Do you make a few international telephone calls each month? If so then you will almost certainly reduce your monthly telephone spend buy buying a Philips VOIP841.
The VOIP841 is a stylish cordless telephone that allows calls to be made and received from a standard landline telephone (PSTN) or Skype via Voice Over IP (VOIP i.e. making telephone calls over the Internet). This eliminates the need to have a phone available for PSTN as well as a seperate phone connected to Skype. The VOIP841 has been available for a number of months but is still, as far as I’m concerned, the best phone which may be used with both PSTN and VOIP (there are not many PSTN and VOIP phones available on the market but that doesn’t detract from the Philips being an excellent device).
I bought the VOIP841 predecessor, the VOIP321 in order to reduce call costs (which it certainly did) and used it for a number of years. I was so impressed with the ease of use, range, battery time and reliability of the VOIP321 that I decided to stay with Philips and buy the VOIP841. The only reason that I upgraded to the new model from the VOIP321 was that the VOIP841 now connects directly into your home modem/router rather than needing to be connected to a PC. The VOIP841 certainly impresses!
Here is a quick summary of the advatages and disadvantages of the Philips VOIP841
The advantages are numerous;
- Only a single phone is required to make and receive calls via either Skype or the PSTN;
- There is no need to change or get rid of your existing PSTN (i.e. you can still make and receive calls via the PSTN should you wish);
- International and Mobile calls are almost always significantly cheaper than other carriers (including Telstra, Optus, Dodo and discount operators);
- You have instant visibility of how much you have spent on calls via Skype at any time;
- You can make calls to other Skype users for no cost (i.e. Free);
- The Philips VOIP841 and Skype are very simple to setup;
- The Philips VOIP841 rechargeable batteries only need to be charged every few days;
- No PC, laptop or MAC is required. The Philips VOIP841 has a cable that connects to your router/modem and another cable which connects to the PSTN;
- Call quality, from my experience, through Skype is much better than through many of the other popular VOIP providers;
- There is no monthly fee payable to use Skype;
- The awesome Skype address book is available on the Philips handset.
There are a few disadvantages to using Skype (these disadvantages do not apply if you are using the PSTN through the Philips VOIP841) ;
- Even local calls need the country code prefix entered (e.g. if you are dialling 02-12345678 then you will need to enter +61-2-12345678 even if dialling from within Australia);
- Call quality can be poor if you have a slow or unreliable ADSL/DSL line (this is not a fault of the phone or Skype itself but of the network performance);
- Short code emergency numbers cannot be dialled via Skype; and
- People receiving your call will not have CLI available (i.e. they won’t be able to distinguish the telephone number you are calling from).
In summary, a simple option is available to reduce call costs significantly. If you already have ADSL (DSL) available then the many advantages of the Philips VOIP841 await your benefit.