Joe bought the Ooma VOIP telephone system, and he pays about $6 a month with 911 service. Leo says that Ooma isn't a landline though, and as such, if the internet goes down, so does your phone system. The nice thing about landlines is that you still have phone service for emergencies if the power goes out. But the phone companies don't want to support it anymore.
Peter wants to be able to make calls over the internet. Leo says that's called voiceover IP and a good way to do it is with Google Voice. And it's free.
Fred wants to know if he can tell that a phone call is being forwarded to another number. Leo says not anymore. In the old days with physical switches, users could. But it's all digital now and automatic. In fact, most of it is done in software, so it's completely opaque to the caller. In fact, it's likely not done at the phone company level, but at a gateway to a VOIP network using something like Ring Central.
Grant is thinking of dropping his cellphone and just use Google Voice. Another option is Skype. Leo says that it could work if you use a mobile device that is data only. That's the biggest issue. Tello is one such service. But it depends on how much voice bandwidth you use, as after a set amount, Tello drops to 2G speeds. Voice takes 86kbps, and 2G is 100kbps. So it's possible.
Joey has a basic phone connected to his Obihai and he's having issues hearing people on the other end. Leo says to try swapping out the phone to see if it eliminates the issue. If it persists, it could be the device itself. Another issue could be his upstream. If upload speed is really slow, there could be some severe latency that's dropping the packets in real-time. Also, put the Obihai to the internet connection first, and then add the router. That's how it should be installed.
Dennis ported his home phone over to VOIP service with DSL Extreme. Now that he got a fresh credit card, they can't bill him. So his phone service is now canceled. Leo says that when he gets a new card, it has a different number on the back, and he needs to advise them of the new number. But DSL Extreme is no longer in business!. Leo says that SONIC is the best ISP in the nation and it'll be worth moving to.
Vince has a business and wants to go VOIP with his telephone. How is Ring Central? Leo says he uses Ring Central, and it doesn't sound or look like a VOIP solution. The advantage with Ring Central is that all those features are done digitally through an app. So you can make and receive company calls using your smartphone. Leo's been using it for eight years and you'll save a ton of money over a regular POTS service.
Terry gets a lot of phone calls from local numbers he doesn't recognize. Leo says that's called "Neighbor Spoofing" and it's designed to get him to answer the phone because the caller ID shows a local number. If it's important, they'll leave a message.
Can he respond to text messages with VOIP? Leo says he can partially. If he's using an app like WhatsApp, he can as long as the other side uses it. But if it's a "text subscribe to [enter number here]." It won't. VOIP doesn't support that.
Dave wants to know how to download Leo's podcasts. Leo says that all his podcasts are designed to be downloaded, and you can do that from Twit.TV. There should be a button you can click on to download the podcast, or you can right click and select download on the link. But Leo recommends using a podcast aggregator like iTunes, Switcher, Pocket Cast (Android), Downcast (Android), Google Podcasts, Podcast Republic, Podcast Addict. Make sure you set them for automatic download, so it will download every new episode.
Scott uses Google Hangouts on his iPad Mini, but when he used it today, the little phone icon is missing. It's been removed from his personal account. What gives? Leo says Google has announced that it is eliminating Hangouts to all but Google Fi users.