Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The right way to use Ooma

If, after careful thought about the problems addressed at various sites around the net, you still want to use Ooma service for your long distance service, then I recommend that you do it as follows, which gets around most of the problems:

Be advised: If you connect the Ooma hub to your PSTN (POTS/landline) service, they change your phone service to add Call Forwarding on Busy and remove other features. All good hackers will opt to NOT provide Ooma this information and to NOT connect their landline to the Ooma hub. If Ooma already changed your service, call your phone company and change it back to the way you want it. (You should also tell your phone company not to accept further changes from a third party.)

Suggested hacks:

  • Get the version of Ooma service without your landline connected. This option is apparently not available to "white rabbits" so alternatively, disconnect your landline from the Ooma hub.

  • Use a separate "ooma Phone" connected to the Ooma hub. Use this phone for domestic long distance calls. Optionally, use a two-line phone to have access to your real PSTN line at the same time.

  • Do not use a Scout, but rather connect all "ooma phones" to the Hub. Use these phones to make and receive Ooma calls (via the Internet).

  • Whenever placing a call over the Ooma network (using an "ooma phone" above), begin the call with *82 to force the call through a "secure" Ooma Gateway and to include Calling Line ID so that your friends who screen their calls will answer.

This arrangement will give the user the advantage of being able to use Ooma to make long-distance calls, while using their own line for local calls whenever they want.

Dialing *82 for all calls placed over the ooma network also has the side benefit of added security because it prevents your call from being sent via someone else's ooma hub and prohibits any such user from eavesdropping on your calls.

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