Ooma Voice-over-IP Review

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There are a lot of voice-over-IP services and providers on the market today: Vonage, Packet8, Comcast Digital Voice, and Phone Power just to name a few. One you may not have heard of is Ooma. With its unique features, Ooma sets itself apart from all the others. Read on to find out why.

Ooma is a different kind of voice-over-IP service, it uses P2P (peer-to-peer) technology to give you unlimited calling throughout the United States (sorry Canada). For example, let’s say you have an Ooma Hub setup in San Francisco. If you have a friend in New York and want to call them, Ooma looks for another Hub in New York, and then routes the call from that Hub. This way, it appears to be a local call originating from that area – keeping costs down.

You will however, have to plunk down $399 for the Hub and $39 for each additional Scout. The Scout allows you to use the Ooma service throughout your home over your existing phone connection.

A few unique features to Ooma include the Instant Second Line, allowing you to have two phone lines at one number without additional fees. One of our favorites is the one-touch do not disturb button, allowing you to get the “killer nap” according to Ooma.

Now you may be asking, how exactly is the performance of Ooma in terms of call quality and latency? We tested the Ooma using a Comcast cable internet connection in our home network. You can place the Ooma anywhere on your network, though it is recommended that you place it between your cable modem and router to ensure the best quality.

Surprisingly, call quality isn’t too shabby and sounded pretty good. The only downside to Ooma and most VoIP services is in case of a power outage, you’re out of phone service if this is a full replacement for your landline. The high upfront cost may drive some away, but it’s well worth the money. Another caveat is that there is no display on the Hub or the Scout, and the only way to diagnose problems with the service is through the light-up buttons on top of the unit itself. Tricky, but you’ll get the hang of it.

The Ooma Hub & Scout are available today from both Ooma’s website and Amazon.com.

Pros

  • Easy setup.
  • Good call quality.
  • Many extra features like Instant Second Line.
  • Scout allows you to extend the service without extra wiring.

Cons

  • No display for diagnostics.
  • High upfront cost could drive potential users away.

Final Verdict
4.5 out of 5 stars.

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