Everybody knows that Skype is a cool way to talk free online, from computer to computer or with Skype Out from your computer to any phone worldwide. Recently I decided to get rid of our second phone line and move towards some sort of a VoIP solution. During regular business hours the main house phone line becomes a home office business phone. I wanted a way to be able to make and receive personal phone calls during business hours without using the real POTS phone line.
Now I’ve used Skype off and on for some time now, but I always found being tied to the computer a nuisance. I’ve used a bluetooth headset, but that has limited remote control capability and is not going to be useful for starting a call.
Someone told me about a Skype cordless phone from Linksys, but there were two problems with that route, the Linksys product requires an inferior operating system, and I find that Linksys products frequently do not meet my expectations.
After a wee bit of googling I found the Keyspan Cordless Skype Phone for $30 less than the Linksys product, and with explicit support for Mac OS.
This product includes a small USB dongle that connects to your Mac and communicates on a 2.4GHz channel with the handset. The handset includes an LCD display you can use to scroll through your Skype contact list and choose a phone number or computer contact to call. You can also answer incoming Skype calls with the handset. A provided USB to mini-USB cable, much like those used with digital cameras, is used to recharge the 3 included NiMH AAA batteries. It has a standby battery life of several days too. The RF connection between the handset and the USB dongle uses very low power, only 10mw, so those concerned about RF-induced cell damage from traditional cell phones need not worry about this product.
Installing the software was a breeze. The provided CD contains a driver that intercepts communications from the phone and uses a published Skype API to control Skype actions.
The voice quality is superb, and the adjustable volume level lets you make the incoming caller quite loud, I suspect this phone would be great for people with partial hearing impairments.
I’m so thrilled with this setup that I bought a Skype In number for only $38 a year. With Skype Out to the USA still free until the end of the year, and costs of only .021 cents per minute for Skype Out to many countries, this is a very compelling and completely satisfactory long distance telephone solution. I spent an hour on the phone with a friend yesterday, and found the sound quality slightly better than a regular wired phone. I highly recommend the Keyspan Cordless Skype Phone.
[tags]Reviews, Skype, Cordless VoIP, Mac OS, OS X, Hardware, Software [/tags]