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Ooma Review

Updated on March 5, 2013

My Ooma Review and How I Saved Big Money With VOIP Service

I recently switched my home phone service to Ooma and am providing this Ooma review lens to show my cost savings and how easy it was to do. I have to say that I am so happy that I made the switch to Ooma, and I will explain why. I managed to drop my phone bill from $35.00 per month (plus 911 fees and taxes) down to a total $3.87 per month, and keep my phone number in the process.

So I have estimated my annual savings from making the move to Ooma to be a minimum of $392.52.

Many of my friends have been dropping their home phone service and opting to just use their cell phones. While I would love to do this too, it just isn't an option for my family. I have kids, and I need to have a home phone that is accessible for anyone to use at any time.

In addition, my home phone number is on record with so many companies, banking institutions, my kid's school, as well as with other family and friends. I just couldn't imagine changing my home phone number at this point and having to update all those records.

I did this all with an easy to install Ooma Telo box.

Keep reading below to see the Ooma Telo box that I purchased. I'll also explain how easy it was to set this up, how you can even keep your existing phone number, and how you can calculate what your annual savings might be!

Update - It has been a couple of months since I cancelled my home phone service and have been running purely on Ooma. Looking back on the last couple of months, there have been no issues with the service, and it has performed better than expected.

Ooma Telo
Ooma Telo

How Does Ooma Work?

What is VOIP and How Do I Set This Ooma Thing Up?

The little Ooma Telo box pictured to the left is a VOIP box. VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. Most standard telephones use an analog connection in your home. VOIP sends and receives your phone calls across the Internet. So as long as you have an Internet connection, you can use VOIP.

I way paying my Cable Company for VOIP phone service, Internet, and TV. They continually raised my rates, and I was paying $35.00 per month for my phone service (before taxes and 911 fees). I now pay $3.87 per month (taxes and 911 fees included). This has offered me big annual savings.

So what do you need to do VOIP?

All you need is an Internet connection (cable Internet or DSL works just fine), and a VOIP box like the Ooma Telo.

How do you set up an Ooma box?

It is really very simple and Ooma offers a very simple setup guide that is easy to follow.

  • First, you plug the Ooma box into your router or cable modem so that it can get a connection to the Internet.
  • Then you plug your home phone into the phone jack on the Ooma box. I plugged the phone connection on my Ooma box into the phone jack on the wall in my office, and it allowed all the phone jacks in my home to use the Ooma Telo.
  • Next, you power up the Ooma Telo by plugging it in.
  • You go to Ooma's website, and run through an online set up wizard to configure the Ooma box. It asks some simple questions, and has you enter the device number on the bottom of your Ooma Telo, so that it will enable the services to it.
  • During the setup you are allowed to select a phone number. You can either keep this phone number permanently, or just use it temporarily while you are waiting for your existing phone number to be ported over to the Ooma service. (I'll talk more about that in a minute.)
  • You need to enter a credit card number during the setup, so Ooma will be able to charge their measly small monthly fee to it.
  • During the setup, you also enter your address information, so that it can be registered with E911. So if anyone calls 911 from your home phone, the 911 operator will still see your home address pop up on their console.
  • There are some other questions that it asks you during the process, but you get the idea. It is pretty easy to set it up.
  • When you first sign up, you get a 30 day free trial of their Ooma Premier services. I'll mention more about those offerings below. I just wanted basic phone service, with caller ID and no extra bells and whistles. So I cancelled the Premier service after the free trial. They offer some great value added services for $9.99 per month.

Ooma Telo on Amazon

The Ooma Telo is a highly recommended way to reduce your home phone service. You get free calling and long distance and only have to pay small government taxes and the 911 fee. For me, this is about $3.87 per month. A lot better than the $35.00+ I was paying before.

The Ooma Telo has a 4.4 out of 5 star rating, with over 2,700 customer reviews on Amazon. Click through on one of the links below and read some of the reviews for yourself. About 70% of those reviewers gave it a 5 star rating, with a little over 15% of the reviewers giving it a 4 star rating. If you know anything about how those ratings work, you will realize that unhappy people are more likely to voice their opinion than satisfied customers are. So the 4.4 out of 5 star rating is STRONG!

