Obihai with Google Voice plus Ring To and MagicJack Go

For two years now, I have used Ooma as my home phone service. It’s really a great product and functions well. It has gotten good reviews on Amazon. But it does cost money to replace the hardware. This is why I have searched for some alternatives. Ring To and Google Voice are approved vendors for certain Obihai devices. In my case, I have used Obihai 200. MagicJack Go has made inroads with their mobile device apps. And they would not be expensive to replace. If you buy them on Amazon, you can purchase an inexpensive Square Trade warranty package.

First, there is some preparation one should do for Obihai

You need to open a Google Voice account and pick a phone number. Then tie a phone (i.e. your cell phone) to the Google Voice number. Install Google Hangouts and Google dialer on your Android device. Proceed to make a few calls with it.

Open up a Ring To account and get a number assigned. Install Groovip on your Android device and proceed to make a few calls with it.

The MagicJack Go is a bit trickier. They claim you can just plug it into your router and it will recognize it. Well, over the years, I have had the same router and could just plug and play Vonage, Net Duo, Ooma and Obihai devices into it and they were recognized. But for some reason, I needed to plug the MagicJack into my computer’s USB port and go through the registration. Then I could just plug the device into my router. And regardless of what the vendor says, don’t use the device as a router. Plug it behind a good router instead. I had too many problems when I first started out, using a Vonage device as a router. It just wasn’t robust enough.

So why two devices and three different services?

The Ring To will eventually be a replacement for my home phone service. I will eventually port my home phone number from Ooma to Ring To.

MagicJack Go will function as a business number, since I am a small business owner.

Google Voice will be the front end to all my numbers, for family and close friends. And it will be the preferred way for calling people, in conjunction with my cell phone service.

For a period of two months, I’m testing Obihai 200 and MagicJack Go, while I run Ooma as my main service. This way, I can run various tests and insure the service holds up.

Ooma is still better in my opinion than Vonage. And their mobile app is not all that bad. But I still think Obihai is better – as long as you go with their approved vendor list. Then it’s really not all that hard to configure and set up. Otherwise, it could be a bit geeky.

CM Security Product Review

Today I am reviewing CM Security products for Android. I don’t get any money from them for doing so. I just like the products and wish to give my feedback on them. They are are developed for the Iphone. This products are a creation of Cheetah Mobile , which is a spin off of Kingsoft

And there are some bad stuff here. As the Wiki article points out:

“Despite popularity of its Clean Master Android App, it was reported that ads promoting Clean Master manipulate Android users with deceptive tactics when browsing websites within the app’s advertising framework. In April 2014, Ferenc László Nagy from Sophos Labs has captured some pop-up ads that lead to Clean Master, warning the device has been infected with a virus.[5] Also in July 2014, by encouraging users to uninstall Google Chrome and replace it with CMCM’s own browser during Clean Master’s “clean-up” and “optimization” process, leading Google to crack down on its rogue practice which allowed Cheetah Mobile to gain unfair position in the marketplace.[6]”

But making things like this public, does prompt them to clean up things. And no, Cheetah. I have no plans to uninstall Opera Mini, Firefox or Google Chrome on Android and replace it with your browser. Nor do I believe yours is any safer than Google Chrome.

Let’s look at the products I use and they at least have four out of five stars on Google Play:

CM Launcher – This product I like it a lot. It organizes the different apps into common folders. As an example, my communicate apps like Skype and Ooma into a folder called communications. I can find Google Play and other tools in my tools folder.

Clean Master. This tool I have installed on my Windows machines, along with Ccleaner. Once a week, I run Clean Master, Ccleaner, Malwarebytes and Norton Security on my PC, to insure everything is clean and running smooth. On my Android and tablet, this tool can check for viruses, clean junk files and boost performance. The only downside on the Androids is that it earns income by ads. But they have to make money some way.

CM Security. This is a very good app and it’s very popular on Google Play. For the record, you can probably get by without a security system on Android – despite what the security companies say. But they don’t display ads for this product, nor try to sell you an upgrade. They are also well rated by AV-Test.

Battery Doctor – this actually does a couple of things. It informs me of the percentage of battery power remaining. It gives me a chance to shut down apps that consume battery power.

CM Wi-Fi – This will tell me what Wi-Fi sites are close by. It also gives me the percentage of the signal strength and the safety of the site. Both are needed qualities for public sites. And it helps going over the gig cap on mobile lines and having your data throttled.

Fake Social Media Profiles and Doing Your Homework

In the past, I have written about a romance scam, someone from Nigeria tried to pull on me. The details can be found in the following blog posts:

Take the money and run

Romance scams revisited

Then a copywriter – whose email list I subscribe to – sent me an interesting story. It’s entitled Meet “Ojuola Infotech” – the despicable man who stole my book by Chris Marlow. Apparently, some person from Nigeria stole one of her ebooks, put his name to it and tried to market it on Amazon and other sources.

