Skype phone   Released: 2007-01-20 09:26:54

It has come to my attention after five hours of research and visiting retail stores (which would make my search about 8 hours) that the internet and retailers are slacking. The internet is resting on it's global ass scattering reviews to the winds and retailers seem to be basking in the orange glow of Vonage. That is except Fry's (my favorite place to nerd out) which seems to be basking in plastic rubbermaid bins full of returned open boxed VoIP handsets and Taiwanese trinket USB phones.

That brings me to the point of even writing this, imparting a bit of what I have learned so that the internet will seem less slovenly when you search for Skype phones.

There are a two varieties of Skype phones:

1) Computer needed to make calls
2) Computer not needed to make calls (which I would prefer)

And the rest shakes out from their like this:

Computer needed to make calls
1) USB
2) USB to wireless handset
3) USB dual mode (dual mode is code for connects to your regular phone line too)

Computer not needed to make calls
1) WiFi handsets
2) Ethernet (connects to your router via cable)
3) Dual mode with ethernet (think Cisco iPhone)

The best place to start your search for a Skype phone is Amazon. They have a pretty comprehensive selection and with user reviews from nerds and those less tech savvy who have used the gear.

After that hit Google and search for the phones you're interested in and pay attention to blog posts since most are personal reviews of the phone This phase of the research is where I was able to begin to narrow my choices based on my desire to not have to use my computer to make a call.

Right now I am interested in:
Netgear SPH101 - WiFi and has speakerphone capability
Belkin WiFi - WiFi
Polycom C100S USB
Philips VoIP841 (not for sale yet)

Once I make up my mind I'll do a review.

Philips VoIP841 Netgear SPH101 Polycom C100S USB VoIP handset

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