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Ooma Review

By Chad Brooks, business.com Writer | Updated Jul 21, 2020

 

Thanks to its simplicity, flexibility and affordability, Ooma Office is our choice as the best phone system for very small businesses. The system is built with small businesses specifically in mind. Unlike many of today's business phone systems, Ooma provides flexibility in how the system is run and the types of phones it can work with. You have the choice of installing some equipment – which you can do on your own, without IT experience, and using analog phone you may already own – or you can use IP phones with a traditional cloud-hosted setup. These aren't options most business phone system providers offer.

Ooma

Ooma

The Best Business Phone Systems of 2020

The Verdict

Ooma Office is our choice as the best business phone system for very small businesses. This affordable VoIP system is easy to move to new offices; works with IP, analog and mobile phones; and offers the features very small businesses need.

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While the system doesn't have all the features some of its larger competitors do, it offers some of the most valuable ones, like auto-attendants, voicemail and call forwarding. The system is extremely affordable and offers round-the-clock support. 

 

View all our recommendations for business phone systems on our best picks page. 

Ooma Office Pricing

The pricing structure for Ooma Office depends on what type of phones your business uses. If you use IP phones, all you have to pay are per-user monthly fees. If you want to use analog phones with the system, there are also some one-time equipment fees to consider.

Whether you use IP or analog phones, you have a choice of two service plans: Ooma Office or Ooma Office Pro. Ooma Office is $19.95 per user per month, while Ooma Office Pro is $24.95 per user per month. Ooma Office Pro is a relatively new offering. We like that it increases the number of features and tools and the likelihood of businesses sticking with the solution as their needs grow. Instead of having to switch providers altogether, you can pay an additional $5 a month per user for that increased functionality.

Ooma Office offers more than 35 features, including a virtual receptionist, music on hold, extension dialing, voicemail and call blocking. Ooma Office Pro adds features like call recording, a desktop app and voicemail transcription.

If you have analog phones you want to continue using, you will need a few pieces of equipment. The basic equipment package starts at $129.97. It includes the base station, which is the system's main component, and two Linx devices, which are used to connect analog phones to the system. IP phones can be plugged directly into an Ethernet port and don't need any special connection. Since each base station supports five analog phones, you may need additional base stations, which are $100 each. If you don't have analog phones you need to use, none of this equipment is necessary.

Another cost to consider is desk phones. Unlike with other business phone solutions that require IP phones, you can use analog phones with Ooma Office. However, you can add more users to the system if you use IP phones. Ooma offers several different Yealink and Cisco phones, ranging from $70 to $400. 

There are no contracts with Ooma Office. You make all payments on a month-to-month basis. The company offers a 30-day, risk-free trial. 

Features

While it doesn't have the wide selection of features that some other phone systems offer, Ooma Office does have the calling and mobile tools very small businesses need most. Although it sounds nice to have all the accessories today's phone systems offer, most would go unused by very small businesses. Ooma keeps its prices down by only providing the features very small businesses need most. 

Ooma Office's features include unlimited local and long-distance calling, a virtual receptionist, voicemail, call transfers, call logs, daytime and after-hours modes, ring groups, music on hold, call forwarding, and online faxing. 

Ooma Office Pro offers even more features and tools. For the extra $5 a month per user, you have access to a desktop app, which lets each user check out the company directory, manage calls and set up ring groups. Other features in the upgraded plan include call recording, enhanced call blocking, voicemail transcription and overhead paging.

Ooma has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices that lets employees make and receive calls using their business lines. When you make an outgoing call from the app, the person you call will see your business phone number on their caller ID, not your personal mobile number. With the mobile app, you can also transfer calls to other employees, listen to and manage your voicemails, and easily access co-workers' extensions. 

Ooma Office Pros

Even someone without any phone system expertise can install the Ooma Office on-premises VoIP system in less than 20 minutes. While the system only supports up to 20 analog phones, it can support up to 200 IP phones. 

If you use IP phones, you can set up the system quickly. All you need to do is plug the phones into your LAN. Once plugged in and powered up, they are ready to make and receive calls.

If you use analog phones, you need to set up your base station and Linx devices to get the system working. The base station serves as a full router, prioritizing voice data on your internet connection. This helps ensure solid reception on each call. The other main component is the Linx device. The option to use analog phones you already have, without having to purchase new IP phones, can be a big cost-saver for very small businesses and a nice benefit of this service.

You first connect the base station to your high-speed internet connection. You then plug the base station's AC adapter into an electrical outlet. For the best service, Ooma recommends that you have at least 256Kbps upstream and downstream for each simultaneous call during peak usage times. Once the base station is connected, you then plug an analog phone into the unit.

Once everything is up and running, you control the system via Ooma's online portal. The portal, which is easy to use and navigate, is where system administrators assign employees extensions and phone numbers, set up the automated attendant, and create ring groups. 

Ooma Office Cons

Ooma doesn't offer all of the features that some of its competitors do. A big one missing from the platform is video conferencing. Many of today's unified communications systems include video conferencing. However, not all very small businesses require these services, so this might not be a deal-breaker for you.

Another potential downside is the conference calling participant restrictions. If you only get the Ooma Office plan, you are limited to 10 callers at a time. The good news is that Ooma has upped those limits with the recent introduction of the Office Pro plan.

Customer Support

We were pleased with the customer support we received from Ooma. To test the level of service, we contacted the company numerous times by phone, email and live chat, posing as a microbusiness owner interested in its phone system. 

Most of our interactions with the company were positive. Representatives immediately answered most of our calls. There were a couple of times, however, when our calls weren't immediately answered – or were picked up, but no one was on the other end of the line. 

Overall, the representatives we spoke to gave detailed answers to our questions about how the system works, the available features, the mobile app and pricing. There were a few times the responses didn't provide as much detail as we wanted, though, and we then had to contact Ooma again for further information. Each time we followed up with a representative over email, they immediately responded.

We also found the live chat service helpful. With some providers' live chat services, it took a long time for a customer service representative to answer our questions, but we got prompt responses from the Ooma team. 

Ooma provides phone support from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends. Support is also available 24/7 by email and live chat. 

 

 

Image Credit: scyther5/Getty Images
Ooma

Ooma

The Best Business Phone Systems of 2020

The Verdict

Ooma Office is our choice as the best business phone system for very small businesses. This affordable VoIP system is easy to move to new offices; works with IP, analog and mobile phones; and offers the features very small businesses need.

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Chad Brooks: Writer
Chad Brooks,
business.com Writer
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer with more than 20 years of media experience. A graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff as a senior writer. Currently, Chad covers a wide range of B2B products and services, including business phone systems, time and attendance systems, payroll services, and conference call services. Before joining Business News Daily and business.com, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. Chad's first book, "How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business," was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.