Ooma Core VoIP Phone System

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3 Responses to “Ooma Core VoIP Phone System”

  1. Jason M. Page says:
    1,122 of 1,142 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great for a former Vonage user!, November 12, 2008
    Jason M. Page

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Ooma Core VoIP Phone System (Personal Computers)

    I have been a Vonage customer for three years and suffered through all of their growing pains. At $25 a month though for unlimited service I thought I would check to see what other options were available and decided on giving Ooma a try.

    The Ooma hardware is well designed, with thoughtful touches like a built in speaker for listening to voicemail and a brightness control so that you can turn down the brightness of the unit in a bedroom. The hardware comes wonderfully packaged like a product from Apple and includes just about any of the cords you might need to get everything connected with your existing service.

    Setup was quite easy. You have to get online and activate the Ooma Hub unit by entering the MAC address on the bottom of the unit and telling Ooma what kind of service setup you are doing, such as whether you will use Ooma with an existing line, get a new phone number, etc. They don’t even need your credit card and you are activated.

    If you are getting a new phone number then you are essentially done at this point. You get a new phone number to use, and you connect the Ooma hub to your home network. Ooma recommends you put the Ooma hub between your Cable or DSL modem and your home router (if you have one). The reason for this is that it allows the Ooma unit to manage your outbound internet traffic and make sure your phone calls are optimized ahead of other traffic, so that phone calls always have priority, sound good and work properly.

    If you have a more sophisticated home network router than can do traffic shaping, recognition of IP audio, etc (some of the top of the line D-Link models have these “QoS” features built in) then you can simply plug the Ooma hub into such a router and get good results.

    After plugging in the Ooma to your home network you simply connect a home phone to the Ooma unit and you are pretty much ready to go. There is an “ooma music” dial tone you will hear when you make or receive a call. This is one of the ways Ooma lets you and others know you are using their system and is sort of a free advertising that lets people know you are using this service.

    You can plug the Ooma hub back in to one of your home wall jacks and then connect the Ooma scout unit in to another jack in the house so that you can use a 2nd phone there. The scout can even be configured to only ring on a 2nd line, have it’s own voicemail, etc… this is possible because the Ooma hub has a built in DSL network system in it that allows it to communicate with the scout units over your home phone wiring. This is very sophisticated compared to other VoIP vendor offerings. You can add up to about 20 scouts on the system and keep adding lines, etc, but obviously there are bandwidth and practical limits that you might run into in such a scenario.

    If you are porting a number things get a bit more complicated. After indicating I wanted to port my number I was informed on their website that I needed to call them to complete the porting process. The agent I reached was a bit confused and kept insisting I should just use my existing phone service with Ooma. About the 3rd time of telling him I just wanted to get my number ported he got the paperwork started up. They email you some forms a few days after activation that you need to fill out and fax in to get your number ported, which takes a few weeks. In the interim you are assigned a temporary number to use and you can plug your existing line into the Ooma hub and it will take your inbound calls and route them through the Ooma system. There is a $40 charge for porting your existing number but Ooma will waive this fee if you sign up for the $99 premier service that includes a 2nd phone number plus additional features. Ooma advertises that you can keep your original home service as a backup line, so that your phone works even if the Internet is down, but in my experience Internet service is at least as reliable as my old school home phone line. Anyways, it’s your choice.

    In my case I elected to port my number, but didn’t connect my old line to the Ooma Hub (as the agent insisted I do), I simply forwarded the number to the temporary phone number that Ooma assigned to me during the porting process.

    Ooma offers a full suite of software features such as “simulring” (ring a cell or 2nd line at the same time your Ooma phone is ringing), magical “2nd phone line” from another phone on the system when the 1st line is busy, etc. You can control your entire Ooma system from the “Ooma Lounge” which is basically a web page you can access from anywhere that lets you control your Ooma system, features, additional numbers, caller ID, etc. You can learn a lot more about these features on Ooma’s website so I won’t go into them in great detail since this review is long as it is.

