Ooma Review–The Good and Bad

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Ooma delivers simple and straightforward VoIP solutions that are perfect for those switching from legacy landlines. With easy DIY installation and an experience that mirrors traditional landlines, it expertly blends the best parts of old school phone systems with modern day technology.

What Is Ooma?

Ooma has solutions for business VoIP, home phone systems, enterprises and call centers, POTS line replacement, and home security. You can use these links to jump to a specific section of our review if you’d like.

All of Ooma’s communication tools utilize VoIP technology, which works via an existing internet connection. There’s no need for extra infrastructure, wires, cables, or anything like that.

They also add a new layer of versatility and mobility for modern communications—you can take calls and configure settings in the desktop, web, or mobile apps from anywhere you have internet. No more missing calls because you aren’t at home or your desk. You’ll also be able to sync your new system to smart home software or critical business tools for a truly connected experience.

All that paired with the familiarity of the phone(s) you already have, you get a streamlined combination of tech and equipment that doesn’t require hours of video tutorials to install or use.

Ooma Business: A Phone System for Traditional Office Settings with Basic Calling Needs

Just about every VoIP phone service can work well in a traditional office environment. Most work with a range of compatible devices and sell pre-configured phones, too.

However, Ooma makes getting started easier than the rest with its incredibly simple implementation process.

Plus, that’s what it was built for.

If you’re hesitant to make the switch from on-premise or landline to the cloud and just need a basic phone system that works, Ooma’s a great option that’ll ease you into the transition.

This is especially true if you don’t have in-house IT resources to lean on.

Finally a phone system with business in mind. Whether you need a business line with great features or apps to work from anywhere, Ooma makes it super simple to get started. Keep your number or choose a new one at no extra cost.

A solution like Nextiva may be a better fit if you want more innovative features and collaboration capabilities at a lower price point. It’s also far more scalable than Ooma—you’ll never outgrow Nextiva.

That paired with top-tier customer service makes it our favorite business phone system.

Need lightweight call center features but on a tight budget? RingCentral’s phone plans include more call routing features than most in this price range. You’ll get IVR, ACD, recording, call queues, and even a receptionist console on top of video conferencing, texting, and team messaging.

Zoom is $5 cheaper per user per month and includes some of the same features.

On the other end of the spectrum, Grasshopper, OpenPhone, and Google Voice are simpler alternatives to look into if you need something simple but don’t need physical desk phones.

Ooma for Business: The Good

DIY setup in 15 minutes: There are multiple ways to get started with Ooma—you can use existing phones, purchase phones from Ooma, start via the desktop app (on certain plans), or set it up using an app on your existing mobile phone. It’ll take a few days if you purchase hardware from them, but the other options take as little as 15 minutes for most businesses. It’s so easy you don’t need any lengthy documentation, IT pros, or professional services to get going. This is true even if you have dozens of users, although it may take a bit longer than 15 minutes.

Simple and streamlined: A lot of VoIP phone systems come packed full of features that get in the way. Ooma, in contrast, is simple and straightforward. You get the essentials you use every day and none of the unnecessary features you’ll never use.

Updated interface: Until recently, the Ooma platform was pretty clunky, so we’re happy to report that the interface has gotten a total revamp. Now it’s on par with competitors in terms of offering an accessible end-user experience.

Free main company number: You can choose between a local and toll-free number for your business at no extra cost. Some providers don’t offer a free number, so it’s nice that Ooma does. Alternatively, you can port an existing phone number if you don’t want to worry about changing to a new one. Porting can take a few days to a few weeks.

A direct-dial number for each user: On top of your main number, each user will get their own number. You won’t have to pay extra for this as it’s included in the price.

Complimentary toll-free minutes: Every plan includes 500 inbound toll-free minutes. After you hit the limit, you’ll pay per minute you go over. This is low to average compared to others but it’s nice that you get some for free—Nextiva gives you 1,500 to 12,500, RingCentral offers 100 to 10,000, and some providers don’t offer any at all and charge for usage right off the bat.

