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Phones (Cell and Landline)
Old 09-21-2017, 05:39 AM   #1
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Phones (Cell and Landline)

I am trying to figure out if I can save money somewhere and meet all the tech constraints. Landline is packaged with VOIP and internet/TV (All ATT). Cell plan (also ATT) is about $60 per month with unlimited everything. Although I have U-VERSE (local channels only), I don't need it. I only watch DVDs. I don't even use NETFLIX at this point! Between the two with insurance on cell and taxes, I spend about $180 per month.

Another factor, I have a connection to my security system via the VOIP.

I don't like using the cell because it gets my ear hot and laugh at me, I don't like the idea of shooting microwaves at my brain. (I don't even carry it on my body if I don't have to.) In retirement I find I am speaking a lot on landline and that I got charged for going over my limit. After speaking with both ATT shops, I upped my VOIP for $3 more per month to unlimited landline calls and did nothing else. Wrong direction!

I would like to get rid of U-verse and save money on landline VOIP if possible. I would change the cell service if I thought I could do better. On the former, I learned about VONAGE and Magic Jack, but I don't know how that might work with security system and there are a number of negative reviews on both providers. Anybody have ideas here?
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:52 AM   #2
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This reminds me of when we had 3 cars, when only 2 were necessary.

Having extra lines of communication is like having too many cars.

Much of what you write sounds like you have an extra car in the driveway.

I moved the landline to simple Tracfone (about $100 per month). Eventually I'll move it to something free.

Once the landline went wireless, the security system could not communicate with the central office. So we dropped that.

When everything is bundled, it is difficult to make decisions in the future.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:13 AM   #3
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Josh,
We have been using one of the VoiP providers (PhonePower) for several years as a substitute land line provider over the internet and have had no problems. In our case we use an Obi device (ObiHai) as the home interface device. Cost for PhonePower service is around $55/year including emergency E911 location service (Tells the emergency services your home location in case you dial "911".

Finally, we replaced our home landline physical phone just this week with an updated DECT Panasonic wireless phone from Costco ($99 on sale with five wireless handsets). One significant feature on this phone is that we also have both of our mobile cellular phones connect via bluetooth to the Panasonic which allows us to receive (and also originate if desired) all calls via the Panasonic handset which would take care of your concerns with RF around the body and a centrally heated ear :-) while at home.

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Old 09-21-2017, 06:14 AM   #4
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I am trying to figure out if I can save money somewhere and meet all the tech constraints. Landline is packaged with VOIP and internet/TV (All ATT). Cell plan (also ATT) is about $60 per month with unlimited everything. Although I have U-VERSE (local channels only), I don't need it. I only watch DVDs. I don't even use NETFLIX at this point! Between the two with insurance on cell and taxes, I spend about $180 per month.

Another factor, I have a connection to my security system via the VOIP.

I don't like using the cell because it gets my ear hot and laugh at me, I don't like the idea of shooting microwaves at my brain. (I don't even carry it on my body if I don't have to.) In retirement I find I am speaking a lot on landline and that I got charged for going over my limit. After speaking with both ATT shops, I upped my VOIP for $3 more per month to unlimited landline calls and did nothing else. Wrong direction!

I would like to get rid of U-verse and save money on landline VOIP if possible. I would change the cell service if I thought I could do better. On the former, I learned about VONAGE and Magic Jack, but I don't know how that might work with security system and there are a number of negative reviews on both providers. Anybody have ideas here?
So is the question "how do you get internet, voip and voip connection for your security system ".

First you need to sort out internet to your home. Much of this is local ... so you need to look for that. You'll need a plan good enough to support your phone and and internet needs.
I assume your voip is connected to your old phone wiring in your house. I assume your security system just plugs into your old phone wiring (or equivalent. Without knowing your actual set up, that's my best guess.

I would look at ooma for voip and use their cheap service that has a monthly charge equal to the fees/taxes. Do check it's definition to see if it is good enough.

If you want to keep your phone #, then move it before you shut down your old service.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:52 AM   #5
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I still have a landline. I don't use an old fashioned handset but a cordless phone or headset when on the landline. I too don't like the feeling on talking with a flat smartphone for extended time. I have a smartphone too, but don't use extensively for talking.

