Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Ooma Core VoIP Phone System
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on January 10, 2010
Unlike seemingly everyone else in the world, I am not much of a phone person. I'm a bartender at a Manhattan steakhouse, so I don't really need a phone for work reasons, and aside from checking in with the wife, I rarely use the phone on a daily basis. I found it more and more difficult over the past five years or so since we ditched our land-line to justify the exorbitant cost of our cell phone plan. So last November, when our Sprint contract was finally up, we dropped our plan. I bought the Ooma core with an Amazon gift card that knocked the price down below $200. I also purchased two prepaid cell phones for my wife & myself from T-Mobile. Our monthly phone bill has gone from $150 to less than $20 (if you average out costs) and I couldn't be happier.

So far, nearly three months on, the Ooma service has been great. Are there occasional crackles and echoes during calls? Yes, there are. But on average the sound quality is great and, more importantly, no monthly bills! I use a combination of basic Ooma service combined with Google Voice and it is absolutely perfect.

As for customer service, I haven't had any need for it, so I can't speak about that, but installation was a breeze and we haven't had any problems. For the record, we're using a Panasonic DECT 6.0 cordless with it and it's working great, with no interference with any of our other wifi devices.

Overall my wife & I are very pleased and we just hope Ooma stays in business.

7/11/11 Update:

A year and a half in and the Ooma is still going strong. If anything I think the overall quality of calls is better than I gave it credit for in my earlier review. I still just use the basic Ooma service along with Google Voice (which I absolutely love) and it works great. BTW - the final addition to any true cheapskate's communication system is the iPod Touch. I had a first generation for years but recently upgraded to the current (4th) gen, and with the Google Voice app I do all my texting for free. I'm in wifi at home and at work, and have figured out that every Starbucks, McDonald's, public library, etc. all have free wifi, so I rarely have to use my cheap prepaid cell. Oh how I love technology!
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on November 21, 2009
I hardly ever use my landline these days...mostly just the cell. My landline is almost like my junkmail mailbox (i.e. when I need to give a phone number to some untrusted party). The phone spammers love my landline. So I have become tired of paying monthly for a voice junkmail service. However, I still wanted a landline-like service to supplement my cell. Enter Ooma. I was nervous about the number porting and wondering about the voice quality, but everything has worked to perfection. My number ported in about 3 weeks. On the few times I've used it voice quality was excellent; no echoes or background noises or noticeable delays (I do have good cable internet service. As an aside -- I recently got a new 11n router with claimed automatic QoS for voice-over-IP and other applications -- so I decided to connect the Ooma to the router rather than between the router and the modem as Ooma rightly recommends as the default scheme. This is working fine and is more appealing to me to let the router be king rather than let the Ooma filter the VoIp traffic). I've received a few robocaller calls on the Ooma and I just put that number on my Ooma blacklist -- haven't actually seen it work yet but I am pretty confident. This is a very nice feature. I hope this feature does not go away when my free 60-day Premier service expires. For the time being I plan to use the free service; therefore my only costs have been [and will ever be] the Ooma Core box and the $39 number port. I looked into getting the new Telo but soured on it when I learned they may start charging a small governmental fee (maybe $12.95/yr) on that box. I don't begrudge Ooma recovering some costs and this is a tiny fee...but zero monthly cost is awfully convenient and avoids one more [tiny] brick-in-the-wall of endless monthly fees. If you want the Premier service [which I think is quite reasonable if you want/need the features] then you should probably get the newer Telo -- it looks cooler, is alleged to have a better voice codec, and has some other extra features...but none of which I need for my minimalist situation).

I do have a few minor concerns...
1. Like many others worry -- if Ooma goes under I eat the startup cost. However, I break even with my previous monthly landline rate in about 7.5 months so it's not that big of a gamble.
2. If/when my Ooma Core box breaks they probably won't still be selling the same box and I will be forced to buy the Telo or some even newer box (hence probable small monthly fees...albeit reasonable ones compared other landline or VoIp solutions).
3. I do FAX occasionally and it probably will work for me [especially after adding a delay...find the thread on that one] but I haven't tried it yet.

