• Last Updated:
  • Nov 21st, 2018 11:03 am
[OP]
Newbie
May 6, 2009
37 posts
2 upvotes
Montreal

Fongo home phone VS Ooma

Hi guys !
I read alot about VoIP on these forms. Not sure if anything has changed in 2018.
I am planning on getting rid of my videotron home phone landline 25-30$ month and would like to replace it with another VoIP landline but cheaper. 5$ a month
I am considering either Ooma or Fongo home phone.
I only do local calls only and like call display with name and number and voicemail.
For what I see the Fongo has more to offer call display name and number without paying more for Ooma premier service.10$ month.
Anyone have any experience with any of these companys ?
I know for both companys I need to invest in equipment.
I heard about Fpl and VoIP.ms but prefer to stick with one of the 2 above either Fongo or Ooma as it's landline and fixed rate monthly.
Just looking for the best crystal clear voice call quality and better equipment .
How is the customer service on both of these ?
Any comments or advice is appreciated.

Thanks !
24 replies
[OP]
Newbie
May 6, 2009
37 posts
2 upvotes
Montreal
I was also thinking to add magic jack Go to the list above but heard of non existent customer service so removed it .
Unless paying more for concierge service even then questionable.
Also caller ID with name and number is not available with MJ.
But open to any suggestions or real customer reviews as it will be a home landline replacement and loooking for the most crystal clear voice quality possible and I would eventually Port my number to them.

Also any Black Friday deals on Ooma or Fongo home phone ?
Thanks!
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
27140 posts
13136 upvotes
Ottawa
Ooma is a simple "plug and play" device.
Customer service is great and will discount the premier plan when you call in.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 3, 2002
9417 posts
3273 upvotes
phantomvs wrote:
Nov 18th, 2018 3:43 pm

I heard about Fpl and VoIP.ms but prefer to stick with one of the 2 above either Fongo or Ooma as it's landline and fixed rate monthly.
Freephoneline is a one time fee of $89.95+tax for as long as you use FPL, which includes unlimited calling to anywhere within Canadian provinces. There's no ongoing fees (unless you're calling 911) at all. In what way is paying ongoing monthly fees advantageous to not paying them? I've been with FPL for over 8 years. Back then I paid $50 once (FPL was $50 at that time). That's it. I've paid $0 each month, every month, since then, over 8 years ongoing, which is unbeatable. VoIP.ms does offer an unlimited incoming minutes monthly rate plan, but you'll be paying per minute rates for outgoing calls. VoIP.ms also offers more call treatment features than any service you've mentioned so far (Anveo and Callcentric are other excellent options). I'm not sure what you mean here by "landline." VoIP.ms and FPL are no different from Fongo or Ooma with respect to them all being VoIP services that can be used over a regular telephone (unless Ooma now forces you to buy their handsets, you should be able to use a regular phone). In the long run, for a Canadian number with unlimited calling within Canada, there's nothing cheaper than Freephoneline, especially in combination with Google Voice (which then adds free calling within the U.S.), which is supported with an OBi200/202 series ATA and Obihai IP phones. FPL and Fongo's parent company is Fibernetics. The service is practically identical, except with Fongo Home Phone you're paying monthly fees, and those monthly fees include 911 calls and free customer support via online tickets (FPL does not offer free customer support for when the problem is on your end; and problems are usually on the customers' end). So I have no clue why you would consider Fongo Home Phone, which forces you to buy the pre-configured ATA they're selling (not unlike Ooma--but Ooma's device is proprietary and locked, which means you'll have a brick in the event Ooma ever goes under, unless you can hack the device) but won't consider FPL.
Any comments or advice is appreciated.
Click https://forums.redflagdeals.com/newegg- ... ax-2145415, and read the first two pages of that thread.
Last edited by Guest1284983 on Nov 19th, 2018 9:15 am, edited 6 times in total.
Please do not PM me for tech support. I help out on the forums when I can. Thank you.
OBi200/202 Freephonline PDF guide (version 1.60) can be found here. OBi200 info can be found here. For OBi202 info, click here.
[OP]
Newbie
May 6, 2009
37 posts
2 upvotes
Montreal
Thanks vkizzle for your input.
I believe Fongo home phone is also plug and play as they pre-configure the Fongo adapter.
I just noticed Ooma is on sale at best buy for 80.44$ during black friday sale, by comparison a Fongo home phone with adapter and taxes and number transfer is an all in 73.35$
Tryed getting a better deal straight from Ooma but so far they don't budge. Best they can do is 119$instead of there 129.99$ regular price.
Also subscribing to 1 year of premier plan with Ooma seems to give you number porting free .
Just too bad basic fee doesn't include name and number on caller id like Fongo Home phone.
[OP]
Newbie
May 6, 2009
37 posts
2 upvotes
Montreal
Thanks Webslinger for your advice.
I know they FPL and fongo home phone are same company, just thought FPL was an app or cell phone thing.
Google voice isn't that just available to the states ?
I know about Voip.ms incoming rate plan just worried about there outgoing calls since there is no plan for that.
Wife and kids tend to call more than they recieve.
I will look into the Freephoneline . I am guesssing they have no customer service incase something goes wrong.
What about porting my existing number is it possible ?
Which adapter do you have or recommend the Obi 200 or 202 ?
Is it fairly easy to program and install for a beginner ?
Beside the 911 fees, little worried as i have 2 young kids and no cell phone...we only have 1 cell phone and wife takes it.
How is the call quality on freephoneline compared to a Ooma for example ?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 3, 2002
9417 posts
3273 upvotes
phantomvs wrote:
Nov 19th, 2018 8:37 am

