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Speakerphone Modem Update

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by Old Bob, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Old Bob

    Old Bob Flightless Bird

    Apparently speakerphone modems are a thing of the past :( It seems that my choices for a
    computer-based telephone are between Skype and Oovoo - does anyone have experience with either
    of these services?

    Bob


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  2. Dave

    Dave Flightless Bird

    "Old Bob" <BobBortolin@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:sKDmn.63755$1q5.8658@news.usenetserver.com...
    > Apparently speakerphone modems are a thing of the past :( It seems that my
    > choices for a
    > computer-based telephone are between Skype and Oovoo - does anyone have
    > experience with either
    > of these services?
    >
    > Bob
    >
    >


    Bob,
    Don't know anything about Oovoo and haven't heard of it either. Don't know
    much about Skype but I've heard of it and I've heard of a lot of people that
    use it. Most of what I hear is good, FWIW. In another NG I participate in
    there are a couple guys whose wives travel overseas for business. They call
    from overseas from anywhere they have a internet connection and all they
    pay is a monthly fee.
    HTH,
    Dave
     
  3. GlowingBlueMist

    GlowingBlueMist Flightless Bird

    Dave wrote:
    > "Old Bob" <BobBortolin@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:sKDmn.63755$1q5.8658@news.usenetserver.com...
    >> Apparently speakerphone modems are a thing of the past :( It seems
    >> that my choices for a
    >> computer-based telephone are between Skype and Oovoo - does anyone
    >> have experience with either
    >> of these services?
    >>
    >> Bob
    >>
    >>

    >
    > Bob,
    > Don't know anything about Oovoo and haven't heard of it either. Don't
    > know much about Skype but I've heard of it and I've heard of a lot of
    > people that use it. Most of what I hear is good, FWIW. In another NG
    > I participate in there are a couple guys whose wives travel overseas
    > for business. They call from overseas from anywhere they have a
    > internet connection and all they pay is a monthly fee.
    > HTH,
    > Dave


    I three different IP telephone systems that I have been testing, Skype,
    TracFone, and NetTalk.

    With Skype I have been testing it with conference calls between Skype
    callers using only the free access. It has been pretty much plug and play
    with no problems. If your computer has a video camera you can use it to
    make video phone calls. It seems to work just fine around my place using my
    wireless router as well as on my wired computers. You can use it with a
    headset and microphone attached to your computer. Optional phone adapters
    are available from third party sources which allow you to use an actual
    telephone. If I want a Ma Bell type telephone number for non-Skype callers
    to reach me the current cost in the USA is about $60. a year. Kind of high
    compared with the other two phone services.

    MagicJack, can be purchased from many retailers or ordered online. I
    believe they are asking approximately $40. for the first year and $19.95 for
    subsequent years. You can pick a phone number from just about any state
    regardless of where you live. Great if your calls are mostly outbound and
    if you are being bothered by annoying bill collectors. They don't tend to
    connect out-of-state phone numbers with your house address, and if they do
    you can change your number for $5.00 the first time and $10. for all
    subsequent number changes.

    The telephone number can also a real problem for many people. MagicJack
    only will tell you the area codes that they have phone numbers available,
    but not the local exchanges until after you purchase their service. That
    can make your inbound calls long distance for your family and friends.
    MagicJack's attitude seems to be to tell customers to take what numbers we
    make available or take a hike.

    MagicJack tries to keep their costs down by pushing advertisements on you
    using popup screens. They also want to keep their stupid telephone
    interface on your desktop for as much time as possible for the same reason.
    There is a running battle between the MagicJack software people to keep you
    from running the phone system as a service (hidden in the background) and
    people who keep figuring out how to do just that.

    One other problem with MagicJack, which Skype also shares is that you need
    to have your computer powered on all the time, or at least when you want to
    accept inbound or make outbound calls. MagicJack actively changes their
    software to try and kill service to those who try and plug it directly into
    routers that have compatible USB ports in hopes of keeping their
    advertisements in your face on your computer.

    The third service I am testing is called NetTalk. They are relatively new
    to the market and make a phone adapter similar to MajicJacks but with one
    important difference. Their phone adapter can be plugged into a PC's USB
    port OR directly into an Ethernet port of a router, using a cable. Using
    the Ethernet cable connectivity you can have phone service even with your
    computer powered off. Go for a trip and you can use a laptop's USB port to
    stay in touch. They are presently charging around $99. to purchase the
    device and are advertising a "limited lifetime" of no phone charges after
    that for USA and a few other places.