Check out some of the products and add on features from Ooma below:

Ooma Telo Free Home Phone Service (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Ooma Telo Free Home Phone Service (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

This is the Ooma Telo that I purchased and am using. It is allowing me to save a little less than $400.00 per year, and I am loving it!

It plugs directly into your cable modem or router to enable VOIP services.

 
Ooma Telo with Bluetooth Adapter
Ooma Telo with Bluetooth Adapter

This is a great package that comes with the Ooma Bluetooth adapter. The bluetooth adapter allows your cell phones to use your Ooma VOIP for calls. Are you having trouble with cell phone reception in your home? This combination might be able to help!

 
Ooma Telo DECT 6.0 Cordless Handset (100-0200-301)
Ooma Telo DECT 6.0 Cordless Handset (100-0200-301)

This is a cordless handset that communicates directly with your Ooma system. It allows you to access and use all of the value added features of Ooma Premier services if you subscribe to those.

 
Ooma HD2 Handset
Ooma HD2 Handset

The new Ooma HD2 handsets allow you to add smartphone features to your home phone service. It has a two inch color screen with picture caller-id. It can sync the profile pictures from your Facebook, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn accounts or your Outlook address book. It gives you HD voice clarity and a ton of value added features.

 
Ooma 100-0301-101 Telo Wireless Adaptor
Ooma 100-0301-101 Telo Wireless Adaptor

So you don't want your Ooma Telo to be wired directly to your modem or router? No problem. You can add this Telo Wireless Adapter to the back of your Ooma Telo box, and have it wirelessly connect to the Internet. This is great if you want your Ooma box to be located in the family room or a common room (especially since your Ooma box also can serve as an answering machine!).

 

How Much Can I Save With Ooma?

It is time to do some simple math!

With Ooma, the unlimited nationwide calls are free, but nominal taxes and fees are required (i.e. the fee for 911 service). The good news is, they're a lot less than you'd ever imagine. That in itself can offer big savings, but most people will realize the most savings by eliminating their bill for monthly phone service.

Click Here to go to Ooma's website to calculate how much your monthly fees would be. All you need to do is enter your Postal Code into the box provided at the bottom of the screen and click the Enter button. This is where I learned that my new phone bill would only cost me $3.73 per month.

You can also enter in your typical phone bill cost in the box provided on this screen, and calculate how much your savings over 3 years would be. They take into account the equipment cost for the first year's savings. From this I was able to see that I had the opportunity to save almost $1,000.00 over 3 years. Now we are talking about some serious cash!

How to Keep Your Existing Phone Number

Porting Your Phone Number to Ooma

Being able to keep my existing home phone number was a critical requirement for me. I did not want to have to spend all of the time required to update a new phone number with my family, friends, my kid's school, work, the bank, and a ton of other businesses. You get the idea. The effort required to do this is something I was not ready to take on. (You don't need to do this if you are happy with getting a new phone number from Ooma.)

For a one time fee of $39.99, Ooma would port my current phone number off of my old phone company's service over to their services. This one time fee was something I was more than happy to pay in order to keep my existing number. You can Click Here to see if you can port your phone number to Ooma. All you have to do is enter your area code and the first three numbers of your phone number in the box provided.

The porting process was actually very simple:

  1. First, you sign up for the service and get a temporary number that you will use until your porting is complete. I just hooked up an extra phone to my Ooma Telo box and used it as a second line in the mean time.
  2. Next, you log in to your account on the Ooma website, and go to the Add-Ons section. From here you select Number Port.
  3. You fill in the required information that they prompt you for, and you have to upload a scanned copy or a picture of your current phone bill. They use this to verify that you really are the owner of that phone number, and to assist with speeding up the porting process.
  4. Then you just wait for the process to compete. I order my number porting on Jan 5th, and on Jan 15th the porting was complete. It took only 10 days from start to finish. During this time, Ooma will send you email letting you know the status, and exactly which day the porting process will be finished. The communication on their end was great!
  5. The last step in the process is to call your phone company and cancel your phone service. I can't tell you how good it felt to do this. I was so tired of having my rates continually raised by my cable company that I was getting my phone service through. I felt like justice was done! Since I had ported my phone number over, I was happy to learn that my phone company had already removed the service from my account by the time I called them.

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So... Tell me what you think about my Ooma Review lens!

It's a pretty cool device, huh?

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