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Old 10-15-2018, 04:19 PM   #41
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Not if you wire the phone adapter into the house's phone wiring. We have VOIP and every traditional phone jack in the house can access it; no need for new handsets.
Yep. I went outside and disconnected my house from the external phone network, then plugged the Ooma into one of the house's telephone jacks. After that, every regular phone in the house worked as it had before (except for the "dial tone" was slightly different because Ma Bell has a trademark on their dial tone, believe it or not).
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:51 PM   #42
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DW and I have used Magic Jack for many years, and are very happy with it. It is not (nor will any VOIP phone be) perfect, but most of the time no one even notices it.

So I do recommend Magic Jack for your situation.

But we found that there are no “deals” from cable companies that offer a deal for just Cable and Internet (without Voice).... So for continuity, we pay Spectrum for the triple-play package, but still use MJ as our phone... since we are snowbirds this lets us keep the same number in both places.

Good luck!
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:10 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
Yep. I went outside and disconnected my house from the external phone network, then plugged the Ooma into one of the house's telephone jacks. After that, every regular phone in the house worked as it had before (except for the "dial tone" was slightly different because Ma Bell has a trademark on their dial tone, believe it or not).

Interesting.... just turn on my phone with Comcast VOIP and the tone sounds the same as the old AT&T.... must be just enough different to not get in trouble... but I cannot tell the difference...


Now, maybe side by side I could....
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:59 AM   #44
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DW and I have used Magic Jack for many years, and are very happy with it. It is not (nor will any VOIP phone be) perfect, but most of the time no one even notices it.

So I do recommend Magic Jack for your situation.

But we found that there are no “deals” from cable companies that offer a deal for just Cable and Internet (without Voice).... So for continuity, we pay Spectrum for the triple-play package, but still use MJ as our phone... since we are snowbirds this lets us keep the same number in both places.

Good luck!
Sorry - I'm confused. You can use the same number with Spectrum on a triple play as well as a with magic jack at a different location? Does the phone ring at both of your locations? I had always thought that once you port a number, the old location no longer works.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:10 AM   #45
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I'm the OP here and I thank you all for chiming in. I'm a little confused though. If I end up choosing Google voice, I would have to purchase a device - check. I would then port the landline number which is currently with Spectrum triple play to a cell phone. I can do that. I have a cell phone that no longer charges a fee to my Mom and which she no longer can use, so I could port to that phone. I would then set up Google Voice ( on the Google website somewhere?) and arrange to port the number from the cell phone company. The google device that I purchase would when plugged in, somehow enable my existing phone system - a panasonic base station and 5 wireless sub phones - to work just like it does now? And then would I need to cancel the cell phone service (which would not bother me) or would it still work on the same phone number.

The only other question I have is, the cell phone is in my Mom's name (now a dementia resident in an Assisted Living Facility). I wonder if the name difference would be a problem. And same question - when I then port the same number from that my Mom's phone to my google account. Any thoughts on that?
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:21 AM   #46
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I'm the OP here and I thank you all for chiming in. I'm a little confused though. If I end up choosing Google voice, I would have to purchase a device - check. I would then port the landline number which is currently with Spectrum triple play to a cell phone. I can do that. I have a cell phone that no longer charges a fee to my Mom and which she no longer can use, so I could port to that phone. I would then set up Google Voice ( on the Google website somewhere?) and arrange to port the number from the cell phone company. The google device that I purchase would when plugged in, somehow enable my existing phone system - a panasonic base station and 5 wireless sub phones - to work just like it does now? And then would I need to cancel the cell phone service (which would not bother me) or would it still work on the same phone number.