Here’s where the story gets interesting. When Chris did a search on Ojuola Infotech, she came up with two identical profiles – but different photos. One was a Nigerian black man and the other was a white USA guy. It reminds me of my romance scam – which, by the way, I did not fall for. If I went to this person’s Facebook page, I saw two photos

  • One was the pretty woman who tried to start a long distance romance with me. But a Google image search of her picture found it was identical to a popular porn star.
  • The other was a black lady, dressed in a nurse’s uniform. My guess this was not a friend of hers, but the “really” photo and persona.

One mistake Chris made was not to copyright her ebook. This would be something easy to do, in the US. You can ask your local public library for help and it’s submitting an application to the US Copyright office. She did this after the fact. But it was through another company called The Trademark Company. She was then able to prove she was the author and remove it from different book dealers like Amazon Kindle.

You need to be careful about everything. For instance. I follow a blog by Douglas Ernst, mainly for his stories on superheros, Marvel and DC comics, etc. But he did a story entitled ‘Money: Master the Game': Tony Robbins gives readers a sound blueprint for financial freedom by Tony Robbins. After reading his blog post, I checked out the book through my local public library. They have gotten the book via the inter-library load system.

I started reading the book, which is very well written and entertaining. But then I decided to Google ”Money Master the game summary”. One can find a couple interesting articles:

Both give some interesting insights and perspectives into the book.

My recommendation? Read the book but do look at the analysis and rebuttals of others.

And speaking of romance scams and fake profiles. Someone tried to pull the same trick this week. They presented they were a pretty woman from France. But a quick search of the image found it belonged to a popular porn star. And they didn’t bother to put together a profile one can find on multiple social media outlets. It’s an obvious fake.

Researching Obihai as an Ooma alternative

I have had Ooma for a couple years. It is an excellent system, but my premier renewal is up in July. I need to explore and test alternatives.

One that has come up is Obihai. I used to own Obihai 100 before Google Voice pulled the plug. Now they have become an approved Obihai vendor. In addition, a service called ring.to offers free calling in the US. You just need to purchase a new Obihai device and sign up to an E911 service. And it appears I can configure both ring.to and Google Voice on Obihai 200. Not bad and it only costs around fifty dollars at Amazon. And Square Trade offers a two year warranty very cheap.

  • My first step is to purchase the device from Amazon. I’m currently awaiting the delivery.
  • My next step is to set up a ring.to account, by first installing the GrooVe IP Lite. They use ring.to as a provider. And I’ve tested it successfully.
  • The third step is to test number porting. Since I have more then one Gmail account, it’s easy to test porting a GV number to ring.to. It’s only a three dollar fee on Google.
  • Finally, I went to ring.to and asked about multiple numbers. How do you set up a primary one. The answer was to set it up in ring.to as the outbound calling number.

Well, everything went well. Next step was to think through my configuration plan and present it on ring.to and Obihai forums. Here was my presented plan:

I will shortly purchase an Obi200 or OBI202 and wish to configure GV as my primary service and Ring.to as a secondary service. Here’s what I think I need to do. Correct me if I am wrong somewhere.

  • Google “obihai google voice tutorial” and follow tutorial
  • Google “2 Service Providers Obihai” and follow and Follow FAQ about secondary outbound calls
  • Don’t configure GV to call Ring.To number, as both numbers will be SP on same device for inbound calls
  • For Android tablets, let GroovIP handle inbound and outbound ring.to calls and Google Handouts and Handouts dialer handle inbound and outbound calls

Did I forget anything or state anything that is wrong?

Here is one addition someone from the Ring.to mentioned:

“Once RingTo is provisioned, it’s a simple matter to provision Google Voice to one or both of the remaining SP (Service Provider) slots. Inbound calls to either RingTo or Google Voice will ring the phone connected to your OBi. For outbound calls, you’ll configure either RingTo or Google Voice to be the primary line for outgoing calls. It’s a matter of checking a box during provisioning. You can also select which service provider to use on a per call basis by prefixing **n, where n is the number of the SP slot you want to call out on. For example, if RingTo is setup as the primary outgoing line on SP1, Anveo E911 for RingTo is on SP2 and you want to make a call using Google Voice on SP3; you’d dial **3 then the number you wish to dial.”

I’ll run Oooma and Obihai in parallel, for a couple of months. I’ll also keep the ooma device as a backup in storage, should I make the Obihai switch. Some might ask: Why have both Ring.to and Google Voice? Well, they really serve different purposes. Ring.to would be looked into as a replacement for my existing home phone. Google Drive would ring all my phones – including my mobile. If I had a small business, I could add Magic Jack Go to the mix – as they now market to small business. Different solutions for different needs and purposes. hile I would start with Ring.to for home phone number replacement, I’ll closely monitor them and Google Voice for future developments – and adjust accordingly.

