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OT Q.: MagicJack Plus at 1/2 price?

Discussion in 'alt.cellular.verizon' started by tlvp, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. tlvp

    tlvp Guest

    So: Dan Borisow sent an email announcing his MagicJack Plus at 1/2 price
    for the next two days. That's the version that can jack into a USB port on
    a Windows machine or connect directly to (power and) wired ethernet; and
    the postpaid offering price (including 1 yr service) is (briefly) 35 bucks.

    My question: 'zat worth it? Opinions, and rationales for them, welcomed.

    TIA; and cheers, -- tlvp
    --
    Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
     



    › See More: OT Q.: MagicJack Plus at 1/2 price?
  2. On Sun, 16 Dec 2012 17:08:41 -0500, tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net>
    wrote:

    >So: Dan Borisow sent an email announcing his MagicJack Plus at 1/2 price
    >for the next two days. That's the version that can jack into a USB port on
    >a Windows machine or connect directly to (power and) wired ethernet; and
    >the postpaid offering price (including 1 yr service) is (briefly) 35 bucks.
    >
    >My question: 'zat worth it? Opinions, and rationales for them, welcomed.


    I own one of the original MJ's and I paid for 5 years worth of service
    (until 2/14) and am dissatisfied with the service. Everything seemed
    fine for quite a while, but I began having issues with the software
    not working and calls going to voice mail. After finally resolving
    that issue (with little help from MJ) I then noticed I was being cut
    off in the middle of calls. I was far from being a heavy user. I
    used it perhaps 15-20 minutes per month, so I suspected a software or
    MJ hardware problem, until I started looking around for answers and
    came across this and numerous similar pages.

    http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21324662-magicjack-is-a-RIPOFF

    So I've now replaced it with a Nettalk Duo, and I'm probably going to
    install the Google Voice hack on MJ and see how that works, because
    the thing is essentially useless to me as it sits now. I just don't
    trust anything MJ says about their products anymore.
     
  3. Previously on alt.cellular.verizon, tlvp said:

    > My question: 'zat worth it? Opinions, and rationales for them, welcomed.


    First, what does this have to do with Verizon Wireless?

    Second, I tried Magic Jack a few years ago, and found its quality of
    phone service to be so poor as to be unusable.

    --
    Jeffrey Kaplan www.gordol.org
    Double ROT13 encoded for your protection

    "Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men.
    Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps." -Tiger Woods
     
  4. sms

    sms Guest

    On 12/17/2012 5:46 AM, Mike S. wrote:
    > In article <1bk6rv96zhmhc$.tt1n7kzbh3kd$.dlg@40tude.net>,
    > tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> wrote:
    >> So: Dan Borisow sent an email announcing his MagicJack Plus at 1/2 price
    >> for the next two days. That's the version that can jack into a USB port on
    >> a Windows machine or connect directly to (power and) wired ethernet; and
    >> the postpaid offering price (including 1 yr service) is (briefly) 35 bucks.
    >>
    >> My question: 'zat worth it? Opinions, and rationales for them, welcomed.

    >
    > Obihai OB110 VOIP bridge, and Google Voice.


    That works well, but also note that you can use the MagicJack Plus on
    Google Voice, you don't have to sign up for MagicJack service.
    <http://www.pcphonesoft.com>. Not sure if a similar app is available
    free anywhere.

    The MagicJack plus works both directly connected to an Ethernet port, or
    to a USB port.
     
  5. tlvp

    tlvp Guest

    On Mon, 17 Dec 2012 15:05:03 +0000, Jeffrey Kaplan wrote:

    > Previously on alt.cellular.verizon, tlvp said:
    >
    >> My question: 'zat worth it? Opinions, and rationales for them, welcomed.

    >
    > First, what does this have to do with Verizon Wireless?


    It is, as the "Subject:" line frankly admits, an "OT Q." But the denizens
    of a.c.v. are a better informed telephony crew than most, hence seemed to
    me like a good crowd to be asking. Your forgiveness would be welcomed :) .

    > Second, I tried Magic Jack a few years ago, and found its quality of
    > phone service to be so poor as to be unusable.


    That's good information, thanks. BTW, what were your worst-case internet
    connection *up*load speeds at that time, approximately?

