With all the changes in my life 2011-2014, there came a point where I realized that I’d like to carry the same phone number with me. Fortunately, my family’s historical phone number from 1972 had just been given up a few months before by my ex-wife, and since my name was still on the account, I re-registered it. I then ported it to a local VoIP provider, les.net. I used a Grandstream VoIP adapter and a 5-set Vtech Cordless telephone system. It was great having a handset in most areas of my house! That worked well, and I took the VoIP phone (and that number) with me to Phoenix, then back to Winnipeg. In between, I added a Phoenix VoIP number, then a teleconference system, all through Les.net.
In the meantime, I also put a Grandstream VoIP adapter at my mom’s place, and used an old 2-phone Cordless set that she had. It wasn’t intended to take incoming calls, just was for making less expensive long distance calls. She loved it and used it all the time.
The call quality on les.net was never as good as with a “real” landline. True, it was very inexpensive, and I liked supporting local businesses, but there were significant call voice delays that drove me crazy. I put up with it, because I didn’t use it all that much, and it was cheap.
When I moved back to Winnipeg in 2017, I ported my US cell phone number to Les.net, and got a new Manitoba cell phone number. Of course, I kept my original family phone number as well. The rationale was that people would continue to reach me the same way they did before. It worked well!
I really wanted to use SMS on that former US cell phone number. Les.net could do that, but only through a web page, which you had to refresh constantly.
Another service that I found, VoIP.ms, supported SMS through an Android app. I tried it. It was even easier to set up and use, had points of presence all over North America (it can be useful to keep your point-of-presence near the location of the area code your number is in), and ended up having much better call quality!
So now I’ve moved all my VoIP lines over to VoIP.ms… and I use them all the time. Calling France? Yes, use my VoIP line. Getting calls from headhunters in the US? Yes, use my VoIP line. SMS to and from my friends back in Phoenix? You guessed it 🙂