Monday, September 22, 2008

Skype: Belkin Skype Phone

One of the nice things about skype is that you can download it for Mac, Linux or Windows, so you aren't particularly tied down.

Skype is a DIY voip service. They offer a skype out unlimited subscription for canada and the usa (unlimited outgoing calling from your computer to landlines and cellphones) for $30. If you choose you can also get a phone number in whatever USA area code you want for another $30. I am sad that there still are no numbers available in canada. Because skype online numbers are available in over 20 countries at the time of this writing, i wouldn't be surprised if canada has extra red tape, which is preventing this.

So for the cost of $5 computer speakers, $5 computer microphone, an internet connection and $60/year ($5/month) you can scrap your $30/month landline. Don't forget to read the fine print, skype wants you to know that you can't use it for 911 calling, because the 911 operators have no idea where you are calling from. You could be online in europe and still take skype calls at your 801 usa area code through your internet connection. So... it is important to keep an old cell phone around. Even deactivated/non-sim card cell phones are required by law to be able to call 911.

My wife doesn't like using the computer for calling much, plus we don't want to leave it on 24/7 to take calls so we were thinking of getting the belkin skype desktop phone. This phone is a no computer required phone. It seems a little pricey considering it is just a phone... but understood what the skype phone really is, its pretty much an $80 computer with built-in microphone and speakers.

There are a lot of items for sale which replace your microphone and speakers... some usb phones, some cordless phones (comp req'd), other cordless phones (comp not req'd), and even wifi phones. Wifi is great... if you get a wifi hotspot anywhere you can make or take calls. I have heard the battery life on them isn't great yet... because it just like a minilaptop- but you can't turn the wifi network card off for power saving mode!

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