    Cheers, -- tlvp
    --
    Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
     
  6. tlvp

    tlvp Guest

    On Sun, 16 Dec 2012 17:55:39 -0500, The Ghost of General Lee wrote:

    > ... came across this and numerous similar pages.
    >
    > http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21324662-magicjack-is-a-RIPOFF


    In that Forum there are contentions and denials that MJ loads software onto
    one's computer. Easy to see, on my computer, that, in a folder

    : C:\Users\[myself]\AppData\Roaming\mjusbsp ,

    there's a 12,231,512-byte copy of magicJack.exe w/ date/time-stamp
    08/01/2009,11:13 AM, and a further 3+ MB of MJ-related stuff.

    In the year from that date that i've had use of my older MJ, I found only
    that, with an internet connection under 1 Mb/sec, there was noticable
    degradation of voice in both directions, and I let my MJ number lapse.

    The newer MJ, with ability to provide service directly from an RJ-45
    ethernetted WAN connection, still is of potential interest, though, when on
    the road abroad in wired hotel rooms ... if ... :) .

    Thanks for your experiences, and for the Forum link. Cheers, -- tlvp
    --
    Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
     
  7. Previously on alt.cellular.verizon, tlvp said:

    > > Second, I tried Magic Jack a few years ago, and found its quality of
    > > phone service to be so poor as to be unusable.

    >
    > That's good information, thanks. BTW, what were your worst-case internet
    > connection *up*load speeds at that time, approximately?


    2~3Mbps up, 10~12Mbps down. The voice quality sucked in both
    directions regardless of who was on the other end.

    --
    Jeffrey Kaplan www.gordol.org
    Double ROT13 encoded for your protection

    "If we die, we want people to accept it. We hope that if anything
    happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is
    worth the risk of life." - Astronaut Gus Grissom
     
  8. Todd Allcock

    Todd Allcock Guest

    At 17 Dec 2012 12:53:44 -0500 tlvp wrote:
    > On Mon, 17 Dec 2012 15:05:03 +0000, Jeffrey Kaplan wrote:
    >
    > > Previously on alt.cellular.verizon, tlvp said:
    > >
    > >> My question: 'zat worth it? Opinions, and rationales for them,

    welcomed.
    > >
    > > First, what does this have to do with Verizon Wireless?

    >
    > It is, as the "Subject:" line frankly admits, an "OT Q." But the

    denizens
    > of a.c.v. are a better informed telephony crew than most, hence seemed

    to
    > me like a good crowd to be asking. Your forgiveness would be

    welcomed :) .
    >
    > > Second, I tried Magic Jack a few years ago, and found its quality of
    > > phone service to be so poor as to be unusable.

    >
    > That's good information, thanks. BTW, what were your worst-case internet
    > connection *up*load speeds at that time, approximately?


    At the end of the day, it's only $35 and comes with a year of phone
    service.

    MJ's service sucks, so I let my original MJ expire, but if you use it as
    a second (or third) line for non-critical use, you'll probably get $35
    worth of value out of it.

    I'd rather stick a fork in my eye than use it as my main phone line,
    though!
     
  9. tycho

    tycho Guest

    "tlvp" <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> wrote in message
    news:v0qc1b2vgs2j.16hhcla0ark0o$.dlg@40tude.net...
    > On Sun, 16 Dec 2012 17:55:39 -0500, The Ghost of General Lee wrote:
    >
    >> ... came across this and numerous similar pages.
    >>
    >> http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r21324662-magicjack-is-a-RIPOFF

    >
    > In that Forum there are contentions and denials that MJ loads software
    > onto
    > one's computer. Easy to see, on my computer, that, in a folder
    >
    > : C:\Users\[myself]\AppData\Roaming\mjusbsp ,
    >
    > there's a 12,231,512-byte copy of magicJack.exe w/ date/time-stamp
    > 08/01/2009,11:13 AM, and a further 3+ MB of MJ-related stuff.
    >
    > In the year from that date that i've had use of my older MJ, I found only
    > that, with an internet connection under 1 Mb/sec, there was noticable
    > degradation of voice in both directions, and I let my MJ number lapse.
    >
    > The newer MJ, with ability to provide service directly from an RJ-45
    > ethernetted WAN connection, still is of potential interest, though, when
    > on
    > the road abroad in wired hotel rooms ... if ... :) .
    >
    > Thanks for your experiences, and for the Forum link. Cheers, -- tlvp


