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on January 13, 2006
That USB criticism is ridiculous. Is it really that hard to reinstall software that take 5 minutes to load?

I am user of skype, I have a computer that I leave on all the time, and I hate using headsets. So i was looking for something that I could use to hook into a expandable cordless phone system that I already have. I bought something cheap on ebay and that didn't work well at all. I got this thing and it works great on my cordless phone system. It works with the newest version of Skype (2.0) and the sound quality is excellent even when I am downloading something that is sucking down most of my bandwidth. It can also split duties with an existing phone line (I don't have a phone line so I dunno how well it works.) I am thinking about getting skypein to use with this device.

Only quirk that took me sometime to get used to when using skypeout with this device is that you have dial 00 + country code (US is 1) + area code and phone number. It is written in the instructions, but took me a while to notice it. I was used to just typing the '+' sign on the keyboard.

In summary, the device works well. If u already phones and a computer and a connection that is on all the time, and do not plan on playing USB musical chairs with the device, this solution will work well for u. I am not sure why Skype doesn't sell the device on its own website.

The pertinent specs on the computer I am using with the device is as follows: 1ghz AMD duron processor, 1GB SDRAM, USB 1.0 port, and cable modem service.
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on February 8, 2006
I soooo wish that other companies came up with cool ideas like this.

This product allows you to use free internet phone sites like [...] with your regular telephone. Normally you would have to use a microphone and speakers hooked up to your pc. This product allows you to connect ANY standard telephone to it and talk over the internet just like you would with any other phone call.

Here are some key features that I didn't know prior to buying:

- You can use a cordless telephone with it

- You can dial internet phone calls from the phone handset using skypes speed dial feature (you never have to touch your computer as long as it is turned on).

- You can have your regular phone line and the internet phone line connected at the same time. You switch between them by hitting the # key twice.

- It gives you call waiting. If you're on a skype call and your landline rings, you'll hear it and can switch between them by hitting ##.

- I have it setup so that every phone in my house can either make skype internet calls for free or use the landline.

I highly recommend this product. It will literally save me thousands of dollars in international phone bills and make it comfortable and normal.

My wife wouldn't normally want to be bothered with complicated computer devices. Now she just picks up the phone and hits the speed dial number for the person she wants to call and it goes through.

Keep in mind that in order for skype to be free, the person you are calling must also be using skype. If you want to call a landline you must pay. The rates are very cheap though, so it's not a bad solution. Check [...] for the rates.
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on April 30, 2006
I bought this on amazon, and it performed so poorly that I had to return it. In theory, the product is fantastic -- it lets you use your existing 'normal' telephone to dial and receive skype calls. In reality, however, it's a buggy product that simply does not pass any semblance of quality standards. The big problems:

1. it has some flawed USB interface such that the software you load onto the PC never finds the device on the first try. You have to manually unplug and replug the device into its USB port to get the software to 'see it.'

2. The interface with Skype is very klugy. It changes Skype's audio in and audio out settings to direct skype to use the actiontec drives instead of your PC's microphone and speakers. That's okay when you're using a phone connected to the device for skype calls, but when you want to use your PC again, you have to manually change back all the settings.

3. The sound quality is excellent, but the mic quality is atrocious. I tried everything option I could, but I was never able to get the other party on a skype call to hear me clearly. It's probably a very cheap processor in the box that doesn't properly encode my speech or something. In the end, it worked about 2% of the time, and the other 98% of the time the person on the other end of the call hung up on me because they couldn't hear or understand what I was saying.

Bummer, because I really wanted it to work. But it's just not ready for primetime. I'm waiting until a reputable CE brand like Linksys or Logitech comes out with the device.
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on August 29, 2005
I got this on a whim, because I was sick of buying calling cards with tons of restrictions and expiration dates. In fact, I found out that many phone card companies use the same internet telephony technology that Skype and other VoIP services utilize. Except using this device makes my life so much easier (not to mention less nerdy-looking.) I can carry my phone around the house, just talking like I normally would. I think this is an excellent product, especially for a free/extremely cheap alternative using the Skype service.
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on May 9, 2006
For a long time I was looking for a phone to use with skype. For the price and convenience, Actiontec Internet phone wizard was the best I found and ordered it from Amazon ($42.99 with free shipping). After receiving the modem I have been using it for almost a month now and I am extremely happy. I have connected my codeless phone to it and everything seems to be working fine.
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on February 7, 2006
Does all that is promised in a superb and incredibly easy way. If you are a SKYPE user this is a MUST HAVE as wisely stated on CNET. Its a blessing that comes for cheap- kind of rare now adays.
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on April 23, 2005
This is a product that is hardly more useful than headphones and a microphone. It is good for a narrow set of situations and purposes. It will soon be obsoleted by more useful devices. The problem is that you need to leave your computer on for the device to work. However, for most, a telephone is a device and service that shouldn't be dependent upon a computer's whims.

