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Turn cell phone into landline like with extensions.
Old 05-30-2016, 08:23 AM   #1
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Turn cell phone into landline like with extensions.

Sometimes when I think I should be able to find "lots of this", I am wrong. I may be the only one who wants it. This is such a time. Yesterday I looked for something that would let us come home, set down our main cell phone, and connect via WiFi (or something) to several handsets placed around the house, thus achieving the landline with extensions effect we had years ago. We only use Tracfones now, one of which is like a "main phone number". It is only this main phone we would like to create extensions for. I looked on Amazon and saw one company with a bluetooth setup that seemed to do this but I am afraid that bluetooth has such a short range that it will be unsatisfactory.

Can what I want be achieved? Is there an effective way to do it? My house is one floor and only 1300 sq ft.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:46 AM   #2
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I hadn't really thought about it, as we have both landline and cell, but thats a great idea. It will be interesting to see if there are solutions out there.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:53 AM   #3
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Old wired technology made this easy, right? Entire household could use one number.
New technology means take with, and you get one number.

Since the call comes from a wireless tower, the intent is that it only goes to one device. There are probably terms that forbid the use you mention. I don't agree with that, but the telcoms are not very generous.

We converted landline to Tracfone, and to be honest, it is just a honey pot for scammers. I think I would be super annoyed if these calls went to extensions or devices in the house.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:05 AM   #4
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Here is what I did...not a perfect solution but it does work.

1. Buy a magic jack. Forward your cell # to magic jack # when you get home. Calls to your cell phone rings on all phones.

2. Buy a majic jack. Download the magic jack app to smartphone. Give everyone your magic jack # and it will ring on both your home phones and your cell phone whether you are home or not.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:05 AM   #5
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We use Ooma, which is a VOIP system that has nothing to do with our cell phone, though we do have it set to ring the cell when we get an incoming calll. Plugged into our home system and works great. (plug for a great product)

Just bought a used
Panasonic KX-TG6641 Cordless Phone

5 handsets scattered around the house and hooks up via Bluetooth to our cells, though we don't use that feature. Sounds like what you are looking for, so it is out there.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:27 AM   #6
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My Panasonic uses bluetooth to connect to our cellphones and we use it with Ooma. So if we are home and a call comes into either our Ooma home phone number or our cell phones then the Panasonic phones ring. I don't know if it would work without Ooma and just the cell phones.

I think the way the bluetooth works is that the bluetooth just needs to be near to the main unit... not every extension.

Amazon.com : Panasonic KX-TG7875S Link2Cell Bluetooth Enabled Phone, Black/Silver : Telephones : Office Products
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:36 AM   #7
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Which is better? Ooma vs Magic Jack? I have cable.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:42 AM   #8
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I have this unit: http://www.amazon.com/Cobra-BT215A-P...ilpage_o05_s00

It uses the bluetooth from the cell phone to connect to the landline wiring. Sound quality is not super, but it was only ten bucks when I bought it.
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:08 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone. It does look like the Panasonic bluetooth units are the closest I am going to find. The point about Tracfone and scam calls is true and getting worse. We might be forced to change vendors for the phone service but that's another story. Maybe I should just rethink. Seeing the phone number is a valuable thing I may not want to lose.

We don't have existing landline equipment and the house seems to have only 2 outlets anyway. We bought it 5 years ago when we retired.
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Old 05-30-2016, 01:28 PM   #10
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You might try eBay or Craigslist. This technology was popular a few years ago. You dropped your cell into a cradle and all the other handsets could answer by cordless local connection.

(I think the problem was that the cradle was too specific to a make and model of cell phone.)

We use MJ and cell and answer on any of iPhones, iPads, laptops. We also have a 2-line Uniden cordless and it can answer either landline or MJ by selecting the line on the handset.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:11 PM   #11
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This works fairly well: www.amazon.com/Xtreme-Technologies-BTTN-Bluetooth-Gateway-Black/dp/B0018NWQPK

I wanted to do the same thing. Have a cell phone and no landline, but not have to carry my cell phone all over the house. For one reason, I want to recharge it and would forget to do it overnight too often. For another, I need a signal booster, so I leave it in the booster cradle. In a 3 story house I'm too often on the wrong floor to even hear the phone much less have time to answer.

This device connects to up to 3 cell phones, and then to your house phone wiring, where it connects with all of your old landline phones plugged into phone jacks. For this model you disconnect your landline at the house. There's another model that somehow allows you to use your cell phone in parallel with your landline. I can't remember the details so I won't try to explain.


I set this device 2 feet from where I dock my cell phone and it always connects via bluetooth with no issues. I guess once or twice in two years I've had to power cycle it. It blinks when you aren't connected, as a reminder that I left my phone in my car or didn't turn Bluetooth back on if I turned it off to save battery somewhere, and goes solid when connected.

The drawbacks are that when I answer, there's a 2-3 second delay before it really connects. So I pick up and say hello, and the person on the other end gets nothing, and I'd have to say hello until I get a response. Now I just count to 3 before saying anything. Good enough for me. If you're a heavy phone user it may not be.

The other drawback is that it's often not very clear, like talking in a tunnel. So if I answer with an uncorded handset and realize it's an important or long conversation, I'll walk toward my docked cell phone so I can put that on speaker and have a more clear conversation.
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:41 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone. It does look like the Panasonic bluetooth units are the closest I am going to find. ...
I purchased this for a relative and it works very well for what it was intended for.

