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Need a VOIP line – best provider/app in Canada?

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  • Nov 5th, 2018 9:10 pm
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[OP]
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Nov 20, 2017
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Need a VOIP line – best provider/app in Canada?

Hi folks,

I need to activate a second line with a seperate phone number for a not-for-profit, and want calls coming directly to my current cell phone through my data plan. I'm interested in activating a VOIP service for exclusively incoming and outgoing calls within Canada, but want it to have a recognizable local phone number that can be distributed and relatively affordable rates along with push notifications to ensure I don't miss any calls.

If need be, I have a secondary local number that can be ported if local numbers aren't available with certain VOIP services.

Anyone have any advice as to what's the best service/app out there right now that can route directly to my cell phone over data with push notification service?

Thanks,
Evan
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EvanKrosney wrote: I need to activate a second line with a seperate phone number for a not-for-profit, and want calls coming directly to my current cell phone through my data plan. I'm interested in activating a VOIP service for exclusively incoming and outgoing calls within Canada, but want it to have a recognizable local phone number that can be distributed and relatively affordable rates along with push notifications to ensure I don't miss any calls.
Get a local Textmeup # from Playstore and start texting and calling right away (you need wifi or data). It is free . No harm in trying
The advertisement while texting is disturbing indeed on a cell. But if you use you browser on your desktop/laptop/netbook to text , then you won't see any adv at all. And you can see calls (with CID too) coming in as well.
Outgoing call is free for Can /U S
It is around 3 cents a minute calling countries in E U or the Far East
Demerit or Drawback : no porting in #

Merit : you can use the textmeup# for verification of Whatsapp #. You do not need to announce that you have a new # assuming you have a lot of whatsapp contacts. Once you change the #, the new # will be known to all your whatsapp contacts
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danieltoronto wrote: Get a local Textmeup # from Playstore and start texting and calling right away (you need wifi or data). It is free . No harm in trying
The advertisement while texting is disturbing indeed on a cell. But if you use you browser on your desktop/laptop/netbook to text , then you won't see any adv at all. And you can see calls (with CID too) coming in as well.
Outgoing call is free for Can /U S
It is around 3 cents a minute calling countries in E U or the Far East
Demerit or Drawback : no porting in #

Merit : you can use the textmeup# for verification of Whatsapp #. You do not need to announce that you have a new # assuming you have a lot of whatsapp contacts. Once you change the #, the new # will be known to all your whatsapp contacts
Fongo.

@danieltoronto why didn't you suggest this? No sms validation on Fongo, but don't think that's what OP needs.
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titaniumtux wrote: Fongo. @danieltoronto why didn't you suggest this? No sms validation on Fongo, but don't think that's what OP needs.
I cannot. I do not have fongo at all.
As far as I know , textmeup suits ALL O P was asking in post #1.
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danieltoronto wrote: I cannot. I do not have fongo at all.
As far as I know , textmeup suits ALL O P was asking in post #1.
For phone calls in Canada only plus call forwarding, I think Fongo is cheaper (free), whereas Textmeup has a monthly fee.
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titaniumtux wrote: For phone calls in Canada only plus call forwarding, I think Fongo is cheaper (free), whereas Textmeup has a monthly fee.
HeHe I never paid a monthly fee for more than a year already. I kept using it. If I am not using it for a week, they threaten me with a cancel # email in 2days . So I text to my buddy " ignore this. testing only"
I bought $10 for calling credit to the Far East and I keep using the app. That is it.
I agree that the market has been shifting a lot indeed.
Back a month ago, Textmeup's set up and pricing structure was different (free text /incoming calls , outgoing calls cost around 2 cents a minute). That was the reason why I bought $10 credit to call out.
Now its format is diffent. It is free calls and text and they are pushing for a monthly fee.
But they cannot take away my credit and cancel my #. If I am correct (not sure though), I am on a grandfathered plan.
The VOIP is chaotic indeed and some companies have to improvise, move on or go under. It is tough
Last edited by danieltoronto on Feb 24th, 2018 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
Daniel

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danieltoronto wrote: HeHe I never paid a monthly fee for more than a year already. I kept using it. If I am not using it for a week, they threaten me with a cancel # email in 2days . So I text to my buddy " ignore this. testing only"
I bought $10 for calling credit to the Far East and I keep using the app. That is it.
If there's daily usage then that's fine, but for casual use, that app seems like a hassle (plus no porting).

