Owning a US phone# while living in EU

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cameo

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May 19, 2019, 5:51:28 PM5/19/19
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I am thinking of moving to an EU country while still keeping my US bank
account and a couple credit cards as well. In Europe I would have a
local phone number, of course, but I would also like to maintain a US
phone # for use by my American contacts and banks that increasingle want
to have two-factor authentication for online account access. That might
be expensive with international calls and texting. I used to have Google
Voice for similar reasons, but that did not work in international
context. So I wonder if anybody knows of an inexpensive service to serve
my needs here. I imagine such a service would be VoIP based but I also
need Text-over-IP (ToIP?), of course.
As to my being also able to call from EU to the US, I can handle that
with Skype where I already pay for that service. I just don't want my US
contacts to be forced to use Skype as I can hardly expect banks or my
less tech savvy contacts to do that.

GlowingBlueMist

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May 19, 2019, 6:54:02 PM5/19/19
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I use an OBi202 along with a Google Voice number for my home number.
When I use that number for 2-factor text authentication I receive an
Email with the code on my Google Email account. The setup also works
fine with automated voice 2-factor calls.

As for Google Voice once you get things working while in the USA all
they know is that you are on vacation and took your Obihai box with you.
If they cause problems just use a VPN service from where you are
pointing to somewhere in the USA.

You can use he OBI200 to save a little money as it only has one phone
jack where the 202 model has two jacks. The 202 could be configured to
ring one phone for your Google voice number and have the second jack be
used with a European VOIP phone number. Similar can be done with the
200 model but both numbers would ring in on the same physical phone.

With some configuration work you can program the outbound calls to use
the European number for what would be your local calls and it would
route USA bound calls through the Google Voice number.

Of course you are not forced to use Google Voice as the boxes can be
configured to work with just about any VOIP service provider.

If you do go the Obihai route be sure to check online for sales as they
can be had at a big discount from time to time.

cameo

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May 20, 2019, 1:38:33 PM5/20/19
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Thanks for the info. I've never heard of this Obi technology and need to
study it before I decide. Right now I do subscribe to the Private
Internet Access service that can assign IPs to my PC from many cities
around the world while keeping me anonymous, though I don't think it is
really a VPN service, but it could potentially help me here.

GlowingBlueMist

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May 20, 2019, 9:02:41 PM5/20/19
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The PIA you are using on your PC hides just the PC it is running on.
What you can also do is install PIA on selected routers and everything
connected to that router, wired or wireless would then travel over the
VPN.

You can purchase routers already setup to use PIA but almost all routers
running DD-WRT or Tomato firmware can be configured to use PIA and at a
much cheaper price than buying a router with PIA already installed in it.

You would need to use the router method if you wanted to use PIA as part
of the OBI or other sip hardware to possibly escape regional or country
specific restrictions. The way to think of those OBI boxes is that they
are basically miniature PBX switches with out all the bells and whistles
of a full sized PBX.

You should be able to test the 2-factor texts on your old google voice
number or create a new one if it's been deleted. Unless I have
something configured I've forgotten about, which is possible, the text
sent to your Google Voice number should show up as an Email for you.
Similar to a voice message showing up as an MP3 attachment as well as a
transcribed email.

cameo

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May 21, 2019, 3:02:44 AM5/21/19
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I see your point. Until now I only needed my PC to be invisible.

> You can purchase routers already setup to use PIA but almost all routers
> running DD-WRT or Tomato firmware can be configured to use PIA and at a
> much cheaper price than buying a router with PIA already installed in it.
>
> You would need to use the router method if you wanted to use PIA as part
> of the OBI or other sip hardware to possibly escape regional or country
> specific restrictions.  The way to think of those OBI boxes is that they
> are basically miniature PBX switches with out all the bells and whistles
> of a full sized PBX.

Right, though the reviews of it state that it is a VoIP converter to
analog phone set.

> You should be able to test the 2-factor texts on your old google voice
> number or create a new one if it's been deleted.  Unless I have
> something configured I've forgotten about, which is possible, the text
> sent to your Google Voice number should show up as an Email for you.
> Similar to a voice message showing up as an MP3 attachment as well as a
> transcribed email.

I've just got a new Voice # in my area code and it is linked to my cell
phone. Indeed, text sent to the Voice # shows also up as an email
besides showing up on my cell phone. I haven't tested the voice msg yet.
It's amazing that Google provides these features free.

I still need to figure out how I could receive those Voice calls or
texts in Europe "live" on my mobile phone with a local SIM card without
too much expense and complication as I don't see myself using it very
often beyond the two-factor authentication. I don't mind making my calls
from a a PC at home, but I don't want to sit at my PC just in case I get
a phone call from the US.



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