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Author Topic: If Obihai goes out of business, will Obi110 continue to work with Google Voice?  (Read 8065 times)
onepolarbear
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Posts: 52


« on: November 19, 2012, 06:19:39 pm »

I have read so many positive things about the Obi110 and just placed
an order today.

My primary use will be Google Voice.   From what I've read, I believe
it's necessary to set up an account at ObiTalk and configure Obi110
and Google Voice using Obitalk's website.

Let's say something happens to Obihai tomorrow and the company
goes out of business for whatever reason, will I be able to activate
the new Obi110 that I receive?  How will I configure it with Google
Voice?

Thanks!
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Rick
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 06:51:19 pm »

Raised prior on the forums and consensus was you would have a doorstop.
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Added Obi 110 December 2011
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onepolarbear
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 07:13:15 pm »

Raised prior on the forums and consensus was you would have a doorstop.

oh...  that's one expensive doorstop. Sad   (even if I only paid $32 on Amazon today)
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Ostracus
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2012, 07:37:26 pm »

Since it's Linux underneath, someone could reverse engineer the firmware.
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QBZappy
OBi110 Beta Testers
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Posts: 2299



« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2012, 07:54:55 pm »

To be fair, the OBi ATA works like any other generic ATA. If obhai went belly up it would still work. Only the features related to the Obi services would not work. Configuring the unit over the ObiTALK portal would not work, however 100% of the features are configurable using the unit web interface. The portal is missing some useful features such as call history, unit config backup, etc...
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Owner of the 1st OBi110/100 units in service in Canada & South America. 1st OBi202 on my street.
CoalMinerRetired
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2012, 08:24:10 pm »

To add to what QBzappy said...

> will I be able to activate the new Obi110 that I receive? 

You do not need the portal nor anything else from Obi to activate an Obi110 (or 100 or 202), there is no activation needed, you only need to do configuration.
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onepolarbear
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Posts: 52


« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2012, 09:48:02 pm »

To add to what QBzappy said...

> will I be able to activate the new Obi110 that I receive? 

You do not need the portal nor anything else from Obi to activate an Obi110 (or 100 or 202), there is no activation needed, you only need to do configuration.

but the *only* reason I'm getting the Obi110 is for Google Voice.... 
I can configure it to use Google Voice even if Obihai exists no more? Smiley
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QBZappy
OBi110 Beta Testers
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Posts: 2299



« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2012, 09:59:31 pm »

onepolarbear,

GV is known for making changes without giving any notice. Obihai has been able to figure out/reverse engineer the GTALK client and incorporate it inside the OBi. At the moment it is working. If GV makes other changes and if Obihai is no longer around to modify the firmware, then who knows? GV seems to be offering their service into Canada. I'm almost certain that we will get years of use with GV. Also consider that GV may not always be free.
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Owner of the 1st OBi110/100 units in service in Canada & South America. 1st OBi202 on my street.
onepolarbear
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Posts: 52


« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2012, 06:24:28 am »

onepolarbear,

GV is known for making changes without giving any notice. 

 Google still isn't saying if Google Voice domestic US calls will be free in 2013...
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Rick
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012, 08:28:45 am »

To be fair, the OBi ATA works like any other generic ATA. If obhai went belly up it would still work. Only the features related to the Obi services would not work. Configuring the unit over the ObiTALK portal would not work, however 100% of the features are configurable using the unit web interface. The portal is missing some useful features such as call history, unit config backup, etc...

I think probably 95% of the users couldn't use the web interface via the IP address.  Also, if OBi shut, this forum would shut since they pay for it.  So all this info would be gone, and we'd need to find another place - as would the users assuming they knew how.  And, when GV makes their next change after OBi shutting, firmware wouldn't change to adjust.  Therefore, doorstop.
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Rick
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 08:29:03 am »

onepolarbear,

GV is known for making changes without giving any notice. 

 Google still isn't saying if Google Voice domestic US calls will be free in 2013...

They won't until sometime in December.
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Added Obi 110 December 2011
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Lavarock7
Sr. Member
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« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2012, 09:52:06 am »

Quote from: Rick link=topic=4620.msg30258#msg30258
Also, if OBi shut, this forum would shut since they pay for it.  So all this info would be gone
[/quote

Perhaps not quite correct, but correct the users would not know where to find the info.

First, if a company goes out of business their website *may* be hosted elsewhere and might continue until the domain name or hosting account expires.

Also, current forum information is being archived at Archive.Org and their Wayback machine if you enter "http://www.obitalk.com/forum" as the website in the box.

The Wayback machine is neat if you have not tried it.
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Rick
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« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2012, 09:55:49 am »


Also, if OBi shut, this forum would shut since they pay for it.  So all this info would be gone


Perhaps not quite correct, but correct the users would not know where to find the info.

First, if a company goes out of business their website *may* be hosted elsewhere and might continue until the domain name or hosting account expires.

Also, current forum information is being archived at Archive.Org and their Wayback machine if you enter "http://www.obitalk.com/forum" as the website in the box.

The Wayback machine is neat if you have not tried it.

I think the number of people that know about the Wayback Machine is even smaller than the 5% of users that can use the OBi via their IP address...   Cheesy

Too bad Lavarock7 posted the Wayback info, and not ShermanOBi...   http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QAuOFvDjnmk/UCgaEW0x1EI/AAAAAAAAuRQ/RFMKpsWd5ZI/s1600/ShermanandPeabody.jpg
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Added Obi 110 December 2011
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Koby
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Posts: 43


« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2012, 10:28:39 am »

Amazing how certain people want to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt).

