Ooma Telo sets the standards for VoIP services that help you cut down on your phone bill costs. More than that, Ooma Telo gives you a wide range of features that make it the go-to option for a free phone service offering free call to any United States number and discount rates for international calls.
However, if you decide to look for alternatives, here are the five best alternatives to the Ooma Telo:
1. Basic Talk
Basic Talk works like the Ooma Telo in that it uses your Internet connection to offer unlimited calls within the United States. You pay only $9.99 per month with no contracts.
Plus, you get to keep your number. True to its name, Basic Talk keeps things simple: you use it to save on your phone bills. It gives you e911, call waiting, caller ID, and voicemail at no extra charge.
What you would love about BasicTalk is the price. It is a no-frills solution that gives you reliable home phone service and crystal clear calls for $10 a month. However, it does come with a lot of trade-offs.
There are no conferencing features, no three-way calling, and no mobile apps that can help you extend the functionality of your Basic Talk line.
If you are looking to save on your upfront costs, Basic Talk would help you with that. The black box is available (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) on Amazon at a low price, which is way less than the amount you have to pay for Ooma Telo.
Basic Talk works because it has kept things simple, making it a good choice for seniors and other people who are not inclined to figure out technology.
However, in the long run, you could probably save more with Ooma Telo because it has a free option. Plus, if you are looking for features, Basic Talk provides you with no special features and you really have to compromise.
For the same monthly fee, you get to enjoy a wide range of features from the Ooma Telo, including a second line, free calls to Mexico and Canada, a back-up number, conference calls, voicemail monitoring, caller ID, call blocking, Google Voice compatibility, do-not-disturb mode, call forwarding, free mobile minutes, and all the features and functionalities you get from the free basic plan.
2. MagicJack Go
MagicJack has a solid reputation when it comes to providing free calls to any US or Canada landline and offering cheaper long distance rates for calls to
With MagicJack Go, you have a device that is similar to a USB flash stick that you can carry around with you; all you need to do is to plug it into an Internet router or connected computer and place your call.
Magic Jack allows you to make international long-distance calls for only a few cents per minute. For instance, you can call somebody in the Dominican Republic for only 3.2 cents, or your Chinese colleague for only 3.3 cents using prepaid credits.
Either that, or subscribe to their annual plan for only $35 a year to take advantage of these low rates.
The MagicJackGo offers all the necessary telephony features for free, including caller ID, voicemail, call waiting, call forwarding, and 411 calls. You can also use your existing telephone number and route calls to your landline to the smartphone app, MagicApp. You can also make unlimited conference calls.
If you are always on the go, this device is for you. Instead of carrying around something bigger like the Ooma Telo, you can just carry this very portable device. It is also a lot more affordable than the Telo.
However, when it comes to call quality and reliability, the Ooma Telo outperforms the MagicJack Go. There are complaints that the MagicJack Go needs to be unplugged and plugged in again when it encounters
Yet, with a $35 annual plan – which translates to less than $3 a month – the MagicJack Go is still much more affordable than other VoIP services out there.
Price: You can buy MagicJack Go from the company’s online store.
(link to website)
Here is how Basic Talk and MagicJack Go compare with Ooma Telo:
|Ooma Telo||Basic Talk||MagicJack Go|
|Unlimited domestic calling||YES||YES||YES|
|Web-based account management||YES||YES||YES|
|HD Voice Compatible||YES||NO||NO|
|Do Not Disturb||PREMIUM||YES||NO|
|MP3 Voicemail Forwarding||PREMIUM||NO||YES|
|Call forwarding / Multi-ring||PREMIUM||NO||YES|
|Instant Second Line||PREMIUM||NO||NO|
|Compatible with Nest||PREMIUM||NO||NO|
|Blocks unwanted callers||PREMIUM||NO||NO|
|Price||(For the latest prices and discounts, check here)||(For the latest prices and discounts, check here)||(For the latest prices and discounts, check here)|
|Premium plans||$9.99 per month||NA||NA|
The good news with VoIP services is that there are just a lot to choose from. If you are not impressed with both MagicJack Go and Basic Talk, you can still choose from three other alternatives: OBi200, Google Voice and FreedomPOP.
3. OBi200 VoIP Phone Adapter
The OBi200 VoIP Phone Adapter allows you to use your current Internet connection and your phone line to make free calls to any local US number. International calls to more than 150 countries are charged with lower rates.
Calls to Mexico, India and China can go for only one cent and you do not have to pay connection charges. You can also use any one of four VoIP services: Google Voice, Anveo, PhonePower, and VoIPms. It works like the Ooma Telo; you just need to plug into your phone line and then connect it to the router.
Obi200 has caller ID, three-way conference calling, call forwarding, and voice mail. However, there is no way for you to blacklist phone numbers, which is one of the best features of the Ooma Telo.
That means you rely on blocking either all anonymous numbers – but you cannot block specific numbers – or just telemarketers from calling you. Another downside is that you cannot use your Obi200 to call 911, although you can configure it to call a local emergency hotline just in case.
4. Google Voice
With Google Voice, you can get a free phone number and even bring together your voice services. Google Voice is very flexible in that you can take it anywhere you go. You are not tied down by your location, handset or
It helps you manage your existing phone lines and you can make or receive calls using different devices such as tablets, laptop, or desktop computer. It also offers several nifty features such as voicemail transcription and call history, and it can even help you when it comes to annoying telemarketers.
You would also love the fact that with Google Voice, you can do these things:
- You can forward calls from Google Voice to any of your phones. You can set it up to go to your home phone, to your work phone, or straight to voicemail depending on who is calling you.
- You get SMS alerts when you receive a call.
- You can listen to voicemail messages even while the other party is just leaving them, much like traditional answering machines.
- You can use different pre-set voicemail greetings depending on who is calling.
- You can record your conversations.
- You can call anybody with a United States number for free. If you need to call international phone numbers, you get cheaper rates.
With Google Voice, you get all these features and you can make free calls without having to buy any hardware. All you need to do is to install the mobile app on your mobile devices. You can sign up for a Google Voice number and start using the service.
FreedomPOP works just like any mobile phone carrier but offers free calls to numbers within the United States as well as numbers in other countries.
Most other VoIP services need you to connect to a phone line and to the Internet. FreedomPOP gives you the chance to get free Internet if you live within their coverage areas. FreedomPOP offers either LTE or 3G coverage depending on your area and it is all free.
The company offers a free basic plan where you get 500 texts, 500 MB of free data connection, and 200 minutes’ worth of calls. They also have paid unlimited plans that are 80% cheaper than what other carriers charge.
For instance, you can get 4GB of data with unlimited minutes and text messages for only $35 per month. What’s more, you can get their contract and cancel
Other VoIP services also offer international calling at lower rates, but FreedomPOP offers free international calls to more than 60 countries. You can even get a virtual number from anywhere in the world.
If you already have a smartphone, you can switch your device to FreedomPOP, or you can buy new, discounted, used or refurbished units from FreedomPOP at a much lower cost.
FreedomPOP really allows you to save on your mobile phone line and even have the option to use the service for free if you are not a heavy user. You can use other VoIP services for your home or office landline and then save more by replacing your current mobile phone line with FreedomPOP.