Sunday, June 5, 2016

OBi Google Voice Gadget

OBi200 (
Way back in 2012, I told you about Google Voice (GV). With a little math that even I can handle, that means I've been using GV for four years now. It has helped me a lot, and for a while now, I've been considering getting rid of my landline since hardly anyone uses that number anymore. Plus, I wanted to save some money.

I have really wanted to be able to continue using the nice cordless handsets I have. They are more comfortable to hold, and I have several located throughout my home, which is much more convenient than carrying the cell phone around with me.

A year ago, I was working towards this transition and actually switched to AT&T U-verse®. That allowed me to save a little money and to make sure that everyone is switched to the GV number that needs to be.

The only calls I get now are telemarketers—thanks AT&T. Yeah, they totally messed me up with the transition by spelling my name wrong and making it look like a new resident, which allowed the telemarketers to start calling me despite me being on the do not call list. Ugh!

I had learned of a gadget made by Obihai that would take my GV number and make it ring on my handsets without the need for a separate landline or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) number. I have not heard of any other gadget that will do this, and I finally decided to order it and see if it would work for me.

Infographic from OBiTALK website
It's a very small, simple-looking gadget that came with a quick start guide—plug the phone line from your phone into OBi, plug the Ethernet cable into the OBi and into your router, plug the adapter into the OBi and into the wall outlet. After that, you set up an OBi account, follow a couple more steps and bam, you're done. Mine looked like it should be working—green lights, online verification, but it didn't.

Back of the Obi200 (from OBiTALK website)
Back of the OBi200 (from OBiTALK website)
A quick Google search brought me back to a page on with a link to a video. Everything, until the last step, was exactly what I had done. The last step was to sign into GV and change the setting to allow it to forward to Google Chat, and finally, it worked. I don't know why Obihai doesn't include that step in their instructions, and it does worry me that Google could change something about that feature that would stop my gadget from working, but for now, at least, it works!

Obihai makes a couple of versions—one has the capability of two lines, but for me, this $49 gadget is exactly what I needed so I can finally cancel my VoIP "landline" and save about $20 per month. It comes with a one-year warranty, and my hope, of course, is that it will work for many years.

Obi200, Home Phone, & Router
OBi200, Home Phone, & Router
And if you don't want to be limited to plugging your OBi gadget into your router like I have done, Obihai also makes a wifi adapter.

So in case you're still not sure what this gadget, along with a GV number, will do for you, let me sum it up. Having a GV number means that you can use one phone number on several devices. I have mine also ring my mobile number. I originally had the GV number ring my landline (VoIP) number, but giving that number up meant that I would no longer be able to use my traditional cordless telephones. The OBi gadget rings my GV number on my home telephones.

Oh, and a bonus is that I can dial from my home telephones and it displays the GV number to the person I'm calling. Previously, it would display my landline number and because I didn't want to confuse people who were receiving my calls, I would have to use the GV website to place calls through my home telephone. So I'm saving lots of money and it's more convenient than ever. Thanks, Obihai!

Do you know of another gadget will accomplish the same thing? Tell me about it in the comments.

Let me know if you have any questions. And if after reading this review, you are considering purchasing the OBi200, I have provided the direct link to the product at Amazon. This is the same price you will find on your own, but buying through this link will help to support this site and ensure that I can continue to bring you more reviews.

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