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Old 07-09-2012, 11:57 AM   #21
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Noticing some comments on the price of land line in another thread, I thought I would bump this thread.
I installed Ooma for my business line last Fall. I have no issues with it outside of losing service whenever my cable provider looses internet service (windstorm, car takes out pole, etc). My monthly cost is less than $5 for taxes and 911. Since I was paying nearly 90/month, my payback was less than 3 months. Service includes free LD in lower 48, call forwarding, call id, etc.
Ooma has a referral promo going on now that allows new users to buy for $149 (I got mine from Costco at 199 but with a couple months of free Premier).
PM me if you want the referral code.
The Ooma is our remaining land line, since we ported our house line to the cell about a month ago.
Telecom costs continue to offer some good opportunities for cut monthly costs
Nwsteve
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:41 PM   #22
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OOMA has been pretty good to us as our replacement land line. Price is $3.78/month (for 911 response/taxes) including VoiceMail, CallWaiting, unlimited calling and long distance. OOMA is wired in to the wall jack, providing a dial tone to all jacks in the house using any regular Ma Bell phone connected to a wall jack. OOMA and our cable modem are also powered by a UPS (cost about $60) so we will not lose our dial tone in a power outage.

Only downers are:

1) OOMA line does not work reliably as a fax machine (outgoing). Have not tried incoming yet.
2) Neighbors using Cox Digital Telephone as their land line cannot call my house number. Note that this is only neighbors. Numerous chats/time spent w/ both Cox and OOMA have been unable to resolve this. People using Cell, POTS, or outside our neighborhood on Cox Digital Phone have no problems calling us.

We've decided we're willing to live with both #1 and #2 to save over 30 bucks/month. OOMA box has already paid for itself (started October 2011).
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:58 PM   #23
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We've had Vonage for 7 years now with nary a hiccup. $19 plus tax for the 500 minute plan, of which we use about 200 mins.

We love the ability to take our Vonage modem with us to our house in Europe...friends can call us from the US with a local call.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:14 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejw93 View Post
OOMA has been pretty good to us as our replacement land line. Price is $3.78/month (for 911 response/taxes) including VoiceMail, CallWaiting, unlimited calling and long distance. OOMA is wired in to the wall jack, providing a dial tone to all jacks in the house using any regular Ma Bell phone connected to a wall jack. OOMA and our cable modem are also powered by a UPS (cost about $60) so we will not lose our dial tone in a power outage.

Only downers are:

1) OOMA line does not work reliably as a fax machine (outgoing). Have not tried incoming yet.
2) Neighbors using Cox Digital Telephone as their land line cannot call my house number. Note that this is only neighbors. Numerous chats/time spent w/ both Cox and OOMA have been unable to resolve this. People using Cell, POTS, or outside our neighborhood on Cox Digital Phone have no problems calling us.

We've decided we're willing to live with both #1 and #2 to save over 30 bucks/month. OOMA box has already paid for itself (started October 2011).
+1 We have been using Ooma for over a year now and are happy with it. While we don't have our Ooma powering our wall jacks, we have a cordless base unit with 5 rabbits that we had from before Ooma and still use.

One annoying thing is that we do get occasional, random touch tone sounds during calls that both parties can hear and overrides the conversation. I did a bit of research on this at one time and it had something to do with the Ooma software misinterpreting spoken sounds and trying to convert them to touch tone sounds or something like that. While it is a bit annoying and I hope they fix it, I am willing to tolerate it for saving $30 a month.
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:22 PM   #25
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I've had great luck with my OOMA as well. I have problems calling my brother next door, but the call always goes thru, it just takes a bit longer. I am sure its due to the cable company IP routing.

Occasionally OOMA is slow if I press DELETE on a voice mail, or slow to play. I don't know if this is on their end or mine.

I don't think I've ever had issues with voice quality. I have the free service and miss the bells and whistles sometimes. But what the heck, its free!
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:47 PM   #26
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Timely thread for me - I just switched our VOIP over from T-Mobile @Home (we discontinued our TM Family plan. As the kids move on it no longer made sense, and the VOIP was part of that plan).

I considered Ooma, but I recently saw a post from someone about some of the 'generic' ATA devices (the thing that bridges the internet to your regular phones in your house) that are pretty cheap and have some features I may want. Ooma, Vonnage and some others are proprietary - you have to use their hardware. I just don't like to be locked in like that. So I went with a VOIP that uses standard SIP protocol, and will provide you with your SIP credentials.

Like these:

Amazon.com: OBi110 Voice Service Bridge and VoIP Telephone Adapter: Electronics

http://www.amazon.com/Obihai-Technol.../dp/B007D930YO

If I went with Ooma, I'd have to go for the Premier service as the 'fallback' feature is not part of the standard package. Fallback lets you specify a number to call (usually a cell phone) if your internet connection is down, or the box is unreachable for any other reason. I would not want to be w/o that. There are a bunch of other features that I like, but are not essential.

