Monday, February 27, 2012

Relatively Free Phone Service

  So,  you have a smartphone and wireless and data plan, but you don't want to completely cut the cord on regular phone service.  What's a geek to do? Magic Jack Plus?   Net Talk Duo?  Skype In?  Nope, its gotta be Ooma.  Its regular land line phone service made relevant.   This analog wonderland begins with the box.   This is the Ooma Telo.
The Ooma Telo

Simply plug this into a free port on your router or switch and follow the instructions to register Ooma.  You can then log in to Ooma, where you will see this beautiful login screen.

Once you log in, you will then see your Dash Board.  Where you can see quickly, who has called, and where you can listen to voice mail messages.

When you switch to preferences you can then see more of the Awesomeness that is Ooma.

For $0 plus taxes ~$3.50 per month you get basic phone service with call waiting and caller ID with unlimited long distance.  For $10 per month more you get their Premium Service which includes all that plus:
  1. Full Google Voice support (Yes, you can tie a real phone line into your Google number)
  2. Forwarding of voice mail mp3 files to multiple email addresses.
  3. Message notification to multiple email addresses.
  4. Call screening 
  5. Call forwarding
  6. Multi-Ring (currently for only one other number)
  7. 911 notifications (notifies you if someone calls 911 from your home phone)
  8. Free number porting. (for basic service they charge $40 for number porting)
 The complete list of Premiere Features is here.
Then there are the options such as a WiFi adapter, Bluetooth adapter for syncing with your cell phone, a Handset that gives you advanced control over the Ooma Telo, International  calling options, and they keep adding more. 

  Probably the best part of Ooma is that they continually improve their service. It is still developing and still gaining steam.  Plain old telephone service was stale and dying, but then Ooma made it relevant.
OK, I can feel it, how much for this wonder box they call the Ooma Telo? Right?

THE COST:  From Costco in the store, The Ooma Telo is $179 plus tax.  It is also available on Amazon and Walmart for about $229  You will have to decide if you want the Premium Service for $10 per month and then there are the Taxes at about $3.50 per month. Remember, those Taxes apply no matter who your VOIP Phone provider is. Even if it is Magic Jack or Net Talk.  Is Ooma perfect? Nope.  Is it better than any other traditional service? Yes, by miles. 

Caveat:While Ooma is truly a great product,  I am not saying that I would ditch Skype for Ooma. I love Skype and still use their service, but with Ooma's options and features I can integrate Skype into Ooma without too much work.   

Did your hear that?  I can actually hear the cost of phone service dropping. :-)


1 comment:

  1. I have a friend who set that up for his mom, cause it was simple and they wouldnt have to do anything...I thought about it, but I already got my freepbx with google voice integrated (yeah free is nice) since I already have a server running anyway :-)