How to save money on land line Phone? – Google Voice

Why we need a land line?

  • Feels secure! It’s location is fixed – no need of tracking
  • To avoid wasting time. Too many unwanted services and calls eat up our time everyday.
  • Don’t want a sales rep to tell you what you want and don’t want.
  • Not comfortable with sharing mobile number between various sites and marketing people.
  • We avoid picking up call rather saying NO.

It is a great convenience to have a landline. Verizon or any other broad band company make it easy for you to add a land line for 5 to 10$ per month in addition to other services. But think about it, is it worth saving a 100$ per year when there is more convenient, reliable and free service available to you?

Follow these steps if you like a step by step approach.

My Pain and Discovery

Over a year and half I’m enjoying the savings of more than 30$ per months by ditching my landline. It is simple and easy. I need international calling facility and all these broad band companies either don’t have facility or charge a hefty fee on international calling. So I ended up with Voange. However I still have few months in the Verizon FIOS Triple play contract. One time my cousin was at my house and place an international call with a wrong phone (even though I have Voange(TM) I used to have the landline with Verizon FIOS(tm) too). I ended up paying 600$ for a call of 59 minutes. Vonage costs steadily went up from 25$ to 37$ or so over time.  I switched to another VOIP phone company still end up paying 20$ per months on an average.

This is where I discovered Google Voice.  Well you need to have the internet to use Google Voice as a land line. That you do any way even with Vonage. In addition to that you need to buy a box called OBi202 for Google Voice.  This is similar to Vonage adapter that you use to connect to internet and hook your phone line to this adapter.

Steps by Step: Google Voice Setup On OBi

  1. Create a google voice number – get started with google voice
  2. Port your number to google – if you want to keep your number you can port your number to google by following this link.
  3. Buy the OBi Phone adapter with router (OBi200 for one phone  or OBi202 for 2 phones)
  4. Plug your phone and provide the internet connect connect to OBi Adapter.
  5. Create an account on obihai.com and setup your google voice number.
  6. You are all set for receiving and placing calls.

If you need additional help you can also see OBi FAQ.

Also if you want to  keep the original google voice number  you can, but google will charge you 20$ extra to do so.

The Cost

Initial cost would be a 49$ or 69$ based on what OBi device you choose. Unless you need to make some international calls you need to pay $0 for google voice. Comparing to Verizon FIOS or Vonage – you are recovering this cost back in 2-4 months time. A porting number fee is $20.

For international calling, I used my google voice very frequently to make calls to India. In the past one year I spent $20. For $1 you will get 100 minutes talking time (as of today).  The way the VOIP industry is going , in could only go lower than this one.

Item Cost
Adapter 49$ or 69$
Porting Fee 20$
Total 69$ – 89$
Keeping Google Voice Number (optional) 20$

Compare this 69$ cost with any VOIP international service like Vonage, on an average it cost you at least 25$ or so a month which is 300$ a year.  You will be saving more than 200$ per month. Even for a conservative caller, this cost is only for the initial setup. In 2 to 3 months you will break even and get your service virtually free.

You have the convenience that come with provider independence and as long as google willing to provided you can ride on this one without any issues.

The Limitations

I don’t see many limitations except limited 911 service. For more information read this.

The Catch

The security professional inside me screams about handing your privacy to Google even to scan your voice calling. But in reality privacy is a myth. The Government can observe you unless you go off the grid. And it is mostly not worth going to that extremes to secure your privacy.

If this helps please leave a comment or share it with your friends.

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