Get an Ooma Telo phone system for $199.99

Dump your landline! This voice-over-IP system gives you free local and long-distance calling for life, with no monthly fees (unless you want advanced features)!

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

Buy the Ooma Telo hardware and get free local and long-distance calling for life.
Buy the Ooma Telo hardware and get free local and long-distance calling for life. Buy.com

A few months ago, when I asked if it was time to pull the plug on home phone service, many commenters spoke highly of Ooma, a voice-over-IP service with a twist: buy the hardware and you're done. You get unlimited long-distance calling in the U.S., cheap overseas rates--and no monthly bill.

Since then, I've had the chance to review the Ooma Telo for myself. After just a few days using the service, I was sold on its better-than-Vonage sound quality and huge potential savings. So I dumped Vonage and have been using Ooma for the last couple months. Regrets? None.

The hardware normally costs $249.99, but right now Buy.com has the Ooma Telo for $199.99 shipped. Even if your current monthly phone bill is just $30, you'll recoup your investment in just seven months--and enjoy free phone service forever after.

Let me rephrase that: free basic phone service. The only included calling features are caller ID, call waiting, and voice mail. If you want goodies like privacy features, network-outage forwarding, and a second line, you'll have to sign up for Ooma Premier ($9.99/month).

I did, and I'm still saving nearly $25 monthly over Vonage (and its ever-increasing taxes and fees). I also sprang for a couple Telo Handsets ($50 each), though these are definitely optional: the Telo works very nicely with my old Uniden cordless phone system.

Bottom line: I recommend the Ooma Telo wholeheartedly, especially if you're looking to free yourself from yet another monthly bill. (Alas, you're still stuck paying for cable Internet.) The initial outlay may be a little painful, but at least it's a one-time expense.

Bonus deal: TigerDirect has the refurbished 5-inch TomTom XXL540S GPS for $89.99 (with coupon code MFJ8539), plus about $5 for shipping. That's the lowest price I've seen on a navigator with a 5-inch screen.