Belkin Wifi Phone and Skype

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I have recently moved into a log cabin on our farm and have broad band but no phone line.

I decided to get skype so that people could have a landline number to call me, rather than relying on my mobile. The landline number choice is not bad, and after so time playing around i bought one that I can remember. I have to say compared to eBay and PayPal the skype website is horrible to navigate and find what you are looking for (perhaps they should let the eBay & PayPal web designers have a crack at it???).

So I got the Belkin wifi phone for christmas. This is a good looking phone with a reasonable amount of battery (compared to a landline cordless phone). However I do have a few gripes, the first being its plain awful ring tones, none of which sound particularly like a 'normal' phone ring! The worst part being that its not very loud, as it seems to rely on the handset speaker.

The belkin phone does not like being too far from the router, in fact if it decides the signal isn't great (or if its having a slight hissy fit!) it will produce various 'groaning' sounds, which you cannot switch on silent. So a good tip is not to leave in your bedroom if you want a good nights sleep!

The phone will need rebooting about every other day, as it will loose the skype connect and then not reconnect (which is quite annoying).

The menu is not as nice as a mobile, but makes more sense than most landline cordless phones. One annoying thing is the inability to control the voicemail number of rings before answering from the phone. When it works the voicemail doesn't cut in at all (although not a bad thing as you cannot hear the phone, so takes a while to work out its ringing!). I haven't downloaded skype to a computer, so I am not entirely sure whether you can override the control on there.

For calls, when it works its fine, sound and clarity are great for the Belkin user. However the receipient might find typical VOIP garble if you speak too fast, this is more an inherrent VOIP problem rather than the Belkin's phone fault.

Overall its a good first stab at a computer free skype phone. I would like to see one with a base station rather than having to plug it in and have the base station with a proper external speaker for loud ringing, with at least one normal ringtone, or the ability to load mp3 ringtones!


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