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Old 06-10-14, 08:10 PM   #1
AC_Hacker
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Default Telephones... IP Phones, Wireless, Cordless, etc.

I've been going through the valley of phone murk and agony for quite some time now.

I used to be pretty happy with my phone service... long distance charges were a pain, but the sound was clear and it was reliable.

Gradually cell phones have changed the landscape, in some ways for the better, in other ways for the worse.

I'm not very inclined to get a cell, due to the cost. In fact, because of expense, I had reduced my service to 'local only', since the people I knew who lived far away were dead or raptured... some of them thought they were in one group, but were actually in the other.

Then there were the sales calls, which became so frequent that the value of my phone was approaching zero. I called the phone company, and they had a special "no junk call" service that I could sign up for, that promised to double my already painful phone bill. I really think that the phone company is in collusion with sales people so that the Phone Co. can have two new profit features, selling numbers to annoying salesmen, and selling anti-sales call service to customers. There should be a class action law suit.

Then I encountered the situation where people I knew, and were living locally, had long distant numbers, and I had to pay long distance charges to call them. (arg!)

All the while, the overall voice quality of phones in general sank (even my hard line phone), to a level so low that I was sure there would be a popular revolution in regards to the matter, but no... people are all joining in like zombies in the expensive murk.

So I am now trying Ooma IP phone, and I am pleased on most accounts, it is cheaper, no sales calls, the voice quality is as good or better than from the phone company, and I can call nationally with no extra charge.

When I got the IP phone, I plugged my cordless system into it and it all ran pretty much the way it had before.

I am noticing that there are many layers of voice compression/decompression at play, and also 'background noise canceling' in the cordless handsets, which can be problematic.

Overall, it works. But I am now re-assessing my cordless system. I found a list of high voice-quality corded phones. I got a couple of them and really like the voice quality they give me, by removing one layer of compression/decompression, and the 'background noise canceling' rubbish.

I'm also becoming aware that each cordless handset has its own power wall-wart, which leeches at my house power total... not so with corded phones.

So I am finding high quality handsets abounding in the thrift stores to strategically place around the house.

I'll probably keep one cordless handset for convenience.

* * *

I'd be interested to hear other folks stories...

Best,

-AC

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Old 06-11-14, 04:07 AM   #2
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Cell only here. I have to have a cell for work so beyond that ther is no need for a "home" phone. I think most people are the same these days. I have concidered an ooma but for me, why bother?
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Old 06-11-14, 07:42 AM   #3
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Cell phones only here too. I've been that way for years now. I've been using Republic Wireless for about a year now. No contract, buy the phone up front ($150 or $300), and plans from $5/month to $40/month depending on what you want. I currently am on an older plan of theirs which is $20 per month for unlimited talk/text/data (3g). I am incredibly happy with the service. They basically highly encourage you to connect to wifi, and when you have wifi it makes a voice over IP call instead of using the cellular network. This saves them (and thus you) a bucket load of money. When you don't have wifi, it uses the Sprint network. If Sprint signal isn't there, it uses Verizon's network.

If you happen to be interested in switching, they do have a referral program. You can get $20 off your first bill (and $20 off mine). PM me and I can get you a link.
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Last edited by Daox; 06-11-14 at 07:48 AM..
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Old 06-11-14, 08:29 AM   #4
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I just use Google Voice and T-Mobile pay-as-you-go.
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Old 06-11-14, 10:14 AM   #5
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We use straight talk (No contract) BYOD ATT sim card. We still are on ATT network and get LTE data and speed but have a much lower payment. We buy 3 month at a time Wal-Mart they discount the 3 month plan. But with taxes it still comes in @45.14 a month. Unlimited talk/text and 3 gig data a month. after 3 Gig they still give you data it is just slow.

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Old 06-11-14, 10:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
...No contract, buy the phone up front ($150 or $300)...
So, are they selling particular devices that are required, or are there specs that must be available on any device that is used for the service?

In other words, are you locked in to their device?

