Ooma and Vonage are voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) providers that deliver small business phone services over your internet connection. Both solutions offer standard features, like unlimited calling and virtual receptionists. But stark differences exist, from Ooma’s lack of video conferencing to Vonage’s more complex setup. Overall, Vonage tends to be a better deal with its collaboration and communication tools.
- Ooma: Best for small businesses and freelancers needing a simple office phone solution
- Vonage: Best for small companies and teams wanting unified communications (UC)
Ooma vs Vonage Overview
Free option with paid plans from $19.95 to $24.95 per user, per month
$14.99 to $39.99 per line, per month
Unlimited Business SMS
Only with Ooma Office Pro
Only on enterprise plans
Yes, for Premium and Advanced plans
Takeaway: If you need a virtual phone number for your company, Ooma provides the basics at an affordable price. It works well for freelancers and businesses with on-site and off-site staff. Its free version may work if you don’t need business features. However, if you want video conferencing and integrations, Vonage is a better choice.
How We Evaluated Ooma & Vonage
Cloud-based business phone systems offer many similar features, making it tough to decide on a VoIP solution. Since small business owners need different functions based on workflows or industries, we assessed providers on call quality, mobile apps, and customer satisfaction ratings.
We also looked at:
- Pricing and plans
- Equipment and hardware options
- Customer support
- Extra fees or charges
- Calling features
Ooma and Vonage are both considered top picks for the best small business VoIP services. However, smaller companies can save time with Ooma’s quick setup. However, you may find Vonage’s enterprise-level collaboration and communication features worth the extra effort.
When to Use Ooma
If you want a low-cost service without a contract, then Ooma is a great choice for your business. You can use its mobile app to take work calls or hear voicemails from anywhere. And you don’t need special equipment, making it perfect for companies with bring your own device (BYOD) policies.
Ooma Pros & Cons
Desktop app not included in all plans
Free version available for low-volume use
No video conferencing
Along with residential services, including Ooma Premier and a free plan, the company offers two VoIP packages for small businesses:
- Ooma Office: For $19.95 per user, per month, you get more than two dozen features, including short messaging service (SMS) messaging, call forwarding, virtual receptionist, and extension-to-extension dialing.
- Ooma Pro: For $24.95 per user, per month, this package adds a desktop app, call recording, voicemail transcriptions, and enhanced call blocking. Plus, it increases your usage limits for call park and audio conference room participants.
Why Ooma Is Better for Small Teams & Freelancers
- Predictable costs: With Ooma, you pay one monthly fee per user with no contracts or early termination fees. The company is transparent, so you’ll find a full list of its extra services and fees online.
- Scalability: Start with the free plan if you don’t make many calls, or upgrade to paid plans and port an existing number. You can adapt to changes in call volume by quickly adding or removing users during peak or slow seasons.
- Ease of use: Ooma’s mobile app works on any Apple or Android device. The user interface is appealing, and it’s free to install and use.
- Communication features: Stay connected with customers via SMS or text messaging and call forwarding features. You can even send your voicemails directly to email.
When to Use Vonage
Vonage is a feature-rich small business phone system with unified communications capabilities. It offers a free 14-day trial, after which plans start at $14.99 per month, depending on the number of users. You’ll get advanced features, including more than 20 third-party integrations and unlimited team messaging. For companies who want extra communication and collaboration options, Vonage is an excellent choice.
Vonage Pros & Cons
14-day free trial
Contract required with early termination fees
File sharing and team messaging features
Video conferencing not on basic plan
More complex to set up
Choose from three Vonage plans based on a sliding scale so you’ll pay lower rates than what’s noted below as you increase users:
- Mobile: For $19.99 per line, per month, you get unlimited SMS, phone calls, and team messaging. And the Vonage app center features over 20 apps to make integrations easy.
- Premium: Pay $29.99 per line, per month to connect your phone system to your customer relationship management (CRM) platform while using unlimited video and a multilevel auto-attendant.
- Advanced: For $39.99 per line, per month, this package adds premium features like call group settings, on-demand call recording, and white-glove setup for hands-on installation support.
Why Vonage Is Better for Teams Needing Unified Communications
- Feature-rich services: Vonage offers more than 50 voice and unified communications functions, including call queue, call continuity, and call screening. Opt for its Premium or Advanced plan for video conferencing and CRM integrations.
- Sliding scale pricing: You pay less when you add employees, making this a better option for growing businesses. Pay $14.99 per user, per month with 20 or more people, $17.99 for five to 15, and $19.99 for fewer than five users.
- Desktop use: If your staff answers calls from their desktop or laptop, then choose Vonage. All plans come with both mobile and desktop apps, unlike Ooma, which doesn’t offer desktop use in its lowest-tiered package.
- Collaboration tools: Bring remote teams together with team messaging, Vonage meetings, and call monitoring options.
Ooma vs Vonage: Which Is Better Overall for Small Businesses?
