Do you still have a land line? Is it really a land line or a VOIP line? If you have your phone service through a cable company, it most likely is VOIP. We have the Cox service and we started out with their ‘digital’ phone lines, not realizing it was really VOIP. When the power went out, the phone line went out too.
I like to research phone possibilities and when we switched to T-Mobile for our cell service a couple years ago, I saw they offered their own VOIP phone service. For $15/month, we could use their router and plug our phone into it and it’s been working great. I blogged about it a couple years ago. However, T-Mobile no longer offers the service, however, we are able to keep ours, but you never know when they will announce they’ll discontinue service. So, I’ve been doing some research once again and I’ve pretty much settled on Ooma.
- Longevity – It’s been around for 4-5 years now and has very positive reviews over on Amazon
- Number Porting – I want to keep my number and with Ooma, I can ($40 fee for porting and it can take 2-3 weeks)
- I own the equipment – no renting or monthly fees anymore
- Features – all the ones you’d expect: caller ID, call waiting, voicemail (one-touch voicemail from anywhere in the house)
- Use my same phones – no need to get new phones and the phones I have plugged in around the house will work with the telo unit
- Free calls in the U.S. (5,000 minutes/month) and low price international calling
- Only monthly fee is for taxes (usually $3-5)
- Optional features to add are a wireless adapter (frees you from keeping your telo next to your computer/router) and a bluetooth headset
- There’s a mobile app (Android or iPhone) for $10. You get 250 free minutes per month – could come in handy for some people with limited minutes
As far as comparing features among Skype, Vonage and Ooma, I read this article by Michael Bluejay that gives a nice synopsis and comparison of the three services. Head on over there and check it out.
The upfront cost for Ooma is $199 and you can buy on-line from them, or from Amazon, Best Buy, Costco and others. I did see some coupons at retailmenot.com that I will definitely try to use when I place my order.
If you’re a Vonage or Skype user, let me know why you prefer that service. If you like Ooma, I’d like hearing from you too.