Ooma and Google Voice are both internet-based phone technology. Voice is a virtual phone service, while Ooma is a voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) solution. Both have handy business features such as SMS messaging and voicemail options. However, Ooma has four increasingly robust service tiers. By contrast, Google Voice’s single free plan is a comparatively basic service with limited, albeit useful, features.
- Ooma: Best for growing and medium-sized small businesses with the need for more advanced features such as a virtual receptionist and advanced call logging features.
- Google Voice: Best for solopreneurs and very small businesses on a budget that require a professional voice service.
Ooma vs Google Voice at a Glance
Takeaway: Google Voice provides all the basic functionality that you need to get started using a virtual phone service, but Ooma’s enhanced features, like HD voice calling and online call logs, make it a better business phone system for medium and growing businesses. Additionally, Ooma’s plans are scalable, meaning that you can upgrade in the future if you’d like to.
When to Use Ooma
Ooma’s flexible plans and the possibility for future upgrades make it the ideal service for businesses in a phase of growth. Ooma’s free plan, Ooma Basic, offers unlimited domestic calling, online account management, call waiting, and so many other convenient business tools. More features are unlocked with every paid service tier, making Ooma a better business phone plan for growing to medium-sized businesses.
Ooma Pros & Cons
Free plan: Pay nothing to start using Ooma’s awesome business features.
Crashes: Users complain that apps can be glitchy and prone to crashes, but frequent updates could be a contributing factor.
Support: Live chat is available 24/7, and phone support has normal business hours available seven days a week.
Desktop app: You must subscribe to the highest service tier to use the desktop app.
Updates: Ooma is always releasing new upgrades to its software to enhance the experience.
Spam calls: There is a high number of user complaints regarding spam calls through Ooma numbers.
- Ooma Basic: $0
- Ooma Office: $19.95 per user, per month
- Ooma Office Pro: $24.95 per user, per month
Why Ooma Is the Better Choice for Growing Companies
- More features: When stacked against Google Voice, Ooma is loaded with extras that the other can’t compare to. Some of these include virtual receptionist services, one free local number with the ability to add more, and call flipping.
- Advanced call handling options: Beyond the basics like mute and transfer, Ooma’s call handling options include call park and transfer music as well as conference bridging and call blocking. If your call volume leans on the heavier side, these little extras make conducting business much more efficient for you and less stressful for the caller.
- Call logs: Delve into your company’s call history to learn what numbers are dialed and received, call length, and other analytics based on call history. An advanced history gives you better insight into how your employees are using their telephone time, and you can also track calling patterns from clients and compare logs over time.
When to Use Google Voice
For solopreneurs or very small businesses wanting to dip their feet into the world of virtual phone calling, then Google Voice is the better option of the two services. Voice is absolutely free, yet provides you with many of the same capabilities as a paid VoIP provider.
Google Voice Pros & Cons
Google Voice Pros
Google Voice Cons
Free plan: Start using your free business phone number practically instantly after registering.
Toll-free numbers: As of this writing, Google does not give you the option to purchase toll-free numbers.
Familiar: For people who already know the Google Suite, then Voice’s user interface (UI) will look familiar too.
Simple: In comparison to Ooma, there is not much to Google Voice beyond the basics.
Video conferencing: Host free virtual face-to-face meetings with anybody using Voice’s mobile app.
Lacking in support: There is no 24/7 service for Google Voice support, which can be cumbersome if there’s a tech problem.
Google Voice Pricing
- Completely free: You don’t need to enter payment information to use Google Voice; all you need is a Google account and an existing telephone number to start using it. This is the ideal solution for small businesses that have a limited budget, yet want to access Voice’s features.
Why Google Voice Is the Better Choice for Solopreneurs & Very Small Businesses
- Device-friendly: You can use Google Voice with any existing telephone line, meaning that it works with whichever device you want to make calls from—either your personal cell phone or your landline.
- Different contact methods: Aside from voice chat, Google Voice’s desktop and mobile apps both allow video conferencing and SMS texting. Since remote work is part of the new normal in today’s world, keeping in touch with colleagues and clients near and far is a huge advantage.
- Integrates with G Suite: Certain apps—like Contacts and Calendar—in your G Suite account will integrate with Voice, letting you access it from anywhere that you can sign into your Google account. The ability to quickly access clients’ names and telephone numbers, check meeting statuses, and conduct business with Google Voice right is at your fingertips.
Ooma vs Google Voice: Which Is Better for Small Businesses?
Google Voice and Ooma are comparable phone services in some ways, but their differences are what changes one from a good phone service to a better one. Ooma and Google Voice both have:
- SMS texting: Through the mobile app version of Ooma and Voice, you can send and receive SMS text messages.
- Free software: For the very budget-conscious, there is a free option for both services so that you can start using it without spending a dime.
- Included telephone number: You are given one free local telephone number with Google Voice and Ooma at the time of registration.
Ultimately, we have chosen Ooma as our pick for the superior phone service. Not only does it have a free version for people who aren’t ready to subscribe to a paid plan, but it also has other upgraded tiers to scale your plan as time goes on. Finally, Ooma’s 24/7 live support helps to keep your business running regardless of the time of day or night.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What makes Google Voice a better choice than other free virtual phone software?
Although there are plenty of competing services, we believe that Google Voice is one of the better virtual phone services largely thanks to its simplicity. Google Voice will link with your Google account no matter what kind of device you are signed into, and within that app, you are able to chat, hold video conferences, and send SMS messages, all from one place.
The capability to integrate with other G Suite applications is one of Voice’s most convenient features. When you’re using another Google app, Voice’s ability to integrate means that you can quickly access it without leaving your screen. Given that approximately 1.5 billion active Gmail accounts are in existence, this is a highly useful feature to existing G Suite users.
Does Ooma or Google Voice support 911 calls?
Yes, Ooma provides E911 (Enhanced 911) wherever it is supported. When you complete Ooma’s online registration, you provide your home address. If ever you make a 911 call from your Ooma device, the address that you entered will be sent to emergency personnel.
Google Voice is a different story. Note that you cannot place 911 calls from the Google Voice dialer itself, but remember that you must have an existing telephone number to register for a Voice number. This means that, while you cannot place 911 calls from the Voice dialer, you can use your existing telephone number to do so.
Do I need an internet connection to use either service?
Yes, you must have an internet connection to use Ooma and Google Voice. You can switch your device to Wi-Fi calling if you can make a connection, but note that Wi-Fi is not intended for heavy call volume. If your internet encounters an outage, your calling service will too.
Google Voice and Ooma each provide excellent service for their intended purpose, giving users a free option to help jump-start their familiarity with business phone plans. They each include a mobile app that will allow SMS texting, one free phone number included with registration, and world-class service from two big names in the industry.
However, we feel that Ooma is the superior of the two in terms of growing businesses. Its free version can easily be transformed into a paid subscription if you want, unlocking even more advanced features, including the ability to purchase more telephone numbers. If your small business’ phone plan is in need of an upgrade, check out Ooma and get started for free today.