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*Expired* Saving Money on Phone Service

by Freebies4Mom on March 21, 2009 7:06 am

Sane at Home Mom is going to save hundreds of dollars a year because she is using the Ooma system as her home phone. Please take a minute to read how she is using this Voice Over IP system as her home phone system and the pros and cons to switching over. She’s done a lot of research to meet her goal of spending less money on her entire family’s phone service needs, and I hope that you can benefit from it. After reading her post, my husband and I are talking about trying it for our home phone. It’s potentially a big money-saver and sounds like a better home phone alternative than substituting it with cell phones.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous June 10, 2009 at 11:51 pm

I'm using MagicJack myself (for about 4 months now). The only downside is that I HAVE to have one of my computers on and in Windows mode to use it. I generally use my computers in Ubuntu Linux mode (FREE OS for those who are tired of Bill Gates getting richer every minute) and wish that this would be supported in this environment.It DOES have 911 service (but like Vonage, and probably ALL VOIP's you need to verify the address where you are calling from). It is completely portable, I can plug it into my laptop when I travel and all of my phonebook is with me! When I get home, I switch it over to my desktop, and there's my phonebook (it saves on the "stick" itself).If you want to be able to talk on more than one phone (on same line) at a time you WILL need a powered USB hub to boost the signal. Otherwise, works great with corded and cordless phones alike.


Sarah March 23, 2009 at 1:47 pm

We are currently working to figure out using the magicjack which provides free long distance, $19.99/yr unlimited, also has free voicemail and caller id. We enjoyed it, just need to get some technical things worked out with that and our dsl service, etc.Another option to check out! 🙂


Amy March 23, 2009 at 10:02 am

I researched this, but I am pretty sure that if you use DSL service (through your phone line) that this option isn’t available to you, which is disappointing.I do use Skype and do all of my podcasts through it. I was able to pay $29.95 for the entire year of usage, unlimited, so it is a great affordable option too.As a side note, if you are with Verizon for cell phone service they added a friends and family plan and you can add (up to) five numbers and they won’t count against your minutes. I was really excited about this because there are certain people I love to call, but it counts against my minutes. I am planning to blog about it, but thought I would let people know in this phone thread.Great information, Heather!


SaneAtHomeMom March 23, 2009 at 12:48 am

Hi everyone-I'm so glad this post has spurred more input. I will have to go back and update, on my end,with the additional information and specifics of what I found and your experiences as well.Please look into Skype, Vonage, and the various other VOIP and decide for yourself. I can only say that for our house, 500 minutes with Vonage for $17.99 a month wasn't worth it – just not enough minutes. I also saw that they charge $39.99 if you cancel before two years. I tried Skype and didn't really like the complicated minute plans, among other things.When it came down to it, I liked the simplicity of Ooma and the fact that I would've already paid for half the system by now, had I gone with another program. To me, nothing beat the price and the ability to pay nothing every month and have ALL of the features I wanted.As for 911 dialing with Vonage, I'd read online that it wasn't provided. That coupled with the price, steared me away from them. I see now that they do have 911, not the traditional 911, and it has to be activated during a sign-up process. Please see here for the specifics on Vonage 911:;=394VOIP's provide the same type of 911 service (limited at least and depends on where you live) and you should consider this when making the VOIP decision. READ THE FINE PRINT and make sure your VOIP is registered with your address and that you know their policy/procedure on how to make sure you have 911 dialing. Make sure that anyone visiting in your house knows this procedure and has access to your address information, if needed.Ooma has the ehanced 911 feature (where available) and there is no special activation process. (Again, easier in my mind.) As far as the stability of Ooma and legality, Ooma uses "distributed termination", which from everything I've read is legal by FCC. I'm also almost certain that local areas don't control the legality, but Federal? Anyone know differently on that one?Ooma has been putting out this product since 2007, and with the lower price (compared to $300 EVERY year for Vonage and others), we considered the purchase a minor risk worth taking. Thanks again everyone!! I love the feedback.


Anonymous March 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm

we use vonage and pay 17.99 a month. we do not have to have our computer on, and we have excellent 911 service. we researched ooma extensively several weeks ago but were concerned the company may be shut down in the future due to the way they are using technology (may not be legal, especially in certain areas). so we are not willing to risk $200 and then lose phone service in a few months.


Anonymous March 22, 2009 at 3:02 pm

I have to comment – you keep stressing there is no 911 service on Vonage. There is! I have been using Vonage for over a year (and loving it) and have had to call 911. There is one very minor step that takes 2 seconds ~~ you have to inform them of the address that the phone number is connected to so they know where to respond to. That’s it ~~ all done. No minute limits, I have a complete list of all phone calls on my computer (in and out) since I’ve started ~~ showing name, number, time of day, how long on the phone, also v/m in all the ways you described also. Very clear sound. Computer does not need to be turned on. Yes, there is a monthly charge. I paid mine for a year and got a great deal ~ I got a few months for $9.95. When a friend signs up you both get 2 months free. That all adds up to a very cheap phone quickly and painlessly.


SaneAtHomeMom March 22, 2009 at 10:21 am

Anonymous-I'm sorry I wasn't more specific – Let me explain 🙂 You're right about Vonage, but it is $24.99 a month (continuously) and there is no 911 service. Skype is the VOIP that requires the other person to have the software installed (and doesn't have 911 service as well).I checked into the Go Phone, since we have AT&T; and are happy with them so far, but the phone was more expensive and there was a charge everytime you called someone, and I liked that the Tracfone displays how many minutes you have left on it automatically.Sorry for the confusion and thanks for pointing that out!


Anonymous March 22, 2009 at 9:58 am

I’m not sure about all the research she had done. I have Vonage and my family and friends never had to install software to talk with me. As for the rollover minutes for prepaid cell phones, the Go Phone from ATT does have this as well as the TracPhone.


SaneAtHomeMom March 21, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Hi Heather! Thanks for the linkage.I think anyone that uses cellphones or Voice Over IP as their main form of telephone services at home, should have a backup in place that will work in a power outage, such as a car charger or a small battery charger for your cellphone. Of course, the unchallenged thing about the old landline phone is the service during a power outage!All needs are different, but if your situation is condusive to Voice Over IP, then I say go for it and use Ooma!!


Alex Hall March 21, 2009 at 8:32 am

My husband and I considered this, but when we realized that we would have no phone should the power go out, we decided against it. Where we live, we don’t get cell phone service (up in the mountains) so we would have no way of contacting anyone if there were an emergency. Just something to consider.


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