More in future posts.

Lawyers: 3 Tips to Enhance Your Web Presence

Whether you’re a partner in a big law firm, or have ventured out on your own, being a modern lawyer requires a Web presence. It’s true that the merits of your career should be the main factor drawing clients to you, but the fact remains that success alone doesn’t magically create a robust clientele. When it comes to the Internet, your goals are to project a polished and positive image, be easily searchable and answer potential questions prospects may ask.

Lawyer Web Tips

Here are a few tips that can help you make that happen:

Perfect and Align the Overall Image

You might think that branding isn’t very important as a law firm. But your firm’s identity is central to how clients (and others in the industry) are going to perceive you. First and foremost, spend a little time on your website. It can be minimal in design and copy if that’s what you prefer, but it should still look clean and well thought out. If you need a new template or are starting out with a website from scratch, check out a site like Top 10 Website Builders in order to easily compare what different services offer. Many of the recommended website builders give ample choices for design and make it easy to create exactly what you’re envisioning, even without possessing Web design skills.

It’s also a good idea to keep your themes and messages consistent across your website and your social channels. If your site has a color scheme of tan, black and green, for example, your Twitter should follow suit. Keep headshots professional and consider using the same one on your site that you do on your social platforms. This will help prospects and clients to quickly identify you, no matter where they’re looking. Double check that your site is mobile-friendly, too, since many people search for attorneys on their smartphones. Your site should be responsive and easily viewable whether it’s accessed from a laptop, mobile phone or tablet.

Encourage Positive Reviews

One of the downsides of living and working in the Internet age is that you can’t control everything that’s said about you online. The best thing you can do to protect your virtual image is to conduct your practice with integrity and do everything you can to ensure client happiness. Beyond this, you don’t have much say over what gets posted about you and your services online. In order to counteract potential negative reviews, gather several glowing testimonials you can post on your website. And be sure to incentivize your most pleased clients to review you positively on sites like Yelp and Avvo. Include a blurb asking for a quick review in your email signature, with a link that takes clients directly to one of the sites. And if no one takes the bait there? Don’t be shy about approaching clients directly to ask if they will do you a favor and share their experience online.

Get Noticed

Another important piece of the digital puzzle is actually getting people to find you. In order to do this, search engine optimization (SEO) is key. Start by brainstorming all the keywords that your target client would use if searching for a lawyer. Your specific areas of practice, your location and words like “lawyer” and “law firm” are all good bets. Then dig into how your Web pages are set up. Each one should be carefully planned out. Rather than including a page that lists all the areas you concentrate on, create individual pages for each one. Having one page for “Employment Law,” one for “ International Labor Law,” one for “Child Labor Law,” and one for “Workplace Discrimination Law” will net you far better results than piling them all onto one page.

Still need more places for SEO to do its work? Try starting a blog. Only do this is you’re able and willing to keep up a flow of content at least twice a month (if not more), and aim to write on topics that your ideal clients would want to read most. Include your SEO keywords throughout the posts, when applicable (and not too frequently). This can help when someone is searching for you too.

As you work toward establishing a solid digital presence for you and your firm, begin by assessing the overall image. Be sure your website and social media channels are consistent and refined, encourage positive reviews from satisfied clients and spend some time incorporating good SEO practices into your site. Armed with these tips, you should see a spike in your traffic—and clientele.

Magic Jack Go review

Currently I have Ooma for a home phone service. They have great reviews and overall ratings on Amazon. I also have had great service with them. As a premier, they have an Android app with unlimited minutes (i.e. a cap does exist somewhere, just like with Magic Jack). But I noticed that Magic Jack has great reviews on Google Play. It’s time to give that a try off of Amazon.

The first thing is to figure out how to activate it. Unlike Ooma or Obihai devices that are detected off the router, Magic Jack doesn’t work like that. I’ve tried it and it didn’t work. But this YouTube video is very good and I followed the steps.

But there are two problems I ran into. I like to emphasize that you should first research the problems on Google or Bing. Enter the right keywords or phase. Don’t chat with the Magic Jack chat, as you might find the answer yourself much easier. Let’s look at my two problems.

  • After I went through the PC activation process, I plugged the Magic Jack into my router. But I was getting a number 1 – no Internet connection message – via the phone. Now it was time to try an experiment. The Ethernet cable that came with Magic Jack is flat. My Ooma device is also connected to my router – no problem. What is the problem?  It was time to substitute a standard cable I had lying around. It was round in diameter – not flat like the Magic Jack cable. Now I had Internet connection. My advice? Use another standard cable to substitute for the Magic Jack provided one. If you don’t have one, go to Walmart, Target, Myers, Sam’s Club or Costco and buy one.
  • The second problem was aloud humming noise that occurred – after a few hours. But a Google search came up with articles at Magic Jack humming noise 1 and Magic Jack humming noise 2. The answers they suggested centered around grounding. Time for an experiment. First I tried plugging the Magic Jack into different outlets – no change. Then I swapped the cordless phone from Ooma for my Magic Jack. Then I hooked up the corded phone into Ooma. Ooma now had the humming noise and Magic Jack was fine. The answer was to go to Walmart and purchase a Vtech cordless phone for the Magic Jack. Problem solved.

