Sunday, May 15, 2011

Obi110 + ObiON for iPhone = free VOIP!

I have previously mentioned that I travel a lot, internationally. I keep in touch back home in the US with a prepaid international cellphone, Skype, and email.

I recently found a new tool that may replace the first two (mostly).

(I can't find the original article that pointed me to this...)

The Obihai Obi110.

This website has a few good articles on the subject.

This box (the obi110) has ports for your phone line, phone, and ethernet. You plug it into the phone line to allow your VOIP calls access to the outside world, the phone plug puts your house phone on the VOIP or regular phone line.

I it disgustingly easy to set up. I have cordless phones linked to one base station, so I plug that base into the OBI, plug the OBI into the wall and ethernet, and the phone still works normally, no setup required. The OBI gets an IP address...and you can pick up your handset to dial the unit to get the IP.

Go to that IP on your computer, and you can either dig into the elaborate lists of the ObiTalk app that steps you through most setups.

Ok, so what. So using ObiTalk I set the Obi110 unit up as the Voice Gateway. I installed the ObiON app to my iPhone, and added its obi number to my ObiTalk account.

Here is the neat part. Using the ObiON app I log into my Obi110 unit. From there I can ring the phone or do other things...and the call audio is much better than cellphone... gets better. So lets say I am in Paris and I want to call the wife's cellphone. I use the ObiOn app, dial her regular cellphone number (just the digits, no other codes) ...the Obi110 uses the land line to call her cellphone. You can call any number you want, and it will route through your home line...of course at that point if you dial out of your local area, then long distance charges would apply, just as if you used the handset in the house.

As long as the app is running, you can receive calls from other OBi units. You can set up speed dials on your phone...

...and you can set up Google Voice on the Obi.

I haven't tried that feature yet, but it is well documented at the Obihai site.

Only drawback so far is the ObiON app for the iPhone (there is an Android app also) sucks a lot of battery power when if you are not plugged in and using the had better kill it. (with my jailbroken iPhone, that part is easy).


Susan said...

Hi Bubba,
I stumbled apon your article when I googled OBIon and iphone. You said it was ridiculously easy to set up. Not for me. I have the OBi110 set up for my house okay, my house phone works okay, I got set up on google voice okay, I got callcentric for 911 calls and that's working ok. The only thing that's not working so good is the call quality when I use OBiOn on iphone 4. I can make calls but it sounds choppy to the other person. I have AT&T internet service. Did you have to do anything special to set up your iphone? When you say the app uses the battery so you should kill it? Do you mean I should logoff Obitalk when I'm not using it? Will the phone ring if I turn off the ObiTalk? I realize you're not tech support for this product but you sound like you know what you are talking about on technical matters. Write back if you feel like it. Thanks. Susan

bubba zanetti said...

Sorry, didn't see this comment. The call quality is all up to your internet connection, the weaker the wifi the choppier the signal. As far as the App goes, I have software in my iPhone to allow me to selectively kill tasks. The OBion software once it logs in, continuously checks it status until your battery runs dry...I don't know if logging off by itself will solve the problem.