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How to switch to voip and ditch your home phone bill forever

Are you tired of spending a lot of money on home phone bills? Do you want to make your telecommunications supplier obsolete and save your hard earned cash? Here is how to switch to VoIP and ditch your home phone bill forever.

How This Works

The most current method of linking to the outside world through your home phone is through VoIP. It provides quality service and affordable price. Many internet packages come with a VoIP bundle.

To keep your home line in operation, you will have to part with between $200-600 yearly. Efforts have been made to reduce telecommunications costs by trialing different bridging and VoIP techniques. The following directions show you how to combine internet connection, an affordable Obi hardware, and Google Voice account to have affordable calling rates.

How to switch to voip and ditch your home phone bill forever

Things to have; An Ethernet cable, a corded/cordless telephone, a suitable OBi100,OBi110 or OBi202 model, Google voice account (available for free),broadband Internet Access, a telephone cable(RJ11),Anveo account($12/year).

There are various VoIP providers that you can configure manually to work with the OBi device. Google Voice is preferred because it charges $0.01per minute when you are calling internationally and is readily available in most countries.

How to Set up Google Voice and Configure OBi

  • Login to google voice.
  • Accept the terms and conditions.
  • Get a Google voice phone number.
  • Use a phone number that works in the US as a forwarding number.
  • Google voice will give you a call on the forwarding number.
  • Key in the two digit code for confirmation.
  • Choose your Google Voice phone number.
  • To activate this service, make a Google Voice call within the Google Voice Portal.

Start connecting Google Voice with the OBi Device

Plug the OBi device into your phone and data network; boot the device by plugging in the transformer and update the firmware, then register for an account with OBi. Confirm the email sent from OBi and Click on “Add Device”. Dial the registration code (e.g. 56789) OBi will supply you with, and then hang up when you receive an automatic response.

Next configure the OBi device through the portal. The device serial number, MAC address and OBi number will be prepopulated automatically for you. You need to give the device a name. Then, choose a password, insert a PIN (4 digits) before tapping the icon that says “Save Changes.”

Now it is time to link the Google Voice with OBi device

  • Click the icon ‘Google Voice Set Up’.
  • Give your account a name.
  • Check “Make this the primary line to call out from” and “Google Voicemail Notification.”
  • Add a local area code.
  • Insert your username and password on Google Voice.
  • Click “Submit”.
  • Wait for five minutes for the configuration to be completed.

When the status indicator shows “connected”, start testing the connection. Use the handset linked to your OBi device to call a friend. You will be surprised by the amount of money that you will save. You will never again incur phone call bills again.

At this juncture, you have fully converted your home phone to a free VoIP system with all the amenities your phone company charges you for. It is time ditch phone bills and start enjoying free long distance and local calls.

How to switch to voip and ditch your home phone bill forever

How To Switch To VoIP And Ditch Your Home Phone Bill Forever

Are you tired of spending a lot of money on home phone bills? Do you want to make your telecommunications supplier obsolete and save your hard earned cash? Here is how to switch to VoIP and ditch your home phone bill forever. How This Works The most current method of linking to the outside world …

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If you’re sick of paying for home phone service, you can convert your home phones to use the internet for calls—also known as Voice Over IP (VoIP). Our friends at the How-To Geek show us how to set it up from start to finish.

We’ve talked about OBi adapters before, in our Hive Five on internet calls , but if you’ve been waiting to take the leap, the How-To Geek’s guide will take you through every step of the process. You can use any VoIP provider you want, but they’ve gone with Google Voice for all its awesome features—but non-US users have a lot of choices too. All you’ll need is an OBi adapter (which costs anywhere between $38 and $75), a few cables and your old corded or cordless telephones. Hit the link to check out the guide.

Five Best Ways to Use a Regular Phone for Internet Calls

If you’re ready to cut the cord to your traditional landline telephone and use your broadband…

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DISCUSSION

I’ve been using Google Voice for about 18 months, but lately I’m running into situations where I didn’t get a text message that everyone else got – because the sender used an iPhone and sent a mass text, which went out as an MMS. So everyone else knows what’s going on but me. This, combined with the fact that I never get picture messages, is making me want to ditch Google Voice – but I love the web interface for texting.

