On the web, people often mention that the Anveo website is confusing or intimidating - this is because the Anveo product is targeted towards businesses who wish to replace their entire phone system with a VoIP solution with a hosted PBX that has a zillion features.
Anveo also offers a great residential product – the problem is that both the 'simple residential product' and the 'fancy pants business product' are offered through the same website!
This tutorial will show you how simple it really is to set up an Anveo account and an Internet phone number for residential use.
To skip the 'Bla bla' stuff and get to the actual 'step-by-step' section, click here.
Why choose Anveo if the first place? Because, for very little money per month, you get the same high quality VoIP service that large businesses rely on for their 'must work' telephone systems. It is that simple.
How much will it cost? For purposes of this exercise, I will explain the two least expensive methods of using Anveo to replace a residential phone line. You can start with one of these two methods and then, depending on your actual usage, you can change (for free) to which ever method is best for you.
The 'Personal Unlimited' method will cost $2.80 USD per month for a telephone number, E911 and unlimited incoming calls - outgoing calls to Canada will cost $0.005 ( one half of one cent) per minute; $0.01 (one cent) per minute to the USA.
The 'Per Minute' method will cost $1.30 USD per month for a telephone number but you will pay for incoming minutes at a rate of $0.01 (one cent) Outgoing minutes to Canada & the US are as above.
Under either method, if you only plan to receive calls to your Anveo phone number and not make outgoing calls, deduct $0.80 per month for E911 which is only mandatory if you wish to make outgoing calls.
For Canadians, you can see that the monthly cost (based on zero to 3,000 minutes) will be between $0.80 and $17.80 – this because at around 250 incoming and outgoing minutes, it is cheaper to use the Personal Unlimited phone number plan.
For our American friends, the Anveo service will be slightly more expensive.
The only additional costs, not included in the above tables, are: (1) there is a one-time phone number set up fee of $2.00 USD & (2) the cost for incoming CallerID Name lookup which is $0.009 per incoming call, if the incoming phone number is not entered in your Anveo Phone Book as a Contact. The CallerID Name lookup service is optional. So, if you opt for this service and receive 100 calls per month (from people not in your Contact List), you will be charged an additional $0.90; 200 incoming calls will cost $1.80 and so on. (The above tables include the mandatory monthly charge (for Canadian or US residents) of $0.80 for E911.)
For the "very frugal" among you, you can avoid paying the E911 monthly fee by simply selecting any country other than Canada or USA in the "Select your country of Residence" drop-down (See screen # 3 below) during your account set up process. You will still be able to get a Canadian or US phone number, regardless of "your country of residence".
NB: The above tables include taxes all taxes for Canadians and I assume it is the same for Americans. 🙂
There are also a number of options that you may want to use but you will pay a 'charge per use' for them, and, THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED if your goal is simply to replace your land line. It is the plethora of options, mostly aimed at businesses, that gives Anveo, and its' website, the reputation of being not user friendly, at least for the residential user. FORGET ABOUT THE OPTIONS, at least in the beginning.
Requirements to 'turf your land line' and to replace it with Anveo:
A “Free” account with Anveo, and, an Anveo phone number.
An “ATA” (Analog-Telephone-Adapter), or, a “Soft-phone” application running on your PC or cellphone. (I recommend ATA's manufactured by Obihai and suggest that you use a “Soft-phone” only if you wish to try VoIP before you buy an “ATA”.)
I will only deal with item # 1 above in this post – there are other posts on this blog (and the web) dealing with ATA's.
For clarification, a “Soft-phone” (software telephone) is a program that you download and install on your PC (available for Windows, Linux or Mac) or cellphone which allows you to make and receive phone calls as long as your PC or cellphone is running and you set it up with your Anveo account information. There are many free soft-phones available to you on the web, and, you can use one to test you Anveo phone number before you actually cancel your land line.
You can download & install Anveo's soft-phone for Windows, Linux or Mac PC's called: "Anveo Communicator" from here. After you have set up your account & phone number you can make calls from your PC.
The problem with soft-phones is that you will be 'tied' to your PC (and probably a headset with a microphone). An “ATA”, on the other hand, allows you to use your existing telephone(s) to make and receive calls. If you use a soft-phone on your cellphone, you will be tied to that but, "ain't we all anyway?" A cellphone soft-phone uses your data plan or WiFi.
(Boy, this post is sure getting long!)