-AC
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Old 06-11-14, 11:20 AM   #7
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Yes, you have to use their phone because of their 'hybrid calling' setup with wifi and cell. They currently have two new phones you can buy. One is $150 and the other is $300.

If you can find a Motorola Defy XT, you should be able to have them activate it on your account. That is their old phone, and the phone I am using now. They recently announced that you can transfer them to another account or reactivate them on a new account. I just checked ebay, and there are a bunch selling for less than $50. I just searched for "republic wireless".

republic wireless | eBay
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Old 06-11-14, 03:33 PM   #8
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I don't have a land-line. I have an old cordless phone laying around that I used to use with a service called Magicjack where you have a USB device connected to your computer and the cost was originally $99 for 5 years. Currently that is running out and I think the price is now $120 for 5 years but I'm not going to renew because I use my cell phone and the issue of running over the minutes is no longer an issue because I don't run my own business or do independent contracting anymore so I don't make or receive phone calls for business purposes anymore.

If you don't need data roaming outside of the Sprint network, you can use a service called Ting. It is super cheap. $6 to be connected to the service and you don't lock yourself in a set plan. Say you talk for 90 minutes, send/receive 90 texts, and use 90 megabytes of data, the cost is $15 plus the government fees and taxes(which is just under $5 usually), so $20 when it is all said and done(with very low usage). If you use a little more the costs aren't too bad. https://ting.com/rates

Since there is no contract, the phone isn't subsidized so you pay full price for a phone but they have a list of Sprint phones that can be used with Ting and you can usually buy a phone that is a year or two old from someone who swaps phones often for a low price. I bought a used Sprint Android phone off their compatibility list for $50.

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Old 06-11-14, 10:25 PM   #9
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I used to like phones. Many years ago, people would actually answer when you called them. With the advent of the cell phone, and the endless list of useless features you get with them, hardly anyone can be bothered to answer. If you don't text them, twitter them, or leave a voice-mail message first, you aint go get thru.

When smartphones/iPhones first came out, i thought they were cool. But after having to use them on the job, I absolutely detest them. They cost too much, break down too often, and have spotty coverage while travelling between populated areas. I wasted more time than I ever thought I could trying to scan bar-codes, copying and pasting information, and making and receiving customer and employer calls, texts, pm's, emails, and live chats. Like a work walkie-talkie, anyone can find you anywhere, due to the built-in gps for 911 service compliance. Which sucks when you're trying to hide.

Voip is another part of the internet bundle. Just another service like pandora or iheart radio. If your internet dies, so do they. If the power goes out, so do they. Not the same thing as an old-fashioned land line.

When you're looking for directions, they won't find the house or lead you to the wrong place, 1/4 mile from the house. When you're in a hurry, they lag and bog down. When you're on an important call, they drop it. When you're trying to concentrate, they ring. And they love to jump off your body and strip when they hit the ground.

I still own a cell phone, but the cell service is not active. I use it with wifi only. I've found that nearly everyone, everywhere has wifi lan service. I have it at home, my employer has it at work, and everyone with a smartphone can make it a wifi hotspot if you need it. You just have to ask. No matter what the carriers tell you, a lan hotspot always beats cell service internet. Period.

I don't miss my cell service at all. If I need to make a call, I can use google voice or ask the guy right next to me. If someone needs to contact me, they know how.

Voip is just another part of the internet bundle. Same category as pandora or iheart radio. If the internet goes out, so do they. If the power goes out, so do they. Not the same as plain old telephone service.

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Old 06-12-14, 09:45 AM   #10
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I agree Jeff. Use to be people would pick up a phone and call you, now everyone wants texts. I can sort of understand because of all the crappy telemarketers and spammers that call you now a days. It's ridiculous. I don't even want to pick up my phone anymore.

But we have a regular analog phone as well as my wife's cell which has nothing but texting and local calling on it. And my cell phone but that's for work and I get everything on it for Canada (texting, data, long distance). But I'm not a fan of using cell phones myself except in an emergency.

How do you guys use your cell phone over your wifi at home? That would be interesting to try out. Even though my wifi sucks out of the city.

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