The only other question I have is, the cell phone is in my Mom's name (now a dementia resident in an Assisted Living Facility). I wonder if the name difference would be a problem. And same question - when I then port the same number from that my Mom's phone to my google account. Any thoughts on that?
You wouldn't need to port your current Spectrum number to a cell phone; you can skip that step. You'd just port the number directly from spectrum to google voice.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:22 AM   #47
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You wouldn't need to port your current Spectrum number to a cell phone; you can skip that step. You'd just port the number directly from spectrum to google voice.
Oh great. Thanks.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:23 AM   #48
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Oh great. Thanks.
At least, I'm pretty sure (it's been years since I did this). Try the direct port - google voice will tell you if it's not possible.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:28 AM   #49
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Oh great. Thanks.
This page will tell you if you can do a direct port, or if you'd need the intermediate step:

https://www.google.com/voice/b/0/porting?pli=1
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:31 AM   #50
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Google voice has fantastic call filtering. I can’t recall ever receiving a telemarketing call on my phone in years.
Question to those with Google Voice. If I port a number that has been known to spammers, spoofers, will I have the same callers plague me once I'm on google, or are there mechanisms within the Google Voice application that are either already in use or that I can configure to filter out these calls?

Thanks.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:48 AM   #51
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Question to those with Google Voice. If I port a number that has been known to spammers, spoofers, will I have the same callers plague me once I'm on google, or are there mechanisms within the Google Voice application that are either already in use or that I can configure to filter out these calls?...
It's so much easier and cleaner to just get a new number from Google. The two-step port process sounds like a hassle, and you risk bringing all the spam calls along, although Google filtering might/should work. We transitioned from Cable VoIP to GV+Obi five years ago and, in the process, dumped a landline number we had since 1981. Over 90% of the calls on that number were unsolicited calls of one type or another. I was happy to let it go. We gave the new number to family and friends and never looked back.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:22 AM   #52
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It's so much easier and cleaner to just get a new number from Google. The two-step port process sounds like a hassle, and you risk bringing all the spam calls along, although Google filtering might/should work. We transitioned from Cable VoIP to GV+Obi five years ago and, in the process, dumped a landline number we had since 1981. Over 90% of the calls on that number were unsolicited calls of one type or another. I was happy to let it go. We gave the new number to family and friends and never looked back.

Your point is well taken, but so many have our number, think Dr's offices, banks, all sorts of companies, other than family and friends that I might want to receive the call from, that I am reluctant to discard it. Thus my question about the filtering that the Google Voice plan does offer.
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Old 10-16-2018, 01:17 PM   #53
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Your point is well taken, but so many have our number, think Dr's offices, banks, all sorts of companies, other than family and friends that I might want to receive the call from, that I am reluctant to discard it. Thus my question about the filtering that the Google Voice plan does offer.
After 30+ years, we were in the same situation and had the same concerns. Phone numbers at banks were changed online in a minute or two. Another minute or two to call all our doctors. Done. Best part is no more robo calls, etc. It's really not that big of a deal, but... suit yourself.
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:24 PM   #54
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Question to those with Google Voice. If I port a number that has been known to spammers, spoofers, will I have the same callers plague me once I'm on google, or are there mechanisms within the Google Voice application that are either already in use or that I can configure to filter out these calls?

Thanks.
Google filters out the spam and political calls pretty well, even on an old number that's been ported over. Go to voice.google.com and in settings, turn on the Filter Spam option.
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Old 10-17-2018, 04:18 AM   #55
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Google filters out the spam and political calls pretty well, even on an old number that's been ported over. Go to voice.google.com and in settings, turn on the Filter Spam option.

Thanks Cathy. That's the information I was seeking.


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Old 08-26-2020, 11:31 AM   #56
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I figured that I would bump this thread rather than create a new one. Ooma rocks!

85 yo DUncle was having trouble with his landline reliability. We were frustrated that we couldn't call him. He called the landline company many times and a couple visits but the reliability still sucked. They think it was the underground line from the street to the house... why they didn't just pull a new line is a mystery to us all.

Also, he has DSL from these clowns and that is unreliable as well. He only uses the internet for email and ccasional lite web surfing.

So I sold him on the Ooma 4G... Ooma, 4G receiver and battery backup for $130. Visited him yesterday and installed it.. installing it was a snap... we had dial-tone and did a test call to my cell and vice versa.

