Upon joining Dash, I gave up the seemingly unlimited supply of phones and service provided by Sling. Plus, I had dumped Vonage in Feburary after two and a half years – the call quality/connectivity had simply deteriorated to the point of being unusable. So, of course, I’ve burned through all my iPhone minutes (and rollover minutes) these last few months. I have tried being economical by using SkypeOut with a headset tethered to my laptop, but it’s been a bit uncomfortable. Especially since I tend to pace while on the phone.
Fortunately, a few of my former Sling peeps have relocated to Ooma and provided me with a device to play with. Setup was a breeze – the most difficult and time consuming aspect was deciding what area code (DC, 202) and number I wanted. (They’ll also port numbers.) The Ooma “Hub” (above, right) can sit between a router and modem or just hang off the router, which how I’ve configured it. Though I may reconsider the network topography since Ooma does provide QoS, port forwarding, etc. I’m also a sucker for sexy things and appreciate the understated Ooma design, which is much more visually appealing than my former clunky Vonage Linksys router.
Ooma retails for $250, which includes unlimited US calling. Forever. While it’s a bit more pricey than the MagicJack, no need to worry about leaving a computer on and Internet chatter strongly suggests Ooma call quality is superior. In my limited testing, I’ve been very pleased. Basic features like CallerID and Voice Mail are included, while an optional Premier tier of service ($99/yr) offers additional features such as extra lines/numbers and conference calling.