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Fongo Home Phone [VOIP] - 4 Months Free Service (New Signup) - On Till Jan 9th [Extended]

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  • Mar 1st, 2022 7:18 am
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Sep 13, 2006
3902 posts
3815 upvotes
Muskoka
I just ordered this

Our home phone line was with Public mobile so we were already paying lower than Bell. The sale is a good one. . I had issues with PM voicemail. With this service we can get VM to eMail. Plus call fwd to our cells without using up minutes like we did with PM. There are a few other nice features that I hope will work.
Public Mobile
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Jan 8, 2009
1460 posts
479 upvotes
Brampton
Emporium wrote: Using an alarm system with VoIP is not recommended. Even if you get it to work, it can be temperamental. Not sure I'd trust it. This was one of the reasons I delayed my initial migration from Bell to VoIP. I have a colleague who uses his alarm system with VoIP.ms VoIP service and all seemed to work initially. However a few months later he came home one day and the alarm system was triggered (false alarm luckily), but he had not gotten a call from the alarm company. So he called them to see why he was not advised, and he was told that they never got a signal. That is when he decided to switch. In his case, he opted to go with an internet communication system, since he had a slightly more recent system. Can it be made to work, I'm sure. But would I trust it, no thanks. And if you are getting a discount on your insurance for being connected to central monitoring, then if something happens and call couldn't be made, there would need to be some explanations I'm sure.


Just before I switched to VoIP many years ago, I decided to switch my alarm system from dialup, to GSM. I have an older system (but still functional and meets my needs), and was concerned I'd need to replace the whole system, but it was simple. My installer just installed a Telguard TG-1 onto my panel, and it was seamless. The alarm panel still thinks it is dialing out (so no need to replace), but the TG-1 unit establishes the call via GSM and it does not occupy my phoneline when it dials out and is not dependant on my phone working or internet being alive. Considering I was saving over $50/m from bell, I did not mind spending a little to be free from a dialup connection. And since it did not occupy my phone line to call out, I enabled all the reporting functions of the alarm system, so I now get emails on when and who arms or disarms the alarm (I previously had that disabled, since I did not want the system dialing out every time system was armed or disarmed).

Oh and needless to say, I switched from ADT who's prices had gotten ridiculous at the time (don't know what they are now). I had originally started with Videotron Telesurveillance, which became Protectron, and then was sold off to ADT. When ADT took over, the price hikes came in regularly. Got ridiculous. I think at the end before I quit, they had hiked monitoring fees to $35/m for dialup monitoring which is nuts for residential monitoring. Switched providers, and now basic monitoring is costing me $10/m and another $10/m for the GSM service. Still a far cry from $35/m. I switched my mom who was also with ADT, and she is still with dialup (no GSM for her), so it is costing her just $10/m which she prefers and prepays for the year. All these smaller alarm companies all outsource their monitoring to Lanvac anyhow, which has been doing this for years. Their service and response time has been pretty much on par (or better) with what Protectron/ADT used to offer.
Thanks for the detailed reply. I think you are talking about Monitoring Center based on the costs you mentioned. Did you have to pay any upfront costs for the GSM module?

I am looking at Ring Alarm as well. Want to leave ADT asap.
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Dec 20, 2004
3352 posts
3403 upvotes
Montreal, QC
bylo wrote: Go to https://www.fongo.com/services/fongo-home-phone/ then

...

Apparently you don't have to do anything apart from signing up. The 4 months free happens automagically.

Some questions/comments:
1. Is the ATA locked to Fongo or can it be used with other VoIP providers if one isn't happy with Fongo's service?
2. Can this be ordered without an ATA if one already has one (e.g. GrandStream HT812)?
3. Does Fongo offer a sample config file for those who BYOATA (assuming A2. is "Yes.")?
4. Can I use this with a software SIP client? They say it won't work with Fongo Mobile app but how about Groundwire or Voiper?
5. Note that port-ins are $10 at sign-up but $25 afterwards. Makes it more expensive to try before you commit.
1. Yes it is locked. According to many articles firmware server is set to “fongo.firmware.gaps.fibernetics.ca/”, and the config server is set to “fongo.deviceconfig.gaps.fibernetics.ca/" however even if you try a hard reset or anything else, it automatically reverts back to these values. This is done to ensure users don't need to configure anything and configurations are remotely pushed to the units. There have been many discussions on this topic, and here is one from the GS forums: https://forums.grandstream.com/t/how-to ... t701/33482 and one from fongo forums: https://forum.fongo.com/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=19890 . You can in theory ask for it to no longer be provisioned, but good luck with that.