In summary I am very happy with the Ooma cost/performance and would recommend it heartily to anyone with good & stable internet service.
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on November 13, 2009
Many good reviews written so this is my 6 month review of my experience with it. I'm technically inclined but not an engineer.

Does it do what it says it will? Yes! It functions well, does everything it says it does and it has clearly written instructions. I have been thrilled with it and I'm confident enough in it that I installed one for my parents a couple weeks ago. (Installation went without a hitch, by the way). It became a no-brainer for me to give endorse to my parents because it supports e911, as opposed its competitors.

What's important to know: If you can follow instructions, then you'll be a happy camper because you will also appreciate the service of this device for the great value it offers.

However, if you're one to start assembling things before reading instructions then you will not like this product because it is a computer of a sort; you have to let is self-configure by installing it in the order prescribed.

That said I'm offering an editorial comment: Please don't post a review whining about this product because you're not capable of reading a manual or finding the one that came with your WAN (DSL Modem, Cable Modem etc.)connection. If you don't know how a WAN works or how to configure it then face facts you're not capable of shedding your $40 per month Plain-Old-Telephone line. I realize this is an inflammatory statement, one I hope you prove me wrong about because I really do think most folks can use this device.

Ok, so here's the scoop on why you should learn: You will need to likely forward the proper 'ports' on your WAN (DSL modem or Cable Modem) to this device IF you have strict firewall settings. Additively, and separately - understanding how to configure 'QOS' varies by WAN. You want to know this, because QOS is worth implementing. In essence, it makes sure that every message sent to your WAN by your OOMA gets highest possible priority over other outgoing data packets. It's like having an express lane built into your network.

If your WAN doesn't support it or its just plain ridiculous to figure it out, a newer one like the Actiontec GT724R Universally Compatible 4-port ADSL Gateway (Gray) are just wonderful to install because it is a point and click interface. A good investment in your new smart home.

So is it wonderful? Yes! Advanced configuration can take some reading and experimentation and the result is worth every penny. It makes your friends change their comments from 'Cool!' over to 'Wow! Can you get me one of these?'.
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on November 7, 2009
I waited till after the ooma telo launch to make my ooma purchase, but after comparing service plans between the telo and the hub/scout I decided the old ooma core would serve me best without having to pay a cent in recurring fees. If you want the ten dollar a month premium plan then I would recommend the telo, but if you want the zero dollar a month freemium plan with full functioning caller ID and voicemail and no taxes ever then the old hub/scout core appears to be the better choice.

I've now had my ooma long enough to save $23.28 from not having to pay my November 2009 PhonePower bill. PhonePower is a great VOIP provider, so good that I felt bad breaking up with them, but they just can't compete with ooma. I've got better quality and reliability with ooma, and in ten months the ooma will have paid for itself. With a one year warranty on the ooma equipment I can't lose as long as ooma stays in business.

I also like the fact that I own my ooma equipment. I had to return the router I leased from PhonePower as part of the termination process, which entails packing it up and paying the postage to send it back. I will never have to return my ooma hub or scout (unless one of them were to break under warranty I suppose).

Ooma is a utopian type product in a world of planned obsolescence and recurring costs. In the long run it is always better to pay more up front for a long lasting optimal solution than to get suckered into a contract through the enticement of low startup and initial contract fees only to find those recurring fees rising over time. For example, I run my ooma over Verizon fiber optics (FIOS). Shortly after I got my ooma and terminated my PhonePower service, Verizon decided to raise my monthly FIOS bill by $10.00/month, and when I tried to have my plan downgraded from FIOS to DSL I was told by multiple Verizon representatives that once a home is converted to FIOS it can never be converted back to DSL, even though when I asked that same question prior to going with FIOS I was told it wouldn't be a problem switching back to copper. So, although it is technically possible to switch from FIOS to DSL, Verizon will not do it because it is not profitable for them.

I wish I could find something like ooma for my internet service, but since nothing like that seems to exist I'm on the lookout for a good high speed internet service with a rate that is locked in for life so that the ISP can't raise my rates at will after the expiration of the original contract.

