Calling is getting cheaper on any device today. But it’s hard to beat cheap calling over the Internet.
Most of us know Skype and its limitations, like free calling with other Skype users, but you need a computer or data-hungry smartphone to make Skype calls, not to mention additional LD costs to land lines.
NetTALK, available in any electronic section of big box stores, has unique features making it look and feel like an old fashioned phone service, minus the monthly bills “cord” users are used to paying. And you get to use your old land line phone device.
NetTALK is based on VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) with some smart engineering, using WiFi at your home, hotel or anywhere you can access Internet.
Both are small dongles run off USB or outlet power and have a built-in phone plug , similar to your landline wall receptacle. You simply plug your traditional phone or cordless phone base to it. The difference here is that now you are making VoIP.
It comes in two models, the netTALK Duo $59.95, which requires a physical Ethernet cable connection to a router all the time and the netTALK Duo WiFi $ 74.95 which can access your WiFi hotspot wirelessly.
Having tried both, the netTALK Duo WiFi is worth the extra cost because once you set it up through a laptop, you can simply put the laptop away, plug the netTALK Duo WiFi dongle to a power outlet and simply plug your old landline phone to it. If you have a cordless phone you can walk around your home with the phone wirelessly. Very smart.
The system can memorize numerous WiFi environments so it simply works when you revisit memorized hotspots. A reminder you will need a wall outlet for the netTALK Duo WiFi for it to work.
Setting up is average to slightly challenging if you don’t follow the onscreen instructions like I didn’t, and you will have to download the small application on your PC or laptop to set the right connections at first. That application also lets you wirelessly set up new WiFi hotspots.
The initial purchase includes one year’s service which features:
After the first year an annual fee starting at CA$39.95 applies with optional extras like an international Add-On: Calling to 60+ countries, including China, India, Brazil, UK, France, and more for as low as $10 per month (plus taxes).
Calling to other netTALK users anywhere in the world, like Skype, is free.
So, how does the math work out? Roughly, a minimum monthly landline fee is about $35 and a third party long distance average use long distance package will cost $15. That’s $600 a year, compared to the initial one time netTALK Duo WiFi for $74.95 which includes one year of basic service. After that its $39.95 a year plus a cheaper $10 International monthly for a grand annual total of $159.95 (plus tax), a third of the price of setting up a traditional line phone service.
This is a great option for family members, like students, who will be away from home during the school year. Currently Walmart has a special on the netTALK DUO & VTech Bundle (two cordless handsets) for $79.96 giving you the freedom to be cordless at home while the netTALK Duo is physically connected, out of the way, to the home modem. You save about $10 if you buy the two separately.