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Go to a wireless telephone connection. It will only work on certain conditions.

1.You must have broadband wireless at home.
2.You must use your telephone sparingly, but frequently is OK. That is for what you need and not for long, long conversations. However if you are talking over your computer you can have long long converations.

For my experience with Belkin continue.

I answered and went for the slick snail mail flyer from CenturyTel for 39.95 unlimited calling. When all the taxes, hidden charges(my rural area) added up I was paying $65 a month. And fuming.

I looked into the new Skype phones, and read all the comments and evaluations on google and decided to try. I got the Belkin because the reviews were best on that phone. Actually I did it backwards as it would have been easier to start with my computer first and go on Skype. But I had tried it in the past and couldn't get it to work. Besides I thought if I got a phone I could take it all over my building.

So I got the little handset Belkin which works in any area with open access wireless. It does not have a browser so if you have to agree to terms anyplace before using, then you can't. This gets rid of Panera etc. You can also subscribe (extra$)to Boingo which has lots of places to use it at and more coming all the time. All Barnes and Nobles for example. But not too convenient. It also works seamlessly with your landline (if you decide to keep it) and your cell  (if you think you need it.) It comes with Skype built in.

You can call anywhere in the world to a Skype user for free and you can get a Skypein number for anyone to call you from anything they are using. With payment for a Skypein number comes free voicemail. (I forget for how long.) Then you get unlimited calling in the US and Canada to and from any kind of telephone for $30 a year!. I think the Skypein number is $25 or so for a year. You can also get SkyPro for about $30 a year that lets you call at 2 cents a minute or less all over the world. It gives you free voicemail and a go to number that is a local call for the special person you designate. So if you talk a lot to someone in Egypt, they can call you on your go to number and it is a local call for them. Nice, eh?

I find the home page of Skype confusing and it is all in Euros, the new nationally accepted currency now that the dollar has tanked and is sinking lower in the depths every month. So I have not taken advantage of the rebates and freebies that went with my purchase so I am trying to get credit extended in that direction. Easier just to read it and understand first before buying. And all through paypal. The DNC could take a lesson on this.

But now on my Mac I find that using the phone on the computer is better than the handset. It has speaker range, so the handset has become a convenience instead of a necessity. But when I do medical studies, it is all wireless in those places now, I can use the handset there. It looks like a little cell phone but doesn't flip closed. The recharge battery lasts about three hours. I keep it hooked to my computer all day and take it up at night. I can also charge it by plugging it in a socket. And long conversations go nicely on my mac. My callers say they experience an intermittant echo but it is not insurmountable. Especially at these prices.

So I have told CenturyTel to go away and use only my computer and my little Belkin. Which is perfect for my needs. If your needs are similar to mine then I recommend checking into this alternative so you will have $65 a month extra for gas for your car. Happy Motoring as Kunstler would say!

Originally posted to abbeysbooks on Wed Jul 04, 2007 at 01:51 PM PDT.

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