Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ooma optimization – Connection, Port forwarding etc

Got ooma VOIP device, so far so good. Here are a few things I did following some online discussions:

QoS (quality of service) Explain – The Proper Way:

First of all - it's best if OOMA is installed in-front of the router.
That's a #1 rule for any VOIP service if you want it to be the most reliable.
The difference in quality could be just in that 1 call out of 100 but the difference will be there.
OOMA in front of the wireless router is a MUST if you want to have the best quality of your phone service.
Rule #2 is to then properly setup QoS to ensure your phone voice quality will never suffer under any internet bandwidth usage pattern in your household. No matter how much bandwidth you have (DSL users normally limited with 3mbps in download, cable users vary from 10 to 15 to 25 mbps, FIOS is 50 mbps and higher) - there will be those few (or not so few) times when you'll be using a lot of bandwidth streaming some Netflix movies, downloading/uploading some movies, playing online games and so on.
So reserving bandwidth for OOMA calls is very important.
Below applies only to the configuration when OOMA is in front of the wireless router and thus can control the bandwidth.
The way OOMA does it is exactly as described in the first post of this thread:
- when OOMA QoS is not set and you are in a call - OOMA starts throttling down bandwidth it leaves for everything else very UNINTELLIGENTLY - it simply reserves about 70 to 80% of internet bandwidth for that ongoing call and let the rest to be used by the wireless router (your Internet). I guess the reason it's done is that with QoS is not set (empty or set to 0/0) OOMA doesn't know bandwidth capability of the internet line and by default assumes that it's the slowest line available thus reserving 80% of its bandwidth to ensure quality of ongoing call. I'm sure this not so smart behavior will be fixed eventually via firmware update but until those times not setting QoS or setting it to 0/0 is not recommended.
The way QoS works at this time is that OOMA will reserve approximately 20% of your Internet bandwidth if it's specified in your Upstream and Downstream settings of QoS on "Advanced" page. So if your cable provides 10 mbps on downstream and 1 mbps on upstream setting those settings in QoS to 80% of those values is actually INCORRECT. And the explanation is simple:
80% of 10 mbps = 8 mbps.
OOMA will now assume that your internet bandwidth is 8mbps and will reserve 20% of it when calls are in progress:
20% of 8 mbps = 1.6 mbps
So when you are in call your internet bandwidth of 10mbps will be throttled down by OOMA to (8 mbps - 1.6 mbps) = 6.4 mbps. If you receive a 2nd call and have two calls in progress at the same time - another 1.6 mbps will be used so your maximum internet bandwidth (or speed of downloads) will be decreased to (8 mbps - 1.6 mbps - 1.6 mbps) = 4.8 mbps.
So we are down to a very important question - OOMA had reserved 10 mbps - 6.4 mbps = 3.6 mbps to provide quality of one ongoing call - but does OOMA really needs so much bandwidth for one call? The answer is NO.
The highest amount of bandwidth used by the highest quality call is not more than 0.4 mbps.
You need only 0.4 mbps for one ongoing call or 0.8 mbps for two concurrent and ongoing calls (when you use both lines of OOMA at the same time). This numbers are EXAGGERATED by me - no more than 100 kbps (or 0.1 mbps) is actually required for high quality call.
So how do you setup QoS properly - without sacrificing too much bandwidth and without affecting quality of your calls?
You have to set your upstream and downstream values in QoS to much higher of your actual bandwidth.


In the example above with actual bandwidth of 10 mbps down and 1 mbps up (most common cable bandwidht in the USA) you should set your bandwidth to about 12000 (12 mbps) in downstream and 1200 (1.2 mbps) in upstream settings.
And the calculations will be as follows:
downstream bandwidth allowed for Internet = 80 % of 12 mbps = 9.6 mbps
downstream bandwidth allowed for 1 ongoing call = 20% of 12 mbps = 2.4 mbps
And here is the trick - OOMA will think that it's going to get it's 2.4 mbps for an ongoing call and will happily allow 9.6 mbps for Internet usage. But in reality your internet is limited to 10 mbps so the actual bandwidth you left to OOMA is 0.4 mbps per call which is more than enough to ensure excellent call quality.
If you have any other bandwidth - you can use the calculations above to approximate correct settings for your QoS values.
If you have DSL line and your bandwidth is limited to 3 mbps - I would make the calculations above to allow only 0.1 mbps per call to ensure you don't waste your bandwidth when you are on the call and on the internet (i.e. streaming Netflix movie) at the same time.
Hope this post will help someone to perform proper QoS configuration.


If you connect the ooma behind the router, you have to connect an Ethernet cable to its home network port to access the management page. Thankfully there is a way to get around this.


