Cut Your Home Phone & Save with Obihai

Screen Shot 2012 06 15 at 11.40.17 AM 268x300 Cut Your Home Phone & Save with Obihai

This is a guest post from Yosef Silver of This American Bite.

We’ve been furiously packing up house and and moving into our new house over the last few weeks. As boxes start to fill, the tiresome chore of disconnecting and reconnecting the core (and some luxury) services was next on the list.

The phone landline was on the CUT list, until I discovered that our house is a dead zone on both ATT and Sprint (my wife and I are on different networks as we both have company cellphones).

In bidding Time Warner Cable’s overpriced phone service adieu, I got to researching web based alternatives.

Having moved every year since 2005, I know there are low cost services out there (other than Magic Jack) that could serve my purpose.  I feared Skype would require additional hardware and annual fees, Ooma looks good but comes with a $200 investment to get going, which unsettled me.

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I use Google Voice religiously for my cellphone which eliminates the cost of text messages, and did some research to see if I could integrate Google Voice with a landline service – which is when I discovered Obihai.

By spending around $44 for the hardware, I can have VOIP landline service powered by Google Voice. Obihai is a device that connects your cordless handset to the internet and routes your calls through Google Voice.

The Obihai can be used with other SIP voice providers – connecting with Google Voice does not give you e911 service but a basic CallCentric account at $6.95/month will give you this peace of mind.  Obihai allows you to set up two accounts per device so you can run both Google Voice and CallCentric for maximum savings.  Google Voice also offers low cost International service, but for our friends and family overseas, I use Rebtel for free calls, something I can cover in another post some time!

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It might sound a little technical, but it’s really as simple as plugging in a router and going through a short set up process setting you free from your $20+ a month landline service, saving you $200 in the first year alone.

Living in Overland Park, KS, Yosef is a husband, father and passionate cook. As a card-carrying foodie and an active “Weight Watcher”, Yosef loves to create in the kitchen with a keen eye on healthy, organic and local ingredients.  You can follow his blog, This American Bite, on Twitter or Facebook.

Comments

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Comments

  1. Will this service work if your power goes out? I am hesitant to get rid of my home phone because I want a landline for this occasion. Also, does this have a separate number from your cell phone? It is attached to a cordless phone, right? Thanks for this great info.

  2. Hi Rachael,

    This will not work without power. That said, depending on how long you have had your phone service the same is likely true of your existing service. Many phone companies have are powering landlines using VOIP technology that is reliant on the Internet being accessible, so that might be something worth checking with your phone provider.

    I set this up with a unique Google Voice account so you can have a separate number from your cell. I have mine attached to a cordless phone, three phones in fact!

    Happy to answer any more questions!

  3. Hi-
    We are also moving and considering not having a land line..if we were to do this, how do you get the phone number? I think I remember reading somewhere that you have to get a prepaid cell phone or something to get a number through google voice- is that true?

  4. Hi-
    W at ealso considereing cutting our land line because of the bills…I was just wondering how you get the actual phone number from google voice? Do you need to get a prepaid cellphone or something?
    Thank you!

  5. Hi,

    You can sign up to Google Voice at http://www.google.com/voice and you can either associate it with an existing gmail address, or get a new one for your “landline”.

    You do not need a pre-paid cell to set up Google Voice, but you do need to associate it with any existing phone number to verify that you are a real person – this is a one time act and does not mean your calls have to be forwarded to that number.

    If you are looking to port a number from a landline to Google voice, it can be done but there are more steps involved.

    I hope this clarifies the set up a little but please ask away if you still have questions.

  6. We own 2 of the Obi devices in our home, the Obi100, and the Obi110. I also sent my mother-in-law in Germany an Obi device after configuring it. Now my mother-in-law has a North Carolina phone number and my wife and her talk for free all the time. The only issues we have with the device is the lack of 911 support (but we have our cell phones for that, also there are other e911 options that we could pay for.) And there’s the problem of what happens if the power goes out. Again, we have our cell phones as a backup. I even ported my existing landline home number that I had with AT&T over to Google Voice. So we kept our established number, but now we can even send and receive text messages through it as well.

  7. When porting a Time Warner Cable phone number to Google voice do I need to go through the extra step of porting it to a cell phone, and then to Google voice as described on OBIHAI’s web site http://www.obihai.com/porttutorial.html ?

  8. Can you pls post how to use Rebtel for free international calls as I have google voice with obhai for free US calls and would like to extend to international calls as well than using Google voice for international calls.
    Appreciate your post.

    Thanks,
    LR

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