A Review of the Ooma VOIP System
It’s been a while since I made the switch from Verizon Wireless and no land-line to using a combination of the Ooma and Tracfone’s Net10 cell phone service. Making the switch has effectively cut my monthly phone bills in half, from $60 to $30 and has actually resulted in more flexibility and services. But how do these services measure up? In this post, I’ll give you my Ooma review (update: here is a more recent Ooma review), based on first-hand experience with the user-friendly device.
What is an Ooma?
Ooma is basically a VOIP hardware system with no monthly service fees. Essentially:
- You buy the Ooma system.
- You hook it up to a high-speed internet connection.
- You plug Ooma into your regular land-line phone and use it without paying any service fees.
The Price of Ooma
Ooma started out at around $400, but has steadily dropped in price since. I purchased an Ooma Core for $299 from Amazon. Update: The Ooma Core has since been upgraded to the newer generation Ooma Telo and now only costs around $76. It also has an optional Ooma Telo handset). The basic Ooma service, includes:
- free calling to anywhere in the U.S.
- call waiting
- voicemail (which you can also check online)
- caller ID
- a new number (you can also port old numbers if you choose, for $39.95)
- no PC required (Ooma runs from an internet connection, not a powered PC like Magic Jack)
- one-year warranty (you can extend to 3 years at a charge, but it’s not worth the price)
Ooma Premier Service Option
Additionally, you can purchase enhanced services for your Ooma unit. I haven’t done this and I’m really happy with the basic bundle, but should I need a second line (perhaps for a home business,) it seems to be a great deal. Ooma Premier costs $9.99/mo. or $119.99/year, which gets you:
- A second phone line
- Free phone number port (normally $39.95) – if you sign up for a year
- A number of higher end personal and business features, including: 3 way conferencing, send to voicemail, voicemail forwarding, privacy, and personalization features.
Installing your Ooma Device
When the Ooma first arrived, I was a little intimidated. There was a 50+ page (mostly text) instruction manual. Luckily, there was also a little picture tutorial. When it comes down to it, there can be different set-ups based on how your phone and internet lines are wired. For most people, the set-up is going to be very easy:
- Run a wire from your modem to your Ooma.
- Run a phone wire from your Ooma to your landline phone.
- Go online, choose a number, and activate your Ooma unit.
It’s really that simple.
How Does it Perform?
I haven’t run into any problems with the service. All calls are crystal clear – as good or better than a land line. Inbound and outbound calls have always worked. The voicemail service is great. This is one of those rare times when you purchase something that you have high hopes for and it actually exceeds your expectations.
Final Thoughts on the Ooma Telo VOIP:
I think the Ooma is great for anyone in one of the following three situations:
- Those who want any sort of VOIP/landline phone. You won’t be able to beat the price (it basically pays for itself in under a year).
- Those looking to cut their cell phone bills by cutting their minutes.
- Those starting a home business who may need the flexibility of multiple lines.
I’ve recommended the Ooma to all of my friends and have no hesitations in recommending the product. It’s worth the price and pays for itself in months.
- Do you have Ooma? Let’s see your review!
- What would your hesitations be to buying the Ooma?
- Any questions on the Ooma?