NetTalk Duo vs. Ooma Telo
NetTalk Duo vs. Ooma Telo: Landline ReplacementsComparing NetTalk Duo vs. Ooma Telo reveals important differences between the two landline replacement devices. Your personal needs will influence which one is best for you, but both products are well-liked by their users. You can implement either device to convert your home to VoIP phone service and stop paying the higher costs of traditional service.
The Duo and the Telo are VoIP phone adapters, also called analog telephone adapters (ATAs). ATAs work by connecting a computer or router to traditional phones, enabling them to make VoIP calls. The adapters contain the software that will convert the analog signals from the telephone to the digital packets used with VoIP. Adapters are widely used in residential VoIP service and allow you to keep your current phone setup.
Where to Buy
NetTalk Duo vs. Ooma Telo: CostsThe NetTalk Duo is $49.95 plus tax. This covers:
- 1 year of service ($29.95 per additional year)
- Free local and long distance calling to the continental US and Canada
- Free NetTalk-to-NetTalk calls
- Low international rates with flat-rate international add-on plans
The Ooma Telo is $199.99 plus tax. This covers:
- Lifetime service, but FCC taxes are billed monthly (roughly $3.75/month)
- Free local and long distance calling to the continental US
- Free Ooma-to-Ooma calls
- Low international rates
The Ooma Telo also offers a feature set upgrade called Ooma Premier that is $9.99 a month or $120 a year. Purchasing a year upfront will waive the cost to port your current telephone number to Ooma, normally a $39.99 charge. At the time of this article, NetTalk offered to port numbers over for free for a limited time.
The Telo is a much larger upfront investment than the Duo and the monthly FCC taxes amount to around $45 a year, which make the yearly cost more expensive than the Duo's cost. Especially, if you consider upgrading to the Premier for access to a fuller set of features, which shoots the yearly cost to $165. A free 60-day trial of Premier comes with each purchase so you can evaluate whether you want the additional features or can do without.
NetTalk Duo vs. Ooma Telo: SetupBoth products work by connecting to the router and your home phone for computer-less use. However, if you want to make your service mobile, you can plug the devices into your laptop through a USB port and make calls with a headset.
The NetTalk Duo is advertised to be used with either a router or a computer and can easily switch between the two when mobility is necessary; it can also fit in your pocket. The Ooma Telo is capable of connecting to a laptop, but it does not seem to be the preferred use considering there is a lack of instructions on how to do this in the manual. The Telo is a router-sized device, but would easily slide into a laptop bag.
PerformanceA NetTalk Duo review by PCWorld mentions that the Duo worked flawlessly with a router, but there were some bumps in the road when connecting to a computer. First, you'll have to navigate to, download, and install a USB driver before you can make calls with the Duo on a laptop. Second, the service was hit and miss for the reviewer, but the review was written in 2010 and NetTalk has since released updates improving this issue.
An Ooma Telo review in PCMag from June 2011 details the Ooma and also compares it to the Duo and MagicJack Plus. The set up of the Ooma is advertised as taking less than 15 minutes, but this reviewer said it was a bit more complicated than that.
Sound QualityIn an Ooma Telo review by PCWorld, the reviewer mentions that the sound quality of the Ooma Telo is on par with the NetTalk Duo. In fact, most reviews of the Telo indicate the sound quality is equal to the Duo (and both are reportedly better than MagicJack).
NetTalk Duo vs. Ooma Telo: FeaturesHands down, the NetTalk Duo comes with more features than the Ooma Telo's basic feature set. The Premier subscription adds features to the Telo that come included with the Duo, but it also adds some advanced features the Duo does not have.
NetTalk Duo Review of FeaturesThe following features are all included with the cost of service of the Duo, but require the Premier subscription for access with the Telo:
- Three-way calls
- Conference calling
- Call forwarding
- Visual voicemail
- Free calls to Canada
- 411 directory assistance
Ooma Telo Review of FeaturesThe Ooma Telo delivers a few advanced features with the Premier subscription that the Duo does not have:
- Call blocking
- Instant second line
- Bluetooth adapter (additional $39.99)
- Ooma phone (additional $99.99)
- Google Voice extensions
The second line will allow you to accept or make calls if another person is on the primary line.
The Ooma phone is called an Ooma Telo Handset and it is built to enhance the Ooma Telo service. The handset provides HD-quality sound and allows you to operate the call features with a touch of a button from the handset.
Review of Shared FeaturesFeatures shared by the basic Telo service and the Duo:
- Caller ID
- Call waiting
- Call forwarding
- Multi-ring (forwards incoming calls to another phone if call is not answered)
- Fax capabilities
- 911 emergency services
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Free in-network calling
- Work with existing handsets
- Smartphone apps for mobile calls
- Keep your number
- Live technical support
NetTalk Duo vs. Ooma Telo: ConclusionThe NetTalk Duo appears to be the better bargain if you are looking for maximum savings. Both the initial purchase and average monthly cost are cheaper that the Ooma. Plus there is currently no additional charge for keeping your current phone number.
In terms of features, the Duo offers more no-cost features than the Telo, but <strong>the second line added by the Premier subscription is a definite bonus for the Telo.</strong> The Telo handset also provides an advantage to customers looking for more efficient feature management than is provided with their current phone.
Most importantly, the NetTalk Duo and Ooma Telo provide comparable sound quality. Both devices will easily and satisfactorily convert your home to residential VoIP service, so you can choose which set of bells and whistles sounds better to you.
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