Ooma Review - Boring, in a Good Way!

We installed Ooma as our landline this week - and there's almost nothing to report. 

Which is good! 

Your landline should be boring.

Ooma works exactly as advertised. It is, basically, a free VOIP service. 

You purchase the Ooma box (for between $90 and $120, depending on where and when you purchase.)

You plug the Ooma into your router, and plug your existing telephone into the Ooma. 

And... that's pretty much it. 

Call quality is more or less unremarkable. No one has noticed a difference. That's good enough for us! 

(For the money we were saving, we were willing to accept "somewhat worse" call quality. We're pleasantly surprised.)

Pick Your Own Phone Number

One MAJOR selling point for Ooma is not one that I've never seen advertised - you get to pick your phone number

Yes, you can port your existing phone number to Ooma

But that costs $40, and we weren't in love with the number that we got when we moved in 2012. 

We had a super-catchy phone number in the 773 area code in the city. 
Our 5-year old knew it, because could sing it to the "Empire Carpets" jingle!

When we moved to the 630 area code in the suburbs, we were assigned a number that is the opposite of catchy. 

Our 5-year old is almost a 9-year old, and he still can't remember it. *I* can't remember it sometimes. It sounds like a random number generator. 
Ooma let us change it to something better. There were only 13 phone numbers to choose from for our town, but one of them was pretty great! 

Given that the only people who call our landline anymore are our parents and telemarketers, we made the phone number switch. 

While we'll have to update our contact information with a lot of websites, we are considering the number change to be a net positive, rather than an inconvenience. 

Free Features

We didn't sign up for Ooma Premier, which would have given us world-wide calling for $9.99/month. 

(Yes, my sister and her family live in the UK, but when we're talking to them, it's usually via FaceTime.)

Ooma gives you a handful of features for free, though: 
  • A voicemail box we're never going to use (no one likes voicemail.)
  • Call waiting, caller ID, the usual stuff you'd expect
  • A call log on the website dashboard, which is pretty neat
  • Call Forwarding to your cell phone, if your Ooma phone is down
  • Contact Management (You can associate names with phone numbers)
  • WORKS WITH NEST, meaning that incoming phone calls will auto-forward when you are away, and you'll automatically get a phone call if your Nest Protect detects a problem.

Saving Cash

And because Ooma has no monthly fee (except taxes), we can drop our WOW voice service, and return the WOW rental modem.

We're going to be cutting our WOW bill by $20/month, even after we bump our WOW internet service from 15 Mbps up to 50 Mbps! 

This looks like a rare win-win-win. Lower cost-per-month, Somewhat better phone service. And faster broadband internet. 

FOUR STARS - It does exactly what we'd hoped it would do. 

While the number of specialized internet boxes we have in our office continues to grow (Modem, Airport Extreme router, Ooma, ADT Pulse, MyQ Garage, and probably a couple I'm forgetting), this one is worth the extra clutter.  


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