    As a startup they have had a few bumps as they activate features and make
    improvements. With that said they must be doing something right since the
    MagicJack founder has recently verbally attacked the NetTalk service. Seems
    they are MagicJack has been loosing people left and right to the NetTalk
    service. I myself may be doing just that as I am tired of all the sick
    games MagicJack keeps doing with their software to block users from using it
    as they see fit or to allow 3rd party companies to make improvements. With
    NetTalk you don't have that kind of hassle and they are pretty quick to
    respond to actual problems when you open a trouble ticket on their forum.

    Of the three services, Skype "can" be used for free and offers video calls
    but only to other Skype users. My local computer user group is using it as
    a means of teleconferencing in people that are homebound during meetings,
    along with video of the actual meetings.

    As for my pick of telephone service using Ma Bell phone numbers I like
    NetTalk the best. I was able to get a local exchange number and they seem
    to respond to trouble tickets asking for a local number when one is not
    available at the time you sign up.

    Oh, yes... Both MagicJack and NetTalk only have enough power to actually
    ring one or possibly two phones, depending on the ringer equivalence on the
    devices. You can have more phones attached just as long as you remove
    their ringers first. Using a base station with remote wireless phones works
    good for many people. There is some slight incompatibility with NetTalk and
    some wireless remote phones due to the ring length being a little short but
    most modern equipment works just fine with it.
     
  4. Char Jackson

    Char Jackson Flightless Bird

    On Sat, 13 Mar 2010 13:57:05 -0600, "GlowingBlueMist"
    <GlowingBlueMist@truely.invalid> wrote:

    >I three different IP telephone systems that I have been testing, Skype,
    >TracFone, and NetTalk.
    >

    <snip>


    Excellent review, thanks. I appreciate the level of detail provided.
     
  5. GlowingBlueMist

    GlowingBlueMist Flightless Bird

    Char Jackson wrote:
    > On Sat, 13 Mar 2010 13:57:05 -0600, "GlowingBlueMist"
    > <GlowingBlueMist@truely.invalid> wrote:
    >
    >> I three different IP telephone systems that I have been testing,
    >> Skype, TracFone, and NetTalk.
    >>

    > <snip>
    >
    >
    > Excellent review, thanks. I appreciate the level of detail provided.


    Yep, dyslexia makes writing things really interesting at times. Some of us
    swap entire words rather than just letters and numbers. The reference to
    TracFone was supposed to read NetTalk.
     
  6. Old Bob

    Old Bob Flightless Bird

    Dave,
    I never heard of oovoo before a Comcast rep mentioned it. From their FAQ:

    What is ooVoo?
    With ooVoo you can talk face-to-face over the Internet with high quality video for FREE! If your
    friend isn't available, you can leave a video message. If you want to connect additional
    participants in the video call, call phones, use high resolution video or desktop sharing, you
    can purchase an ooVoo plan or ooVoo Credit. ooVoo offers premium features at affordable rates
    with flexible payment options to fit any budget.

    I'll probably go with Skype simply because it seems to be the most popular and widely used.

    Bob

    "Old Bob" <BobBortolin@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:sKDmn.63755$1q5.8658@news.usenetserver.com...
    >> Apparently speakerphone modems are a thing of the past :( It seems that my
    >> choices for a
    >> computer-based telephone are between Skype and Oovoo - does anyone have
    >> experience with either
    >> of these services?
    >>
    >> Bob
    >>
    >>

    >
    >Bob,
    >Don't know anything about Oovoo and haven't heard of it either. Don't know
    >much about Skype but I've heard of it and I've heard of a lot of people that
    >use it. Most of what I hear is good, FWIW. In another NG I participate in
    >there are a couple guys whose wives travel overseas for business. They call
    >from overseas from anywhere they have a internet connection and all they
    >pay is a monthly fee.
    >HTH,
    >Dave
    >
    >



    --
    --------------------------------- --- -- -
    Posted with NewsLeecher v3.9 Final
    Web @ http://www.newsleecher.com/?usenet
    ------------------- ----- ---- -- -
     
  7. Old Bob

    Old Bob Flightless Bird

    Thanks for the great review! My "quest" began when I started looking for a Windows 7
    speakerphone modem (which apparently doesn't exist). My disability (muscular dystrophy) prevents
    my from using a standard telephone and, since I've struck out on a hardware solution, my
    remaining computer-based alternative seems to be Skype.

