Anyone using a VoIP system?

So now that I’ve gotten rid of my home phone from Time Warner, I started investigating ways we could keep our home phones working via internet. There are a wide range of choices…but the whole purpose of getting rid of the home line was to reduce costs. We don’t actually do very much calling…so long distance and reliability aren’t really that big of a deal. Plans like Vonage and RingCentral would pretty much put us back in the same boat as TWC with regards to bill cost (around $20 a month).

The reviews for MagicJack aren’t very good. After some reading last night - it sounds like Ooma might not be a bad way to go…it has minimal billing ($4 a month) but of course has Premium options which are more expensive.

Are any of you using VoIP (not cable company provided) for your home phone and what have your experiences been?

1 Like

I use Skype and I’m really fine. Also Skype is fine- but me? Fit & fine AF! :sunglasses:

We’ve used one of these Obihai boxes for around 5 years with a free Google Voice number. You can port a mobile phone number to GV, but the last time that I looked it didn’t support porting land lines. Anywho, we were getting too many spam calls on our old phone number even though I had listed it on Unfortunately, due to the current state of unsolicited calling VoIP technologies, that list is not as effective as it once was. So, I picked a good Google Voice number and have never looked back. The only time that it stopped working was when my Obihai box needed a firmware update, which caused me to spend the exorbitant fee of $10 for a support agreement :slight_smile: Very easy to install and configure. Five out of five Chipwiches.

So stupid question - does that OBi200 have to be plugged in to a computer that is ON at all times…or can it just be plugged in to a router? The reason I ask is that it isn’t inconsequential (with regards to electric bills) to run a computer 24 hours a day to provide telephony capability…

I’d be curious to know what my desktop runs at (watts) during just idle running with no demanding load on the GPU.

No, it’s stand-alone. It has one RJ45 port for your LAN, and two RJ11 ports, one to connect your in-house wiring, and the other to connect to an existing phone service (optional). Once plugged in and status lights green, it “phones home”, and you go online to configure the thing. Takes all of 15 minutes from unboxing to dial tone.

I have a Skype phone. The only people who ever call on it are my family from the UK. It works great, and was easy to set up. It has saved a bunch of money over the years we have had it. For everything other than those family calls, my wife and I just use our cell phones.

Yeah, VOIP and television over the internet connection, although this is an offer from my ISP that is generally well regarded. I can imagine that being a tad different in the US. Obviously the whole phone system is provided by them and pretty much works.

My wife and I just use our cell phones. All under a family plan.

I can’t use a family plan with my phone. I am quite capable of blowing my 6gb cap all on my own. Can’t add anyone else to suck it up. And touching my plan will mean a ridiculous increase in price because I’m on a legacy plan. My same plan in today’s terms is $50 more a month and it’s already too expensive. Canada loves to stick it up your rear for this stuff.

I was not a fan of Magic Jack, because of the reviews, before we got it and I am still not a big fan but it has been working for us almost a year now with no loss of service because of them. Power outages and “User error” is another thing entirely.

One pet peeve is that the clock is always wrong and Magic Jack claims it’s not something being caused by their service. Since I never had that problem before using the magic jack service I have to disagree with their assessment.


1 Like

As a follow up I mean the Phone system always has the wrong time. You set the time correctly and as soon as you get a call the time on the phone system is reset. In my case they are ahead by two hours. Since we bought the 5 year plan, wasn’t my idea, it will be at least four years before that bug gets squashed. Of course for the price if you actually do go with magic jack the 5 year plan gave you the best bang for the buck.

The computers which are online through the Magic Jack system are not affected. Something else the reviews stated was that it was impossible to send a fax using a fax machine, I know old tech…, but it has worked just fine for me when I have had to send a fax using an old style fax machine. Lol it is strange to think of a fax machine as obsolete and old tech though…


That’s good info @wheelsup_cavu. I ended up ordering that OBi200 that @chipwich was talking about. Heck, for $50, it is worth giving a try. It really isn’t essential…just more for a tiny bit of convenience. Actually, I just want to not feel like I wasted all that money when I bought these new whiz-bang cordless phones and base unit a couple years back. LOL

So @chipwich - received my OBi200 the other day and just now got around to setting it up. What a cool little box!

It took me literally 10 minutes to be up and running. I got a Google voice number, followed the 2 minute video on how to setup the hardware, and I’m in business. My home phone is working great…and I was even able to pick a phone number in my area code and first 3 digits that were the same as my old home phone. I tested it a few times…but haven’t given it a thorough workout yet…but so far so good! Great experiment for $50. In two months it will have paid for itself vs. Time Warner phone.

Thanks for the advice!

1 Like

That’s great to hear @BeachAV8R. It’s always risky to recommend technology, but in this case our experience has been so overwhelmingly positive, that I thought that it should at least be on your list of solutions. Google Voice is handy too, because you can have it catch your voicemails and send a translated version to your email.

1 Like