Do you have any work-arounds to address this issue (apart from giving out my actual phone’s number?) The “beta” tag on Google Voice is clearly never getting removed, there have barely been any improvements on Google Voice over the past year.

Alternatively, if there are any better alternatives to Google Voice, I would definitely consider them strongly!

How to switch to voip and ditch your home phone bill forever

With the challenging financial realities of the rising cost of living, making ends meet is a monthly struggle for 76% of South Africans who end up with ‘more month than money’ (TymeBank, World Wide Worx Survey: 2018). Being more than mere convenience, switching to Voice-over-IP (VoIP) can help you reduce costs and enjoy free local and long distance calling with a whole-house landline without the bill. With the call clarity advantage of VoIP, it is a good time to make the switch from a traditional provider to a VoIP solution. We discuss the essential steps involved in ditching the phone bill and switching to VoIP below.

VoIP versus a traditional landline

Essentially, there are three options to get a phone service into your home: a traditional landline through your local phone provider, a mobile phone bridge that extends your cellular plan to your home phone system, and a Voice-over-IP (VoIP) system. A landline comprises the use of a copper phone line to connect your home to a phone network whereas, VoIP technology involves the conversion of analogue voice calls into a digital format conveyed over the Internet. Typically, consumers need a broadband Internet connection and an adapter to connect their phone lines to a Router to make use of VoIP. A VoIP system is linked to your Internet and routes your phone calls to a regular telephone grid.

Determine how many lines you will need

Having a clear idea of user numbers before switching over makes certain decisions during the selection process easier. So, the first step in setting up a VoIP connection is to figure out how many lines you will need based on the number of users you plan on having. It will also help you determine which features are priorities and whether or not your Internet connection can support your expected call volumes.

Make sure your home Internet connection is fast enough

Once you have determined the number of users, you need to assess whether your Internet connection will handle VoIP for the anticipated users. Lack of sufficient network and data bandwidth against the number of users can result in poor call quality and dropped calls that accompany an insufficient connection. It will also allow you to anticipate if you need to upgrade your Internet connection to accommodate VoIP. A broadband Internet connection is needed to provide the minimum bandwidth for VoIP calls.

Set a VoIP budget

The various wide-ranging features that VoIP offers may be very enticing when looking at the different add-ons and bonuses you can use. Setting your budget will help keep you grounded and ensure that you do not over-reach in terms of your monthly expenditure. Consider paying annual fees to benefit from monthly savings.

If you want to ditch your home service but keep your number, you can park it at Google for a one-time fee.

How to switch to voip and ditch your home phone bill forever

It costs $20 to port your landline number to Google Voice — but you’ll have to move it to a mobile carrier before you can do that.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Still hanging onto your home phone? Worse, still paying for it?

I suspect this is pretty common. It’s a hassle to give up a landline, if only because that number you’ve had for so many years is “on file” at so many places. It’s your home number — and you need to keep that, right?

The number, yes. But the service? Well, that’s another matter. By porting that number to Google Voice, you can keep your home number and actually make it a little more versatile. You can also stop paying extra for it — probably.

How much is your landline costing you?

I know from an informal social media poll that some folks out there still have plain old telephone service (or a POTS) and are still paying anywhere from $30-$80 per month. Yikes.

Assuming you have reliable and speedy internet service, you could switch to a voice-over-IP (VoIP) phone system like Ooma. The Ooma Telo ($70 at Amazon) box plugs into your router and then delivers basic home-phone service — with your same number — for free. Ooma Premier adds a bunch of bells and whistles for $10 per month — still way cheaper than most POTS options.

If your home number is bundled with your cable or internet, however, it might not be costing you that much. Or, to think about it another way, you might not save anything by unbundling it from your service plan. It’s worth a phone call to find out.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about cutting the cord anyway? If you’re ditching two out of your three bundled services, now you’re probably looking at a lower monthly bill. (Not in the mood to haggle with your cable company? A service such as BillFixers, Billshark or Shrinkabill will do it for you — for a fee, of course.)

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How to switch to voip and ditch your home phone bill forever

How to switch to voip and ditch your home phone bill forever

Why Google Voice?

What’s the advantage of moving your home number to Google Voice? For starters, it’s free — at least, it has been since 2009. Is there a chance Google could start charging for it? Absolutely, but you can cross that bridge when you come to it.

