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Ooma Hub Vs. Telo

Updated on August 23, 2017

You've decided to cut the tie to your phone bill forever! Ooma is a great choice (it's the one I've decided to go with). But now there's the debate of Hub vs. Telo. Which one to go with? Hopefully this lens can answer that for you.

What is Ooma?

In case you don't know, Ooma offers intelligent little devices that can save you hundreds on phone bills. Similarly to Vonage, Magic Jack, Obi, and a host of other companies that offer Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology, the Ooma devices enable you to convert your internet connection into a home phone with little to know added cost.

Ooma, in my opinion, is the best value when it comes to ease of use and low costs.

Basically, you plug the Ooma Hub or Ooma Telo into your internet connection and then plug your phone into the Ooma device. It's all very simple.

Also: Click Here To see my favorite Ooma alternative for a home phone.

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Either Device Will Let You Kiss You Phone Bill Good-Bye!

The Ooma has won numerous awards. It's a great way to say goodbye to that pesky phone bill.

The Battle of Comparisons

Basically, the Ooma Telo is the newest version. And, there are a few differences.

Here's the major feature differences that you will want to watch for.

Avoiding Regulatory Fees

Although Ooma does not charge any monthly fees for their basic service, after 2010, Federal regulators required that an annual regulatory recovery fee be collected to help cover regulatory costs and 911 services. Both the Hub and the Telo are going to require those fees, which is typically around $12 a year. Taxes may also be charged, and Ooma provides an easy-to-use tax calculator to estimate how much you might pay. (For most users, it is less than $5 a month) If you want to avoid regulatory fees, you need to go with a brand-new Ooma Core. This device was shipped prior to the regulations change, and Ooma still honors the original terms for the first person to activate an Ooma Core device.

Basic Voicemail and Caller ID

The Ooma Hub has always had basic Caller ID (phone number only) and Voicemail. Originally, the Telo did not offer these features, but required you to upgrade to the "Premium" package to get it ($9.99/ month).

However, there was enough of an outcry among new Telo Owners, that Ooma relented and reinstated the voicemail feature. The neat thing about Ooma's voicemail is that it is hosted online, so you can log into your "My Ooma" account to see the voicemail, organize it into folders, and listen to it.

Caller-Id should work with any Caller-Id enabled phone.

DMTF (Touch Tones) Difference

The Ooma Hub cannot accept inbound touch tones. So, if you are calling home to adjust your touch-tone-controlled answering machine, burglar alarm or thermostat, the Hub won't be of much use, and the Telo is going to be a better fit for you.

Landline Backup

The Hub has an area to plug it into your landline outlet. The original idea for this was a "backup" landline if the internet connection goes out.

However, most landline owners don't use an Ooma. And the ones who do just plug a phone into. There, backup phone problem solved.

But, if you insist on needing a landline backup, only the Hub can integrate it.

However, either Ooma can output a dialtone into all of your house jacks. That way you can plug a phone into any jack in your house and use Ooma to make calls.

Sound Quality

Most users say the sound quality on both the Hub and the Telo are the same. One reviewer did say that they thought the Hub had slightly better sound, but it wasn't enough to be really noticeable.

Some Telo-Only Features

Telo Phone Handset

One of the Telo-only features is its compatibility with the optional cordless handset. The cool thing about going with the handset is that when Ooma rolls out the HD Voice, you will be able to have high-def conversations with other Telo handset users -- Not that the clarity of sound is lacking on these devices.

Telo's USB Port

The USB port on the Telo allows for a wireless adapter (also made by Ooma, sold seprately). This adapter means I don't have to clutter up my living room with yet another device -- I can put the Telo anywhere it can receive Wi-Fi signal. This is great for college students and others who might have access to Wi-Fi but who can't plug directly into an ethernet.

Additionally, if you purchase the USB Bluetooth adapter, you are able to connect to the Telo with Bluetooth devices. That means you could have a conversation with your hands-free headset anywhere within 30 feet of the Ooma Telo unit. It also allows you to switch your conversations between your regular phone and your headset.

Telo's Online Phonebook

I haven't been able to determine just how useful this feature is, but it is one of the Telo-only features.

On-going Updates

At this point there isn't a lot of future software releases planned for the Ooma Hub. For compatibility's sake, I'd be inclined to go with the Ooma Telo to keep getting ongoing software updates.

We Have A Winner!

I really think that with all of the more modern features, the more sleekish design, and the ongoing software support, the Ooma Telo wins my support!

The Decision Isn't Final! - Which one gets your support?

Hub or Telo? Which one Wins for You?

Did it help with your decision? Have Some Other Tips to Share? Comment here!

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      dellgirl 5 years ago

      Very interesting! Congratulations on making the latest 'MonsterBoard: 5 Lenses.