Ooma's Pricing Explained
Ooma's pricing can get quite confusing. In order to use Ooma for home security, there are a couple things you need to pay for. A huge part of the cost goes to the hardware. First, you must own an Ooma Telo or Ooma Telo Air. Both are VoIP hubs that also function as home security hubs. The main difference between the two is that Telo needs to connect to your router or modem via a cable, while Telo Air uses Wi-Fi. If you already own an Ooma Telo or Telo Air, there's no need to buy a new one. Next, you'll need security products. Ooma sells door/window sensors, water sensors, motion sensors, motion sensors, garage door sensors, and sirens. Here's an outline of their equipment pricing:
- Ooma Telo — $99.99
- Ooma Telo Air — $129.99
- Door/Window Sensor — $24.99
- Motion Sensor — $34.99
- Water Sensor — $29.99
- Garage Door Sensor — $29.99
- Siren — $34.99
Another option is to buy a starter kit, starting at $179.99. However, currently, starter kits only include Ooma Telo and not Ooma Telo Air.
Aside from these devices, Ooma offers Ooma Smart Cam, a cordless camera with smart AI features that can be set up indoors or outdoors. The camera sells for $149.99 each. In case you're wondering why a VoIP company is selling a camera, that's because Ooma acquired Butterfleye in late 2017. Butterfleye is the creator of the Butterfleye Camera, which is what Ooma Smart Cam's design and features were based on.
Now here's where it gets confusing. Ooma products rely on subscriptions in order to work. A subscription is something you pay on a monthly basis to maintain normal operation of your Ooma Telo, security devices, and security cameras.
For Telo, you need a VoIP subscription, either Basic or Premier. For the security system, you need a self-monitoring plan. Your options are Monitor and Secure. And for the camera, you need a cloud storage plan. You can choose between Monitor and HomeSecure. This is confusing because although these three types of subscriptions are treated as separate from each other, your VoIP subscription will affect how much you'll pay monthly for your monitoring plan. So to get a grasp of Ooma's subscriptions, we need to look closer at each of them.
Ooma offers two VoIP subscriptions for Ooma Telo and Ooma Telo Air: Basic and Premier.
Basic is advertised as a free subscription that comes with all Ooma Telo and Telo Airs, which is technically true, but you'll still need to pay a minimal amount to cover telecommunication and operations charges and taxes. The amount you'll have to pay depends on your location. Ooma has a fee calculator where you can enter your ZIP code to find out your monthly dues. For example, in the most expensive ZIP code (90210), Ooma Basic customers will need to pay $4.77/month. If you break it down, it covers a $1.60 Regulatory Compliance Fee, $1.00 911 Service Fee, $1.90 Local Interconnect Recovery Fee, and $0.27 local and state taxes.
With Basic, you have access to free unlimited calls to U.S. numbers and unlimited outbound calls on your mobile phone through the Ooma Mobile HD App, among other VoIP services.
Premier, as the name implies, is a subscription with premium VoIP features. It has a fixed monthly rate of $9.99. We're not going to look deep into the VoIP features as we are more focused on home security features, but to mention some of Premier's benefits over Basic, you'll gain access to unlimited calls to U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and America, as well as voicemail, and better privacy features.
The only reason why we mentioned the VoIP subscriptions is that they have an effect on your Ooma self-monitoring plans. As you might recall, Ooma has two monitoring plans, namely, Monitor and Secure. Monitor is free and automatically included if you purchase security equipment from Ooma. Secure, on the other hand, requires a monthly fee. If you're a Basic user, Secure is $4.99/month for you. If you're a Premier user, it will cost you $3.99/month. What if you stop paying for both Basic and Premier? Then you're considered a "standalone security customer" and the Secure plan will cost you $5.99/month.
There are several key differences between Monitor and Secure, but overall, Secure is better because it gives you access to phone call, SMS, and email notifications for alerts, automatic mode switching between Home, Away, and Night based on your location, use of Ooma Siren, and remote 911 capability. Basically, remote 911 triggers your Ooma Telo to contact 911 in case of emergency whether you're home or not.
Camera Cloud Subscription
Finally, if you buy Ooma Smart Cams, you have the option to use them for free or with a cloud subscription. For free, you'll gain access to a 7-day video history, which means you can play back event videos from the past 7 days. A cloud subscription expands your video history to 30 days and gives you access to smart features like Face Tagging (facial recognition), two-way audio, and automatic arm and disarm. You also get an extended 2-year warranty for your cameras and a free replacement camera in case yours was stolen. The cloud subscription will cost you $4.99 per month if you have only one camera or $9.99 per month if you have 2 to 6 cameras.
All in all, if you want your Ooma system to function as a VoIP device, security system,, and video surveillance system, the minimum cost is around $5/month (Ooma Basic, Monitor Plan, Free Cloud Storage) if you choose not to have smart features. If you want to go all in, the total cost will be around $24/month (Ooma Premier, Secure Plan, HomeSecure Cloud Subscription for 2 to 6 cameras). Of course, you're free to mix and match your subscriptions to fit your budget.
Tips For Saving Money
Ooma is easily one of the most affordable non-traditional home security systems out there, but if you want to further bring down the equipment or subscription cost, here are a few tips for you:
- Look out for promotions on Ooma's website to get equipment discounts or even free equipment.
- Buy packages instead of purchasing individual products.
- Scour the internet for voucher codes that you can use upon checkout.
- Compare prices from third-party retailers that offer Ooma products.
- Try different combinations of subscriptions to get the most ideal setup for you.