Ooma Review [Free VOIP]


Ooma

[View Ooma Reviews on Amazon]

Update 10/27/09: Get a free iPod Shuffle with purchase of an Ooma! (Expires 10/31/09)
Update 5/06/09:
I have posted a 5-month update on my experience with Ooma.
Update 8/29/09:
Check out my new Post on how Ooma + iPhone = Amazing Voicemail

Overview:
With a lack of anytime minutes on the cell phone, and poor reception in our new apartment, I was forced to look at our VOIP options.  Long story short, I ended up purchasing an Ooma VOIP kit from Amazon, and so far, it’s amazing.  The difference between Ooma and other VOIP options?  No recurring fee.  Once you buy the Ooma device, the savings can theoretically continue growing forever.

Price:
When I decided we were going to get VOIP, my first thought was to get Vonage.  I felt that $24.99 per month for Vonage was a little steep, however.

With Vonage:
$25×12 + $80 VOIP kit = $380 for Year 1, $300 per year thereafter.

With Ooma:
$220 for VOIP kit, no required monthly fees ever again.

Ooma effectively would pay for itself over Vonage in 6 months.  It sounds too good to be true, and I was very skeptical at first.  After reading the glowing Amazon reviews, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a try.

Installation:
I had no experience with VOIP prior to this, and I found the set-up to be a breeze overall, no thanks to the included quick-start guide and manual, however.

The included manual tries to explain three different installation scenarios at the same time, making it difficult to understand.  I eventually just decided to plug in what makes sense, and it worked great.

If you have the following common network set-up, getting your Ooma working is abreeze:

  • Cable modem (DSL works too, but might require different set-up than below)
  • Wireless or Wired router

Get your Ooma working in less than 10 minutes, with these 4 easy steps:

  1. Activate your Ooma at www.ooma.com/activate
  2. Plug in the power to the Ooma hub (the larger of the two Ooma devices is the Hub, the smaller is the Scout).
  3. Plug one end of a network cord into a spare port on your router, usually labeled with a number between 1 and 4.  Plug the other end of the network cable into the port labeled “Modem” on your Ooma hub.
  4. Plug one end of a phone cord into the Ooma hub where it is labeled “phone,” and plug the other end into your regular landline phone (I use a cordless phone).

That’s it!  Assuming your internet is working, your new phone line should now be active.  The Ooma manual seemed rather daunting for me at first, but hopefully these 4 steps make it a little easier to follow.

Post any questions in the comments section, and check out the Ooma page on Amazon to get one for yourself.

Update 5/06/09: I have posted a 5-month update on my experience with Ooma.
Update 8/29/09:
Check out my new Post on how Ooma + iPhone = Amazing Voicemail
Update 10/27/09: Get a free iPod Shuffle with purchase of an Ooma! (Expires 10/31/09)

[View Ooma Reviews on Amazon]

17 thoughts on “Ooma Review [Free VOIP]

  1. Wow! This is an amazing set-up with relative ease and near perfect quality. Best of all I am saving over $60 per month over my previous landline bill with MCI. Sorry big boys but it is your turn to get bent over the barrel. Kudos to the innovatives thinking of TEAM OOMA! I am impressed and that is not easy to do. Keep up the great work….

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  2. what is the difference between ooma and magic jack?
    Since magic jack is only $40 ooma is over $220
    What about the quality and hickups while talking VoIP

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  3. Warming do not get magic jack. Spend almost $200 buying a new phone and a powered usb hub and still could not get the magic jack to ring on my phone. Waste of my time. I tried customer service and all they can do is for me to change my phone which was brand new. Then they told me that they did something on their end to fix it twice and promise me that it will work the next day and never did. I end up getting OOMA and it’s the best ever. I was up and running in 10 minutes. The different is that Magic Jack won’t work unless you have your computer running and OOMA works anytime. OOMA is the best ever. One last thing, is Magic Jack is not green, you will waste a lot of energy for having your computer on all the time.

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  4. I bought OOMA and it was the best thing I ever bought in my life. Why? I saved $64 a month. I cancelled my AT&T phone service. AT&T said that I will be sorry. She thought I was talking about magic jack. She never heard of ooma. I told her I won’t be paying AT&T a monthly phonebill anymore. She was so skeptical and would not believe everything I said! She warned me. I said to her, check it out so AT&T can come up to a new device to compete with ooma. If the price is right then maybe people will talk about it.
    Anyway – I’m happy because I enjoy the ooma phone device. No problem so far, I recommend to all. Check it out.

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  5. You hooked it up wrong, and should update your blog.

    You want to plug the MODEM directly into the modem port on the Ooma, then the Home port runs to the router.

    Basically, the Ooma sits in-between your modem and home Router. I know the quick start guide is confusing, but this is the correct way.

    The reason for this is no matter how much usage on the router, your calls will always be clear as Ooma will reserve enough data to ensure call clarity. Plus, you save yourself a port on your router.

    Just unplug the modem connection on your router and plug that into your ooma, then move the other connection from a port on the router to the modem connection on the router… easy.

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  6. OK. Say I buy Ooma. I currently have my phone service with AT&T and my internet connection is sbcglobal.net (AT&T). I have a linksys wireless-G router. It cost me $30.00/month for the internet connection and about $60-80/month in phone service, 80% of which I get charged even if I don’t make a call. Where do I save with ooma? If I get rid of AT&T service how do I connect to the internet? Can I use the same ISP?

