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Device to access my home phone over the Internet

Posted on 2016-11-11
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Last Modified: 2016-11-12
hi EE folks

for some reasons i am looking for a device that can allow me to remotely access my land line at home across the internet, including making outgoing calls and ideally receiving incoming calls as well.

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as shown above, i guess i need a device in the middle of my phone socket on the wall and my internet facing router, then i can use an application (prefer on iOS and Windows) to remotely access my home phone.

can i do that? if so, what kind of device do i need?

thanks for any comments and suggestions.

regards,
bbao
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Question by:Bing CISM / CISSP
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 41884319
Why so complicated? Phone companies usually offer services where you can forward calls to another number, for example to your cell phone. You don't need any hardware for that. Or you can setup a messagebox function where you can call your home phone, enter your code, then listen to any mailbox messages.
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by:garycase
ID: 41884331
Agree with rindi.   Clearly you can MAKE calls from your iPhone with no need to route them through your land line.

And you can simply forward your home phone # to your iPhone when you need to -- virtually all phone companies have provisions for that these days ... in most cases you can log on to a support website and do it yourself, including turning it on or off as needed.

Or you could, as rindi noted, just put an answering system on your home line and then remotely check your messages as needed.

If those won't work for you, there are several business-oriented PBX devices that will do what you want ... but they are NOT inexpensive.
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Expert Comment

by:Lexan Tronix
ID: 41884334
The easiest solution would be to move your phone number to a VOIP provider such as RingCentral or Nextiva

At that point you can have a polycom phone at home plugged in to your router with the main number and an application on your phone which the same exact number that you could use to dial  and receive phone calls.
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Author Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 41884401
thanks heaps for the comments and suggestions above.

it seems i better explain the reason why i have to stick on that particular phone line: unlimited international calls offered by my land line provider. sometimes I need to stay overseas and I want to keep making international callls using the offer. that's basically where the story is from.

any more thoughts please?
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Assisted Solution

by:darbid73
darbid73 earned 350 total points
ID: 41884439
hi Bing,

From your profile it looks like you are in Australia am I right?

If I understand you correctly you have secured a telephone service at your home which has free international calling rates.  You would like to take advantage of these rates no matter where you are in the world.  So for example you are on the road in Cairns north Queensland and need to call America so you get out your mobile phone "call home" which is your "box" and then it uses your already set up telephone service to call America which is free.

Is that correct?

If so I have been using for over 10 years a Fritz Box to do exactly this.  Fritz Box is made by AVM which is a German company, there are a number of models and as far as I know they are available in Australia. Here is one review from an Australian site.  They are not the cheapest things but I can confirm that they work really well and do not crash.

Here is an explanation from AVM on one such model of Call Through which I think is what you need.

Once we establish this kind of thing is what you want there could be other devices that also do this.  I also think you might need to set up a few VOIP accounts or something to get this all working.
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Author Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 41884473
hi darbid73

yes, i am in Australia, and YES it is just something I am looking for!

it seems only one thing needs to be confirm: how do i contact when i am on go, especially overseas?

do i have to call my home using mobile phone then give four-digit security code? it is okay if i am traveling in Australia as i can make unlimited national calls. but if I stay overseas, this seems not reasonable as I have to make expensive IDD calls back to Australia (which is just something I want to avoid).

or can i use an iOS app to directly connect the FRITZ box at home? that would make sense in all scenarios.  port forwarding on the internet-facing router or having VPN connection back to home will be all possible and workable for me.

is the second option possible?

thanks heaps as always.
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Accepted Solution

by:
darbid73 earned 350 total points
ID: 41884477
I think the first thing we need to work out is what phone lines you have at home right now...  What do you have?

The method the fritz box uses is (a) you call yourself at home, (b) fritz box answers, (c) you dial a new number, (d) fritz box calls this number ON A DIFFERENT LINE.

In other words you need 2 phone lines (old type/ISDN or VOIP) set up to do this.

For example for me my FritzBox is connected to an old standard telephone number that have been around forever.  But I also have VOIP accounts set up in my Fritzbox.  So I call myself on my standard Telstra number.  Then when I dial my international number the fritz box sends this call out on a VOIP account.

So I am assuming in your case you have got a deal for your standard telephone number right? This means you will be unable to reach your fritz box by calling this number as you will be unable to use the same number to call out.

Do you have multiple standard numbers set up at home?
Do you have VOIP accounts.