I’ve made some communication tests with the Ooma, Magic Jack and Google Hangouts dialer app. The quality is quite good, but I also run the VOIP phones off a hi-speed cable setup. Ooma premier has many more bells and whistles then Magic Jack. But Magic Jack is not bad, if you follow the steps I recommend. The only issue with the Ooma app was there was no end call button.  Support had me uninstall and install it.  I think they should have it available as an update – like other apps.

Anyway, here is a tip. When you access Facebook, web, etc. at home, you are going off the mobile network and chewing away at data caps. When they are reached, the data is then throttled (i.e. slowed down). If you have a router and set up a home network, the cell phone can connect to it at home. So if you connect to your home WiFi (or public WiFi with a VPN app), it uses that to connect to Internet, etc.

Android App Security and Communication Tips

Last week, I shared some tips on Android apps entitled Three Tips for Choosing Android Apps. In order to understand Apple and Android, I pointed out that both were derivatives of the Unix system.

smartphone weight training

A good article that explores the underlying languages is Developing for the iPhone and Android: The pros and cons. In the article, these points are crucial:

  • “Android apps are written in the Java programming language”
  • “On the other hand, applications that run natively on the iPhone operating system are written in Apple’s Objective-C, a dialect of the more common C language that has elements of Smalltalk.”
  • “Over the past year or so, however, new tool kits and development platforms have emerged in the marketplace to make it possible for programmers create iPhone applications without having to study Objective-C.”

These are important points. When I was at COD taking programming courses, they did offer courses in C, C++ and Java. With C and C++, you can understand the languages Windows, IOS, Unix, Linux and Android are written in. Java is also immensely popular at community, private and state US universities. So it is easier to crank out Android app developers.

On the other hand, objective C is not taught a COD or Harper, two Illinois community colleges with great computer science offerings. So Apple will probably get less developers. And there is no overall king of tool kits out there yet, to crank out Objective C. With that in mind, along with much higher prices for a Unix system derivative and hardware functionality duplicated by Asian firms – I’ll run with Android. And like the article also points out, Android is an open system and Apple a closed one.

In 15 best antivirus Android apps and anti-malware Android apps at, two antivirus products stand out from China:

  • 360 Security
  • CM Security

Do you really need an anti-virus?  Let’s look at Best Free Antivirus App for Android.  It says this:

“First things first. Can my Android device get infected with a “virus”?”

“The short answer is NO. Because, you see, Android apps work under a “sandboxed” security scheme. This is a technique that places “virtual walls” between apps and the rest of the device’s software, so that the only way an app can share resources and data is by declaring permissions which restrict what actions an app can perform on your Android device, what files it can reach, and whether it can get access to your personal data or not.”

In ELI5: How do mobile apps make money? , it does raises questions how apps make money. I installed both 360 Security and CM security on my Android machine. The CM security and their companion product Clean Master, appear to sell ad banner clicks. I do get advertising with them – which is OK. But they have pointed out some vulnerabilities with some existing apps. But they suggested upgrading them – which I did. Which brings up a great point. Check your phone for firmware, operating system and application upgrades.

I don’t know how 360 Security makes money, as they don’t have paid product upgrades or banner ads. I do like both 360 Security and CM Security.  But I have some old favorite on Windows with Malwarebytes and CCleaner.  I have the Malwarebytes real time protection activated.  They are supposed to work well with antivirus apps. I booted out 360 Security and kept CM Security.

I’ve installed the MagicJack app. It keeps starting up initially and prompting me for login info. I’m currently waiting for MagicJack Go to arrive from Amazon. I like Skype for video chats and talking to friends and family connected with Skype. Ooma does have a phone app. But I have read that it is five dollars extra per month and is limited to only 1000 minutes a month (i.e. sign in to your Ooma site and look at add-ons). If you go to Google Play store (i.e. apps for Android devices), it has about 2.9 out of five stars in ratings. MagicJack App has 4.1 out of five stars for a rating. And it offers unlimited calling (i.e. I’m sure there is some cap somewhere). On the other hand, Ooma has excellent user ratings and reviews on Amazon. What does that tell you? Ooma for a home system and Magic Jack for mobile devices and backup.

Anyway, enough for now. More on MagicJack and Google App Dialer with Google Hangouts, when I have a chance to test them. Remember this.  If you use WiFi sites often, check out 17 best Android VPN apps

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