Ooma and Vonage are two of the most popular VoIP services in the world today. They’re a great choice for both residential and business users. But which one is the best choice for you? Today, we’re comparing the two popular providers to help you answer that question.
Ooma and Vonage have different pricing structures. With Ooma, you pay an upfront cost for the device (an Ooma Telo is available from Amazon for around $120), and then you only pay a small monthly fee for taxes ($3 or $4 per month) after that.
With Vonage, you get the hardware for free, although you’ll need to lock into a one year contract.
This is where things get confusing: sometimes, you’ll be able to find Vonage boxes listed on Amazon for around $20, in which case you can avoid locking into an annual contract and you can go month-to-month.
But in the long run, the Ooma Telo is clearly the cheaper option. After the first year, you will have recouped your upfront costs on the Telo, while the rest of the lifetime of the device is just cost savings compared to Vonage.
The Ooma Telo comes with a monthly fee of around $4 per month to cover taxes and “regulatory fees”. That’s all you pay for the basic Telo service, which includes phone calls with basic caller ID and voicemail.
However, the Telo does come with a Premium upgrade plan priced at around $10 per month. That premium plan provides services like 3 way calling and a secondary line.
Vonage, on the other hand, advertises its plans priced at around $9.99 per month. However, that’s only the introductory plan. Once the introductory period (typically 6 months) is over, then you’ll be paying anywhere from $25 to $55 per month.
Vonage and Ooma both offer free calling within the United States. However, if you’re comparing VoIP plans to your standard phone plans, then you’re probably interested in cheap international calling rates – in which case both Ooma and Vonage deliver.
Vonage’s plans include free calling to up to 60 countries, although that number of countries is only available on the most expensive plan.
The Ooma Telo, on the other hand, requires you to pay an extra $10 per month for 1,000 minutes of international talk time from a list of 60 pre-selected countries (the Premier plan also includes free unlimited calling to Canada)
Make sure you check the list for both countries to ensure your favorite countries are on the list. As you might expect, the list of 60 included countries for both services includes most of the developed world along with major population centers like India, China, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
Multiple Phone Lines
Vonage lets you connect a cordless phone to your Vonage plan. Just connect the main base into the Vonage box and it will work fine. For that reason, you don’t have to contact Vonage to add a separate line to your plan.
The Ooma Telo is an excellent choice for multiple phone lines. A single Ooma Telo model can provide a dial tone to your entire house (if you don’t have landline service). All you need to do is run a line from the Telo to any phone jack, and that will activate all other phone jacks in your house. Ooma’s second-line feature, the Premier plan, also lets you call out even if someone is already talking on the phone (although you need to pay $9.99 per month for this).
Extra Features (Including Voicemail, Three-Way Dialing, 911, Etc.)
Vonage bundles a wide variety of features into its monthly plans, so you don’t have much to worry about if you’re already a Vonage customer. 911, voicemail, caller ID, and three-way dialing all come standard.
Other Vonage features that come bundled with every plan include selective call blocking, voicemail plus (lets you hear voicemails from any phone or get audio files sent to your email inbox), enhanced call forwarding, SimulRing (lets you forward calls to five additional phones, including smartphones even if they don’t have the Extensions app installed).
You can also pay Vonage an extra amount per month to add a line to your plan, add a toll-free number, or add the Vonage Extensions app, which lets you access your VoIP minutes from your mobile device via an app.
Vonage also lets you add a dedicated fax line to your plan (for an added fee of $9.99 per month, which includes 250 minutes of outgoing fax service). That’s something Ooma doesn’t offer.
Ooma, on the other hand, offers only the most basic features with its free plan (the one where you just pay taxes and regulatory fees for about $3 or $4 per month). That plan gives you 911 service, caller ID, and voicemail.
The Premier plan, priced at $10 per month, however, gives you access to things like three-way dialing, blacklisting, the Ooma mobile HD app (receive unlimited inbound calling and a fixed number of outbound calling minutes via your mobile device), a second number, and complete integration with smart products.
One of the nice parts about the Ooma Telo is that you don’t need to buy a new device to upgrade your subscription: updates are delivered to your device, and those updates unlock the full range of features.
The Premier plan on the Ooma Telo also includes free unlimited calling to Canada. Other features included with Ooma Premier are backup numbers (calls are automatically forwarded to another phone number if the power or internet goes out), send-to-voicemail button, private voicemail, Google Voice extensions, do not disturb settings, multi-ring (simultaneously rings your mobile and home phones), and private device (your private device is a mobile or separate phone that only rings when a particular phone number is dialed, which is great for setting up a private phone line to one room of your home, a dedicated fax line, or a separate home and work phone).
Ultimately, both phones have similar feature sets. The only major difference is that Vonage makes it easier to fax via VoIP. However, you can fax with Ooma. The company has an entire support page explaining exactly how to do that. It’s just easier with Vonage.
Sound Quality and Clarity
Both Vonage and Ooma are known for their high-quality calling. Customer reviews across the internet praise both services for clarity and ease-of-communications – so there’s no reason to worry.
The only VoIP service where we’ve reported some moderate call clarity and quality problems remains MagicJack.
Other Thoughts and Comparisons
Ultimately, Vonage and Ooma are very similar in terms of features, pricing, and customer reviews.
The main difference is the upfront costs: you’ll pay about $130 for your Ooma device, while the Vonage box is free with a yearly contract. The Ooma device only has taxes and fees ($3 or $4) on the basic plan, while Vonage plans are priced between $25 and $55. Even the feature-rich Premier plan on the Ooma is priced at only $10 per month.
It comes down to how you use your device. If you like the freedom of no contracts and lower monthly bills, then Ooma is the easy winner (if you don’t mind the upfront costs).
On the other hand, Vonage comes packed with features even on its most basic plans – you just pay a lot more for those basic plans.
For most people, Ooma is the best option. But read carefully through the features list to see if there are any unique features Vonage has that aren’t easily offered by Ooma (like faxing).
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