Virtual receptionist on every plan: On the lower two tiers, you’ll be able to use Ooma’s basic virtual receptionist. With it, callers will be asked a few questions to route them to the right place. On the top tier, you’ll also be able to record custom messages at every stage of the menu, create menus in different languages, and set up multi-level trees that can be as complex as you need.

Image of the Ooma virtual receptionist interface. Shows the process of setting up and editing the greeting message.

Online faxing at no extra cost: Aside from purchasing a fax number if you don’t already have one, there are no extra charges to send and receive faxes with Ooma. It comes standard with every plan. In contrast, many providers offer it as an add-on or gate it to higher tiers.

Up to 1,000 text messages per month: Depending on the plan, you’ll get either 250 or 1,000 monthly text messages per user. After that, you’ll pay per message. You can also pre-purchase bulk SMS packages. Nextiva gives you 1,000 or 2,000 per month, RingCentral limits you to 200 on the top tier, and OpenPhone doesn’t have any limits. Ooma’s right in the middle.

UCaaS features on higher tiers: The middle tier includes video conferencing with up to 25 participants, screensharing, and calendar integrations. The top tier ups the limit to 100 participants and includes team chat, whiteboarding, and presence indicators.

Only including these on more expensive plans keeps things simple on the entry-level plan if you don’t need all these extra capabilities.

Useful in-office features: Ooma offers a range of features for traditional offices that many modern VoIP systems skip over, including paging groups, overhead paging, intercom functionality, hot desking, and call parking.

Strong system mobility: Despite being great for traditional offices, Ooma has strong mobility features, like follow me and find me plus a mobile app that let’s users take and make calls on the go. Users can also manage everything from the desktop or web app as long as they’re on the middle tier or higher. Everything from texting and calling to faxing, team chat, and video conferencing is accessible from anywhere.

Optional internet services: If you’re unhappy with your existing internet or you need a separate network for your phone system, you can get high speed wireless internet directly from Ooma. There are different tiers to choose from, depending on what you need.

No contracts: Many providers lock you into one, two, or three year contracts to get the best pricing. Ooma’s advertised rates are for month-to-month, giving you the flexibility to make changes as needed.

Ooma Business VoIP: The Bad

Not much room to grow: Solutions like Nextiva, RingCentral, and Talkdesk come with a range of features for larger businesses with plenty of room to scale. Ooma’s more for straightforward calling and collaboration needs. Ooma Enterprise may provide necessary capabilities, but that’s going to be a jump in cost with a lot of firepower you may not need. Ooma’s cloud-first competitors do a better job of letting you pick and choose key features without having to pay up for an enterprise plan.

Expensive for what you get: Ooma’s entry-level plan is $19.95 per user per month. The top tier, which is the only one that includes team messaging, integrations, and presence indicators, is $29.95 per month for each line.

For around the same price as Ooma’s cheapest plan, you can get a more feature-rich RingCentral, Nextiva, or Dialpad plan. RingCentral, for example, includes IVR, text messaging, advanced AI tools, integrations, and a full developer platform for $0.05 more per user per month. Dialpad doesn’t offer as much, but it only costs $15 per user per month and includes the full range of UCaaS features for half the price of Ooma.

No vanity or international numbers: The only types of numbers you can purchase are local and toll-free. Nextiva also doesn’t offer vanity or international numbers, so Ooma isn’t the only one. However, there are dozens of providers who offer all four types.

Limited features on the entry-level plan: If you need things like recording, video conferencing, texting, team messaging, integrations, or hot desking, you won’t be able to use the cheapest plan. The simplicity may be nice if you’re just looking for a basic phone system that works out of the box. But there are far more feature-rich options out there at a similar (or lower) price point.

Low texting and video limits on Pro: On the middle tier, which is $24.95 per user per month, each user only gets 250 text messages per month and can only host video meetings with up to 25 people. Compared to other providers at a similar price point, these limits are low.

