Networking & Wireless forum

Question

Home based phone service

Please excuse if I'm in the wrong forum - I've been researching this for several hours now.

I've recently discovered that my 85 y.o mother is being gouged by AT&T, wherein she's paying $50/month for landline service, which provides her with local calling only!! Who pays that much for phone service these days and doesn't even get any long distance with it?! She is paying a separate long distance provider, GTC, 3 cents a minute for long distance calls.

AT&T's answer is their unlimited home saver plan for $20/month, but they're asking $200 for the box, which I find equally absurd. I asked if it would work with a pre-purchased one in the same way you can buy your own internet modem, but was told no.

Ideally I would set her up with VOIP like I have for $14/month - unlimited everything, every feature you could want - the problem being that that requires a wired ethernet connection. Both my mother's basic cable and internet (via WiFi) are provided complimentary of her living facility. Unfortunately VOIP won't work with a WiFi signal (please correct me if I've been told wrong about that).

So would it be worth it for her to order the cheapest (wired) internet service we can find for the purpose of being able to have VOIP? Will it cost her less in the long run? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Glenn

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Clarification Request
Where is it stated VOIP doesn't work over WiFi?

In reply to: Home based phone service

I use many VOIP apps on my phone over WiFi. I also link my phone over Bluetooth which is slower than WiFi to a cordless phone so something is not right here.

-> NOW THERE IS A CLUE HERE that it's in a care facility so many do not allow other providers so it's likely it's out of line as to pricing.

My advice is to get her a flip phone and service that works in your area.
Or look into getting a phone with Bluetooth and install this sort of cordless phone (I own such a thing!)
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BP7SW0C/ 5 handsets? Too many?
Try https://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=link2cell

So that opens you up to other solutions.

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VOIP

In reply to: Where is it stated VOIP doesn't work over WiFi?

Thanks for the reply.
Well I checked with Phone Power, as that's who i use, and Vonage as well and that's what they both said.

I'll look into your other suggestion - I'm not all that well-versed in Bluetooth technology.

She does have a smart phone, but is not all that adept at using it (retrieving voicemail and such) and I wouldn't want it to be her one and only source.

Thanks again,

Glenn

Post was last edited on August 29, 2018 11:05 AM PDT

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(NT) VOIP

In reply to: Where is it stated VOIP doesn't work over WiFi?

Post was last edited on August 29, 2018 11:03 AM PDT

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(NT) Sorry for duplicate posts - can't seem to delete them.

In reply to: Where is it stated VOIP doesn't work over WiFi?

Post was last edited on August 29, 2018 11:06 AM PDT

All Answers

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Answer
Home is not "living facility." Why this matters.

In reply to: Home based phone service

It may not be a normal home WiFi. They could have blocks in place or some other issue.

My advice is a flip phone and maybe that Link2Cell system (I use it!).

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Link2Cell

In reply to: Home is not "living facility." Why this matters.

Thanks for the reply.

When you answer using one of the wireless handsets, does it count as using your cell minutes? She presently isn't on an unlimited cell plan, but that can be changed.

Thanks,

Glenn

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Varies with carrier.

In reply to: Link2Cell

I'm on Ting.com and it's a pay as you use system. So my bill goes up and down with my use. For costs we have to defer to the carrier.

Link2cell is very cool. But I'd start with a flip phone or any simple phone. There are not as many as there used to be but they are out there.

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Link2Cell

In reply to: Varies with carrier.

Firstly, thanks to everyone for the input.

She actually already has a smart phone primarily for emergencies, but it wouldn't suffice by itself, as she doesn't always get to it on time - she likes to have multiple handsets. And she's not very adept with voicemail - much better with an answering machine.

I did look into the Link2Cell, which would be perfect except for one thing - apparently the answering machine does not work via Bluetooth alone. It requires a landline - if I'm wrong about this, please let me know - which is pretty ridiculous, as the point is to get rid of the landline.

Also,regarding your earlier suggestion of VOIP, I have Phone Power for a mere $14/month and have never had an issue with it, but I see no way for the phone modem to pick up a WiFi signal. If you know of a way around that, please let me know.

Thanks,

Glenn

Post was last edited on August 30, 2018 4:09 PM PDT

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I wonder if this is the "more than one answer machine" issue

In reply to: Link2Cell

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Phone modem

In reply to: I wonder if this is the "more than one answer machine" issue

The VOIP phone modem isn't WiFi - it takes its signal from an internet modem via ethernet cable. I was replying to your message title from earlier on "Where is it stated VOIP doesn't work over WiFi?"

Thanks.

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So we need a WiFi to Ethernet client.

In reply to: Phone modem

I have such a thing in my travel bag for such situations.

It's a TP-Link WR-702N. There are now dozens of such things that connect to a common WiFi router's signal and give us Ethernet on the other side.

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Answer
Contact the assisted living folks

In reply to: Home based phone service

And see what they offer for phone service.

My phone service comes in a bundle from my isp and cost me 5 bucks a month and has more features than I can use.

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