VOIP via Wifi

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I decided to try out a VOIP service at house, to take some of the load off my cell phone. I’ve been using my cell phone as my primary phone (business and pleasure, but I still maintain a land land for the wife) for a few years, and it’s expensive (and not getting any cheaper) and the coverage in the house just never cuts it. So VOIP seemed compelling. First I tried out a PhoneGnome, which uses your existing land line as well as providing limited SIP based calling. Wanting more I signed up with Broadvoice and got the Starcom F1000 [Specs] Voip Wifi phone. Small and cute (bonuses) but the sound was a little problematic. The mic seems a tad to sensitive and will pick up sounds from the earpiece and re-send, giving the dreaded echo (or boy in a box) sound to conversations. I’ve also played around with the Sipura S3000 with Broadvoice. BV is nice, has a cool web interface and is reasonable responsive to calls and email requests for support. I had some initial issues with the Starcom and they were able to re-provision it OTA (over the air) to the latest firmware for me. So far I’m enjoying it and the plan – $24 a month for unlimited USA and Canada calling.

The F1000 does a cool job of finding 802.11b wifi spots and registering back onto the net. I’ve used it at a few places around the city and have been almost always able to find an open hotspot. Funny how they are all named linksys. I wonder how long till I can justify replacing my cell phone with one of these.

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