2. No.. The fongo service can ONLY be used with their ATA.
3. No, since they do not support 3rd party hardware ( https://support.fongo.com/hc/en-us/arti ... -hardware- )

4. Since they only support their own hardware, it is very doubtful that they would support any SIP client (after all an ATA is essentially just a piece of hardware with a SIP client)
5. Very true.

For someone wanting to use their own ATA, or software SIP clients, then the other option is Freephonelin0 (FPL)e. Initial cost is higher, but you have more freedom to choose your own ATA, use your own SIP client s/w, and still have all the same features (except now I noticed that fongo includes unlimited calls also to the US). There is $0 monthly fee after that with FPL, so in a few months, you end up saving over Fongo. However biggest downside, is that FPL has zero tech support. But in nearly 15 years, I have not needed any. And have had very little downtime (and when it was down, typically so was fongo, so fongo forums had all the info).
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Dec 20, 2004
3352 posts
3403 upvotes
Montreal, QC
dealerguy wrote: Thanks for the detailed reply. I think you are talking about Monitoring Center based on the costs you mentioned. Did you have to pay any upfront costs for the GSM module?

I am looking at Ring Alarm as well. Want to leave ADT asap.
Yes, you are correct, I am talking about a Monitoring center. For the GSM module, my installer had charged me a $100 upfront cost for the unit, and no cost for his labour to install it. At the time, I had looked around to try to find the unit any cheaper, but the cheapest I could find was $130 back then, so the $100 price he was charged me, was very reasonable. He probably didn't make much on the unit (if anything), but making up for it for the monthly service fee. The guy was straight up. He gave me options, and did not try to upsell me a whole new system (like other did). Others flat out refused to even consider retrofitting my existing system. He also helped me convert my mom's system. I have recommended many of my friends and colleagues to him since then and everyone has been happy.

For me, a monitoring central connection was a no brainer. The monitoring costs are more than covered by the discount offered by my insurance company on my home premium for having a burglar alarm and fire alarm connected to a 24/7 monitoring central. Also, as much as the Ring system looks interesting, I'm a little old fashioned and prefer EVERYTHING to be hardwired where possible (only bare essentials are on WiFi - like tables, phones, and some IoT devices - even my laptops in the home are on dicks with hardwired conenctions). I had all my sensors hardwired when I bought the home 23 years ago, and plenty of CAT 5 runs added (CAT 5e was too pricey at the time, and CAT 6 was still not introduced back then) to make things easier down the line. And I already have 4 PoE Hikvision dome cameras around the outside of the home (1x4k, and 3x2k), with over 30 days retention of 24/7 recordings.
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Jan 8, 2009
1460 posts
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Brampton
Emporium wrote: Yes, you are correct, I am talking about a Monitoring center. For the GSM module, my installer had charged me a $100 upfront cost for the unit, and no cost for his labour to install it. At the time, I had looked around to try to find the unit any cheaper, but the cheapest I could find was $130 back then, so the $100 price he was charged me, was very reasonable. He probably didn't make much on the unit (if anything), but making up for it for the monthly service fee. The guy was straight up. He gave me options, and did not try to upsell me a whole new system (like other did). Others flat out refused to even consider retrofitting my existing system. He also helped me convert my mom's system. I have recommended many of my friends and colleagues to him since then and everyone has been happy.

For me, a monitoring central connection was a no brainer. The monitoring costs are more than covered by the discount offered by my insurance company on my home premium for having a burglar alarm and fire alarm connected to a 24/7 monitoring central. Also, as much as the Ring system looks interesting, I'm a little old fashioned and prefer EVERYTHING to be hardwired where possible (only bare essentials are on WiFi - like tables, phones, and some IoT devices - even my laptops in the home are on dicks with hardwired conenctions). I had all my sensors hardwired when I bought the home 23 years ago, and plenty of CAT 5 runs added (CAT 5e was too pricey at the time, and CAT 6 was still not introduced back then) to make things easier down the line. And I already have 4 PoE Hikvision dome cameras around the outside of the home (1x4k, and 3x2k), with over 30 days retention of 24/7 recordings.
Could you pls PM me the installer details who installed and converted your system to GSM. Thanks

Edit: I was on mobile and now see you are in Montreal and your contact may not work for me.
Deal Expert
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Dec 11, 2005
19703 posts
2432 upvotes
Not sure why anyone needs a home phone in 2021. We bit the bullet and ditched it 5 years ago, and honestly have never even thought about it since. We have even had the service for free from Bell since we got a new bundle a year ago, and never even bothered to connect it.
To be nobody but yourself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. -- E. E. Cummings
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Dec 20, 2004
3352 posts
3403 upvotes
Montreal, QC
dealerguy wrote: Could you pls PM me the installer details who installed and converted your system to GSM. Thanks

