Ooma Linx – A Real Jack in The Box

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What Is It?The Ooma Linx is a small wireless jack that you can use with an Ooma Telo System. If you’re unfamiliar with Ooma, it is an Internet based phone system.  You buy the equipment from Ooma, and you never have to pay for phone service again.  It comes with a free phone number, or you can transfer your existing number. A few more words about the Ooma Telo system before we get back to the Linx.  It comes with a black box that connects to your Internet router.  Then it can connect to either the wired phone lines in your home or office, or you can buy Ooma’s HD2 Telo Handsets.  We’ve see Telo’s black box hub on sale for anywhere from $110 to $240.  The handset, which is not a requirement, sells for $60, the Linx wireless jack for $50.  So, if you’ve been paying say $30 or $40 a month for phone service, this can pay for itself in the first few months of ownership.  As you might expect, there are premium services available for a few more bucks, but you can really make do with the basic service.  Call quality is quite good.  But I digress.  Back to the Linx.  One of the problems with wired phone devices like phones and fax machines  that often there’s no connection available where you want to put in your device.  Wireless phones are fine, but you cannot connect a fax to them.  The Linx solves that problem.  Once you’ve established communications between the Telo base station and the Linx, you can plug it in anywhere within range of your telo’s wireless service.  As I result, for the first time in years I can now use my all-in-one printer as a fax machine.  I could also connect a wired phone or an answering machine (anyone still use those?) to the Linx.

Ooma Linx Wireless Jack

Is it Boomer Friendly?  The instructions for the Linx are quite simple and easy to follow.  The instruction manual does not require a magnifying glass to read.  First you plug it in near the Telo base until it registers, then you unplug it and put it where you really want it.

Frustration Factor?  Your experience may be different.  We installed the Linx on an existing Telo system, and it didn’t work at first.  Turns out the system needed a firmware upgrade to get it to work, a process that took about 20 minutes with tech support.  Once that was done, I plugged it into an outlet near the fax machine, connected the phone cord, and within minutes had it all working.  But just like a toy Jack-In-The-Box, this one popped up with an unpleasant surprise.  It turns out the Linx is not compatible with the first generation of Telo handsets.  So if you have a Telo system with the original Telo handset you won’t be able to use the Linx, unless of course you want to buy the new handset for $60.

Is It Worth the Money?  – If you already have an existing Telo system, adding the Linx for $50 to get the added functionality of a wireless jack is certainly worth it.  As to the Ooma system overall, I’ve been using it for three years now with terrific results, and it long ago paid for itself.

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Gary is an award-winning journalist who has been covering technology since IBM introduced its first personal computer in 1981. Beginning at NBC News, then at ABC News, Ziff Davis, CNN, and Fox Business Network. Kaye has a history of “firsts”. He was the first to bring a network television crew to the Comdex Computer Show, the first technology producer on ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, the first to produce live coverage of the Solar Power International Conference, and the creator of the Fox Business Network signature series, “Three Days In The Valley”. Along the way he created the History Channel Multimedia Classroom. He has been a contributor to both AARP’s website and to AARP radio, as well as to a handful of other print and web-based publications where he specializes in issues involving boomers/seniors and technology. He has been a featured speaker and moderator at industry events such as the Silvers Summit and Lifelong Tech Conferences at CES, the M-Enabling Health Summit, and the What’s Next Baby Boomer Business Summit. His column, “Technology Through Our Eyes” appears in half a dozen newspapers and websites across the country.

3 COMMENTS

  1. If you have 1st generation handsets, forget buying the Linx. They DO NOT work with Linx and Ooma will not take them in on trade for a new HD2 handset. This is poor customer service in my opinion. I have always given Ooma excellent reviews, but that is very likely a thing of the past.

  2. […] Ooma Linx – A Real Jack in The Box | In The BoomBox | Technology …Nov 15, 2012 … What Is It? – The Ooma Linx is a small wireless jack that you can use with an Ooma Telo System. If you’re unfamiliar with Ooma, it is an Internet … […]

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