If you are OS and what to use this the only way I know to reach your home will be through the use of VOIP.  You will be able to call the fritz box through VOIP, then dial the new number you want.  The VOIP call to your fritz box will be free, but will be over the internet.
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Author Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 41884568
Thanks heaps for your prompt reply.

i do have another VoIP line, which can be used to accept incoming call.

the land line to make free IDD calls is technically also VoIP based but hard coded with the provider's modem, its VoIP parameters seem not available from the provider hence using a standalone SIP phone client is no longer an option. I also notice it's MTA and CMTS are all using private IP addresses.

the 4-step process to make a call via a Fritz box let me clearly understand what kind of device it is: a relay. am I correct?

however, I guess this model should work if no extra cost for calls from my mobile phone to home (such as traveling in home country).

is there a device that can do things in a bit different way, to act as a VoIP gateway? the Internet-facing side of the device acts like a SIP server accepting my credential to sign in, while the phone side of the device acts like a relay to make or receive calls per controls from SIP client (the app running on my smartphone). am i making things complicated again? :))

thanks again.
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by:darbid73
ID: 41884579
What is the VOIP you have and what's the device?
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Author Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 41884581
the VoIP line is provided by an Australian provider, a pretty standard VoIP service locked to a Linksys SPA 2100 though I am also able to access the line using my iPhone with an app called Media5.
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by:garycase
garycase earned 100 total points
ID: 41884596
darbid73 => Interesting features on the Fritz Box.   I read through the manual for the 7490 (a newer A/C version of the 7390), and it looks like it will indeed work nicely to automatically relay calls between two lines.    As near as I can tell, this does mean you have to have phone number that you can call from your mobile device from anywhere in the world (or at least anywhere you'd want to use this feature) in order to be able to then relay the outgoing call you really wanted to make to the 2nd line.   Is this correct?

In addition to this telephony feature, the 7490 looks like a GREAT (if rather expensive) router.
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by:garycase
ID: 41884598
"... the VoIP line is provided by an Australian provider, a pretty standard VoIP service locked to a Linksys SPA 2100 though I am also able to access the line using my iPhone with an app called Media5. "  ==>  Does this allow you to access the line from anywhere in the world that you have a WiFi connection on your iPhone?    If so, it would seem that the Fritz Box will do exactly what you want, assuming darbid73 can confirm what I just asked about the process.
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by:darbid73
darbid73 earned 350 total points
ID: 41884616
The fritz box is modem, router and telephone / voip device all in one. You can even connect DECT devices to it.

Because it's capable of handling multiple VOIP accounts I was thinking whom ever you are with it would have to work in the Fritz Box so I wanted to research that for you.
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by:darbid73
ID: 41884623
I have never tested it but I think you could have 2 free voip accounts one on your phone with e.g. Nimbuzz app. The second in your fritzbox. Your phone uses the internet to call your fritzbox then you call back out again.

BUT you need all phone accounts to be in the fritzbox which currently is not the situation.
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Author Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 41884626
> Does this allow you to access the line from anywhere in the world that you have a WiFi connection on your iPhone?

yes, it was tested in Asia and North America.

> The fritz box is modem, router and telephone / voip device all in one. You can even connect DECT devices to it.

it is great per the specs.

but as I already have 5 Wi-Fi routers at home, it seems not that necessary to get one more just for a phone-line-relay feature. I have also noticed its expensive price tag.

is Fritz box the only choice? no any other vendors making the same or similar things? is there a device dedicated doing this relay job?

thanks again. I really appreciate your time and effort.
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Assisted Solution

by:garycase
garycase earned 100 total points
ID: 41884661
Well, this gadget isn't inexpensive either ($459), but it's definitely focused on managing phone lines and equipment ... and one of the features is "Call In/Dial Out Long Distance Saver" => which would do exactly what you want here.    As with anything that's going to do this, you DO have to have two phone lines ... but then it's very simple once you program it:  You just call in; punch in the "Dial Out Line Access Code"; and then you'll get the dial tone for the 2nd line and can place your call.

http://www.faxswitch.com/twolinephone.html
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by:serialband
serialband earned 50 total points
ID: 41884738
Are you able to connect a free Jitsi or X-lite VOiP client to your existing line when you're at home?  Can you use sip direct ip calling using the local network ip addresses?  The descriptions of your spa2100 equipment suggests that it could support it, but it may depend on how much access you are given by your provider.  https://www.voiplink.com/linksys-spa2100-voip-adapter-includes-two-fxs-ports-wan-unlocked-spa2100-new.html  If you're able to do that, then you just need to VPN into your network or use remote desktop to an internal system and use a VOiP cilent software.
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by:darbid73
darbid73 earned 350 total points
ID: 41884779
Bing - you really need local help for more devices and possibly if you can get your current VOIP service provider to be used in another device.

I suggest you look at this forum.  Which is a specific VOIP Hardware in Australia forum.

Before I owned a fritzbox I was involved in this forum.  For example if you want to do this all yourself you can set up Asterisk see here.  It is software but these days they have pre set up devices as well.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Bing CISM / CISSP
ID: 41885098
thanks so much for the valuable comments and suggestions. i really appreciated your expertise, time and effort.
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