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Thread: best forums to talk of 'gaming the system' for landlines? (like HF for cell)

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    best forums to talk of 'gaming the system' for landlines? (like HF for cell)

    Just like people for cell service are looking for the best deals, workarounds, strategies, loopholes, maybe not well known/undermarketed services, is there a "go to" place covering the same for landline services? (i'd happily discuss it here but there's not alot of activity on this forum when I can see back 2 years on half a page)

    Examples include:

    Finding the cheapest outgoing service (in general "google voice" for 0 cents a minute probably wins... except... for certain places where they have to charge including certain area codes it seems)

    Adding features on the incoming service - for me stopping junk calls is by itself the most important likely use for google voice. A friend got an OOMA but only their premium service lets you block numbers. Adding features in general - maybe those not supported by GV. Incoming fax, multiple providers if you have to call ALOT (ie 6000 minutes a month) which normally risks termination, etc.

    Strategies to insure you don't lose your number which everyone may know. (ie - a problem with providers like Magic Jack)

    Other apps, services, products you may not even know about yet. Like I didn't know about OBiTalk originally and assumed it had to all be done through a softphone on the computer for GV.

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    Looks to me like you've already found it at DSLreports. That's the best place I've found with some very experienced people.

    I wish there was more activity in this forum. I try and scan it but, as you say, very little activity in this sub-forum. Sigh.

    From a cursory read of your posts I would suggest the following:

    Get yourself a Google Voice number
    Buy an Obihai 200 ATA (they regularly go on sale. Check SlickDeals)
    Pay a one-time fee of $5.99 for the Simonics gateway OR
    Get a free DID from Callcentric and forward to it from GV (must say you're using service outside US to not have to pay E911 fee)
    Both the Simonics gateway and/or a free Callcentric DID will give you incoming CNAM
    Personally, I use a free Callcentric DID for incoming calls and the Simonics gateway for outgoing calls.

    An Obihai ATA or Callcentric allows you to simulring (fork) incoming calls to a toll-free Nomorobo number for another layer of telespammer protection.
    I currently have 6 different providers configured on my Obi device: 4 trunks and 2 voice gateways.

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    All of these things require reliable Internet service. I don't have it and cell signal in the house is poor so I am stuck with a noisy copper landline. Someday I may allow them to install FIOS. I assume that will be reliable. I can get them to install FIOS for free by just reporting the line noise again.

    My absolute minimal copper landline now costs $25 a month. Over half of that is taxes and fees. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

    I desperately need an unpublished number. My phone rings all day with telescammers. Yesterday I received four of the IRS is suing me calls and two that I have won a cruise to the Bahamas, plus a few others and half a dozen phone rings, but no message.

    I would really like to have Caller ID. It costs $8 a month to add to my Verizon service and I'm not paying that.

    I have been using GV since it became GV for free outgoing calls and free long distance. I use the call forwarding and free outgoing text too. Unfortunately, a while back GV changed something that made the call forwarding stop working with my cell provider for a while so I had to give close contacts my real cell number. Now they don't know what number to call.

    So yeah, I'm interested in alternative phone service. I wouldn't call it gaming the system. Magic Jack, etc. are pretty mainstream.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taoman54 View Post
    Looks to me like you've already found it at DSLreports. That's the best place I've found with some very experienced people.

    From a cursory read of your posts I would suggest the following:

    Get yourself a Google Voice number
    Buy an Obihai 200 ATA (they regularly go on sale. Check SlickDeals)
    Pay a one-time fee of $5.99 for the Simonics gateway OR
    Get a free DID from Callcentric and forward to it from GV (must say you're using service outside US to not have to pay E911 fee)
    Both the Simonics gateway and/or a free Callcentric DID will give you incoming CNAM
    Personally, I use a free Callcentric DID for incoming calls and the Simonics gateway for outgoing calls.

    An Obihai ATA or Callcentric allows you to simulring (fork) incoming calls to a toll-free Nomorobo number for another layer of telespammer protection.
    I currently have 6 different providers configured on my Obi device: 4 trunks and 2 voice gateways.
    Thanks for the advice, that seems like it may do the job. One thing I don't like about E911 is that I constantly travel between at least two locations - even if I 'pay for' the 'required' E911 it will be in the wrong location at least half the time right now not really solving my problem. One thing I wanted to do was to remap '911' entered into a VOIP box to just call the local emergency dispatch center. I don't expect to use 911 from there anyways but it's a solution in case a visitor grabs my office phone by mistake at my friends place when i'm in town, or if the deactivated cellphones for 911 aren't immediately at hand. If i'm going to manually change the remap to local dispatch when I move back and forth i'm at least not going to pay for a service that's not automatically doing it for me. :P

    So you have 4 incoming phone numbers direct to handsets, with 2 calls supported at once? (if i understand, still learning terminology)

    How does the nomoromo number help protect from telemarketers?

