Last update: May 4, 2018

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Ooma Residential

2019 VOIP Service Review

Miriam Gerritsen

7.6/10

overall rating

Editor: Miriam Gerritsen

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Ooma Residential Review Summary

Since 2004, Ooma has worked hard to transform the landscape of home phone service into something much better. Their goal was to redesign traditional home phone systems with the help of VoIP. Over time they've made residential VoIP service more flexible, with more features at lower prices. 

Ooma for residential VoIP has an option that's different than typical VoIP service. Rather than paying a monthly service fee, you just pay for the Ooma Telo device (a one time purchase), then you pay only applicable monthly government taxes and fees. The Telo provides some advanced features and additional services that make your traditional phone act more like a smartphone (see details below).

You have two options when choosing Ooma VoIP phone service: Ooma Basic or Ooma Premier. The Basic plan gives you typical phone service capabilities while the Premiere plan adds tons of features, similar to what other VoIP providers offer (e.g. Voicemail-to-email, Anonymous Call Blocking, Mobile Calling, Call Forwarding, Enhanced Call Waiting, and more.

Bottom Line:

Ooma Basic is a no frills replacement for your landline phone service. Ooma Premiere takes it up a notch with more calling features. Call quality and reliability is better than average.

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Ooma Residential Highlights

  • Free U.S. Calling
  • Free In-Network Calls
  • Mobile App
  • Remote Voicemail Access
  • HD Phone Calls
  • Connect Amazon Echo
  • Online Portal
Reliability
9
Features
7
Value
7.5
Customer Support
7
  • Plans from:
  • $9.99/mo.
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User rating:

Confidence:80%


Ooma Residential Category Reviews

Overall rating

7.6 /10

Overall Review

Overall, Ooma is a decent VoIP home phone service that can help you save money as compared to your traditional landline phone service. We've looked at their service and have given them ratings on reliability, calling features, overall value, and customer support. Check out the relevant sections of this page.

As mentioned above, Ooma's Basic service doesn't charge you monthly fees and you get unlimited calls in the US. You only have to pay for the Ooma Telo device (one time charges) and any applicable monthly taxes and fees from the local and federal government. Call quality is good and you get basic calling features. The system is compatible with any landline phone and it's easy to set up.

Stepping up to the Ooma Premier plan ($9.99/mo) gets you many more features plus free calling to Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Various rates apply for other international calling.

While Ooma VoIP phone service is a decent step up from your landline phone, it is VoIP so you may need customer support occasionally . And this is where Ooma could use some work - they didn't get our highest customer support rating. That said, Ooma is a decent 'no frills' solution for home phone VoIP service.


  • Unlimited Calls in US
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • HD Voice Quality
  • Free In-Network Calling
  • Standard Voicemail
  • Call Waiting

  • Price:
  • From $9.99/mo.

Residential rating

7.6 /10

Residential Review

When people switch from landline phone service (analog) to VoIP (digital) they're often concerned about call/voice quality. Ooma's answer is called PureVoice™. It's their HD technology that results in amazingly crisp voice quality. It's actually quite good and Ooma customers consistently rate call quality with high marks.

While providing great voice quality, Ooma uses an advanced voice compression algorithm which reduces the bandwidth by 60%, leaving more bandwidth for your other online activities. They also prioritize voice packets that don't slow down the rest of your network. All this boils down to great call quality without any disruptions to your other online activities.

To protect your privacy, Ooma uses the same encryption technology used by governments to protect classified data. Your calls are secure!

Setup and activation is really simple. You should be up and calling within minutes.


  • FREE U.S. Calling
  • Adaptive Redundancy
  • PureVoice Technology
  • Keep your Number
  • FREE Mobile App
  • Online Call Log

  • Price:
  • From $9.99/mo.