So, between picking up high def TV through an antenna and running ooma on top of FIOS I essentially have a phone/TV/internet bundle for $42.99/month (soon to be $52.99/month) with every penny of that going to pay for my 5/2 Mbps (eventually going up to 10/2 Mbps) internet. That beats the daylights out of any bundle Verizon or Comcast has to offer. I'm thrilled with my free TV and phone, so if I could just lock in a low rate on my internet I'd be all set.

In summary, ooma is a rare find in this greedy world. I hope they can stay that way and remain profitable at the same time because I don't ever want to have to give up my ooma. All the phone companies I've dealt with in the past were like girls I dated but couldn't marry, but ooma is more like the wife I'm married to right now. We'll be together till death do us part.
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on August 25, 2009
UPDATE (4/2010):

I had a lot of transient problems with echoes and other kinds of interference, but almost all of these went away when I moved the Ooma Scout (satellite unit) to connect directly to the Ooma Hub instead of connecting it through the wiring of my dwelling. So if you are experiencing noisy, echo-ey or otherwise flaky connections, and you have the scout separated in any way from the hub, try moving them together and see if it helps. Of course, that may reduce the utility of the scout unit, but there are other reasons for using it than reaching some remote rooms (e.g., getting a separate second line).

UPDATE:

After complaints from other family members about voice quality when throttled to 384 kbps using the Advanced screen of [...], as described below, I adjusted the Upstream Internet Spead to 640 kbps (I have about 850 kbps available) and adjusted the Downstream Internet Speed to 2400 kbps (I have about 5750 kbps available). I also adjusted the Reserved Bandwidth for Calls setting to 215 kbps (which is the maximum). This resolved the complaints.

Something else that may be of interest: Since I am running ooma behind a router (i.e., it is plugged into my router just like any other PC or printer on my local network), ooma is taking up a port on my router, which forced me to disconnect a network scanner I have. But I have just noticed that I can plug my own PC directly into the Home port on the ooma, while the ooma's Modem port is plugged into the router, and I get Internet access then through the ooma (and through the router), which gives me back the port that ooma was consuming.

A side benefit of this is that I can run [...] from my own PC any time I want to without having to disconnect my PC from the router and connect it into the ooma each time.

It may be that this will result in slightly less bandwidth being available to my PC. If that becomes an issue, I'll just connect the network scanner through the ooma and put my own PC back on the router.

-----

At first, I set up the ooma hub as recommended between my modem and router. It worked great, and so I attached the scout, and after discovering and removing a DSL filter that had been left in place, the scout worked great, as well.

The problem came when I checked the security of my system from attack using the Web site [...]'s Shields Up tool, which simulates probes from malfeasant programs. GRC told me that ooma was responding to a ping (ICMP) request. This is the request that is most commonly used by crackers to determine whether a computer exists at a randomly-probed IP address. The proper behavior from the standpoint of security is to simply not respond to such a request, which leaves the bad guys in the dark about whether there is anything at all located at that address. What the ooma does, however, is actively responds, refusing the request. That is bad for security.

I went to the ooma support site and posted an email requesting support on this issue. I still have not received a response, and that was two days ago. I did not try again and did not call their phone support, so they might have been willing and able to help if I had called there.

Instead, I surfed around and encountered several messages claiming that ooma does not support turning off the ping response. So, I attached the ooma hub directly to my PC, and typed [...] into a browser to bring up the ooma's configuration display. Note that it showed raw HTML in the Google Chrome browser, and so I had to switch to Internet Explorer to actually view and use the configuration display. But I could not find anything there that would cause the ooma to not respond to a ping request.

So, I decided to move the ooma behind my router, since the router can be configured to forward ping requests into a bit dump (a non-existent IP address). This worked so far as ooma was concerned, but it is an old-ish router, and so it does not support QoS (Quality of Service) features that would have allowed me to throttle the bandwidth consumed by the ooma. As a result, whenever a call was in progress, I had ZERO Internet access. That, of course, was unacceptable.

