Ooma Telo Review: Free Telephone Calls?
• Good call quality
• Can choose or transfer your number.
• Use a standard phone or smartphone via app
• Can't make calls using a computer
• Numerous features require Premier package
Ooma is a service which allows people to make clear nation-wide calling for free.
Claims & Features
- Only applicable taxes and fees are required
- Advanced voice compression
- HD Voice
- Affordable pricing
- Unlimited calls in US and Canada
- Wireless phone extensions
Cost & Availability
The hardware costs as follows: Online (Website) $109.99 (or 3 payments of $42.99) + Free Shipping – $129.99 + Free Shipping; Amazon: $109.00 + Free Shipping – $129.99 + Free Shipping; Best Buy: $109.99 + Free Shipping; Staples: $109.99 + Free Shipping; Costco: $129.99; Fry’s: $129.99 + Free Shipping; Office Max: $109.99; Walmart: $129.99 + $10.16 Shipping.
Ooma Premier includes a number of additional features for $9.99 a month.
The TV commercial below has been airing as of this writing.
Ooma Telo Reviews
Ooma is a service which allows consumers to make telephone calls within the United States for free, after an initial purchase of the required hardware. The company profits from sales of the hardware, along with upgrades to Ooma Premier, which offers several upgraded features (some of which were originally included in the basic package).
Consumers familiar with Vonage, Skype, or Google Voice should have some familiarity of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone services, which converts audio signals to data and transmits them over the internet, rather than using traditional phone lines. Unlike similar VoIP systems, however, there is only an initial fee for the hardware.
The hardware used by Ooma is called Telo, which retails anywhere from about $110 to $130. Activating the hardware takes minutes, and then you can choose your number, and get ready to use the device. You can plug a standard phone into the unit, or it can be used with your cell phone via the free Android or iOS app (sorry Windows Mobile and Blackberry fans).
You can also port your existing number over to Ooma, but that will incur an additional charge of $39.99 and may take a couple of days to complete.
There are a number of valuable inclusions, such as a privacy feature allowing you to block unknown numbers and known telemarketers. We found the call quality to be above average for a VoIP system. The addition of a speaker is nice, as is the fancy light-changing display on top. You can access your account from the web, although you can’t make calls directly from your computer in the manner of Skype.
Keep in mind that call quality is directly related to the quality of your internet connection. If you have slow or spotty internet, Ooma (or any VoIP) may not be a good fit. If you’re considering purchasing the Premier package, be sure to call in to speak with a rep, as they can sometimes give you a considerably lower rate (some readers have reported as low as $60 for the entire year).
Ooma is a solid competitor in the crowded field of VoIP services. The hardware is well built and the call quality is above par. It’s as close as you can get to an old-school telephone experience without the outrageous costs.
If you’ve used Ooma, please give it a star rating and comment below.