Ooma and Google Voice are internet-based phone technology with features like local phone numbers, voicemail, and call forwarding. Ooma is $19.95 per month per user and is right for businesses wanting a simple phone system with straightforward pricing. Google Voice is free and a good choice for businesses wanting a virtual phone with basic features.
How Does Ooma Work & When to Use It
Ooma works over the internet using VoIP phone system technology to deliver standard business phone features like voicemail, call management tools and a virtual receptionist. Companies wanting a phone system with features like auto-forward during device outages and E911 service where supported for one all-inclusive monthly price should check out Ooma.
How Does Google Voice Work & When to Use It
Google Voice works as a free virtual phone number to use on any mobile device or landline phone for calls and voicemail. It also includes call forwarding, call block, and text messaging from smartphone apps and computers. Businesses that want a free virtual phone number with basic features should take a look at Google Voice.
When to Use an Alternative: Nextiva
Businesses wanting a VoIP business phone system with advanced call management tools and a wider range of features, like assigning multiple devices per extension and voicemail-to-text, should consider Nextiva. It offers three pricing tiers, including a basic level that’s about equal to the cost of Ooma, depending on the number of users on the account.
Ooma vs Google Voice at a Glance
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How We Evaluated Ooma & Google Voice
Ooma and Google Voice both offer local phone numbers and tools to manage incoming calls and voicemail. However, Ooma is a full-service business phone system provider offering more features and more robust customer service compared to Google Voice, which is a virtual phone number provider with an emphasis on voice and text communication.
Therefore, we evaluated Ooma and Google Voice based on the following criteria:
- Price – We compared the price and features of each provider.
- Call management – We evaluated the types of call management features each provider offers, including call forwarding, call block, call screening, and voicemail.
- Virtual receptionist – We assessed whether the provider offers an automated attendant for greeting and routing callers.
- E911 service – We assessed whether the provider offers E911 services for calling emergency services.
- Customer support – We evaluated how easy each service is to set up and use.
- Call quality – We evaluated online customer reviews of each provider’s call sound and quality.
- Reliability – We looked online customer reviews of each provider’s service and call reliability.
- Supported devices and hardware – We evaluated the range of mobile and desktop devices and hardware each provider supported.
- Ease of use – We evaluated the type of customer service support each provider offers and hours of availability.
When comparing Google Voice versus Ooma, Ooma comes out ahead for businesses wanting a phone system with basic features, device outage backup, and straightforward pricing. However, if your business is looking for a provider that can offer a more advanced combination of phone features, we suggest Nextiva as an affordable alternative.
Ooma vs Google Voice: Pricing & Features
Ooma and Google Voice both offer accounts with some similar features, including a local phone number, voicemail, and call management tools. Ooma offers more features than Google Voice, but with a one-time hardware fee and ongoing monthly fees. Google Voice is free except for international calls and calls to select U.S. locations. For more options, check out our article on Ooma alternatives.
Ooma’s pricing is $19.95/user per month. There is also a one-time hardware charge of $199.99 for a base station and two wireless Linx devices. Accounts include one local phone number, and additional local and toll-free numbers are available for $9.95 per month. Businesses can also port one existing number free.
Ooma’s features include unlimited calling to the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, a local and toll-free phone number, voicemail, a conference bridge, virtual receptionist, and call management tools. Ooma isn’t as feature-rich as other VoIP systems, like Nextiva, but unlike other providers, the cost doesn’t change according to how many users join the account.
Some of Ooma’s features include:
Ooma’s phone service call management features include voicemail call transfer, park, and forwarding to mobile devices. It also offers “ring group,” a feature that allows multiple phones to ring when one number or extension is dialed. Google Voice only offers voicemail, call block, and call screening. Call forwarding is available but conditional on the phone number provider used to sign up with Google Voice.
Ooma’s virtual receptionist routes calls by name or extension, includes business modes for open and closed office hours, and allows account holders to create personalized company greetings and announcements. Google Voice doesn’t offer a virtual receptionist, although it is available at our recommended alternative, Nextiva, along with professionally recorded auto-attendant greetings, depending on the price plan chosen.
