Combine your traditional landline with Skype
Over the past few months, or even the past year, you’ve probably heard of Skype, and if you haven’t, it’s essentially phone calls over the internet versus over a traditional landline. More and more people are switching 100% to VOIP/Skype these days, but for the most part, people still like their landline; they have no reason to switch over. Myself, like a lot of techies, are on the fence. The quality of Skype and VOIP phones can fluctuate a lot so it doesn’t make sense for me to give up my landline and get poor call quality in return. Rather, I’d like a hybrid. A phone that’s part Skype, part landline. That way I can continue using my regular phone for day to day calling and use the much cheaper rates of Skype for long distance/international calling. My wish has come true with Philip’s VOIP841 phone that elegantly combines a traditional landline phone with Skype functionality.
Honestly, this phone looks just like the one in my house today, but it’s also capable of doing Skype VOIP calls. The phone has a beautiful backlit color display that will handle all your regular landline contacts as well as all of your Skype contacts (up to 500). As I said before, VOIP call quality isn’t pristine. To help alleviate that problem a bit, Philips has their DECT v. 6 technology that helps reduce interference and increase voice clarity. The rest of the features on the phone are pretty standard: caller ID, hands free speakerphone, volume control, and different ring tones for internet calls versus landline calls. Overall, this is essentially a normal cordless phone with Skype functionality bundled in. The requirements for Skype are pretty basic. You simply need an ethernet wire to plug into the base unit, and if you’re in an all wireless household you can use a wireless-to-ethernet adapter, (a $60-$70 purchase) although call quality might be an issue depending on the speed of your Wi-Fi.
The $200 bundle gives you one handset, the base station, a AC charger, CD-ROM, and ethernet + phone cables.