Is Ooma Good?
Spoiler Alert: Yes.
Disclosures: This is not a paid blog post. I personally use Ooma ‘basic’ service in my home and office. There are affiliate links in this article if you choose to give Ooma a chance.
VOIP was the big buzz word a few years ago. As companies like ‘Vonage’ and ‘Magic Jack’ sprouted up, people began to give VOIP a chance to lower their monthly bills… Myself included. In 2011, I bought a Magic Jack from Best Buy and returned it the next day. The call quality was awful and I was really turned off by their sketchy and deceptive billing practices when signing up. Months passed and I looked into Vonage which seemed good but, their monthly price was very close to what my broadband provider was offering. Then, Google Voice came along and combined with OBi110 you can get free unlimited calling. However, the setup seemed overly complicated and I was unsure if Google Voice would be around forever.
Fast forward to 2013 and I read about Ooma on Slickdeals. It seemed like everything I could ever want – keep your number, unlimited calling, cheap, reliable, good call quality and easy setup. Could this be the VOIP solution I was waiting for?
The cost was my number one determining factor in choosing Ooma. For me, it works out to less than $4/month for unlimited US Calling…
Ooma’s claim to fame is you’re only being charged taxes/regulatory fees for unlimited US calling. Unless, you opt to sign-up for their Premier service which costs $10/month for a variety of extra features.
However, there are start-up costs including the $110 Ooma Box and an optional $40 number porting fee. For me, the savings started to occur after about the 8th month of service and will result in perpetual savings until I finally decide I can live without home phone service.
What do you get for $4/month with Ooma Basic?
The additional $10 for Ooma Premier service gets you free calling to Canada, a 2nd line, conferencing, block list, voicemail monitoring and a variety of other services. It’s probably worth it for some people, especially if you have family in Canada. For me, I can live without it and my phone bill is now less than $4/month.
Pro-Tip: They will automatically enroll you for a 60-day trial of Ooma Premier ($10/month) and it’s important to remember to cancel if you don’t need the premium service.
Call quality is excellent and the 2nd reason why I chose Ooma. This is going to depend on your internet connection. As long as you have above 3mbps down/1mbps up it should be more than okay. The box which connects to your router gives digital calls priority over other internet uses. When you pickup the phone you’re greeted with a pleasant Ooma branded tone signifying everything is working properly. I can honestly say in my 1+ year of using Ooma for home and small business – I’ve never had a problem with call quality.
Setup was incredibly easy. It’s advertised as a 15 minute setup. This is one of the few cases where I agree with the manufacturer. It takes 15minutes or less to install.
“Let me put it this way, your parents could install Ooma.”
First you register online, which is probably the longest part. Then, you plug Ooma base station it into the router, your phone, and you’re done. If you have an existing cordless phone just plug into Ooma and it should work just fine. If your cordless phone is located far and you don’t want to relocate they offer an optional bluetooth wireless extender. One time I suggested Ooma to a friend and claimed he could setup in 5 minutes, he called to tell me I was right.
Improve My Life
Ooma did improve my life significantly wealth wise. I canceled my AT&T U-verse phone service that was bundled with my cable/internet package. Resulting in a net savings of $15/month or $180/yr after recouping the initial investment for the Ooma box. I could have done it online however, there is satisfaction in calling AT&T to cancel the U-verse phone service. They tried to woo me with every offer in the book. It was a small win for the little guy being able to kiss AT&T goodbye for home phone service.
Is Ooma good? No.
Ooma is great! It’s one of the few things in life you can do that will save you a ton of money, takes minutes to setup, and give you more control.