Which adapter do you have or recommend the Obi 200 or 202 ?
I use an OBi202 (and other devices), but if you visit https://forums.redflagdeals.com/newegg- ... ax-2145415 and read, you'll understand the differences between them.
Is it fairly easy to program and install for a beginner ?
Not as easy as Ooma or Fongo Home Phone

I can do more with Freephoneline and an Obihai ATA—including routing telemarketing calls elsewhere and using Nomorobo—than I could ever do with Fongo Home Phone, which costs more after 1.5 years than FPL would. And with Ooma, you’re stuck with Ooma.


My parents, who are senior citizens, managed to setup their OBi202 using my PDF guide: http://forum.fongo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=18805. But they can read and follow instructions. If you're not interested in reading and learning, then it's probably not a good choice for you.

I refuse being tied into a single VoIP service, and I'm not a beginner.

Freephoneline is not a good idea for people that need a lot of handholding because they don't offer free technical support for problems that are on your end. So, if anything seems daunting to you, then yes, FPL is a bad choice.

VoIP.ms does offer free live chat customer support by the way.
Beside the 911 fees,
Click and read https://forums.redflagdeals.com/newegg- ... #p28508748 fully.
How is the call quality on freephoneline?
Voice quality with any VoIP service is dependent upon jitter (variation between each successive ping, which affects how choppy calls sound), pings (latency), audio codec, and the carrier(s) being used to route the call. Freephoneline, VoIP.ms, Anveo Direct, Callcentric, Freephoneline, and Hangouts/GV all sound the same (or better, given I had static over a Bell POTS landline whenever it rained) as a landline to me under ideal conditions for local calls when G.711u is being used. The G.711u audio codec is the equivalent of POTS (plain old telephone service). I don't notice any difference between any of these services providers with respect to call quality for local calling, but I tend to know what I'm doing. International calling to specific numbers is another matter (due to the carriers being used to route the call to the destination). I'm using Anveo Direct prime routes for international calling.

VoIP.ms uses Fibernetics (Freephoneline and Fongo's parent company) as one of their (many) carriers.

It's free to try the Freephoneline desktop app first. I recommend doing so before paying anything for Freephoneline.
People usually have worse experiences with the desktop app though instead of with an ATA or IP phone with the Freephoneline VoIP unlock key.
Visit https://forums.redflagdeals.com/rogers- ... #p29235388.
Last edited by Guest1284983 on Nov 19th, 2018 12:38 pm, edited 10 times in total.
Please do not PM me for tech support. I help out on the forums when I can. Thank you.
OBi200/202 Freephonline PDF guide (version 1.60) can be found here. OBi200 info can be found here. For OBi202 info, click here.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 3, 2002
9417 posts
3273 upvotes
Also, typically, for VoIP SIP services, you want

1) a router that does not have a full cone NAT,

Visit https://www.think-like-a-computer.com/2 ... es-of-nat/.
Mango from the Obitalk.com forums writes,
“Use a restricted cone NAT router, and do not use port forwarding or DMZ. Restricted cone NAT will only permit
inbound traffic from the service provider you're registered to. If you have a full cone NAT router, it will allow traffic
from any source. This is probably not what you intend.
If you have a Windows computer, you can test your router using the utility here:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,22292023. To run it, use stun stun.ekiga.net from a command prompt.”
Essentially, you download the stun-test.zip file; extract the stun.exe file from within the zip file to an easily
accessible location; use an elevated command prompt (visit
http://www.thewindowsclub.com/how-to-ru ... inistrator); change directory (cd) to the
directory or location where you extracted stun.exe (visit
http://www.digitalcitizen.life/command- ... c-commands); and type “stun stun.ekiga.net” without
the quotation marks followed by the enter/return button on your keyboard.
Asus routers, at the time of this writing, produce port restricted cone NAT routers, for example and are fine,
provided you’re using one with Asuswrt-Merlin, third party firmware installed: https://asuswrt.lostrealm.ca/about.

2) a router that lets you disable SIP ALG if it's buggy,

To understand why SIP ALG often causes horrible problems, please visit
http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Routers+SIP+ALG (scroll down to the section on SIP ALG problems).

If you're dealing with a modem/router combo issued by an ISP or a router with SIP ALG forced on, you may have
to use voip4.freephoneline.ca:6060 for the Proxy Server. The purpose of voip4.freephoneline.ca:6060 is to circumvent
faulty SIP ALG features in routers.

3) a router that allows you to set QoS or assign highest priority to your ATA or IP Phone over all other devices on your LAN (local area network),

For a very general description of what QoS can do for you, visit https://www.voipmechanic.com/qos-for-voip.htm.
The basic idea is if you're torrenting or have a bunch of other computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. downloading and uploading (hogging all your available bandwidth), you don't want
your ATA not to have access to enough bandwidth to make or receive calls properly. So QoS or a Bandwidth Monitor feature (which is just another form of QoS) is a really good idea for VoIP users.

I often get an occasional relative complaining to me, "Hey my calls sound choppy." And then when I go visit, some kids are playing MMOs on a computer, while another person is downloading a huge file,
and another person is backing up files to a cloud service all at the same time someone else is trying to talk on the phone. All those devices, without QoS enabled, are fighting over available bandwidth along with the ATA.

and 4) A router that lets you adjust both Unreplied and Assured UDP timeouts.

Thanks to Mango, many of us now understand that in order for ATAs to remain registered and working properly with a VoIP SIP provider like Freephoneline, in particular after power failures, the following conditions must be met:

UDP Unreplied Timeout (in your router) < NAT Keep-alive Interval (in your ATA; for Obihai ATAs this is X_KeepAliveExpires) < UDP Assured Timeout (in your router) < SIP Registration Failure Retry Wait Time (or RegisterRetryInterval in Obihai ATAs)

“<“ means less than.

When a modem leases a new IP address, a problem can arise where prior associations using the old IP address are maintained in the router. When the ATA attempts to communicate using the old IP address, the response is unreplied, and then if the UDP Unreplied timeout is greater than the Keep Alive Interval (and UDP Unreplied timeout is often set to 30 by default in consumer routers) a problem arises where the corrupted connection persists. If UDP Unreplied timeout is, for example, 10, and the NAT Keep Alive Interval is 20, then the corrupted connection will timeout or close. A new connection will be created, and everything will work fine.

Another problem can occur when the Keep-Alive interval is greater than UDP Assured Timeout (often 180 by default in consumer routers): the NAT hole will close due to the ATA not communicating frequently enough with the SIP server. In turn, incoming calls may, intermittently, not reach the ATA. Again, X_Keepalives expires is supposed to be 20 with FPL.

(the above settings are making reference to those in Obihai ATAs)

Getting access to both UDP Unreplied Timeout and UDP Assured Timeout settings in consumer routers may be difficult, if not impossible. Asuswrt-Merlin (I would avoid any model below an RT-AC68U), third party firmware for Asus routers, does offer easy access to these two settings, which are found under General–>Tools-->Other settings. My understanding is that third party Tomato firmware has these two settings as well. So if your router supports Tomato firmware, that may be another option. Note that I will not be held accountable any damage resulting from failed firmware updates.


Apparently, Mikrotik routers also allow users to change both Assured and Unreplied UDP timeout settings as well:
https://forums.redflagdeals.com/recomme ... #p28056619 (I've never used them and can't advise buying them or answering questions about them.)

