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Obihai OBi200 1-Port VoIP Adapter with Google Voice and Fax Support ($79.76)

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  • Oct 28th, 2020 1:33 pm
[OP]
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Dec 18, 2007
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[Amazon.ca] Obihai OBi200 1-Port VoIP Adapter with Google Voice and Fax Support ($79.76)

Obi 200 is back on sale. The price hasn't been this low in awhile.

This is the only brand of ATA that supports Google Voice.

Thinking of picking this up as a backup if and when my 10 year old Linksys ATA dies.

Deciding between THIS and the Grandstream HT-801. As I understand this has way more features and a more user friendly GUI than the Grandstream.

This thing is rarely on sale anymore so if you need it now, this is a good time to pick one up.

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07FCS1NGM/ref ... UTF8&psc=1
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65 replies
[OP]
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Dec 18, 2007
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nightwalker wrote: How do you get Google Voice to work on this?
Isn't the loophole closed?
I already have a Google Voice line from years ago so I'm not sure if you can register for a new one now.
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Jun 28, 2017
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For what it’s worth I picked up a used Grandstream HT-801 on Kijiji for $25, it works great with FreePhoneLine VoIP. Lots of way to save money for someone looking for a landline type solution.
Sr. Member
Dec 30, 2017
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GTA
What's the difference between this and ooma?
[OP]
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Dec 18, 2007
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shayne85 wrote: For what it’s worth I picked up a used Grandstream HT-801 on Kijiji for $25, it works great with FreePhoneLine VoIP. Lots of way to save money for someone looking for a landline type solution.
Nice, it's hard to find a HT-801 for sale in my area let alone at that price. Thumbs Up Sign
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nightwalker wrote: How do you get Google Voice to work on this?
Isn't the loophole closed?
With a friend or relative in the US who hasn't yet confirmed their US phone number with Google Voice.
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Guys, how does this compare to the Cisco PAP2 modem? I've been using that with my freephobeline.ca for 10 years. Not sure what benefit I'll get with this one?
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Will google voice support fax? I specifically want free fax service.
Telus $30/25GB X 4 lines Non shareable
$0 200 USA LD min/month X 4 lines
$0 Visual Voicemail X 4 lines
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justrajdeep wrote: What's the difference between this and ooma?
I have an OBI and although I don't have an Ooma, I believe they offer their own proprietary premier VOIP service with their ATA and the OBI can be used with any 3rd-party provider like voip.ms, Anveo, freephoneline, etc.

More info here:
another-ooma-vs-voip-ms-question-1636803/
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Oct 10, 2007
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justrajdeep wrote: What's the difference between this and ooma?
Dhanushan wrote: Ooma is a full-service residential VoIP that can completely replace your landline service, Obihai is essentially a gateway for you to access another VoIP service.

from Comparing Residential Home Phone Service: Ooma Telo vs. Obihai with Google Voice
Ooma also has a monthly fee associated with it (albeit a small one of a few dollars I think) whereas the obihai with freephoneline does not. I picked up an obihai when COVID started as I was in need of a landline for work calls and cell phone reception in a high rise condo can be pretty crappy. Been using it ever since and it's been great!
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nightwalker wrote: How do you get Google Voice to work on this?
Isn't the loophole closed?
Yes i tried to get it from ebay few days ago but when you login it will ask you to confirm your account with US number. Thats where it will forward your calls from google voice.
Member
Nov 23, 2012
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Ontario
AsianXL wrote:
Deciding between THIS and the Grandstream HT-801.
There's really no comparison. Because of the call routing features, number of providers it can support, auto-attendant, etc., no other residential ATA brand offers more features or is better suited for FPL.
You might want to read Webslinger's old posts.
Last edited by Dahlya on Oct 25th, 2020 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
Member
Jul 8, 2013
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AMHERST
Quick tip: you can usually still find google voice accounts on fiver(r)
Sellers know some tricks that still work
Last edited by joshfindit on Oct 25th, 2020 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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nightwalker wrote: How do you get Google Voice to work on this?
Isn't the loophole closed?
If you're talking about the Canadian number loophole it was closed long, long ago. I actually had my old Canadian GV number for 10 years, last month after all this time got a notice they were getting rid of my number so had to port it out or lose it. Since I was using the Obi202 just switched to FPL, very seamless.
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Feb 3, 2009
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This device used to be $50 CAD on newegg.ca webpage :-(
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Nov 23, 2012
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With Ooma, you're stuck with Ooma. Ooma can't route calls between multiple service providers.