What's included at no monthly fee? Are you grandfathered in or is this the standing offer they have?
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titaniumtux wrote: Are you grandfathered in or is this the standing offer they have?
I think and not sure that I maybe on a textmeUp grandfathered plan.
Back a month ago, Textmeup's set up and pricing structure was different (free text /incoming calls , outgoing calls cost around 2 cents a minute). That was the reason why I bought $10 credit to call out.
Now its format is different. Now, it is free calls and text and they are pushing for a monthly fee.
But they cannot take away my credit and cancel my #. If I am correct (not sure though), I am on a grandfathered plan.
The VOIP market is chaotic indeed and some companies have to improvise, move on or go under. It is tough.
Right now I am still keeping the $20a month Fido unlimited local call as I want to see how well this is developing
Daniel

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What's the BEST one, though? From reading other threads that seem to go on forever, I get the impression that it's voip.ms, but I cannot keep track of which apps are the best to access it for voice and SMS.

I too am looking for such a solution, but one without significant glitches -- I want the closest possible approximation to true telephony on mobile:

1. reliable connection (no habitually missed calls or texts)
2. works in background or with phone on standby
3. good voice quality
4. local phone number
5. works in a moving vehicle
6. no ads or malware/spyware (paid $5-10/month is passable)
7. long-term service (no risk of losing phone number)
8. works for SMS validation of on-line services

There seem to be so many drawbacks to most VOIP solutions on mobile that other concerns like long distance calling seem like luxuries.

I'm glad that this thread was started. Please post your full and straightforward solution if you have one. No "if silly thing abc happens, I do xyz". No invasive adware. What VOIP&SMS solution works about as well as actually buying another SIM card (and handset, or having a dual-SIM handset)? In the USA, it's Google Voice, but that's not the same solution here in Canada.

Thanks in advance for your concise brain dump.
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IanBrantford wrote: What's the BEST one, though? .
That will be difficult as very few of us have tried two, not to mention all of them , of the VOIP apps.
Individual forum member may be able to give their input on one and you need to judge if that fits you
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danieltoronto wrote: That will be difficult as very few of us have tried two, not to mention all of them , of the VOIP apps.
That's fair. All I want is to get reports of one really good one. I'm going to guess that it's a service that also has commercial clients, like voip.ms. I haven't been able to keep track of what apps work best with their service, though, or if they are actually as good as I'm looking for.
Individual forum member may be able to give their input on one and you need to judge if that fits you
I hope so. That would be great and appreciated.

I may recommend whatever is best to a couple of friends who want such service, as either a primary or secondary, in the same vein as those with the Fido tablet plan.

In my own case, I might port my precious primary number to a VOIP service to get things like multiple devices ringing for incoming calls. It would have to be a reliable service provider on which I can get port-in and port-out to work (the latter in case their service still isn't right). The VOIP market doesn't seem all that stable, and I don't want my primary number to be lost due to a service provider's failure.
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For my one-person business and for my (permanent) personal number, I use voip.ms. Have used them for 3 years with no issues.

You can connect with any number of voip apps, but I've found it most practical to just set up the DID to forward to my cellphone, with voicemail (on voip.ms) as fallback. You can set it up so that original called ID info is preserved with a prefix added so that when you glance at your ringing phone, you know it's not a personal call. Local Canadian numbers are, of course, available, and most (not sure all) forward SMSes into email if you want.

I've also used anveo, which has more powerful call flow features but works out a bit more expensive. So I use it for a "utility number" for accepting faxes (rare) and teleconferencing, etc.

I'm not sure how the pricing compares with other alternatives mentioned (haven't used or explored them), but the voip.ms cost is pretty darn low. On the order of $1/mo/telephone number, and 1-2c/minute calling. The range is dependent on whether you use data or forward the call as I write above, which turns into effectively a second billable call. The fact is that unless your nonprofit has a super high volume of calls, it's still going to be a minimal cost.
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titaniumtux wrote: Fongo.

