Ooma Telo – Router Based phone system

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The Ooma Telo Phone Service is a router/modem based phone system for your home.  Unlike other internet based phone systems like MagicJack, you do not have to plug it directly into your computer.  MagicJack works great, but  it requires that you leave your computer on to make or accept calls.   Ooma plugs into your home router or high speed modem to bypass the need for a computer. The installation took a little longer than expected, but my router set-up is a little more complicated than most set-ups.

Once connected, you can choose to connect any standard phone to the Ooma device and it will work.  If you want full access to all Ooma features at the touch of your hand you can opt for the optional Ooma Telo Handset for around $50. Ooma is packed with features if you opt for the Premier plan package for $9.99 a month.

Ooma Standard Package features:

  • Call anyone, anywhere in the U.S. Pay only applicable taxes and fees.
  • Enjoy the convenience of caller-ID and call-waiting— at no extra charge.
  • Access your voicemail remotely from any phone or web browser.
  • Check messages from anywhere in your house.
  • Get crisp acoustic performance with advanced features like voice compression, adaptive redundancy,
  • Pick out some new digits for the area code of your choosing. So if you feel like going with a 415 instead of a 510, we’ve got your number.
  • Make international calls starting at 1.4 cents per minute.

Ooma Premier Package features:

  • Instant Second Line™ – Make or take a second call without missing a beat. Let’s say you’ve got a teen and they are always on the phone. Not a problem. With Ooma’s Instant Second Line feature, all you have to do is go to another Ooma Telo Handset in the house, pick it up, and you’ve got a fresh Ooma dial tone.
  • Three-way conferencing –  Whether you’re doing business or chatting with friends, three-way conference calling has never been easier.
  • Multi-ring – Ensure you never miss a call by configuring your Ooma system to simultaneously ring or forward to your mobile phone.
  • Back-up telephone number – Don’t miss a call even if your Internet is on the fritz. We’ll forward calls to your backup number.
  • Google Voice Extensions – Experience the goodness of Google Voice on your Ooma system. We’ve simplified and enhanced the experience, so now you can access Google Voice’s Voicemail, Call Presentation, Listen In, and Caller-ID features – all with the press of a button.
  • Bluetooth – Link your mobile phone to your Ooma Telo using the Ooma Bluetooth adapter. Just plug the adapter into the USB port on your Ooma Telo, link your mobile phone or headset, and you’re ready to go!
  • Transfer your Current Telephone Number – If you want to keep your current number, Ooma will transfer your number for your current phone provider for free when you sign-up for a year of Ooma Premier.
  • Personal Number – With Ooma Premier, choose a second number anywhere in the US. Decide whether you want your number to ring and leave voicemail on all phones or just your personal Ooma device. You can choose up to nine numbers (additional monthly fee applies).
Ooma works great with both a standard phone and the Ooma Telo Handset.  The Ooma Telo Handset form factor may take some getting used to, but the sound is crisp and clear.  It sounds slighly more hollow than the standard phone line, but it was not bad after a few volume adjustments were made.  I did not experience any dropped calls or static on the line, so i was very impressed with the call quality.  The optional handset allows to to set and check your voicemail options and review your online phonebook.   You need to log-in to your account in order to get a code that will pair your handset with your Telo box.  Once online you can also set-up a phonebook of all of your contacts.  Any additional handsets connected with then be given access to the online phonebook option.  It is great that you only have to set your phonebook/contacts once and then they are shared across all handsets.
I set my voicemail messages to be forwarded to my email in mp3 format, so I will never miss an important message again.
I rarely use my home phone line, but they are good to have in  you don’t want to waste your cell phone minutes.  My phone company charged me nearly $40 a month for a line that I used once or twice each month.  That’s $480 a year that i was spending for something that i rarely used.  Oooma is free, but you do have to pay the state and federal taxes and charges.  I hear these charges in the US range from $3-$6 a month and that is much better than $40/month.  I did some research and you can find the Ooma Telo at Costco that comes with a 90 day Trial of the Ooma  Premeir package and a free Bluetooth dongle accessory for $199.  The Ooma Handset is available on Amazon.com for around $50.
It is a great deal if you wanna save money or you move often.  This is a portable number that you  take with you wherever you go.