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 Â£99.99 (about $195).
- Easy Skype phone – the Linksys CIT 200
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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