Review: Netgear's elegant VoIP/land-line hybrid phone
Combines Skype and traditional landline calling
Computerworld - When used on a desktop computer, Skype's peer-to-peer, voice-over-IP (VoIP) client is similar to an instant messaging program but provides clear voice communications. However, until recently, you were tied to your computer if you use Skype and couldn't wander around the house or office.
That’s changing, however, as products such as Netgear’s SPH200D Cordless Internet Phone with Skype appear. This clever cordless handset combines traditional landline telephony with Skype, enabling you to talk using either technology while roaming around your home or office.
This "Skype-certified" device is missing the "Oh my gosh, is this person actually in the room with me?" sound clarity that you get when using Skype on PC. But its voice quality is still good, and it adds a lot of flexibility that many Skype users have longed for.
Out of the box
NetGear's dual-mode cordless phone with Skype
Still, setup was a breeze. You snap the batteries into the handset and place it in the charger, plug the charger into a wall socket and let the handset charge (each charge is rated for 12 hours of talk time). Then you connect the base unit to a router using the Ethernet cable and to a phone jack with the included phone cord and plug that unit into a wall socket. Once connected to your router, the base station will configure itself and pair up with the handset, although advanced users can manually configure network settings via the handset or the base unit’s browser interface. There are no drivers or other software to worry about.
Once the hardware is set up, you must enter a few bits of data into the phone: your country code (001 for the U.S.), area code, language, Skype name and password. You can use the phone to sign up for a Skype account if you don’t have one, although it would be easier to do this part at your computer with a large screen and proper keyboard. Assuming you do have a Skype account, after a few moments, your contacts will be downloaded to the phone. If you have any credit with Skype, your balance will also appear on the handset.
I did have mixed feelings about Netgear's decision to have the charger and the base unit as two separate bits of hardware. After all, who wants to find room for not just one, but two fat AC adapters on our already crowded power strips? On the other hand, this setup does offer flexibility. You need to set up the base unit in your home office or wherever your cable or Digital Subscriber Line modem is, but that might not be the most convenient place for the phone. Still, in a perfect world, the base unit would have had a charger built in, and a second, stand-alone charger would be included.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Omnichannel: From Buzzword to Strategy Customers demand a seamless experience across channels, especially mobile. Read this whitepaper for a research-based framework for using omnichannel for higher customer engagement.
- The 5 Big Lies About Going Mobile You've heard about the power of mobile to change your business. But have you realized your mobile potential? It's about much more than...
- Developing a Winning Mobile Strategy: Playing Offense vs Defense Don't lose time and money with a "throw an app against a wall to see if sticks" approach to mobile. You need a...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more