There aren’t many integrations: Aside from the fact that most integrations are only available on the top tier, there just aren’t that many integrations to begin with. There are 12 in total. RingCentral offers more than 300, Nextiva has 100+, and Aircall has more than 200. On top of that, APIs don’t appear to be available unless you upgrade to Ooma’s enterprise phone plans.

Ooma Residential: A Free Home Phone Service with Optional Upgrades

Ooma’s home phone service is simple, straightforward, and surprisingly feature-rich for a residential service.

That paired with rock-bottom rates that’ll save you a bunch of money compared to a landline and incredibly easy setup, you get a top-tier service at an affordable rate. While it doesn’t have the most affordable up front costs—MagicJack is $49.99 up front and Vonage for Home doesn’t charge for the device at all—it’s affordable monthly rates and quality make up for it.

Ooma offers free home phone services. All you pay are monthly taxes and fees.

Ooma Home Phone: The Good

Low, one-time equipment fee: If you have strong internet, you can choose between a hardwired or wireless Ooma Telo device to power your home phone system. The hardwired option is $69.99 and the wireless version is $30 more.

Optional LTE + battery backup option: This is a great option if you don’t have strong internet (learn how to check your internet speed for VoIP, here) or want a backup in case you lose power. It’s $129.99 and includes a powerful LTE connection, similar to a mobile phone plan plus a battery backup so it works no matter what. Unlike the cheaper devices, you’ll have to pay an ongoing $19.99 monthly fee plus taxes to take advantage of the LTE network. However, it also includes a subscription to Ooma’s Premium plan with more powerful features at no extra cost.

There’s a free plan (just have to pay taxes): If you just need a basic phone system with voicemail and a few basic settings, you’ll only have to pay for taxes and fees—no monthly subscription fee required. Taxes and fees vary depending on where you live, but you can expect to pay $5 to $10 per month.

Paid plan is cheaper than a landline: Want more powerful spam blocking, voicemail settings, smart home connections, and call handling options? Ooma’s Premium plan is $9.99 per month plus taxes (unless you purchase the ongoing LTE service, which includes a Premium subscription). Compared to paying upwards of $40 or more for a traditional landline, even the paid plan is a steal.

Sets up in a few minutes: Getting started is as easy as plugging an ethernet chord into your Telo device or connecting it to your Wi-Fi if you have the wireless version. From there, all that’s left is plugging in your existing phone and activating your service.

You can keep your number: If you don’t want a new number, you can port your existing number to Ooma. If you go this route, you’ll need to keep paying for your current phone service until the process is done. It can take up to a few weeks, so you’ll also get a temporary number to use while you wait.

Very simple and easy to use: Since you can keep using the phones you already have, there’s virtually no learning curve. You’ll be able to keep using it just like you always have. It may take a few minutes to get familiar with using the mobile or desktop apps to take or make calls, but it’s truly one of the easiest apps to use. You don’t need any tech skills and Ooma support is always a call or chat away.

Manage your account online: Rather than having to call support, you can manage and configure settings online or via the mobile app. You’ll be able to add new devices, update voicemail settings, manage call blocking capabilities, and more.

Mobile app for answering calls on the go: As we’ve mentioned, you can use Ooma’s mobile app to take and make calls from anywhere you have internet. While this feature is limited to the Premium plan, it adds way more flexibility you won’t get from a traditional landline. Plus, you don’t have to worry about missing calls when you’re not at home.

E911 has your exact location: Traditionally, dispatchers know your approximate location and can do some digging to find your exact address. With E911 services, they have your exact address right away.

Optional Ooma World Plan: If you do a lot of international calling, you can purchase unlimited international calling in 60 countries for $17.99 per month. Alternatively, you can upgrade to the World Plus Plan, which lets you call landlines in 70 countries + mobile devices in 40 countries for $25.99 per month.

