Note, if you like this review of OOMA you can use this affiliate link to support Gubmints and Get $50 off your OOMA Telo Purchase.
As I’ve mentioned here before, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) is a great way to save money. I’ve been asked numerous times by friends and co-workers about how I setup my OOMA home phone service and how it works. Here goes.
OOMA is a VOIP box. In a nutshell, a VOIP box takes a conventional telephone (yes, even a Sports Illustrated SneakerPhone or Plain Ma Bell Phone), steals the phone call, and routs it over the internet for almost free.
I say almost free because once you’ve bought the OOMA Box for $135, you’re only charged the monthly ‘911 Tax’ (about $3/month), and you’ve already paid for your internet connection. You can upgrade to ‘OOMA Premier’ for more services (second line, selected numbers call blocking etc), but the ‘Regular OOMA’ service already provides you with unlimited local and long distance, voicemail, callerID, and call waiting). Cable compaines or 3-Letter Phone Companies will charge you at least $30/month for these features, even with a ‘bundle’ plan.
Ok, here’s how I roll with OOMA:
Setup Method 1 – OOMA to Wall Jacks (Whole House)
In real-life, the
rat’s nest wiring looks like this- Note the wall jack in the background:
Pretty simple. OOMA on the left, Cox Modem upper right, Linksys router lower right.
I added a battery-backup UPS for the Modem and OOMA (one shelf down, not shown). This will keep the house supplied with a dial tone in the event the house loses power but there is still a signal from the cable company.
One more thing for this setup. If you’re using OOMA to send a dial tone to all the wall jacks in your house, you need to go outside your house and DISCONNECT the phone jacks in your telephone ‘Network Interface Box’. This is the box on the side of your house that says ‘Telephone’ (or ‘Telefono’ if you live in California or Arizona). If you don’t disconnect the jacks inside the Network Interface Box, OOMA is attempting to send a dial tone all the way to the curb. Not a big whoop if you live in the Southwest, but if you live in a spot like Orlando and are concerned about lightning strikes, it is a HUGE deal. Make your Network Interface Box look like this (Red electrical tape on the phone plugs is not included with OOMA kit):
Setup Method 2 – OOMA to Cordless Base Station:
If you don’t care about the ability to use any old phone on any old phone jack at any time in your house, there’s an easier way to setup OOMA. This will work well if you use one Cordless Phone Base Station and multiple ‘Rabbit’ Cordless Phones in your house:
Note that if you use the OOMA-to-Cordless Base Station setup (above) you don’t need to worry about disconnecting your house phone lines from the curb. The OOMA box is not connected to the curb via the house telephone wiring in this setup.
Other OOMA Trivia:
- Porting your number is easy, as long as you have not cancelled your existing land line service beforehand. OOMA will port your existing land line number for about 10 bucks.
- My OOMA Telo box does not play well with a fax machine. If you still live in the 1980’s and need to fax stuff, you’ll need to get an internet fax setup (like eFax) for faxing. Supposedly OOMA has improved fax interoperability with the newer OOMA Telo boxes.
- My neighbors on my block who have Cox Digital Telephone cannot call my OOMA land line from their land line. Note that my OOMA box is connected to a Cox Cable Modem. OOMA customer service was unable to help me with this issue, so I just accept it as a cost/savings of doing business- My neighbors all know our cell phone numbers anyway. If someone can explain why this VOIP phenomenon is happening (without creating an Internet Conspiracy Theory against Cox Cable) I’d love to hear it.
Overall I recommend OOMA. I’ve had OOMA Telo for almost 2 years, and the box has paid for itself more than 5 times over.
Like the review? Want an OOMA box? You can use this affiliate link to support Gubmints and Get $50 off your OOMA Telo Purchase.
Subscribe to GubMints:
|via RSS:||via Email:|