The keep alive interval for FPL is 20. The SIP Registration Failure Retry Wait Time is 120. I use 10 for UDP Unreplied Timeout and 117 for UDP Assured Timeout.



ISPs do not issue customers routers that can do all four things I just listed. Typically it's far better to have your own router with strong QoS functions and a restricted cone NAT firewall,
disable whatever SIP ALG feature is enabled in the router, and stick whatever modem/router combo your ISP gives you into bridge mode. For Bell Hubs, visit please-sticky-how-bypass-bell-hub-use-y ... r-1993629/. For Rogers Hitron, visit https://www.rogers.com/customer/support ... ridgemodem (CGN3 instructions also apply to CODA-4582).
Please do not PM me for tech support. I help out on the forums when I can. Thank you.
OBi200/202 Freephonline PDF guide (version 1.60) can be found here. OBi200 info can be found here. For OBi202 info, click here.
[OP]
Newbie
May 6, 2009
37 posts
2 upvotes
Montreal
Thanks again Webslinger, alot of info there will do some reading and look into it this option.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 3, 2002
9417 posts
3273 upvotes
phantomvs wrote:
Nov 19th, 2018 8:37 am
just thought FPL was an app or cell phone thing
No. Fongo Mobile is. FPL was never developed specifically to be used on smartphones. FPL is a BYOD (bring your own device) home phone replacement VoIP service; FPL is also a free desktop app. Fongo Home Phone is not a BYOD Home Phone VoIP replacement service; you buy their pre-configured ATA.
Google voice isn't that just available to the states ?
Obtaining a Google Voice account requires a U.S. IP address. You can provision a Google Voice account on an Obihai OBi2xx series ATA and make outgoing calls using it. This is not unlike using Google Hangouts on a smartphone in Canada, except you don't need a U.S. IP address to setup Hangouts in Canada. Once a Google Voice account is obtained, it works outside of the U.S.

Obtaining a Google Voice number requires both a U.S. IP address and a real, non-VoIP U.S. phone number for verification purposes. A Google Voice number is only required to receive calls using the GV number. Google Voice numbers are U.S. phone numbers. You don't need a GV number in order to make outgoing calls with a Google Voice account that's been provisioned on an Obihai 2xx series ATA.

You can also use Google Voice with any existing SIP device (ATA or IP Phone) or SIP application with Pbxes.com for a one time fee of $15 USD: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r321341 ... -Pbxes-com. However, that method introduces an additional point of failure (if PBxes ever goes down, then your service drops), but it is another option.

Or you can obtain a Google Voice number and use the Google Hangouts app to ring for incoming calls on a smartphone. Using hangouts on a smartphone requires Wi-Fi or cellular data.

Google Voice is free, and Google Voice only issues U.S. phone numbers. You can call to most destinations within Canada and the U.S. for free using Google Voice.

Here's information that's been posted in Google's community forums (and also repeated by some of their employees):

https://productforums.google.com/forum/ ... Ja7DUHSOfQ
Red Letherman wrote: If you want to get a Google voice number, you need to verify a forwarding phone. that forwarding phone will be screened by an automated process that checks it and decides whether you can or can't use it.
The process doesn't screen the forwarding number until you choose the Google number.

If you can't use the forwarding phone to create a Google voice account, you will continue to get an error when you try to create your account.
You can try again later or try adding a different forwarding number.
That number needs to be from a mobile or a landline, not a VoIP number.
https://productforums.google.com/forum/ ... hYNsW1B0AM (thread from 2017)

Bluescat wrote: The reasons that Google accounts are not eligible to be assigned a Google Voice inbound telephone number include (but may not be limited to):

- The submitted number is from a telephone carrier that is ineligible to be used to claim a Google Voice number. Submit a different forwarding phone number. The number you submit must be from one of the "big four" mobile carriers (AT&T Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon Wireless), or from a traditional land line carrier such as AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Frontier or Verizon.

- The submitted number has been previously used by either you, or the previous user of that number, to request a Google Voice number. Submit a different number.

- The submitted number is outside the 48 contiguous US states. Submit a number from within the 48 contiguous US states.

- You have tried to submit forwarding numbers too many times in a short period of time. Wait at least 24 hours before trying again.

- Your Google account has been flagged for some violation of Google's Terms of Service or its Acceptable Use Policy. You are ineligible to get a Google Voice number.

