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So like others I purchased this little box to get rid of my $20 bill to Verizon for a home phone that mostly sits there due to the fact that we have cellphones but still want a "landline" style phone system just in case everyone's phone is on silent and there's an emergency. The obihai has worked mostly flawlessly with a couple of hiccups disconnecting from the internet and even one time having to be unplugged so it could reconnect. The one flaw other than having to pay a small fee for 911 service is that you can't circumvent Google's voice mail and have your home answering machine take your messages. I don't know if this is more of an issue on Google's side of the house or what, but sometimes, due to internet lag or whatever, the phone in our home may only ring once or twice, not giving us enough time to answer a call before Google's service redirects the caller to VM. Super annoying! I bought a fancy Panasonic phone systems for our home before I realized this. 5 stars if Obihai can work something out with Google to fix this as we miss about 50% of our calls.
I spent 7 hours trying to get this product, Obi 202, to work. The problems start with Polycom’s web page for the device. It’s hard to tell what to do and when you find what you need it fails - repeatedly. This sends one down a rabbit hole where that web page refers you to another tech help page that is also remarkably poor. After three hours I got the device to register that google voice was the service I was trying to use. After that, Google became the problem. As a Google Workspace user I found the Google Voice service was “on for everyone” in my company. Nonetheless, when I tried to dial with the Polycom device a recording saying I had a problem with my provider was all I could get. Enter the Google rabbit hole... I tried and tried to find something somewhere that would tell me about Google Voice, whether I had it for sure, whether I needed to purchase it, what it would cost, and so on. I was not sure if I simply had made a mistake somewhere in the set up of the Polycom device. Finally, I got a live body from Google to speak with me. He said this Obi202 is unsupported for new non-free Google Voice. Since I’m not able to use the grandfathered Google Voice free version, my Polycom purchase became a boat anchor. Remember, that the Obi 202 is an “Amazon’s Choice”. So even though the device says “Google Voice” in large letters across its face, you may not be able to use this just like me.
I both this product 3 years ago and no issues and kept my firmware up to date. I am well versed in setting the unit up. Recently I upgraded my router and changed my Internet Provider. So do to some technical problems I had to unregister the obi unit and re register and set it up again as if it was a new unit. That is where the problem started. Obihai has a known faulty server that has not been working properly for over four months and it will not allow you to register your device. They tell you to hang up and try again if the device does not register after you dial in. I had to do this over and over till the device finally registered 4 hours later. I called into to customer service and they confirmed what the message boards all said that this is an ongoing issue.
Garbage device with nonexistent service by Obi / Poly. The company can not or refuses to fix a server bug they have that keeps user from adding device which if you can’t add device to their system you have a useless device. I’ve spent over 100 hours and thousands of attempts in trying to get the device added with their tech support who say this has been an issue for years now. Their only solution is keep trying?
There are tons of comments in various forums about the issue, since Obi was taken over by Polycom, it's been 4 months that they have had server connectivity issues and we cannot get support AT ALL for this device. everything in the setup works correctly, except adding the device to the Obi network, which is required to configure it for use.
I should have researched this more for feedback outside of Amazon. :-( I've been trying 20x a day, every hour to register this device since it arrived on Friday (5 days ago) If I can't get it working by tomorrow, it's getting returned. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY
Steps to Register: Add an OBi Device 1. Please pick up the telephone handset, and dial **5 (followed by a 4 digit code, varies with each attempt) 2. You may hang-up when you hear the automated response. (says 'the number you dialed has been sent to the server') 3. If your device does not connect within approximately 15 seconds, please repeat starting at step #1. Trying to connect to your device... (Timeout in 180 seconds)
When it times out - shows this error: Failed to connect to your device. Please check your device's internet connection: 1. Check to be sure the OBi device's power LED solid green. If the power light (LED) is blinking green, that means the OBi can't get an IP address from your router. Verify the Ethernet cable is securely connected to the OBi and the router. If available check if there is a link light (LED) on the router port where the Ethernet cable connects. If the LED behavior appears to be faulty, try another Ethernet cable. 2. Can you call **9-222-222-222 ? If not, make sure your router's firewall is not blocking traffic from the OBi. Click Here for more. 3. If you are using a Westell / Actiontec router, you MUST disable the firewall. Click Here for more. Click Try Again or click Cancel to return to the device list.
It only lets you Try Again or Cancel, and it never actually registers the device (even though all of the steps listed were confirmed correct); nor is there a support number to call for assistance.
I liked the hardware. The user interface was as good as any and what I could get working worked great. The support folks were fine, if and when you could reach them. I spent several hours listening to elevator music waiting for a support person. I think they must only have one very over-worked guy. Average wait time was 45+ minutes and over an hour on more than one occasion.
But in the end, the problem for me was not the hardware or the support. The problem is that the OBi202 uses several ports to provision it's unique functionality and those ports are not available with the T-Mobile Home Internet LTE Gateway Solution. I don't know if and when OBi and T-Mobile will work that out. But as of 1/25/2021, don't bother to try the OBi202 if you are on T-Mobile Home Internet. You can VPN the connection and pass it through, but the overhead is too high for VoIP.
i was never able to get it to sync up with the obi website so i returned my unit. according to the forum, its really "hit-n-miss" and it more depends on luck than anything. most people with the same issue said they "eventually" were able to get it working.
i figure its a big waste of time to keep trying to sync the unit over and over (and over and over) depending on luck.
I used the Obi to transfer land line numbers to Google Voice and ring an analog phone and fax connection on the two ports.
The only small challenge was the enrollment for the device, it took many tries to get the code registered but once that finally went through the rest of the process was easy with the built in automatic configuration for the google voice accounts (when credentials were provided).
The device would not connect to their servers and their tech support is literally a person who opens the same instruction manual you are looking at and tells you to repeat the same steps until it works. How many times? Hundreds. Is there really nothing else we can do? No. There are forums filled with 1000 reply threads on how to get this device to work and I tried everything in every thread. Customer service takes a week to reply to support tickets and is completely useless. What spurred this review is they literally just responded to my support ticket...3 months later.
I started using these many years back when I canceled my home land line. Now I use Google Voice and my cost is Zero. Sound quality is great. You can set up call forwarding to a cell phone. It screens calls and blocks spam. Voicemails come to my email. Also, you can just plug in a regular old phone to the back and it will ring and work just as though you have an old fashioned land line.