Amazon.com : AT&T CLP99383 DECT 6.0 Expandable Cordless Phone with Bluetooth Connect to Cell, Dual Caller ID/Call Waiting and Answering System, 3 Handsets, Silver/Black : Cordless Telephones : Electronics

The cell phones just need to be near the base (within Bluetooth range) - the extensions connect to your cell through the base (all transparently to you). Pick up the phone extension anywhere, for either cell phone. I tried a bunch of combinations of power downs, having the cell phone go in/out of range, etc - and it always synced up and 'just worked'.

You download the directory from the cell phone to this base, and the extensions will show the same sort of name/number as in your cell directory. You choose Cell 1 or Cell 2 (though I only used it with one cell phone).

So when you come home and put your cell phone in the charger, you can still pick up a call from anywhere you have an extension (comes with base/handset and two extensions). You can initiate a cell call from an extension also.

-ERD50
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Old 05-30-2016, 05:52 PM   #13
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Thanks, clearly I missed some devices in my search yesterday. I will look at these.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:40 PM   #14
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A related question. My home internet is DSL which is limited at 6mbps but much worse when the whole neighborhood is online. Is it possible to have an unlimited wireless contract and then use a mifi device to connect all laptops and printer? I tried researching on ATT (my current carrier) but wasn't having any success finding out if it was feasible.

Has anyone given up both landline and internet and just used wireless?

thanks,

Marc
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:00 PM   #15
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My current setup achieves what you want to do.

I give everyone my google voice number. At home, I have a VOIP adapter hooked up to google voice (Obihai is name of adapter - $40 at amazon). I also have a cell phone. When someone calls my google voice number, it rings my home phones (Vtech base station plugged into Obihai plus all the remote phones elsewhere in the house that wirelessly connect to the Vtech base station). The google voice also rings my cell phone(s).

If I ever go on vacation somewhere that has spotty cell service, I can forward my google voice calls to the landline at the rental house. So someone thinks they are calling my cell or home number and it's actually calling the beach house/mountain cabin landline.

The biggest problem is answering the "is that a home or a cell number" question. Technically it's my home number I guess because my cell has a different ph number assigned to it.
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:47 PM   #16
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My current setup achieves what you want to do.

I give everyone my google voice number. At home, I have a VOIP adapter hooked up to google voice (Obihai is name of adapter - $40 at amazon). I also have a cell phone. When someone calls my google voice number, it rings my home phones (Vtech base station plugged into Obihai plus all the remote phones elsewhere in the house that wirelessly connect to the Vtech base station). The google voice also rings my cell phone(s).

If I ever go on vacation somewhere that has spotty cell service, I can forward my google voice calls to the landline at the rental house. So someone thinks they are calling my cell or home number and it's actually calling the beach house/mountain cabin landline.

The biggest problem is answering the "is that a home or a cell number" question. Technically it's my home number I guess because my cell has a different ph number assigned to it.
I guess what I don't understand is how anyone can get you on your cell phone when you are away from the home system if it's not the cell phone that owns the number people use to call you.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:24 PM   #17
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I guess what I don't understand is how anyone can get you on your cell phone when you are away from the home system if it's not the cell phone that owns the number people use to call you.
Google forwards the call to your cell phone. If you want, when you leave the house, I'm pretty sure you can have google voice ring only your cell phone. I plan to move to this set-up when I switch internet carriers. Hughsnet has such lousy VOIP I can't do it with them. I currently have Google Voice transcribe my cell phone voice messages and send them to me via e-mail. I don't have cell service where I live.
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:55 AM   #18
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I was one of the first to get a Google Voice number but have not used it. We don't get that many calls so handing out another number is problematic -- we have had our current landline number since 1966. That and I simply forward those calls to my cell phone when we are away form the stick house.

Anyway, this feature might be interesting. Instant conference calls "on the fly": https://support.google.com/voice/ans..._topic=1708125

Seems pretty simple:


"Switch phones during an incoming call" found on the same page is kinda nifty also.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:17 AM   #19
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A related question. My home internet is DSL which is limited at 6mbps but much worse when the whole neighborhood is online. Is it possible to have an unlimited wireless contract and then use a mifi device to connect all laptops and printer? I tried researching on ATT (my current carrier) but wasn't having any success finding out if it was feasible.

Has anyone given up both landline and internet and just used wireless?

thanks,

Marc
A friend of mine has done that... uses Verizon for internet and home phone... however his internet needs are quite modest. We used Verizon Mi-Fi at a rental back in January and quickly blew through our allotted data... so only a good choice if your internet needs are modest.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:07 AM   #20
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Google forwards the call to your cell phone. If you want, when you leave the house, I'm pretty sure you can have google voice ring only your cell phone. I plan to move to this set-up when I switch internet carriers. Hughsnet has such lousy VOIP I can't do it with them. I currently have Google Voice transcribe my cell phone voice messages and send them to me via e-mail. I don't have cell service where I live.
I hate to go OT but, I know the OP and I can deal with her.

You may have solved another phone problem we have. When we moved from MD to WA we kept the MD area code and number on the main phone. I have always wanted to get our phone number on WA's area code. I conclude from your post that I can transfer the MD number to Google Voice and set it up to transfer to a new number that I establish with WA's area code. Then I can gradually notify everyone about the new number. Our problem is that our banks, pension offices, vendors, etc. have that number and I have never been sure that I could get everything changed.
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