Netgear SPH 101 VoIP phone guide
Netgear SPH 101 VoIP phone features
When turned off it looks like a modern mobile phone, even if not the latest generation, thanks to the Nokia-style design and the white colour. When turned on, however, it reveals its task: it uses Wi-Fi for calls with Skype. You read that right: with the SPH101 you can make direct calls without needing a PC. Configuration is simple and immediate because you just need to enter your account and password and have a wireless LAN. The menus are reminiscent of those of Skype: you can store your personal profile and manage the address book hosted on the server. All this by operating directly with the Wi-Fi network, therefore in a very similar way to a mobile phone. In testing, the Netgear took slightly longer to authenticate than normally required with Skype for Windows and does not allow chatting. You can only speak to the interlocutor, who in turn must be equipped to respond, but does not accept exchanges of messages. For this reason there is not even a system for predicting the typed text, such as the classic T9: you have to type using the sequential selection of the three letters grouped for each key. You can choose to call contacts or telephone numbers, because the SPH101 also supports the Skype Out and Skype In services. The audio quality is decent: some echo effects and some conversation delays are due more to the network infrastructure than to the terminal. The earpiece and microphone offer a performance that is up to the task. The device heats up during use and the battery life with frequent calls does not reach the actual two hours. The display offers a satisfactory view, comparable to that of a low-end mobile phone, and the keys are a little stiff, but all in all usable. What penalizes the Netgear is the presence of a Wi-Fi network configured both to manage Voi communications, with an adequate QoS configuration, and the quality of the signal.
At home or in the office, with the access point nearby, noteworthy results are achieved. At the airport or in public hotspots, in the presence of busy wireless LANs,
the SPH101 is somewhat affected by unfavorable conditions: for example, battery life decreases or Skype is not easily accessed. Network problems that show how these VolP devices are still immature. The technologies that come with it are missing
they feel they can use them wherever they are. This is also why it is risky to say that these devices can replace cell phones in terms of functions and convenience. They do not offer some fundamental tools, such as instant messaging and reliability comparable to the cell phone network. We will have to wait a few more months, in the meantime the Netgear is the ideal choice for talking via Skype from home, from the office or from any other place that has a wireless LAN.
- FTecnology: 802.11g
- Operating frequency: 2.4 GHz
- Rated speed: 54 Mbps
- Autonomy: 2 hours of conversation
- Security: WEP (64 and 128 bit), WPA
- VoIP compatibility: Skype
- Connections: USB
- Autonomy: stand-by 24 hours and talk time 2 hours
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