The key advantage to Google Voice is its versatility. You can route incoming calls to one or more other numbers — like, say, every family member’s mobile phone. That means you can receive home-phone calls even when you’re not home.

You can also set up voicemail so that messages are transcribed to text messages or delivered by email. There’s even a call-recording option, though it only works for incoming calls.

OK, but does all this mean you can no longer use the cordless phone system that’s been a household staple for all these years? Actually, it’s possible to keep that hardware in the loop — keep reading to find out how.

Why not Google Voice?

There’s one important concern: You can’t use Google Voice for 911 calls. So although you’re keeping your number, giving up your landline means you’ll need to use your mobile phone or some other method to dial emergency services.

Also, if you currently have a Google Voice number that you’re using for other purposes, porting your landline will override that number. (If that’s the case, it might be better to set up a new account with a new Google Voice number that you won’t mind losing.)

Can you make the move?

There’s a bit of a technical hurdle to moving your home phone number to Google Voice: The service can’t port in numbers from landlines or VoIP services. (But you should still check Google’s number-porting page to see if maybe your number is already eligible.)

It can port numbers from mobile carriers, though. So the trick is to first move your landline number to a mobile carrier, then move it to Google Voice.

By all accounts, the best way to do that is to buy a T-Mobile SIM card, create a new account, port the landline number to that account, then make your move to Google Voice.

Google Assistant 101: Get to know Google’s voice-activated helper

How to switch to voip and ditch your home phone bill forever

How to switch to voip and ditch your home phone bill forever

Rather than walk you through each step of that process, I’m going to send you to Obihai’s straightforward tutorial for porting a nonmobile number to Google Voice. And the reason I’ve chosen that particular tutorial is that Obihai also makes an inexpensive device you might find useful after the switch. See the next section for further details.

Once you get your landline number transferred to a mobile carrier, Google charges a one-time $20 porting-in fee. Before you perform that final step, you’ll need to make sure your Google Voice number is linked to a phone number other than your landline. (You link numbers in the Google Voice settings. I recommend linking to your mobile phone, at least for now.)

OK, it’s ported to Google Voice — now what?

This Obihai adapter makes your Google Voice number accessible via your home phone system.

After the porting process is complete, you’ll want to return to settings and forward incoming calls to one or more other numbers. (This could include an office line, for example, but most likely you’ll want calls to go straight to your cell, and maybe other family members’ as well.)

Another option: Let calls to your landline number ring your cordless phone system, just like they did before. You can do this by installing an Obihai adapter such as the popular Obi200 ($50 at Amazon). It plugs into your router, much like the aforementioned Ooma, then your phone system’s base station plugs into the adapter. Now you can do incoming and outgoing calls pretty much the same as always — but without monthly fees.

If you’ve already made the move from landline to Google Voice, hit the comments and share your experiences.

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How to switch to voip and ditch your home phone bill forever

The way people use home phone services is changing and many of us will eventually end up replacing our old analogue voice service with a Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) alternative, which uses your broadband ISPs internet connection to make calls. But how do you set it up and move (port) your number? We explain.

Firstly, a little context is required. According to Ofcom, during 2012 UK people made a total of 103 billion minutes of landline calls and this has since fallen to just 54 billion in 2017 (here). Much of this change, which has had a negative impact on fixed line call revenues, is due to consumers making greater use of Mobile phones, internet messaging (Whatsapp, Facebook etc.) and VoIP services.

On top of that the roll-out of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP / FTTH) based ultrafast broadband networks across the United Kingdom will eventually result in the retirement of old copper phone lines, which for many decades have been used to carry analogue phone (voice) signals (PSTN / POTS).

As a result of all this many operators around the world are now in the process of switching to a broadband-by-default approach. In other words, in the future you will only buy a new fixed line for broadband and the voice service will become optional (i.e. supplied via VoIP over an internet connection).

Why VoIP?

Aside from the fact that fixed lines will all inevitably adopt an all-IP network approach (as above), there are also plenty of other reasons for why you might want to use VoIP. The biggest one is cost because the price of making a call over an internet connection tends to be significantly cheaper than via a traditional fixed line or even mobile plan, particularly if you’re contacting somebody in a different country.