Then we go to get on his desktop to submit the porting request. No internet. He reboots the DSL modem and we get ssllooww internet but put through the porting request. Then I run a speedtest... 2mbps... yes, you read that right... 2mbps.

So I get an idea. I unplug his ethernet cable from the back of his DSL modem and plug it into the back of his Ooma... in effect using his 4G connection for both voice and data. Voila! He has working internet. I run a speedtest and it is about 7mbps.

So for heck, I ask him what he pays for phone/internet. he sheepishly says $150/month. I tell him, congratulations, you're now only paying $18/month.

Like I said, Ooma rocks.
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Old 08-26-2020, 11:43 AM   #57
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I figured that I would bump this thread rather than create a new one. Ooma rocks!

85 yo DUncle was having trouble with his landline reliability. We were frustrated that we couldn't call him. He called the landline company many times and a couple visits but the reliability still sucked. They think it was the underground line from the street to the house... why they didn't just pull a new line is a mystery to us all.

Also, he has DSL from these clowns and that is unreliable as well. He only uses the internet for email and ccasional lite web surfing.

So I sold him on the Ooma 4G... Ooma, 4G receiver and battery backup for $130. Visited him yesterday and installed it.. installing it was a snap... we had dial-tone and did a test call to my cell and vice versa.

Then we go to get on his desktop to submit the porting request. No internet. He reboots the DSL modem and we get ssllooww internet but put through the porting request. Then I run a speedtest... 2mbps... yes, you read that right... 2mbps.

So I get an idea. I unplug his ethernet cable from the back of his DSL modem and plug it into the back of his Ooma... in effect using his 4G connection for both voice and data. Voila! He has working internet. I run a speedtest and it is about 7mbps.

So for heck, I ask him what he pays for phone/internet. he sheepishly says $150/month. I tell him, congratulations, you're now only paying $18/month.

Like I said, Ooma rocks.
That is great !

<edit> Thanks for posting about this, now I know Ooma does 4G , and it's interesting..
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Old 08-26-2020, 11:54 AM   #58
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... They think it was the underground line from the street to the house... why they didn't just pull a new line is a mystery to us all.
Your uncle's scenario is almost identical to ours except that "our" bad cable runs under a 4-lane state highway. What the tech told us, off the record of course, is that the latest acquiror of our telephone company hates the residential business/is only interested in business telephone and business internet. So they are not investing in fixing things for residential neighborhoods like ours.

We are very happy with Ooma as well. It is publicly held and appears to be mildly profitable. We have Comcast internet, having dropped our DSL. I don't think a 4G would work for us due to cost even though we don't stream music or video. We will be paying around $50 for 100mbs Comcast service after our sweetheart rate of $35 expires.
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Old 08-26-2020, 12:04 PM   #59
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I had talked with DU about cable internet but while there is cable at the street the cable company would have had to run a cable to his house and bury it since his neighborhood is underground only.

The 4G works for him only because his internet use is negligible. It is interesting that his 4G is unlimited for voice and include 1GB of 4G data... all for $12/month. Additional data is $9/GB. He is such a lite user that I suspect that most months he won't crack 1GB.
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Old 08-26-2020, 12:09 PM   #60
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We used to love Ooma back in California, especially before they put in cell towers close to us. Our cell service was sporadic when at home, so it was good to have a "landline" option. Even the rental house when we first moved to Texas had brutally awful cell reception, possibly worse than in California. Fortunately, cell service at the house we purchased here has been fine.

That said, the last 18-24 months with Ooma were no picnic. Constant calls getting through the various spam filters (we had the $9.99/mo premium service). Unlike in the beginning with Ooma, it was becoming impossible to block all of the numbers. At some point, we started call blocking whole Area Codes. We would direct those calls to voice mail because you couldn't be sure they were all spam calls.

Between that and the fact that every service requiring a phone number was tied to one of our cell phones, we finally stopped Ooma service several months ago. But if you have a need for a landline, Ooma can work well. Hopefully, they have improved their spam filtering. Spammers can and have mimicked "real" phone numbers, so that may prove to be an impossible task short of the government stepping in.
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