This type of product can be useful for Skype users who leave their computer on all the time, never have hangs, and don't reboot. If so, a bluetooth headset may be a better choice. Othewise, what you really want is a Skype ethernet gateway device that doesn't requre a computer. Unfortunately, these devices are not presently available but are rumored to become available later this year. Many people are better off waiting. See SkypeJournal.com for more info.

A better alternative, for Skype category users, is to purchase SIP VoIP devices such as the category leading Sipura products. SIP devices have existed for years and make use of the open SIP standard. These devices, when used with a SIP service provider such as VoicePulse, BroadVoice and others, provide many more features than Skype, but are not necessarily more expensive. See voxilla.com or voip-info.org for more info.

I'm a Skype I/O user who went the always-on-USB-device route and now have regrets. I should have waited. However, I'm very happy with my Sipura SPA-3000 device and VoicePulse provider, at least for now. If I want to use Skype with my notebook, I use a Windows XP compatible bluetooth headset. If I want additional portability and mobility, I use a wired headset with a wireless PocketPC. I've never gotten a bluetooth headset working with Skype on a PocketPC.

Update 7 Jan 2006: Finally! Creative Labs has announced Skype Internet PhonePLUS that enables Skype calls over the Internet without need for a PC. It works by connecting to a router, not to a USB port. This should be the first of many such devices. Don't hold your breath. No release date was announced so figure summer.
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Skype 1.2* for Linux is somewhat temperamental, to say the least. It requires some tinkering with sound mixers and drivers to get the program to work, and when it does, an ordinary microphone produces terrible feedback. So it seemed a good idea to order this device, reportedly equipped with feedback elimination technology.

Alas, this product may work very well, but it is NOT a plug-and-play device. It works ONLY on Windows operating systems, and very likely requires a late-model XP system to run properly.

However, as of last week when I ordered this device through Amazon, from a marketplace seller, (and as of July 7, 2006, as I write this review) the manufacturer had not yet included that very pertinent information on the Amazon product page.

Thus, I received my Vosky unit on Wednesday, plugged it in and was very disappointed to discover that it simply will not run on my computer.

Not only does the accompanying software program only run on Windows. The owner's manual also omits any information about how to construct a workaround to run the device on Linux.

The device did recognize my land-line phone, and my land-line dial tone came through loud and clear. But the computer did not recognize the presence of a UBS phone device.

A little further research proved that this product is also useless on Mac computers.

In addition, the USB cable is much too short. It is barely long enough to reach from the back of a computer to the phone, even one on an adjacent table.

As to how the item works on compatible Windows machines, please consult other reviewers. I gather, even there, results are mixed.

A final caution: if you actually plan to try this device when you get it, review return policies very carefully first.

Do NOT buy from a marketplace seller, as at least one is less-than-forthright in return policies stated on its Amazon pages: nothing indicates that full refunds are given ONLY for unopened packages. Yet the seller insisted that a restocking fee would apply to my return, in addition to my original shipping payment. The loss would have been a quarter of my total cost.

What saved me in this case was the Amazon A-Z marketplace guarantee. The thing is simply not what it was advertised to be.
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on November 9, 2006
I'm happy with the Internet Phone Wizard. I bought it so I could use a good cordless phone with it and not be stuck to the computer and it does that. One of the reasons I didn't give 5 stars is that you can't actually dial a number into the phone, which I knew before buying, but still that tethers you back to the computer when you don't have a speed dial programmed in. Another reason is that sometimes the caller id on the phone doesn't show the current caller but the caller before. The last reason that I didn't give it 5 stars is that sometimes after a call has ended, it will start ringing the phone for about a minute. These last two things are intermittent and really don't bother me. The first thing, as I said, I knew before buying so, on the whole, it works fine.
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on February 24, 2009
Note: If the SkypeOut contact does not have a speed dial
number, dial the number using the following
format: 00+Country Code+Area Code+Local
Phone Number.

I have seen some people saying that they could only dial from the computer. That is not true, but you have to know how to do it from your phone.

When you dial from Skype software on your computer, it already knows your country. So if you are in the US, and you want to call 1-800-555-1212, then you just put that into the Skype window and it calls the number.

BUT, when you are on the actual telephone, you need to first dial ## (only if you have the regular phone line connected), then once you are on Vosky/Skype, you have to dial 00, and then the number.

So, if you are in the US, and you want to call 1-800-555-1212 from your regular telephone using Vosky, you would dial ##-00-1-800-555-1212.

I hope that clears up some of the confusion. Also, Skype for some reason does not offer speed dial from within the Skype software (as of this writing), and I have seen no plan to re-enstate that feature. So the only way you can dial from your telephone with Vosky IPW is to enter the actual number as shown above, or program it into your telephone's speed dial.
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