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Choosing a Google Voice number - none available in my area code.....?

Started by tuna, February 03, 2018, 01:11:43 PM

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tuna

I bought an OBi 200, hooked it up, and went through the basic set-up procedures as outlined in the pamphlet that is enclosed with the OBi 200.  When I view my phone's status after logging in on OBiTalk, my SP1 is Google Voice and it is basically configured.  I finally found a link to obtain a Google Voice number, but when I enter/suggest my area code, it tells me that there are no Google Voice numbers available in that area code.  I did find availability in a different area code/city within my state:

Choose a Google Voice number   https://voice.google.com/signup

So, is it OK to select a number that's nowhere near where I live?  Any untoward consequences of doing that?

My needs are really basic -- I want to "cut the cord" -- I currently have the triple package from Spectrum, including home phone service.  There is nothing fancy about my set up.  I don't care about call forwarding, linking to other (cell) phones, or anything.  I just want it to ring when call, and the answering machine to handle the call if I'm not there.  Occasional FAX via my AIO printer combo.  Getting an entirely new number is best, as I want to ensure that the OBi Phone will function well before I cut the cord; I won't mind informing all contacts, etc., of the change.  (BTW, likewise, I will do a trial of sling tv also before cutting the cord; I want to avoid any down time when I make the transition.  This is where I'm coming from.)

So, what's your best advice on getting a Google Voice number in my situation?  Thanks.

GPz1100

You can get a number in any area code you want.  I don't know of any drawbacks other than using it to call local numbers may results in the call sent to vm because some people ignore out of area numbers.

If your ultimate goal is to port your land line into gv you may run into issues.

Valid your landline # here - https://www.google.com/voice/porting .

If it says "Ooops! We currently don't support porting from your carrier. We apologize and are working on adding support for more carriers." then you can likely port it in by first porting it to a mobile provider.

If it says "Ooops! This number appears to be from an area we don't currently support.", then you're SOL.


tuna

Thanks.  Well, it's unfortunate that there are no Google Voice numbers within my area code (I'm wondering, "Why not?").  I'm not really sure of all the ramifications of porting, or even what porting really is.  At this moment in time I want to set up my OBi separately and with a separate phone number.  I don't really have a true land line, it's just phone service over my cable; I have a cable modem that also has phone output.  Once I confirm that the OBi works (entirely independently from my Spectrum cable phone), then I will cut the cord with Spectrum, receiving and paying only for internet service alone (no more cable TV and cable phone).  Right now it seems to work -- it's set up with basic configuration, all three LEDs on the OBi 200 are green, and I get a dial tone on my OBi-connected phone.  I don't mind having a new number and having to notify a bunch of people, businesses, etc., of my new number.  So, my own na├»ve way of thinking is that I'm not porting....  I'm a tech nitwit, and I just want simple, trouble-free service.  (I'd stay with Spectrum, but they've been gouging me for the past few years, and every year the rates go up.  Enough is enough.  My wife and I do, however, want a "home-based phone," so I did some "research using Amazon reviews, and it seemed that OBi was the best value and relatively trouble-free.)  So, I guess I'm "good to go" with any in-state number....

GPz1100

What most of us do is use gv for outbound so proper caller id is maintained.  For inbound (received) calls, they are forwarded from GV to a free callcentric DID.  This gets configured in GV simply as a forwarding number.  Several benefits. 

1) You get free caller id name
2) Better spam management
3) E911 service can be purchased ($1.50/month).

Some who are glued to their cell phones don't really care for additional 911 service.  For under $2 a month I think it's cheap insurance.

https://www.callcentric.com/dids/free_phone_number

Note, the free number will be limited to a NY area code, but that's irrelevant.  Other than for forwarding purposes this number will never be shared with anyone.

tuna

Thank you for your replies.  You make things sound so simple and easy.  I went to the Callcentric web site via the link you posted.  I want to say that both OBi and, more so, the Callcentric web site, provide awfully obtuse information.  I mean, proper use of acronyms dictates that they be introduced at the first mention of the entire term referenced.  I had to do a web search to learn what "DID" meant....  This is reminiscent of the early days of home computing, when programmers would write the user manuals, and because of their vast and intimate knowledge, would leave all sorts of stuff out, assuming that, "everyone knows that."

I will try to make sense of that Callcentric option.  If it gets too frustrating, I'll look into Ooma (or whatever that line of internet service phones & service is called), and if that is as complex as OBi, then I think I'll investigate using a cell phone that is always on in a (charging, etc.) cradle as my home phone; I think I've seen some sort of cradle that works with Bluetooth to provide answering machine and speaker features....  A one-year Tracfone talk/data/texts (400 minutes each service feature, often tripled depending on the phone purchased) refill card costs $100/year.  Not as cheap as OBi service, but at least I know how to use one of those....