1. Setting Ooma Telo Port Forwarding, with Ooma Telo located behind (LAN Side) of your router. Add Port forwarding so that you don’t have to connect a computer to the Ooma Telo Home Port for viewing or modifying Ooma Telo settings.
a. Access your Ooma Telo home port by plugging in a patch cable from the Ooma Telo home port to a computer’s network card port. Sometimes you have to restart your computer after installing the patch cable, so that a proper connection occurs.
b. Type in you browser address window and hit enter. The “Ooma Setup” window opens.
c. In the left hand Navigation window, select “Advanced”.
d. At the top of the page record the Home Port IP Address: number (Probably
e. At the bottom of the page under Port Forwarding, select “Add New Rule”. Enter the following:
i. Start Port: block enter 80.
ii. End port: block No entry.
iii. Type: Select TCP
iv. Forward to IP address: Enter the Home Port IP address that you recorded above (Probably
v. Select “Add Rule” with your mouse.
f. From a computer connected to your router, in the browser address window, enter the Ooma Telo Static IP address, or IP address that your router assigned to the Ooma Telo. Looks Like
g. Ooma setup window should open, without the computer being connected to the Ooma Telo Home Port.


There is also another solution which is far more complicated than this, but it didn’t work very reliable. So just stick to this one!

Ooma suggests that you turn off Quality of Service settings in Ooma Setup, by setting upstream and downstream Internet speeds to Zero, if the Ooma device is connected (behind) to one of the router LAN ports. Than if your router provides VoIP priority, the Ooma device IP address is reserved with a permanent lease, in the router, and then the router VoIP priority is set for the Ooma device's IP address.
Ooma uses iLBC (default codec).
This is what Ooma lists for ports, but I have never believed the list is complete. ... vice-ports
More Information:
Star Commands
*15, *16, *17, *18, *19 - Call number using Bluetooth headset 1,2,3,4,5
*06, *06, *07, *08, *09 - Intercom with Bluetooth headset 1,2,3,4,5
*67 - Do Not Send Caller ID
*69 - Return last call
*70 - Disable Call Waiting Tone
*82 - Send Caller ID
*91 - ????
*96 - Use iLBC Codec
*97 - ????
*98 - Use G711 Codec w/o Fax mode
*99 - Data/Fax call
*#483 - Google Voice
*#*#001 - Speak the current Telo Version
*#*#191 - Unregister all handsets
*#*#501 - Bluetooth Discovery
*#*#511 - Turn off Telo key press sounds
**0 - Line1
**1 - Line2
dial *#*#099 on the phone attached to Telo to issue a factory reset

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Finally Completed My Laptop Mouse/KB set using Logitech Unifying Technology


So my laptop was equipped with Bluetooth, I was thinking of using Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to save an USB port. But it looks like there are a couple issues:

1. Price. Bluetooth mouse and keyboard are pretty expensive, I’m not willing to spent so much.
2. Battery Life. Bluetooth radio, at least v2.0 consumes too much energy.
3. Performance. Looks like I can’t find a single good Bluetooth mouse on the market based on the reviews I have read. Most of the issues are connections, it appears Bluetooth tend to drop connections more often.

So I have to go back to the traditional 2.4G RF route. I’ve been using a Logitech M310 mouse for months now. It does support Logitech’s Unifying technology, just look for the unifying logo. It’s just that the mouse doesn’t come with a Unifying dongle. Last week, Staples offer a cheap K360 keyboard, so I was able to complete my Mouse/KB combo. The pairing of unifying devices are super simple, all you have to do is to download the software, turn off/on the devices, and you are all set. It’s far easier than Bluetooth, so I was pretty impressed. Also the unifying dongle performs the same as the non-unifying dongle with great range.

The K360 features a laptop like chiclet keyboard, very compact. It has exactly the same layout as on my SONY laptop, including the sucking PgUp and PgDn. But I guess it’s a good thing, I don’t have to get used to yet another layout. The FN function keys it provided performs a different set of task than my laptop keyboard. And there are six multimedia keys which are good compliment to the laptop keyboard. The only thing it’s missing is the backlight. But currently only K800 has that feature, and that’s $80 which is way too expensive.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

HP touchpad webOS 3.0 initial impression

So I’m one of the fortunate ones who got a HP touchpad 16GB during their fire sale last week. I’ve been using this device for the weekend. And here are some of my impressions, with comparison to my phone which is powered by Android 2.2.

Overall I wasn’t super satisfied with the performance compared to my Android phone. Operations as simple as swiping between screens when multiple cards (HP’s way of multitasking) are opening. App launching speed is generally slow. Most operations require clicking the home button. There are instances when the OS prevent you from creating more cards (equivalent of force close on Android). All of these happen even after disabling logging and overclocking the device. This is very unacceptable since the hardware seems pretty good: 1.5Ghz dual core processor, 1GB memory seem all wasted. Even my 600Mhz 256MB Android phone can run multitasking very smoothly!

First about the booting time, there are two kinds of booting:
1. Normal booting, takes a long time. (My laptop with win 7 could probably boot faster)
2. LUNA restart which is required when you install patches from preware.