    And one thing i'd love is some kind of single click app where if a telemarketer violates the do not call list i can instantly report them possibly with recording or data. I might have to walk to the computer to click "the last number that called, f___ them" instead of from each phone but thats okay. Like swatting mosquitos indoor eventually you thin the herd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    r.

    I desperately need an unpublished number. My phone rings all day with telescammers. Yesterday I received four of the IRS is suing me calls and two that I have won a cruise to the Bahamas, plus a few others and half a dozen phone rings, but no message.
    In the meantime, have you registered you phone on the Do not call registry? at do not call.gov https://www.donotcall.gov/

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    Quote Originally Posted by unit_shifter View Post
    One thing I wanted to do was to remap '911' entered into a VOIP box to just call the local emergency dispatch center.
    This is exactly what I do. Very easy to do with an OBi ATA.......or just about any ATA I would suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by unit_shifter
    So you have 4 incoming phone numbers direct to handsets, with 2 calls supported at once? (if i understand, still learning terminology)
    I actually have more than 4 incoming "lines/numbers" but only 4 trunks. You can forward multiple lines to a single trunk. The OBi200 only supports a single phone port and a single call although it does support call waiting. The OBi202 has 2 phone ports and supports 2 simultaneous calls. You can get ever larger OBi units that support more phone ports and trunks.......but they aren't cheap.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=obihatechn-20

    Quote Originally Posted by unit_shifter
    How does the nomoromo number help protect from telemarketers?
    You can Google it to see how it works. Basically all incoming calls are forked to Nomorobo. If the incoming CID matches a number in their database Nomorobo answers the call and you only hear a single ring on your phone.

    Quote Originally Posted by unit_shifter
    And one thing i'd love is some kind of single click app where if a telemarketer violates the do not call list i can instantly report them possibly with recording or data. I might have to walk to the computer to click "the last number that called, f___ them" instead of from each phone but thats okay. Like swatting mosquitos indoor eventually you thin the herd.
    That's a tough one. Callcentric uses TrueCNAM so if a telespammer gets through you can go to the CDR and report the caller as spam which then gets entered into their database. You need to understand that many (most?) telespammers these days are illegal ones (many housed offshore) that couldn't care less about the Do Not Call list or if you "report" them as it will have zero effect.

    Since this going to be a low-budget operation with multiple seats I would probably go another route assuming all these "seats" have WiFi access. The scenario you posted on DSLR with all those features would be an expensive proposition. I'm not sure what your "must have" needs are. But I would at least consider getting some old cheap smartphones with WiFi access. You can then load Hangouts on them and use Google Voice numbers for all of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by worldtraveler85 View Post
    In the meantime, have you registered you phone on the Do not call registry? at do not call.gov https://www.donotcall.gov/
    My landline has been on the do not call list since I got it. I didn't want to pay for an unpublished number. Aside from legit calls, I don't get legitimate telemarketing calls. The calls are all criminal scammers. They don't care about the do not call. Without Caller ID I don't know who the call-no-message callers are. I'm sure most are illegal telescammers.

    I practice good phone number hygiene. I don't spread it around. I haven't answered my phone without answering machine screening for years. It's a published number with POTS service so there's not much more I can do short of an interceptor box that requires callers to enter a code.

    With the upcoming election, I expect it will get horrible with political calls again.

    If I go to FIOS for (presumably) reliable Internet, what is cheap hardware, cheap service, and simple and reliable? It doesn't have to be uber cheap, just a good value. I am capable of configuring things. I used to do enterprise Cisco routers, but I don't want to have to fiddle with it frequently. I don't want anything that requires leaving a computer running all the time like the basic Magic Jack. Two lines and Caller ID would be nice. An unpublished number is a must. Some sort of number blocking would be nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    If I go to FIOS for (presumably) reliable Internet, what is cheap hardware, cheap service, and simple and reliable? It doesn't have to be uber cheap, just a good value. I am capable of configuring things. I used to do enterprise Cisco routers, but I don't want to have to fiddle with it frequently. I don't want anything that requires leaving a computer running all the time like the basic Magic Jack. Two lines and Caller ID would be nice. An unpublished number is a must. Some sort of number blocking would be nice.
    My suggestion would be similar to what I gave above.
    If you want two lines (which I assume means 2 separate phones also) look at the Obihai 202
    You can also get two free Google Voice numbers that will work directly or indirectly with an OBi ATA (or port existing number)
    You can also get two free Callcentric DIDs that you could forward to from your GV numbers. I assume you would also want E911 which would be $1.50/month
    Callcentric includes Caller ID for free and they have the best telespammer blocking capabilities around

    If you didn't want to go "uber cheap" you could just get paid lines from a VoIP provider like Callcentric or VoIP.ms
    What is your average monthly usage of both inbound and outbound?

