Ooma Update after 5 Months of Use

Update 8/29/09: Check out my new Post on how Ooma + iPhone = Amazing Voicemail

It’s been about 5 months since I started using Ooma.  I must say that overall the service has been spectacular.  While I still worry that they will be able to keep up their business model, I was reassured after talking to an Ooma tech who told me that a very large percentage of their customers opt-in for the paid monthly service.

Some important things to note:

Quality of Service, Bandwidth

Despite setting up Quality of Service in my router, I occasionaly notice that the Ooma service gets fuzzy if I am running any network intensive applications including my Network Security Camera.  I noticed that if I am watching the network camera while away from home, and if someone is using the Ooma phone while at home, the service can get a bit shoddy.  This is not a problem for only Ooma, but any VOIP phone service.

I still need to tinker with the QoS settings a little more to make sure that my router gives Ooma priority bandwidth.  Even when downloading large files, Ooma does not seem to be affected, but with large upload activity from things like Bittorrent, and upstreaming of video, you may get different results.

System-Wide Service Reliability

Ooma experienced a system-wide service interruption on April 13th, 2009.  This happened to be on a day that I was implementing an Ooma system in a retail environment, and it caused some major headaches.  The main problem was that Ooma did not make any kind of e-mail blast, or noticable announcement on the web site, so I only assumed that there was a problem locally with our network or Ooma hub.

Since the outage, Ooma has implemented a number of corrective actions that will hopefully help not only alert us if an outage occurs, but prevent any future system-wide outages from occurring again.  Especially nice is their new Ooma_Status Twitter account to keep you up to date on system issues.

Overall after 5 months:

Very happy I did not go with Vonage and waste ~$25+ per month.  No noticable quality difference between Ooma and a regular landline phone.  It really beats talking on a cell phone too in terms of clarity.

Neat little tip:

You can disable that weird Ooma chime that plays every time you pick up and place a call.  Sign into the Ooma Lounge.

Click on Preferences > System.

Then in the drop down box, select “(Disabled)” for Ooma connection tone.  After about 3 minutes, your phone should have a regular dial tone, and no longer have the weird Ooma tune.

Update 8/29/09: Check out my new Post on how Ooma + iPhone = Amazing Voicemail

9 thoughts on “Ooma Update after 5 Months of Use

  1. I made a comment on your other post, and this is the reason you are experiencing problems. Your Ooma is hooked up wrong.

    The Ooma hub should sit BETWEEN your modem and router, NOT connected as a device on the router.

    Your modem should connect directly to the Ooma hub’s “Modem” port, then connect the “Home” port to the modem connection on the router… the Ooma will then always make sure it has enough data before it passes off to the router, this way you will have clear calls no matter how much data you use on your network.

    Plus you can open up another port on your router for other devices.

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  2. Although Ooma recommends you put the device between the modem and the router, there are good reasons to put it behind the router. For instance, some people have a combined modem/router device. In my case, I monitor my bandwidth use and, like Matt, I use QoS on the router. If properly configured, QoS should do the trick.

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  3. That network architecture doesn’t work in my house. I prefer to have the OOMA downstairs in the kitchen so that I can see and use it to check voicemails. There is only a single network connection to that location, so I must hook the OOMA up as a device on the router, or run another line to that location? No thanks!

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  4. Regarding the hookup to the router, my Ooma would not activate when it was hooked between my modem and my router (an Apple Time Capsule). I contacted Ooma Support and they suggested that I instead connect it as a device off my router. I did so, rebooted and . . . voila! . . . the Ooma worked perfectly.

    I’m not sure of the technical reasons why it may not have worked as the company suggests in its user manual, but using the alternative hookup scheme is the only way mine would work.

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  5. Thanks for the interesting articles. Getting ready to buy ooma and move away from Vonage. I am very satisfied with Vonage, but ooma appears to meet 99.9% of Vonage’s features for a much lower price!

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  6. i followed advice up there to get rid of the ooma tone. Waited, rebooted, etc. still the tone does not go away. it’s set to disabled… I dont particularly like the weird tone. If someone know how to fix it please my email lordwafer AT hotmail DOT com

    Thx

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  7. I emailed Ooma today (12/7/11) and they said “That is actually a part of the Ooma’s distinct dial tone. It cannot be taken off. It is set as part of the dial tone by default.”

    Apparently, this tone could be removed years ago, but not anymore.

    I did, however, complain about it to them. I asked if the rep could send the message along to a “higher up”. She said she would.

    I urge anyone reading this to email Ooma to tell them to stop the annoying “Ooma sound” before you hear the actual dial tone. If enough people like yourselves make a stink of it to them, maybe they’ll make the tone optional again.

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