When I did a spreadsheet - ooma came out to be slightly cheaper after ~ 4-6 years. But if I had to replace their box @ $199, versus $30-$75 for a generic box, that would wipe out the savings. Plus, I just like getting away from proprietary services. I went with PhonePower, but don't take that as a recc just yet, as I don't have that much experience with them - but so far they have been good, and I got a quick response to porting my number, and a pleasant human called to get the security info they needed for the port.

Their 'cloned second line' is pretty neat - it's a second phone port that uses the same phone #, but you can make/receive calls on that second line while the other is in use.

And I'm using the 'selective forwarding' to try to thwart telemarketers - I'll follow up any results on T-Al's thread.


-ERD50
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:19 PM   #27
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We have been using Loma for a little under a year. Only complaint is the lag we sometimes experience, resulting in us sometimes talking over each other.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:33 PM   #28
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I have both a landline and internet calling device. The landline connects to the entry for the lobby, so that's one reason to keep that. My calls are measured service so I don't even use the landline to call out. For that, I use a TK6000 (similar to Magicjack, but computer doesn't have to be on) which I am a charter memeber ($100 purchase, free for life of product). So for the TK6000 works well enough to keep. If I get disatisfied, I might just go back to the old days and get an unlimited national calling plan through my landline.
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Tree-dweller View Post
We have been using Loma for a little under a year. Only complaint is the lag we sometimes experience, resulting in us sometimes talking over each other.
I have also noticed this. It is annoying. I expect this during a phone conversation and have gotten used to it, but the person on the other end is a little confused by it.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:23 PM   #30
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A question to those who have this VOIP.... does the box make the phone conversation a priority

IOW, will someone downloading a movie etc. make a conversaton stutter?

My boss has a VOIP at his house and it is pretty crappy at times.... his voice will drop words etc. where you have to ask him to repeat what he said... something that we get on Skype at times...
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:29 PM   #31
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Only complaint is the lag we sometimes experience, resulting in us sometimes talking over each other.
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I have also noticed this. It is annoying. I expect this during a phone conversation and have gotten used to it, but the person on the other end is a little confused by it.
There will always be a delay with VOIP - this also happens with cell phones, and probably to some extent with 'landlines', I'm pretty sure it gets digitized along the way. But it depends how they do it - packets, or 'on-the-fly'.

With VOIP, and GSM phones (not sure about how CDMA does it), a time-slice of sound is captured (~ 10 or 15 mSec), analyzed, compressed, and then transmitted. At the other end, it has to all be received, decoded, and then 'played back'. So there is always a delay. It can be rather large in VOIP, as they need to give enough wait time for the packets to arrive and be re-assembled in order - and each packet can take a different route over the internet, so some packets will arrive ahead of others. If one is too far behind, it gets dropped, resulting in choppy sound. More delay helps. You need reasonably low 'jitter' times on your internet connection to keep delays to a minimum.

You can get a sense of the delay by repeating a count 1-2-3-4-5-1-2-3-4-5, and ask the other person to count with you, in time, starting on the second '1'. It's surprising to hear just how much delay there is. You do learn to wait before speaking to avoid talking on top the other person.

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Old 07-09-2012, 04:34 PM   #32
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A question to those who have this VOIP.... does the box make the phone conversation a priority

IOW, will someone downloading a movie etc. make a conversaton stutter?

My boss has a VOIP at his house and it is pretty crappy at times.... his voice will drop words etc. where you have to ask him to repeat what he said... something that we get on Skype at times...
Yes, it can be a problem. My internet connection is not really 'high speed', I get ~ 1Mbps. But that should be plenty for VOIP, until someone eats up the bandwidth with a download. Then it gets choppy.

There are routers with QOS settings, and I plan to look into these in the near future. There are a lot of variables, not sure how much this will help me.

Things were bad yesterday, and I was getting high jitter readings from my tests. I rebooted the 'modem' and everything cleared up.

-ERD50
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:19 PM   #33
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You can call 909-390-0003 which is an Ooma service number that will repeat whatever you say to it. This will give you a sense of the delay on the phone from which you are calling. After you dial, it won't ring, and it won't really "answer". Just call the number and start talking until you hear yourself in the earpiece.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:31 PM   #34
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You can call 909-390-0003 which is an Ooma service number that will repeat whatever you say to it. This will give you a sense of the delay on the phone from which you are calling. After you dial, it won't ring, and it won't really "answer". Just call the number and start talking until you hear yourself in the earpiece.
Thank You!!! I called and did a quick 1-2-3, listen then 1-2-3, listen, repeat and I get get some good, immediate feedback on the sound quality. Stored to my directory.


Now I just need a semi-permanent disconnected number that gives the disconnect tones, to forward my telemarketscum to.

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Old 07-09-2012, 05:32 PM   #35
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There are routers with QOS settings, and I plan to look into these in the near future. There are a lot of variables, not sure how much this will help me.

