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Ooma is a leading VoIP phone service for residential and business customers. With affordable prices and a free plan, customers can set up a complete phone system with voicemail, call forwarding, call blocking, and various other features to tailor their system to their needs.
Although Ooma is for home or business, we especially love it for business use, especially businesses lacking IT teams. Small businesses without IT specialists will appreciate its easy-to-use setup and custom phone system capabilities. This review outlines Ooma’s top features and how they stack up against our other top VoIP system picks.
Compare Ooma to The Best Business VoIP Phone Services
Ooma is our top pick for VoIP phone systems for businesses without in-house IT. Solopreneurs or small businesses that don’t have an IT budget can still use Ooma easily, thanks to its auto-configuration technology that makes its setup lightyears ahead of other systems. We’ve reviewed dozens of other VoIP phone services to determine the best. See all of our top picks with breakdowns of their best features.
Ooma: The Good and The Bad
Customer Support: Although Ooma is relatively straightforward to set up without the help of a professional, there is always the chance for something to go wrong unexpectedly. To ensure that your phone system works from end to end, rely on Ooma’s support for backup. Ooma offers separate lines for home and business customers, along with live chat and email support. Or you can go into the forums to get your questions answered quickly.
Easy Setup: Ooma features an out-of-the-box setup that gets everything up and running without a headache. Its auto-configuration technology detects the proper settings for your system to help you skip several steps you’d normally need to make when setting up a VoIP system.
Full-Featured Mobile App: Ooma includes a desktop and a mobile app, but its mobile app comes in handy whenever you’re outside of the home or office. Available in the App Store and Google Play, the Ooma app lets you make and receive calls, check your voicemail, and update your account information right from your cell phone.
Virtual Receptionist: Set up Ooma’s Virtual Receptionist feature to take advantage of call directing for your business. Play a greeting, send callers to another extension, or offer a menu to guide callers to the right person. Whether you’re a solo business owner or have a multi-staff company, the Virtual Receptionist feature acts like another set of hands to help you handle calls.
Limited Basic Features: Ooma’s basic plans for home and business include features that work for many customers. But to get some of the more sought-after features, like smart connections and call blocking for home or video conferencing and call recording for business, you’ll need to pay for a higher-priced tier.
Wi-Fi Requires Add-On: If you want your system to connect to the internet wirelessly—a good idea if you don’t have hardwired hookups for each phone in your home or office—you’ll need to buy a separate Wi-Fi adapter for $49.99. Additionally, businesses may need to buy an Ooma Office Base Station to connect their phones and other devices.
Ooma Pricing and Options
Ooma has different packages for its home and business customers. Home phone customers can start with a 100% free plan; the only cost is for the phone system itself, including any additional equipment you might need to get up and running.
The free plan, known as Basic, offers connectivity with the mobile app, HD audio, call forwarding, and other must-haves. Switch to the Premier plan for a free second number, call blocking, home connectivity, and unlimited mobile app calling. Premier is $9.99 per month.
Businesses choose between Ooma Office for $19.95 per month per user and Ooma Office Pro for $24.95 per month per user. Ooma Office plans include everything you need to get your business office setup up and running, like an intercom feature, call blocking, a call log, voicemail, and the Virtual Receptionist.
That’s all great for small businesses. But larger companies may want to consider switching to Pro. It includes the desktop app in addition to the mobile app, plus video conferencing, call recording, voicemail transcription, and enhanced call blocking.
Considering everything you get with Pro, its price tag is relatively low compared to similar services, including some of our favorites. For example, Nextiva starts at $32.95 per month per user to get call recording and voicemail transcription, which are available with Ooma Pro for $8 less per user per month.
Ooma Residential and Business Phone Numbers
Getting a phone number through Ooma is simple, whether you’re a home or business user. Home customers can register a number when they register their Ooma Telo device. Ooma makes numbers available in almost any area code, so you can even pick a non-local number if you’d prefer. Business customers can register either a local number or a toll-free number for their business.
Ooma also allows you to transfer your current number to your Ooma setup through porting. This is handy for businesses that already have an established customer base that uses the current phone number. You won’t need to change your marketing or update your number anywhere if you switch to Ooma from another company.
Every Ooma customer owns their phone number, allowing them to transfer their number to another provider if they switch services. Just make sure your account with Ooma is current and in good standing before attempting to port the number to a new service.
Ooma Virtual Receptionist
No automated feature can fully replace a real-life receptionist for your business, but Ooma’s Virtual Receptionist is about as close as you can get. If you’re a business owner and don’t mind relying on an automated system that directs calls to the correct department or person, then the Virtual Receptionist can save you from an extra person on your payroll.