Edit: I was on mobile and now see you are in Montreal and your contact may not work for me.
Ya, he's in Montreal, so he only serves the Montreal and surrounding areas.
But I'm sure there are many smaller guys around the GTA area. Most use the same Central Monitoring center, which has quite a few central monitoring sites across Canada. I originally found him by doing a google search for "Alarm companies Montreal" and then just firing off an email to each of them (with details of what I had and what I wanted) to see what their replies were and what each of them offered.
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Dec 20, 2004
3352 posts
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Montreal, QC
brunes wrote: Not sure why anyone needs a home phone in 2021. We bit the bullet and ditched it 5 years ago, and honestly have never even thought about it since. We have even had the service for free from Bell since we got a new bundle a year ago, and never even bothered to connect it.
We still use it in the house. When I am home, I drop my cell phone on the counter and rarely use it. People know, if it is after business hours, if you want to get a hold of us, then just call the home line. I rarely answer my cell when I am home.

Also, all calls for doctors appointments and similar, are done through the home phone. I have voicemail to email configured, and when someone leaves a message both myself and the wife get a notification and we can arrange schedules.
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2002
1201 posts
295 upvotes
Oakville
Ordered this for my parents a few days ago. Sure beats the $55-60/month they were currently paying with Bell.
Hopefully there isnt a material downgrade in quality and/or reliability, but for $6/month, I'm willing to roll the dice.
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
25120 posts
21550 upvotes
Waterloo, ON
Emporium wrote: We still use it in the house. When I am home, I drop my cell phone on the counter and rarely use it. People know, if it is after business hours, if you want to get a hold of us, then just call the home line. I rarely answer my cell when I am home.

Also, all calls for doctors appointments and similar, are done through the home phone. I have voicemail to email configured, and when someone leaves a message both myself and the wife get a notification and we can arrange schedules.
Same here.

I appreciate that if one starts with personal numbers only there may not be any need to have a common home phone number. But that's not the case when the landline number has been unchanged for some 20 years as in our case. So if we wanted to port it to a personal cell or VoIP account, whose would it be, me or my partner? Same with voicemail. Those want to reach either of us have a single number to call. Those who want to reach one of us specifically have two other numbers for that purepose.
veni, vidi, Visa
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Nov 25, 2014
3439 posts
1476 upvotes
Toronto, ON
I was tempted to get one but I installed the mobile app instead in my old android phone since it's free and it works. The only issue for me is it cannot be set as default dialer.
Newbie
Jun 3, 2020
11 posts
3 upvotes
My parents have been using Fongo Home Phone for the past year now. Never had an issue, only ever had to reboot the ATA device once because of minor problems. Call quality Is identical to their bell line they had before, I know that it uses G711 uncompressed codec. It's never been down for them either, it's been pretty great.

I actually had a conversation with sales because I had a few questions and the guy waived the porting fee for me so even better.

If they ever get tired of it, or if it turns to shit they can always leave and use the ATA adapter with another VOIP service. Big advantage unlike ooma which turns into a brick.

Fongo Is also owned by Fibernetics wich is a big telecom company, VoIP.ms uses their phone routes with their "premium routing" option.

For 5$ a month just buy it. If you don't like it go explore elsewhere and reuse the ATA. VoIP is superior to wireless home phone in terms of call quality and features.
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Dec 20, 2004
3352 posts
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Montreal, QC
bylo wrote: Same here.

I appreciate that if one starts with personal numbers only there may not be any need to have a common home phone number. But that's not the case when the landline number has been unchanged for some 20 years as in our case. So if we wanted to port it to a personal cell or VoIP account, whose would it be, me or my partner? Same with voicemail. Those want to reach either of us have a single number to call. Those who want to reach one of us specifically have two other numbers for that purepose.
Ya, and with 2 teens in the house, it just makes it easier for many things (schools, doctors, etc..). And I am not going to get getting them unlimited everything accounts for them to make all the calls they want. As long as I pay their cell bills, they will get a small PAYG cell plan that covers emergencies (close to $10/m). They do have unlimited texting however (which is pretty basic nowadays). Either way, most kids rarely use a phone for "calling". It usually a text anyhow :) Even myself, I mostly use my cell phone for emergencies. Very few have my cell anyhow. Call me on home line and I will get the message. If urgent, I'll call them back right away, otherwise it'll wait till evening, after work. And we've had the same home phone line for close to 25yrs.