For example, the standard charges for calling Pakistan from a normal UK landline or mobile can vary between around £1 to £2 per minute (less with special discounts). By comparison the same call over a VoIP network may only cost you around 10-12 pence per minute and it could even be free if the end-user is using the same VoIP platform as you are (VoIP to VoIP calls on the same platform are usually free).

A good VoIP platform will also give you a wide selection of different ways to access their network. For example, you may be able to install special Software (Apps) on your Smartphone and Laptop, or you could even make VoIP calls over your old analogue phone handset (requires SIP details – see further below for details). In short, you can use your VoIP phone number almost anywhere there’s an internet connection.

The other reason is that many VoIP platforms will throw in a lot of useful features for no extra cost, which might otherwise attract a cost on an old copper landline. A good provider will thus give you access to things like Caller Display, VoiceMail, Call Divert, International Call Barring, Anonymous Call Blocking and much more.

However for home broadband users the best advantages is that you’ll no longer need to worry about the inevitable admin hassle of having to tell everybody your new phone number, which often occurs when swapping between certain fixed line networks or during house moves into a different telephone exchange area. By porting your home number to VoIP you can keep it separate from all that.

Finally, most VoIP providers won’t lock you in to a long contract term (standard 30 day contracts are much more common).

The Confusing State of VoIP

The concept of VoIP is easy to understand. Sadly the market and terminology that exists around it, which is filled to the brim with a plethora of sometimes wildly different choices, can easily create confusion. As if to make matters worse, the process of moving an existing home phone number to VoIP isn’t well understood by ordinary users and can even vary, depending upon the network platforms involved.

Among the many things we had to switch to our new home was our cable TV connection which also includes our internet connection. Since the cable provider is the same where we moved it would only be a matter of letting the cable company know about the new location so they can send a technician to set everything up.

When my wife called up the cable company the salesperson offered a cable/internet phone line as part of a package with cable service and the broadband internet which would save us money on our phone bill. Sounded good and we would also get a few months free of premium channels. We were also told that we would get to keep our old phone number which is what really sold it for us. We didn’t want to have to change our number if we could avoid it.

The technician comes on the day appointed. He did a great job putting in the new cable line and setting everything up, especially since we had boxes all over the place.

As he’s testing the phone line he tells me what the new phone number will be….WHAT. We’re not supposed to get a new number. Tech guy says there’s nothing he can do and that I would need to call the cable company. Ughh.

I call up the cable company.

At first they don’t even see on the order that we were supposed to have our phone number ported over. After much complaining I’m told that I’ll be put on with a supervisor who may be able to help. Let me pause for a sec – ever notice how some companies have the worst music while you are on hold? And it just repeats and repeats to the point where it’s stuck in your head the rest of the day? Anyway, 10-15 minutes later I’m still waiting for someone to pick up the line. I’ll hang up and call back going through the entire process again. This time I get to speak to a supervisor who tells me that my number can’t be brought over because it’s in a different rate center. I let her know that if we had known this we would not have signed up and that the salesperson should have told us the details. She tells me there may be something she could do but she would have to speak to her tech team and call me back the next day. It was well past five at this point so I said ok.

The next day comes and goes and I get no call from the cable company. I would have called them in the afternoon but things were hectic that day.

The next, next day I call back and go through all of the phone choices and salespeople again. This time I’m put through with a person in the tech area. This person again explains that they can’t transfer the number because it’s in a different rate center (can someone tell me what a rate center is. ). The number is available to transfer but the phone company is not allowing it.

Ok, this is a little more information. Maybe we’re getting somewhere? He also suggests that I try to have the phone company transfer our number to our new home first. If we could do that there may be a better chance that the cable company could transfer the number to their service.

So now I’m calling our phone company.

We didn’t cancel our service yet because we expected it to be taken care of by the cable company. I give the phone associate my information and that we would need to have our number transferred to our new location.

She looks up the information and then tells me the number can’t be brought over because it’s in a different exchange area. You know in a phone number, 555-1234, the 555 part is the exchange area. Where we moved to has a different exchange area so they can’t let us keep the old number. Ahhh, this makes sense now. Why couldn’t the cable company explain it this way.

OK, we can’t keep the number.

I cancel our phone service with the phone company. At this point we’re keeping the cable phone number since their service will save us money and we would have to get a new number anyway.