Wifi connection - apparently I can connect it to both 2.4G and 5G mode. Three days into using it, I figured I want to change the wifi connection, but when I’m sitting right next to my router, the damn thing cannot detect the WiFi signal (2.4g) Touchpad WiFi seems defective? Can't find any network! Sure a simple reboot will fix this problem, but it’s really not very acceptable.

The screen is 1024*768 4:3. The aspect ratio isn’t optimized for widescreen movie viewing, nor good for general web viewing. Maybe it’s just me used to the widescreen monitors… The screen is glossy, and if you look at the screen with tiliting when it’s off, you can somehow see the dots for the touch panel. The screen has a lot of backlight bleeding when viewing in the night. Overall the screen is mediocre at the best.

The storage, I got the 16GB model. When I got it, I have only around 11GB available space. The app size is usually pretty big, could be about the same size as windows program. And webOS has a limitation of 2GB file size. There’s no expandable storage option, but it seems the device does support USB host?

On the software side, first the webOS lacks support for a lot of languages. It only gives the usual English, Spanish, and French support. There’s no asian language support (IME), but it does support unicode. You can get apps from both official HP App Catalog or Preware (homebrew). Only very few apps are optimized for Touchpad, majority of them are for small screen mobile phone, if viewed under Touchpad, they will be in simulation mode which only occupies half of the screen. The useful apps on HP App Catalog are usually paid program, could range from 0.99 to over $10, averages about $5, and most don’t offer free or trial version. So you have to be fairly rich to use this device. HP has been offering some free code for the paid apps, but they run out in a few hours. The ones on Preware are mostly for older webOS, therefore they mostly don’t run well. The most useful ones are a few patches such as unthrottle the downloading speed, overclocking the device. For optimizing the device, just follow this one.

Notification system, I think the notification bar is too thin, it’s very hard to press the buttons accurately especially when it wear the ipad folio case (not fitting perfectly). The system incorporates web search, email, music, general setting (screen rotation lock, airplane mode, wifi, etc). I think it generally works OK, especially the email notifications, but I still prefer Android’s pull down style.

The power button, it doesn’t support reset, vibration, etc via long press of the power button like Android or Symbian. There is a patch on Preware, but it didn’t work for me. So to restart the device, you have to go to Settings->Device Info->Reset Options. It’s just way too long process.

Pre-loaded software are minimal at the best, includes web browser, email, calendar, contacts, Skype video, picture video browser, music player, Amazon Kindle, youtube, maps, memo, PDF, office, but none of them are perfect IMO. The web browser loads webpages very slow and almost fails loading external links EVERY SINGLE time. The browser is NOT multi-tabbed, to switch between tabs is a pain. Also there is no way to adjust text size, the text on a 10in device is just way too small IMO. The email is all right, but again since the web browser fails loading external links or emails with pictures, I can’t really check some of my emails. The calendar works OK, it syncs with Google calendar, I installed the default to month view on Preware. The contact feature is not super useful, but it does sync with Gmail. The Skype video has very inferior quality, the video just breaks up, I don’t think the either the device or the OS can handle it. The picture and video browser, I’m not sure why they combine these two together. It can sync with Photobucket and Snapfish for the online photo. I happen to use Photobucket a lot, so I definitely appreciate this feature, it’s far more convenient than the individual app on Android. But unfortunately the picture browser doesn’t support sorting, the pictures appear in random order (maybe by creation date?), while I generally want to to be in name ascending order. Sadly it doesn’t include syncing with Picasa which I use a little bit on the Android phone. The video player, I haven’t tried it yet since I don’t have any mp4 format (which is the only one that’s compatible), majority of my encoded videos are avi, wmv, and mkv. There is a 10Mbps and max 2GB limit on the video. They have a handbreak preset for Touchpad on precentral. I’m not sure if the h.264 this device support is main or high profile. The music player is good enough, it doesn’t play APE or FLAC. Amazon Kindle works fine here, but it doesn’t offer dictionary like the one on Android. Youtube, there’s no separate app, instead it’s just a website link. The device can play 720p video with adequate framerate, but chock on 1080p. Maps, I’m not sure which service it’s using, doesn’t look like google maps. There’s no GPS equipped on these WiFi only models. The only thing I’m pretty satisfied is the account management, which they call synergy, it offers a lot of services which you can manage multiple accounts easily. The and dropbox accounts are only integrated with Quickoffice though, meaning only word, excel, PDF files can be pulled. In order to have full access to every file, there is a separate app. (You get free 50GB storage for as an HP Touchpad owner). There’s no dropbox app though.

For productivity, the touchpad comes with Adobe PDF reader and Quickoffice. For the latter, the new update 8/29 enables local word and excel editing, functionality is very limited. Not as good as thinkfree office on android, my cellphone could do more than what quickoffice offers such as inserting pictures and drawing pictures.

And the system doesn't come with a native camera app, instead you have to pay .99 for an app with only a single button - capture. No zoom, no white balance, no contrast, nothing. And the camera is front only. Both the camera and the Skype video quality are very poor.