A company called Obihai Technology has created the Obi202, a VoIP adapter that, when used in conjunction with Google Talk gives consumers the ability to make unlimited free local calls. Google will allow the service to run free of charge through the end of the year, and the Obi202 can be bought for a mere $75 on Amazon.com.
The crux of the Obi202’s visibility comes through their partnership with Google Talk. There are many other VoIP adapters on the market, but with the Obi202, a user doesn’t even need a computer to make or receive calls. In addition, it will work with any standard telephone. You plug the device into your router, and you’re basically ready to use the service.
Google has allowed free local calls with Google Talk since the summer of 2010, and they’ll continue to do so through the end of the year. At the end of each year they made an announcement about continued free service. So users will have to take a wait and see approach, as Google may end up offering another year of free local calls in the eleventh hour.
Basic calling isn’t the only thing the Obi202 can do. Hop on your Android or iOs-powered device and download the OBiON app. It’s free as well, and will give you a fantastic additional service, the ability to bridge calls from your cell phone. That means even if you have a tablet or an iPod device with network service, you could then use it to make calls. And with a bit of extra code work, you could even receive incoming calls as well.
Reviewers have been more than pleased with the latest version of the Obi202. The voice quality is impeccable, the router they ship is solid, and you can connect two different phone handsets and set up as many as four different VoIP accounts. It plugs right into a USB port, and can be connected to a hard drive that will then link into the router. Basically, it allows you to create your own cloud storage service, and you can link it up with Google Drive or Dropbox for added features.