Webslinger's old posts are worth reading.
Webslinger wrote:
This Obihai ATA (Analogue Telephone Adapter) does not come with a VoIP service. You provision a VoIP service on the ATA yourself.
The purpose of an ATA is to allow you to use VoIP services with a regular telephone. An Obihai ATA happens to be the most powerful
ATA for home consumer use due to its powerful routing features. Keep in mind, however, that Obihai's support policies are less than desirable, in my opinion.


(OBi202 is shown in video; connection is the same for both OBi200 and OBi202)



Image (USD pricing)


OBi200

- supports T.38 fax protocol (OBi100 and OBi110 do not)

- supports Google Voice (requires U.S. IP address for Google Voice activation)

- has 1 phone ports

- supports up to 4 different VoIP providers with different phone numbers (plus 8 voice gateways)

- offers Call bridging support/capacity for you to dial into the ATA or have it call you back and allow you to dial through it from a cellphone (this is great for cellular plans with tons of incoming minutes)

- offers USB port (for OBi Bluetooth and OBi wi-fi adapters)

- offers X_AcceptSipFromRegistrarOnly to accept inbound SIP requests only if they came from the same IP address of the current Registered proxy (there are ways to do the same with an OBi100/110, but it's not as simple)

- offers X_EnforceRequestUserID to ensure that the SIP INVITE received by the OBi device has a request userid that matches the SIP account ID (there are ways to do the same with an OBi100/110, but it's not as simple)

- offers X_BlockedCallers for blocking 10 callers easily per Service Provider (you can achieve the same thing using user defined DigitMaps in an OBi100/110--but you're limited to 511 characters per User defined digitmap; so this field lets you add even more phone numbers)




OBi200 lacks (vs. OBi202)

- 2 phone ports (only has 1)

- an internal router (100Mbps in full duplex mode, but the maximum routing throughput between the WAN and the LAN side is approximately 30 Mbps when there are no active calls). OBi100, OBi110, and OBi200 do not offer an internal router




The real benefit of the OBi202 over the 200 is not the router, which most will likely not use, especially when maximum routing throughput between the WAN and the LAN side is approximately 30 Mbps when no calls are active. The real benefit is the extra phone port, which one could use for a dedicated fax machine (or as a separate line).

(from Obihai's latest ad)
Only on the OBi202: Press # for Phone Port Collaboration

Did you know that you can have a mini phone system with the OBi202? While the Phone Port 1 and Phone Port 2 can function independently so you and another person can be on two different calls at the same time, the two phone ports to work together. …Just Press #

- Call the Other Phone – You can press # to call from one phone to the other phone.

- Call Transfer – While on a call, press the hook or Flash button and then press # to ring the other phone. All three of you can talk together or just hang-up to transfer the call to the other phone.

- Join-in on the Other Phone’s Call – If the phone on phone port 1 is on a call, from the phone on phone port 2 press # to join-in on the call.

- Incoming Call Pick-Up – If the phone connected to phone port 1 is ringing, pick-up the phone connected to phone port 2 and press # , then say “Hello?”


Image





OBi200/202 offers support for up to 4 SIP trunks and 8 voice gateways. That means you can use up to 12 different VoIP services on one telephone.

Many people have multiple accounts with different providers. I'm one of them.

For some people, Google Voice is one account. You get a U.S. phone number that people
in a local city in the U.S. can call for free. You can call anywhere in Canada and the U.S. for free.
You can call long distance using GV/Hangouts in CAD: https://www.google.com/voice/rates


Note that obtaining a Google Voice number requires a U.S. IP address and a legitimate U.S. phone number (typically not VoIP) that hasn't been used to activate Google Voice before. I will not be helping people obtain Google Voice phone numbers, sorry.

But if you have a Google Voice account without a Google Voice phone number, you can still provision it on an Obihai ATA to make calls outbound calls to anywhere within Canada and the U.S. (without requiring a U.S. phone number).

Freephoneline is another account. You get a Canadian phone number. You can call to most major Canadian cities for free.
[$99.95] setup fee+tax. $25+tax if you want to port your existing phone number into FPL. No ongoing fees for as long as you use FPL.


Someone might be using a VoIP.ms phone number on a SIP account.
https://voip.ms/rates.php (USD)

Someone might be using VoiP.ms on a voice gateway for outgoing calls only.
Some people use free N.Y. phone numbers from Callcentric. That's another SIP account.



Some people might be using Anveo. Anveo Obihai special pricing can be found here (in USD): http://www.anveo.com/anveoforobitalk.asp
http://www.anveo.com/rates.asp (USD)
If you choose multiple providers, you can cherry pick long distance rates overseas.