But hey, everyone's situation is different.
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Sep 7, 2004
7157 posts
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West GTEH!
ArmandoU39760 wrote: My parents have been using Fongo Home Phone for the past year now. Never had an issue, only ever had to reboot the ATA device once because of minor problems. Call quality Is identical to their bell line they had before, I know that it uses G711 uncompressed codec. It's never been down for them either, it's been pretty great.

I actually had a conversation with sales because I had a few questions and the guy waived the porting fee for me so even better.

If they ever get tired of it, or if it turns to shit they can always leave and use the ATA adapter with another VOIP service. Big advantage unlike ooma which turns into a brick.

Fongo Is also owned by Fibernetics wich is a big telecom company, VoIP.ms uses their phone routes with their "premium routing" option.

For 5$ a month just buy it. If you don't like it go explore elsewhere and reuse the ATA. VoIP is superior to wireless home phone in terms of call quality and features.
Thanks for the Review. Very nice you got the Porting Fee waived.

I hope this Fongo Home Phone Offer ( 4 months free) is available at the end of this Year, 2022. Might give it a try.

I am using Zoomer Wireless Home Phone for $10/mth and on a 2 YR Contract. This expires at the end of 2022.
The Call Quality is decent, at best. Sometimes the outside Party can't hear clearly.
😎
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Dec 20, 2004
3352 posts
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Montreal, QC
ArmandoU39760 wrote: My parents have been using Fongo Home Phone for the past year now. Never had an issue, only ever had to reboot the ATA device once because of minor problems. Call quality Is identical to their bell line they had before, I know that it uses G711 uncompressed codec. It's never been down for them either, it's been pretty great.

I actually had a conversation with sales because I had a few questions and the guy waived the porting fee for me so even better.

If they ever get tired of it, or if it turns to shit they can always leave and use the ATA adapter with another VOIP service. Big advantage unlike ooma which turns into a brick.

Fongo Is also owned by Fibernetics wich is a big telecom company, VoIP.ms uses their phone routes with their "premium routing" option.

For 5$ a month just buy it. If you don't like it go explore elsewhere and reuse the ATA. VoIP is superior to wireless home phone in terms of call quality and features.
The ATA adapter that Fongo provides is locked to Fongo. Even when you RESET it, everything goes back to Fongo settings, and then gets provisioned from their server. In theory is can be unlocked, but from what I have read in the past, it is a pain, and have yet to hear of one person who successfully unlocked it (at least not easily). Things may have changed in the recent years. Having said that, ATAs are not very expensive (and initial cost of ATA from Fongo is reasonable when on promo), so even if you need to buy another ATA and move to another provider (like voip.ms), it is not a big deal.
Member
Sep 17, 2018
407 posts
627 upvotes
BF No Where
Tjklovesthisplace wrote: People have home phoned still ?[/quote

YMMV

I have a cell phone plan with 100 minutes outgoing calls/unlimited incoming/ unlimited text and 250mb data, costs me $8/month. I have Ooma telo home phone for $5/month that I use for calls from home especially if I know I will be on hold forever. Plus I have cordless phones on 4 house levels running on Ooma in case of a medical emergency and I can't get to my cell phone which I usually need to find by calling from my home phone. Get a UPS to run your router, Ooma telo and cordless base for a bit if there is a power outage and you feel you need it. Ooma will notify my cell of a call to home but I can't pick up just listen to VM. If you go with Fongo home phone you can forward to your cellphone number. I have Fongo app on my cell (got it for work) for when I was in the real world.
I'd trade it all for a little more.
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Sep 7, 2004
7157 posts
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West GTEH!
Anyone who got in on this Promo receive their ATA and try the Service?

Wondering how's it working.
😎
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Jan 13, 2009
1514 posts
986 upvotes
Emporium wrote: VoIP.ms is a top notch premium VoIP provider and if you are NOT a heavy outgoing call kind of user, then their prices are pretty good, for a premium provider. But once again, you do need to get your own ATA and configure it (so may not be for everyone).
If you can't log into this forum, you can enter server, log in and password on PAP2T (<$30 delivered)
Sr. Member
Sep 13, 2016
944 posts
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GTA
Webhead wrote: Anyone who got in on this Promo receive their ATA and try the Service?

Wondering how's it working.
I got the Boxing week deal and I got the ATA a few days ago. I don’t see any difference in quality between this and my previous provider Rogers. Great price compared to the Rogers ripoff.
Deal Guru
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Dec 17, 2001
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St-Fabien de Panet, …
Got this when I moved into my new country home in July 2020 and it's been working fine.

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