Both VoIP providers offer the basic features every small business needs. However, some companies may prefer one service over the other. For instance, private practitioners like therapists and individual physicians need the HIPAA-compliance Vonage offers. But, if you simply want to replace your landline phone with a no-hassle solution, select Ooma.
Regardless of your decision, with both Ooma and Vonage, you’ll get:
- Customer-friendly features: From call forwarding to unlimited text messaging, you can communicate with customers anytime and from any mobile device. Features like a virtual receptionist reduce call wait times and improve client satisfaction.
- Softphones and equipment: Both companies sell various softphones and hardware. But neither company requires special equipment, so you can use any mobile device. All Vonage plans feature desktops apps, whereas only Ooma’s Pro plan includes desktop use.
- Voicemail-to-email: Save time by getting your voicemails sent directly to your inbox. You can quickly listen to messages from any device, including your desktop. Upper plan tiers also include voicemail transcription.
- Virtual extensions: Send calls directly to your tech support guru or customer service team using virtual extensions. You don’t have to add phone numbers, and both services offer a convenient caller directory.
When to Use an Ooma or Vonage Alternative
While Ooma and Vonage are excellent phone systems, there are several other great options that provide a number of added features and benefits. Before making a final decision, consider if Vonage or one of these other Ooma alternatives is right for you:
If you want a cheap small business phone system that offers video conferencing, check out Google Voice. This solution works well for people familiar with Google Suite software, as the interfaces are similar. It provides free and paid plans, and its basic $10 per month package includes video conferencing on all devices.
However, if your company is expanding, you may want to consider a VoIP solution designed to grow with you. 8×8 provides plans for small to medium businesses, starting at $12 per user, per month. All packages include presence data, video conferencing, and screen sharing. Furthermore, you can add call center capabilities with a few clicks.
Although more expensive than other VoIP providers, RingCentral is a trusted brand with reliable services. Plans start at $39.99 per user, per month when you pay monthly. But, if you opt for annual payments, you can save up to 33% on your costs. RingCentral differs from Ooma and Vonage because its basic plan provides voicemail-to-text, and you can choose a business phone or toll-free number with no extra charge.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the difference between VoIP & a virtual phone number?
With voice-over-internet-protocol, also called internet telephony or VoIP, you get a new phone service that goes through your internet connection. For small businesses, a VoIP system can replace your traditional business phone service. It comes with various features, including a virtual phone number, which is simply the number that customers call to reach you.
A virtual phone number requires you to have existing phone services. Customers call your virtual number, and the calls are automatically routed to your device. Your call data flows through your internet connection. This setup works well for small business owners with low call volumes or who work from home. You get a professional phone number without all the bells and whistles of a small business phone service.
Does Vonage or Ooma require a landline?
You don’t need a landline for Ooma or Vonage. Incoming and outgoing calls go through your internet connection, whether that’s from your home or business internet service provider or your smartphone’s data plan. Since no landline is required, you can eliminate your current phone service but retain your number using Vonage and Ooma’s number porting service.
Can I keep my current phone number?
Yes, you can transfer your current phone number to Vonage and Ooma. With paid Ooma Office plans, you can port one number for free. Ooma charges a one-time fee of $39.99 to transfer additional numbers. Vonage also offers phone number porting on all its plans, free for one number.
Do I need unified communications?
Unified communications (UC) are all-in-one services that place all forms of communication into one dashboard. For virtual workforces, unified communications can replace various services, from Zoom to Microsoft Teams, or you can keep existing services and integrate them into your UC platform.
In short, UC services put your office into your smartphone, so you can work from anywhere and access critical business information using one cloud dashboard. Companies that need collaboration tools often prefer to purchase all-in-one solutions or use services like Vonage that provide UC capabilities.
How much does it cost for international calls?
With your Ooma plan, you can call Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico at no extra charge. It’s free to use Vonage to call Canada and Mexico, but you’ll pay 1 cent per minute to call Puerto Rico. Both VoIP providers offer international rate sheets to see your international calling costs. For example, with Ooma, you’ll pay 2.5 cents per minute to call China versus 2 cents per minute with Vonage.
Can I cancel VoIP services at any time?
Since Ooma is a month-to-month plan, you can cancel at any time without paying any extra charges. However, Vonage typically requires a 12-month contract. If you cancel before your agreement is up, you may pay early termination fees ranging from $60 to $120.
When it comes to the best phone services for small businesses, both Ooma and Vonage get the job done. These solutions give you all the features found in standard office phone systems, but you’re not tied to a desk. If you’re a solopreneur needing a virtual phone number but don’t expect a high volume of calls, Ooma’s free plan is typically the better option.
However, basic paid services for Ooma and Vonage cost roughly the same amount. Therefore, if you want to connect five or more users, then go with Vonage for extra monthly savings. Plus, the included desktop app is a bonus since many business owners regularly work from home offices. Find out if Vonage is right for you by signing up for your free 14-day trial.