    Sound quality on the Ooma is very very good. My mom who is used to hearing me talk on…

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  2. Tarun Chachra "Tarun Chachra" says:
    201 of 216 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    8+ Months of use and Loving It. Details below, August 17, 2008
    Tarun Chachra “Tarun Chachra” (Hillsborough, NJ) –
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)

    This review is from: Ooma Core VoIP Phone System (Personal Computers)
    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What’s this?)

    QUICK NOTE: Jason M. Page has a great review above my review…you should read it also.

    UPDATED 12/17/2008
    We dropped DSL and moved OOMA’s to Cable Modem Service…

    Hello All,
    I bought an OOMA about 8+ months ago with one scout (added a 2nd system later on). Here is our setup.
    1. NO LANDLINE required.
    2. Using with Cable Broadband on Comcast.
    3. Two OOMA Hubs (personal and business) and 2 OOMA Scouts.
    4. 2 x 2 Line Panasonic Cordless system to use dual line capabilities.
    5. Wired into home wiring so as to avoid unsightly clutter of hardware.

    FIRST SYSTEM (Personal Use):
    The OOMA hub is plugged in to our Apple Extreme Basetation, out of sight out of mind. Gave the OOMA internet access through the router and voila…phone service is live. NO land line is required. I know OOMA says you can use your existing land line, but it is not a necessity to use this system. They will issue you a new number or port your number over if you do not have or want a land line.

    We took line one of the OOMA hub (marked home) and wired it into our home wiring (line 1 – our home is wired for 2 lines)….again very easy and no problem – the phones in the house starting working at once.

    Challenge – we have a 2line phone system – so how can you use OOMA with a two line system and use the 2 line features of OOMA.

    Since line one was wired and working we needed to get line 2 wired. I took the line 2 out of the ooma hub (marked WALL), wired into home wiring (line 2 jack in the basement), and used the ooma scout to complete the phone line network this system creates.

    Line one was already going into the panasonic, so the scout now allowed us to plug in line 2. Voila – 2 lines on a 2 line system with one scout and one telephone number. Its like call waiting on steroids.

    NOTE: You can also get multiple numbers with different ring patterns to make this more effective.

    The panasonic system has 4 handsets – so now no matter where we are we have a 2 line phone system without the need for more scouts.

    The scout itself does everything the OOMA hub does in a small package….so its easy to put in the kitchen and or bedroom and have it look somewhat decent.

    Simply used near a telephone in the basement/home office…no fancy setup…works great with a 2 line Panasonic System.

    I hope this helps you in deciding to purchase this system. Please let it be known that I am a consumer…not affiliated with OOMA….I simply LOVE this product. I no longer have monthly bills and thus we have recovered the cost of this system already.

    UPDATE 12/17/08
    Still going strong. WE now have two ooma hubs and two scouts at home. One for personal use and one for business. Works great…no complaints yet. Our broadband is now all cable – about 10-12mbps down (comcast) and 1.5mbps up…sometimes more on down/up in burst mode.

    OOMA has also added a bunch of new features for people on the premier plan…ie. community black lists. Basically a GREAT feature…..they have created a blacklist that is shared by all members so that we can all contribute to block useless telemarketing calls etc…..you send them directly to voicemail or block them all together. AWESOME!.

    People have emailed me and asked if this system works for faxing….I dont know that I can answer that since I have not really tried sending/receiving faxes with it. Please do chime in and let us all know if it works.

    I have also had questions about what I think of OOMA and the business model…while I do not know the specifics, I am not afraid of using it as there seems to be enough people contacting me about purchasing it…I feel that it will be around long enough for everyone to recover the cost of the system.

    If you have specific questions, feel free to ask me via email at tchachra@yahoo.com. I will try and help….and just to be clear..I am not affiliated with OOMA at all….just a consumer via AMAZON!

    It is important to understand that you should disconnect the wiring from the local telephone company coming into your house before you wire any VOIP device into your home wiring. Basically the phone company wiring carries current into your house and OOMA also outputs some level of current to your phone lines….too much could cause an issue.

