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VoIP / Internet Cordless Phone Review

By Cordless Workz Staff

Internet phone service (or broadband / VoIP phone service) is here to stay.  Ok, so you can hear some critics crowing about the fact that broadband telecommunications is still unreliable.  Does your broadband connection really go down that often?  And from experience, I can tell you that voice quality is only occasionally slightly less than desirable than service from your local telco during high internet traffic periods.  With savings over 55% of the average phone bill, it's easy to see why so many consumers - even those who aren't early adopters - are flocking to broadband phone service.  Of course if maintaining a business line is mission critical 100% of the time, you may want to stay with a traditional phone line.

Vonage and AT&T CallVantage services continue to drop in price for residential consumers and competition from service providers like Packet8 are coming on strong.  And the features like being able to select any U.S. area code you choose or store voicemails as emails are addictive.


Uniden UIP1868P Packet8 VoIP Cordless Phone System

Uniden UIP1868P

Skype also continues to make inroads in the U.S. market. 

Corded and cordless phone hardware options continue to build here.  RTX Telecom's DUALphone 2-in-1 Skype™ Cordless Internet Phone is the first DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications - new wireless standard approved by FCC) that works with both Skype and your landline.  Multi-Link also has a new product called the Multi-Link TeleVoIP Stick that allows users to use their current cordless or corded phones to work with Skype. 

More hardware solutions for use with Skype will follow.

DUALphone 2-in-1 Skype™ Cordless Internet Phone

DUALphone 2-in-1 Skype Cordless Internet Phone

Long distance service as we've know it will have a fraction of the market it currently has (or die completely).  Your wire line will be just "phone service" from here on out and not a separation of local and long distance phone service.  A call to China now has a negligible cost compared with a call to your next door neighbor.

What do broadband phones have to do with cordless phones?  The short answer is that selecting the proper cordless phone provides the communication freedom we've become accustomed to with our baby bell service.  I'm not talking about ip Phones....yet.  Though available, Voice over ip (internet protocol) phones for consumers are far from mainstream.  You'll hear references from broadband voice providers that their customers can use their current "analog" phone they currently use for their service.  The analog reference here is not the "wireless" signal, but the analog plain old telephone line phone we're always used in our home.   Broadband phone service like Vonage, VoicePulse, Packet8 and AT&T CallVantage operate with a phone adapter which is tethered to your broadband connection.  If you need more than one handset in your home, which many do these days, than you'll need  either a multi-handset phone or wireless jacks.  Given the $60 - $150 wireless jack costs, it really becomes more practical to consider a new updated multi-handset expandable phone system.

What's the best cordless phone for broadband/internet phone service?  As with considering any purchase, it comes down to analyzing your real needs.  The latest broadband VoIP phone available is the Uniden UIP1868P Packet8 Compatible 5.8GHz Cordless Phone System.  This new broadband phone system includes a built-in router and plugs directly into your cable or DSL modem.  This model is compatible with the Packet8 broadband phone service, but more options are sure to arrive soon.

With the strong likelihood that broadband phone users also have a wireless home network or will soon, it makes sense to consider a 5.8 GHz multi-handset digital cordless phone system.  Most wireless networks operate at 2.4 GHz and therefore interfere with most 2.4 GHz cordless phones on the market.  Who enjoys "clicking" noises during conversations?  Phones that operate entirely at the 5.8 GHz frequency typically provide the best interference free conversations.  We like the Uniden TRU8885-2, TRU8865-2, Panasonic KX-TG5240M and the only available 2-line 5.8GHz models: the Panasonic KX-TG6500B, KX-TG6502B and Uniden TRU8866.

Panasonic KX-TG6500B 2-Line 5.8 GHz Phone with Answering 

Machine

Panasonic KX-TG6500B

Some considerations:
1.)  Are you in a small apartment with just a couple rooms or do you have an expansive McMansion with many teenagers and a home office?

2.)  Do you ever have conversations that you'd like to keep private?  Do you ever make purchases over the phone with your credit card?  The answer to most is obvious here even though a top rated consumer testing magazine recently promoted analog phones (that typically provide no security/privacy to eavesdroppers) as sufficient.

3.)  Are you using voicemail through your telephone service provider (or broadband phone service provider) or do you require a built-in answering machine?

4.)  Is 1, 2 or 4-lines a requirement?  Though you may have 1-line now, what is the likelihood that you'll need more lines soon?  Will you be working at home more?  Do you have teens who seem to use the phone more and more?

5.)  Are you using a wireless PC network?  Do you live in a densely populated area that will likely have wireless devices interfering with yours?

6.)  Do you need a reliable phone from an experienced phone retailer and reputable manufacturer or are you looking for the absolute lowest cost solution?

Stay tuned for detailed product reviews in our Buyer's Guide or browse our other phone categories.

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