How to Switch to VoIP and Ditch Your Home Phone Bill Forever


You can benefit from the comfort of a whole-house telephone line with out doling out your hard-earned cash on your native telecommunications supplier. Read on as we display you the best way to ditch the telephone invoice, stay the land line, and revel in unfastened native and lengthy distance calling within the procedure.

How VoIP Differs from a Traditional Land Line


There are 3 ways you’ll be able to pipe telephone provider into your house: a standard land line setup via your native telephone supplier, a cell-phone bridge that extends your mobile plan to your house telephone machine, and a Voice-over-IP (VoIP) machine that makes use of your Internet connection to bridge your house telephone machine to a VoIP supplier that routes your telephone calls again out to the common phone grid. But maximum variations of those plans are pricey:

  • Traditional Land Lines: Traditional land line setups are typically pricey for what you get. Basic programs run round $15 a month and don’t come with regional or nationwide lengthy distance calling, or facilities like caller ID. Adding in a modest lengthy distance package deal and the ones facilities can simply push the cost of a regular land line above $40-50 a month. Traditional telephone provider features a host of taxes, regulatory charges, and different fees that may simply upload $15 on your invoice. All advised, a unmarried land line with elementary lengthy distance options can simply run you $60+ a month.
  • Cellphones: Bridging your mobile phone plan to your house telephone machine—whether or not by means of a distinct tool supplied via your cellular corporate or with a house telephone that helps Bluetooth linking—may be pricey, as you typically want to acquire a 2nd line for your cellular plan and/or probably upload further mins with an upgraded plan to hide the house telephone utilization. For most of the people, this could upload on any place from $10-40 on their already dear mobile phone plan. Like conventional land traces, mobile phone traces additionally incur taxes and regulatory charges. In addition the viability of this system is in accordance with mobile reception. Get dangerous provider in your house? Bridging your mobile phone to your house telephone isn’t going to mend that.
  • Voice-over-IP Systems: VoIP is  the most recent means of linking your house telephone machine to the outdoor global and varies wildly in the case of provider high quality and worth. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) now package deal VoIP calling with their web package deal—actually, AT&T and Verizon are aggressively pushing shoppers against VoIP techniques—however the cost of the add-on telephone provider is robotically as pricey as a standard land line ($30-40). Depending at the supplier, VoIP products and services might or would possibly not acquire taxes and regulatory charges—typically, in case your VoIP provider is bundled along with your web and/or cable provider supplied via a standard telecommunications corporate, you’ll be paying the extra charges similar to you possibly can with a land line or mobile phone.

If you keep on with a standard land line, a mobile phone bridge, or a VoIP machine supplied via your telephone corporate or ISP, telephone provider will value you any place between $200-600 once a year—cash we might all surely feel free to spend on different issues. None of that sounds specifically interesting should you’re having a look so as to add some respiring room on your finances. Fortunately, with a small funding up entrance you’ll be able to cut back your per 30 days house telephone invoice the entire strategy to $zero per 30 days (and mere $1 a month if you wish to upload in 911 provider). All you want is a VoIP adapter and a unfastened Google Voice account. Sound excellent? You wager it does; let’s get began.

What You’ll Need

To practice together with our VoIP educational, you’ll the next issues:

  • Broadband Internet Access. (Unfortunately, VoIP is prohibitively bandwidth-hungry for dial-up.)
  • One OBi200 ($48), OBi202 ($64), or OBi110 ($70) VoIP Adapter (see our notes underneath to peer which type is most fitted for you).
  • A unfastened Google Voice account.
  • A $12/yr Anveo account (Optional: required for E911 provider).
  • One Ethernet cable.
  • One RJ11 phone cable.
  • One corded or cordless phone.

Not certain what any of this implies? Here’s an evidence.

What’s the Difference Between the Obi VoIP Adapters?

