VoIP services are surging in popularity due to their cost-cutting nature. This article has been written to compare the three top manufacturers that currently exist, Ooma, Obi, and Vonage. Each one of their VOIP devices effectively hubs that live in your home and use the internet to mediate calls. First, we will explain a little more about VoIP, and then go on to compare Oomba vs Obi vs Vonage.
What is a Voice over Intern Protocol?
A Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a calling technology that uses the internet as the basis for transmission. This cost-cutting technology is aimed to act as a replacement for landline and mobile calls.
What are the benefits of VoIP?
VoIP are flexible and cheap which offer many benefits over standard landline and mobile phone setups. These benefits primarily include:
- Very cheap
- Video calling
- Mobile calling
When using a VoIP provider your calls will be minuscule compared to conventional landlines or mobile calls. This is especially true if you are making calls around the globe.
As long as you have an internet connection, you will are able to access your account anywhere with your kit. VoIP boxes are very small, similar to the size of an external hard drive, so are very practical for being taken on the move with you.
VoIP also works with video calling as the providers can support the transfer of data across the internet.
VoIP converters allow users to use their mobile phone with the service. The converter fits into computer USB ports and effectively transfer the call on the mobile from analog into digital data which is then transmitted over the internet. Regardlress of the device you are calling on, the VoIP number will remain the same.
What is needed for VoIP?
The chances are that you already have the kit you need to get going with VoIP. That said, it is always important to check just to make sure. To use this service you just need a reliable and fast internet connection, and a regular home phone. Finally, you need one of the devices we discuss in the rest of this article!
Ooma Telo Air 2
Ooma currently delivers the best VoIP service with the Telo Air 2. Calls done with the Ooma app are completely free through your internet connection. Telo Air 2 has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and has a special integration with Amazon Echo and Alexa. With Ooma you can make calls to any phone number completely with your voice.
Setup involves downloading the Telo Setup App, creating and activating an account, and finally connecting the Telo to the internet.
Oomas mobile app is a sweet little add on service that allows you to access your VoIP on the go. This includes the free calling service to any home in the US. Remote 911 calling enables the user to call emergency services remotely. Live app notifications, texts, calls or emails will give you real time alerts.
Ooma uses PureVoice HD technology to maximise the quality of calls, minimise data usage and secure the line. This involves several methods such as compression to reduce data losslessly, high level of encryption and improving clarity of sound. Users report that the sound quality of the calls they made is of high standard.
Ooma has some additional paid packages that provide some extra features for those who want it. The Premier Service includes a second number, backup number, private voicemails, call forwarding, Google Voice extensions and some other perks too. Ooma World Plan is a package with unlimited calls to 60 countries.
Obi has OBI200 is the greatest competition that Ooma faces in the VoIP market. From setup to features and flexibility of the OBI200 are very evenly matched with the Ooma Telo Air 2.
The Obi setup is particularly simple, involving just three steps. All that needs to be done is to connect the OBI to the router, connect your home phone to the OBI and setup an ObiTALK account.
The OBi200 supports up to four VoIP services of your choice. One of the most popular options is Google Voice, which comes free with premium features. These are comparable to Ooma’s paid plans, such as providing caller ID, call forwarding and 3-way calls. Free calls can be made to the US and Canada and international calls can be made to 150 destinations for cheap prices.
Users consistently report high quality of calls with no lagging issues being noticed.
OBiEXTRAs has optional paid subscriptions to gain access to a few more features. This includes OBiFAX, Call Blocking and OBi Notify.
Vonages HT802-VD is a cheap home phone service that provides an alternative option to Ooma and OBi.
Setting up the Vonage box includes activating your phone service online, followed by some basic configuration and testing of your phone.
The main principles of VoIP can be accessed for a cheap price with the Vonage HT802-VD. Features include free calls across the US, Canada and Mexico, in addition to cheap international calls. Vonages app extend the service to two smartphones you wish to connect. Voicemails are transcribed and sent to your email address. Call forwarding and Caller IDs are included for free.
Users report that they are happy with the sound quality of the Vonage, which is self proclaimed to be crystal clear.
One month of service is included with your Vonage. Following this, the service costs just $9.99 a year.
Ooma vs Obi vs Vonage
Users of each of these devices are happy with the results they have had. Each of these products has their own particular benefits.
Ooma is the most premium and complete VoIP service available. The integration with Amazon Alexa is extra useful, something the others don’t have. The 911 service is also stepping the extra mile in terms of features. The downside of Ooma is that it is the most expensive both upfront and also for accessing premium features with a $2.99 a month fee.
OBi sticks out due to having the premium features included at no extra cost. Whilst there are options for a couple of add-ons, they are not crucial elements of the VoIP service.
Vonage is a lesser-known option, yet still ticks many of the boxes. The clear benefit with Vonage is the low startup cost, which is in fact a fraction of the Ooma and Obi prices. After that, $9.99 a year is zilch in the big scheme of things. Some users do report poor customer service on occasion.
VoIP services are a solid investment for those who enjoy using their home phone, yet want to slash costs. Ooma is for those who want premium features but are happy to pay it, Vonage is a solid budget option and OBi sits somewhere in the middle.