So, I have been paying Rogers about $25 CAD per month for a land line for like 4 years now since moving back to Ottawa, Canada. I’ll wait for you to stop laughing before I continue… still waiting… okay, enough.
Listen: We needed a land line so my wife could call her mum whenever she wanted with free long distance. Still laughing? I bet you feel bad now. That’s her mum I’m talking about. Heavy sigh.
Anyway. I am so tired of handing $25 per month to a company like Rogers. So I decided to go to a VoIP phone. VoIP means Voice Over Internet Protocol. Which mean you make your call over the internet, not over the telephone lines stretching across the country. Using VoIP, I will reduce my monthly cost to $0.85 per month (excluding long distance costs). Yup, that is 85 cents. Don’t believe me? Head on over to http://voip.ms and check it out.
So how do I do this?
- Once you have an account with VoIP.ms, request a new land line phone number.
- Go to where your phone lines enters the house (usually by the power panel) and disconnect the land line from the little box the phone company installed. This little box distributes the phone lines in the walls of your house.
- Take a spare phone line and connect it to this little box and take the other end and connect it to an analog telephone adapter (ATA) –
The device I bought was the Grandstream GS-HT802 on Amazon.ca. What you have just done is that all the phone jacks in your house are connected to the ATA.
- Connect your ATA to your house internet connection with an ethernet cable (Cat5e). I connected mine to a TP-Link switch. Your phones in the house will now communicate to the INTERNET, not your telephone provider. Get it?
- Browse into your house internet router (typically 192.168.1.1) on a desktop or laptop. Determine what IP address your ATA was assigned by the router. You then need to remote into the ATA using that IP address (type the address into a browser e.g. 192.168.1.23) and configure the ATA as required. There are so many options here. Please Google configurations for your ATA. Mine can provide music to people on hold, will text me when someone leaves a voice mail, call forwarding to multiple lines (i.e. you and wife get a cell phone call when someone calls the house, first one to answer wins), etc. etc.
- Pick up your phone handset (that you already have in your house connected to a house phone plug) and dial out. Use a cell phone and dial in. This confirms the ATA is working.
- Then go to VOIP.ms and request they transfer your original land line number over them. This will take a week or so. They will contact your phone provider and make the transfer happen.
- While this is being transferred, disconnect everything and go back to the old telephone connection and enjoy your last days with a company that takes your money and takes your money and takes your money.
- Once VOIP.ms owns your old number. Reconnect your ATA and call your phone company to cancel your land line.
- Use your new found wealth to treat your wife/significant other to something nice. Or your doogie-doog. Or your cat. You decide.
Warning: Do this means that when your house loses POWER, that your land lines will not work. Why? The internet devices in your house are also without power. However, you can install an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to your home internet devices and to the ATA and provided your internet connection is still available, you can make calls. I’m not doing that though. My house phones are those wireless ones with a base station that requires power, so when I lose power I lose my land lines. Meh. I just use my cell phone…