For essentially the most phase, the 2 latest OBi fashions—the 200 and the 202—are functionally equivalent. Both have up to date , each reinforce as much as four VOiP products and services, and each reinforce the T.38 fax protocol (for IP-to-IP deal with faxing). The OBi202, then again, contains two further options that can be of use to you. First, the OBi202 helps 2 separate telephone traces. If your house is stressed for a couple of telephone traces and also you want to keep that have while you transfer over to a VoIP machine, the OBi202 permits you to hook up 2 traces to ring two separate telephone techniques in your house.[/related

Additionally, the OBi202 contains VoIP-specific router capability. If you plug the OBi202 field in between your modem and router, the OBi202 will robotically prioritize all VoIP site visitors ahead of some other web site visitors to verify optimal name high quality. This function is of extra restricted software than the dual-phone-line function, then again, as just about each and every router helps customized Quality of Service laws to reach this similar finish and, in truth, in our private revel in with years of VoIP use, we’ve by no means had problems with heavy web use decreasing name high quality.

Finally, each fashions have a USB port that accepts OBi equipment just like the OBiWiFifive ($25, a Wi-Fi adapter in your OBi unit), the OBiBT ($23, a Bluetooth adapter so you’ll be able to solution your mobile phone the usage of your house telephone machine), and the OBiLINE ($40, permits your OBi200 or OBi202 to connect with a land line).

What’s the good thing about connecting your OBi VoIP unit to a standard land line? One of the few drawbacks of the usage of a many VoIP products and services, together with Google Voice, is that they don’t come with conventional emergency quantity (e.g. 911) reinforce. If conserving conventional get admission to on your native 911 provider is important (or you need to stay a barebones line to be used with a safety machine) then choosing a the OBi200 or OBi202 (with the USB adapter) or the older OBi110 (which contains an additional in-built RJ45 jack for this function) is vital.

If you’re comfy the usage of E911 provider (which is just an adaptation of the normal 911 provider for mobile phone and VoIP generation), we will be able to display you the best way to set that up later within the educational, and also you don’t want your elementary land line. If you haven’t attempted to join a elementary telephone line in awhile, you’ll most likely be stunned via the cost—our native telephone supplier insisted that $35 a month was once as little as they may be able to opt for an area solely, 911-enabled telephone line and not using a further facilities.

Do I Have to Use a Google Voice Account?

You don’t have to make use of Google Voice as your VoIP supplier. OBi VoIP adapters don’t seem to be locked to any given provider and can be utilized with a couple of products and services together with Anveo, Callcentric, CallWithUs, InPhonex, RingCentral, Sipgate, Vitelity,, and VoIPo. In addition you’ll be able to manually configure many different VoIP suppliers to paintings along with your OBi tool.

We are the usage of Google Voice as it’s completely unfastened for North American to North American calls and lines dirt-cheap $zero.01 in keeping with minute world calling.  Should that modify one day, you’ll be able to simply exchange your OBi tool to make use of a more cost effective VoIP supplier.

Why Do I Need an Anveo Account?

Google Voice does no longer recently reinforce E911 calls. If you don’t seem to be conserving a barebones land line to be used with emergency calling products and services, and want to stay get admission to to 911, it is important to upload in secondary VoIP supplier with E911 reinforce. All 3 of the OBi gadgets indexed above reinforce a couple of VoIP suppliers and Anveo provides a $1-per-month plan which is an ideal fit for our elementary E911 wishes. Once we have now completed putting in place your OBi tool with Google Voice, we will be able to display you the best way to upload in E911 reinforce.

Where Should I Put the OBi Device?

All of the Obi gadgets desire a connection on your router and a connection to the telephone community in your house (should you’re the usage of the tool with a unmarried telephone, you’ll be able to merely plug the telephone into the tool at once). Whether you plug the tool in proper subsequent on your router, right into a community jack somewhere else in the home, or at the different aspect of a community transfer for your community, is in large part inappropriate. Place the Obi tool in essentially the most handy location that allows you to patch it into your house information community and residential phone community. In our case, essentially the most handy location was once within the basement inside simple get admission to of our community router, a telephone jack, and an influence outlet.