    <<more and more OT>>

    As long as you have found DSLReports (where I've been hanging for over a
    dozen years), consider re-purposing an old PC (free, except for
    electricity), loading a free copy of PBX In A Flash upon it, buying into a
    cheap VoIP provider, and becoming your own telco. I've been doing that for
    years, spending virtually nothing for landline phone service. I have a
    half-dozen different VoIP providers, but most of my inbound and outbound use
    has been on the free GoogleVoice line that I use as a trunk. 2-line analog
    cordless phones connect to my ATA which connects to my PBX box which
    connects to the Internet. Nobody would know it's not AT&T...
     
  10. tlvp

    tlvp Guest

    On Mon, 17 Dec 2012 15:19:51 -0600, tycho wrote:

    > As long as you have found DSLReports (where I've been hanging for over a
    > dozen years), consider re-purposing an old PC (free, except for
    > electricity), loading a free copy of PBX In A Flash upon it, buying into a
    > cheap VoIP provider, and becoming your own telco. I've been doing that for
    > years, spending virtually nothing for landline phone service. I have a
    > half-dozen different VoIP providers, but most of my inbound and outbound use
    > has been on the free GoogleVoice line that I use as a trunk. 2-line analog
    > cordless phones connect to my ATA which connects to my PBX box which
    > connects to the Internet. Nobody would know it's not AT&T...


    OK, tycho, riddle me this: say I do as you have done: re-purpose an old PC
    to run a copy of PBX In A Flash, buy into a cheap VoIP reseller, become my
    own telco. How do I achieve the goal of "spending virtually nothing for
    landline phone service" when the only Internet connection available for my
    PBX box is a DSL circuit piggybacking on the copper loop to my ILEC?

    Cheers, and TIA, -- tlvp
    --
    Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
     
  11. Todd Allcock

    Todd Allcock Guest

    At 18 Dec 2012 02:24:11 -0500 tlvp wrote:
    > On Mon, 17 Dec 2012 15:19:51 -0600, tycho wrote:
    >
    > > As long as you have found DSLReports (where I've been hanging for

    over a
    > > dozen years), consider re-purposing an old PC (free, except for
    > > electricity), loading a free copy of PBX In A Flash upon it, buying

    into a
    > > cheap VoIP provider, and becoming your own telco. I've been doing

    that for
    > > years, spending virtually nothing for landline phone service. I have

    a
    > > half-dozen different VoIP providers, but most of my inbound and

    outbound use
    > > has been on the free GoogleVoice line that I use as a trunk. 2-line

    analog
    > > cordless phones connect to my ATA which connects to my PBX box which
    > > connects to the Internet. Nobody would know it's not AT&T...

    >
    > OK, tycho, riddle me this: say I do as you have done: re-purpose an old

    PC
    > to run a copy of PBX In A Flash, buy into a cheap VoIP reseller, become

    my
    > own telco. How do I achieve the goal of "spending virtually nothing for
    > landline phone service" when the only Internet connection available for

    my
    > PBX box is a DSL circuit piggybacking on the copper loop to my ILEC?



    Depends on your telco. Mine, Century Link (formerly Qwest) offers "dry
    line" DSL: DSL without phone service. You pay $5/month more for the DSL,
    plus lose any promotional bundling discounts, so without POTS service my
    DSL would increase about $13/month total.
     
  12. tlvp

    tlvp Guest

    On Mon, 17 Dec 2012 08:40:18 -0800, sms wrote:

    > ... note that you can use the MagicJack Plus on
    > Google Voice, you don't have to sign up for MagicJack service.
    > <http://www.pcphonesoft.com>. Not sure if a similar app is available
    > free anywhere.
    >
    > The MagicJack plus works both directly connected to an Ethernet port, or
    > to a USB port.


    In MagicJack mode, yes, the MJ+ works both directly Enet-connected or
    connected to a Wintel PC's USB port.

    If I understand the PCphoneSoft blurb aright, though, even the MJ+, and
    certainly the older plain MJ, *must* be connected to a Wintel PC's USB port
    to work in PCphoneSoft mode. Or do I misunderstand?

