- Call 911 remotely from home number
- Works with Ooma Telo
- Email and text notification
- Affordable starter kit
- Easy DIY installation
- Weak range of sensors
- No central monitoring
- Only Nest Thermostat is available
Ooma is a smart communication platform favored by small businesses and homeowners. However, the world of telecommunication isn’t enough for the company, and so they decided to branch out into several different fields to make their user’s life more convenient. Beside their efforts involving VoIP and internet security, Ooma also created a smart home security initiative. The premise is simple: link a set of sensors to your existing Ooma Telo communication device and receive updates on your smartphone every time an alarm is triggered. Even better, you can place a 911 call remotely from your home, sending your data to the emergency dispatcher. Ooma currently features three types of sensors and a basic kit for sale. Of course, additional devices can be purchased later on.
Homeowners who lack a firm grasp on their home while away at the workplace are going to welcome the easy-to-use addition presented by Ooma. This simplicity is proven by the fact that there isn’t even a security base station: the heart of the system is the Ooma Telo communication device. Homeowners who already own one aren’t required to buy a separate console since they can use the old one.
As for actual security equipment, customers can choose between three types of sensors. The door/window sensors are quite self-explanatory: you attach these to the frame and they will send an alert every time someone moves it even a little bit. The motion sensor is also a long standing star of the home security industry, detecting the movement of any unauthorized people from a hidden corner. And last but not least is the water sensor, the sole representative of Ooma’s environmental detection range. It may be an invaluable front line soldier in the basement, alerting you of a leaking pipe, or just used as means of measuring the dog’s water bowl, signaling for an appropriate refill. Ooma promises total freedom when it comes to installing these units; just stick them to a desired surface and you are finished. The whole setup can be done on your own in just a few minutes.
The selling point of the Ooma Home Security service is the ability to remotely place a local 911 call from your home. Instead of going into a lengthy explanation with the dispatcher about how you were notified of the criminal activity in your home while at work, you are able to place a call directly from the system so that the police are summoned quicker. This provides peace of mind since no-one will see your emergency call as a prank, and will need to provide fewer details in order to call in help.
Ooma Home Monitoring
No home security service can stand a chance without reliable monitoring. You may end up feeling like a special agent, though, since you’ll be in charge of keeping an eye on your home. Ooma sadly lacks the 24/7 monitoring done by well-trained staff, so instead you must rely on the feedback from your sensors yourself. By downloading the Ooma Home Monitoring app, homeowners gain access to a constant stream of real-time notifications such as email alerts, SMS and even in-app messages. The Ooma Telo device can also produce voice announcements when a sensor is triggered, which may scare off unsuspecting burglars.
Despite relying more and more on smart technology in order to make the monitoring convenient for the user, Ooma has yet to adopt home automation solutions into the service. In other words, scheduled lighting and smart door locks are unavailable at the moment. The only ambassador that is currently available in this regard is the Nest Thermostat that is compatible with the app. But bear in mind that Ooma already has its fearsome multi-functional smartphone app that is capable of monitoring remote sensors. Integrating an array of home automation equipment is just one easy step away.
Plans and Pricing
The Ooma Home Security is only available to those who own an Ooma Telo subscription, which gives access to the Ooma Home Monitoring smartphone application. But to actually have something to monitor, customers must also purchase either the Ooma Home Security Starter Kit – which is sold separately on Amazon for $129.99 – or already own an Ooma Telo unit. The kit only includes only one sensor, and any follow-up equipment must be purchased separately: the water sensor costs $29.99; the motion sensor has a price tag of $34.99; while the window or door sensor is sold for $24.99. Because Ooma doesn’t sell the device itself, these are only the suggested retail prices from the manufacturer.
Since Ooma operates a self-monitoring service, they don’t charge any amount upfront for using the home security system. This means that even Basic subscribers are entitled to use the app and keep track of one sensor for free. In case you feel the need to step up the security level with additional sensors, you will only be able to do so if you accept an extra fee. For $5.99 per month, customers may connect an unlimited amount of sensors to the system. Premier subscribers, on the other hand, are spared from all this hassle and have the option to arm themselves with extra sensors without any additional monthly fees.
The company operates a well-established customer service. In case of any lingering questions, the sales department can be contacted over the phone or by sending them an email. Still, the live chat offers the most straightforward help source as the sales staff are guaranteed to answer any submitted ticket in a limited amount of time. Unfortunately Ooma only has a general FAQ with no section dedicated to the Home Security features and all you can read about here is the Ooma Telo service. The company’s social media pages are brimming with life, however, as they frequently post news, ideas or fun stuff to watch.
Ooma has provided an interesting opportunity by creating its Home Security service. It pretty much feels like an add-on or an expansion that caters to existing Ooma users. The system requires the Telo communication unit and a subscription as a buy-in, but after that the customization and user experience is pleasant and streamlined. The three types of sensors are designed for easy self-installation, but it doesn’t change the fact that the armory desperately needs more equipment, such as cameras and fire detectors. The fact that the monitoring is done by you and not by Ooma is, on one hand, a beneficial decision since they don’t charge a monitoring fee, but then you must carry the burden of watching your phone 24/7 in case an alert pops up. The prices favor those who are long-standing users of Ooma, as they only need to buy a handful of sensors and download the smartphone app. We believe that Ooma Home Security has space to improve, and hope the service will expand over time. At the moment it’s only recommended for smaller apartments and rooms.
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