Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: "Free setup" Google Voice / Hangouts Question Received Via PM

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    13,460
    Feedback Score
    0

    "Free setup" Google Voice / Hangouts Question Received Via PM

    I received the following question by PM. Since I believe every question/answer like this one (a private matter would be, of course, different) should be public for everyone's benefit, and also so other forum members can contribute their ideas, or correct me in case I give a wrong answer, I'm posting my response here.

    I know you did a setup with GVoice, Hangouts that allows you free calling.

    My goal is to have my office line be free, but I'm willing to pay for an ooma or some other device to have my line ring in my office for incoming calls. Currently I have magicjack that costs me about $40/year. I am not wed to the phone number, so I'm willing to obtain a GVoice number without porting in the magicjack number.

    So do I buy an ooma (or competitor), or buy a physical phone that connects directly to the router, or some other recommendation you have? I'm not sure how the Hangouts enters the picture for you and what that buys you.
    Ooma is a completely different device/system unrelated to the GV use you're describing.

    If you want to port your MJ # to GV, you will need to port it to a cell phone first, which can cost between $5 and $15, if you have an old usable cell phone lying around, depending on what network your old phone uses. Then you would port that # into GV, which will cost $20. Otherwise, a new GV # is free, but GV may or may not have a # that you like available.

    If you want to use a GV # on a traditional landline handset, you will need an Obihai (now owned by Polycom) device. I use the Obi200, but there are more advanced models available, if your situation would benefit from it. After you get the Obi device, simply set it up in the online portal using you GV credentials. The Obi device simply plugs into the router and then into an existing wall phone jack to power any other working jack in the house. Or you can plug a handset directly into the Obi, if you only have one handset that you want to use it with.

    Hangouts is useful if you would ever want to use the subject GV # on your cell phone. Hangouts allows calls and texts over WiFi or cellular data and is otherwise free to use.

    For example, I have my Obi200 at home so I can use my 2 primary GV #s at home with a traditional DECT 6.0 home phone system, but I also have my 2 primary GV #s set up in Hangouts on my cell phones and tablet so I can make/answer calls and send/receive SMS/MMS with those same GV #s on any of my devices. Of course, the same functionality works on almost any computer that you can log into hangouts.google.com from, too.

    As an aside, Google has announced that Hangouts is going to be discontinued at some point, although I haven't yet seen a specific date, but the Google Voice app should have the same functionality if/when that happens.

    In my case, I have no real phone #s. All my #s are VoIP; 2 primary GV #s, 1 "test/extra" GV #, and 1 TextNow #, so I can have a Canadian phone #. I also had a Talkatone #, but the Talkatone app was slow and buggy and the whole system lacked features compared to TextNow, so I no longer use it. Of my 2 primary GV #s, 1 is my original GV # from 2009, and the other GV # is my old home phone # that I ported into GV in 2015.

    Anyway, please post if anybody has any questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    95
    Feedback Score
    0
    I did the PM, no problem "outing" me

    I didn't want to clutter up the public board with what I thought was too specific a situation.

    So in my case, I can see I don't need hangouts. I currently have a little used office phone line in my home office. The office line gets its dialtone from a magicjack device connected to my router. It acts like a traditional 2nd line. It isn't terribly expensive around $45/year.

    So I recently obtained a Google Voice number, and thought that when my magicjack year is up, I'll tell the few people that call me on the office line of my new Google Voice number...no need to fuss with any porting, or moving to a mobile number just to port to GVoice. I can let the current phone number die.

    I've heard of Ooma, and also the Obi200. My needs are that the new phone number ring in my office, and that it can go to voicemail if I don't answer (or simply use Google Voice vmail). So I know I need some device that will either replace my current phone with one that can plug directly into a router, or get a device that replaces the function of my magicjack device.

    Is Obi200 the device for me? Is there a monthly cost after I purchase Obi200? Any other suggestions? Or am I better off just continuing with magicjack?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    13,460
    Feedback Score
    0
    If you want to use your Google Voice #, you need the Obi device.

    Ooma is it's own system and can't be used with Google Voice.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    95
    Feedback Score
    0
    I went to obitalk.com, because I understand I need an account for obi200 to connect to my google voice. It is unclear to me, do I have to buy a monthly plan to make calls? Do you pay obitalk anything?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Southwest Michigan, USA
    Posts
    3,630
    Device(s)
    Moto E (T-Mo); LG Fiesta 2 (PPC)
    Carrier(s)
    T-Mobile Prepaid & Page Plus
    Feedback Score
    0
    The account regarding an Obi device is to register the device and allow you to access its web-based configuration user interface, not for any paid provided service.