@danieltoronto why didn't you suggest this? No sms validation on Fongo, but don't think that's what OP needs.
I switched my parents to fongo years ago. The bill comes up to $5 a month.
Never looked back since! Great idea
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Leonidas wrote: I switched my parents to fongo years ago. The bill comes up to $5 a month.
Never looked back since! Great idea
That sounds like the Fongo home phone service. That is different pricing than Fongo android/ios app and freephoneline since it provides some hardware to plug in your home phones. I'm reading OP that all he wants is a forwarding service so doesn't need the hardware.
Last edited by titaniumtux on Feb 26th, 2018 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed typo
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treasureseeker3 wrote: That sounds like the Fongo home phone service. That is different pricing than Fongo android/ios app and freephoneline since it provides some hardware to plug in your home phones. I'm reading OP that all he wants is a forwarding service so doesn't need the hardware.
+1

Fibernetics consumer brands are:
  • Fongo - smartphone app, some purchases only available in-app. Works in US and Europe it seems. If travelling to other destinations, only option might be Fongo World Edition
  • FreePhoneLine - landline replacement... Some DIY by buying sip credentials
  • Fongo Home Phone - landline replacement. No DIY, pay a monthly fee for support and buy the proprietary hardware

All of the above support porting numbers and call forwarding, with the exception of Fongo World Edition.

Personally, I don't see much benefit to Fongo Home Phone given the limited coverage for the price, since for the same price (or maybe $1-2 more per month) you could get MagicJack/Nettalk and get unlimited North America calling.

I have FreePhoneLine since there's no monthly fee, and also have Fongo for inbound fax and overseas calling. Also got one user on Fongo (ported their number) for talk/text.
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Been using a service called voip much (cdn company). You buy the a grandstream voip adapter which plugs into a router then plug a cord or cordless phone into the adapter. For the $9.45+tax monthly fee you get canada and usa unlimited calling (except for a few states and territories). You can get a local cdn number (or port a number) for most place. Comes with 30 free features like call display, call forwarding, voicemail. You can get additional phone numbers using the same device for additional monthly fee. The phone number you choose does not have to be in the city you live, it can be any where in Canada.
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houska wrote: For my one-person business and for my (permanent) personal number, I use voip.ms. Have used them for 3 years with no issues.

You can connect with any number of voip apps, but I've found it most practical to just set up the DID to forward to my cellphone, with voicemail (on voip.ms) as fallback. You can set it up so that original called ID info is preserved with a prefix added so that when you glance at your ringing phone, you know it's not a personal call. Local Canadian numbers are, of course, available, and most (not sure all) forward SMSes into email if you want.

I've also used anveo, which has more powerful call flow features but works out a bit more expensive. So I use it for a "utility number" for accepting faxes (rare) and teleconferencing, etc.

I'm not sure how the pricing compares with other alternatives mentioned (haven't used or explored them), but the voip.ms cost is pretty darn low. On the order of $1/mo/telephone number, and 1-2c/minute calling. The range is dependent on whether you use data or forward the call as I write above, which turns into effectively a second billable call. The fact is that unless your nonprofit has a super high volume of calls, it's still going to be a minimal cost.
This is some great feedback, the most detailed among the helpful feedback in this thread.

Thanks for mentioning Anveo and their flow control. I looked it up, and it addresses the one thing that's missing from Voip.ms' offerings, which is the ability to re-route an in-progress call. This is important for cellular users who have enough data for their VOIP use, but little or no inexpensive voice minutes on a normal cellular line. Let's say that a cellular VOIP call is of inadequate quality -- one can reroute it to a possibly more expensive dedicated voice line with a better quality of service without making the caller try again.

However, Anveo is US-based. Voip.ms is Canada-based and runs its privacy rules according to Canadian law, which I prefer.

I'm going to look around a bit more to find a reliable Canadian VOIP provider with rerouting capability, as well as other valuable qualities that can be had. If that doesn't pan out, I'll start on VOIP.ms without yet porting my primary number.
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12th hour wrote: Been using a service called voip much (cdn company). You buy the a grandstream voip adapter which plugs into a router then plug a cord or cordless phone into the adapter. For the $9.45+tax monthly fee you get canada and usa unlimited calling (except for a few states and territories). You can get a local cdn number (or port a number) for most place. Comes with 30 free features like call display, call forwarding, voicemail. You can get additional phone numbers using the same device for additional monthly fee. The phone number you choose does not have to be in the city you live, it can be any where in Canada.
Sweet! Voip Much might be suitable for some family as a landline replacement. Looking for it introduced me to gonevoip.ca and a whole plethora of potential providers. Thanks!
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IanBrantford wrote: Sweet! Voip Much might be suitable for some family as a landline replacement. Looking for it introduced me to gonevoip.ca and a whole plethora of potential providers. Thanks!
Can you highlight which of VoIP Much's features make you more inclined to taking their service? Do you call the US a lot? If not, why not FreePhoneLine?
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