I hooked up the ooma's home port to my PC again and used [...] again from Internet Explorer to view its settings. I found a setting for downstream Internet Speed that had a value of 0. 0 apparently means that the ooma can consume whatever it wants to, and since the ooma was hung as a device on my network, it had nothing downstream of it, and so it assumed that it was not sharing bandwidth with any other devices, and decided to pig up the entire available bandwidth, which in my case is 5.5 mbps.

I changed this value to 384 kbps, and hooked the ooma back up to my router. Immediately, everything started to work just fine. I then configured my router to reject ICMP requests (and, incidentally, to reject port 113 IDENT requests, which for some reason were also receiving a response). That gave my network a clean bill of health from [...]. Ooma still works fine on 384 kbps.

By the way, the Scout is amazing. It gives you a second phone line (with the optional [...]/year service) and so if you are on a phone that is hooked up to the hub and someone else wants to make a call, they just pick up a phone that is connected to the scout, and they have a second line. Also, messages can be picked up from either the hub or the scout, which is handy, since the scout does not have to be near an Internet connection, and therefore can be in a more visible and convenient location.

We attached a pair of cordless phones to the Scout and then attached all of our other phones (except for the land line phones) to the hub.

Interestingly, if you dial your own number from the hub line the scout line rings and someone else can pick it up and use it like an intercom within the house.

The ooma system has a fraction of a second delay - maybe 1/4 of a second. That is not a problem for me.

The voice quality is fairly good, quite comparable to a telco line, although maybe just a bit more grainy. You could probably play with those bandwidth settings I mentioned above to get a little more resolution to the sound.

All in all, this is a great system. The only problem aside from configuration would be if the company failed to survive the present downturn. I have no reason to believe that it will not survive it, but these are difficult times. Anyway, if it lasts even 10 more months I'll have saved money on the purchase, and my guess is that it will be around for quite some time, given the overall quality of the product.
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on May 26, 2009
I've been using Ooma for exactly one month and couldn't be happier. I'm a former Vonage evangelist so to speak. I was with Vonage for nearly seven years--from August 2002 until May 15th, 2009--when my Vonage number was ported over to Ooma. I really liked Vonage and it was hard to say goodbye. But "free phone service" with Ooma was too good to pass up, especially after having tested Ooma's services for a week. I looked into Ooma over a year ago. But at the time I believe Ooma was still charging over four hundred for the equipment. I've read many mixed reviews of both Ooma and Vonage. The quality of each service is dependent upon ones Internet provider and home network setup. I read the articles/blogs on Ooma and their "supposed" Ponzi scheme business model. Actually, their modified business model, with their premier package (which has a per month service charge) just might work and prove the skeptics wrong. I'm hoping/betting that is the case. I figure I will break even after 11 months of Ooma service--comparing my Ooma start-up fees to my monthly Vonage charges. Every month thereafter that Ooma stays in business is just icing on the cake. The only risk after month eleven will be the possibility of losing my phone number if Ooma were to go out of business. However, if Ooma did go under, I suspect there would be a "grace period" in which I could port my number to another provider. Even if I lost my number, it would only take a few minutes to blast an email to all my contacts to let them know my new number. Obviously, I'm hoping that Ooma is in business for a long, long time. I had excellent call quality with Vonage. Ooma's call quality is excellent as well. The Ooma Hub has built in Quality Of Service (QOS) so it is able to prioritize voice traffic over other network traffic. You can also put the Hub "behind" a router if you'd like. I'd suggest you use a router which has QOS so you can ensure your calls are crystal clear. My internet service is 5 MB down, 2 MB up. I ran some extensive tests using Ooma--simultaneously doing the following: utilizing two PCs on my network to create network traffic by downloading streaming video from Hulu or Youtube, downloading huge 50+ MB files, uploading 50+ MB files and browsing the Internet while talking on my Ooma line. I did all this with the Ooma Hub behind my router, which has QOS. The calls were crystal clear. To use the popular phrase "you can hear a pin drop" would be an adequate description regarding my call experience.

