Using Skype via wi-fi without a computer

belkinwifiskypephone
Browsing in my local PC World yesterday, I came across a display of the new Belkin wi-fi phone for Skype.

It looks very appealing – a phone that enables you to make and receive Skype calls without using your computer. All you need is access to a wireless network and you’re off.

I’d find such a device very useful. Imagine sitting in an airport, train station, someone’s office – just about anywhere, really – and be able to connect to a wi-fi network and make free calls to other Skype users or very cheap calls to normal telephones, all without having to turn on your computer.

There are other wi-fi Skype phones on the market, but this is the coolest-looking one I’ve seen. Mind you, looks aren’t everything as some reviews make clear.

The only negative I can see – and it’s a big one – is that this phone only works if you connect to a wireless network that does not require you to log in via a browser.

That knocks out using it via most public wi-fi hotspots in the UK as they require you to log in (and make usage payment) with a web browser. From the FAQ:

The WiFi phone will work anywhere in the world a user has a secured or open access to a WiFi network – in any home, office, public hotspot, or municipal wireless access point that does not require browser-based authentication. The Skype WiFi phone does not contain a web browser and therefore cannot access hotspots, which require web-based login or authentication.

Still, it’s a neat gadget and would be worth having if you have access to free wi-fi. The Skype US store has it priced at $189.99 but says it’s not yet available, while PC World in the UK has them (search on product code 102713) and is selling it for £99.99 (about $195).

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Kian Ann

    Yeah I have been looking out for gadgets like this for a while… however, I think I will still prefer using skype on the computer, and then use a wireless mic…

    The thing is, there are so many kinds of wireless networks out there – some require logging in via browsers, some need a user ID, some need a passphrase, and wireless technology is going to evolve.. so i don’t supposed it would be wise to buy an integrated system (as cool as it looks!)

    Besides, its a couple of hundred of dollars we are talking about here! :P

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