Friday, November 25, 2011

Do you still have one?

When people on our estate had an internet connection via Wi Surf, many had a Grandstream Handy Tone which allowed them to use an ordinary phone to make calls using Voip (voice over internet protocol). In our case we had a bulky Grandstream Voip phone instead.

The satellite connection was so poor that you could rarely make a decent call with it so many gave up on the idea and discarded the little boxes. However, Pam and I kept our phone which we used when we got a Telefónica landline connection with ADSL. We later replaced the phone with a cordless Voip phone and gave the Grandstream to a friend of mine in England who still uses it for international calls.
The advantage of Voip is that the calls you make are very cheap. However, the system won’t work if your electricity is cut off or your internet connection goes down so it is best to have a fixed line or a mobile as backup for emergencies.

Now, we come to the point of this post. A friend of ours, who lives on the estate, called me yesterday to ask if I still had one of those little boxes, the Grandstream Handy Tone,  but as I have already said, we didn’t have one in the first place. I wondered though if anyone else had kept theirs – just in case- and could help him out.
PS Sorry Mel that I haven’t returned your call – for some reason, our Domo 2 seems only to record outgoing numbers!

1 comment:

Bill said...

I don't have a VoIP 'phone, but I did think about getting one some years back, but it seemed to me like a clumsy system and likely to be superseded by better technology relatively soon.

What I did start using around that time, and still do, is Skype. As well as the free PC-to-PC calls I use it for, I also buy credit to use it for calls to ordinary 'phones (landlines or mobile). You buy credit in blocks of £10- or equivalent and as calls to landlines in most countries I am ever likely to wish to call (basically most of Europe, North America incl. Hawaii, Australasia, Japan) are only about 2p a minute, the £10- credit lasts a long time. Of course one needs to have the PC on-line to make a call, but theoretically if you have wi-fi access in say an airport or coffee-shop then one can also use Skype and my laptops last for about 7 hours on battery power; I always buy wi-fi access in my room when staying in hotels, for example, and Skype always works fine. When I first started using Skype I had a USB 'phone to plug into my laptop, but my current machines have much better microphones and speakers so it's no longer necessary. Calls are usually reasonably-reliable I find, but like all internet calls incl. VoIP are prone to fading, however hanging-up and calling again normally solves the problem.

I'm sure you already know about Skype (?)