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Ooma vs. magicJack: Pricing, Features, Quality and Service

It’s a fast-paced world, and though technology has made great strides, digital interconnectedness sometimes comes at a cost. It’s increasingly challenging to keep personal and professional lives separate, and you’re often expected to answer your work phone while attending your kid’s soccer game on a Saturday afternoon.

On the other hand, technology also allows users to balance personal and professional responsibilities — for example, you can host a work conference call from your home office and then immediately spend time with your children without ever having to commute back and forth from the office.

Life always has its ups and downs, and mobility is making it harder to unplug. However, VoIP technology is one of the most popular, effective, affordable and flexible tools that can help keep you stay connected with your most important contacts.

personal and work keep in touch VoIP

An Overview of VoIP

VoIP stands for voice over internet protocol (also referred to as voice over IP, IP telephony or internet telephony). To explain it simply, VoIP is an internet-based phone service. This means that instead of having your phone calls delivered through landlines or cell towers, VoIP technology works behind the scenes to deliver phone call audio via the internet.

When you’re using VoIP technology, you can set up a home phone that’s just like using a landline. You can also install a VoIP app on your cell phone so that calls are routed over a Wi-Fi or data connection, saving you from using minutes on your phone plan.

Like traditional phone services, VoIP has a variety of features, including voicemail, fax, caller ID and call waiting. However, VoIP technology offers more than just phone service. Users can also enjoy instant messaging, web and video conferencing, and the ability to transfer calls from desk phones to smartphones.

When selecting a VoIP service, you typically have three options: computer to computer, ATA, or IP phone. It’s best to first assess your needs and compare each choice, because they all have their advantages and disadvantages. It ultimately comes down to your budget and features that suit your specific needs.

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, you probably want to know which is the best VoIP service out there. Ooma and magicJack are two popular solutions for residential and business VoIP communications. While magicJack’s low costs often catch people’s attention, Ooma’s high-quality and affordable service makes it a top choice among industry experts

How Ooma Compares to the Competition

To help make your decision easier, let’s compare the pricing, features, contract terms, service reliability and customer service provided by each of these VoIP services. To start, here’s what one of Ooma’s long-time customers had to say.

G.E. Miller of 20SomethingFinance.com, who has been using Ooma for seven years, boasts:

“I have not had to call Ooma customer service for anything. Ever. The setup is easy, the hardware has worked beautifully and the acoustics are incredibly clear. There was one time over the last year that service was down (for an hour or so), and Ooma was very respondent and transparent about what caused the problem and how they were going to fix it. I have zero complaints.

Ooma vs. magicJack – Plans and Costs

Regardless of whether you need VoIP for work or family or both, pricing likely plays a large role in your decision making. While magicJack may entice customers with cheaper plans, Ooma is an affordable solution with options for free phone calls after purchasing equipment.

With magicJack, your annual costs could be $39 with a small discount available as an introductory promotion.

Using Ooma, standard service is completely free. Just pay taxes and applicable fees, and you get unlimited domestic calls. Ooma also offers Premier Service for $9.99 per month to get access to additional services.

The biggest up-front cost you’ll have with Ooma is the purchase of hardware like the Ooma Telo, which retails for $100 and can sometimes be found for even less. This device works with your existing phones — up to four — and also connects to the Ooma HD2 handset that allows you to make crystal-clear calls hands-free.

Both Ooma and magicJack have free activation and international calling plans that are significantly cheaper than the rates available through traditional phone service providers.

Ooma vs. magicJack – Features

After reviewing pricing plans, you also want to go over features that each VoIP service provides. Ooma’s basics, such as voicemail, caller ID and reliable 911 services, are free. Ooma also provides a virtual second line, allowing two people in your home or office can make calls at the same time. The Premier plan comes with an additional set of advanced calling features like three-way calling, voicemail forwarding and transferring your existing number. Ooma also has a free calling app for iOS and Android users, so you can receive calls and messages when you’re on the go.

Whereas magicJack does not recommend that you use their phone service with an alarm system, Ooma integrates with the Ooma Home security solution and connects to many smart home devices.

Unlike magicJack, Ooma can connect to many smart home devices and integrates with the smart security solution, Ooma Home.

These integrations provide customers added security and convenience, and they make the Ooma Telo a central hub of any smart home. In fact, with Ooma you can:

  • Initiate phone calls through Amazon Alexa
  • Receive notifications on your mobile phone when your Ooma smoke alarm is triggered
  • Dial your local 911 dispatcher, even if you’re not at home.

