A Good Landline without Internet

What’s a good landline alternative to ATT?
A nearly 2 year old article by Clark recommends Ooma. It gets horrible reviews.

Your subject says WITHOUT internet. Do you mean WITH internet? OOMA needs Internet.

If you have and can use Internet, I suggest an adapter and a service provider such as Voip.MS or CallCentric. The adapter allows you to use a regular wired telephone or cordless. The provider gives you all the options like voicemail, call blocking, etc. Many of the providers will allow you to move your current number to them at no cost, or you can buy a new number for less than a dollar. Monthly charges for service (with no calls) may be a dollar a month. Calls are often 1 cent per minute.

I created a website years ago and most info is still valid. Look at https://voip.planet-aloha.com/ for lots of options. (I don’t sell any of the products there and do not represent any of the companies).

What is wrong with Ooma? It may not be the best (or maybe it is), but it has done a great job for me, and is far less expensive than Centurylink had become. (FWIW, I loved Centurylink when we first signed up)

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Ooma works for me, but I’m going to shut it down someday. It’s a Boomer security blanket, a nostalgia nest where I park the 30 year old landline phone number. When I relocate it’s going to eBay


You can port your number to VOIP.MS for free. Then you pay only 80 cents a month to keep it there.
They have no taxes, so total cost should be 80 cents a month. You pay a penny for an inbound 1 minute call.

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Here is a quick comparison of why I am not using OOMA. In Hawaii it required get premium by the way. Not all options are compared and people should do their own investigation, such as what the yearly cost including all calls.

I will look into it. The premium spam filtering / whitelisting on ooma is quite good, however, would voip.ms simply be an “open” line? Without filtering, the number is unusable, we’d have to silence the ringer… at that point why not just shut it all down?

Voip.Ms is an online service. To make/receive calls you would need to either forward calls to another number, or use an adapter and an existing telephone, or an IP telephone, or use an app on your smartphone.

SMAM calls can be thwarted by using a whitelist (adding numbers allowed to call), a black list (blocking calls you don’t want, using an Automated Attendant (press 5 to reach me), sending certain or all calls to voicemail after hours. You can also use the free service NOMOROBO which also blocks KNOWN telemarketers.

The unlimited white and blacklist mentioned above can be used to block international inbound calls (ones that do not use out 7/10 digit format), blocks anonymous calls, blocks calls based upon a pattern (like a whole area code). I have a number from a state I used to live in. Many people have that number but do not live in that state. Thus anyone calling from that area code have a wrong number.

On one of my many phone numbers I am getting calls for some business in California. They accidentally listed their area code as 808 instead of 800. On that particular number I put up an automated attendant. It answers and says “If you are calling the XYZ company, their number is listed incorrectly. Please dial area code 800-555-1234” otherwise I continue the call to my phone so it can ring.

Voip.Ms and other services are home AND business-type services and thus have lots of options you may or may not need. Since the price is so cheap, I recommend it for either use.

Coip.Ms and the Obi device are a bit technical and not just a plug it in and you are done. However, I am happy to help people get it going.

If you have a different number that you currently use AND want to keep this old number, you don’t need an adapter or IP phone. You would port the old number to Voip.MS, add all the filtering that you want, set up a voicemail if you want to use theirs for this number and then if a call passes your criteria, send it to your other number. The cost to do all that is: Port the old number to them for free, pay 80 cents a month and then just over a penny a minute for any call that you finally send to the other number. If you are only getting a few valid calls, skip the forward and send them to voicemail. Voicemail will email you the audio and you call the people back from you other number.