These limitations are in place to protect the service from abuse. As such, to limit information which could be used to reverse-engineer the protections, Google will not provide any more-specific details on individual cases where a number request has been denied.
Once you have a Google Voice number, the service will work outside of the U.S. That is, it works from Canada (with an Obihai OBi2xx series ATA or otherwise).

If you want to receive calls to your Google Voice number on a computer, you can use Google Hangouts:
https://support.google.com/hangouts/ans ... ktop&hl=en.

Beyond this (this information is posted online in their community forums), I can't help with obtaining anything involving GV.

phantomvs wrote:I am guesssing they have no customer service incase something goes wrong.
They do, if the problem is not on your end. Chances are, problems will be on your end. You can submit online tickets here: https://support.fongo.com/hc/en-us/requests/new for account issues.
There's also a user to user support forum: http://forum.fongo.com/viewforum.php?f=8.
phantomvs wrote:What about porting my existing number is it possible ?
$25+tax
https://support.freephoneline.ca/hc/en- ... r-porting-
https://support.freephoneline.ca/hc/en- ... oneline-ca
Your phone number must belong to one of these areas: https://support.freephoneline.ca/hc/en- ... go-network.
Last edited by Guest1284983 on Nov 19th, 2018 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Please do not PM me for tech support. I help out on the forums when I can. Thank you.
OBi200/202 Freephonline PDF guide (version 1.60) can be found here. OBi200 info can be found here. For OBi202 info, click here.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Mar 11, 2011
696 posts
221 upvotes
Toronto
I would go with Fongo Home Phone. I have been using Freephoneline for several years without issue. Very happy. The same company, as you know. The difference is that Fongo charges $5 per month, but you get customer service. With FLP, you are on your own and have to set up your own equipment. This can potentially be a big headache.

The other feature I like is voicemail to email. Does Ooma offer this? And finally, support a Canadian company!
[OP]
Newbie
May 6, 2009
37 posts
2 upvotes
Montreal
Thanks 46jimbo for both replys.
I am definetly leaning toward Fongo Home if i gotta chose between that and Ooma.
But Webslinger also gives some good info there on going with FPL and avoiding the monthly fees all together.
Just gotta figure out the programming, doesn't look to hard either.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
27140 posts
13136 upvotes
Ottawa
phantomvs wrote:
Nov 19th, 2018 8:25 am
Thanks vkizzle for your input.
I believe Fongo home phone is also plug and play as they pre-configure the Fongo adapter.
I just noticed Ooma is on sale at best buy for 80.44$ during black friday sale, by comparison a Fongo home phone with adapter and taxes and number transfer is an all in 73.35$
Tryed getting a better deal straight from Ooma but so far they don't budge. Best they can do is 119$instead of there 129.99$ regular price.
Also subscribing to 1 year of premier plan with Ooma seems to give you number porting free .
Just too bad basic fee doesn't include name and number on caller id like Fongo Home phone.
Basic actually includes more than what we would get paying Bell or Rogers.

https://support.ooma.com/home/feature-c ... ier-basic/
Jr. Member
Jun 9, 2012
148 posts
45 upvotes
Vancouver
The most powerful setup on an OBI IMO would be setting up 1 FPL account + 1 GV account + 10 Freedompop accounts (8 set as voice gateways). You can make use of the 10 Freedompop accounts for 1000 international minutes a month + GV for unlimited Canada & USA calling + FPL for unlimited calling to most of Canada.

If you have unlimited calling on your mobile phone you can also enable auto attendant so you can use your FPL number to dial thru the 12 VoIP accounts on the OBI.

All of this incurs a $0 monthly fee, and no data usage so calls aren't going to crap out from poor data, no extra battery usage from running an app in the background and can be used on old school flip phones or whatever. Only caveat is having to remember the numbers or pre set the numbers on your phone and if your home internet goes down or is overloaded, calls aren't going to go thru or will crap out.

Note: Freedompop does charge I think 1 penny a month on some occasions.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 3, 2002
9417 posts
3273 upvotes
BigBrother0 wrote:
Nov 19th, 2018 3:13 pm
Freedompop
Unfortunately, not for Japan
Please do not PM me for tech support. I help out on the forums when I can. Thank you.
OBi200/202 Freephonline PDF guide (version 1.60) can be found here. OBi200 info can be found here. For OBi202 info, click here.

Top