A few things to note:

**Outbound call limit is 3000 minutes per month. I've read mixed reviews on whether Ooma actually charges me for each call after the 3000 minute threshold vs. giving me a "warning" of the overage. However, I'm not too worried about it. Looking over my Vonage invoices the past six months we didn't even come close to 3000 minutes for all calls. So, for me this is a non-issue. Besides, since my wife is the one that will be using the Ooma line the most, if she approaches the limit, I'll have to have lay down the law with her and let her know that spending so much time on the phone isn't helping her complete all the other items I have on her "to do" list. :)

**My porting process took 2.5 weeks. It was a flawless experience on the Ooma side. However, there was one hiccup on the Vonage side. Once the number was ported, I had to contact Vonage multiple times for them to "release/delete the number" from their system so that when Vonage customers called me the call would go through, instead of my number appearing as a disconnected number to the caller. Other than that, the port process was painless. Ooma support kept me updated throughout the whole process via multiple emails.

**I've called Ooma support a few times. The reps were friendly and knowledgeable. The average wait time was 1-3 minutes. That's better than my wait time with Verizon/GTE back in the late 90s. I hated calling Verizon/GTE back in the day. It was torture to say the least. Maybe that's why I despise traditional landline service and all their fees/taxes.

**You do NOT need the Ooma Scout to hook up multiple phones to the Ooma service if you plan on having only one Ooma line and no landline. You can simply run a phone line from the Ooma Hub into your existing home wiring/jack and the dial tone will be sent to all the phones in the house. I sold my Scout on Ebay to defray my start-up cost. There were quite a few bidders on Ebay to say the least.

**The Ooma Hub is hybrid router/answering machine. It's actually kind of nice to have an sleek answering machine at your fingertips that integrates with Ooma's website which displays placed/missed calls and voicemails. I love that fact that I get an email AND a text message when I receive a voice mail with the Ooma service. The Ooma Scout acts as an answering machine as well. So, if you want to have multiple answering machines throughout the house (with no landline and no 2nd line with Ooma) the Scout can fill that need. As mentioned above, I sold my Scout. Though a second answering machine would have been nice, I didn't want to pay for the electricity to run it. Call me cheap!

**Last but not least, the Ooma call quality/experience passed the dreaded "wife test." Back in 2002 it took some "prying" to get her to switch to Vonage. But once switched, she loved the service. I must note that in the beginning with Vonage we did have a few hiccups (issues similar to a dropped/spotty cell phone call) but after the first few months our service was near impeccable and up to par with a landline and a thousand times better than the call quality of a cell phone. As a side note, I did try the Magic Jack. I never had too many problems with it. However, the call quality was not as good as Ooma and Vonage. Plus my wife got complaints from callers that they had a hard time hearing her. I didn't like the fact that I had to leave my laptop running 24/7 for Magic Jack to work. So, needless to say Magic Jack didn't pass the "wife test." In hind sight, I'm glad I'm with Ooma. Let the service changes begin. I'm sure all my Vonage friends--that I got started on Vonage--will be switching soon to Ooma--as I'll continue to sing praises to Ooma unless their service dwindles or heaven forbid they go out of business. Let's all hope that's not the case. I'd love to make a subsequent post to this forum in 2016 that I'm still with Ooma and loving every free month of service. My only regret with Ooma was that I didn't switch sooner to their service, once they dropped the start-up price to the two hundred dollar range.
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on May 6, 2009
I got the letter from AT&T CallVantage that they are discontinuing the service so I went with ooma. Didn't feel like messing with other complicated monthly plans or even more complex pay as you go plans. I like the idea of paying once and forgetting about it.

Setup was fairly straight forward (no manuals here...hehe). I plugged in the cat5 cable coming from the Verizon FIOS ONT outside direct to the "MODEM" port and my Linksys wireless router to the "HOME" port. I was surprised OOMA automatically configured itself with no intervention on my part and the blue light came on.