You can setup SIP Broker on a voice gateway and get access to free calling to over 2,000 VoIP networks for free:
http://www.sipbroker.com
http://www.obitalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=526.0

Want an incoming phone call to be routed via SIP URI dialing elsewhere for free? You can do that with an OBi. Want to have an incoming call be routed through another service provider to a different phone number? You can do that with an Obihai ATA. Want to be able to dial into your ATA from a cellphone and have the ATA call you back (great if you have free incoming minute plans) and get access to all of the same services you have on your ATA? You can do that with an Obihai ATA's auto attendant feature: https://www.obitalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=66.0

Is your mom is calling you on your FPL number, but you want to route that call to your aunt in the U.S. for free using Google Voice? Or maybe you want that call to be routed to your uncle in Sweden using VoiP.ms' value rates. You can do that with an Obihai ATA.


-----
How do I connect an ATA to my house, so that all existing phone jacks work?

You may need to disconnect your Telco company's line at the demarc--or make sure power from it is not running to your existing phone jacks. Otherwise, you run this risk of frying your ATA. Visit http://www.voipmyhouse.com/#thesolution.

Also, check out bogolisk and canadaodyowner's pictures/posts over here: http://forums.redflagdeals.com/merged-f ... 21229/331/
Better to ask them about it than me.


-----
I've heard scary stuff about Nettalk possibly going bankrupt and people potentially losing their phone numbers until Primus, which appears to be getting taken over, in part, by Birch, obtained Nettalk customers' phone numbers again. What happens if Freephoneline, Fongo, and Ooma go bankrupt? Will I lose my phone number?


Fibernetics, which owns/operates Freephoneline and Fongo, is the largest privately held competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in Canada, and FPL/Fongo generates revenue from incoming phone calls or termination fees to its network in addition to the fees paid by its customers. The more phone calls made to their network, the more money they make. Fongo and Freephonline are treated as being separate entities by Fibernetics (it costs money to port phone numbers between FPL and Fongo). So, FPL and Fongo are considered to be sister companies, despite offering similar services.

Fibernetics also operates/owns Nucleus Information Service, Worldline.ca, 1011295.com, 295.ca, Vonix, NEWT, etc.

In the event that Freephoneline were, for some unlikely reason, to suddenly shut down, you would still be able to port out before then:

http://forum.fongo.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=16964
"This isn't something you have to worry about. Hypothetically speaking though, if something were to happen, arrangements would be made for users to be able port their numbers out, or stay with whichever company were to take over operations of FPL [or Fongo]. The bottom line is, you would not simply lose your number."--Fongo_Jeff


Nettalk's situation can't happen with FPL or Fongo. Fongo is owned by Fibernetics, which is a CLEC. Fibernetics has FPL's DIDs/phone numbers. If FPL doesn't pay its bills, Fibernetics still has FPL's phone numbers. If Fibernetics doesn't pay its bills, Fibernetics still has FPL's phone numbers/DIDs until another company takes over. And FPL's customers will be able to port out before then or choose to stay with the company that takes over. Moreover, FPL, Fongo, and Fibernetics are registered with CCTS: https://www.ccts-cprst.ca/complaints/service-providers. If there's an issue, you can file a complaint with CCTS, and CCTS will act as an intermediary to help negotiate a resolution for you.

Nettalk is not a CLEC. Nettalk was using Irisitel for its phone numbers/DIDs. Neither are registered with CCTS at the time of this post.



Fibernetics was founded in 1997.



No one has a crystal ball. But I'd say Fibernetic's chances are better than Nettalk's.


What happens if Ooma goes under?

Well, unless you can figure out how to unlock the device, you're going to be stuck with a proprietary brick.
You should also check to see if Ooma is listed here:
https://www.ccts-cprst.ca/complaints/service-providers


How can I tell which carrier or CLEC has my phone number?

Enter your phone number here: https://www.twilio.com/lookup


--
I've heard scary stuff about VoIP 911. Isn't it unreliable?

VoIP E911 is a two step process. With Freephonline, after dialing 911, the initial E911 call centre, which does have my name, address, and call back number, still has to transfer the call to local dispatch (PSAP), which doesn't have my name, address, and phone number.

It's important, when signing up to a VoIP service you're planning on using 911 with that you always keep your address updated on file with them. If you move, update your address. Your VoIP service sends that information to the E911 call centre/Northern911, which they will keep on file.