Note: You don’t have to plug the Obi tool into the point-of-entry for the telephone line; you’ll be able to plug it into any telephone jack in your house to glue it to your house telephone community.

Step One: Create a Google Voice Account

Before we plug our VoIP information into our OBi tool, we want a VoIP supplier. Fortunately, signing up for Google Voice is lifeless easy. First head over to to start out the method. If you have already got a Google Voice quantity, you’ll be able to leap proper to step two underneath.

If you want to stay your Google Voice account separate out of your number one Google account (e.g. you’re going to be the usage of the Google Voice + OBi setup for an condominium with a couple of roommates and you need the quantity and account get admission to walled off out of your primary Google account) we advise growing a brand spanking new Google account for this venture. Otherwise, be happy to log in the usage of your number one account.

When you head to for the primary time and log in with a Google account, you’ll be induced to just accept the phrases of provider and knowledgeable that you’re going to want to examine your self the usage of a US-based telephone quantity:


Next you’ll be induced to pick out your Google Voice quantity—this may, for all intents and functions, be your “home phone number” that rings the telephones in your home. You can both pick out a brand new Google Voice-supplied telephone quantity, which is unfastened, or port an current quantity into Google incurs a one-time rate of $20. If you’re porting your quantity out of your outdated landline, you’ll most certainly must touch your telephone supplier to make it occur (and it should take a couple of days).

Once you’ve decided on your Google Voice quantity, you’ll be induced to go into a forwarding telephone quantity. You solely want to use this quantity for verifying your US residency, so your cell phone is okay—after that, you’ll have the ability to delete it and easily use your Google assigned quantity via going to Settings > Phone in Google Voice. You will obtain a telephone name from Google Voice at that quantity; input the 2 digit affirmation code when induced.


Once you’ve showed your US-based telephone quantity within the earlier step, you’ll be able to then choose your new Google Voice quantity. You can both input a space, town title, or zip code to seek for an area quantity or input a phrase, word, or quantity string (if you need a bunch along with your title in it like 1-555-212-JOHN or the like).

After obtaining your Google Voice quantity (or effectively porting an older quantity into the machine), it is important to make no less than one Google Voice name from inside the Google Voice internet interface to totally turn on the provider. Any telephone quantity will do, however should you’re on the lookout for a bunch you’ll be able to name with out bothering any individual, there’s all the time the outdated trusty National Institute of Standards and Technology Time-of-Day provider line: (303) 499-7111.

Step Two: Configure Your OBi

Now it’s time to arrange your OBi tool. First, plug your OBi tool into your information community and call community. Once attached to each, plug within the energy transformer as well up the tool. Leave the tool as well up and replace its firmware; it’s time to move sign in it with OBi.

Back at your laptop, seek advice from the OBi internet portal and sign in for an account. Wait for an electronic mail from OBi and ensure your account registration. Log in on the internet portal once you have showed your account and click on on Add Device within the sidebar.

Confirm that you’ve got your OBi unit plugged in, as defined within the symbol in the next move, then ensure “I want to configure Google Voice on this device.” is checked. Click Next.

OBi will instructed you to pick out up a phone handset and dial the registration number plate they’ve provided (e.g. **1 2345). Dial the quantity. Hang up after the automatic reaction. If you might be not able to dial the quantity it’s possible you’ll want to energy cycle your OBi tool (do no longer energy cycle the tool whilst the LED indicator is blinking orange, because the OBi tool is in the midst of updating the firmware).

After effectively getting into the registration number plate, you’ll be induced to configure your OBi tool from the internet portal. The OBi quantity, MAC deal with, and serial selection of the tool are pre-populated for you. You will want to title the tool (we merely named ours Home to differentiate it from any long term OBi gadgets we may turn on at different places), provide an admin password (for connecting to the OBi tool at once over your community), and upload a four digit PIN for the OBi Auto Attendant (vital for getting access to the extra complicated options of the OBi tool from outdoor the native community). Click Save Changes ahead of proceeding.


