Are you still paying for a land line? If you are already paying for internet, you should consider one of the many VOIP options to see if you can save some money. The good people at Ooma sent me their latest Ooma Telo to review and I like it quite a bit.
You can win a Telo by entering our April Giveaway! Don’t miss this chance.
The Ooma Telo is a sleek modern looking piece of telephony equipment. It looks great next to our LCD TV and will go with pretty much any décor. The controls are operated by touch like a touch pad and feel expensive.
Getting up and running
It took me less than 5 minutes to activate the Telo on Ooma’s website. I just input the activation code found on the bottom of the unit, picked a new phone number, and gave them my contact information. After that, I just plugged in the Telo to the internet connection and the unit took a few minutes to boot up. At this point, the Telo couldn’t connect to the internet so I reset both the Telo and my cable modem. When everything booted up again, it was able to connect and I could make a call from my home phone. All in all, it was very easy and most people can do this.
You also have the option of porting your old phone number if you’d like. It will cost $39.99 to do this or you can sign up for the premier plan ($119.99/year) and get the old number ported for free.
You can pick up an Ooma Telo from Amazon for about $199. This is a bit pricey, but if you are paying $45 for a land line, you’ll recapture this cost in only 5-6 months. The thing I like most about Ooma is free long distance calling in the US. I always hated paying for the long distance calls.
Ooma Core – Ooma charges a nominal price to cover taxes and fees. Enter your zip code here to see how much it would cost. The 408 area code in Northern California will cost $3.78/month. That’s not bad for a phone line with free U.S. long distance calling, call waiting, caller ID, and voicemail.
Ooma Premier – The $9.99/month or $119.99/year premier plan offers features like three way calling, call forwarding, and voice-to-text messaging. See the full list of additional features here. When you first sign up with Ooma, you will have 60 days free on the premier plan. After that, you will need to pick which plan you want to stay with.
I called a few people through the Ooma Telo and the voice quality is very good. This really depends on the quality of your internet connection, though. Check Ooma’s Test Your Speed page (#2 tab) to see if your internet connection will work.
You can call another Ooma device for free. So if my parents have an Ooma Telo in their home in Thailand, I wouldn’t have to pay for international long distance calls anymore. They don’t have good internet connection though so it still wouldn’t work. Perhaps in the future when fast internet connection is more affordable, it will be something to try. Anyway, I can still use Ooma for international calls and a call to any numbers in Thailand will cost 3.3 cents/minute. That’s actually pretty good. I usually pay around 5-8 cents/minute for a calling card.
I really like the Telo. It looks great and it works well. There are other options out there, but I like the Ooma Telo because it is a standalone unit and you don’t need to turn the computer on for it to work. Once I finished setting it up, it is just like a small answering machine. I tried SKYPE and it didn’t work for me for some reason. The video kept dropping out and the voice quality wasn’t good.
I think if you are paying anywhere near $30/month on your phone line, you should consider Ooma. The Telo costs more upfront, but it will save you quite a bit in the long run. Check back next week and enter our April giveaway to win an Ooma Telo for your own use.
Disclaimer: I have been using the old Ooma Hub for over 2 years now and I’m very happy with it.
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.