Published on December 23rd, 2008 | by Greg0
Cut Your Phone Bills With Ooma
We confess- we didn’t have a landline. It just doesn’t seem worth it, since we use our cell phones everywhere.
Thanks to Ooma, we don’t need to worry about the terrible cell signal in the office. Their Core VoIP Phone System frees you from phone bills- call anywhere in the United States, anytime, at no cost. They system uses your internet, and requires high-speed internet access and some technical knowledge for the initial setup- but very little beyond that. You get caller-ID, voicemail, and call waiting for free, can chose your new number from any region in the US, and can even keep your existing number for a $40 charge. The Premier service costs an extra $100 a year but offers more features, like a second line, custom rings, voicemail forwarding, and conference calling. A trial of the Premier service is included in the basic package as well. And because you register your address, Ooma does offer enhanced 911 service.
The included Hub and Scout units look pretty nice, aren’t too bulky, and plug directly into your existing telephone set, your router or cable/DSL modem, and power outlets. We found call quality to be on par with landlines for most calls, with little of the unreliability we’ve found with free services like Skype. Of course, your connection speed and network setup matter, and those without high-speed internet would be unable to use this device. Also, the company warns that the device is for personal use only, and that faxes should be used through the Hub (rather than the Scout)
For $220, this is a great purchase that can save heavy phone users a lot of money- even up to several times the price of the device within a couple of years. The only issue we could see was if Ooma went out of business- but they’ve been consistently improving the device, and offer strong support and a growing list of features. No more phone company hassles? Sign us up.