The best part about the Virtual Receptionist feature is that you can set a schedule for when you want it to take over. Say you have a receptionist available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Set the Virtual Receptionist to start working at 5 p.m. to direct calls even when your business is closed for the day.
Depending on the size of your business and how many departments you have, you can also set up the Virtual Receptionist as a multi-level system, fielding calls to different departments. The end result is a more efficient calling system for you and your customers.
Ooma Call Recording
Available to business customers, Ooma’s call recording feature lets you record and play back phone calls as needed to make sure you don’t miss any important details. This function is a must for capturing important information from a phone call that you’d like to be able to review later, especially if you’re on the go and don’t have the opportunity to take notes.
Choose between on-demand call recording and continuous call recording. The latter automatically records any inbound or outbound call. You may want to use this feature if your business prefers to review calls to monitor customer service. Call recording is also available for audio conferencing, allowing each participant to have a recording of the meeting for future use.
All recordings remain in your call logs in Ooma Office. From there, you can play, download, or delete them as needed.
Ooma Enhanced Call Blocking
Ooma lets home and business users stop unwanted calls through call blocking. The feature is available only on the upper tiers of each plan type—Premier and Ooma Office Pro—but is absolutely worth the cost if you dislike your phone line being tied up with spam calls.
Especially important for businesses, enhanced call blocking automatically searches through a robocall database to determine if the calls coming into your line are legit. Detected spam calls get blocked automatically instead of coming through as a ring to your phone. That means more time for productive phone calls.
You can also manually block numbers that may not get automatically detected by Ooma but are still creating a problem for your home or business. And choose whether you want your phone to ring when an anonymous caller is trying to get through.
In other words, your blocking profile is entirely customizable, but you can also fall back on preconfigured blocking levels if you’d like. Control any settings related to call blocking via Ooma Office or the mobile app.
Ooma Video Conferencing
Use Ooma for more than just audio calls, thanks to its video conferencing capabilities. The simple interface allows a host to create a meeting within seconds through Ooma Office. Then others join by entering a meeting ID or clicking a shared link. Meetings can happen on virtually any device with Ooma’s mobile app.
Up to 25 people can be in a meeting at one time. Like other leading video conferencing programs, Ooma allows participants and hosts to screen share, even simultaneously, creating a collaborative space to share information about a project. There’s also a chat feature, muting capabilities, and password protection for meetings.
Ooma Voicemail Forwarding and Transcription
Having an intuitive and reliable voicemail system is crucial to both home and business phone users. Ooma home phone users get all the expected voicemail basics, including a customizable greeting and the ability to check voicemail remotely via the mobile app.
There’s also voicemail forwarding for home or business users. The system sends your voicemails to your email inbox with the click of a setting. No matter where you are, you’ll be able to check your voicemail via an audio recording in your email, even if you don’t have your Ooma phone available. For people who like to check work voicemail from home, this is a clear benefit.
Take advantage of even more modern voicemail conveniences with voicemail transcription, also available for home and business plans. The feature creates a text version of your voicemail and sends it to your email.
Basic home phone plans use automated technology for transcription. Premier users get human-assisted transcription for more accuracy. Unfortunately, there’s no option for human-assisted transcription for business plans, and only Ooma Office Pro users have the feature available.
Ooma Desktop and Mobile Apps
Ooma ensures that you can change settings and fit your phone system to your needs by making its back-end available on a range of devices. Use the desktop app or mobile app, depending on your preferences and what devices are available to you, to change settings, check voicemails, route calls, and more.
Ooma offers its desktop app to business customers only. Allow team members to access the back-end to update settings or go through their voicemail inbox. The app features a directory, allowing team members to contact one another by extension with ease. The desktop app is currently only available in Ooma Office Pro.
The Ooma mobile app is just as intuitive. Use it just like you would your Ooma phone, but through your cell phone instead. Make calls, take calls, check voicemail, and set up group chats, allowing you to stay productive, even when you’re away from your main Ooma setup.
Comparing The Best Business VoIP Phone Services
Ooma may or may not be the right solution for your home or office, but our in-depth reviews of the best VoIP phone providers should lead you to the right one.
- Nextiva – Best VoIP phone service for most businesses
- RingCentral – Most affordable all-in-one solution for fewer than 10 users
- Ooma Office – Best for businesses without in-house IT
- Grasshopper – Best mobile app for solopreneurs and small teams
- Phone.com – Best if you need fewer than 300 minutes/user
- Freshcaller – Best for customer support team
Ooma has plenty to offer home and business phone customers, from its customizable setup to its convenient features, like call blocking and call forwarding. Ooma Office is one of the best VoIP phone services for small businesses without an IT department to do all the setup. Its simplistic setup can get your team up, running, and understanding the system with minimal hiccups along the way.