In addition, you can customize incoming calls with visual alerts, such as applying a green background for known callers and red for unknown callers, by syncing Ooma Telo with LIFX light bulbs.

Ooma Premier customers can also use customizable call blocking tools to protect against telemarketers and robocalls. You can use Ooma to block known spammers, suspected spammers, anonymous callers, and custom numbers with Ooma. Call blocking with magicJack is more limited. While you can block specific phone numbers, protection against telemarketers is limited to signing up for the national Do Not Call Registry.

Furthermore, Ooma offers an advanced voice compression algorithm that reduces bandwidth consumption by 60% over standard VoIP technology. For business owners, Ooma provides a virtual receptionist, extension dialing, conferencing, music on hold, virtual fax and the ability to support up to 20 users.

It’s no wonder Ooma has been names by PCMag as the top VoIP service for small business owners for the past five years.

magicJack also comes equipped with a number of popular features, like being able to receive home calls on your smartphone, voicemail, call waiting, call forwarding and the ability to make conference calls. But overall, magicJack is more of a bare-bones solution.

Ooma vs. magicJack: Service and Quality

magicJack’s low service and up-front costs are certainly noteworthy, but PCMag gave magicJack only two stars and specifically cited poor customer support, ugly application interface and excessive up-selling. It said: “Other [VoIP] products do it much better and provide better technical support and documentation.”

For business VoIP services, PCMag named Ooma the #1 service provider for the past five years, and magicJack lagged behind in 5th place in 2018’s ranking. For tech support, magicJack was the lowest ranked service, as the company only offers support via chat or email, and no phone support.

Reviewers have been nothing but impressed with Ooma’s quality, cost and customer service. In fact, PCMag.com named it, along with the Ooma Telo interface, an Editors’ Choice. PCMag’s Michael Muchmore went on to say:

“Ooma is distinguished by super-easy setup, a spiffy tabletop adapter with a speaker, a user-friendly web interface, clear voice quality and low cost — just about everything you’d want from an internet-based landline replacement service.”

If there are any questions or concerns, Ooma is one of the select few VoIP providers that offers 24/7 chat support and phone support from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from noon to 9 p.m. on weekends. Additionally, reviews indicate that Ooma’s customer service is helpful and efficient at solving any issues quickly and painlessly. Personnel keep customers informed when there are any service disruptions.

Conclusion

While both Ooma and magicJack provide low-cost VoIP phone service, magicJack’s service is both low-cost and low-quality. As CNET stated, the service is a “trade-off between price and reliability.” Comparatively, Ooma may require you to purchase hardware up-front, such as the Telo, the HD2 handset and Bluetooth or wireless adapters, but Ooma provides high-quality service that is consistent, reliable and flexible. In the end, pay for what you get, and Ooma is overall a better value for VoIP services.

Note: Prices, offers, and comparisons are as of March 2018.

Sources:

https://www.ooma.com/blog/working-from-home-setting-up-your-ideal-home-office/
https://www.ooma.com/blog/voip-evolution/
https://www.ooma.com/blog/ooma-office-for-mobile-turns-anywhere-into-your-office/
https://www.ooma.com/blog/how-to-stop-unwanted-phone-calls/
https://www.pcmag.com
https://20somethingfinance.com/ooma-review-1-year-after-making-the-switch/
http://www.dslreports.com/comments/3322
https://www.cnet.com/videos/the-magicjack-go-is-a-trade-off-between-price-and-reliability/
https://www.consumeraffairs.com/cell_phones/magicjack.html

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Ken Narita

Ken Narita’s marketing career spans two decades helping businesses large and small grow. Whether it’s been advising emerging startups, guiding clients from the agency side, or currently, leading SMB marketing at Ooma, Ken has always taken an empathetic approach to addressing goals, gaps, and opportunities. Previously at TriNet, from 2011 to 2017, he grew and led the revenue marketing team through a period of rapid change and growth where net service revenue consistently grew in a range of 15-20% per year and reached $650 million at the end of his tenure. Ken has led demand generation, field marketing, customer marketing, and marketing operations teams and enjoys the ability to integrate campaigns across all functions to drive results.

2 Comments

  1. Henry Johnson
    November 21, 2017    

    nice

  2. Jeff
    December 19, 2017    

    Question
    presently a MJ customer what about porting the phone Number over?
    You buy the ooma hardware no monthly fee what about a fee for porting and keeping my existing phone number?
    Best
    Jeff

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