    And I'm not at all clear where your phone # comes from -- is it the
    original MJ (or MJ+) -provided phone #? Your GoogleVoice #? Some
    PCphoneSoft-provided #? Other? Whichever of the above user wishes?

    TIA; and cheers, -- tlvp
    --
    Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
     
  13. tlvp

    tlvp Guest

    On Mon, 17 Dec 2012 20:00:18 +0000, Jeffrey Kaplan wrote:

    > Previously on alt.cellular.verizon, tlvp said:
    >
    >>> Second, I tried Magic Jack a few years ago, and found its quality of
    >>> phone service to be so poor as to be unusable.

    >>
    >> That's good information, thanks. BTW, what were your worst-case internet
    >> connection *up*load speeds at that time, approximately?

    >
    > 2~3Mbps up, 10~12Mbps down. The voice quality sucked in both
    > directions regardless of who was on the other end.


    Wow! No wonder my experience, back in the '08/'09 era, at 768 Kb/s down,
    384 Kb/s up, was so choppy and unpleasant.

    Thanks. Cheers, -- tlvp
    --
    Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
     
  14. tlvp

    tlvp Guest

    On Mon, 17 Dec 2012 13:26:37 -0700, Todd Allcock, responding, wrote:

    >>>> My question: 'zat worth it? Opinions, and rationales for them,

    >
    > At the end of the day, it's only $35 and comes with a year of phone
    > service.


    Same as three $10 PINs for PagePlus, give or take.

    > MJ's service sucks, so I let my original MJ expire ...


    I did likewise. 3 or 4 years ago. I found it unusable in the one setting it
    would really have been a handy money-saver, that is, abroad, with only
    available internet connection an unlocked AT&T Sierra USB cellular data
    dongle or PCMCIA Card, fitted with a local carrier's cheap PayGo data SIM.

    > ... if you use it as
    > a second (or third) line for non-critical use, you'll probably get $35
    > worth of value out of it.


    No real value for me in that scenario with domestic use.

    > I'd rather stick a fork in my eye than use it as my main phone line ...


    Good grief! Perish the thought :) ! Cheers, -- tlvp
    --
    Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
     
  15. tycho

    tycho Guest

    "tlvp" <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> wrote in message
    news:13ign2ykhvnhp$.1bedciabshdg$.dlg@40tude.net...
    > On Mon, 17 Dec 2012 15:19:51 -0600, tycho wrote:
    >
    >> As long as you have found DSLReports (where I've been hanging for over a
    >> dozen years), consider re-purposing an old PC (free, except for
    >> electricity), loading a free copy of PBX In A Flash upon it, buying into
    >> a
    >> cheap VoIP provider, and becoming your own telco. I've been doing that
    >> for
    >> years, spending virtually nothing for landline phone service. I have a
    >> half-dozen different VoIP providers, but most of my inbound and outbound
    >> use
    >> has been on the free GoogleVoice line that I use as a trunk. 2-line
    >> analog
    >> cordless phones connect to my ATA which connects to my PBX box which
    >> connects to the Internet. Nobody would know it's not AT&T...

    >
    > OK, tycho, riddle me this: say I do as you have done: re-purpose an old PC
    > to run a copy of PBX In A Flash, buy into a cheap VoIP reseller, become my
    > own telco. How do I achieve the goal of "spending virtually nothing for
    > landline phone service" when the only Internet connection available for my
    > PBX box is a DSL circuit piggybacking on the copper loop to my ILEC?


    <WARNING: O/T MODE ON>

    Fair question, tlvp, and I should have more clearly said no INCREMENTAL
    expense, because VoIP obviously requires a broadband connection. But the
    question is: would you choose to have broadband ANYWAY? If the answer to
    that is "yes," than you can craft a VoIP solution for zero incremental cost.

    I had ATT DSL on my POTS line as well until the summer of '11. I dropped
    POTS and switched to "dry loop" DSL (ADSL2+ in my case). Faster and
    cheaper. I, then and now, had/have ATT ADSL2+ "Uverse IPDSLAM" service,
    12-by-1, for $25 a month.

