Ooma is a ‘free’ phone service that can replace your landline phone. Ooma provides everything you need as your home phone. The free VOIP service provides simple basic features as well as an upgrade option. The low cost Premier service ($10/month) provides capabilities that compare nicely to Vonage – a well established VOIP provider. Here, we’ll compare costs with Vonage and look at how to convert from Vonage to Ooma. We’ll save a fortune in the process! It’s time to switch.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) is a telephone technology that relies on an internet connection to operate within your home. So, if you have an internet connection, you are able to install VOIP phone service. All you need is the device to connect to your internet connection, a landline phone (even a 1985 Trimline will work), and VOIP Service (like Ooma, Vonage, or Magic Jack}. When you get VOIP Service, you choose pick a phone number in any US city of your choice. If you move, your phone number and device and service goes with you to your new home. VOIP lets you ay goodbye to local phone service.
Since nothing is ever free, as Ooma proclaims their service to be, let’s break down the costs. Just like we’ve learned not to ignore shipping when it comes to purchasing online, we must not ignore taxes/fees when it comes to phones. The initial cost of the device plus taxes and fees are the difference between free and a $100 investment plus $5/month.
Ooma provides a nice detail of costs at http://www.ooma.com/rates/
I just converted from Vonage to Ooma. My Ooma service costs me $15/month for the Premiere plan including taxes/fees. Here are the entry costs:
* home device: $100/one time – get the Ooma Telo on SALE for $89!
* phone service: $0/month
* phone taxes: $5/month
* phone# port: $40/one time
* optional monthly premiere service: $10/month
Compare these prices to Vonage VOIP service. The Vonage North America phone service that I am migrating to Ooma costs me $40/month.
* home device: $0
* phone service: $27/month
* phone taxes: $12/month
My savings are $25/month = $300/year. Frankly, I could do without the Ooma Premiere service at $10/month, but I will try it for a year since they offered a free phone# port with a year of Premiere service. A good comparison of the Ooma free service versus the Premiere service is available at http://www.ooma.com/premier/ if you click the Compare button.
Another cost is moving the current phone number from Vonage to Ooma. This is referred to as ‘phone number port’. Ooma charges $40 to port a phone number from an existing service to Ooma. Once you establish your Ooma service, you fill out a simple form to request the phone number port. The advertised duration is 3-4 weeks and you will need to maintain both your Ooma and Vonage accounts during that time. My phone number port took Vonage 10 days (7 business days) for Vonage to complete. If you don’t need to port a number, then you get to pick a phone number from a limited inventory of available phone numbers. This option is free. You get to choose any city in the US then pick a phone number that Ooma has available.
Generally, the Ooma Premiere features and the Vonage North America features are comparable. The phone quality is terrific in both services, so that is not a consideration.
Installation of Ooma is remarkably simply. The device comes with an easy to follow page of instructions. Generally, the steps are:
- register Ooma Telo device. Log onto the Ooma site and fill out a few pages to register your device, pick a phone number, and set up your account.
- plug in your device. Connect Ooma Telo device to Power and connect device to your home router. The device will connect to Ooma’s servers.
- plug in your phone. Connect a phone to the Ooma Telo device. At this point, the phone is functional. Call a friend. Call your cell phone.
- (optional) request a phone number port. Login to your Ooma account and fill out the simple request to move your phone from Vonage to Ooma.
Congratulations! You’ve saved $300/year by moving from Vonage to Ooma. You won’t be sorry in the least.