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Finally jettisoned land line, considering VoIP
Old 07-02-2017, 07:33 PM   #1
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Finally jettisoned land line, considering VoIP

I finally ended my AT&T landline service this week. I do not have cable TV, just over the air channels with an antenna is enough for me. So, have stand alone internet service (still using the old phone line since this rather old subdivision has only overhead power lines) with Earth-link. Just to have a back up to the cell phone (and frankly also to find it when misplaced without having to go find a neighbor and ask them to call my phone for me) would like to add some VoIP phone service (assuming I got that right) such as MajicJack? or Ooma? or something else. What is the best of these services in your experience?
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Old 07-02-2017, 09:57 PM   #2
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DH and I have used google voice for about four or five years. We have one main number that we share and give out to everyone as our "home" number. Calls to this number ring our cordless phone at home (there is a box you connect to the Internet), and we also forward the number to our cell phones.

The great thing is that google voice transcribes voice messages and emails them, and texts also get emailed. We like it because it comes in handy to have access to text and messages when we travel out of country. When traveling we bring the box with us and the calls ring to the rental apartment.

We also have individual Google voice numbers, which work similarly (we just forward those to our individual cell phones).
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:22 AM   #3
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Congratulations! We cut our land line after a relocation 18 years ago in favor of cell service, and have never missed it. Back then, when we told friends about it, we got many blank looks!! Few thought it was even possible!!
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:29 AM   #4
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When I moved two years ago, I had the landline at the old house disconnected but didn't install one here.

I just use my cell phone. That works out really well. No more running across the room to answer a phone call on my landline; my cell phone is always within reach. I haven't yet found any reason to want a landline.
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:36 AM   #5
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We jettisoned the landline about 3 years ago. Unfortunately, it would have been a pain in the butt to untangle all of the people, businesses, etc. who had only our landline. So we went the Ooma route and moved our land line number to it. Just a few bucks per month....
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Old 07-03-2017, 06:17 AM   #6
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I jettisoned in 2006 I think with SunRocket (defunct). Got cell phones after that, but have been on Ooma (minimal plan) more recently.
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:02 AM   #7
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With OOMA we can blacklist robocalls so they never come through. I just google the number and a couple of sites gather reports on these numbers. For premier, which we don't have. You automatically get access to a national blacklist established by OOMA over the years. We are getting less and less robocalls over time. We just have basic. Have to pay taxes and fees, less than $5/month. Good quality sound, but there is a slight delay. Mostly not noticeable.
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:12 AM   #8
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Have had Ooma for a number of years - ported our old landline # so there would be continuity for the renters/tradesmen/friends & relatives. Very pleased with it; it goes from Oregon to SoCal with us and yet the impression is we remain in Oregon. There are a very few callers who can't get through on Ooma - a bank trying to do a wire transfer and a doctor calling with an unlisted # come to mind. Overall, much higher marks than the old AT&T that bled our bank for decades.
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:29 AM   #9
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You might consider just getting Skype -- specifically with the Skype app for your phone. For a few pennies a minute to almost any number in the world, you can make calls using WiFi. It's a nice and nearly free solution if you only make a few minutes of calls a year. You can set it up to autorecharge your Skype account when the balance gets low.

This base model doesn't give you an additional phone number for inbound calls. Everything you described suggested outbound-only is fine. If you do need an additional phone number, you can get one via Skype, but I think it's like $2/mo.
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mamadogmamacat View Post
... Just to have a back up to the cell phone (and frankly also to find it when misplaced without having to go find a neighbor and ask them to call my phone for me) would like to add some VoIP phone service ... What is the best of these services in your experience?
You can have the best of both worlds today. We have a 'landline' cordless phone base (VOIP, not old copper-wire 'POTS'), that also will connect through BlueTooth to cell phones. This way, you can pick up calls to the 'landline' at any extension, and also calls to the cell at any extension.

For VOIP, we use Phonepower and they have been good. If you don't make many calls, Callcentric VOIP can be cheaper (MIL has them), and they also are dependable.

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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
When I moved two years ago, I had the landline at the old house disconnected but didn't install one here.

I just use my cell phone. That works out really well. No more running across the room to answer a phone call on my landline; my cell phone is always within reach. I haven't yet found any reason to want a landline.
I guess it depends on how you use your phones. For us, having the 'landline' extensions scattered around the house is more convenient than finding the cell phone (often plugged in a charger, and not within easy reach). We ended up with two cordless base units, so we have extensions in the garage, the basement, and several rooms in the house.