Each Ooma account comes with a local phone number and a toll-free number with 500 minutes of inbound calls per month. Additional local and toll-free numbers are available for $9.95 per month. Businesses can also port one existing number free of charge. Nextiva offers free local and toll-free numbers and number porting, while Google Voice provides only a free local phone number.
Ooma provides E911 emergency calling services where supported. However, there are some important limitations to consider. Power and a working broadband internet connection are required for Ooma to provide 911 service, and 911 calls are not available from the Ooma mobile app. E911 service is available with Nextiva, but Google Voice does not offer the feature with its virtual phone number service.
Google Voice Pricing
Google Voice is a free virtual phone number service. Almost all calls to the U.S. and Canada are free; calls to select U.S. locations and international calls start at $0.01/minute. Unlike Ooma and Nextiva, which have no free pricing tier, Google Voice can be completely free to use.
Google Voice Features
Google Voice is a virtual phone number service with a small set of features that include voicemail, call blocking, and screening. Unlike Ooma, Google Voice is not a full-featured business phone system with advanced tools like a virtual receptionist for call routing or options for adding additional local or toll-free phone numbers.
Here’s how Google Voice’s features stack up against Ooma:
Google Voice is an inbound call forwarding service that features call block and call screening. It also offers personalized voicemail greetings for recognized callers, voicemail-to-email transcription, and voicemail search. With features like call transfer and park, Nextiva’s and Ooma’s call management tools are a bit more robust, but Ooma doesn’t offer Google Voice’s advanced voicemail options.
Google Voice doesn’t offer a virtual receptionist, call routing, or auto-attendant features. Business wanting tools that greet and route callers, pre-record announcements or professionally record auto-attendant greetings should check out Ooma or Nextiva.
Google Voice accounts include one local phone number for calls, texting, and voicemail that can be linked to any mobile device or landline. Unlike Ooma and Nextiva, Google Voice doesn’t offer toll-free phone numbers.
Google Voice doesn’t feature E911 service, and its technology is not capable of managing emergency services calls. VoIP service providers like Ooma and Nextiva allow users to register the address of a physical location for emergency response, making them a better choice for businesses looking for E911 service features.
Ooma vs Google Voice: Ease of Use
Ooma and Google Voice features are designed to make phone communications more efficient and improve the customer or user experience. The setup process should be smooth and each provider’s features ought to be intuitive and easy to understand. We reviewed each service’s set up process and how easy the features are to use.
Ooma Ease of Use
Ooma setup begins with a call to the sales team to establish an account. Then an online guide walks you through how to set up hardware and equipment. Online reviews by Ooma customers say the setup process takes less than 30 minutes to complete, and the phone features are intuitive and easy to use.
Google Voice Ease of Use
Google Voice takes only a few minutes to set up online through your Google or G Suite account or through the Google Voice mobile app. Once an account is activated, users can make or receive calls and set up voicemail greetings right away. Online reviews by Google Voice customers indicate the service’s features are very easy to understand and use.
Ooma vs Google Voice: Customer Support
Ooma and Google Voice should offer customers the resources they need to troubleshoot minor issues on their own and provide methods to resolve larger problems that arise. We evaluated the customer support options for each provider along with hours of availability.
Ooma Customer Support
Ooma offers an online knowledge base and user manuals, video tutorials, and community forums where users can share ideas and suggestions. The company also provides live chat and 24/7 phone support. In terms of customer support, Ooma has a slight edge over Google Voice.
Google Voice Customer Support
Google Voice offers an online knowledge base and user manuals. Google also provides a Google Voice forum for users to exchange information and a Google Product Experts Program where users can ask Google’s top contributors and customers for product advice.
Ooma vs Google Voice: Customer Reviews
When considering whether to invest money or time in Ooma or Google Voice, it can be helpful to learn what customers think about their experience with the service. We took a look at our User Review pages for each provider to see what customers have to say about what they do and don’t do well.