After many phone calls, many days, and a whole lot of frustration were back to square one but at least now I know why. The cable company could have prevented a lot of this frustration by being more upfront with the possibility that we would get a new phone number and by better explaining why we couldn’t get our old number. Really, they could have explained the whole situation to me in five minutes.

If you are considering changing your phone service make sure you know all of the details! If you are in the same home then you wouldn’t encounter the same issue I had with a new number but if you are moving you should find out whether your number will change.

So far we haven’t had any problems with our new phone service. I have to admit though that we have been using our cell phones a lot and not many people know our new number yet.

One interesting detail is that when someone calls the number appears on the television as a caller ID. It’s a strange thing to hear the phone ring and see a number pop up on the TV!

Thinking about relying solely on cellular data for home internet access? Here are a few things to consider before you take that step.

How to switch to voip and ditch your home phone bill forever

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Our phones have become so much more than just communication devices. Consider this — from mobile banking and connecting with friends and family over social media to working remotely via Google Drive and accessing email from the Starbucks line — it’s a wonder any of us still have a desktop at all.

Factor in the compact size and portability of the average smartphone and many of us are finding we don’t have much use for a clunky desktop or laptop anymore.

But can that little magical friend in your pocket serve as even more — and provide you with a way to bypass the often-high price of home internet service? Is that practical? (After all, you’re already paying for internet data with your phone plan, so sharing that while you’re at home seems a wise and efficient choice, right?)

So, can you use your phone data for home internet?

The short answer? Yes. You can use your smartphone to access an internet connection for your laptop, for example. You simply have to set up Wi-Fi tethering, or your “personal hotspot,” on any Android or iOS phone.

Great! you may be thinking. Problem solved. Money saved in my monthly budget.

Not so fast. Before you call up to cancel that service, you really want to think long and hard about what you use the internet for. According to Lifehacker, there are a couple of things you want to be mindful of before you ditch that connection, full stop:

Speed

Accessing the internet through your phone’s Wi-Fi is likely going to produce far slower connection speeds than the much more powerful signals of a router. Even the cheapest level of internet access from your provider is likely going to deliver speeds far superior to any phone.

Huge video viewer? That becomes a serious roadblock for you. While you’ll still be able to access streaming services like Netflix, downloads will take a long time, and that goes for system updates and uploading photos or other large data to the cloud. In short, it’ll all just take forever.

Are there other ways to cut your bill?

Take advice from a senior technology editor at Lifehacker and keep your fast internet, but find other ways to reduce your cellphone bill — or, cut back on other bills. You could always consider, for example, using Google Voice or Zoom to make and receive calls when you’re at home. Then you can shrink your phone services to reduce data and keep unlimited talking and texting.

It’s really just a matter of what you’re willing to do without and what your needs are at home. If you’re someone who scrolls Instagram for your entire train commute to and from work, you’d have to give that up under the above scenario — and maybe you’re not willing to take it that far just yet.

Pop Quiz

Is cancelling at-home internet and using your cellular data a good choice for you?

Using a hotspot drains your phone battery. Do you have a newer model, a reliable phone?

  1. You bet. I’m all set.
  2. Sadly, no. My phone constantly dies on me — it’s on my list to get a new one when I can afford it!

Are you looking to save some money at all costs, and you’re willing to make some sacrifices at home?

  1. Yes. I’ll do anything to cut back on my monthly costs.
  2. No, I won’t change my habits.

Do you mostly just send a few attachment-less emails and shop a bit online?

  1. Yes. I don’t really use my internet a ton when I leave work.
  2. No, I scroll social apps and stream lots of videos.

If you answered 1. for much of the above, you may want to consider cutting the proverbial cord at home and using your phone’s data. If not, consider that it’s a big jump and you may want to stick it out for now.

Connect with our experts on Facebook and Twitter to compare phone and internet plans to make sure you’re getting the right service to fit your needs. And be sure to stay plugged into our Resource Center for the latest developments on when or how to cut the cord.

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Even if you hold your laptop up to your face like a flip phone, talking into your computer is lame. You want to use Google Voice like a real phone—with buttons and stuff. We’ll tell you how.

Getting Started

If you don’t have it already, you’re going to need a Google Voice account. It’s easy. If you live in the US, you can