Free Home Phone (almost)

In an effort to reduce our monthly outgoing expenses, as well offset our monthly bacon cost,  Sherry and I decided to buy an Ooma unit.

This is a VOIP phone.   So you’ll need a high speed internet connection.    It works just like Vonage, and Time Warner’s phone.    We had Time Warner’s phone which is $40 dollars a month, I believe.   It’s hard to tell how much any service they have really costs,  because they try and get you to bundle everything.    The voice quality of the Time warner phone is great,  you can’t tell it apart from a real land line.   But you don’t get any of the extra features like voicemail (you have to pay for that), or being able to check your voicemail online.     These things really don’t matter to me, it’s the $40 a month I don’t like.  Going to cell phone only really won’t work for us because we use our land line for conference calls and things of that nature.

ooma is $250 to buy, so you have to lay out some cash up front.   After that it’s 12 bucks a year to cover taxes ( the man is always trying to get his cut).

The system was very easy to hook up.   You are actually supposed to install it between your router and your cable modem.   I didn’t do that.   Last thing I need is some phone box deciding that Sherry placing her Avon order is top priority on the network, and then some sucker gets a free pass right before I waste him in Modern Warfare 2.   The point is, it’s pretty flexible on how you can install it.  I have a pretty advanced router/firewall setup, so replacing that is not an option for me.

The call quality is excellent.   I think it actually sounds better than the Time Warner phone.  I bet Time Warner throttles back the quality on the phones(just like they do on everything else).

You can get a new number for free and be up and running in about 10 minutes.   If you want, after you setup, you can choose to have your old phone number ported to ooma.   They charge you $39.99.   We chose to do that and had no issues.  I received several emails from ooma updating me on the status of the number port.    It was completed on the day they said it would be done.

Since I already had the Time Warner phone, the house is disconnected from outside phone lines.   So, you are able to plug the ooma into a house jack and all the jacks in the house become live.

It is important that my family can use the phone without noticing any difference.   I am always introducing new technology and teaching them how to use things,  so I like to try and pick and choose when I make them learn new stuff.   You can use any regular phone with this system.   So other than a simulated dial tone when they pick up the phone, it really is no different to them.

This particular service has been around for a little while.  This “telo” is their second generation unit.  I personally have been looking at Ooma for about a year.    I figure I only need to keep the phone for 5 months and then it will have paid for itself.    I would highly recommend this product.

2 thoughts on “Free Home Phone (almost)

  • March 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Vonage is VoiP, Time Warner is Digital Phone, two different technologies.

    So to say that Ooma is better then digital phone is pretty good.

    Another nice feature with ‘in a box’ phone service is you can take that box anywhere you have access to high speed internet and your number follows.

  • March 25, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Interesting. Ever thought of getting rid of the home phone all together? 😉


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