-ERD50
While QoS can certainly control bandwidth hogs on your LAN, I wouldn't expect things like DSCP markings that come off your LAN to be honored when the traffic gets out on a big trunk. Have never verified it, but I suspect that traffic coming from consumer LANs gets encapsulated by the ISP so they have total control of it.

My Ooma gets priority on the LAN over everything but network management traffic.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:13 PM   #36
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...So I went with a VOIP that uses standard SIP protocol, and will provide you with your SIP credentials.

Like these:

Amazon.com: OBi110 Voice Service Bridge and VoIP Telephone Adapter: Electronics

http://www.amazon.com/Obihai-Technol.../dp/B007D930YO

...-ERD50
I also considered similar devices, but was concerned about the extra steps required to set up 911 to work properly. I ended up with Ooma after reading many positive reviews and am very happy with my choice. I will likely continue the Premier service after the initial 1 year trial, so my phone cost will be about $13.50 for all the bells and whistles.

I really like the call forwarding, blacklists, call blocking, 2nd number, etc, etc that Ooma offers.

FYI, I have never had any issues with choppy conversations due to bandwidth, even when streaming movies; that could be because I have 12 Mbs.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:20 PM   #37
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I also considered similar devices, but was concerned about the extra steps required to set up 911 to work properly.
Not an issue. The e911 is a function of your VOIP provider, I just entered the info on my account page on their web site.

Quote:
I ended up with Ooma after reading many positive reviews and am very happy with my choice. I will likely continue the Premier service after the initial 1 year trial, so my phone cost will be about $13.50 for all the bells and whistles.

I really like the call forwarding, blacklists, call blocking, 2nd number, etc, etc that Ooma offers.
I think Ooma is a fine choice, I saw they got good reviews, and the overall long term costs are all pretty close with these. I just have a preference for open-standards, and that swayed me towards a SIP provider, and I'm getting all those services you mention.

Quote:
FYI, I have never had any issues with choppy conversations due to bandwidth, even when streaming movies; that could be because I have 12 Mbs.
Yes, I have limited bandwidth, around 1Mbps, so it's an issue for me while downloading. Netflix eats that all up. 12Mbps would solve that. Though you still need good 'jitter' and packet loss numbers, that can be more important than raw speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustward View Post
While QoS can certainly control bandwidth hogs on your LAN, I wouldn't expect things like DSCP markings that come off your LAN to be honored when the traffic gets out on a big trunk. Have never verified it, but I suspect that traffic coming from consumer LANs gets encapsulated by the ISP so they have total control of it.

My Ooma gets priority on the LAN over everything but network management traffic.
I really don't know much at all about QOS and routers. I'm trying to learn, and I'm just not sure how much I can expect it to help for my situation. Or which routers are best. I'm leaning for one of those that comes with DD-WRT, I'm a pretty big fan of open source.

-ERD50
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:38 PM   #38
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Timely thread for me - I just switched our VOIP over from T-Mobile @Home (we discontinued our TM Family plan. As the kids move on it no longer made sense, and the VOIP was part of that plan).

I considered Ooma, but I recently saw a post from someone about some of the 'generic' ATA devices (the thing that bridges the internet to your regular phones in your house) that are pretty cheap and have some features I may want. Ooma, Vonnage and some others are proprietary - you have to use their hardware. I just don't like to be locked in like that. So I went with a VOIP that uses standard SIP protocol, and will provide you with your SIP credentials.

Like these:

Amazon.com: OBi110 Voice Service Bridge and VoIP Telephone Adapter: Electronics

http://www.amazon.com/Obihai-Technol.../dp/B007D930YO


-ERD50
I use the obi as well with google talk (I also use callcentric.com on the same box for 911 functionality.) Love it! less than $5 a month.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:18 AM   #39
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A questin for Ooma owners: Can I plug in my old wireless phone system which I had used with POTS into Ooma.

My main reason for wanting to get Ooma is the inconvencience and risk of not having my mobile phone with me when I need it. The other day I missed an important call from a relative because the phone was downstairs and I was upstairs. I never heard it ring. The other concern is the phone not being conventient in the case of an emergency. I really don't want to crawl upstaris to call 911 if I break my leg or have a heart attack. With Ooma, I hope I can reinstall my old wireless extension phones and have a phone upstairs, downstairs and in the garage.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:15 AM   #40
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A questin for Ooma owners: Can I plug in my old wireless phone system which I had used with POTS into Ooma.
That's exactly what most (all?) of these various VOIP boxes (ATA) and service provide. The ATA has one or two POTS ports on them. Plug any POTS phone into the port and away you go.

What many of us do is disconnect the line from the phone company where it enters the house. Then you can plug in from the ATA to any convenient phone extension, and this will 'light up' all the other phone extensions in the house.

There might possibly be some of these devices that work only through wi-fi, but AFAIK, they all have at least one POTS port.

-ERD50
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