Having an OBi device can be very convenient, as it will allow you to cut the cord and save some money from phone bills. This is particularly useful if your job requires you to make plenty of calls, but it is also beneficial for the general consumers as well. Below, we will help you choose between Obihai 200 vs 202.
Continue reading to learn further about:
– What is OBi and how to use it
– The design and dimensions of each model
– The available connection ports on Obihai 200 and Obihai 202
– The additional features on Obihai 200 vs 202
– Which OBi device that is generally better and more recommended
What is an OBi Device?
An OBi device is an analog telephone adapter that enables regular push-button telephones to make and receive calls through an Internet connection. It is often used in combination with Google Voice, which provides an inexpensive (or, for some users, free) VoIP service. By using hardware that connects regular telephones to Google Voice, you can cut down a lot of expenses from your phone bills. See also: Epson V370 vs V800
You won’t need to turn on your computer continuously at all. An OBi device operates without requiring any computer connection, as it is built on a system-on-a-chip platform. You only need to plug it to your modem or router for the Internet connection.
OBi is available in several different models with varying configurations, such as Obihai 200 vs 202. All of them provide the core function, which is to allow regular phones to communicate over the Internet. However, the available connection ports and the additional features such as built-in routing capabilities may vary from model to model.
The set-up process is quite straightforward. You just need to connect the device to a modem or router, the telephone that you want to use, and of course the power outlet. Then, power up the device. You can then go to OBi’s website to create or log-in to an OBiTalk account. Here, you can add devices and speed dials. This is also where you can connect your Google Voice account.
Keep in mind that you need to disable the two-step verification on your Google Voice account temporarily in order to connect it to your OBiTalk account. Once you finish the process, which only takes a few minutes, you can use your telephone to call to any place in the country. When somebody calls your Google Voice number, the telephone will ring along with any device that is connected to your Google Voice account.
Design & Dimensions
Design-wise, Obihai 200 vs 202 are quite similar. These box-shaped devices have compact, lightweight plastic cases with light indicators on the top and several connection ports on the rear. Both models are available in two color variants: Black (which is entirely black) and Blue (which actually has a dark blue top panel while the rest of the body is white).
They notably have different dimensions. Obihai 200 is much smaller at 2.7 inches x 2.7 inches x 1.2 inches. The square footprint will make it easy to place wherever you want. Meanwhile, Obihai 202 has a larger rectangular footprint and measures 4.1 inches x 4.5 inches x 1.2 inches; this model will need nearly twice more space.
Of course, the increased dimensions are not for nothing. Obihai 200 is smaller because it has fewer features and connection ports. On the top panel, there are only three light indicators, which will be your primary method of determining the device’s status and condition.
Starting from the left, the first indicator is for the power. It may be solid red, flashing orange, flashing green, or solid green to indicate different conditions. Take a look at the manual for the complete information. Meanwhile, the one in the middle is for the Ethernet port, which will flash green whenever there is data activity on the port. Finally, the last one will shine with a green light to indicate an incoming or on-going call.
On the other hand, Obihai 202 provides more features and connection ports. The top panel possesses five light indicators. Starting from the left, you can find the power indicator and two Ethernet indicators for each Ethernet port. Then, there are two call indicators for phone 1 and phone 2.
Phone Ports and Ethernet Ports
As indicated above, one of the biggest differences between Obihai 200 vs 202 is the numbers of connection ports. If you only have one telephone that you want to use, having only a single phone port is fine. However, if you have multiple telephones, you probably need more.
Obihai 200 is a suitable choice if you only have one telephone that you want to use with Google Voice or any other VoIP service. There is only one phone port on the unit, which you can use for either phone or fax. This model already supports the T.38 fax protocol, but you won’t be able to use phone and fax at the same time.
In addition, there is also only one Ethernet port to connect to a modem or router for Internet access. Obihai 200 can’t connect to a closed LAN network.
Obihai 202 is a great choice if you have multiple telephones that you want to use. This model provides two phone ports, which will allow you to connect two phones or one phone and one fax to the same OBi device. People who work in an office or have more than one home line will find this model very efficient.
Even if you only have one phone, the second phone port is still quite useful. You can use it for testing changes on the device settings or your VoIP service’s configurations without affecting the primary phone port.
There are two Ethernet ports on Obihai 202 for LAN and Internet. The ports are clearly labeled. You need to use the Internet port for Internet access. Meanwhile, the LAN port is optional. You can use it if you need to connect your telephones to your office’s specific network.
The next notable difference, which is related to the Ethernet ports, is the routing capabilities. Again, depending on your set-up and requirements, you may or may not need the built-in routing capabilities.
Obihai 200 does not have a built-in router. It simply bridges your regular phone to the VoIP service that you use. This is a fine choice if you already have a router.
Obihai 202, on the other hand, comes with a built-in router with voice packet prioritization. However, the built-in router is rather slow, so it is not recommended for managing the Internet access of multiple devices. You will benefit from the routing capabilities only if the Internet connection is dedicated for doing VoIP alone.
Both Obihai 200 and Obihai 202 support essential phone features such as blocking anonymous calls, call waiting, call forwarding, and performing three-way calls. You can access and configure these features on your OBiTalk account.
There is also a voicemail service which acts pretty much like email. It is very useful for receiving messages when you can’t or don’t want to answer calls. Again, the set-up is simple and straightforward, thanks to the intuitive user interface.
You can use up to 4 VoIP services on your OBiTalk account. Obihai 200 and Obihai 202 are not locked to a specific service whatsoever, even though the company does have their own VoIP service. So, if there are other services that you use such as Anveo or Callcentric, you can integrate them all to your OBi device. If you are in the USA or Canada, Google Voice will allow you to make calls for free without any charge.
You probably have noticed that each device here has a USB port as well, and we haven’t talked about the USB connection. This is actually for connecting the device to one of the three optional accessories. Obihai 200 and Obihai 202 are compatible with OBiBT, OBiWiFi5G, and OBiLINE.
OBiBT is a simple USB dongle which serves as a Bluetooth adapter to connect the OBi device to a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone, but it is only useful in very specific cases. OBiWiFi5G is probably what most people need, which is a Wi-Fi adapter to connect the OBi device to a router wirelessly – no need for a lengthy Ethernet cable.
Finally, OBiLINE is the largest of the three. It is a box-shaped adapter with a USB cable on one end and a phone port on the other. This is used to connect the OBi device to a land-line service. With this adapter, you will still be able to use a traditional land-line service from the same phones that are connected to the OBi device.
Obihai 200 vs 202
In general, Obihai 202 is more recommended. It has two phone ports which are very useful. You can connect two phones or one phone and one fax to the same OBi device. Even if you only need to use one phone port, the other port is still handy for testing changes. Obihai 202 will allow you to use up to 4 VoIP services, and there is a USB port for using a Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or land-line adapter.