Friday, September 13, 2013

Caller ID Names with Google Voice, Anveo, and OBi202

The OBi202 VOIP Phone Adapter is an easy-to-use appliance that allows your traditional corded or cordless telephone to be used with Google Voice (and other VOIP services). Using this device, I was able to replace our traditional land line -- we still have our cordless and corded telephones, they still have a dial tone, and we still can dial 911. Plus we now have free, unlimited long distance to the US and Canada.

It is straightforward to configure the OBi202 for use with Google Voice, but there is one problem. Although the caller ID shows the number of the caller, it does not show the name. That was a big deal for some in our household. This document presents a straightforward way around this limitation. By forwarding Google Voice calls to an OBi-compatible VOIP service that does have caller ID and offers unlimited incoming calls for a low flat fee, we can achieve our caller ID needs for around $2-$3 per month.

If you are not already aware, Google will be making changes in May, 2014 that will break compatibility with Obi devices and Google Voice. Some or all of this document may not be applicable after that time. (

Update 9/11/2014 - Obi + Google Voice now supported again!


This document assumes the following.

  1. You have the OBi202 plugged in to your network and you are able to manage it using either the manual interface, or the wizards on
  2. You already have a Google Voice account, and you've configured the OBi202 to make and receive calls with that account.
  3. You have at least one unused "Service Provider" on your OBi202. (OBi202 supports 4 service providers.)
  4. You do NOT have a non-Google Voice SIP provider configured with your OBi202. (Actually, it's fine if you do, but in that case you might want to try to use this same strategy with that provider instead of paying extra to sign up with Anveo too.)

Here's What to Do

The "easy way" to add caller ID is to subscribe to a VOIP service that provides caller ID lookup, and then forward your Google Voice to the number provided by your VOIP provider. Since the calls are now coming in via that provider, the caller ID name comes from them. Outgoing calls still go via Google Voice, and your incoming phone number is still Google Voice, so this is both free and convenient.

The best deal I could find (in September 2013) was with Anveo. This plan offers unlimited free incoming calls. For an additional $2.00 per month, you can add a phone number. Caller ID lookups are $0.009 each. Anveo can also provide 911 service for $0.80 per month, which Google Voice does not provide. If you follow my procedure, your total monthly bill from Anveo will be $2.80 per month, plus about 1 cent per received call. The Google Voice part is free (as of September 2013) if you're calling within the US and Canada.

Before you start

  1. Make sure you meet all the prerequisites. You should already be able to call and receive using your Google Voice number and your OBi202. If not, there is no shortage of tutorials and even videos that show you how to do this (Google is your friend).
  2. Make sure that you have at least one unused service provider on your OBi202 device.
  3. Since the second step of this procedure requires you to spend at least $10.00, please read through the rest of the procedure before you drop any money! Also, all the prices here are as of September 2013 -- you should verify these prices to make sure the then-current prices are acceptable to you.

Setting up Anveo on your OBi202

  1. Sign up for a new account with Anveo. (If you find this blog helpful, I would sincerely appreciate it if you would enter my referral code -- 8599287 -- when you register.)
  2. You will need to add funds to your account (you can add $10 using PayPal) and (unfortunately) you then have to wait while they "verify" your deposit.
  3. Once the funds are added, you can order your phone number. When you're logged in to Anveo, from the Phone Numbers tab choose "Order a New Number." You can then select the country (select USA) and then state and local exchange. This number really doesn't matter that much, since people won't be calling it directly. Still, in my opinion it's a good idea to get a local number, in case you want to leverage Anveo as your primary provider someday. Select the Personal Unlimited plan for $2.00 per month with a 3 month minimum (as of September 2013).
  4. Click the "Phone Numbers" tab and then "Manage Phone Numbers." Click the "Edit" button next to the phone number you just registered. This opens a popup box. Click the "CallerID" tab. Check the "CallerID Name/CNAM lookup for incoming calls ($0.009 per lookup)" box and then save.
  5. Once you have your phone number, go to "Account Preferences" and then "SIP Device Registration" to get the SIP username and password, and other parameters. You'll need this information to configure your OBi202.
  6. Log in to and set up one of the unused service providers for Anveo. (If you've graduated from and are now using the manual HTTP interface, I've listed the key settings in the appendix.)
  7. Once you've set up your settings on the OBi202 and rebooted, it's time to try it out. Call your assigned Anveo number from some other phone (e.g. your cell phone) and make sure your phones ring. Make sure you have this basic connectivity working before you continue.