First, why are we even talking about the possibility of Obihai going out of business?  There is no indication whatsoever that this might happen anytime in the near future.

Second, even if they did, why would they not give people some warning first, and instructions for setting their devices to do manual configuration rather than using the OBiTALK portal?  It's not as though there's some reason they'd have to slink away under cover of darkness!

Third, your Obihai device would retain its existing configuration and keep working with whatever service providers you have it set up with.  The only two things you would not be able to do is to use the OBiTALK network to place and receive calls (note that has NOTHING to do with Google Voice), and use the OBiTALK portal to configure your devices.  You would still be able to manually configure your device by browsing to the device's IP address (which you can hear by dialing ***1)  but you would need the admin password to log in (which is visible in the OBiTALK portal).  If you didn't have the admin password then presumably you could factory reset the device and start from scratch.

Fourth, if you are really concerned such a thing might happen (why?), go into the OBiTALK portal and write down or otherwise save the admin password you see displayed for each of your devices.  That way you will have it in case the unthinkable happens.

And finally, even if this site went away, I'm sure some information would be available on other sites.  Examples might be BroadbandReports.com, Voxilla, the Michigan Telephone blog, the PBX in a Flash forum, etc.  There are many sites that cover VoIP and there's always the possibility that an Obihai device forum might be started on some other site.  Combine that with the information available via the aforementioned Wayback Machine and I thing that anyone with even a modicum of technical knowledge would be able to make these devices work for the foreseeable future.

I do sort of wish someone would reverse-engineer the firmware (as has been done for certain routers, resulting in alternative firmware such as DD-WRT, Tomato, etc.) so that we could get features that Obihai seems to be unwilling to provide, such as Caller ID name lookup on incoming Google Voice calls.  But the existing firmware will still be quite usable even in the unlikely event that something happens to Obihai.
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carl
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« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2012, 04:49:45 pm »

I do not think anyone is spreading FUD here. It is a legitimate concern. Smaller tech companies often go out of business without prior indications or any notice.
In such a case, Obi might be usable for a while for SIP providers but I think sooner or later most of us would have to buy another ATA. .
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CoalMinerRetired
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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2012, 06:02:43 pm »

I do not think anyone is spreading FUD here. It is a legitimate concern. Smaller tech companies often go out of business without prior indications or any notice.
In such a case, Obi might be usable for a while for SIP providers but I think sooner or later most of us would have to buy another ATA. .
I agree no one is spreading FUD here. However, I'm not so sure it's a big concern. Why is that? The people (or individual person) who started ObiHai also started two other ATA equipment suppliers. Both of those companies were bought up by much larger tech companies (Cisco being one of the buyers). So Obi is their third one. I don't know the people or the prior companies, I've read this elsewhere (dslr, etc.).
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Trev
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Posts: 25



« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2012, 08:10:59 pm »

In such a case, Obi might be usable for a while for SIP providers but I think sooner or later most of us would have to buy another ATA. .

Why sooner or later?  It wouldn't be any different than using a Sipura SPA-2000 or a Linksys SPA-2102, both of which are discontinued products with little to no support.

Unless the device physically fails, it'll still work as a regular SIP device which is certainly a well established standard for VoIP services.
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Koby
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« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2012, 11:49:07 pm »

The two previous companies were Komodo (sold to Cisco) and Sipura (sold to Linksys, which was in turn purchased by Cisco). And Trev is right; the units would continue to work.  There are probably people still using old Komodo/Cisco ATA-186's, and there are many people still using the Sipura/Linksys/Cisco products (SPA-2000, PAP2, etc.).  The only difference is that those companies never offered their own network for placing device-to-device calls, nor a web-based configuration portal that makes configuration easier and allows remote configuration of a device (particularly handy for when you have given a device to your parents, or to someone else who could never figure out how to configure such a device on their own, and you are located in another part of the country).  If Obihai went out of business, those are the things that might cease to function, however the device itself would continue to work and could still be used with any SIP-based VoIP provider or with Google Voice (at least until Google changes their protocols or something).  You'd be no worse off than if you had a Sipura SPA-2000 or a Linksys PAP-2 (and both of those devices still work if you know how to configure them) and you certainly would not be stuck with a "doorstop".  Even if you were totally technically uninclined, the device would still be worth something on FleaBay.
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giqcass
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2012, 05:37:27 pm »

I bought this device primarily for it's Google Voice capability but it's actually one of the better VOIP devices even without Google Voice.  I set my device up without using the ObiHai portal.  I found out how to set it up from a website not run by ObiHai.  If OBI went out of business I could still configure it and I would probably snap up another one just in case this one fails.  I see no reason why Google Voice functionality would stop just because ObiHai went out of business.  Personally I think it's unlikely they will go out of business any time soon with a device like this.

I own a Peek email device and they did go out of business.  At least the peek email business.  That device is now a doorstop.  When I bought it I knew it would eventually become a doorstop because it is locked in to one service.  The Obi definitely is not locked  into any one service.  The question I asked myself when I bought my Peek was "Will this device become a doorstop before I get my monies worth?"

When Peek wasn't giving us proper support the users gave each other support.  I personally took over a domain name to support one of the services and I created an alternate forum when Peeks forum was locked.  Other people also created forums for "Peeksters".   Whenever you have a community large enough users support each other.  

Now ask yourself this about the Obi.  Will the OBi become a doorstop before you get your monies worth?  How long does it need to function before you have saved money?   Undecided
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 05:41:54 pm by giqcass » Logged

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onepolarbear
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2012, 04:19:16 pm »

where is Obihai located? how is their financial situation?   
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