    You can use GV with Ooma. It would be the same as using GV with any other existing hard line service (a copper wire line telco or your cable company's IP phone service): You'd just set incoming calls made to the GV number to forward to the Ooma number, which you'd be paying monthly taxes/fees on (which would obviously be a redundant exercise). You can forward it to the MagicJack number as well. That does give you kind of a two line setup over a single phone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mars
    Posts
    3,195
    Device(s)
    Tin cans and a string
    Feedback Score
    1 (100%)
    Ooma is simpleton. The premium service does offer additional controls, but even with that it's very basic and geared for a very novice individual. There's minimal granular control. Obi/gv is more complicated but the equipment is compatible with other TSP's besides gv. You can integrate the obi with any SIP voip provider.

    GV is free (for home users) for domestic and calls to canada (mexico too?). You get basic caller id (number only) and no e911. Many of integrate gv with callcentric's dollar DID service (https://www.callcentric.com/dids/dol...d_phone_number ) for inbound calls and north america basic for e911 calls and 120 min/month). The inbound service adds name caller id feature. Totally monthly charge is $2.95. If you don't need name caller id or e911 then its completely free.

    If all you want to do is forward calls then you don't need an obi200.

    Be aware, you get what you pay for with "free" solutions. I would use a proper service for business purposes. While gv/cc has mostly been trouble free for us (going on 4 years now), there have been occasional glitches either on google's side or callcentric. Both are rare but do happen. Also, the above plans are geared toward home use. If your monthly usage is high, you may need to switch to a business plan.

    We actually have 2 obi's in the house. Both configured to the same gv/cc accounts. Two different calls can come in to the same number and be routed to different handsets. This is very useful when the senior citizen of the house forgets to hang up (sometimes for hours or until the battery dies). Rather than no phone ringing, the flow is configured such that it hunts to the 2nd obi. Granted if handsets for both lines are offhook then we're SOL. Still, an option to leave a vm is available. Audio clip then is then received via email.

    By the same token if line 1 is in use, I can place an outbound call on line 2 which will still show the same caller id info on the called party's end.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    13,460
    Feedback Score
    0
    MRothaus

    MJ, which you already own, has a $40/year cost, which you said you're trying to eliminate.

    Ooma has an initial purchase cost and a monthly cost. You'll have to research those costs if you want to pursue Ooma.

    Obi200 has an initial purchase cost of between $29.99 and $49.99, depending on current sales pricing, and NO monthly cost.

    Although it wouldn't be necessary for your described usage, if you want to add e911 to your Obi / GV setup, here are two options to consider:
    https://www.bulkvs.com/e911.html - $0.49/mo
    https://www.gv911.com/ - $1/mo

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mars
    Posts
    3,195
    Device(s)
    Tin cans and a string
    Feedback Score
    1 (100%)
    Boz, I'm partial to CC, in part because of their call treatments function. This is the holy grail for controlling inbound calls and spam protection. Well worth more than $1 a month.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    13,460
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by GPz1100 View Post
    Boz, I'm partial to CC, in part because of their call treatments function. This is the holy grail for controlling inbound calls and spam protection. Well worth more than $1 a month.
    Okay. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,692
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by MRothaus View Post
    I did the PM, no problem "outing" me

    I didn't want to clutter up the public board with what I thought was too specific a situation.

    So in my case, I can see I don't need hangouts. I currently have a little used office phone line in my home office. The office line gets its dialtone from a magicjack device connected to my router. It acts like a traditional 2nd line. It isn't terribly expensive around $45/year.

    So I recently obtained a Google Voice number, and thought that when my magicjack year is up, I'll tell the few people that call me on the office line of my new Google Voice number...no need to fuss with any porting, or moving to a mobile number just to port to GVoice. I can let the current phone number die.

    I've heard of Ooma, and also the Obi200. My needs are that the new phone number ring in my office, and that it can go to voicemail if I don't answer (or simply use Google Voice vmail). So I know I need some device that will either replace my current phone with one that can plug directly into a router, or get a device that replaces the function of my magicjack device.