So far the only issue I have come across with this setup is that utorrent port test says my custom port is blocked. But torrents are downloading fine so maybe thats just a glitch with the port tester. I also have an xbox360 on my home LAN and Live works fine with this setup. (this maybe bit of an overkill but I put my Linksys in the ooma DMZ for good measure ...yes for those advanced users ooma has a management GUI much like a home router which can be accessed via setup.ooma.com)

I then connected the included splitter into the PHONE jack on the back of ooma. One line from the spliter goes to the wall jack and supplies "dial tone" to all the phone jacks in the house. I have cordless phones so not sure if just a regular non-powered analog phone would work so this is a your mileage may vary situation. (ooma apparently does not "officially" support this setup per conversation with tech support) But hey, CallVantage never "officially" supported this setup either. As long as it works thats what matters.

The other line from splitter goes to my fax modem in the PC which is again split off from fax modem to another cordless phone. So far everything works perfect with this setup.

I haven't hooked up the scout as I haven't come across a real need for it but may try it out later. Even if you don't subscribe to premier it can still be used to manage vmail from another room in the house.

After giving it a through trial for about couple weeks I did not notice any difference in call quality compared to CallVantage. Everything worked as expected... caller id, call waiting, vmail. About the only features I'll miss from CV is the scheduled do not disturb but hey maybe thats asking too much as I haven't seen any other providers offer it. Oh and I really with it had an integrated speaker phone but again, maybe thats asking bit too much from a Terminal Adapter.

So all working as expected, I finally started the port process to move my CallVantage number to ooma and to my surprise I did not have to fax anything in like some have stated. What I found from tech support is that it depends on the other company's policy on if a signed form is required and luckily CallVantage does not requir a signed form. Again YMMV on this one.

Speaking of tech support, during the course of few weeks starting with research before purchasing the unit to now, I called tech support three times (with various pre-sales questions...etc..just pick the option that you have the service already and they will talk to you anyways) and calls were picked up consistently within a few minutes and they were able to answer my questions.

All in all I am very happy with my purchase and have recommended it to my friends and colleagues. As for those who question the viability of the company, I say no one is ever safe with any company. There is always chance of a company going out of business like Sun Rocket or discontinue its service like CallVantage. In the end I think the cost savings justify the risk.
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on April 10, 2009
I just received my Ooma phone system today, and it was simple and easy to setup. Went through the activation of the product and received a phone number and after that got a blue light when I hooked up the Ooma box. The reason behind giving the device 4 stars instead of 5, was one issue, I set up the device the way the instructions stated for consistent call quality (cable modem - ooma - router), on my network I have two slingboxes and use bittorrent software which all require ports to be opened to have full functionality. When I hooked up the Ooma the ports I had opened on my router were now being blocked by the Ooma box. You can go to the following site [...] and access the section to open ports but I still was unable to reach the devices even with the ports enabled in the port forward section. I also tried to put my router in the DMZ(of the Ooma device) and still was unable to get to the devices I opened ports for. I contacted Ooma support(which I didn't have to wait hardly any time, unlike other reviews stating the tech support is miserable) which they escalated my call to second level support that informed me that I will need to plug the Ooma into a port on the router so the ports are not blocked. The downfall of doing this is that the Ooma isn't providing the QOS and when downloading and uploading torrents I noticed my voice breaking up on a voicemail I left on my cell phone. Also setting it up this way the [...]site to access the Ooma was non-functional(even by IP address that the router assigned to the Ooma). I have the DD-WRT firmware on my Linksys WRTG54L router, I will have to setup my QOS and filter the traffic by the mac address of the Ooma device for exempt service(which I was able to get the mac address before plugging the device into one of the router ports). This is not a perfect solution(the reason behind 4 stars) but I guess for free phone service for life I can pause my bittorrent software when I need to use the phone. If you are not requiring any ports to be opened on your network, then this service is perfect and I would recommend.
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on March 20, 2009
I wanted to get rid of our landline completely and use mobile phones, but my wife wasn't ready to cut the cord. Wanting to lower our monthly expenses ($45/month for Comcast Digital Voice), I started looking at alternative phone providers.

I came across Ooma and was intrigued: it seemed like it would meet our needs (keeping our phone number and using our existing phones) and it had no monthly bill! Sounds great!

