The Obihai Obi 100: A Mini Review
Normally this blog is about creative stuff. But every once in a while I have to share something from my geeky side (what’s that you say? I do that all the time? Nooooooo!!!) What can I say: I don’t have the energy to maintain two blogs.
Meet the Obihai Obi 100. This small device, about the size of a deck of cards, connects your POTS-type analog phone to an ethernet connection for making and receiving calls via the Internet. There are two software “slots” for service providers, and you have your choice of Google Voice or any standard SIP-based VOIP. I’ve been using it with a standard SIP connection and the call quality is great. The device is very easy to set up, especially if you choose to configure it via Obihai’s web site: by typing in a DTMF sequence the device “phones home” and then you can configure everything very simply. There is also a local web server built into the device if you prefer, although that is a lot more verbose.
Like a lot of folks with a multi-mobile family plan, we’ve been without a land line for quite some time. Sometimes I really missed having a “home phone” with a separate device and a separate number. This device allows us to have a home phone super cheaply. I dug out of storage an old cordless phone, which I am using it with. Now if my mobile is charging, or a guest wants to make a call, or my kids have absconded with my mobile, I don’t want to use cell minutes for a long call…whatever the reason, it’s nice to have another phone around that let’s you make a clear call. And with Google Voice you can make calls anywhere within the US for free (at least through 2011)!
The best thing is that I paid a whopping $43 US for this device with free shipping from Amazon. If it sounds interesting, check it out: OBi100 VoIP Telephone Adapter and Voice Service Bridge. Recommended.