Ooma is a service that works with your existing home telephone. At the most basic level it features unlimited calling in the United States, voice mail and caller ID. It also promises High Definition (HD) audio by sampling twice the amount of data from your voice, and adds redundancy to the packets as they are sent across the Internet. This ensures that so long as your Internet connection is decent, the voice clarity during your calls should be optimal and perhaps even better than a regular landline.
Ooma provides the basic equipment needed to use its service, known as the Telo, for a fee of $149.99 MSRP. It also offers many add-ons, at additional cost, such as wireless adapters, Bluetooth adapters and DECT6.0 support. The service fee is essentially just a few dollars per month to cover taxes and regulatory fees.
If you need additional features, for example voicemail to email, 3-way conferencing, a second line, blacklist support and Apps for your cellphone you need to sign up for the Premier service. The premier service currently costs $9.99 per month.
For a full review please visit our Ooma review section and find our editor review and user reviews for this popular company.
Although it is a very popular service, there are many competitors in this space. In this article we have split the competition up in to two sections. The first section contains alternatives to Ooma at the basic service level, for those with simple needs such as unlimited calling in the US and voicemail access. The second section is for those looking for a few more features in their home service.
When you think about the top competitor to Ooma, most people will suggest MagicJack and for very basic service that is indeed correct.
MagicJack has a slightly different business model but in terms of the feature set, it is very similar to the Ooma basic service. The initial hardware costs much less for MagicJack, at $49.99 MSRP but you must pay an annual fee of $29.95 for the unlimited service. What is the best deal then? Well really it depends on how long you think you may use this for your home phone service. If you sign up for the 5 year plan this is about the break-even point with Ooma. Beyond this, Ooma saves you money. However, it is tough for people to sign up with a provider for 5 years, as you may not be happy with the service and 5 years is a long time in the technology sector, there may be better options during this period. The other item to consider here is the quality of the calls and customer service. This is where we recommend you read our user reviews for both companies as part of your due diligence process. You can find reviews in our MagicJack review section, including a full editor review.
For feature rich phone service we have narrowed the search down to two providers, Phone Power and VoIPo.
Phone Power offers a feature rich plan with unlimited calls to the US and Canada along with a cloned second line, 60 free International minutes per month and 45+ features. Some of the more advanced features include voicemail to email, fax catcher, call forwarding, simultaneous ring and mobile Apps. The price for this service, if you sign up for the 2-year plan works out at $5.99/month. This is a significant saving over Ooma and there are no up-front hardware costs as Phone Power sends you its adapter for free. After 2-years the price jumps up to around $15 per month but usually what happens is more specials are sent to you near the end of your contract which brings the price dow to something similar to the Ooma Premier rate. View our Phone Power review section for our editor review of its service along with hundreds of user reviews.
The VoIPo service is similar to Phone Power when looked at in a side-by-side comparison. It also offers unlimited calling inside the US and Canada and 60 free International minutes per month. The unlimited plan also has 40+ features and the cost works out to be $6.21 per month when you sign up for the 2-year plan. After 2-years the price jumps to $15 per month. VoIPo sends you the hardware adapter free of charge. Visit our VoIPo review section for our editor review and user reviews submitted by real customers.
Now you are armed with information on some of the Ooma competitors in this space what now we hear you say.
Start by making a note of the features you really need. If you need more than just voicemail and a phone number then that will mean looking at the more feature rich plans. If not then look at the really low cost options.
Next, read our user reviews for each provider and see what others think of each service. We have been collecting reviews since 2005 and also have some neat tools on each review page, so you can view review scores over time and compare multiple providers at once. Take advantage of these tools and make a decision based on your individual requirements.
Whichvoip's Guide to VoIP Features