WiFi Phone

Most people would agree that their mobile phone bills are too expensive. However, there is now a cheaper alternative to both the mobile phone and fixed-line phone. The WiFi phone resembles a mobile phone in form and function, but it takes advantage of the cheaper call rates available from internet phone services, like Skype. By using a WiFi phone instead of a mobile phone, the savings can amount to hundreds of dollars each year. However, there are a few problems that need to be considered before buying one, such as patchy coverage and poor call quality.

WiFi is short for wireless fidelity but that doesn’t explain very much. In reality, it’s just a catchy trademark for a certain type of wireless technology. The other types include Bluetooth which is used for computer peripherals, as well as GSM which is used for mobile phones. WiFi is mostly used for computer networking so it’s the best choice for a phone that uses the internet to make calls. In order to use the internet, a WiFi phone needs to be within range of a wireless router. The coverage area of the router is known as an access point or “hotspot”. Currently, WiFi coverage is very patchy and not widespread like the coverage of mobile phone towers.

A hotspot is an area where a WiFi device can communicate with a wireless router that is connected to the internet. It typically has a circular area with the router at the center, but its maximum range can be reduced in places by large obstacles. Hotspots can be found in practically every city and town around the world, and you can even setup one in your home or office. Some hotspots are free to use but others require a small access fee to be paid before you can used them. Free hotspots are often found in airports, train and bus stations, cafes, schools, universities, shopping malls, stadiums, and many other places where people gather.

A WiFi phone looks and feels like a regular mobile phone and has the same type of keypad and color screen. While most models are not capable of making calls through a mobile phone GSM network, there are a few expensive models that support both WiFi and GSM. The price for a basic WiFi phone starts at around $150, and the call costs are either free or almost nothing. Even expensive international calls can be made for about the cost of a local call, with no time-based charging to worry about. However, the access fees and data charges for using a hotspot may need to be taken into account.

The same features that are important for a mobile phone are also important for a WiFi phone. The best models have a high call time and standby time but also have a short charging time. The phone should have an screen interface that is easy to use and supports different languages .It should also support caller ID, call transfer, and call holding. The range of a WiFi phone is also important and most models will work up to three hundred feet from a router, but some of the cheaper phones may not work that far away. Call quality begins suffers if the phone gets too far away from a router so it’s better to pay more for a phone with a decent range.

A WiFi phone can be used with just about any phone service available on the internet. Currently, Skype is the most popular service with more than fifty million active users. It’s free to join Skype and you are allowed to have multiple accounts. Calls between Skype users are free so long as they are both using the internet. One of the great benefits of using Skype is that callers are identified by a name rather than a number. A WiFi phone that is sold with the Skype software already loaded is usually called a Skype phone, even though it can most likely be used with other services too.

This WiFi Phone Review is Written/Updated on Dec 25th, 2010 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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