My set up is:

Landline - ATT (unlimited) ~ $65/month
Mobile - Consumer Cellular ~ $25/month
Internet - Comcast basic internet ~ $40/month
TV - OTA - free
Streaming - Amazon Prime $99/year

For the most part, happy with this as like the idea of cutting the cord.

Though recently, the OTA reception isn't as strong as I'm used to (probably need some fiddling around and rescanning channels) as the signal weakens and or cuts out on a couple of channels for about 30 seconds at time when a train goes by .
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by bingybear View Post
So is the question "how do you get internet, voip and voip connection for your security system ".

First you need to sort out internet to your home. Much of this is local ... so you need to look for that. You'll need a plan good enough to support your phone and and internet needs.
I assume your voip is connected to your old phone wiring in your house. I assume your security system just plugs into your old phone wiring (or equivalent. Without knowing your actual set up, that's my best guess.

I would look at ooma for voip and use their cheap service that has a monthly charge equal to the fees/taxes. Do check it's definition to see if it is good enough.

If you want to keep your phone #, then move it before you shut down your old service.
+1
OP - Seems your issue is you need a good but cheap internet provider.
So find if one is available for you in your area.
Then before switching , switch your VOIP to a separate service that only uses the internet and is not bundled with anything (then it can you any internet you want).
Then switch your internt.
For rarely used cell phone, I use pre-paid from T-mobile, I pay $100 / yr, for just phone service of 1,000 min. Some years I renew for another year for just Ten dollars as I have over a 1,000 minutes still rolled over.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:01 AM   #7
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I still have a landline. I don't use an old fashioned handset but a cordless phone or headset when on the landline. I too don't like the feeling on talking with a flat smartphone for extended time. I have a smartphone too, but don't use extensively for talking.

My set up is:

Landline - ATT (unlimited) ~ $65/month
Mobile - Consumer Cellular ~ $25/month
Internet - Comcast basic internet ~ $40/month
TV - OTA - free
Streaming - Amazon Prime $99/year

For the most part, happy with this as like the idea of cutting the cord.

Though recently, the OTA reception isn't as strong as I'm used to (probably need some fiddling around and rescanning channels) as the signal weakens and or cuts out on a couple of channels for about 30 seconds at time when a train goes by .
Just curious as you typed this out did you notice your landline costs as much as your internet and cell phone combined? Do you feel that's a good value.I'm dithering about dumping my landline and it's less then 40 bucks a month) because I don't think its a good value.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:03 AM   #8
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This reminds me of when we had 3 cars, when only 2 were necessary.

Having extra lines of communication is like having too many cars.

Much of what you write sounds like you have an extra car in the driveway.

I moved the landline to simple Tracfone (about $100 per month). Eventually I'll move it to something free.

Once the landline went wireless, the security system could not communicate with the central office. So we dropped that.

When everything is bundled, it is difficult to make decisions in the future.
The Tracfone 100 bucks a month, is that a typo?
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:24 AM   #9
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Just curious as you typed this out did you notice your landline costs as much as your internet and cell phone combined? Do you feel that's a good value.I'm dithering about dumping my landline and it's less then 40 bucks a month) because I don't think its a good value.
Yes, I do know that I'm paying much for landline. But if I dumped that, I'd have to get a higher speed internet to get VOIP. Unfortunately, Comcast (at least where I'm at) doesn't have just faster internet over basic but forces a combo deal. A combo might actually be less than my landline, but I kinda want cable, just OTA. Plus, then I'd have to buy a new cable modem that also handles voice. So, I'm staying old fashioned for now.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:04 AM   #10
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We have Ooma for our VOIP landline and have been very pleased.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:14 AM   #11
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... I'd have to get a higher speed internet to get VOIP. ....
Likely not. What speed is your internet now? For most people, speed is plenty for VOIP, you don't need much, technically, only about 100 kbps (that's 0.1 Mbps).

You do need good latency to avoid delays and drop-outs. Consistently better than 30 ms ping times should be OK.

If you want to stream video and talk at the same time, speed can become a factor, though I'm on a fixed-wireless connection of only ~ 5 Mbps peaks, more like 3-4 continuous, and we can have one stream and have a phone call w/o problems.

