Jean wants to dump her AT&T phone service and use VOIP with the internet via Ooma. Leo says she can, but she'll be giving up precise 911 service. So if she has a cell phone, she can call 911. But that will be a regional e911 service, which will slow down response times. Ooma does offer 911 service to her registered address, but she'll have to pay for it, and if the power goes out, she'll lose her phone too. So its a mixed bag.
Tim would like to make free calls online. How can he do that? Leo recommends Google Voice. He can call the US, Mexico and Canada for free, and other international calls are about $0.02 a minute. There is no such thing as free service from a phone company, but he can get LifeLine service for under $10 a month.
Clarence found out that his regular phone service suddenly stopped working. Leo says that the cable company wants him to use their service and probably came out and cut his cable, or blocked it to prevent him from using it. This is a very illegal thing to do, and it's dangerous. Clarence should report them to the public utility commission.
Noel wants to use Voice Over IP for his office telephones. What does he need to look for? Leo says that Latency is the key. The longer the latency, the more annoying the delay in a conversation. Dropped packets is another issue in VoIP. Is that due to not having enough bandwidth? Leo says no. Voice doesn't take up a lot of bandwidth. But in an office, it all adds up. Leo uses RingCentral in his office.
Wi-Fi can also mess up VoIP because it gives preference to data over voice.
Mike B says that Google Voice can call 800 numbers, and he used it to call the Tech Guy show. That's something that the Amazon Echo cannot do.
Doctor Mom says that Amazon turned on calling land lines with the Echo, much like Google Home can. She's tried it out and it's much like the Echo to Echo feature. You wake it up and then say "dial, [phone number]." But it will not call Google Voice numbers or 800 numbers. You can't hook up a Bluetooth headset, either.
Jane wants to know if it's WhatApp or WhatsApp. Leo says there's an "S," so it's WhatsApp. A clever way of saying "what's up?"
Jane is thinking of getting her first smart phone so she can use WhatsApp to make phone calls. Leo says that WhatsApp identifies users by their phone numbers, not their names. So when people ask to use WhatsApp to make a call, that means they want not only their phone number, but also their contact list. Facebook is doing that to cross reference contacts with Facebook contacts, but you can opt out of it when you sign up.
Aaron is looking for an alternative to Skype for voice over IP (VOIP) calling. Is Google Hangouts a good idea? Leo says that Hangouts is a good option, but Google hasn't been giving it much attention to it as of late and may kill it.
Richard bought into T-Mobile's At Home VOiP service and now it's been discontinued. He's looking at Ooma now. Leo says that Ooma has a lot of users and they are very happy with it. So it's less likely it's going to go out of business. The downside, though, is that in the event of a natural disaster or power outage, he'll lose his phone because the internet is down. He'll have a cellphone, though. So Ooma is a solid alternative.
Rick wants to know if there's a call blocker for a landline phone. 95% of the calls he gets are Robocalls. He uses Ooma and they want $120 a year to block calls, so he wants to know if there's a good hardware based option. Leo says that most of the services he sees are generally White listers.