The subsequent step is to hyperlink your OBi tool with Google Voice. Click at the Google Voice Set-Up icon underneath the pieces you simply configured. OBi will provide you with a warning that there’s no 911 reinforce for Google Voice (we will be able to be putting in place E911 reinforce in a second, so simply click on Accept).


In the Google Voice configuration web page, you’ll want to title your account, make certain that “Make This the Primary Line to Call Out from” is checked in addition to “Google Voicemail Notification”. Add to your native house code to make native quantity dialing extra handy. Finally, plug to your Google Voice username and password.

NOTE: If you might be the usage of two-factor authentication for your Google account (and we extremely counsel you do), it is important to set an application-specific password in your OBi provider. To accomplish that seek advice from your Google Accounts dashboard, navigate to Security > Connected Applications and Sites > Manage Access after which scroll to right down to the Application-specific Passwords phase to create a singular password for OBi.

Once you have got entered the entire data within the Google Voice configuration web page inside the OBi internet portal, click on Submit. You can be kicked again to the configuration web page in your OBi tool. It will take round 5 mins for the configuration procedure between Google Voice and OBi to finish. During this time the standing indicator in your Google Voice account will say “Backing Off”, then “Authenticating”, and in spite of everything “Connected”. If your standing indicator will get caught at “Backing Off”, double test your password.


When you have got won the “Connected” standing affirmation, it’s time to check out the relationship. Pick up the phone handset attached to the OBi tool and dial an outgoing quantity. You may just check out the Time-of-Day quantity once more, (303) 499-7111, or dial a pal and gush about how much cash you’ll be saving via by no means paying a landline telephone invoice once more.

Step Three (Optional): Configure OBi for E911 Service with Anveo


Although this step is not obligatory insofar as you don’t want to whole it to get unfastened telephone calls throughout the year, we extremely counsel going via this procedure. While maximum folks, fortunately, won’t ever want to use 911, including on E911 provider on your VoIP setup is affordable peace of thoughts.

OBi helps a couple of VoIP products and services with built-in E911 calling, however they’ve made it particularly simple to configure Anveo for E911 provider. Since Anveo’s ultra-cheap E911-only VoIP add-on plan prices a greenback a month, the most affordable we have been in a position to search out, we see no reason why to move with any individual else.

To arrange your auxiliary Anveo line, go back to the Device Configuration web page inside the OBi internet portal. In the Configure Voice Service Providers (SP) phase click on at the blue Anveo E911 Sign-Up field.  On the following web page choose SP2 Service within the drop-down menu and click on Next. Select “I want a new Anveo E911 for my OBi”. Enter the CAPTCHA after which fill out the deal with shape (that is no longer the billing deal with, however the bodily location of the telephone). After confirming the deal with of the telephone you’ll plug to your billing deal with and arrange a password.

Next choose both elementary E911 provider for $12 a yr or E911 with signals (SMS, telephone calls, electronic mail, and so forth.) for $15. Once you have got finished the registration and cost procedure (together with clicking the activation hyperlink delivered by means of electronic mail) then the Anveo E911 provider can be lively and robotically configured for your OBi account.


Finally, you’ll be able to check your E911 provider via dialing 933 on any telephone attached on your OBi tool. The computerized procedure will verify that you’ve got E911 get admission to, inform you the deal with registered within the E911 machine for the incoming telephone quantity, and ensure that your telephone machine can provide outgoing audio to a 911 operator.

At this level, your house telephone community has been totally transformed to a unfastened VoIP machine whole with lengthy distance, caller ID, voicemail, and the entire different facilities your native telephone corporate would like to fee you for. Even higher, the machine is totally unlocked, and you’ll be able to simply transition it to a brand new VoIP supplier if one day Google Voice now not proves to be essentially the most economical supplier round.

If you’re nonetheless at the fence concerning the transition, we’ll be offering one ultimate nudge. We wrote the unique model of this educational in 2013, and feature endured to make use of the OBi/Google Voice machine ever since, saving ~$three,000 (in comparison to getting telephone server via an area supplier) whilst taking part in strong and uninterrupted provider within the procedure.