    In my case, I would opt to have broadband anyway. I am able to add
    unlimited inbound and outbound domestic calling for zero incremental cost, a
    big savings. I dropped my ATT POTS line in September of '11.

    In my case I took the old PC, put PBX-in-a-Flash on it, and used the
    built-in GoogleVoice module to allow my GV number to call in-and-out of my
    PBX, through an ATA (had one in a box), into which I plug the base of my
    cordless phone. My friends call my GV number, my home phone rings. I pick
    up that phone and call them, and they get the CID of my GV number. Works
    just like Ma Bell (which I worked for from '87 through '00, so I know this
    stuff pretty well).

    How could I do it =completely for free?= Use my neighbor's WiFi. :) We're
    friends, they know, and it's allowed. They provide, as landlords, free WiFi
    to their tenants in the building next door. I know that solution works for
    me because I used that solution for all my Internet and Phone Needs when ATT
    buggared the change-over from my DSL to Uverse and let me Internet-less for
    the better part of a week.
     
  16. Paul Miner

    Paul Miner Guest

    On Tue, 18 Dec 2012 17:15:45 -0600, "tycho" <this@wont-work.com>
    wrote:

    ><WARNING: O/T MODE ON>
    >
    >Fair question, tlvp, and I should have more clearly said no INCREMENTAL
    >expense, because VoIP obviously requires a broadband connection. But the
    >question is: would you choose to have broadband ANYWAY? If the answer to
    >that is "yes," than you can craft a VoIP solution for zero incremental cost.


    Jumping in to say that I'm also interested.

    >I had ATT DSL on my POTS line as well until the summer of '11. I dropped
    >POTS and switched to "dry loop" DSL (ADSL2+ in my case). Faster and
    >cheaper. I, then and now, had/have ATT ADSL2+ "Uverse IPDSLAM" service,
    >12-by-1, for $25 a month.
    >
    >In my case, I would opt to have broadband anyway. I am able to add
    >unlimited inbound and outbound domestic calling for zero incremental cost, a
    >big savings. I dropped my ATT POTS line in September of '11.
    >
    >In my case I took the old PC, put PBX-in-a-Flash on it, and used the
    >built-in GoogleVoice module to allow my GV number to call in-and-out of my
    >PBX, through an ATA (had one in a box), into which I plug the base of my
    >cordless phone. My friends call my GV number, my home phone rings. I pick
    >up that phone and call them, and they get the CID of my GV number. Works
    >just like Ma Bell (which I worked for from '87 through '00, so I know this
    >stuff pretty well).


    Can more than one inbound dialed number ring the PBX?

    Here's my situation:
    I'd like to put my home phone number on a PBX system like this. I have
    a Vonage ATA, but I'm not sure it would work in this situation.

    I have an elderly family member living across the country, on a fixed
    income and without a computer or any kind of Internet access, who
    allows herself one 60-minute phone card per month for long distance
    calls. Local calls are unlimited, I believe.

    GV has numbers available in her town. Could I grab a GV number that's
    local to her, (so she can dial it toll free), and have it ring on the
    PBX, if the PBX is already accepting inbound calls on behalf of my
    home phone number?

    I already have a GV number that currently forwards to my cell phone,
    and when I tried to sign up for a second GV number, (on a separate
    account) and also forward that number to my cell phone, the system
    generated an error. As a result, I'm guessing two or more GV numbers
    can't be forwarded to the same target.

    To make things more complicated, I have a need to dial some mobile
    numbers in the Philippines on a regular basis, so I either need
    affordable International dialing, or I need to learn a few more tricks
    with virtual numbers or forwarding, etc. I don't even know what to ask
    yet.

    --
    Paul Miner
     
  17. tlvp

    tlvp Guest

    On Tue, 18 Dec 2012 17:15:45 -0600, tycho wrote:

    > ... I should have more clearly said no INCREMENTAL ...


    Admittedly that's what I understood. Alas, dropping the Local Loop
    component and retaining the DSL component (as dry DSL) raises my DSL
    monthly fee from the $15 it is now to more than my combined phone bill.

    And dropping all ILEC services in favor of U-Verse (or Comcast's ISP
    offering) will raise my monthly outlay rather than lower it.

