; used to be more until my parents passed, but am not (yet) ready to go cell only. I like that even if the electricity is out (was out once for a week after a hurricane), my old fashioned phone works. And I like being having multiple extensions spread around the house.
My current land line is like $40 a month, so planning ahead for reduced income, I'm looking for alternatives. I am not really interested in VOIP, although my cable company pushes it, because of a) what happens when the elec is out and b)I've had my internet out for days at a time... thank you Comcast. I do have a limited cell phone (100 min / month that I never use all of), but with the telemarketers who constantly call my land line, I don't want to use the cell# as my primary and have it ringing while I'm at work. Yes I'm on the no-call list; yes they ignore that.
I used to see a gadget on the Wal-mart site that was a home phone replacement. As I remember, it actually ran off of a dedicated cell phone, but you could port the old landline # to it, and I believe could also plug a set of phone extensions into it.
Sound familiar? Or does anyone know of something similar. I may yet bite the bullet and get ooma, but wanted to check alternatives.
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Lee B wrote:

Tried Skype?
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And half of that is taxes and "fees".
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On Saturday, September 13, 2014 10:33:39 AM UTC-4, Lee B wrote:

I would bet that what you saw at Walmart was actually one of the VOIP solutions. IDK what they sell right now, but they have sold several of them in the past. Some of the common names there are MajicJack, Nettalk, BasicTalk, etc. Given that you have a cell phone too, I don't see the objection to VOIP. If it goes out, you still have your cell for use. And while there may be something, somewhere that could connect a home type phone to a cell phone, I don't see how you're any better off, It's still cell phone service, isn't it? Plus if you want it separate from your current cell phone, then you need two cell phones, etc.
I would stay away from MJ, been there done that. Nettalk is better, I have it now, but would not recommend it for a variety of reasons. From all that I've seen since I made my decision, if I were making a choice today, I would go with Ooma. Read the reviews at Amazon and they have pretty happy customers, unlike MJ, Nettalk, etc. I've seen Ooma on sale for $100, after that you just have to pay monthly taxes, which are typically about $3.50. With that you have unlimited free calling in the USA. Ooma can be had used on Ebay. I think they charge you $10 to reactivate a used unit. MJ, Nettalk is about $40 a year. BasicTalk is $10 a month, so that isn't attractive compared to OOma. With any of those you can port over your existing landline number.
Only other suggestion I can think of is to look into the lowest cost, limited local phone service from MA Bell.
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On 9/13/2014 11:24 AM, trader_4 wrote:

http://www.straighttalk.com/wps/portal/home/shop/otherdevices/ShopHomePhones . Finally found it in the "office electronics" listing.
Main objection to using cell phone exclusively is that my regular cell plan has 100 minutes of voice (but 5 GB of data which I use more of). I just have visions of "want to win a cruise", "do you need home improvements", "we'll be collecting in your area this week", etc using up my 100 minutes. But yeah, I should call my phone company and see what they have to offer in a really basic plan.
I think a part of me worries about what if in the future I have to give up cable and internet, although realistically, I'd probably eat cat food before I gave up internet! Esp since I'd like to cut the cable TV cord at some point and just use Hulu etc.
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On Saturday, September 13, 2014 8:04:33 PM UTC-4, Lee B wrote:

Very unusual plan with so few mins and so much data.
I

Just look on the web. Easier to see all what;s available and in my experience, more accurate too. Most carriers are moving to unlimited voice, unlimited text, combined with data plan of whatever size. You can get that with ~500mb of data on a prepaid plan now for ~$40. 5GB of data is a huge plan for an individual. What usage consumes so much data?
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On 9/14/2014 7:09 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Oops, sorry for the confusion. I mean that my T-Mobile $30 plan has 100 minutes of talk, unlimited text and 5 GB of data. I use phone more for the data ability than for talking, but no I don't use nearly the 5 GB, although it's nice to know it's there. I always feel like, at the end of the cycle, I should stream a movie on it just to get my money's worth, LOL.
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On Sunday, September 14, 2014 8:27:39 AM UTC-4, Lee B wrote:

That's an unusual plan, that's for sure. Looks like Tmobile has unlimited voice/text, 2GB data for $45. It's $40 for 500mb. When I had 1GB of data for a month for free promotion, I only used 120MB. I think for most people, the data usage winds up being where you have wifi, so it's not counted against your plan. Seems to me, one of those Tmobile plans would be better for you.
If Sprint coverage is good in your area, there are a bunch of MVNOs that ride on Sprint and have low cost plans. Virgin Mobile Custom for example, if your usage is low, you can dial in just what you want for V/T/D, change it at any time, etc. If you're only using few hundred mins V, couple hundred MB data, you could do that at VMC for <$20 a month. And you can change the mins/data anytime, up or down, right on the phone. I have it, works for me. But it depends if Sprint has OK coverage in your area, because that's the carrier VMC rides on.
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On Saturday, September 13, 2014 9:33:39 AM UTC-5, Lee B wrote:

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I don't remember if I ever posted what I ended up doing. I added a new cell phone line to an exisiting AT&T account, then AT&T ported the land line number to the new phone.
FYI, how I did it for free.......
I bought an AT&T Go phone for $29 that had more than enough features. I was told you have to buy a phone from AT&T, and have been happy with them for 20+ years, so I didn't shop around.
Called the toll-free number in the Go phone package and got a number assigned. If you're going to add the phone to your AT&T account, don't pay anything to the Go phone people. You just need the number - no air time.
Took the Go phone to the AT&T store, they added a different SIM car, asigned a new number and activated it. No cost for any of this. Don't ask them about porting the land line.
Get your land line bill and call 611 from the new phone and have them port the land line number to it. When they go to get the Verizon (or whatever line company) on the phone, tell them you want to be part of that conversation. Get the Verizon rep's name, ID and location. I had Verizon and they tried to assign me a new number and keep the service going. They are creepy.
It took 4 days for the new cell to have the new number active. Land line should be dead by the next day.
Also, creepy Verizon sends a tech over to try and disconnect all the wiring from the house. Don't let them in the yard! I have heard from neighbors who switched to cable, that they something disconnect the cable. Personally, I did not want the phone line sending me any signals "accidentaly" to the interconnection box at my house, so I disconnected it myself.
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I believe straightalk has a 15 buck a month cell phone for home use, unlimited phone and text. standard home phones plug into it.
check wallmart for more info
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Hi Lee,

Like you, I rarely use our phone. I would switch to cell only, but because of the topography here we can't get a reliable cell signal. So a land line is a must.
I've thought about installing a cell phone booster, but they're expensive and may not work with our weak signals anyway. I also like having multiple phones around the house.

I have VOIP service through a company called "1-Voip". I think it costs me about $20 a month. It includes free nationwide calling, voice mail, caller ID, number blocking, etc.
Most of the time our internet still works if the power goes out, but you still need power to run the adapter and most phone systems. I have mine connected to my computers battery backup, but I've never needed to use it when the power goes out.
Our Comcast internet service actually goes down more than the power goes out. Naturally, the Voip phone line doesn't work in that case.
I could always fall back to our cell phone, even if I have to walk around the property to find a signal. :)

I think you need to sign up on the no-call every few years for your land line. I also seem to recall reading something about a separate no-call list for mobile phones.
Of course, the simple solution is to turn your phone off until you need to make a call. True, no one can call you either, but are you supposed to be on the phone at work anyway? :)
I only turn my phone on a few times a year. I just don't use it, but I keep it for emergencys anyway.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On 09/13/2014 10:47 AM, HerHusband wrote:
[snip]

I had just got phone service from the cable company when hurricane Ike hit and the power went out. The battery in the telephone adapter worked fine, but service was lost after 4 hours when the battery in the cable node failed. It was another 24 hours before they got a generator there.
[snip]
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On Sat, 13 Sep 2014 15:47:26 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband

My neighbor is a cell only guy and he uses a northern cell service (snow bird) that has lousy coverage here in Florida. Instead of changing carriers he bought the booster. It has an antenna on the roof that picks up the tower well and his cell is solid anywhere around the house.
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There is no need to sign up again, at least in Indiana and they automatically port your number to the national list. The problem is that most of the callers are VoIP themselves and either spoofed to the point they can't find them or originate out of the country. I used to complain to AG all the time and they kept sending me things saying they couldn't find (even Rachel from Card Services). It become so the only people they were bagging were the small business guys from the area who were too dumb to know better. Now I just ignore the calls.
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On 9/13/2014 10:33 AM, Lee B wrote:

Read this, particularly step three:
http://www.lavasurfer.com/info/replace-landline.html
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On 9/13/2014 12:15 PM, BenignBodger wrote:

[snip]

Big +1 to that suggestion.
We dropped the landline ~ 3 years ago and bought one of the docks (Siemens Gigaset) that will dock THREE cell phones simultaneously.
Walk in the house and you are connected to your corded and cordless sets. Truly seamless which makes it nice for SWMBO who is a non-techie and just wants a phone when she wants a phone<g>
A number of varied systems like this out there and it's even built-in to some of the newer cordless phone sets.
Power out? No problem, the cell phone still works and if you need to charge it? Just walk out to your car.
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On 9/13/2014 10:33 AM, Lee B wrote:

We switched home phone to VOIP a few years ago to get our cable bill down. Phone line can be tied in to your regular home lines. I also kept an old land line for business and Verizon switched it to a FIOS setting as old copper was deteriorating. Both systems have battery backups in case of power failure. We have separate cell phones too and I recall a hurricane event where cell phones would not get through but land lines would.
VOIP is great as there are no long distance charges in the US and you get all the services like caller id and call block included and not as extras from the old phone company.
Of course with cable service, you have an annual fight to get your bill reduced. FIOS is constantly pestering me to get their full service and I tell them every time that I will if they give me the introductory offer for life.
I told my wife the other day that telemarketers were more a threat to me than ISIS. They are already a world wide PITA.
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On Sat, 13 Sep 2014 14:15:53 -0400, Frank

I have been in SW Florida for 30 years living through plenty of hurricanes. My cable has been out after a normal thunderstorm or even on a sunny day, power has been out a few dozen times but I have never lost POTS.,

I get the complete option package including free long distance from Century link as part of the phone, internet and Dish package. Even with a bunch of extra movie channels and the "full boat" cable channel package I am still about the same as triple play Comcast with one movie channel.
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On 9/13/2014 5:32 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Potsie has a lot of advantages.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpOVaT6mJCY

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