Caller ID and contact lists: Both the free and paid plans include caller ID and the ability to create your own contact lists. The paid plan includes enhanced caller ID, which provides the name of the caller even if you don’t have the number saved.

Standard voicemail: Your Telo device works as your voicemail and you can also check voicemail using the mobile or desktop apps. The voicemail functionality comes complete with notifications so you don’t have to check it to know if you have messages. The Premium plan includes voicemail notifications via text or email, too.

Connects to Alexa, Nest, and other home products: If you set this up, you can make phone calls to anyone in your contact list with voice commands, listen to voicemails, and more.

Ooma Residential: The Bad

High volume of spam calls unless you upgrade: Advanced call blocking and spam protection features are only available on the Premium plan. If you upgrade, you’ll be able to see who’s calling even if they aren’t in your contact list, block anonymous calls, set up your own call blocking rules, and automatically block suspected and known spammers. If you prefer, you can enable contact-only calling so you only get calls from people you know.

Relies on your internet connection: If your internet isn’t the greatest, you may experience poor call quality, dropped calls, or disruptions in your service. You can either upgrade your internet or purchase Ooma’s LTE device and service for a smoother experience.

LTE service only includes 1 GB of data with expensive overage fees: 1 GB of data isn’t very much and Ooma charges $8.99 per extra GB you go over. With that said, calling doesn’t count towards your data usage—you’ll be able to call as much as you want. The 1 GB of data is only used up for non-Ooma services like emailing, streaming, or browsing the internet, which can help make it stretch a bit further.

No texting aside from text alerts: Some home phone services come with basic texting capabilities so you can get text-based confirmations and things like that. Ooma doesn’t have texting at all, aside from a few text-based alerts which will go to your mobile phone instead.

Additional Ooma Products and Services

Business and home phone systems are definitely Ooma’s bread and butter. However, the company also offers a range of other services, too. Here’s a closer look at them.

POTS Line Replacement with Ooma AirDial

Replacing POTS (plain old telephone system) lines is a good idea because the old public switched telephone network infrastructure that supported those phones is going away.

If you have outdated alarms, safety phone lines, entry systems, or other emergency devices, Ooma offers a straightforward way to replace them with a centralized solution. The service includes all of the hardware you need to modernize your systems plus the phone service an failover options you need to actually be able to use them.

It comes with full device management and easy account management, too. Aside from being easier to manage, you’ll likely save some money by making the switch.

Ooma AirDial is the hassle-free all-in-one solution for your life safety devices

Home Security

Ooma offers simple DIY home security systems you can set up on your own. There are a wide range of devices to choose from, including motion sensors, window and door sensors, water sensors, garage sensors, and sirens. There are also home security bundles that include multiple devices to protect your entire home, most of which also include an Ooma Telo device for free home phone services.

Monitoring plans start at $5.99 per month and include everything Ooma offers except professional monitoring services. You’ll get email, text, and phone notifications, instant alerts, and a mobile app with hardware health data.

Professional monitoring services are $14.99 per month.

Check out our full list of business security systems if you’re interested in securing your business instead of your home.

Ooma makes it easy to build a home security system that puts you in the driver's seat. You can use Ooma's online tool to create a system that's best for your home

Enterprise and Call Center Communications

If you’re a larger company, you’re not entirely out of luck with Ooma. While it’s not what they specialize in, they do provide a range of SIP trunking and call center options if you need to handle high volumes or are migrating from a hybrid/on-premise solution.

Unlike other providers that charge for usage or a wide range of add-ons and other extras, Ooma offers straightforward per-user pricing so you always know how much you’ll pay every month.

With that said, we don’t usually recommend Ooma for high volumes.

Check out our favorite call center solutions if you’re interested in advanced routing, agent engagement, monitoring, and real-time analytics.

Cait is a banjo player, snowboarder, climber, cat mom, and (former) engineer who lives in Olympia, WA. She's been a professional writer for more than five years, specializing in B2B software with a technical yet empathetic approach that puts data and hands-on experience at the heart of every review.

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