    > expense, because VoIP obviously requires a broadband connection. But the
    > question is: would you choose to have broadband ANYWAY? If the answer to
    > that is "yes," than you can craft a VoIP solution for zero incremental cost.
    >
    > I had ATT DSL on my POTS line as well until the summer of '11. I dropped
    > POTS and switched to "dry loop" DSL (ADSL2+ in my case). Faster and
    > cheaper. I, then and now, had/have ATT ADSL2+ "Uverse IPDSLAM" service,
    > 12-by-1, for $25 a month.


    Not in my neck of the woods. Try at least double that monthly fee, instead.

    > In my case, I would opt to have broadband anyway. I am able to add
    > unlimited inbound and outbound domestic calling for zero incremental cost, a
    > big savings. I dropped my ATT POTS line in September of '11.
    >
    > In my case I took the old PC, put PBX-in-a-Flash on it, and used the
    > built-in GoogleVoice module to allow my GV number to call in-and-out of my
    > PBX, through an ATA (had one in a box), into which I plug the base of my
    > cordless phone. My friends call my GV number, my home phone rings. I pick
    > up that phone and call them, and they get the CID of my GV number. Works
    > just like Ma Bell (which I worked for from '87 through '00, so I know this
    > stuff pretty well).


    Well, the actual $ figures worked in your favor in your setting. In my
    setting, they work against me. But, them's the breaks.

    > How could I do it =completely for free?= Use my neighbor's WiFi. :) We're
    > friends, they know, and it's allowed. They provide, as landlords, free WiFi
    > to their tenants in the building next door. I know that solution works for
    > me because I used that solution for all my Internet and Phone Needs when ATT
    > buggared the change-over from my DSL to Uverse and let me Internet-less for
    > the better part of a week.


    That's another special-case solution, not applicable here, alas. But thanks
    for clarifying the nitty-gritty of how it works for you. Very enlightening.

    Cheers, -- tlvp
    --
    Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
     
  18. sms

    sms Guest

    On 12/18/2012 9:33 PM, Paul Miner wrote:

    <snip>

    > GV has numbers available in her town. Could I grab a GV number that's
    > local to her, (so she can dial it toll free), and have it ring on the
    > PBX, if the PBX is already accepting inbound calls on behalf of my
    > home phone number?


    No. I don't thing so. One annoyance with GV is that you can't forward it
    to a SIP address. The workaround people had been using was to get a free
    SIPGate number, but SIPGate is apparently out of business. There is
    still a free solution though (see below).

    But your relative doesn't need a computer to use Google Voice to make
    free domestic long distance calls. Other than for initial set-up (which
    you can do for her) you can use GV without a computer. If you call your
    GV number from a registered phone number that it forwards to, it
    recognizes the number you're calling from. It than asks for you to enter
    a PIN (or you can turn the need for a PIN from that number off), then
    you can either check voice mail or make calls. So you could set up a
    local GV number for your relative, and tell her to call it to make
    outgoing calls (press 2). She would no longer need to purchase long
    distance calling cards. You would need to explain to her that it was
    okay to allow GV to do the initial verification of her landline (you'd
    need to call her with the code to enter, then have GV call her for
    verification).

    Remember, GV is only guaranteed to be free for domestic calls through
    the end of 2012. They haven't announced what they're going to do after
    that. Google Voice markets itself to regulators more as a web based
    communications service (such as Skype) and not as a telecom service.
    It's likely that it will remain free for domestic calls. Also, some
    rural areas with high termination charges are blocked by GV.

    > I already have a GV number that currently forwards to my cell phone,
    > and when I tried to sign up for a second GV number, (on a separate
    > account) and also forward that number to my cell phone, the system
    > generated an error. As a result, I'm guessing two or more GV numbers
    > can't be forwarded to the same target.


    This is one of the limitations of GV that's rather annoying. The other
    is that they don't allow international forwarding.

    Free Solution
    -------------
    There is a free solution (not including the cost of the SIP hardware)
    that would probably work for you. Get a local GV number in your
    relative's city. Get a free Washington State number from
    <http://www.ipkall.com/>. Forward the GV number to the free ipkall
    number. Forward the ipkall number to your SIP client. You can only
    forward the ipkall number to a SIP address, not to a regular phone number.

