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.
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