Thanks again.

Oh, I forgot to say that Callcentric has a page of supported devices, including the OBi 200/202, but provides set-up, etc., information for the 202 only....  Part of my somewhat frustration.

GPz1100

There is definitely a learning curve to getting the most out of the obi/google voice arrangement. It took me some time to make sense of it all. I spent lots of time searching this site to get a better understanding of how the obi box works, integrating it with google voice and other sip providers.

We did try ooma.  Tried it for a whole two weeks before I thought it was crap and way too limited.  It is however a very turnkey solution for the basic user.  The hardware is tied to the service and both work together, much like vonage.  The amount of granular control is limited, and you do have to pay extra for basic options like caller id name.

First and foremost there's the obi device (200, 202, 212) and google voice configuration.  In it's most fundamental setup (which is what you can get with the obitalk portal config) you get inbound and outbound calling, number only caller id, call waiting, and some other features that I don't use (3way calling, call conferencing), etc using google voice. 

Once that's configured another layer can be added, callcentric.  Now, google voice is only used for outbound calls and inbound calls are forwarded to callcentric's free NY DID (direct inward dial) number.  This gives you the benefit of having calling id name and better spam control.  CC also provides e911 service.  This adds another layer because only certain numbers (911) should be dialed through the call centric profile while other numbers are dialed through google voice. 

There are a number of threads on here detailing how to set everything up.  Trick is putting in the time to find, read and understand what has to be done to achieve this. It's not rocket science but for the novice it's not a 5 minute job either.  All comes down to how much effort you want to put into this.

We wanted to cut the landline cord with our provider but keep service functionality as much as possible.  Between the obi200 and 202 (both are practically identical except for the 202 supports 2 separate phone devices plugged into it at the same time) we now have the main line, a spare line, and a dedicated fax line.  911 service is available from either line (main or spare).  Also, our spam calls have gone from 4-5 a day to 1-2 a month. We also have texting ability on all lines.  Detailed call logs of all calls made/received/missed.  Total one time costs were around $ 130.  $100 for the two boxes on sale, $30 to port the main line into google voice.  Monthly cost is just $2 for the callcentric 120 min package (which includes 911). 

Other than for a firmware upgrade on both units back in october, the main line obi hasn't been touched in a good 8 months or longer.  The obi202 (spare and fax) recently had its firmware updated to a third party firmware for better google voice control.  This is not required nor recommended unless you understand the risks and benefits.

Lavarock7

Although there might not be a number in ones area code, sometimes there are overlay area codes (multiple are codes for the same geographical area).
My websites: Kona Coffee: http://itskona.com and Web Hosting: http://planetaloha.info
A simplified Voip explanation: http://voip.planet-aloha.com

tuna

GPz1100 - Thanks for your detailed replies.  I will read up on OBi setup and familiarize myself with basic phone service, incl. the lingo.  I guess part of my disappointing surprise is that this all seemed so simple as I read up, selected and purchased the OBi unit:  hook it up, obtain a phone number, and then get the optional 911 service add-on (Anveo).  (With Spectrum, you just call and give them your MAC number for the telephone modem, and you're all set.)

Well, I'll postpone any further comment until I'm able to engage in a more informed conversation.  Thanks again.

tuna

Eureka (almost) !!!

I did an internet search just to see if I could find some more elementary explanations of things; found a few YouTube videos - not especially helpful, but good for some familiarization.  I found this article:  

https://www.howtogeek.com/136959/how-to-switch-to-voip-and-ditch-your-home-phone-bill-forever/

It's a tutorial.  I read it and decided to go for Google Voice as outlined there.  (I am not going to opt for E911 service/add on until I actually cut the cord.)  Well, it was a little confusing, as the procedures (do this, see that) didn't exactly match up.  There were a few numbers offered and I selected a Google Voice number from some town I never heard of, but it was in my state, at least.  After going in circles (not having seen anything new on my Dashboard that would indicate that my newly acquired Google Voice number had been incorporated into my OBi account), I just made a couple of phone calls, from the OBi to my home phone, from my home phone to the OBi.  Both successful.

(I finally figured out how to delete my cell phone number - used to get Voice number - as a forwarding phone number.)

Thanks again for the advice!

lilycollins9x

I think you can get the area code of a country in it. It's a pity that Callcentric has a page about supported devices, including OBi 200/202, but provides setup info, etc., only for 202....

tracyberge

 Try in a broader area or see if you can port a mobile number into your account.  If a particular geographic area has "overlay" Area Codes, be sure to search for all Area Codes that apply.