Trying to figure out Ooma

For those of you who didn’t see the coverage a while back, a company called Ooma announced a product that would do away with your long distance costs “for life”. The product was not very warmly received by the blogosphere.

The basic idea behind ooma is that you connect it 1) to your broadband internet connection, 2) to your local landline, and 3) to your cordless phone system. If you make a call that is out of your local area, ooma will route the call to someone else’s ooma device and place the call locally. And on the flipside, someone who is making a call remotely to your local area will use your local landline to place his/her call. So basically you’re sharing your landline to anyone on the internet with an Ooma device.

I (along with others) have two main concerns. Theoretically, someone on the other ooma can easily eavesdrop onto my conversation (by splitting the outgoing signal and listening in), and 2) if someone were to call in a bomb threat remotely from the internet; and the call is placed ‘from’ my landline – isn’t that a BAD thing?!

I’m hoping someone with knowledge about this will either comment on this or call me (my phone number is on the upper right of this blog). Either way, I’ll update this post for the benefit of my readers.

  • Pingback: Finally got some of my questions answered about Ooma « Techcraver.com | Craving tech, craving life!()

  • You are absolutely correct about someone being able to listen in on your conversation (over their own phone line) or the possibility of someone using your phone line for something illegal (think making a drug deal).

    It’s unfortunate that ooma won’t admit that these are real concerns.

    They claim to have a proprietary way to detect eavesdropping (an impossibility) and I’m afraid that they think that blocking Calling Line ID is enough to protect you against someone using your line for illegal purposes.

  • I put my web site at ooma-revealed.info back on the air to document the technical reasons why Ooma is failing. I had removed it last fall when the Ooma lawyer threatened legal action. I realized since that I have the right to publish my opinion, based on a long experience to telephony.