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Old 07-03-2017, 09:42 AM   #11
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You might consider just getting Skype -- specifically with the Skype app for your phone. For a few pennies a minute to almost any number in the world, you can make calls using WiFi. It's a nice and nearly free solution if you only make a few minutes of calls a year. You can set it up to autorecharge your Skype account when the balance gets low.

This base model doesn't give you an additional phone number for inbound calls. Everything you described suggested outbound-only is fine. If you do need an additional phone number, you can get one via Skype, but I think it's like $2/mo.
That's actually a really good solution for limited outgoing calls (call from the computer/tablet to find your cell phone).

One thing, I think that unless you buy a number, your outgoing Caller ID will look 'funny' - this may not matter to you, like if you only use it to find your cell phone!

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Old 07-03-2017, 09:48 AM   #12
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We gave up our landline when we retired in 2010, figured that since we were going to be away 6 months of the year that we didn't need it. We have used Skype for making outbound calls for quite a number of years, and we added a US Skype number for inbound calls when we moved to England in April 2016. We still have our US Vanguard accounts and the inbound Skype number even works for 2nd level verification.
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:14 AM   #13
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Got rid of the landline years ago. Have MajicJack and a barebones cell phone instead.
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:20 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the replies. I have been dealing with a suddenly very sick cat, so have not been online for a while, and will have to get back to pet care again shortly when I get the sweet boy back from the vet, hopefully, unless the news is worse than expected. The others need some attention too. from a scan of your comments, it sounds like there are quite a few options for me. Just outbound to find the cell phone or perhaps for calls when i have forgotten to keep the cell charged is all I will need. My cell is still also only an old flip phone. Will do more research based on your information once the pet crisis passes. Thanks, again.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:00 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mamadogmamacat View Post
I finally ended my AT&T landline service this week. I do not have cable TV, just over the air channels with an antenna is enough for me. So, have stand alone internet service (still using the old phone line since this rather old subdivision has only overhead power lines) with Earth-link. Just to have a back up to the cell phone (and frankly also to find it when misplaced without having to go find a neighbor and ask them to call my phone for me) would like to add some VoIP phone service (assuming I got that right) such as MajicJack? or Ooma? or something else. What is the best of these services in your experience?
I still have my landline thinking I needed it to maintain the internet DSL service. Is that not true? Can you have internet over the phone line without activity on the voice side?
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:11 PM   #16
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:17 PM   #17
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We use an Obi-200 VoIP adapter with Google Voice for totally free VoIP landline service. The Obi sells for $47 on Amazon. Setup is easy and all existing landline phones work same as before. There is no 911 service however, so you still need a cell for emergencies. One feature I really like is getting a notification on my mobile phone when I miss a call at home, including the voicemail transcription as a text.

Lots of people use Ooma as well, but the upfront cost is a quite a bit more and there's a monthly charge, although I think it's pretty minimal for the basic service.

Regarding whether or not to even have a landline phone, here are some reasons I've posted before that apply to our situation:

1. It's free and makes use of our existing landline phones, 2 bases, 5 cordless handsets.
2. Our house is 4500 sqft, so unless you carry the cell phone everywhere you go, you might not hear it ring.
3. Our cell signal is weak at the house, but the home phones use the broadband ISP, so more reliable.
4. We use an MVNO (Ting) that charges for actual usage, so cell voice minutes cost extra, while the VoIP is free.
5. Cell battery will sometimes be dead for hours before I notice, or I've left it on silent.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:26 PM   #18
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911 is my biggest worry. How reliable is it compare to COX? Inquiry mind wants to know.
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:31 PM   #19
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911 is my biggest worry. How reliable is it compare to COX? Inquiry mind wants to know.
Back in the good ol' copper phone line days Ma Bell sent her own voltage along the lines - your power could go out and the phone would still ring and you could make calls. On Voip if the power and your computer go down you ain't callin nobody for help.
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:44 PM   #20
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I still have my landline thinking I needed it to maintain the internet DSL service. Is that not true? Can you have internet over the phone line without activity on the voice side?
yes you can. At least I did for many years (DSL via AT&T)
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