I am moving to a new apartment and want to start using telephone over my Internet connection. The two top rated products on Amazon.com are:
- Ooma Telo Free Home Phone Service, $140
- OBi110 Voice Service Bridge and VoIP Telephone Adapter, $46
Has anyone done a comparative analysis of these two products and can recommend one or the other? I don't mind paying extra $100, but I have recently seen a discussion that OBi will be supporting Google Voice, and that seems useful.
A related question: At work I am used to a Cisco IP Phone 7965, which has a large display. Is there a way to get this or a similar IP Phone with a large display working with Ooma or OBi? My Internet service will be provided by Comcast. I don't want to pay extra for a telephone service and thus I am only interested in whatever I can get out of my Internet connection.
1. Please open yrou other two identical posts and use the "Remove" button to delete them.
2. Ooma is a "closed " provider. You buy both their equipment and their service. You cannot use their equipment with other service providers or other service providers with their equipment.
3. Obihai is a Poly owned brand of Analogue Telephone Adaptors and IP telephones. The ATAs enable ordinary POTS phones to function as IP phones. While Obihai devices can, out of the box, make and receive free calls to and from other Obihai units you need to sign up for service from one or more Internet Telephony Service Providers (ITSP) to communicate with other people on ordinary phone numbers. OBi ATAs work with industry standard SIP VoIP protocol and there are hundred of ITSPs to choose from, each with their own rates and bundles. The ATAs can give you up to 4 phone numbers from any mix of ITSPs. The 202/302 have 2 phone jacks so you can have two simultaneous calls.
4. Many users are attracted to the Obihai units as the current products support consumer Google Voice which those people perceive as offering free phone service.
5. The Obi100 and OBi110 were the original Obihai devices but have been out of production for quite some time. Obihai have declared them "End of Life" meaning Obihai no longer support them. And as of some years ago they have not had (and will not have) the firmware updates necessary to handle the changes that GV have been making in that time.
6. The current ATAs are the OBi200, 202 and 212 and the 300, 302 and 312. The 3xx models are essentially the same as the 2xx equivalents except they do not support GV. The 212 and 312 are the only current OBi devices that can be connected to a POTS phone line, though it sounds like you will not want that.
7. The first OBi IP phones were the OB10x2 models. These have been superseded by the OBi2000 series. Colour screen, good quality loudspeaking operation and up to 6 phone numbers.
Quote from: ksleini on November 21, 2021, 05:14:46 AM
Is there a way to get this or a similar IP Phone with a large display working with Ooma or OBi? My Internet service will be provided by Comcast. I don't want to pay extra for a telephone service and thus I am only interested in whatever I can get out of my Internet connection.
This is what you need if you want an IP phone and also want to use Google Voice.
Although Ooma appears to be a fine company, the problem I tell people is that that is a proprietary system. That means that means that you cannot use it with other providers.
The Obi devices can interface with many other providers and with Googles voice service. While Google Voice seems to work fairly well, you get what you pay for. Being a free service, it has some issues. Still, free is great if it works for you.
With Obi devices you also can have multiple providers for inbound or outbound calls. This also allows you many other options which various providers may or may not offer. That includes multiple voicemail boxes, recordings, call directing, telemarketer blocking, follow me and multiple device simultaneous ring and time of day routing.
I have a free GoogleVoice number but also pay for other numbers for various reasons. For example, I have a special number which gets published for the domain names I own. That way the scam/spam calls which arrive through that number can be handled outside my regular call flows.
I also buy numbers to use for special events like publishing on Craigslist to test marketing a product announcement. The cost might be 40 cents to buy a number and 85 cents a month if I keep it.
I personally have multiple Obi devices (110, 200, 202 and a couple of 2182's). The latter is a nice system but a bit harder to set up all the options I want to use. However being able to put calls easily on hold, transfer calls and have multiple numbers show on the screen is very useful.
When one of our Obi110 boxes finally became useless we looked at the (then) pricing of the Obi2xx series & it was just too much - so we got a 2nd hand Ooma under warranty.
It refused to connect via our cable internet & their support was clueless - so they sent us a brand new Ooma box & blacklisted our 1st box.
The 2nd box did exactly the same things - so they sent us a 3rd, new box & told us to toss out the 2nd box.
The 3rd box did exactly the same thing UNTIL we purchased their wifi adapter, which allowed that box to connect - but unreliably.
After all the time & efforts for a month+ we gave up the Ooma idea & by then the Obi200 pricing had come down - so we got that & all has been well ever since.
The Ooma & its wifi dongle are sitting here all boxed up & collecting dust.
We also have a couple of wired phones with large screens - also collecting dust as we prefer to use cordless phones via the Obi boxes.
I would never recommend wasting money on anything from Ooma - mostly because their products are essentially unsupported.
Most of the times Obi boxes just work, all quick & easy.
No other comparison possible from what we've seen.