    Is Obi200 the device for me? Is there a monthly cost after I purchase Obi200? Any other suggestions? Or am I better off just continuing with magicjack?
    Magic Jack, Ooma, Obi are all examples of a class of devices known as Analog Telephone Adapters (ATA). They all function the same. You connect the ATA to broadband Internet and a traditional analog phone. The service provider takes care of routing the phone calls over the public phone network.

    The Obi is the only one that can use GV as the service provider, and that is free of charge to use. There is no recurring charge to use the Obi after the device purchase, and no cost to use the GV service. You do have to create an Obi account so that they can enable the device to route calls with GV.

    For your described few calls to the office phone you could just use a spare cellphone with the Hangouts or GV app through your broadband Wifi Internet. The cellphone does not need to have any active cell service, just Wifi.

    Your GV service/number will take care of voicemail with either setup.

    These are the basics. GV and the Obi are capable of many other sophisticate features.

    I have used GV and an Obi for years for all of my home phone needs. It is pretty reliable, but not perfect. It is one step below true landline service.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    95
    Feedback Score
    0
    Just some background, when I was really into ATA back in 2009, I had a linksys ATA with ViaTalk as my VOIP provider. I remember logging into the linksys ATA interface to set up a daylight-saving-time rule because it wasn't set up correctly when I purchased it. Time has made fuzzy some of the knowledge I once had down pat since 2009

    So it sounds like I can replace my magicjack ATA with an Obi200 ATA. Set up the Obi200 fairly easily with just Google Voice and an ObiTalk account, and pay no monthly fees. I don't need e911, and I don't want to go totally free with a cellphone and hangouts...I'm willing to look for a deal on Obi200 on ebay or just buy it directly from ObiTalk.

    Thanks everyone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    13,460
    Feedback Score
    0
    The Obi200 is currently $49.95 at www.amzn.com/B07FCS1NGM, which is pretty much the regular price at Amazon. Sale pricing of $29.99 or $34.99 are more rare now than they were in the past.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,692
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by MRothaus View Post
    Just some background, when I was really into ATA back in 2009, I had a linksys ATA with ViaTalk as my VOIP provider. I remember logging into the linksys ATA interface to set up a daylight-saving-time rule because it wasn't set up correctly when I purchased it. Time has made fuzzy some of the knowledge I once had down pat since 2009

    So it sounds like I can replace my magicjack ATA with an Obi200 ATA. Set up the Obi200 fairly easily with just Google Voice and an ObiTalk account, and pay no monthly fees. I don't need e911, and I don't want to go totally free with a cellphone and hangouts...I'm willing to look for a deal on Obi200 on ebay or just buy it directly from ObiTalk.

    Thanks everyone.
    If you could setup a Linksys ATA, the Obi should be no problem. The setup screens can look daunting, but the Obi instructions are very good - step by step with only a few settings to make for GV. I set mine up years ago and only had to change the config once when GV changed their protocol. Otherwise, I never look at it. It just works.

    If looking at used ones, ignore the 100 series ones. They no longer work. Sales of the 200s usually show up on NewEgg, but not very often anymore. FWIW, the current product name is Polycom Obihai. Polycom bought Obihai a couple of years ago.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,692
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    The Obi200 is currently $49.95 at www.amzn.com/B07FCS1NGM, which is pretty much the regular price at Amazon. Sale pricing of $29.99 or $34.99 are more rare now than they were in the past.
    I haven't seen $30 - $35 prices since Polycom bought Obihai. $40 is the best I have seen in a while, and not very often. It's hardly worth waiting for $10 off if you need one.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    13,460
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    I haven't seen $30 - $35 prices since Polycom bought Obihai. $40 is the best I have seen in a while, and not very often. It's hardly worth waiting for $10 off if you need one.
    Yeah, you're probably right. It looks like the last decent sale was December, 2018, for $33.99 from Newegg with a coupon code.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Google Voice/Hangouts Outside the US Question
    By pauly02 in forum Google Voice
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-12-2018, 06:43 PM
  2. Google Voice/Hangouts dialer question
    By WheelieBoot in forum h2o Wireless
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-28-2017, 05:18 PM
  3. Google Voice/Hangouts Active Number Outside USA Question
    By pauly02 in forum General Prepaid discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-05-2016, 10:08 PM
  4. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 06-03-2012, 12:43 AM
  5. boostberry: free SMS with google voice
    By goatmale in forum Boost Mobile
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 09-17-2009, 08:31 PM

Bookmarks