    The other non-free solution is to rent an incoming local phone number in
    the area your relative lives for $3 (one time cost) plus 99¢/month. That
    phone number can forward to whatever number you desire, for calls to
    U.S. numbers you'd pay 0.5¢/minute. See
    <http://www.localphone.com/services/incoming_numbers>. The break-even
    rate versus something like OneSuite (2.5¢/minute) would be 50 minutes
    per month (50*2.5 versus 99+50*.5). For Talkloop (2.0¢/minute) the
    break-even would be 66 minutes (66*2 versus 99+66*0.5).

    Personally, I would set that relative up with a TalkLoop or OneSuite
    account with Pin-less dialing and speed dial. Assuming you can show them
    how to dial the OneSuite local access number and then enter the speed
    dial (or whole phone number) this would work well (and certainly less
    hassle than entering the PIN from a calling card).

    When I was using OneSuite I had one button programmed to call the local
    access number, then a list next to the phone of the speed dial numbers.
    My daughter could call her friend in Taiwan with three presses.

    > To make things more complicated, I have a need to dial some mobile
    > numbers in the Philippines on a regular basis, so I either need
    > affordable International dialing, or I need to learn a few more tricks
    > with virtual numbers or forwarding, etc. I don't even know what to ask
    > yet.


    The Philippines is expensive to call mobile phones because apparently
    they either have "caller pays" for their mobile phone system, or they
    simply have very high termination charges. Most of the LD services seem
    to charge around 14-16¢/minute (OneSuite, Localphone, Talkloop, Google
    Voice, etc.). Without knowing what you're paying now, it's not possible
    to know if 14-16¢/minute is considered "affordable."
     
  19. tycho

    tycho Guest

    "Paul Miner" <pminer@elrancho.invalid> wrote in message
    news:kve2d8hn7j1nopu1um4pf0ciecsacimfal@4ax.com...
    > On Tue, 18 Dec 2012 17:15:45 -0600, "tycho" <this@wont-work.com>
    > wrote:
    >

    <WARNING: O/T MODE CONTINUES TO BE ON>

    > Jumping in to say that I'm also interested.


    Welcome aboard! :)

    > Can more than one inbound dialed number ring the PBX?
    >
    > Here's my situation:
    > I'd like to put my home phone number on a PBX system like this. I have
    > a Vonage ATA, but I'm not sure it would work in this situation.
    >
    > I have an elderly family member living across the country, on a fixed
    > income and without a computer or any kind of Internet access, who
    > allows herself one 60-minute phone card per month for long distance
    > calls. Local calls are unlimited, I believe.
    >
    > GV has numbers available in her town. Could I grab a GV number that's
    > local to her, (so she can dial it toll free), and have it ring on the
    > PBX, if the PBX is already accepting inbound calls on behalf of my
    > home phone number?
    >
    > I already have a GV number that currently forwards to my cell phone,
    > and when I tried to sign up for a second GV number, (on a separate
    > account) and also forward that number to my cell phone, the system
    > generated an error. As a result, I'm guessing two or more GV numbers
    > can't be forwarded to the same target.
    >
    > To make things more complicated, I have a need to dial some mobile
    > numbers in the Philippines on a regular basis, so I either need
    > affordable International dialing, or I need to learn a few more tricks
    > with virtual numbers or forwarding, etc. I don't even know what to ask
    > yet.
    >
    > --
    > Paul Miner


    Let me take your questions one at a time:

    (Q1) Can more than one inbound dialed number ring the PBX?

    A: Absolutely. I suppose depending on the hardware, the PBX could support
    hundreds, if not thousands of inbound numbers. I've never had more than a
    half-dozen or so DIDs registered to my personal, home PBX at a time, but I
    see no reason why mine couldn't support scores (OR MORE) of registered DIDs.
    How many <simultaneous calls> is a different issue, but it's just me, and I
    can't ever imagine needing more than 3 call-paths running at the same time.

    ***

    (Q2) Here's my situation:
    I'd like to put my home phone number on a PBX system like this. I have
    a Vonage ATA, but I'm not sure it would work in this situation.

    A: Good point. A Vonage-provided ATA is typically "locked" to Vonage.
    Perhaps it can be hacked/password disabled so as to be useable with a
    someone/something other than Vonage provider. I believe this is possible,
    but doing so is beyond my knowledge base.

