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Gift Review - Skype Phones

Skype is the most popular of the services providing broadband phone calls across the Internet. It works in three ways. After downloading the free Skype software, you can call anyone else, anywhere in the world, with the Skype software for free. You can also dial out to ordinary numbers using SkypeOut - there's a charge per call for this, but it's cheaper than many ordinary phone calls. And using SkypeIn you can set up a number in a wide range of cities around the world to receive incoming calls which are routed to your computer - this is charged on a flat fee basis.

So far, so good - but to use Skype you need to be able to talk and listen, which means some form of sound system. Initially this meant using a microphone and headphones, but recently there has been a whole spate of phones that can be plugged into the PC. Some, like this one, are wireless and can handle ordinary phone calls as well, combining all you phone needs into a single compact package.

Gift category - special - prices from around 30 to around 120

There are a wide range of options. Check out these which require the PC to be switched on:

Freecom Skype USB Internet Phone  - Visit bookshop

Linksys CIT200 - Visit bookshop

Philips VOIP8010  - Visit bookshop

Philips VOIP3211S  - Visit bookshop

VoipVoice V Traveller   - Visit bookshop

And these which work using a network without the PC on (some use wireless network, others their own adaptor to a wired network):

Dualphone 3088  - Visit bookshop

GE - Skype - Dect 6.0 - Visit bookshop

Linksys CIT400 - Visit bookshop

Linksys WIP320 - Visit bookshop

Netgear SPH101   - Visit bookshop

Netgear SPH200D   - Visit bookshop Visit bookshop

SMC WSKP100   - Visit bookshop

Reviewed by Brian Clegg

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Last update 05 June 2007