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[Newegg] Newegg Shell Shocker: Obihai OBI202 $59.99

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  • Feb 12th, 2016 9:51 pm
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Dec 20, 2004
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Montreal, QC
It is definitely a great price for a great unit.

Obi is not taking anyone hostage. Can't blame any company for trying to make an extra buck on additional services. The manual firmware upgrade procedure is very simple. I have both a 200 and 202. And if anything, after experimenting a while back with their online interface for configuring the device and all, I eventually turned off the auto-update feature. I hate having anything auto-update without my consent/knowledge. And I am a firm believer on "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I just configure the boxes using the built in local web server-based configuration menus.

If you think this unit is complicated to update, then try buying some Cisco ATA 186/187 units, and have fun getting any updates with a valid service contract, and then even if you get the files, having to setup TFTP servers, and all to push the firmware to them, etc....

My Obi units are configured with Freephoneline, Callcentric, and GV, and have no issues with any of the services.

Sure, it isn't designed for grandma to pick up the device, get a voip account, program it herself, etc..If she can, GREAT... But that is not even the primary intended customer base. For those customers, other services like Ooma, majicjack, and others exist.. They are simple, they work out of the box, but you have a monthly/yearly fee (large or small, but still cheaper than B(h)ell ).

Someone could accuse fongo/freephoneline of being sneaky also... If you check their home page (of freephoneline.ca), you don't see any FREE options quite obvious either.. First thing you see on top is $4.95/month fongo home phone. Doesn't mean they don't have a "no monthly fee option". But it is mostly for people who know what they are doing.. Open an account, get a number, then buy a voip key, program your ATA (some instructions in thier support forum) and then do the porting of your number if you need.

Anyhow, bottom line, is the price posted by the [OP] is a great price for the hardware.
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Mar 3, 2002
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BestFind wrote:
Feb 9th, 2016 10:01 pm
I for one love what webslinger posts with documented references on a particular confusing subject of how to use VOIP with minimal charges.

I am grateful
Thank you.

I've answered a lot of questions in this thread before: newegg-ca-obi200-39-99cad-obi202-59-99c ... k-1882793/

If you're interested in learning more, I would recommend reading through that thread.

For the record, I don't work for any of the companies I've discussed. I've been accused of shilling for FPL before. Now, I've suddenly been accused of working for Obihai. I don't work for Obihai, FPL, Callcentric, Anveo, Google, VoIP.ms, etc. I do not get kickbacks from any of these companies. I am, in no way, associated or affiliated with any of them. The end.

But I have spent a lot of time answering questions and trying to help people both on RFD's forums and in PMs (but I would prefer to avoid PMs if possible; it's better if others learn from asking questions on the forums and reading responses). Hope you find some information that helps. Good luck
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Mar 3, 2002
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spensar wrote:
Feb 9th, 2016 8:15 pm
Can you port over an existing phone number to a google voice
You can not port a Canadian phone number to Google Voice.

or other VOIP provider account?
Yes
Jr. Member
May 10, 2010
143 posts
66 upvotes
Thank you Webslinger for your regular contributions on VoIP threads, they have helped a lot of people, including me.
Unfortunately, complainers are often the most vocal and visible.

RFDers are often so obsessed with price that some forget that it is legitimate for a business to try to make money. I have no problem with Obihai trying to recoup their firmware support costs on the web portal, as they continue to offer FW updates for free to users going the manual route.

I much prefer that to some companies habit of dumping device support after 1-2 years...
Cheers.
Member
Dec 21, 2009
267 posts
24 upvotes
Toronto
damn missed this again.. check everyday and it happen on the one day I didnt check ...... =(
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Mar 3, 2002
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rudyrednose wrote:
Feb 10th, 2016 9:49 am
Thank you Webslinger for your regular contributions on VoIP threads, they have helped a lot of people, including me.
Thank you.
RFDers are often so obsessed with price that some forget that it is legitimate for a business to try to make money.
To be honest, I do see the issue from two sides. One one hand, you get this message that pops up in Obitalk web portal, if your device is out of warranty, that really makes it seem as though the customer has no other choice but to pay to regain configuration access to GV. The phrasing of the message is misleading, imo. So, if you're a customer who doesn't read the manuals and doesn't visit the official forums (and is only used to one way of interacting with the ATA), then I can see this situation as being shocking. It seems as though you have no choice but to pay. And yeah, sure, I think there's a very good argument to be made that Obihai has that message pop up and is worded the way it is because they want your money.

But on the other hand, firmware updates may be needed to continue to support Google Voice (that's the case in this situation). Firmware development certainly isn't free. And Obihai isn't blocking manual firmware updates, even if the device is out of warranty. Manually updating firmware is not new to a lot of older ATA users. I would even venture to say with the older Sipsura ATA series, for a lot of people, it was standard practice. And, alternatively, grabbing a phone attached to your ATA and dialing ***6 (and then 1 if an update is available) is incredibly simple. That's even easier than using the web portal. It's not as though manual firmware update instructions are hidden. They're in the Obihai manuals. They're online.