Ooma Residential Reliability (9.0 / 10)

Ooma Residential VoIP service reliability is really based on two different systems. First, your Internet connection and speed. Because VoIP rides on top of (if you will) your high speed internet connect, your calling is totally reliant on your internet connection. Ooma states that

"you will need a high-speed Internet connection...with at least 384 kbps"
Most people have high-speed connections that are way faster than that, so you should be fine. However, just remember that if your internet connection goes down (which it will sometimes), your VoIP phone service will not work, period.

The second part of the reliability equation is Ooma's Telo device. It turns out that the Telo is a state-of-the-art communications device, incorporating some of the most advanced consumer voice technology available. Telo innovations include extremely clear call quality achieved by their PureVoice™ technology. They also use leading edge voice compression algorithms that ensure great quality even when you are experiencing poor Internet service conditions.

All of this stacks up to a pretty robust VoIP calling system. Ooma VoIP has continually been heralded as a reliable service by critics and customers alike.

Bottom line: Ooma residential VoIP gets a 9/10 for reliability.

Ooma Residential Features (7.0 / 10)

A Summary of Ooma Residential Features

Ooma Residential VoIP features are pretty basic. You get most, if not all of the things you're used to with a typical landline service plus a few 'upgrades' like Call Waiting, Online Call Logs, and Caller-ID. Some of our favorite features offered with the residential Basic plan are the mobile app, remote voicemail retrieval, and Amazon Echo connectivity.

If you choose the Ooma Residential Premier service plan you get everything included in the Basic plan, plus around a dozen additional features. Some of these include an instant second line, Three-way Conference Calling, Voicemail to email Forwarding, Anonymous Call Blocking, and Multi-Ring.

Overall, Ooma home phone service features are adequate. Some providers offer more, but Ooma doesn't disappoint in the features department. We've given them 7/10 for features.

The ability to switch between two simultaneous incoming calls.

Callers get put “on hold” until they can connect to the next available representative.

Link your business phone number to your mobile device.

See the name of incoming callers, even if they’re not currently in your address book.

Enjoy extreme privacy with multiple ways to block unwanted incoming callers.

Select a second phone number from any of the available numbers. 

Whether you’re doing business or just chatting with friends, three-way conference calling has never been easier.

A private extension with a personal password-protected voicemail account. 

Access Google Voice’s Voicemail, Listen In, Call Presentation, and Caller-ID features.

Forward incoming calls to any number you choose.

Your voicemail messages get automatically forwarded to your email as an audio file. 

Message notifications get sent directly to any email address or SMS-capable mobile phone.

Log into your account from any web browser, using any device, to manage your settings and features.

Transfer your current phone number or numbers to your new phone service.

View all incoming, outgoing and missed calls on your account.

Anonymous Call Rejection automatically rejects calls from people who are using a blocking feature to hide their identity.

Dial a special code to initiate the automatic return of the last incoming call.

Unlimited and free calls to anyone inside your phone network.

Check your messages from any phone any time you want,

Add your company name and telephone number to a Directory Assistance Listing provider to allow more accessibility to your company information.

You can get a local number from anywhere in the U.S. even if it's from an area code other than where you're located.

Get unlimited calls to anywhere within the U.S. and Canada at no extra cost.

Ooma Residential Value (7.5 / 10)

Is Ooma Residential VoIP a good value?

Most residential phone service customers want a phone system that's easy to set up and use, has decent features, and doesn't cost too much. Ooma VoIP does a decent job in meeting these goals. In fact, if you don't need all of the latest bells and whistles, you can just buy the Ooma Telo and not have a phone bill anymore (except for government regulated taxes and fees). With the Telo only costing $99.99, that's a significant bang for your buck(s).

The only downside to all this is that the Ooma Basic residential plan is pretty 'basic'. You get a handful of features that make the transition from landline phone service less jarring, but when compared to other providers, the overall value is somewhat lacking.