Ooma Customer Reviews
Our readers have favorable things to say about Ooma, giving it a four out of five-star rating. Customers say the system is easy to use and give high marks to customer service. However, some report frustration that phone numbers are portable but extension numbers aren’t. For more user reviews, visit our Ooma User Review Page.
Google Voice Customer Reviews
Our readers give high marks to Google Voice, with a rating of 4.5 out of five stars. Customers say the service is convenient and a good alternative for a second business line. However, some cite a lack of Gmail integration as a definite drawback. For more user reviews, visit our Google Voice User Review Page.
Business Phone Systems vs Virtual Phone Number Services
At a glance, business phone systems and virtual phone services may seem identical. While similar, they have some key differences that make them a better choice for some business scenarios over others. Here are some things to consider when deciding which is right for your company.
Inbound Call Greeting and Routing
Both services offer basic inbound call greeting, but business phone systems often include an auto-attendant that greets and routes callers to specific phones or extensions. Some auto-attendants also include interactive voice response, a technology that greets callers and interacts with a caller’s voice to direct calls to where the caller requests. Virtual phone number services don’t offer such extensive inbound call greeting and routing features.
Hardware and Devices
Business phone systems work with most modern phone hardware on today’s market and also offer mobile and desktop apps for softphone calling. However, businesses need to make sure their equipment is compatible with the system before purchase. Virtual phone number technology is less finicky about the types of mobile devices, landlines, and browsers it’s used with, making it an attractive choice for businesses with a variety of hardware and equipment.
Flexibility and Scalability
Customers use virtual phone number services simply to assign a phone number to a mobile or landline device for business calls and voicemail, whereas business phone systems provide a company’s entire end-to-end communication network. Organizations wanting a flexible solution with a range of phone features may be better off with a comprehensive business phone system that scales as they grow.
Most business phone system providers offer E911 service where locally supported. However, virtual phone number technology is not designed to manage or route calls to emergency services. E911 service availability may not be a deal breaker for companies with an alternative method for contacting 911, but this is an important consideration when deciding which phone service option is right for your business.
Business phone providers emphasize customer support as a feature, building it into premium package levels with options like onboarding services or 24/7 phone support. Online reviews of phone systems show users expect reliable customer service from providers because systems can be complex to implement and use. Virtual phone number services don’t typically offer customer support services to the same degree as business phone system providers.
When an Alternative to Ooma and Google Voice Makes Sense
Ooma provides reliable service for organizations that want a phone system with core business features, and Google Voice provides a free virtual phone number for business use. However, companies wanting a phone system with more advanced features and call management tools should check out an alternative like Nextiva.
Nextiva ranks high as our best business phone system and best VoIP service for small businesses for its combination of great features, customer support, and affordability. Like Ooma, Nextiva also includes a free local and toll-free phone number and unlimited domestic calling. Similar to Google Voice, Nextiva also includes voicemail, call block, and screening.
However, Nextiva’s business phone system plans also offer advanced features like professionally recorded outbound greetings, voicemail-to-text, and call recording. Some of Nextiva’s plans also include tools that integrate into your business’ website, like a Call Me Now button that allows website visitors to initiate a Nextiva call in a single click.
Nextiva also offers collaboration tools to help remote and distributed teams stay connected. The conference bridge feature supports calls with up to nine participants and Team Presence allows users to set their availability status via the Nextiva app so team members know the best way to contact them, all for as little as $19.95 per month.
Ooma and Google Voice both offer internet-based phone technology with features like local phone numbers, domestic calling, and voicemail for basic business communication. Call management and virtual receptionist features can improve call handling and efficiency for employees and customers alike.
Businesses that want standard business phone features and excellent customer support at an all-inclusive monthly price should check out Ooma. The company offers a 30-day money back guarantee and a live, hands-on demo when you contact the sales team. Visit Ooma’s website for details.