Obihai is well within its ethical rights to charge whatever it wants for its technical support (such as it is) outside of an Obihai product's regular warranty period. The issue is some people are likely mislead by a pop-up warning saying you need to pay to update firmware. That seems like a bit of a shakedown. The message really means, "Hey, your ATA's firmware needs to be updated to continue to support GV. If you want to be able to update firmware using the Obitalk web portal, you need to pay $10 USD since your device is out of warranty. Running the Obitalk web portal is a service that costs money to operate, and we can not do so and provide technical support ongoing for free." The reality is no one needs to pay $10, and Obihai has no plans to stop anyone from manually updating firmware. So, the sky isn't falling. No one's device is being held hostage. Obihai did not break into your home, open the fridge, drink your alcohol, eat all your food, kidnap your wife, and run out the door. But I would say the message is misleading, and it seems likely to me that the reason for it being that way is to help Obihai get more money.

I have no problem with Obihai trying to recoup their firmware support costs on the web portal, as they continue to offer FW updates for free to users going the manual route.
Yeah, I don't have a problem as long as people can update firmware without using the Obitalk web portal whenever they want. And Obitalk support has made it pretty clear that's the case.
I much prefer that to some companies habit of dumping device support after 1-2 years...
Yes, that's true.
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Mar 3, 2002
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wasape wrote:
Feb 10th, 2016 10:06 am
damn missed this again.. check everyday and it happen on the one day I didnt check ...... =(
Well, I could be wrong, but usually a sale on a OBi200 isn't far behind.

Or in cases where the OBi200 goes on sale first, a sale on the OBi202 isn't that far behind.

Anyway, this probably won't be the last sale from Newegg.
Member
Dec 24, 2010
235 posts
162 upvotes
Brossard, Qc
[quote="Webslinger" post_id="25101307" time="1455076144" user_id="1148"]Thank you.

I've answered a lot of questions in this thread before: newegg-ca-obi200-39-99cad-obi202-59-99c ... k-1882793/

Webslinger:

I have now received the Obi202 that I bought and have also received the VOIP unlock code from FPL. What now? Do you have step by step instruction onto how to configure my Obi202 with FPL? I was reviewing your post and saw that it seems that one can go thru obitalk or IP address but not both. Since obitalk.com seems to ask for $10 (eventually outside of my warranty period) I would want perhaps to start to do manually.

Can You give me a link that can guide me?

Thanks
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Mar 3, 2002
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BestFind wrote:
Feb 12th, 2016 7:25 pm
I have now received the Obi202 that I bought and have also received the VOIP unlock code from FPL. What now? Do you have step by step instruction onto how to configure my Obi202 with FPL?
I would recommend posting in this thread instead for FPL issues: merged-freephoneline-ca-free-local-soft ... ip-821229/

I do recommend using the Obitalk portal for initial setup until newcomers get things working the way they want to, especially if they plan on using Google Voice. After you're comfortable and setup properly, stop using the portal.

1)The easiest way to setup a VoIP account on an Obihai ATA is to visit http://www.obitalk.com/obinet/
2)Then create an account/register.
3)Then add your Obihai ATA to the portal.
4)Then click the SP# (for FPL use SP1) you wish to configure.
5)Then scroll down the page and select the "next" button for "Obitalk Compatible Service Provider" (you will have to pay for a VoIP service, unless you have a Google Voice phone number).
6)Click "Accept" on the 911 pop up window.
7)Select "freephoneline" from the list.
8)If you're using Freephoneline for 911 service, then ensure "Use This Service for Emergency 911 Calls" is selected.
9)Fill in Username and Password (provided by FPL after logging in at https://www.freephoneline.ca/showSipSettings; SIP Usename and SIP password).
10) Click "save"


I was reviewing your post and saw that it seems that one can go thru obitalk or IP address but not both.
correct
Since obitalk.com seems to ask for $10 (eventually outside of my warranty period) I would want perhaps to start to do manually.
They only charge $10 USD for updating firmware via the Obitalk web portal outside of your warranty period (and if you to email or call them for technical support outside of the warranty period). That's it. There's two other ways of updating firmware.

You can still use the web portal to do whatever you want, after updating firmware, outside of the warranty period.

