Two months of Ooma VoIP service and I'm still astounded [Telecom]

Two months of Ooma VoIP service and I'm still astounded [Telecom]

Over the years here in comp.dcom.telecom many VoIP providers have been discussed and some were dissed. Believe it or not, I've been tracking the progress of Ooma for almost 7 years now after I abandoned all my landlines (PacBell, now AT&T) in 2002 due to constant price increases.

Now retired, I find myself needing to contact government agencies every now and then and it's frustrating to be placed on hold and having the cellphone drop the signal and/or having the battery deplete and losing my place in the telephone queue. Calling multiple vendors for service such as a water heater replacement is also tedious for many of the same reasons.

Two months ago in the ba.internet group one person wrote he recently subscribed to Ooma's service and it was a no-brainer and the quality is excellent and service is free with only a monthly cost of $3.91 (in Silicon Valley) for federal and state taxes and E911 service.

Note that one must buy the Ooma Telo -- it's a one-time expense and it's available at numerous retailers in the USA such as Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Frys, Newegg, and many more and also from Ooma itself.

That was the clincher for me noting I've setup and operated PBX and Asterisk-based VoIP service for clients over the years in addition to all the IT tasks I'd also perform for the same clients -- I wanted something simple, reliable, and plug'n'play for my home system.

As the person wrote in ba.internet, setup was literally a no-brainer.

Plugging the Ooma Telo device into a switch on my LAN was plug'n'play with the Telo acquiring everything it needed to function via DHCP, and all I had to do next was choose a phone number, establish auto-billing, enter the E911 information, and finally Voice Mail setup (the greeting, etc.).

I initially plugged a 2500 deskset into the back of the Ooma to run tests, and everything was perfect. The next step was to disconnect all the old PacBell service connects at the house demarcs so I could operate all the house phone wiring directly from the Ooma which, by the way, can supply 5.0 REN current, and I'm presently using < 2.0 with these instruments presently connected:

- Plantronics SP-04 headset phone inline with a CIDCO (NOT Cisco) SA-99A-22 caller ID box with 99 number memory and backlight in my home office for handsfree use at the computer keyboard,

- PacBell wallphone with Caller ID in my kitchen, and

- Western Electric 2500 with backlit keys in my bedroom.

I'm still researching reviews of other phones because I want one more for another room in the house. It's critical to be sure a new landline phone doesn't use expensive exotic batteries, does have a backlit LCD display, and does have a Caller ID Memory along with indication there are voice mail messages waiting.

FWIW, I'll be migrating this month to Ooma's Premier service at $9.95 per month for several features I find essential after using them free with "Get Acquainted" during the initial two month's "basic" service.

As someone somewhere once commented: "A luxury, once sampled, becomes a necessity." :-)

Ooma is a Silicon Valley company based in Palo Alto CA per:

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Ooma is only 8 miles from me so I can bang on their door if there's ever any service problems.

Oome's home page is here:

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and their PureVoice(tm) HD technology is not a joke -- the call quality is excellent. Samples can be heard here:

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Note the Ooma device ("Telo") is a stand-alone Linux-based appliance that operates 24/7/365 and only requires access to the Internet -- no other equipment is needed. The Internet connection should be broadband and there is a speed test page on Ooma's site. There are several ways to connect the Telo (and more combinations might be possible if one plays with hairpin routing or other exotica but I'm a firm believer in the KISS principle):

- between The only "setup" was via the OOMA website to create my account. Other than connecting the box, I did nothing to it or my router

OOMA uses its own protocols. The box connects to the OOMA cloud via its own VPN. That is for control traffic and it stays connected. I only see UDP traffic when making a call.

The OOMA server I am connecting to is in the Bay Area. Ping time to their server is 9ms.

As far as my setup, I ignored the router function and the inside port. I just plugged its "To Internet" port into my LAN.

I use the OOMA to feed into my legacy phone wiring. All the phones in the house work as before. I disconnected the landline at the box on the side of the house. That was a simple unplug of a standard modular connector. I have three conventional phones and a cordless system.

I, too, setup as he wrote above. For the curious, here's my network:

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I later used the Telo's web interface to establish a fixed LAN IP and I also added that IP to my DHCP server's database "just in case":

host oomavoip { hardware ethernet 00:18:61:14:50:11; fixed-address; }

Feel welcome to ask any questions about the Ooma service; I'm looking towards a l-o-n-g relationship with Ooma and saving a lot of money.


Reply to
Thad Floryan
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