VOiP

Can I cancel my phone service and use the internet to make calls?

Ooma

Episode 1522

Jean from Los Angeles, CA

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.

What should I look for in a VoIP telephone service?

Office telephone

Episode 1460

Noel from Huntington beach, CA

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.

Can I use WhatsApp without a phone?

WhatsApp

Episode 1413

Jane from Oregon

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.

Is Ooma a good VOiP phone service?

Ooma Telo

Episode 1365

Richard from Sonoma, CA

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.