Let's talk VOIP options

I’m just about ready to get rid of my last landline. I may want to make an occasional long distance calls without using up my precious prepaid minutes. Skype is being bought by the evil empire. Google Voice is owned by the other evil empire. Ooma is a hardware solution now being sold by Costco… etc. Other options?

What’s good, what works, what’s the cheap way to go?

I use Callcentric who are based in the US (callcentric.com). For $25.00 per month I get unlimited US/Canada, and every calling feature you can imagine. You need to bring your own IP Phone, ATA, or you can use various softphones. They also provide their own.

You can also use various sip soft phones for iphone (like Bria) and android that allow you to make and receive voip calls over wirless or 3G.

I was able to port my Bell landline over easily.

I use this ( http://www.voiplink.com/HandyTone_386_p/grstrmht386.htm ) in conjunction with my regular wireless analogue phone and it works perfectly.

I’ve been reading about this revolutionary product recently. It’s a standard VOIP ATA that just so happens to seamlessly integrate with google voice. So you can make and receive free phonecalls, forever. It is extremely well-reviewed and only costs $45.

If I didn’t already have my old iphone3g setup with sipsorcery to do free google voice calling over SIP, I’d buy one myself. Very cool.

Edit: I actually just gave in and bought one. It was cheap, and it’s really neat tech.

I get VOIP as part of U-Verse. Works pretty well. On my phone I use Skype or Google Voice depending on who I’m calling (GVoice domestically, Skype internationally) and have all my texts routed through GVoice.

Sure, I’ve sold my soul to the evil empires but they are so pretty!

Thanks to the magic of Sprint integration, Google Voice is seamless for me, and works well.

Well sure, on your cellphone. The poster wants a landline replacement.

No, you configure it to ring to multiple devices (including your PC) as desired, and you can place calls from your PC. It’s a landline replacement that uses your existing cell number. (Without the Sprint integration, I guess it’d work the same except have a different number.)

If you’re tied to the computer, it doesn’t replace a landline. Heck, you could just make the free calls through gmail if that’s all you needed.

I guess that depends on what you want out of a landline. If what you want is a) something that doesn’t eat into your minutes, and b) won’t lose its signal if you’re in a flaky coverage area, then it’s a landline replacement.

If you want something where you talk on an old-fashioned phone, I guess it’s not? But really, I’d rather use a headset hooked up to the computer than one of those, so.

My criteria is that if I have a guest in my apartment that wants to make a phonecall, I can hand them a phone-shaped object which they can use without further instructions.

Here’s what I’m thinking of doing. Port my remaining landline to a Tracfone. I done it before, it only takes a month and a number of phone calls to the nice Filipinos on the other end… anyway! Then use Voip for long distance calls that I know are going to take a long time. (Mothers, aunts, that kind of thing.) I guess it could be done with a headset from the PC or the wife’s laptop. What would be a good free or almost free solution for that?

I went the Ooma route a few months back. A little work on getting everything set up, but it’s been rock solid once I got it going.

The device I linked is basically ooma without the E911 service, and it works with google voice like ooma’s paid premium service. For $45.

Now I’m curious, I have a voip ata which is just a single port, but would like one that can also take incoming calls from a landline and fall back if the internet is down. What’s the best cheap option there?

The Obi110 costs $6 more and includes a landline bridge. Beyond that, it’s the exact same device that I evangelized earlier in the thread, with full google voice integration and free calling.

Looks like it’s made by the ex-Sipura guys as well. However it’s not available in Australia without a quite high shipping cost, sadly.

Edit: Looks like I spoke too soon. In the last month it’s become available here.

Well, I don’t think the free google calls extend to oz, and that’s the main reason people buy the thing.

True, but the current system people use for this - the SPA3102 - is suffering from poor firmware support from Linksys, thus making a cheap ATA with FXO and FXS ports welcome.

I got that obi100 in the mail today, plugged it in, plugged in a phone, linked it to my GV account, and it flawlessly worked. Sends and receives calls, no problem. Great product.

Can I port my landline number to Google voice? Or should I just get a new GV number?