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warlock56
Premium
join:2002-07-31
Arlington, TX

Providers that can offer non-published phone numbers?

I need some recommendations for a VoIP provider for my landline at home. Here's the details of typical usage and criteria of what I'm looking for.

- I'll average about 5 domestic long distance calls per month. Yes, that's right...5. I don't use the phone very often. No international calling.

- Lowest recurring cost is probably my top priority given how infrequently it will be used.

- Ability to use existing house phones and not have to purchase new VoIP phones.

- I currently have a non-published phone number. This is different than an unlisted number; please educate yourself if you're unfamiliar with the differences. Whatever service I switch to I need to keep this feature when porting it.

Originally I was very focused on an Ooma since the cost factor was pretty significant, about $12/year. However after digging a little more it seems that this company could easily shut down operations at any time since those who invested in it haven't made any money yet and pretty much all of their revenue comes from selling new units and their Premier service (which I have no interest in).

So, based on that, it seems that it would probably be a safer bet to find another provider. Is there any way to test out the service before I fully commit? The reason I ask that is I want to make sure my internet connection is stable enough to provide the same quality of phone calls I'm used to.
--
The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. -John Adams, 1787



dcurrey
Premium
join:2004-06-29
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Cincinnati Bell
·ViaTalk

3 edits

Given your low usage Callcentric. Don't think many voip providers publish numbers anywhere. I have been with voip since 2003 and have yet to see my number show up in any directory listing.

They have no contracts so you can just get pay as you go outbound only. $0.0198 per minute If you need inbound also that is a plan ad on.

You also didn't mention if you need to port but you can do it after you test the service.

Edit: You will need to purchase an ATA to hook up home phones. Can be found for $40 to $75 easily.


PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to warlock56

said by warlock56:

- I currently have a non-published phone number. This is different than an unlisted number; please educate yourself if you're unfamiliar with the differences.

Here's what I know from my own education:

This is more of a POTS term than a VoIP term.

Also, even different POTS companies define it differently, and old distinction between the two terms has been disappearing.

In an internet age of widespread online databases, the fact that print directories are rapidly vanishing, and the fact that hardly anyone actually calls "Directory Assistance" on the phone, this whole issue is less important than it used to be.

Telemarketing calls are going to come regardless of non-published, unlisted, or not.

That's because your identity is sold all over the place. And even otherwise, telemarketers are going to hit every number from x0001 to x9999.

While I agree with [dcurrey] suggestion of CallCentric, you should know that they DO support outbound Caller ID Name (CNAM). I did not know if that is something you had an issue with.

Good luck with your search.

nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
reply to warlock56

When I think non published I think of police, politicians etc. who do not want their name and or number/ address listed anywhere for any reason. More of the use than a definition for non published I admit.
I can say my name number has not been published with some voip I use but without really asking the provider I can not say it is the non published of old type or just they do not bother publishing them.
Someone here may know more but best bet is to find someone at the voip you are interested in and be real clear what you need. I do mean real clear as I think you want the type can not be found at all costs type.


PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms

Good points.

------------------

The majority of VoIP providers do not even have available the possibility of listings either in a printed directory or by directory assistance.

That's why the exceptions that [can] offer this, such as Acrovoice, are so unusual.

But as I said, for most people this is not an issue today, other than for businesses that [want] to have such listings, and for customers who want outbound CNAM which is a separate issue.



warlock56
Premium
join:2002-07-31
Arlington, TX
reply to warlock56

Thanks for all the feedback. Yes I would need to port my existing number to the new service provider.

I looked up the details of what Callcentric offers and that does appear to be a great fit for my needs. Any recommendations on a particular ATA? When I redid the phone wiring, it is all based in a central location now in my closet thus easy to access all of the ports in the house. Based on my understanding of what an ATA does, I could easily wire up a hub of sorts and then have 1 ATA service all of the existing phones in the house. Will that work?
--
The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. -John Adams, 1787


PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms

said by warlock56:

I looked up the details of what Callcentric offers and that does appear to be a great fit for my needs.

They are a great company. Just be sure that you understand that you would pick an outbound plan and an inbound plan. If you choose one of the flat-rate outbound plans (such as 500 or 1000) then the 911 fee is included, otherwise that's separate.

said by warlock56:

Any recommendations on a particular ATA?

I'd look at Grandstream Handytone (such as 701 or 702) or the Obi family.

»www.grandstream.com/index.php/pr···adaptors
»obihai.com/matrix.html

said by warlock56:

Based on my understanding of what an ATA does, I could easily wire up a hub of sorts and then have 1 ATA service all of the existing phones in the house. Will that work?

Yes, as long as there is no burglar alarm involved on the system, and as long as the ringer equivalence numbers (REN) of your phones don't exceed the capability of the ATA.

You MUST disconnect the telephone company connection at the Network Interface Device (NID).

As long as that NID disconnection is reliably done, then you can get a phone cord that has RJ-11 plugs at each end, plug one end into the ATA, plug the other end into your nearest phone jack, and it should serve your whole system.

PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
reply to warlock56

See also:
»[Equipment] recommended ATA to use existing telephone equipment


zapattack

join:2012-07-02
CANADA
reply to warlock56

Caution: how many phones do you mean, and what type?
The typical ATA does not supply enough power to ring more than a couple of old mechanical bells, but several electronic sets are no problem.
This is why multi-handset cordless are popular. Only one connection (load) for four or five handsets.


PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13

^^^
Excellent point.


mazilo
From Mazilo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
Lilburn, GA
kudos:4
reply to warlock56

I read posts in this thread and started asking myself questions w.r.t FREE VoIP DID services, i.e. Google Voice services, CallCentric Free Phone Number. If they publish their numbers, what information do they put out?
--
don't and stop are the ONLY two 4-letter words considered offensive to men, but not when used together.



warlock56
Premium
join:2002-07-31
Arlington, TX

1 edit
reply to warlock56

Ok so after a little more research, I took at a look at Callcentric's supported ATAs. The Obi100 looks like it would fit the bill nicely. As I mentioned before, all of the phone lines in the house are wired to a central location, so based on the specs I'm reading for this device, it has a 5 REN. I only need it to ring in 4 possible locations, all of them electronic, so to me it seems like this is all I need.

Another question, is there some way I can test my broadband connection to see how good its voip performance is before committing to a provider? Perhaps sign up for Callcentric service, give it a try, and if I'm satisfied have them port my number and then shut off the previous one they assigned me....would this work?

And lastly, I noticed on the Obi100 that it says 'no emergency calls'...why? Is this thing incapable of handling 911?

--
The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. -John Adams, 1787



Trev
IP Telephony Addict
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Victoria, BC
kudos:5

said by warlock56:

Another question, is there some way I can test my broadband connection to see how good its voip performance is before committing to a provider? Perhaps sign up for Callcentric service, give it a try, and if I'm satisfied have them port my number and then shut off the previous one they assigned me....would this work?

Yep, that's exactly how many newcomers test various services.

said by warlock56:

And lastly, I noticed on the Obi100 that it says 'no emergency calls'...why? Is this thing incapable of handling 911?

The ATA can't connect to 911 all by itself which is why they say that. When used with a service provider (such as Callcentric), you'll have no problems reaching 911 once you configure the device to send emergency calls to their service.
--
Wondering what I do? Find out at »www.digitalcon.ca
Get your Obihai ATA in Canada.

PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to warlock56

said by warlock56:

Another question, is there some way I can test my broadband connection to see how good its voip performance is before committing to a provider? Perhaps sign up for Callcentric service, give it a try, and if I'm satisfied have them port my number and then shut off the previous one they assigned me....would this work?

Definitely.

You [could] go the totally free route:

For test purposes you could also sign up for a free "IP Freedom" account from CallCentric.

»www.callcentric.com/rate/plans/ip_freedom/

You can make outbound test calls by calling 1-777-123-4567.

You can do an inbound test by using SipBroker. Using a DIFFERENT phone line, call the SipBroker access number in Dallas which is 1-214-261-9940. When you hear the welcome message, dial [*462-1-777-xxxxxxx] which is [*462] followed by your 1777xxxxxxx CallCentric account number, to call your own phone.

OR spend a few bucks:

For inbound, get a CallCentric DirtCheap phone number (DID) in your town of Arlington TX. This is 2.95 a month, unlimited inbound minutes, no setup cost.
»www.callcentric.com/did_lookup.p···_did.y=8

OR for inbound, get one of their free NY State DID's.
»www.callcentric.com/dids/free_phone_number

For outbound service, choose Pay-Per-Call (in which case add 1.50 for 911) or choose NorthAmerica 500 (which includes the 911).
»www.callcentric.com/products/

Configure your device thusly:
»www.callcentric.com/support/device/


warlock56
Premium
join:2002-07-31
Arlington, TX
reply to warlock56

I wanted to provide a follow-up for everyone who helped me along in selecting the right provider and hardware.

My Obi100 came in and I also signed up for a Callcentric account with a new phone number for testing. I'll port my existing number later on, but I finally managed to get things working and made a test call and it sounds great. Of course I'm going to test it a little more in-depth this weekend, especially tweaking my firewall on exactly what traffic I want going to it.

This leads me to another question about the Obi100's activity. Since all my traffic routes through my firewall, I was monitoring what sort of stuff it was doing.

Now according to Callcentric's own web page here:
»www.callcentric.com/faq/9

At the bottom they say to keep ports 5060-5080 open to 204.11.192.0/24. Ok, no problem there. I also had to open up DNS so the device could do lookups...no biggie. Well here's the thing, I started seeing other hosts it was talking to. Maybe you can help me determine if this is legit or needs to be locked down.

204.236.134.243 - Amazon. Why is it talking to Amazon?

216.171.120.36 - Wireless Time Company. Ok, I can see the NTP usage here, but I specifically input time.nist.gov and saw no traffic going to that address. What's up here?
--
The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. -John Adams, 1787


PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms

The 204.236.134.243 is OBI.
»www.obitalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=1895.0

The 216.171.120.36 is a US Government recognized time server.
»tf.nist.gov/tf-cgi/servers.cgi