Structure for 4 phone lines, 2 ooma Hubs, Cable Internet?

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Structure for 4 phone lines, 2 ooma Hubs, Cable Internet?

Postby gadgetnut » Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:33 am

I have Comcast cable internet service with a tier of service that typically shows 8-12 mbps down and (I believe) 2-4 mbps up.

I currently have one ooma hub and Scout and premier service.
I have ooma hub plugged into cable modem and DMZ out of ooma to a Vonage Linksys router that does all the routing for my LAN and provides two more Vonage phone numbers.

Everything has been working acceptably.

I need three separate phone lines simultaneously, and on only one of them I need busy call forward to a fourth line.

I am considering replacing the Vonage router and going all with ooma. What is the recommended structure to accomplish four phone lines with ooma?

Questions:

1.) I need another ooma hub (and Scout), right?

2.) I have pretty sophisticated router needs (with many separate port forwarding routes), that's why I have DMZ'ed out to a router... how do you connect two ooma hubs to the cable modem, the first ooma hub into the cable modem, then the second ooma hub into the first ooma hub?

3.) What speed tier of cable internet service would support this configuration? Comcast offers more expensive and faster service in my area... does anyone actually use two, three, or four ooma phone lines simultaneously and how is the quality?

4.) I run a mostly Apple Macintosh LAN and am using an Apple Airport Extreme (wired, wireless) router in bridge mode, because routing is currently handled by the Vonage Linksys router, which would be eliminated in this new scenario. Is there any super premium (more sophisticated) router that could handle all the ooma and LAN QoS issues more aptly than the oomas or the Apple Airport Extreme?

Thanks.
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Re: Structure for 4 phone lines, 2 ooma Hubs, Cable Internet?

Postby murphy » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:21 pm

I don't know for sure but you may be able to accomplish what you want with one hub and three scouts.
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Re: Structure for 4 phone lines, 2 ooma Hubs, Cable Internet?

Postby gadgetnut » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:58 pm

Interesting, I have no idea.

Is this scenario, assign unique phone numbers to the hub and two of the three Scouts, and each Scout is connected to the hub only via the traditional through-the-home telephone wiring pair?

So this would give me three completely autonomous outgoing lines (ooma hub= Line A, Scout 1= Line B, Scout 2= Line C, and on my main number, Line A, set up call forward busy to Scout #3?

Is this possible?
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Re: Structure for 4 phone lines, 2 ooma Hubs, Cable Internet?

Postby cprompt » Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:18 am

I inquired a while ago about whether extra scouts could provide additional lines, and tech support told me that the most a hub and scout combination could provide was two lines.

Based on how the hub and the scout communicate, through the internal phone lines, it seems that having 2 hubs and 2 scouts will confuse the system, unless one pair can be completely isolated from the other pair. For example, running long phone cord directly between the hub and scout so as to keep it separate from the other pair.
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Re: Structure for 4 phone lines, 2 ooma Hubs, Cable Internet?

Postby murphy » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:53 am

You need a Premier subscription but I think the following will work. I would need another scout to test it.

Put Line A on the hub.
Leave the first Scout shared on the hub.
Assign line B to the second Scout (ie it's not shared).
Assign line C to the third Scout. (also not shared)

This provides four phone line connectors. (hub plus 3 scouts)
For simplicity let's plug a simple phone into each of the four jacks.

The first call on line A rings on both the Hub and the first Scout in the Line 1 position. It can be answered by either of the phones connected to the hub and the first scout.

The second call on line A rings on both the hub and the first Scout in the Line 2 position. It can be answered by the hub or scout that was not used to answer the first call.

Calls to Line B always go to the second Scout.
Calls to Line C always go to the third scout.

If you were to install a 4 line phone system and connect it to the four phone jacks, any phone could answer any line. Panasonic makes a cordless 4 line system that would work. Any brand of 4 line desk phone would also work.
You could also use single line and 2 line phones to only provide access to the lines that are required at a specific location.
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Re: Structure for 4 phone lines, 2 ooma Hubs, Cable Internet?

Postby gadgetnut » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:05 am

murphy, do you know if all the Scouts can be connected on the same traditional thru-the-home telephone wiring pair-- or how are they interacting with the Hub and the internet?

Have you (has anyone?) tried using three or more lines simultaneously and how is the quality and what tier of internet connection can support this use?

I am already a Premier subscriber and I already ported my original phone number to ooma. Does ooma customer service just hand me two more phone numbers for the additional lines at no extra cost (besides me purchasing two more Scouts?) or what is the monthly cost for this setup?

Again, are people happy using ooma Hub as the full fledged router for their LAN (NAT for a dozen clients, lots of port mapping, etc.) or, if we DMZ out of the ooma Hub, can anyone recommend an excellent router or could I use my Airport Extreme for all these duties?
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Re: Structure for 4 phone lines, 2 ooma Hubs, Cable Internet?

