This article is designed to provide a valuable, unbiased review consumers who are interested in choosing between Ooma, and magicJack Plus for their VoIP home phone service. The article includes basic information about how each product works, how much the Ooma Telo costs, and the various telephone plans that the company provides. For those who are interested, a side-by-side reviews comparison of magicJack and Ooma VoIP services has been included at the bottom of this page.
Overview of the Ooma Telo VoIP Phone Adapter
The Ooma Telo VoIP phone adapter is a Voice Over Internet Protocol telephone service provider that allows users to make and receive free phone calls anywhere within the United States (and at an additional cost, Canada as well). Ooma provides consumers with a high quality home telephone service at a fraction of the cost of a traditional landline telephone service provider. Over the course of just a few months, users who switch from home telephone service providers to Ooma have the opportunity to get great deals and save hundreds of dollars. The Ooma Telo phone adapter allows users to have a smart phone for their home phone. While the magicJack Plus 2014 provides users with phone service with an annual payment, Ooma provides a new level of convenience, providing users with phone service with a one-time payment.
Features of Ooma Phone Service
Much like the magicJack Plus 2014 (and Vonage), the Ooma Telo provides users with many of the same features that home phone service providers have provided to their customers. These features are included with the cost of the device:
- Caller ID
- Call Waiting
- Caller ID blocking
- Call Hold
- Call Return
- 911 Services
- Encrypted Calls
- Online Phonebook
- Worldwide Ooma to Ooma Calling
- Free Calls to the United States
- Free Live Customer Support
Additionally, for a one-time fee of $39.99, you have the ability to keep your same phone number. Otherwise, you will be able to select from available phone numbers in your area for free.
There are also several features that are available with an upgrade from Basic Home Phone Service to Ooma Premier Service. These features include:
- Free Calling to Canada
- Call Forwarding
- Obtain a Personal Number
- Multi-Ring: allows incoming calls to ring on a mobile device as well as your home phone
- Backup Number: allows users to continue to receive calls in the event of a power or Internet outage by forwarding calls to a different telephone number.
- Three-Way Conferencing
- Personal Blacklist: allows Ooma customers to block phone calls from telemarketers.
- Voicemail to Text ($4.99 extra per month): allows users to check voicemails through their Email anywhere they have access to their Email account.
- Voicemail to Email Forwarding: allows voicemail messages to be forwarded to your Email account as an audio file. This feature allows users to listen to their voicemail messages where they can access their Email, but may not have access to their Ooma Telo.
- Voicemail Monitoring: allows users to listen to voicemail messages as they are being left.
- Free Mobile Minutes: Ooma Premier customers who use the Ooma Mobile iPhone App (more information to follow) with 250 minutes of US calling each month.
How Ooma Works
Ooma works in the same way as many other VoIP telephone service providers, by using a customer’s existing high speed internet connection to make and receive phone calls. Rather than utilizing the older technology of telephone wires, Ooma uses newer technology found in DSL lines, cable lines, and the same technology used in by high speed internet service providers (ISPs).
Despite the utilization of the newer technology, the Ooma Telo allows users to connect just about any standard home telephone for VoIP phone service. Corded, and cordless phones will all work with the Ooma Telo VoIP phone adapter. Additionally, users can make calls to Ooma or non-Ooma customers. Similarly, Ooma as well as non-Ooma customers can call Ooma customers.
The technology that is utilized by Ooma allows it provide some of the highest quality sound available through any other VoIP (or landline) telephone service provider. Its Ooma PureVoice HD technology delivers a crisp acoustic performance that is especially clear and vibrant when calling from Ooma to Ooma, or over other HD network. This technology uses an advanced voice compression algorithm that helps reduce Ooma’s bandwidth consumption by 60% compared to similar VoIP devices, including magicJack Plus, netTalk, Vonage, and others.
The Ooma HD Voice Technology also doubles the fidelity of phone calls by allowing the device to capture more speech information than a standard telephone call (including landlines). This sound quality is maximized when the two callers are using Ooma handsets.
How to Register and Setup Ooma Telo
Getting the Ooma Telo registered and completely set up is designed to take customers about fifteen minutes.
- Activate the Ooma telephone services online. This includes either registering the Basic Ooma telephone service, or upgrading to the Ooma Premier telephone service. All of this can be done quickly and easily via the “Ooma Login” page on their website.
- Plug the Ooma Telo into a high speed modem or router.
- Plug a standard home telephone into the Ooma Telo unit.
- Begin making and receiving high speed telephone calls anywhere in the United States (or Canada with Premier service).
Ease of Use
The Ooma Telo features a touch-sensitive keypad that provides Ooma customers with one-touch access to Voicemail and other frequently used features. The device also features a USB port that supports Wi-Fi capable devices, as well as Bluetooth devices (including the Ooma Bluetooth adapter that allows users to make hands-free calls). This USB port will also allow for future expansion opportunities that the company may implement. The Telo unit also features a built-in speaker that allows users to screen calls prior to answering. This feature of the Ooma is one that it does not share with the magicJack Plus 2014, which operates independently of an interactive module.
The cost of the Ooma Telo is $149.99, which includes a 30 Day , no questions asked return policy. This one-time purchase allows users to make and receive phone calls. The only additional cost that customers will incur are taxes and fees, which vary between regions. User can also purchased a reburbished Ooma Telo or the old Ooma Hub and Scout devices for much less.
For an additional cost of $9.99 per month, customers can upgrade from Ooma Basic to Ooma Premier. This includes a free number transfer, a Bluetooth adapter, a wireless adapter, and an extended warranty. As mentioned earlier, the Ooma Premier service also allows users to make calls to the United States and Canada.
Customers also have the option of purchasing 1000 minutes of calls to 61 countires for $9.99 per month, or unlimited minutes for $17.99 per month.
Ooma Mobile App
The Ooma Mobile HD App allows users to make domestic and international calls from iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch over a Wi-Fi network or 3G or 4G network. Once the user is logged into the App, they have access to many of the same features that users of the magicJack App have access to, including contacts, listen to voicemail, and change Ooma preferences. The Ooma App allows users to use Ooma, instead of their existing mobile minutes, to make calls. The App can be downloaded for free from the App Store.
Ooma for Small Business
In addition to providing customers with high quality home phone service, the Ooma VoIP phone service provider also provides small business owners with an affordable telephone service that helps business owners save on their fixed costs, helping to maximize their profits. The Ooma Business Phone plan allows customers to make and receive unlimited calls in the United States and Canada for just $19.98 per month. It is extremely convenient to use, since there are no special telephones required, and installation is simple. Features of the Ooma Business Phone Service includes:
- A Virtual Receptionist
- Extension Dialing
- 24/7 Customer Support
Where to Buy Ooma Telephone Services
Ooma services can be purchased from a variety of retail locations, including Best Buy, Staples, Costco, Fry’s Electronics, Target, Walmart, OfficeMax, RadioShack, Amazon, and many others.