Ooma Security Review

Ooma delivers straightforward home security with enhanced 911 support at an affordable price.
Ooma Smart Security
Ooma
  • No contracts
  • Local 911 from anywhere
  • Monitoring for $14.99/mo.

 Info current as of 12/02/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Rebecca Edwards
Security Expert, Safety & Tech Reporter
Read More
Published on December 08, 2020

The bottom line: Ooma’s all about security—not frills

Ooma delivers single-minded home security solutions for DIYers looking to keep an eye on their budget.

You get solid wireless home security that’s focused on the basics—intrusion deterrence and detection.

Ooma’s not trying to be a smart home wunderkind, which is kind of refreshing.
If you’re looking for a straightforward home security system that stands on its own and won’t break the bank, give Ooma a look.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet No contracts
Pro Bullet Affordable
Pro Bullet Self or pro monitoring
Pro Bullet Local 911 support for anywhere
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Monitoring limited to 42 states
Con Bullet No real smart home features
Con Bullet No security cameras


Compare Ooma Monitoring Costs

Ooma is one of the few security brands that give you a true self-monitoring option.

Other DIY brands, like SimpliSafe, give the impression that you could monitor your system on your own but don’t give you free access to the mobile app.

Without the mobile app, self-monitoring isn’t really possible. All you get is an alarm system that you’ll hear if you’re home when someone tries to break in.

Here’s a look at what Ooma offers and what you get in each monitoring plan.

Compare Ooma monitoring plans

Monitor Plan Secure Plan Pro Secure Plan
Monthly fees
24/7 monitoring
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Mobile app access
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Phone, email, text alerts
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Remote siren
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Remote 911
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Learn more

Info current as of 12/02/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Self-monitoring with Ooma

As soon as you set up your Ooma smart security system, you’re ready to go. Without spending another cent, you can check in on your system and get instant alerts using the Ooma home security app.

And Ooma’s robust self-monitoring is a good thing, because if you live in one of these eight states, you can’t get professional monitoring with Ooma:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Maryland
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia

You’re also out of luck if you’re in the District of Columbia.

You can also trigger your siren remotely through the app if you get an instant alert that something’s been tampered with.

That’s something most other self-monitored DIY home security systems don’t include. We like this option because it gives you a proactive burglar deterrent that you can use whether you’re across the street at book (wine) club or across the country visiting Grandma.

What’s the point of the Secure Plan?

It’s hard to tell why you’d want to pay $5.99 a month without getting 24/7 professional monitoring.

We feel you.

There are two things we really like about the Secure Plan:

  • Phone, text, and email alerts
  • Remote 911 service

Phone, text, and email alerts

With the free Monitor Plan, you only get alerts in the Ooma home security app.

If you’re like me, I’m rarely in most of my apps—and I’ll never remember to check one, no matter how important it is. I need a call, text, or email to get my immediate attention.

With the Secure Plan, you get phone, text, and email notifications in addition to mobile app alerts. This adds extra insurance that if something goes down at home, you’ll actually get the message.

Ooma vs. the competition

Ooma may be the new kid on the block, but they still hold their own with other top home security brands.

Reader favoriteHigh-end DIY pickPro monitoring pickLuxury smart home pick
OomaSimpliSafeFrontpointADTVivint
OomaSimpliSafeFrontpointSafeStreetsVivint
Lowest monthly monitoring
Starter equipment price$149.99$229.00$0.00–$99.00*$0.00†$599.00
InstallationDIYDIYDIYProPro
Mobile app access included
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Learn more
Read review

Info current as of 12/02/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*$0 due up-front with consumer financing.
† With $99 installation charge and new monitoring agreement. Early termination fee applies. See SafeStreets.com for full offer details, terms, and conditions.

Ooma has no contracts or penalties

Ooma lets you move from plan to plan whenever you want, and there are no penalties to switch things up.

If you’re comfortable monitoring your security system on your own most of the time, you can enjoy all the benefits of the free Monitor Plan.

But if you need to go out of town for a while, you can activate the Pro Secure Plan. You’ll be able to focus on your out-of-town work (or fun) without extra worry about the security of your home.

Once things are back to normal, you can cancel professional monitoring with no hidden fees or termination penalties.

Bell
Pro Tip:

You can configure the settings within your app to always send you notifications. This is one way it might get your attention even if you’re deeply engrossed in your work, a book, or a nap.

Remote 911

This is the first thing that really got my attention when I first talked to Ooma.

Remote 911 is a feature that makes sure that no matter where you are when you get an alert, your local (home) 911 dispatch will be called.

It sounds confusing, but let’s try to break it down.

  • Say you’re in Las Vegas when someone tries to break into your home.
  • You get an alert from your security system’s app.
  • You call 911 from your cell phone.
  • Because you’re in Las Vegas, your call goes to the nearest 911 operator.
  • That operator will be ready to send help to your location in Las Vegas—not to your home in, say, Florida.

With Ooma, your account is always tied to your home address and your area’s 911 dispatch—no matter where you’re physically calling from.

The bottom line is that when something’s going on at home, you want help sent to your house—not your physical location.

Ooma got a headstart on this type of emergency services call support because the company started out as a telecoms and phone company.

They solved this problem at the same time that other security brands and 911 call centers were still struggling with it.

It’s such a big deal that some states have drawn up legislation to help address the issue. But if you decide to go with Ooma for your home security, you don’t need to worry about this at all.