Postby murphy » Sun Feb 15, 2009 8:39 am

ooma Premier includes one additional line. There is a fee for each additional line after that. I have been unable to determine what that fee is from the website. Maybe someone that has already done it will tell us.

You can go into the Lounge and click on Add additional line and pick a number from what they have available. I am in PA and my additional line is in FL.

I have the hub connected to my cable modem and an SMC WBR14-N2 router connected to the Home port of the hub. The router is in the hub's DMZ zone. My last speed test was 24000 down and 3400 up from my computer which is connected by wire to the router.

I am unfamiliar with the capabilities of the Airport Extreme but if it is a full fledged router I see no reason why it wouldn't work.

I have my hub and scout sitting side by side with their wall jacks connected together. There is no traditional copper phone line involved so there was no need to go into the walls with that connection. I rewired my house, in home run style, to support 4 lines at each wall plate. The ooma hub and scout are connected to two of those lines. I have multi-line phones that allow access to both lines anywhere in the house. If I wanted to put the Scout somewhere else in the house I could use one of the spare pairs in the wall to do that wiring.
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Re: Structure for 4 phone lines, 2 ooma Hubs, Cable Internet?

Postby inrame » Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:42 am

murphy wrote: have been unable to determine what that fee is from the website.


it is $4.99 per month after the first two (up to 9 total lines). the pricing information is located on their website under "Addons", then "Personal Number". Here is a link: http://www.ooma.com/lounge/addons_details.php?sku=vn
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Re: Structure for 4 phone lines, 2 ooma Hubs, Cable Internet?

Postby cetacea » Thu Feb 26, 2009 6:28 am

I'm relatively new to Ooma, having just installed ours last week, but what I'm getting from my readings is that the Ooma hub, regardless of the number of Scouts attached, will provide a maximum of 2 LINES.

You can add up to 9 additional phone NUMBERS, but only 2 LINES can be active with an Ooma Hub. In other words, if both lines are busy, and you have 2 additional phone NUMBERS, they would be sent directly to voice mail.

The only way to have more than 2 LINES is through the addition of yet another Ooma Hub. I believe I came across a few threads discussing the setup of 2 Ooma Hubs, one downstream of the next.

It would be interesting to know if both, the First In or the Last Out, would have to configure the DMZ for the router downstream.
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Re: Structure for 4 phone lines, 2 ooma Hubs, Cable Internet?

Postby oomg » Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:53 am

gadgetnut wrote:I have Comcast cable internet service with a tier of service that typically shows 8-12 mbps down and (I believe) 2-4 mbps up. I currently have one ooma hub and Scout and premier service.

I have ooma hub plugged into cable modem and DMZ out of ooma to a Vonage Linksys router that does all the routing for my LAN and provides two more Vonage phone numbers. Everything has been working acceptably.

I need three separate phone lines simultaneously, and on only one of them I need busy call forward to a fourth line.

I am considering replacing the Vonage router and going all with ooma. What is the recommended structure to accomplish four phone lines with ooma? (post edited)

cetacea wrote:I'm relatively new to Ooma, having just installed ours last week, but what I'm getting from my readings is that the Ooma hub, regardless of the number of Scouts attached, will provide a maximum of 2 LINES.

You can add up to 9 additional phone NUMBERS, but only 2 LINES can be active with an Ooma Hub. In other words, if both lines are busy, and you have 2 additional phone NUMBERS, they would be sent directly to voice mail.

The only way to have more than 2 LINES is through the addition of yet another Ooma Hub. I believe I came across a few threads discussing the setup of 2 Ooma Hubs, one downstream of the next.

It would be interesting to know if both, the First In or the Last Out, would have to configure the DMZ for the router downstream.


FWIW, I have five separate lines at my home office desk, including two ooma lines which are intended primarily for family use, but nevertheless, both lines are available at my desk. Here is what I have done:

One landline (AT&T) which is active and available for inbound and outbound calls, and provides my dsl service. This line is also intended for fax transmission (inbound fax is via an efax service).

Two (2) ooma lines, and two (2) lines through T-Mobile's at home "hotspot" service which is used exclusively for my home business purposes. The T-Mobile hotspot requires the use of their cell service (minimum of $40 per month service), but I had planned to switch to their cell service anyhow. If you have T-Mobile cell service the cost of each additional line is $10 per month which ends up costing about $20 more than ooma annualy for the two lines As I see it I could have had four T-Mobile hotspot based lines if I were willing to sign my wife up for a separate T-Mobile cellular account. However, she rarely uses more than 30 minutes of cell service per month. In fact, I have yet to come anywhere near the 1000 minutes available on my cell plan.

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Last edited by oomg on Sat May 02, 2009 6:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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