Sunday, May 13, 2007

What a Cool VOIP Phone

I've been here and there with regard to VOIP/Internet telephony. At one time, thinking that it was very very cool (read: inexpensive) thing, I signed right up.

And then the worries began.

Mostly, my issue was bandwidth: I was using Vonage on a Comcast Cable Internet line. Late in the afternoon and on weekends, there would be periods of low service--kids were getting home from school or waking up on the weekends to use the Internet. The cable company just didn't have the bandwidth I needed to prevent the poor quality of service that I experienced.

Also, there was a feature I needed that I couldn't get: the ability to turn off call waiting, preventing the annoying "BOOP!" during client calls that came into my line. I could turn off the service on outgoing calls and I could turn the service off completely. But I couldn't turn it off for a single in-coming call. This was important to my as I charge a significant hourly rate and my clients wanted to speak to my without interruption.

However, being one to make lemon chiffon cake out of lemons (fah! on lemonade), I've been lining up my little duckies until the bandwidth and service issues are sorted out. Until that time, I've been looking into Bluetooth enabled phones I can use and easily store in the PC Card slot of my notebook (no cockroach in my ear, thank you very much). Kensington has a VoIP Bluetooth Internet Phone that looks very promising. It supports Google, MSN, Skype and Yahoo telephone, boasts 4 1/2 hours of talk with 30 hours of standby time and weighs a whopping 1.6 ounces. The sound is clear (yay) but the compatibility with Vista isn't (boo).

It won't replace my cellphone, but the VO200 is state of the art cool.