Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ooma Telephone Review

I had been with Vonage for about 6 years. When we first switched, it was amazing - only 25 dollars a month for unlimited calling. We had just moved to Utah which required me to take a substantial pay cut, and our long distance bills were huge. Vonage was a savior.

However, about 2 months ago, call quality became drastically reduced. We heard everyone fine, but the other end of the line was getting regular drop-offs in audio. I began to research other options. Maybe we would join the trend of just using our cell-phones.

One of the options I heard about was Ooma. Like Vonage, they work on a Voip system. They differ in that Ooma charges for the unit and not a monthly subscription. An Ooma router typically costs between $200-$250.

When I saw that Costco was charging $179, I decided to take the plunge. Hook up was fast and easy. I placed it between my modem and my wifi router. It took less than a half an hour to be up and running.

Unfortunately, Ooma had similar audio drops. Not as bad, but still unacceptable. I was looking for my receipt when the age of my modem occurred to me. I had bought that modem when I moved out to SLC seven years ago - in tech time, that is forever. I considered that modem technology must be wildly more efficient today, so I researched a bit and picked up a new one. Problem solved. My new modem is not really any faster, it is just more consistent. Packet loss is a thing of the past.

So we have been using Ooma now for a few weeks and it works like a champ. The only thing I pay for is $3.50 in taxes monthly. Ooma does have a premium service with more advanced options at $10 a month, but for now, the phone is fine.

It seems that a new modem would probably have solved my Vonage issues as well, but this worked out for the best. What I paid for Ooma and the modem is the equivalent of 10 months with Vonage - any time my Ooma works after that is bonus!

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