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Ooma Review
Bottom Line

Ooma differs from other VoIP services in that it charges only for the initial hardware. You start with the Ooma Telo hub (Est. $100), which promises great call quality and works with your regular home phone. If you want more extensions, you have to buy Ooma handsets (Est. $50 each). There are no monthly fees for the basic service, except for applicable taxes and fees, but step up services aimed at businesses will incur a monthly charge.

ProsNo monthly charges (except taxes/fees), Good call quality, Free long distance in U.S.ConsInitial hardware cost, Advanced features incur monthly fee, International calls not the cheapest

Breaking it down

Performance

Good call quality. Reviewers continue to be impressed with Ooma's quality, cost and customer service. PCMag.com names it and the Ooma Telo interface an Editors' Choice and praise usability, call quality and value. Customer service is largely reported to be good, if you need it. Reporting on several years of service with Ooma, G.E. Miller of 20SomethingFinance.com praises performance and ease of uses, noting that he's never had to contact the provider about an issue of any kind, and that when an outage did occur, Ooma fixed the problem promptly and kept subscribers informed.

Plans and costs

Fee for hardware only. The only fee for basic Ooma VoIP service is the cost of the Ooma hardware, but you will have to pay government taxes and fees every month. You'll need to buy special Ooma handsets if you want any extensions. Domestic calls are free and international calls start at 1.4 cents per minute, or you can subscribe to an international plan for $10 per month for 1000 minutes to 61 countries. However, calling another Ooma customer anywhere in the world is free. Some reviewers do grouse, however, that some services that require the Ooma Premier package (Est. $10 per month), such as three-way calling and voice mail forwarding, are free with other services. A 60-day free trial is available.

Features

The basics are free. The free Ooma service has all the basic features including voice mail, caller ID and 911 services, plus a virtual second line, so two people can make calls at the same time. Voice mail, call waiting and caller ID are also included. Even without the Premier plan, you get email notifications of new voice mail messages, but, as noted above, you'll need to buy a Premier subscription (Est. $10 per month) if you want some of the features that come standard with some other providers, such as three-way calling and voice mail forwarding. Also, transferring your existing phone number -- free with some VoIP providers -- is a $40 option with the basic Ooma plan. Ooma also has a mobile app for Android and Apple.

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Ooma Telo Free Home Phone Service
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from Amazon.com
New: $129.99 $89.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Ooma HD2 Handset
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from Amazon.com
New: $62.09 $45.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  

Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

Phone Service Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, May 2011

Ooma is one of the nearly 40 landline and VoIP phone service providers ranked in this ConsumerReports.org chart, based on a survey of 101,019  reader experiences. Each provider gets ratings for reliability, call quality, support and value.

2. PCMag.com

Ooma Telo, Michael Muchmore, Aug. 3, 2015

PCMag.com names Ooma and the Ooma Telo interface as their Editors' Choice selection among home VoIP providers. "Ooma offers attractive, functional home VoIP hardware, an excellent mobile app, economical pricing, and good call quality," Michael Muchmore says.

3. 20SomethingFinance.com

Ooma Review: 1 Year After Making the Switch, G.E. Miller, Updated Feb. 21, 2016

G.E. Miller has been using Ooma for seven years now (this is his latest update since switching his home phone to Ooma). He highly recommends Ooma as a simple and frugal way to largely eliminate home phone bills -- and cut way down on cell phone minutes, too.

4. Amazon.com

Ooma Telo Free Home Phone Service, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of August 2016

More than 3,500 users weigh in on the Ooma Telo interface and the Ooma VoIP service. Some frustrations with the performance and customer service are voiced, but over satisfaction is high, as indicated by the 4.3 star rating.

5. PC World

Ooma Telo: The Single Best Landline Replacement You Can Buy, Rick Broida, Sept. 20, 2010

PC World's Rick Broida gives the Ooma Telo 4 out of 5 stars in this somewhat older review. He calls it an "affordable and versatile landline replacement."

6. DSLReports.com

Ooma, Contributors to DSLReports.com, As of August 2016

Ooma earns good feedback here, based on about 95 mostly enthusiastic user-written reviews. Users praise it for call quality and ease of use. Some reviews reflect usage over an extended period of time.

7. BestBuy.com

Ooma - Telo VoIP Home Phone Service - Black, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of August 2016

With around 640 reviews, BestBuy.com users award the Ooma Telo a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, giving high marks for performance and value for price. However, a small handful of reviewers complain that the service is either unreliable or that they could not get it to work at all.