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Old 09-21-2017, 09:47 AM   #12
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Just switched to T-Mobile One Unlimited 55+. Haven't had a landline in years. T-Mobile was kind enough to throw in a booster (mini home cell tower) since we're in a dead zone, and just bought new phones that can take advantage of Band 12, the 700 MHz extended range LTE band.

That's all arriving via the big brown Oopus truck tomorrow. I'll let you know.

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Old 09-21-2017, 12:06 PM   #13
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We have Ooma for our VOIP landline and have been very pleased.
+1...plus an additional benefit, I bring it along when I snowbird. Cost is less than $5/mo. (local taxes...which vary from place to place.)

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Old 09-21-2017, 01:00 PM   #14
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Likely not. What speed is your internet now? For most people, speed is plenty for VOIP, you don't need much, technically, only about 100 kbps (that's 0.1 Mbps).

You do need good latency to avoid delays and drop-outs. Consistently better than 30 ms ping times should be OK.

If you want to stream video and talk at the same time, speed can become a factor, though I'm on a fixed-wireless connection of only ~ 5 Mbps peaks, more like 3-4 continuous, and we can have one stream and have a phone call w/o problems.

-ERD50
My speed is the lowest Comcast has to offer. Too lazy to look up at the moment. I know has a 3 on the speed .

Been using connection to stream Sling TV now for baseball and though not bad, do notice broadcast does have slight lag. That's not including any sharing on VOIP or other surfing at same time.

As mentioned, I could bump up the next higher plan, but really don't want a cable box or cable company's dvr to deal with. Or, are in today's world is streamed from cable only through the cable modem? Been a while.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:12 PM   #15
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I don't like using the cell because it gets my ear hot and laugh at me, I don't like the idea of shooting microwaves at my brain.
Use the speaker or a bluetooth.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:53 PM   #16
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In my personal situation, the bundles are a waste of money as they always include one or two services you really don't want. My setup is currently internet only $45 / mo (no cable), Sling TV for TV $25 / mo (we can't get OTA where I live), cell phone (use instead of landline) $60 / mo. So $130/mo for everything. Oh, plus $12 or whatever for Netflix. We have tons of choices and don't feel deprived at all. However, I do have to fight with the cable company for the $45 internet only plan. We have two providers in my area (Spectrum and AT&T) so I could threaten to switch, which is the only reason they agreed. I think their 'normal' internet only rate was like $80 per month, which would negate any savings you would get from un-bundling...

When I had a cell phone + landline, I found everyone I knew just called my cell number to reach me. The only people who called on the landline were telemarketers, yuck.

My suggestion would be to look into internet only service first, then as others have mentioned there are a lot of options for VOIP phone service.

Good luck. I hate dealing with cable/internet companies - the worst customer service...
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:53 PM   #17
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The Tracfone 100 bucks a month, is that a typo?
That is the price for a 1-year card,
TracFone 400 Minutes/1 year $99.99
That adds 400MB, 400 texts, 400 minutes. Since I bought a triple minutes phone, talk time is tripled.

I do not use this phone much. It is just maintained for now to keep our original phone number. I have 3.0GB data, 3000 minutes and 3081 texts remaining.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:26 PM   #18
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That is the price for a 1-year card,
TracFone 400 Minutes/1 year $99.99
That adds 400MB, 400 texts, 400 minutes. Since I bought a triple minutes phone, talk time is tripled.

I do not use this phone much. It is just maintained for now to keep our original phone number. I have 3.0GB data, 3000 minutes and 3081 texts remaining.
So the one year card is good for longer then one year
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:53 PM   #19
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Thanks to all. Seems I can save big on T Mobile 55+. That is in process. If I want to keep the security system, I can;t move to OOMA Vonage etc. Tried to get quote from Spectrum, my only other option. Can't get through so I guess
I stay with ATT
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Old 09-22-2017, 01:30 PM   #20
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Thanks to all. Seems I can save big on T Mobile 55+. That is in process. If I want to keep the security system, I can;t move to OOMA Vonage etc. Tried to get quote from Spectrum, my only other option. Can't get through so I guess
I stay with ATT
what stops you from using VOIP from another provider with your security system??
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