I took the plunge, thinking that I could always send it back if it didn't work well. When the box came, I quickly set it up and got it running after working through one hiccup. Other than the presence of the Scout (a little box that you put in front of your home phone to use Ooma), nobody was any the wiser. I still had my Comcast phone service, which went through the Ooma for inbound calls as well as outbound local calls. Ooma kicked in for long distance calls and used my Internet connection instead of my landline. It worked great!

After a few days to test it out, I decided I'd keep it, so I bought a premiere subscription ($100/year) which included the cost porting my number to Ooma (normally $40). I sent in the paperwork, and four weeks later my port was completed and I was done with phone bills! The Ooma handles all of my phone calls with no issues at all, and the quality is fantastic: on par with Comcast Digital Voice.

We've been Ooma-only for the past few weeks, and have experienced no problems so far. Count me among the satisfied customers.

I recently set up another Ooma at my mother-in-law's house, and soon she'll be phone-bill-free too!

A few notes:

1. Ooma does not have any monthly cost, unless you buy the Premiere subscription for $100/year. The only thing you'll need to pay for are international calls, which they charge at very competitive rates (see their website for details).

2. Since Ooma uses your internet connection, if your internet goes down (due to a power outage, etc) you'll have no phone service.

3. Ooma does have 911 support: I called 911 to verify that it works, and the operator immediately could see my name, address, and phone number.

4. If you don't want to port your phone number, you can dump your local phone service completely, get a new number, and be up and running as soon as you set up the box.

5. When you receive your Ooma, you need to activate it on the Ooma website before it will work. The directions are clear and it takes about a minute to activate the device.

6. You should typically put your Ooma between your cable/dsl modem and your home router. The device ships with the cable needed for this. You can also put the Ooma inside your home network, but you won't benefit from Ooma's ability to restrict internet traffic to insure good phone quality.

7. Right now, faxes over Ooma don't work very well, at least in my experience. I typically scan a document and email it as a PDF. Your mileage may vary. Ooma is working on implementing a standard FOIP (fax over IP) service in the future.

8. According to press releases, Ooma users and Skype users can talk for free. I imagine that if you call a Skype user's phone number they don't get billed for the call, and likewise if they call you they don't get billed. I haven't tried this.
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on March 18, 2009
What can I say that others haven't already? So I'll just give you some tips and warnings.
The sound quality is perfect to me and as good and better than any other VOIP service I've used. Even Vocalocity that we used at work. Seems cleaner than land line "POTS" even.
I have very fast internet cable modem. I read that you should not try this if you have slow (512k) or lower.

Scout: Sound quality from the "scout" units is more compressed than from the core station due to networking between scout and core. Just be aware of that. That doesn't mean it's bad (it still sounds great for calls), but it's not technically the same quality. That's why they say to fax only from the core.
Suggest: Get a UPS battery backup for your DSL/Cable modem and Ooma unit for power outages.
Suggest: Ooma "Telo" is coming in Q3 of 2009. You may want to wait. I think I'll get Telo as well and still use this Ooma Core as a 2nd line (for free) or take it traveling for free calls.
Cost: You'll likely want to subscribe to premiere. Factor in $100 per year to the price.
Warning: Customer service is top notch. But it takes 30 minutes to get through. Use the support forums as much as you can if for questions.
This may not be for you if you want immediate CS.
Note: It takes about 1 month to 'port' your phone number. Be prepared.

I'm replacing my phone service with this. But it's even better if you continue to use your home phone service and just use Ooma for long distance. It can be set up to make local calls over your local phone line and LD over Ooma only.
So it works great as a LD only replacement.

You can try it in this set up if you want to test drive it.

Take advantage of the 30 day trial and give it a shot. It really isn't too good to be true. I was skeptical, but aside from the short musical tone to indicate it's special dial tone, we don't even notice the difference from traditional land line.

Ooma continues to add features and improve the service.

I'll save $300 this year ($600 f- $200 for core - $100 for premium) and $500 next year ($600 - $100 for premium) because of this.
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