The OBi202 VOiP telephone adapter device from Obihai Technology represents a bodacious advance in telephony technology, yet nonetheless, costs but a quite modest amount.
We’ve traversed the dirt-cheap route often with other devices, but never found the consistently high quality, that is available in the OBi202. While there may be cheaper internet to phone converters out there, the OBi202 with its low to moderate price offers top-end performance and customer support.
We found that this VoIP telephone interface equals or perhaps even surpass the performance of traditional equipment designed for the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN). At roughly $100 per copy, this internet phone portal cost less than two months of traditional telephone subscription fees. Somewhat uncomfortable with this initial expense, until we realized that in just three months, coupled with a virtually free VoIP plan, the OBi202 would pay for itself in much lower phone line costs. All we could mutter, was wow(!), especially after we experienced its near-pristine sound on our phone calls.
This Obihai adapter does just about everything that’s important, quite well, from clear speech transmission, to silent operation. It generally does not distort telephone audio, even when your buddy at the other end of the line is thousands of miles away.
It’s easy to install and set up, and once done, you can put this device under a desk or in a dry basement, as you almost never need to touch it again. No need to fiddle with or tweak it. The OBi202 provides top-notch performance right out of the box. There are built-in high quality digital to analog converters for crystal clear sounding calls.
So with nary a quam, we declare the OBi202 a decent fidelity internet telephony product, which works about as well as you’re likely to see in any currently-available, similar product. We would, without hesitation swap our current telephone service for Google Voice, as connected through the OBi202. Thumbs up!
Advantages, Pros, Features
Google Voice compatible. The OBi202 natively supports Google Voice.
Multiple VoIP accounts. Up to two different google voice accounts may be linked to the OBi202, with each one hosting a different phone number on the two analog phone ports. Or, configure one port with a Google Voice number, and the other with a number from another VoIP provider. Mix and match.
Up to four VoIP providers. Supports up to four VoIP Services, two of which may be used at the same time via the two RJ11 analog phone ports, discussed next.
Two analog phone ports. Each RJ11 port can be configured with a separate telephone number, for two simultaneous lines. One could be your business phone, while the other could serve your office FAX machine.
Phone collaboration features. The two phone ports can function independently, or together, to form a “mini” telephone system, providing popular collaboration features for businesses. The phone on one port can call the phone on the other port (hit the # key at the dial tone).
Full caller Id support. The incoming caller’s telephone number, if not hidden, will display on any caller Id device connected to the phone ports.
Set up and configure at OBiTALK.com. Register your OBi202 here. Instructions provided in the box.
Security conscious design. Features a built-in one port router and firewall, to minimize hacking risks.
Free Obi to Obi calls. You can directly call other Obihai adapter users directly, without having to first join a VOiP service provider plan.
FAX support. Connect T.38 FAX machine to one of the OBi202 analog ports. Works the same as it would on a traditional analog phone line.
SIP truncking support. SIP (Session Initiated Protocol) allows for simultaneous file downloading, collaborative white board, and other multimedia content to be exchanged between callers on the same “line”.
USB port. The OBi202 provides one USB for Obihai Accessories, OBiWiFi, and OBiBT.
WiFi ready. You can connect the OBi202 wirelessly to your internet service with the OBiWiFi accessory, sold separately.
Supports many popular VOiP providers. In addition to Google Voice, the OBi202 can function with other services such as Anveo, Callcentric, VoicePulse, VoIP.ms et al, so long as they support the Open SIP standard.
Cons, Disadvantages, Limitations, Problems
No internet, no phone. If your internet connection goes down, so too will your phone service.
No power, no phone. The OBi202 requires 12 volts DC power, but offers no battery backup. You’ll need a separate uninterruptible power supply for that.
May or may not provide E911 access. The level of support for emergency calls is determined by the VoIP provider(s) you’ve selected for the OBi202. Nothing in this device precludes E911 support; that all depends on the VoIP provider picked. So, choose your provider(s) wisely.
Possible hidden charges from VoIP Providers. Note that the Obihai charges no fees other than the initial purchase price of the OBi202 adapter. However, some VoIP service providers just might; some have. So, be sure to understand the end user license agreements (EULA) for any VOiP vendor to which you connect your OBi202, to avoid those hidden surprises.
Initial setup can be tricky. If you plan on connecting the OBi202 to a VoIP provider other than ObiTALK (Obi-to-Obi calls only), then not only must you initially configure the OBi202 on the Obhai web portal, but you also must set it up at your selected VOiP provider’s web site; Google Voice for example.
We found the Obihai OBi202 telephone adapter to be well constructed, lightweight, easy to understand, and have placed tens of calls with it so far. No problems experienced setting it up initially and using each phone port. You can own this device for under a hundred dollars; though we recommend looking around for deals. We got ours for $70. We rate the OBi202 at 95 out of 100.
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- 2016-12-06: Originally published.