    Bob

    >Dave wrote:
    >> "Old Bob" <BobBortolin@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    >> news:sKDmn.63755$1q5.8658@news.usenetserver.com...
    >>> Apparently speakerphone modems are a thing of the past :( It seems
    >>> that my choices for a
    >>> computer-based telephone are between Skype and Oovoo - does anyone
    >>> have experience with either
    >>> of these services?
    >>>
    >>> Bob
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >> Bob,
    >> Don't know anything about Oovoo and haven't heard of it either. Don't
    >> know much about Skype but I've heard of it and I've heard of a lot of
    >> people that use it. Most of what I hear is good, FWIW. In another NG
    >> I participate in there are a couple guys whose wives travel overseas
    >> for business. They call from overseas from anywhere they have a
    >> internet connection and all they pay is a monthly fee.
    >> HTH,
    >> Dave

    >
    >I three different IP telephone systems that I have been testing, Skype,
    >TracFone, and NetTalk.
    >
    >With Skype I have been testing it with conference calls between Skype
    >callers using only the free access. It has been pretty much plug and play
    >with no problems. If your computer has a video camera you can use it to
    >make video phone calls. It seems to work just fine around my place using my
    >wireless router as well as on my wired computers. You can use it with a
    >headset and microphone attached to your computer. Optional phone adapters
    >are available from third party sources which allow you to use an actual
    >telephone. If I want a Ma Bell type telephone number for non-Skype callers
    >to reach me the current cost in the USA is about $60. a year. Kind of high
    >compared with the other two phone services.
    >
    >MagicJack, can be purchased from many retailers or ordered online. I
    >believe they are asking approximately $40. for the first year and $19.95 for
    >subsequent years. You can pick a phone number from just about any state
    >regardless of where you live. Great if your calls are mostly outbound and
    >if you are being bothered by annoying bill collectors. They don't tend to
    >connect out-of-state phone numbers with your house address, and if they do
    >you can change your number for $5.00 the first time and $10. for all
    >subsequent number changes.
    >
    >The telephone number can also a real problem for many people. MagicJack
    >only will tell you the area codes that they have phone numbers available,
    >but not the local exchanges until after you purchase their service. That
    >can make your inbound calls long distance for your family and friends.
    >MagicJack's attitude seems to be to tell customers to take what numbers we
    >make available or take a hike.
    >
    >MagicJack tries to keep their costs down by pushing advertisements on you
    >using popup screens. They also want to keep their stupid telephone
    >interface on your desktop for as much time as possible for the same reason.
    >There is a running battle between the MagicJack software people to keep you
    >from running the phone system as a service (hidden in the background) and
    >people who keep figuring out how to do just that.
    >
    >One other problem with MagicJack, which Skype also shares is that you need
    >to have your computer powered on all the time, or at least when you want to
    >accept inbound or make outbound calls. MagicJack actively changes their
    >software to try and kill service to those who try and plug it directly into
    >routers that have compatible USB ports in hopes of keeping their
    >advertisements in your face on your computer.
    >
    >The third service I am testing is called NetTalk. They are relatively new
    >to the market and make a phone adapter similar to MajicJacks but with one
    >important difference. Their phone adapter can be plugged into a PC's USB
    >port OR directly into an Ethernet port of a router, using a cable. Using
    >the Ethernet cable connectivity you can have phone service even with your
    >computer powered off. Go for a trip and you can use a laptop's USB port to
    >stay in touch. They are presently charging around $99. to purchase the
    >device and are advertising a "limited lifetime" of no phone charges after
    >that for USA and a few other places.
    >
    >As a startup they have had a few bumps as they activate features and make
    >improvements. With that said they must be doing something right since the
    >MagicJack founder has recently verbally attacked the NetTalk service. Seems
    >they are MagicJack has been loosing people left and right to the NetTalk
    >service. I myself may be doing just that as I am tired of all the sick
    >games MagicJack keeps doing with their software to block users from using it
    >as they see fit or to allow 3rd party companies to make improvements. With
    >NetTalk you don't have that kind of hassle and they are pretty quick to
    >respond to actual problems when you open a trouble ticket on their forum.
    >
    >Of the three services, Skype "can" be used for free and offers video calls
    >but only to other Skype users. My local computer user group is using it as
    >a means of teleconferencing in people that are homebound during meetings,
    >along with video of the actual meetings.
    >
    >As for my pick of telephone service using Ma Bell phone numbers I like
    >NetTalk the best. I was able to get a local exchange number and they seem
    >to respond to trouble tickets asking for a local number when one is not
    >available at the time you sign up.
    >
    >Oh, yes... Both MagicJack and NetTalk only have enough power to actually
    >ring one or possibly two phones, depending on the ringer equivalence on the
    >devices. You can have more phones attached just as long as you remove
    >their ringers first. Using a base station with remote wireless phones works
    >good for many people. There is some slight incompatibility with NetTalk and
    >some wireless remote phones due to the ring length being a little short but
    >most modern equipment works just fine with it.