Ooma smart security equipment

Even though Ooma calls its security smart, you’re not really getting much in the way of home automation smarts from this security system.

Ooma’s security system equipment is minimal, simple, and covers the basics.

And one big miss is the absence of any security cameras.

Compare Ooma equipment packages

Ooma Smart Security Starter Pack Ooma Smart Security Starter Pack with water sensor Ooma Smart Security 12-piece bundle
Ooma Smart Security Starter PackOoma Smart Security Starter Pack with water sensorOoma Smart Security 12-piece bundle
Package price
Ooma Telo base station
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Motion sensor111
Door/window sensor226
Water sensor
Icon No  LightNo
1
1
Ooma Siren
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
1
Keypad
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
1
Smoke detector
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
1
Garage door sensorAdd-onAdd-onAdd-on
Learn more

Info current as of 12/02/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

What’s special about Ooma smart security equipment?

It’s easy to feel like if you’ve seen one door sensor, you’ve seen ‘em all.

And there’s a lot of validity in that. I know because I’ve seen dozens of them.

At first look, there’s not anything new going on with Ooma’s equipment. But what I like is how small and streamlined it is. (Those rounded corners just make me feel good.)

To be honest, most of Ooma’s equipment is typical—but there’s one big standout. The Ooma Telo base station is what makes Ooma unique.

Because of Ooma’s phone company roots, the Ooma Telo base station is also a phone line. And it comes with free service when you buy an Ooma smart security system.

You may not need a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) line, but it’s there for you if you want it. This technology gives you free residential VoIP calls to anyone in the country. And Ooma didn’t just start thinking about security—all calls are encrypted.

The Ooma Telo base station is also what lets you have the Remote 911 feature we like so much.

What you get in the Ooma home security app

Every Ooma security system comes with access to the mobile app. This is why self-monitoring actually works with Ooma.

Here’s what you can do for free in the Ooma Smart Security app:

  • Check the status of your security system
  • Change the status of your system (Home, Away, Night, Vacation modes)
  • Call local 911 from anywhere
  • Get instant alerts whenever a sensor is triggered
  • Activate your siren
  • Set geofences for different sensors
  • Review daily timeline of event
  • Make calls and get voicemails

Smart home features and compatibility

There’s not a lot to talk about here. All of Ooma’s smart home compatibility comes thanks to the Ooma Telo base station.

At this point, there’s not any real integration with the security system components. But there’s limited access to some features through the base station.

Ooma smart home compatibility

Smart home feature
Compatible products
Voice controlAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Smart lightsPhilips Hue, LIFX
Smart plugsBelkin WeMo

Ooma customer service and support

We haven’t had any personal experience with Ooma’s customer service, but all of the interactions we’ve had with the company have been very friendly and helpful.

To find out what customers think about Ooma smart home security, we looked at the company’s ratings:

  • BBB rating: A+, accredited
  • Trustpilot rating: 1.5 stars out of 5 (bad)
  • Ooma Smart Security app, iOS: 4.7 stars out of 5
  • Ooma Smart Security app, Android: 4.7 stars out of 5

Customer service ratings as of 12/02/2020.

Ooma customer service availability

You can contact Ooma using email, live chat, or the phone. The company also has a fairly robust online support center that you can access 24/7.

Customer service hours are as follows:

  • Monday–Friday, 5:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (PT)
  • Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (PT)

There aren’t any hours posted for live chat, but we assume it’s available the same time as phone support.

Call Ooma: 1-877-629-1284
Email Ooma: customeradvocate@ooma.com

How we reviewed Ooma Security

We first learned about Ooma at CES in 2019. I got a personalized tour and demonstration of the Ooma security system in its first iteration.

From there, we kept tabs on this up-and-comer and met up with Ooma again at CES 2020. Once again, I got a full tour and demo that ended in a barrage of questions (from me).

In addition to our time talking to Ooma and playing around with the system’s components, we’ve done extensive research that includes customer and expert reviews.

We also lined up Ooma against all the other home security brands we review. We wanted to see how it stands up in the areas we think matter most when it comes to picking a security system to protect your home, including the following:

  • Price
  • Contracts
  • Equipment
  • Mobile app
  • Monitoring
  • Customer service
  • User review

Learn more about how we rate and review in our full methodology.

FAQ

Ooma was founded in 2004 as a telecommunications company. Its main focus was phone and VoIP services.

In 2017, Ooma acquired Butterfleye, a security camera startup. That was Ooma’s initial launch into the home security realm.

Today Ooma offers phone and security services for business and residential customers.

After dipping its toe in the smart security camera market, Ooma decided to focus on the basics.

The company announced that it was discontinuing the Ooma Smart Cam and Ooma Butterfleye cameras in late 2019.

People who already own Ooma security cameras should still be able to get support for their existing equipment.

Final word

Ooma delivers simple home security that’s, well, all about security.

If you’re looking for a smart home on top of a security system, this isn’t going to be the right choice for you. You’re also out of luck if video surveillance is on your home security wish list.

But if what matters to you is affordable home security that gives you the option to monitor it yourself or call in the pros when you need to, Ooma fits the bill.

We especially like the Remote 911 feature and the free Ooma Smart Security app that comes with every Ooma security system.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past eight. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime reports and spotting trends. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, NPR, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips.