[u-u] Cheap/free VOIP home phone

William Kisin uu at sunlight.ca
Tue May 26 10:26:59 EDT 2020

I think I read somewhere that the fongo app uses SIP internally.

I find  fongo useful as a secondary number.  Quality varies.

The free service requires that you make an outgoing call occasionally, or you lose the service.  I don't remember the details, but I call my own home number a couple of times a month to keep the service alive.

Fongo is great for receiving faxes.  They convert them to a PDF that you can download.

It really is free.  I've never been asked for payment information.

William Kisin

On May 26, 2020 10:09:40 AM EDT, Dan Astoorian <djast at ecf.utoronto.ca> wrote:
>On Mon, 25 May 2020 13:19:24 EDT, David Gilbert writes:
>> > I sometimes had calls drop after 15 minutes when I was still on
>> > TekSavvy, though (although I think this is the first time I've had
>> > one side of the call drop on me).
>> Yes.  It would.  What's happening is that your modem is translating
>> ports involved in the call.  When it ages out the mapping several
>> can happen.  An outgoing packet, for instance, can create a new
>> ... and end up "originating" from a new port number... or not.  If 
>> you're loosing one way, the most likely scenario is that this is 
>> happening, your carrier is "accepting" that change but still sending
>> stream to the old port.  NAT is a hack, and in most consumer devices 
>> it's badly implemented.
>Okay... so.
>I was able to reproduce the problem by using my office VOIP line to
>my home netTALK line and staying on the call for 15 minutes.
>I did this after disabling SIP ALG on my new Rogers home router, so
>apparently wasn't the issue.
>I then made the netTALK device the DMZ host and rebooted it (i.e., the
>netTALK device).  After doing so, I could now browse to it at either
>private (192.168.0.x) IP address or at my public IP address.  However,
>the call still half-dropped after about 15 minutes.
>Finally, as a control, I reconnected my TekSavvy modem and wireless
>router and connected the netTALK phone through it the way it was before
>the upgrade... and the symptom *still* happened, entirely eliminating
>Rogers router as the sole culprit.
>I think these results narrow down the problem to one of:
>a) a problem at the netTALK server end; or
>b) a problem that somehow exists both for Rogers and TPIAs that use
>    Rogers (is that plausible?) or
>c) a problem on my netTALK device itself.
>My money would be on a), given how unreliable the service has been for
>me in the past.  I also think they may have made some changes on their
>end recently, as a) caller ID recently seems to have arbitrarily
>working again, and b) for some reason, their web portal has suddenly
>started reporting that every the call in my call history had a duration
>of exactly 60 seconds (even calls going back almost 18 months).
>FWIW, the configuration options for the netTALK device is very limited:
>most of the options on the config page revolve around WiFi settings,
>which I'm not using--I've always connected it as a wired device.  (The
>only other settings are for "digit timeout (mSec)", "CallerID Type",
>"Voice Volume" and "Tone volume", so this is not something I can try to
>fix on the device itself.)
>(Before anyone suggests it: if I Google "netTALK customer support," the
>results page says "Did you mean: pull out your fingernails with a pair
>of rusty pliers"?)
>BTW, If anyone happens to know of a free, but not
>way to test SIP from an old Android 4 phone for a >15 minute call
>a method that doesn't involve me paying $99+tx to freephoneline.ca for
>service that might turn out not to work--like a SIP "speaking clock" or
>something), I'd appreciate the pointer.
>Dan Astoorian, Systems Administrator
>Engineering Computing Facility
>University of Toronto
>u-u mailing list
>u-u at unixunanimous.org

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