In some rare instances, I suppose it's possible that Northern911 (I'm guessing this is what FPL and other VoIP services in Canada use, but I'm not sure) may not transfer to the correct local dispatch (PSAP) number (human error happens). Some people I configured services for in the past were very paranoid about VoIP E911 and forced me to do a test call. Worked fine. That is, the first person I reached had name and address info; they ask for confirmation. And the call was promptly transferred to local dispatch and correct address info was given to local dispatch, verbally, by the first call centre. Worked fine each and every time I was asked to test.

How does this compare to 911 with a landline?

Landline 911 is not a two-step process. You don't need to keep your address updated. Landlines are the most reliable for 911 calls.
But landlines don't work after your telephone lines have been knocked out by a storm.

How does this compare with Mobile 911?

Mobile 911 is not a two step process. However, they do not have your exact address, but they should have an approximate location (they should at least have the cellular site/tower that's carrying your call), especially if you're in a major city (they may have latitude and longitude). If you're in a rural area, location based on cellular towers may not be very precise. 70%+ of 911 calls are now coming from mobile phones according to the CRTC. Going forward, this is where improvements are going to be made.


Also, keep in mind that with FPL each E911 call is $35. If you dial 911 less than twice a year (or less than every 3 years with Anveo's $1.20 USD/monthly fee) vs. paying $1.50 USD/month with Callcentric or VoIP.ms, you're ahead with FPL. And you're paying an ongoing minimum monthly fee of $3.98 with Ooma. Ask yourself how often you're calling 911. If you're a senior citizen with a lot of health issues, maybe FPL is a bad idea. (And I don't mean to belittle this point. Everyone gets old. Health is a serious matter.) Otherwise, you'll end up way ahead using a FPL in the long run (in terms of cost).

Here's the thing . . . I used to talk to FPL reps several years ago over the phone, back when they allowed tech support calls. And even then a e911 fee was listed (but not in the FAQs), and I inquired about it. I was told the fee was intended to dissuade people from test calling 911--and that people wouldn't actually be charged.

Fast forward to now, and the $35 per call E911 fee is listed in the FAQs. It's listed all over the place. It's certainly enough to prevent me from testing 911 on FPL. Reps are now saying you will be charged no matter what when you dial 911. Is that true? Maybe. Is that enough to scare me from testing 911? Sure. Has anyone been charged yet? I don't know. Anyway, no one is going to be calling 911 using FPL unless it's really necessary now, and if that's the intent, I'm fine with it. And if I really need E911 as a backup (my smartphone is always nearby), it's there for me. In the meantime, I'm not paying ongoing monthly fees for something I'm not using.

http://forums.redflagdeals.com/freephon ... #p27964332

YMMV (your mileage may vary)


Obihai OBi200/202 ATAs with the OBiBT adapter can be paired with smartphones over bluetooth: http://www.obihai.com/obibt.
Then with an Obihai OBi 200/202 ATA, you'd add {911:bt} in your OutboundCallRoute, and then all of your 911 calls on your phones go out over your smartphone's 911 cellular service, provided your smartphone remains within bluetooth range of the ATA.


By the way, There's also Anveo's E911 service ($25 USD per year) available through the Obitalk.com web portal, as an alternative 911 service (limited to a maximum of 5 e911 calls per year): https://www.anveo.com/e911obi.asp (click the link for more information). People asking for help with this Anveo E911 service should probably ask canadaodyowner, who is using this service and is also a Freephoneline customer: http://forums.redflagdeals.com/freephon ... #p24980477. I have no experience with Anveo's special E911 service.


VoIP E911 is available all the time under these conditions:

1) You have electricity. A UPS is always a good idea.

2) Your internet service isn't out.

3) Your VoIP service isn't down.

I don't know anyone who doesn't have a smartphone.
Last edited by Dahlya on Oct 25th, 2020 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mar 21, 2010
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Toronto
xtrmDeals wrote: Guys, how does this compare to the Cisco PAP2 modem? I've been using that with my freephobeline.ca for 10 years. Not sure what benefit I'll get with this one?
If it's working fine, don't mess with it. But as far as I can tell, they don't make the PAP2 anymore. My PAP2 gave up a few months ago and I had to get the Grandstream one as I couldn't find any reasonably priced alternatives at the time (that one works fine too). It's weird that it's almost harder/more expensive to find VOIP adapters today than it was 10 years ago.
Member
Jul 23, 2012
499 posts
198 upvotes
Montreal
Thanks op, I still have my US GV number which will finally get a more regular use now.

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