Vinod Kurup

Hospitalist/programmer in search of the meaning of life

Aug 21, 2020 - 2 minute read - Comments - homelab phone

Using an OBi110 for VOIP service

I set up an OBi110 device to provide a landline at home. OK, it’s not a land line, it’s a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) line, but it performs a similar function. We’ve always had a landline. Our cell phone coverage is spotty at times and ever since Mala started working from home, she needs to have a reliable phone line for her global conference calls.

The problem is that Spectrum was charging us $44.95 per month plus taxes, which took it near $50 every month. I considered a few options including:

  • MagicJack
  • Ooma
  • I looked at a few others… can’t remember them all

In the end, I settled on buying an ATA device and then connecting it to a cheaper VOIP service. I chose voip.ms which has been great so far.

One Time Costs:

  • OBi110 ATA device: $19.90
  • voip.ms setup fee: $0.40
  • voip.ms e911 setup fee: $1.50

Monthly Costs:

  • voip.ms fee for an incoming phone number: $0.85
  • voip.ms e911 monthly fee: $1.50

Per-Minute Costs:

  • voip.ms incoming: $0.009 per minute

I’ll have to keep an eye on my monthly per-minute costs because there is an unlimited plan that is $4.25 per month, which I’ll switch to if I use more than that per month. In any case, this is MUCH cheaper than Spectrum.

Now, if you do any research about the OBi110 device, you’ll see everyone telling you not to buy it because it is out of service and doesn’t support Google Voice. This is true, ObiTalk doesn’t support the device anymore. When it was supported by the company, you could just dial a special code on your phone and it would do all the set up for you. Since it’s not supported, that procedure doesn’t work anymore. But you can manually configure the device with the excellent docs from voip.ms, and for a geek like me that was not bad. And yes, you can’t link a Google Voice number to the device, but I didn’t want to do that anyway. I think if you wanted to keep using a google voice number, you could probably get pretty close by putting a different number on your device (through voip.ms) and then pointing Google Voice at that number. Incoming calls would work fine in that way, but I’m not sure about outgoing calls. If you want to seamlessly use Google Voice on an ATA device, then OBi110 isn’t for you. You’ll need the OBI202 (which was out of stock when I was looking).

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