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  3. JCs "Chameleon" says:
    53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    OOMA Great So Far ! PS3 WII Netflix No Lag At All, February 1, 2009
    JCs “Chameleon” (North Eastern USA) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Ooma Core VoIP Phone System (Personal Computers)

    First off , I want to say I have looked all over for any reviews I could find on the Ooma system before we made the purchase. I found numerous reviews in blog forms that almost looked as if they were started by Oomas competition, and not real life users. Many included false statements that you could verify simply by checking product manuals which are freely downloadable from Ooma without purchase. Most reviews from actual users are very good, with some exceptions of some that may jump in before getting all their questions and concerns answered first. Great reviews here and at some other major retail stores , take advantage of them we did. That is the main reason I am adding to reviews , hopefully to help others. I have tested our system with a few challenges to just see how far we can push the system with great results. These tests are below and may help some with similar questions.

    We have cable high speed internet service with fast but not the greatest speeds, speed tested at 350-380 Kbps upload and 9850 Kbps download (checked at numerous speed test sites). My biggest concern was the ability to use our other connected products with the phone as well. I know the Ooma regulates the download and upload speeds to preserve the sound quality, but would it limit us too much? We have a PS3 , Wii , Netflix (watch instantly) , and cable phone service (soon to be removed) over and above the Ooma. Let me tell you we just hooked the Ooma up as suggested between our router and the cable modem and all is excellent. The hook up has been documented in other reviews so I wont go into great detail here, but it was very straight forward and quick. We were up and running in less than 20 minutes including activation online. I never adjusted the settings for the limits of the upload/download Qos , all was left at default settings.

    The first call was to my sister out of state, while I was on one computer uploading photos to our web host and downloading other files from another. I received no drop in quality in sound and everything sounded perfect on my sisters end as well. I found out fast, that the volume on our phones needed to be lowered , the Ooma system is much louder and clear than our cable phone. This surprised us as we already lowered our volume on our phones when we switched to cable from traditional landlines. When I first turned it on and heard the Ooma dial tone it sounded a little distorted on my Uniden cordless. I was very concerned until I turned the volume down just a bit, and all was perfect. The sound in the room I was in was being picked up by my phone due to the greater sound of this system.

    My second test was just a little more for testing limits, but actually occurs in our house fairly often. We began a movie from netflix online as watch instantly downloading to our laptop and viewing on our TV. Then I booted up our other laptop to work online for work, still no errors or glitches. I picked up a phone and called a friend will all three online two wireless to our router and the Ooma direct connected. No problems at all watching , uploading pictures or downloading while talking. This was a great result as I noticed some state they feel the were limited some by the Ooma hub.

    The final test was our PS3 online gaming , with the laptop surfing on the web and the phone in use. Again the same great results, no problems at all. I felt the need to post our results and will update if we find things change or test further limits. We found no references to actual other products used in combination to help us with our purchase.

    Some final thoughts I feel should be considered when thinking about this purchase.

    Do you believe that Ooma will be around to recoup the investment of the purchase? At this price currently two hundred fifty or less it was easier for us to commit, less than 8 months to pay it off compared to our regular phone.

    Does your internet service have at least 256 Kbps upload (minimum req). We have tested ours and it is normally 350 Kbps or a little better so we felt fine , and it has been perfect so far. Minimum requirements are not hidden , they are posted here as well as on the Ooma website and most other web retail locations.

    If on the fence check out the Ooma website as we did before you buy . The forums are open to view and read about the problems , tips and solutions with out buying first. I know another reviewer said the forums are only after you buy , but that is not correct. We used the forums well before we became owners of the Ooma product. I don’t believe you can post questions or use the detailed search , you can just read and see the responses. Some are very helpful , or were for us at least.

    As with all reviews , “Your mileage may vary” but we love our Ooma and our only regret is that we had not purchased earlier. I don’t write a lot of reviews but felt this product is well worth it. Besides…

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