    --
    --------------------------------- --- -- -
    Posted with NewsLeecher v3.9 Final
    Web @ http://www.newsleecher.com/?usenet
    ------------------- ----- ---- -- -
     
  8. GlowingBlueMist

    GlowingBlueMist Flightless Bird

    Old Bob wrote:
    > Thanks for the great review! My "quest" began when I started looking
    > for a Windows 7 speakerphone modem (which apparently doesn't exist).
    > My disability (muscular dystrophy) prevents my from using a standard
    > telephone and, since I've struck out on a hardware solution, my
    > remaining computer-based alternative seems to be Skype.
    >
    > Bob
    >

    < Rest of message text deleted for brevity >

    One thing you might like with Skype Bob is that you can direct it to send
    inbound calls to what ever sound device your computer has, be it speakers on
    a sound card to a USB headset. Similar options for the microphone as well.
    What ever your computer can accept as an external input like the audio input
    on a sound card, or on my laptop I typically use a USB headset with built in
    microphone. The good thing is that the input and output settings can be
    made independently depending on the hardware you have available.

    For those who still want to keep a landline around, you can get adapters
    that allow a Ma Bell style touch tone phone to call out on either line. The
    one I use, I think is discontinued but still available, is a D-Link DPH-50U.
    I have not looked lately since my setup is working ok but I believe there
    are other adapters available by now.
     
  9. Dave

    Dave Flightless Bird

    "Old Bob" <BobBortolin@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:ssWmn.99178$SX7.89204@news.usenetserver.com...
    > Dave,
    > I never heard of oovoo before a Comcast rep mentioned it. From their FAQ:
    >
    > What is ooVoo?
    > With ooVoo you can talk face-to-face over the Internet with high quality
    > video for FREE! If your
    > friend isn't available, you can leave a video message. If you want to
    > connect additional
    > participants in the video call, call phones, use high resolution video or
    > desktop sharing, you
    > can purchase an ooVoo plan or ooVoo Credit. ooVoo offers premium features
    > at affordable rates
    > with flexible payment options to fit any budget.
    >
    > I'll probably go with Skype simply because it seems to be the most popular
    > and widely used.
    >
    > Bob
    >
    > "Old Bob" <BobBortolin@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    > news:sKDmn.63755$1q5.8658@news.usenetserver.com...
    >>> Apparently speakerphone modems are a thing of the past :( It seems that
    >>> my
    >>> choices for a
    >>> computer-based telephone are between Skype and Oovoo - does anyone have
    >>> experience with either
    >>> of these services?
    >>>
    >>> Bob
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >>Bob,
    >>Don't know anything about Oovoo and haven't heard of it either. Don't know
    >>much about Skype but I've heard of it and I've heard of a lot of people
    >>that
    >>use it. Most of what I hear is good, FWIW. In another NG I participate in
    >>there are a couple guys whose wives travel overseas for business. They
    >>call
    >>from overseas from anywhere they have a internet connection and all they
    >>pay is a monthly fee.
    >>HTH,
    >>Dave



    Bob,
    Don't know much about this one either, just that I've heard of people using
    it as a back-up. You've probably seen it advertised, called Magic Jack.
    http://www.magicjack.com/6/index.asp
    On their web site they claim you plug their device in a USB port and plug
    any phone that has a standard plug into the device. I would assume if you
    had a speakerphone of some type it would interface with this OK. Maybe
    someone else can shed some light on this.
    Looked at Skype and they are pretty much the same. One thing I did find is
    they have a WiFi phone you can buy then anywhere you have a wifi signal you
    can log in your account and make a call. That may be how the other guys
    wives were calling from overseas. Didn't look at cost on either too much,
    but Skype does look like it's got more to offer as far as services like
    WiFi, video conference and etc. Plus, monthly or pay-as-you-go accounts,
    whichever fits your needs.
    HTH,
    Dave
     

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