Can You give me a link that can guide me?
Visit https://www.obitalk.com/info/faq/OBi202 ... b-from-WAN

http://forum.fongo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=16090
(For manual setup)

or

http://forum.fongo.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=16196 (use this if you're not using your own router; that is, if you were provided a crummy modem/router combo from your ISP then chances are this guide is going to work better for you)
(for manual setup)

Edit: Should you encounter one-way audio issues or dead air, visit merged-freephoneline-ca-free-local-soft ... st24955445
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Mar 3, 2002
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BestFind wrote:
Feb 12th, 2016 7:25 pm
Since obitalk.com seems to ask for $10 (eventually outside of my warranty period) I would want perhaps to start to do manually.
You may need to do the following in order access the OBi202 via IP: https://www.obitalk.com/info/faq/OBi202 ... b-from-WAN

By the way, if you don't disable Obitalk Service (in addition to other settings), Obihai can remotely upgrade firmware on your device without your permission, in the middle of a storm with power flickering, while you're out somewhere. If the power goes out in the middle of a firmware upgrade, you run the risk of wrecking your ATA. Do you want a bricked device? I don't. A UPS might be a good idea, by the way (http://www.newegg.ca/UPS/SubCategory/ID-72. Doesn't have to be from Newegg. Tons of places sell them).

If firmware can be upgraded remotely, Obihai has access to your ATA and can make changes. That's fine if you need technical support. It's not fine if you're into privacy.

After 1 year is up, in order to continue using Obitalk.com to upgrade firmware, you'll need to pay a $10 USD annual fee. However, you don't need to pay if you upgrade firmware manually. Best to learn now how to do it manually, unless, of course, you like paying annual fees.

There's two ways to update firmware for free even if the ATA is out of warranty:

A. Dialing ***6 (and then pressing "1" if an update is available)

http://www.obihai.com/docs/OBiProvisioningGuide.pdf (page 15)

This is a faster method than using the Obitalk web portal since you don't have to log into anything.

B. Manually updating firmware via the device:
http://www.obihai.com/docs/OBiDeviceAdminGuide.pdf (page 43)

Also found after visiting http://www.obihai.com/docs-downloads and clicking on "OBi Device Firmware"


New firmware releases offer new options that sometimes aren't quickly added to the web portal. Consequently, imo, it's best to stop relying on the web portal. You can (and, imo, should) use the Obitalk.com portal for initial setup (and keep in mind that you must use the web portal to activate Google Voice on your ATA), but eventually, people should learn to stop using it, in my opinion--unless, of course, you want to use OBiExtras ($4.99/month USD service). I don't.


To ensure Obihai and a ITSP provider can't, without your permission, update your device's firmware remotely, you must do the following (all three steps):

1. Dial ***1, and enter the IP address you're told into your web browser

2. Navigate to System Management-->Auto Provisioning

a) For Auto Firmware Update ---> ensure method is disabled

b) For ITSP Provisioning ---> change method to disabled (uncheck default box)

c) For OBiTalk Provisioning--->change method to disabled (uncheck default box)
Keep in mind changes made in Obitalk.com web portal will no longer transfer to your device
after this change is made.

(submit)

3. Navigate to Voice Services-->OBiTALK Service-->Obitalk service Settings
a) uncheck enable and uncheck the default box
You will not be able to call other Obihai devices using their respective Obitalk numbers after making this change. Also the OBi Echo test will no longer work if you disable OBiTALK Service.

(submit/reboot)

Credit goes to Pianoguy for teaching me about this issue.

Anyway, again, you'll find a lot of info over here: newegg-ca-obi200-39-99cad-obi202-59-99c ... k-1882793/
Member
Dec 24, 2010
235 posts
162 upvotes
Brossard, Qc
Thanks so much.

I followed your steps and everything work like a charm.

I do have 2 more questions.

1. I want to now port over my Bell land line number. I know how to do it, however FPL says it would take 12-14 days to complete. How do I know when this is done? Would FPL advises that my land number is now on FPL?

2. I have a long distance provider(Call Select) attached to my Bell landline for long distance calls. Does this link gets broken when I move to FPL? How do I know when I dial 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx or 011-44 etc that FPL is now carrying the call and charge me instead of Call Select?

Thank you again. I feel a new sense of freedom from being slave to Bell in all these years (41 years!). Really was forced to look at alternatives from Bell ruthless and undeserved escalation of fees every year/quarter!
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Dec 7, 2012
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GTHA
BestFind wrote:
Feb 12th, 2016 9:32 pm
1. I want to now port over my Bell land line number. I know how to do it, however FPL says it would take 12-14 days to complete. How do I know when this is done? Would FPL advises that my land number is now on FPL?
FPL will email you to let you know your phone number transfer is complete.
from http://support.freephoneline.ca/entries ... r-porting-
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Mar 3, 2002
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BestFind wrote:
Feb 12th, 2016 9:32 pm
Thanks so much.
I recommend testing with an incoming call to your FPL number.
I have a long distance provider(Call Select) attached to my Bell landline for long distance calls. Does this link gets broken when I move to FPL?
Yes
How do I know when I dial 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx or 011-44 etc that FPL is now carrying the call and charge me instead of Call Select?
Well, the call won't complete unless you add Worid Credits to your FPL account first. So don't add credits, try a call outside of FPL's free calling area, and wait for the error message that says the call is not covered by your tarrif plan.

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