There is one more thing that we need to discuss: do you obtain a new Anveo telephone number, or, do you 'port' (i.e. transfer to Anveo) your existing land line telephone number?
If you are not sure about turfing your land line and completely switching to VoIP, then getting a new phone number from Anveo is the way to go. This will allow you to try Anveo on an ATA or a soft-phone while still having the security blanket of your existing land line. If you have 'call forwarding' in your land line package, you can forward your existing phone number to your new Anveo number – this will allow you to experience the call quality of Anveo for both incoming & outgoing calls rather than only outgoing calls place from your ATA or soft-phone without having to give your new Anveo phone number to everyone.
Once you are satisfied with Anveo's quality, you can then 'port' your land line number to them and sever your costly land line.
If you 'port' your existing phone number to Anveo, upon completion of the porting process, your land line will no longer allow you to to make or receive calls. All calls to that phone number will be routed through Anveo to your ATA or soft-phone. (By the way, porting your phone number to Anveo MAY NOT automatically cancel your land line account with Bell Canada or Rogers or whomever – you may have to cancel your account directly with them. If you have other services like internet or TV attached to your land line, it is best to discuss your plans with your existing land line provider before porting your phone number - see my experience here.)
The process of setting up an Anveo account & phone number is the same for Canadians & Americans.
Summary of what we will be doing:
Set up a “Free” Anveo account, which is the default.
Add $20.00 USD in funds - this is the minimum that you can add.
Set up Anveo E911
Set up an Anveo telephone number.
Configure the Anveo telephone number.
Although setting up an Anveo account is free (Anveo calls it a 'Free Subscription Package'), you must make a minimum payment of $10.00, against future usage, to actually get a phone number and use it.
All charges are in USD.
You can cancel an Anveo Internet phone number any time after 3 months.
- Today, April 22 2015, there is a $2.00 set up fee charged for either phone number plan.
Although it may take you a year and a half to read through this tutorial, it will take you less than 10 minutes to actually do it on the web, if you don't dilly-dally. 🙂
Setting up an Anveo account is as simple as setting up any on-line account. The following 'screen-shots' show you what you can expect. You can click on any screen-shot to view a sharper image.
“Here we go!”
Start by browsing to Anveo's home page, https://www.anveo.com/ , and click on 'Create a new account'.
Screen 3: (Note: To avoid the mandatory E911 charge of $0.80 per month, you must NOT select Canada or USA as "your country of residence".)
You will receive an email at the address that you used during setup:
Your Anveo account is now set up. You can't really do anything with it but it is now available for you to use in the future.
Assuming that you wish to set up an Anveo Internet phone number, click on 'Click to login' to:
- Add $20.00 USD to your account.
- Set up mandatory E-911
- Get an Anveo Internet phone number.
Complete the required input and click 'Enter':
Click on 'Add Funds':
- Pick how you want to pay.
- You will not be 'taxed', the entire $20.00 will appear it your account!
- After you pay, you will have to wait for an Anveo email payment confirmation - this can take a long time, up to 8 hours. 🙁
Even though the 'Pay Now' button is in the 'PayPal' column, after you click 'Pay Now', you will have the option to pay by credit card:
You will receive an Anveo payment confirmation email once your payment has been processed.
Once you receive your payment confirmation, log back into your Anveo account.
(Note: You only need to pay for E911 if you plan to make 'outgoing' calls on your Anveo account. If you plan to install Google Voice on your OBi as well as Anveo, you could make all your outgoing calls, for free, by making them with Google Voice. Every OBi model can handle a minimum of two VoIP service providers (aka: SP1 & SP2, in Obi-speak) In this case, SP1 would be Anveo & SP2 would be Google Voice. When you pick up the receiver 'and just dial', your call will go out on Anveo. To call on Google Voice, you dial '**2' plus the phone number that you wish to reach. Simple!
The only issue with not subscribing to E911 is that the phone connected to the OBi will not be capable of placing calls to 911 - do you really want this limitation? E911 only costs $0.0263013698630137 USD per day.
If you do go for the whole "Anveo pop" of $2.80 USD per month, including E911, you call still make all your outgoing calls, other than to 911, using Google Voice, and pay zero for them.
This would be how you get a monthly phone bill of only $2.80 USD per month, period!)
Now it is time to set up your mandatory E-911 information but, only if you selected Canada or USA as "your country of residence". Click 'Click here to configure'.
- E911 will cost you $0.80 per month.