Of course you can upgrade to the Ooma Premium service ($9.99 per month) and get several more features. But you're still not getting all of the features that some of the other providers offer (e.g. SMS and Virtual Fax). There are several upgrades that you can add to your plan, but the charges add up quickly. Examples include Standard Voicemail Transcription ($4.99/mo), Premium Voicemail Transcription ($9.99/mo), Virtual Numbers ($4.99/mo), and Porting/Change Fee ($39.99 per number).

Bottom Line: we give Ooma Residentail VoIP 7.5/10 in the value department.

Ooma Residential Customer Support (7.0 / 10)

Ooma customer support can be evaluated in a few different categories: self-help online support, and the traditional call-in or online chat support.

Ooma online support is very thorough and well organized. They have several articles and guides related to activation and setup, online and home security, feature add-ons, trouble shooting, equipment manuals, and FAQs. They've spent some time to include screen shots, video tutorials, and detailed diagrams (much better than some of the other providers we've reviewed).

The online support area also includes a pretty active forum that allows you to interact with other Ooma customers.

Now for the not-so-great news, Ooma's online chat and help line support could be better. Several customers have complained about the service, indicating that problems weren't solved and that the support representatives weren't knowledgeable enough about the issues. We've seen that Ooma is trying to address the customer support issues and hope to see more satisfied customers soon.

Bottom line: Ooma Residential VoIP customer support gets a 7/10.

Ooma Residential Plans

A Summary of Ooma Residential Plans

Below is a summary of the service plans offered by Ooma Residential.

Basic Service Plan

Ooma's Basic Plan provides everything you need for incoming and outgoing phone calls, plus additional options and features you'll love. All phone calls within the US are free, and for a fee you can make international calls (fees vary based on country). The Ooma app is available to all Ooma customers (iOS and Android devices).

Some of the features that come with the Ooma Basic Plan include Call Waiting, Call Hold, Online Call Logs, Caller ID, Caller ID block, and Online Account Management. All of these are designed to help you control and manage incoming and outgoing calls. You also have access to Standard voicemail, One-touch Voicemail Access, and Remote Voicemail Retrieval.

For additional fees, you can also connect your service to a Bluetooth or Wireless adapter for even more flexibility.

Plan Highlights

  • Pay $99.99 for Telo Device
  • Free Shipping
  • Pay only monthly taxes & fees
  • Free Calls in US
  • HD Voice
  • Call Waiting
  • Standard Calling Features
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Premier Service Plan

In addition to free landline calls to anywhere in the US, the Premier Plan also includes free landline calls to Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Unlimited mobile calls in the U.S. and Canada are also included. With the Premier Plan you get all the features of the Basic Plan, plus many more. Some of these additional advanced voicemail settings include do not disturb, send to voicemail, voicemail monitoring, voicemail notifications, and voicemail forwarding (audio attachment sent to email).

Premier customers also receive more privacy settings with their count. For example, you get anonymous call blocking, custom call blocking, known spammer call blocking, and suspected spammer call blocking. You also can take advantage of custom ring patterns, instant second line, and three way conference calling.

If mobility features are a priority, you'll be glad to hear the Ooma Premier Plan includes mobile calling, call forwarding, a backup number and multi ring feature. These features ensure that you never miss important phone calls. Last of all, Premier customers can connect their system to Google Voice Extensions, Nest Alerts, and other connected home integrations.

Plan Highlights

  • Buy $99.99 Telo
  • U.S. Calling
  • Canadian Calling
  • Mexico & Puerto Rico Calling
  • Voicemail Email Forwarding
  • Anonymous Call Blocking
  • Call Blocking
  • Instant Second Number
  • Three-way Conferencing
  • Multi-ring

Pricing Options

Popular
Premier Service Plan
Starting from

$9.99/mo

(paid monthly)
  • $99.99 Device Req'd
  • All Basic Features+
  • Canada Calling
  • Puerto Rico Calling
  • Mexico Calling
  • Voicemail to Email
  • Call Blocking
  • Conferencing
  • Multi-ring
  • Much More
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