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  7. how many phones can you hook up to ooma? I have 5 cordless and 1 corded. Do you have to have a scout for each phone?

    I also have DSL, the modem/router is combined. Is that an issue for install? I have heard comments about it taking 3 weeks to have your phone number ported, does that mean if you are transfering your existing phone number?

    thanks

    Jim

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  8. I,too, would like to know about using more than one phone and how to hook them up. I had Vonage and using more than two phones caused problems.

    I also have to use a FAX machine. Yea, I know, but I have no choice. Will it work with a FAX and a PDA?

    Thanks,

    Mark

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  9. I’ve just configured OOMA to run behind my firewalled 802.11N router. The device has QOS enabled and I had to set the OOMA device to a DHCP client because my router is essentially the DHCP server. The device took a little while but finally came up and went live. I had to go into my ooma ‘lounge’ and turn off the little song and dance music they set by default when the call connects. Other than the little song that plays when you turn on the phone, everything is as stable and almost as clear as land-line. I read a few of the prior comments and must repeat that you do NOT have to put the OOMA device inline and can put it behind the router but you may need to know how to configure it properly if you have anything that functions beyond a “dumb” port hub. I’ve notice also that theres no way to turn off the answering feature so your all-in-one phone with answering built in will not be able to use that feature. Also, to everyone who wanted to know if you could use more than one phone -yes, but you will need a OOMA “scout” for each connection. I use a single base that has 3 channels serving remote cradles. I’m pretty happy so far.

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  10. Purchased an OoMa Hub with a second base called Scout. You get OoMa so you can use the internet to make calls instead of the monthly bill from the Phone Company. The OoMa’s Owner Manual lists basic services – connection to the internet, a simple answering machine and a “second line” all for $220 bucks. OoMa also offers a Premeire Service which costs an additional $100 paid annually. These features upgrade your service to link your voice messages with your eMail, call forwarding to a cell phone etc. etc. When I called in to ask a question the day after purchase, I was informed that the answering machine and the second line “features” NOW were no longer available as a basic service! NOW I had to pay the additional $100! These basic features are listed on the outside of the box and in the Owners Manual. Bait & Switch pure and simple – and they know it! I called the Customer Service Line which connects you to Manila or the Philippines and the “Script Readers” overseas which are completely USELESS! Their answers do not correspond to your questions! So I called OoMa’s HeadQuarters in Palo Alto ( 650-566-6600) and they did indeed say I was correct (on the above points) but too bad! Literally! Oh well take it or leave it was the response. My suggestion to you is leave it – it’s a con, bait & switch operation!

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  11. Marcus,

    It sounds like you may have gotten some bad information from us. If you purchased an Ooma Hub/Scout combo then you get VM as part of the basic service. You can see my blog post on ooma.com/blog for the specific details of the new T&C’s and the rate changes that are taking place.

    Rich Buchanan
    CMO
    Ooma

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  12. I can see a class action suit on the horizon for this. As people purchased the v.1 Ooma under a set of terms & conditions and are now getting set to lose services unless they “upgrade” and are also forced to pay a -/+$12 a year “fee”(after the second year of service) to cover “regulatory” BS. Ooma after the lawsuit I’m sure will have to change the “grandfathered” users back to the original terms under which it was purchased, as I too called to inquire and got the cold shoulder. It’s sad – very nice piece of equipment with room to grow and expand but with an impending class action I see investors turing the cold shoulder until they get thier act together on the “grandfathered” purchasers.

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  13. An update to my previous post. As of today, 10-07-09 the Attorney’s General office in California is very interested in hearing from people about this. I called the office to explain and get an opinion and they were very interested in what I had to say and already knew what has taken place – so long story short, they are aware of what Oooma is attempting to do and would probably be thankful for more input from consumers whom have had dealings with this company. ag.ca.gov is the website along with contact numbers.

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  14. Gigo.

    You’ve got it very wrong my friend. If you’ll visit my blog posts at http://www.ooma.com/blog you will see that if you’re a current Ooma customer then nothing changes. No upgrades required, no regulatory fees charged.

    If you are not yet a customer, then there may be some changes over the old plan that you will face. These are detailed on the new packaging and in the new terms of service you agree to before ever becomning a customer.

    Please go read the details before jumping to these conclusions. As a current Ooma customer, exactly what you agreed to when you signed up is exactly what you are getting. No changes.

    Rich Buchanan
    Chief Marketing Officer
    Ooma

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  15. Unless Ooma is making money in other ways (e.g. advertising over the phone, etc), Ooma will have no choice but to begin finding ways to collect additional money from existing customers someday. Offering a perpetual service for a one-time up front fee is a pyramid scheme and will eventually fall apart if the user base doesn’t continue to grow at increasing rates.

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  16. Ooma Telo currently does NOT support inbound DTMF. In other words it cannot transmit the different tones when dialed from incoming calls. You cannot access your anwering machine remotely from an outside line or use a PBX system for different extensions in your home/office.

    A big pitfall that I wish I knew before purchasing it. It has been mentioned in ooma tech support blogs that they “will be supporting DTMF” with the Telo but after talking to tech support, nobody at ooma seems to know anything about if or when it will be supported.

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