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    Quote Originally Posted by taoman54 View Post
    My suggestion would be similar to what I gave above.
    If you want two lines (which I assume means 2 separate phones also) look at the Obihai 202
    You can also get two free Google Voice numbers that will work directly or indirectly with an OBi ATA (or port existing number)
    You can also get two free Callcentric DIDs that you could forward to from your GV numbers. I assume you would also want E911 which would be $1.50/month
    Callcentric includes Caller ID for free and they have the best telespammer blocking capabilities around

    If you didn't want to go "uber cheap" you could just get paid lines from a VoIP provider like Callcentric or VoIP.ms
    What is your average monthly usage of both inbound and outbound?
    Thanks, I will review and research these. I have some other things to do for a while.

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    Just a heads up on upcoming sale on Obihai ATAs on Amazon. It usually lasts just a few hours until quantity/allotment runs out.

    The Obihai 202 goes on sale on Amazon September 20th.
    The Obihai 200 goes on sale on Amazon September 27th.

    This info comes from an email I just received from Obihai. No prices were listed.
    I think this is a push to get people to upgrade from the EOL 1xx series of ATAs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taoman54 View Post
    You can get ever larger OBi units that support more phone ports and trunks.......but they aren't cheap.
    But do they have any features that simply running 10 OBitalk dual ports wouldn't to justify the cost? (or is there some other reason you can't chain multiple Obi's at one location)

    Quote Originally Posted by taoman54 View Post
    You can Google it to see how it works. Basically all incoming calls are forked to Nomorobo. If the incoming CID matches a number in their database Nomorobo answers the call and you only hear a single ring on your phone.
    The only VOIP provider I recognize on there is voip.ms, do you know if it can be made to work with anveo or callcentric? Or google voice for that matter - even if it's by setting up Nomorobo as a 'forwarding number' (rings on 2 or more forwarded numbers) so that it can pick up after the first ring for me.


    Quote Originally Posted by taoman54 View Post
    You need to understand that many (most?) telespammers these days are illegal ones (many housed offshore) that couldn't care less about the Do Not Call list or if you "report" them as it will have zero effect.
    Hmm... good point. There's also that I normally see 'caller not available' or bogus caller ID's like 999 999 9999 and wouldn't even know how to shut them down.


    Quote Originally Posted by taoman54 View Post
    Since this going to be a low-budget operation with multiple seats I would probably go another route assuming all these "seats" have WiFi access. The scenario you posted on DSLR with all those features would be an expensive proposition. I'm not sure what your "must have" needs are. But I would at least consider getting some old cheap smartphones with WiFi access. You can then load Hangouts on them and use Google Voice numbers for all of them.
    I can't do wifi, but I don't mind using softphones with dedicated computers even if it's Raspberry Pi's or netbooks. At least in the future.

    There's more than one 'need' i'm posting for - thing slike the Telerobo caller filtering is just for the incoming home line. The 'up to 20 seats' bit isn't likely to be too bothered by robocalls.

    I'm not sure which of my posts you've read, but my biggest must have is scalability, the ability to go from basically zero monthly cost (an Obi with Google Voice) all the way up to 20 lines on a professional VOIP provider, scaled back down again dramatically the month following. It's for periodic 'bursts' - like a marketing PR campaign for a startup business works 'unexpectedly' to handle the volume 'at home' until it can be handed off to professionals. Because usually you try and you try and you try and most things fall on their face.

    I'm considering an option where I port my number to a call forwarding service before a PR campaign to switch from GV to a proper VOIP provider for the month (1 line at first) just to get rid of the half second lag... if it doesnt work it goes back to GV. Then it's minimal risk to keep GV and minimal cost whenever i'm not working on something expecting call volume. You said Callcentric does two free forwarding numbers already..? Maybe that would work even as a no cost solution - this being so I can avoid the days to weeks it takes to port a number. (and the risk of a number outage)

    Btw how does the callcentric TrueCNAM work, and is that something i'm able to see the 'real' vs reported caller ID names/numbers (including to see at a glance call faking) somehow? THAT would be a useful service i'd pay for.

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