    The configuration I use is this: the PBX is the central unit. All
    registrations with VoIP providers happen at the PBX, rather than from an
    ATA. I currently register my PBX to Callcentric; Onesuite; Sipgate;
    CallWithUs; CheapVoip Inc.; and GoogleVoice (both natively through a module
    in the PBX, and secondarily, using the Simonics GV Gateway). In some cases
    (CallCentric/GV/Sipgate) I have inbound DIDs. In other cases (Onesuite;
    CallWithUs; CheapVoip Inc.) I have no DID and use the carrier solely for
    outbound calls.

    My ATA is in turn registered to my PBX, not directly to the VoIP providers.
    The PBX handles all the fancy stuff. From the phone, using prefixes that I
    have chosen, I can select any of my multiple trunks for an outbound call,
    and receive the calls to any of multiple DIDs on that same single phone (or
    on the second line of that phone if I choose).

    Unless prohibited at the Vonage end, the PBX could likely register to Vonage
    in lieu of your current ATA. (Dunno; never tried; the only Vonage I have is
    the freebie offered in conjunction with the IOS app. Vonage might insist
    that people only use its ATA).

    Alternatively, if you can't do this with Vonage, you could port your home
    number to myriad quality alternative VoIP providers that do not have
    Vonage's limitations, and are cheaper besides. Such other VoIP providers
    completely support a PBX solution. Example: Callcentric offers unlimited
    inbound calling + your personal DID + quality E911 service for a total of
    $7.45/month. No taxes (unless you live in NY), and no other fees of any
    kind.

    ***

    (Q3) I have an elderly family member living across the country, on a fixed
    income and without a computer or any kind of Internet access, who
    allows herself one 60-minute phone card per month for long distance
    calls. Local calls are unlimited, I believe.

    GV has numbers available in her town. Could I grab a GV number that's
    local to her, (so she can dial it toll free), and have it ring on the
    PBX, if the PBX is already accepting inbound calls on behalf of my
    home phone number?

    A: Absolutely. Assuming you can register Vonage using the PBX (see above),
    you can also have the GV DID ring on the PBX. Trivial. That's what a PBX
    is all about

    Caveat: GV is free and the rules could change any time.

    The version of the PIAF PBX software that I use (about a year old and since
    upgraded, but still available) works amazingly well with GV. Yes: you
    could configure the local-to-your-relative GV DID as an inbound trunk and
    DID on your PBX. Your relative calls that local-to-her GV number, and it
    would terminate at your PBX, be routed to your extension (an ATA at your end
    and a phone connected to the ATA) and ring just like any other phone.

    If you don't want to screw with a PBX, you could buy a used Obi 100 ATA (the
    least expensive, older version). The Obi 100 supports GV. Configure the
    Obi with the local-to-the relative GV number, and plug a phone into the Obi.
    Voila: distant relative "hotline," free to her; cost to you: maybe $30 or
    less for the Obi.

    ***

    (Q4): I already have a GV number that currently forwards to my cell phone,
    and when I tried to sign up for a second GV number, (on a separate
    account) and also forward that number to my cell phone, the system
    generated an error. As a result, I'm guessing two or more GV numbers
    can't be forwarded to the same target.

    A: Different issue. Multiple GV numbers can't be forwarded to a single
    MOBILE number. My guess: because of the extra stuff going on for text/SMS
    forwarding.

    =BUT=, Multiple GV numbers (at least 2 in my experience, and possibly 3)
    =CAN= be forwarded to a single "landline" number. I'm doing that right now:
    two separate GV numbers are forwarded to my Callcentric home DID (my old
    AT&T number; a number that I've had for years...)
     
  20. M.L.

    M.L. Guest


    >My friends call my GV number, my home phone rings. I pick
    >up that phone and call them, and they get the CID of my GV number. Works
    >just like Ma Bell


    Ma Bell never required you to call back those who called you.

    >How could I do it =completely for free?= Use my neighbor's WiFi. :) We're
    >friends, they know, and it's allowed. They provide, as landlords, free WiFi
    >to their tenants in the building next door.


    So it's not really free after all.
     

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