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Forum Thread

The Official Guide: Ooma vs. Vonage vs. Obi

getdealsonline 6,375 January 20, 2012 at 05:31 PM
We have many VOIP players in the market and I am starting this forum to have a collective discussion on the major services .. please feel free to add more services and their reviews if you know some: I am starting with putting out:

Ooma vs. Vonage vs. Obi

Need for:

1. Call Locally within US/Canada
2. Call Internationally, one or two odd countries

what do you guys think? suggestions please
Ooma vs. Vonage vs. Obi - Choice of SD?
Ooma (84)
37%
Vonage (16)
7%
Obi (122)
54%
Calling Cards (6)
3%
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66 Comments

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#46
I've had the Obi110 for awhile now. I love it. One time purchase. Stupid simple Google Voice integration. My VMs are converted to text and sent to my email. The only charges I have are Google @ two cents a minute to connect to Tokyo from California. Disconnected my home (AT&T) telephone service. That's a savings of over $30/Month. I got in early enough with Google that I was able to get a cool number too. VOIP works! I love the 21st century.
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#47
While it's a good deal, if you need it. just be sure you setup with backup power and internet access in case of an emergency. Otherwise, when your power or your internet service goes down, so does your phone service.

Personally I kept my POTs service because with bundling it costs me about $3/month which is nothing...
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#48
Quote from MozartA View Post :
The initial cost of the device is how Ooma planned originally to cover all these expenses. They are not "eating the cost" since their original business model supposed to cover it.
Did they publish that somewhere? I would bet that was just half of the deal.

For example, if they have X subscribers pushing Y minutes per month, they pay $Z per minute to their provider.

If they double the number of subscribers/minutes they can negotiate their per minute cost to be $Z minus 0.01c or something.

I'm just making that number up, but you see what I'm getting at. They might also have discounts based on the number of minutes they push (i.e. send us XXX and it's $Z, send us XXX x 2 and it's $Z x 0.66)

For once, the old joke of "I'm making a loss per item but making it up in volume" can be close to the truth
Last edited by vivahate June 26, 2012 at 07:03 AM
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#49
Vonage or AllVoi (both have 'World Plan"s) are good for mainly international calling (e.g. both have unlimited India calling).
Unless you need International calling feature, nothing beats OOMA...!!!
I have been using it since last 2.5 years or so and no issues what-so-ever...!
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#50
Quote from vivahate View Post :
Did they publish that somewhere? I would bet that was just half of the deal.

For example, if they have X subscribers pushing Y minutes per month, they pay $Z per minute to their provider.

If they double the number of subscribers/minutes they can negotiate their per minute cost to be $Z minus 0.01c or something.

I'm just making that number up, but you see what I'm getting at. They might also have discounts based on the number of minutes they push (i.e. send us XXX and it's $Z, send us XXX x 2 and it's $Z x 0.66)

For once, the old joke of "I'm making a loss per item but making it up in volume" can be close to the truth
Yes, they published that somewhere during 2007/2008 to explain to everyone how Ooma made money without charging/collecting monthly fee/taxes. They even have Ashton Kutcher as their Creative Director at that time. Again, fee/taxes is not something new that they know from the very beginning. And they planned to cover that early on based on the price of device. If you google search for some old article and interview during 2007/2008, you can find those information. Obviously that failed because not too many people would buy a $400 device and people is not going to buy a new device every few years from them if their old device works fine. So slowly they are changing to Nettalk and Magicjack pricing model. And netTALK DUO and magicJack Plus are slowly catching up to Ooma quality.
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#51
Vonage is still the best in my opinion if you don't consider the nasty fees.
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#52
I like obi I use it with GV and Betamax SIP for overseas calling. Cant bet better then OBI, LOVE IT!! It saved me a lot since I bought it and more than payed for itself.

Edit: NO kids yet so we plan to use our Mobile phones for 911.
Last edited by pruks July 8, 2012 at 07:40 PM
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#53
Can someone comment on the call quality for Obi? Also, if you dont need to port a number, will it just give you a new number?
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#54
Quote from APlusIvyLeaguer View Post :
Can someone comment on the call quality for Obi? Also, if you dont need to port a number, will it just give you a new number?
Been fine for me. You will find complaints but I get the sense that that vast majority of people using Obi + GV find the call quality good - or at least good enough for free, so you could take that as it MAY not be as good as POTs line, gotta try and see. I also use it w/Localphone for overseas calls and I would say that sometimes the Localphone calls are clearer even though they are usually to many thousand more miles away.