Setting up Google Voice to use your Anveo number

  1. Sign in to your Google Voice account (
  2. Click the gear icon and choose settings.
  3. Select the "Phones" tab if you aren't already there.
  4. Uncheck the "Google Chat" option. (You don't want calls going straight to your OBi, because we're going to route them through Anveo. Note: if you're using something like Talkatone with your Google Voice number, you will no longer receive calls in Talkatone. If you want to be able to do that, there is a workaround below.)
  5. Choose to add another phone, and enter your Anveo number. Go through the verification procedure, which should result in the phones connected to the OBi ringing. Answer and punch in the two digit code.
  6. When the phone is verified, make sure it's checked on the "Phones" page.
  7. Click over to the "Calls" tab. Make sure that "Caller ID (incoming)" is set to "Display the caller's number."
  8. Call your Google Voice number. If everything is set up, this should now ring your phones connected to the OBi (with the call coming in via Anveo). Caller ID number and name should work at this point.

Final Configurations

  1. Ensure your OBi is configured so that outgoing calls go through Google Voice. If you're wanting to use Google Voice as your primary number, you don't want the outgoing calls going through your Anveo number by default.
  2. If you've configured and enabled 911 on Anveo, make sure your OBi is set to route 911 calls through the Anveo service profile.


  1. You're paying $2.00 per month for the Anveo number plus $0.009 per caller ID lookup. With straight Google Voice you don't have these charges. (But you don't have caller ID names either.)
  2. There is an additional lag (1-3 seconds) before the phone starts ringing, presumably as the call bounces from your phone to Google Voice and then to Anveo and then to you. However, I did not find there to be perceptible lag in the call quality once the call was already connected, as compared to straight Google Voice.


Google Voice Mail vs. Anveo Voice Mail

To ensure that Google voice mail (not Anveo voice mail) answers your unanswered calls, you can extend the ringing time and disable the Anveo voice mail using the call flow editor.
  1. Sign in to your account on Anveo.
  2. Click Phone Numbers - Manage Phone Numbers
  3. In the "Call Handler" column, click on the hyperlink to the existing call handler
  4. Click the "edit" button next to the currently selected call flow
  5. The "SIP legacy" icon is currently set to "ring SIP/ATA device for 25 seconds". Click the pencil to edit this. Click the advanced tab and change to 60 seconds. Click "Update Configuration" to save. (Note: the label in the diagram will not change - it'll still say 25 seconds.)
  6. Drag the Voice Mail icon to the recycle bin.
  7. Save your configuration.
To test, dial your Anveo number directly. It should ring for 60 seconds and then disconnect the call.

Now, when somebody calls your Google Voice number and you don't answer, Google voice mail will pick up after 25 seconds. Anveo will think the call was answered, so its voice mail does not do anything. And just in case your Google voice mail didn't answer, the call will be disconnected, rather than going to an Anveo mailbox that you have not configured and will not be checking regularly.

Remember to turn off the answer function on any answering machine you have in your house, so that all your voice mail is handled by Google.

I need Google Chat enabled on my Google Voice line

If you want to use your Google Voice account with something besides the OBi that requires Google Chat integration (e.g. Talkatone), this strategy won't work as-is. To have Google Chat enabled for your Google Voice number but you don't want the OBi to ring your phones, you can use the following hack. Enter the manual setup mode of your OBi, and go to the SP# service for your Google Voice provider. Uncheck the "Default" box and then delete all text in the "X_InboundCallRoute" box for your Google Voice service. Then save and reboot your OBi. Now even when your OBi receives a Google Voice call over the Google Chat protocol, it won't do anything with it.


Key Settings for Anveo VOIP

If I do not list a setting, that means you should have the "Default" box checked! Replace 123456789 with your Anveo-assigned username and AnveoPassword with your Anveo-assigned password. Note that these instructions assume you're using profile D and service 4 -- adjust this according to your needs!

Service Providers - ITSP Profile D - SIP
  • ProxyServer =
  • ProxyServerPort = 5060
  • OutboundProxy = (leave blank)
  • OutboundProxyPort = 5060
  • X_SessionRefresh = Unchecked
  • X_DnsSrvAutoPrefix = Checked
Voice Services - SP4 Service
  • Enable = Checked
  • X_ServProvProfile = D  (change if needed to match ITSP Profile you set up above)
  • X_RingProfile = A
  • X_CodecProfile = A
  • X_InboundCallRoute = {>123456789:ph1,ph2}
  • X_RegisterEnable = Checked
  • X_UserAgentPort = 5081
  • X_DefaultRing = 1
  • AuthUserName = 123456789
  • AuthPassword = AnveoPassword


  1. Nice post... wish my google-foo lead me hear before signing up for callcentric last month. Will be looking at switching over in the near future and will give you a referral ;-)

    1. Hey Bob - glad you found this useful! However before doing too much with Google Voice, please be aware that they are making some changes in May 2014 that will break compatibility with the Obi devices. I added a prominent statement on these pages for anyone who hadn't heard of that yet. You may well have to stay with a provider such as callcentric or Anveo to continue using your Obi -- I intend to use Anveo for incoming and outgoing calls, but still use my custom caller ID module (just because the family likes receiving calls from "Mr. Awesome" :) ).