- Without setting up E911, you cannot make outgoing calls but you can still receive incoming call on an Anveo Internet phone number.
Complete the form and click 'Save'.
If you entered valid information, you will get this:
Now it is time to get your Anveo Internet phone number.
Click on 'Phone Numbers' on the main Anveo menu:
And you will get,
Click on 'Order a New phone Number' to get
This where you will need to select for which country you want to have your Anveo Internet phone number. If you are planning to set up an ATA (or soft-phone) to set up a home phone, click on 'Canada'. (If you live elsewhere in the world, select your country). If you plan to use your Anveo number with your Google Voice account, your must click on 'United States' but remember, Google Voice is changing May 15, 2014.
By clicking on 'Canada' you will get
This is where you pick your Province - I will click on Quebec:
This is where you pick the city and area code for your new phone number. I'll click on 'Lachine - 514' because it is close to where I live.
This is where you select how much you are going to pay for phone number set up and the monthly rate. For home use, I would recommend the 'Personal Unlimited' plan as there are no per minute charges for incoming calls. However, you can choose the $0.50 USD per month plan (but pay $0.01 USD per minute for incoming calls) if you wish. All plans now have a $2.00 set up fee. After a month or so you can switch your plan, at no cost, depending upon your usage.
Click 'Edit Phone Number Options' to do some final set up on your new phone number
Now we will set up this new phone number to do the following things:
- Set you Anveo number to be used by an ATA or soft-phone.
- Forward any incoming 'text messages' to a Canadian cell phone.
- Have Anveo lookup the caller ID of any incoming calls
- Pick the 'Anveo server' upon which your Anveo account will live.
Click on 'Call Options'
Here we will forward any incoming calls to your Anveo phone number to an ATA or soft-phone. Optionally, you can forward your calls to any other phone number, anywhere in the world. You can re-visit this page at any time to change where this phone number is forwarded to.
It is important for you to know that if you forward this Anveo phone number to a 'SIP/ATA connected to Anveo', like an Obi ATA, the forwarding is free. Not so, if you forward your Anveo phone number to another phone. In that case, the 'forwarded call' will be treated as an 'outgoing call' from the Anveo phone number, and, you will be charged for each minute of the call. The cost to forward a call to a Canadian number is $0.005 per minute; to a US number it costs $0.01 per minute.
Forward to an ATA or soft-phone: (click 'Save' after changes)
Forward 'text messages' to a Canadian cell phone: (optional) (click 'Save' after changes)
Note: This option will cost you $0.054 per text message forwarded.
Set up Caller ID lookup (optional) (click 'Save' after changes)
Pick a 'home' for your phone number:
Because we are in Canada, pick the Canadian server (PoP). If you live elsewhere, select the "Anveo PoP closest to you. PoP means: Point of Presence." (click 'Save' after changes)
To see all the services and options that are available to you on your 'Free Subscription Package', click on this link: http://www.anveo.com/consumer/service.asp You may opt for the 'Starter Subscription Package' for your home phone. This would give a number of interesting/useful services for $7.85 per month plus the $2.80 for you new phone number, bringing your monthly bill to around $10.65. You can switch to a different subscription at any time.
Just when you thought that it would never end, it's over!
If you plan to scrap your Bell/Rogers/Sasktel/BCTel (or whomever) land line and make the switch to VoIP, or even just try VoIP without scrapping your land line, you need to buy and set up an ATA or soft-phone - this is the only way to save big bucks on your home phone. I recommend an Obi ATA because is easily connects your existing telephone to your Anveo account.
You can buy an Obi ATA from AcroVoice. There, you can see exactly what it will cost to have an Obi delivered to your door, from a Canadian supplier. You might even review their offerings for a home phone - you don't have to do anything, they do it all for you.
Note: If I have offended you, in any way, by providing you with my 'Anveo Referral Code', please accept my sincere apologies.
If you wish to change the outgoing CallerID (the number that people see when you call them) on your Anveo phone number to your home, office or cell phone number, see this post.
- Anveo to Anveo calls are FREE.
- Calls to Anveo extensions are FREE.
- Calls from an Obi ATA to another Obi ATA are FREE and you don't even need a VoIP phone number - you just dial '**9' plus the Obi number found on the bottom of the Obi ATA that you wish to call. Example: Dial '**9 109 109 109' and the phone connected to the OBi with that OBi number will ring and you will be talking for free - even if that OBi is physically located on the moon!