My Mainly Free Phone Line

With my new web design business almost ready, I realized I needed a phone number. I’d rather use something other than my cell.

Google has free phone numbers for anyone with a Gmail account. I’ve got one.

Actually a I’ve got a few. Shhhh.

I can use Google Voice from my cell, home phone or computer.

That doesn’t tell the whole story. These Google numbers are cumbersome to use. Making a call is a multistep process.

Last week I stumbled upon a little box that makes Google Voice work exactly like an old fashioned home phone. I bought an OBI100 on Amazon.

As far as I can tell the OBI100 fools Google Voice into thinking it’s talking to your computer. Does it really make a difference?

Setup took a few minutes and was simple. The OBI100 has a little wall wart that brings it power, an ethernet cable to hook to my router and a place to plug my phone. Configuration was done through a web browser.

As with most VOIP phones, this line will not connect to 911. That’s important, but not in this circumstance where the phone is one of many.

Like I said, Google Voice is free. It has been free for years, though each year Google warns it could become a paid service in the next year. In other cases where Google has moved free services to a pay model, the price has remained very low. I expect that here as well.

The OBI100 itself was $38. So, for $38 I get a phone line with voicemail and free domestic calls for this year and probably the foreseeable future with no monthly charge!

It does seem too good to be true, doesn’t it?