Re the number you get - you pick your # when you set up your GV acct, has nothing to do w/Obi. If you use another VOIP / Sip service then that would govern your #.
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#55
I have an Obi110 and with Google Voice I have been very satisfied. One problem is that I cannot port my home number, even if I port to a mobile carrier first. So I need a VOIP that I can port the number to. Can anyone recommend a second VOIP service where I can use the number for inbound and local calls? Ooma says I can port to them, so maybe I should use Ooma for domestic calls and use GV for international.
Last edited by djinks August 9, 2012 at 01:57 PM
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#56
I ported my home phone number to Ooma, so they can definitely do it.
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#57
i have questions about Ooma $10 international 1000 minutes plan.

about calling countries not included in the plan, can you even make a call without refill some money?

or deduct the minutes from the 1000 minutes plan but much less minutes usable.

if used more than 1000 minutes, can you still make phone calls? (call first pay later, or have to refill first?)
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#58
Quote from djinks View Post :
I have an Obi110 and with Google Voice I have been very satisfied. One problem is that I cannot port my home number, even if I port to a mobile carrier first. So I need a VOIP that I can port the number to. Can anyone recommend a second VOIP service where I can use the number for inbound and local calls? Ooma says I can port to them, so maybe I should use Ooma for domestic calls and use GV for international.
If port to AT&T/T-Mobile prepaid then to Google Voice doesn't work, a lot of people recommend callcentric Voip service as a backup
http://www.callcentric.com/lnp/

If you don't usually receive a lot of people call on your home phone number, can try ported to a pay as you go with TMobile. Then you can put a message on that number directing people to call another number (like your Google Voice number), or just have them leave a message. It costs no airtime for them to leave a message, nor does it cost you to retrieve messages to that number using another phone. You could forward it to another number, but that would cost airtime.

Its $10/quarter (30 minute prepaid minutes and expire in 90 days), but after spending $100 and become Gold Reward status, its $10/year (35 minute when you are Gold status and it won't expires for a whole year). Can also just pay $100 T-mobile prepaid one time, you get 1000 prepaid mins won't expire for one year. With 1000 mins for a year, probably enough to make/receive few phone calls and work as backup in case internet is dead. And try to switch to use Obi110 and Google Voice number to do most of the calling.
Last edited by MozartA August 9, 2012 at 02:35 PM
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#59
Thanks. That is good to know, especially about checking VM from a landline and the lower fees after year one. I am using T-mobile right now to park the number, but do not want to leave it there long.

I also looked at Callcentric, but Ooma has lower cost/month, after equipment purchase of course. I found a used Ooma hub for $50 on Craigslist. So I'm going with that approach. Only thing I want but cannot do on the basic plan is call forwarding, but that is not critical.

Your T-Mobile approach would be most cost effective, but I want our call recipients to see our old home number, not a new one. So I have to spend a bit per month until Google Voice will finally port-in my number.

Quote from MozartA View Post :
If port to AT&T/T-Mobile prepaid then to Google Voice doesn't work, a lot of people recommend callcentric Voip service as a backup
http://www.callcentric.com/lnp/

If you don't usually receive a lot of people call on your home phone number, can try ported to a pay as you go with TMobile. Then you can put a message on that number directing people to call another number (like your Google Voice number), or just have them leave a message. It costs no airtime for them to leave a message, nor does it cost you to retrieve messages to that number using another phone. You could forward it to another number, but that would cost airtime.

Its $10/quarter (30 minute prepaid minutes and expire in 90 days), but after spending $100 and become Gold Reward status, its $10/year (35 minute when you are Gold status and it won't expires for a whole year). Can also just pay $100 T-mobile prepaid one time, you get 1000 prepaid mins won't expire for one year. With 1000 mins for a year, probably enough to make/receive few phone calls and work as backup in case internet is dead. And try to switch to use Obi110 and Google Voice number to do most of the calling.
Last edited by djinks August 9, 2012 at 06:37 PM
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#60
Quote from djinks View Post :
Thanks. That is good to know, especially about checking VM from a landline and the lower fees after year one. I am using T-mobile right now to park the number, but do not want to leave it there long.

I also looked at Callcentric, but Ooma has lower cost/month, after equipment purchase of course. I found a used Ooma hub for $50 on Craigslist. So I'm going with that approach. Only thing I want but cannot do on the basic plan is call forwarding, but that is not critical.

Your T-Mobile approach would be most cost effective, but I want our call recipients to see our old home number, not a new one. So I have to spend a bit per month until Google Voice will finally port-in my number.
Used Ooma require re-activation fee which is VERY expensive ($70). That's why there is no market for Used Ooma.
And also need to pay Number Porting fee which is ($40).

http://www.ooma.com/legal/rates

After that, the monthly fee/taxes is $3 to $5 depend on location.
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