I already had cable Internet service and added an Obihai OB202 VOIP box
(maybe $50 or so on sale) and have phone service from PhonePower
(approx. $60 for a year with a discount coupon, I think).
Free local and lnog-distance within the US. Not sure about Canada. No
Google Voice now works with those Obihai boxes and is free.
I use an Obihai 202 with RingTo. There is no cost for RingTo but they
require you to sign up for E911 service with a separate provider and
that costs $12 per year. So essentially I am paying $1 per month.
I looked into Ooma but it was a lot more expensive, even for the basic
service, than RingTo and Obihai. The appeal of Ooma is that one company
is providing both the service and the hardware, but the Obihai was not
that difficult to set up with RingTo.
The Obihai also works with Google Voice and there is no requirement for
E911 service, though it can be added separately.
RingTo does not charge a fee to port your number.
One annoyance, or it could be a benefit, is that the phone will often
ring once or twice before RingTo catches a robo-call or junk call. There
was also a time when tones were not going through to systems with "enter
your PIN" but now it works.
On Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 12:04:22 PM UTC-5, Eagle wrote:
Security with regard to what? Someone listening in on your calls?
It working when power is out? 911? Reliability? If it's someone
listening in, I've never seen it discussed. The traffic goes over
the internet, unencrypted, AFAIK, with all the VOIP services. So,
it would seem about as secure as any similar internet traffic. If
someone wants to listen in, is smart enough, determined enough, they
can, just like with a phone call on the old copper system. It's
probably more secure than that, because with the old system you could
tap in with stuff not much better than an ordinary phone by getting
to the wires in the building, going to the street, etc.
On Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 8:07:52 PM UTC-4, Harry Butz wrote:
I tried MajicJack and Nettalk and wouldn't touch either with a 10 ft
poll. Fortunately MJ I was able to return to RadioShack. Nettalk
I had for a year. Serious problems with both in terms of support.
Neither have a voice phone support number, relying on emails and/or
chat windows. I found MJ support via chat available, but totally
incompetent. Nettalk, chat line is all backed up, they push you off
to open a trouble ticket online, then they never respond to it. Check out
Amazon for ratings there by customers and you'll see NT really, really
sucks. Among the problems with NT, while for a month or two it was
fine, it then started going into red light mode at least once a week.
Until I cycled the power, it was out of service.
So, 6 months ago I switched to Ooma. Very satisfied. It's been
reliable and they have real phone support that answers when you call.
I had no trouble getting a real person on the line and the person
sounded like they were US based. With NT ad MJ, IDK where they were,
but the chat was in broken English. Ooma service is "free", but you
have to pay for the device up front and monthly taxes and fees. The
taxes/fees run me $3.75 a month. The box they were selling for $120,
but they have sales where it's been $100, probably will again for the
holiday season. You can also buy new or used ones on Ebay. The service
includes unlimited US/Canada, unlimited Ooma to Ooma anywhere. They
have international calling by the minute. And they have a smartphone
app that lets you make or receive calls from your home # on your
smartphone via wifi. I found the smartphone app voice quality and
reliability to be far superior to the similar apps that MJ and NT
offer. If you make a lot of calls, beware the other
players. All of them claim to have "unlimited" residential usage,
but they all really cap you at some number of monthly minutes and
don't tell you about that except in fine print in the contract. With
Ooma it's 5000 mins, something I'd never hit. I did manage to hit
the NT limit of 1500 mins one month and then they just cut you off
with no warning, service goes dead. When I signed up for a year, the
limit was 3000 mins and they changed it a few months later, with no
notice. Also, while the NT/MJ types offer
discounts if you sign up for 3 yrs or whatever of service, I'd never
do that or at least not until you're really sure it works for you
after at least a year.
Ooma also offers a premier service, for $10 a month that includes
a lot of features like conferencing, call forwarding, etc, if any of
that is something you need.
Another issue is porting numbers. All of the above ones charge $20
to $40 to port your old number in if you want to. Otherwise you
can pick a new number, in some cases you can get a very local one,
in others it may be another town in the state. How much that matters,
depends on you. Also, I think MJ was playing a game where they
charge you to port your number out if you want to leave and take it.
From what I saw, it's questionable if that is even legal.
But I would look at Amazon at reviews on whatever you are considering.
Wish I had thought of that before I started.
After decaded and decades of paying the old phone company
$75-100/month, I finally bit the bullet and purchased a Magic Jack
($35 and walmart), connected it to my internal network and plugged in
my cordless phone base and have had trouble free voice now for over a
year. Call for the entire US and CA are FREE and each additional year
is only $35 which works out to $3/month. Yep, just like the phone
Had I known it was this good I would have switched years ago.
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
Until a few months ago I was a longtime user of Localphone VoIP. All
incalls are free and so are 800 number outcalls. Other outcalls are
1¢/minute within the US. However, it also costs $1.00/month for an
incall telephone number.
Getting a Google Voice number to use with Hangouts is totally free for
US, Canada and Mexico. Installs on most smartphones and computers.
Sounds like a good deal.
Wonder how you get your land line number switched to ooma?
I remember it was somewhat of a PITA to switch a land line from Verizon
to Comcast VoIP.
I kept a 2nd land line for business use but it is connected to a FIOS
box in the house. Verizon had replaced our deteriorating copper with
FIOS a few years ago. They still retain pricing and charge for extra
services like caller ID. Stuff you get for free on Comcast.
Every year with Comcast, it is a renegotiation to get back to initial
offering prices. I understand you can do the same with Verizon.
Our neighborhood has access to both and as mentioned I have both lines
to my house.
My neighbor across the street will switch services if one will not
oblige him with reasonable prices. I might do it but wife does not like
the hassle. Verizon constantly bugs me to take more than the phone. I
often respond to ask them with a VoIP connected phone, why don't I get
full VoIP service. Also tell them I will take their initial 2 year
offer if they guarantee for life. Waste of my time doing this.
I got tired of all the monthly fees.
I dropped DirecTV and put up an antenna. TV is now free. We don't miss
the 700 satellite channels, most of which were junk.
I dropped the DSL and landline.
I got 25 Mb/s Comcast service for $40 per month (plus taxes and fees)
and that includes basic SD cable and On-Demand for network shows and one
SD box. No DVR.
I got an Obihai 202 for VOIP service and ported my landline to RingTo.
$1 per month.
Our life is no worse. I can't watch my college football games at home
anymore, so I have to go to a local bar where the alumni meet to watch
the games. More fun anyway, if only the bar would learn how to pour
Ooma isn't a bad deal, but it's still expensive compared to other VOIP
On Friday, October 30, 2015 at 8:07:12 PM UTC-4, email@example.com wrote:
I raised that point previously. I'm paying $3.75 a month for Ooma.
If anything, you have to wonder how these companies can make money
and survive. It's not expensive in monthly cost relative to MJ or Nettalk.
Both of those are ~$35 a year. Also, some of them play games, eg,
they charge an extra $20 a year for a "vanity" number which means if
you port your existing number in, they hit you not only for a one
time port charge, but also for $20 every year.
Ooma eqpt is more expensive upfront, ~$120 vs ~$40, but it's also
a much better service, with real phone support and if you decide
you want to switch people are selling them on Ebay and recovering
half of that upfront eqpt cost.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.