This device puts a modern twist on the concept of a dedicated home or office phone line. The most appealing part is free long distance calling.

All Hands on Tech: Nettalk Duo WiFi

The landline is dead. Now that everyone is always carrying around cell phones, having a home phone number is obsolete. Many people are cutting the cord entirely and cutting the expense of a phone they barely use.

But netTALK is one company that’s giving your desk phone new life. It uses your home or office Internet connection to place and receive phone calls. No need for a contract, barely any long distance charges, and it works just like a traditional landline.

With the new Nettalk Duo WiFi product, you can place the device anywhere in range of your router’s wireless connection.

Hands on look at netTALK Duo WiFi.

Out of the box, the first thing you’ll do is plug the device into a laptop computer with a USB cable. An online setup will guide you through the installation and set up netTALK Duo WiFi with your network information.

The online setup is easy to use and offers a lot of customization. You can even choose your own phone number. And, set up speed dial without fiddling with your phone’s number pad.

Then just connect the device to your phone, plug it into the wall and you’re ready to go. You’ll know you’re connected properly when you see a solid green light. You also have the option of connecting this device directly to your router with an Ethernet cable.

I found the call quality on the netTALK Duo WiFi to be about the same as my cell phone, and maybe a bit better. It’s nice to be able to make long distance calls without racking up a big bill. Even calls to far flung locations cost just fractions of a cent per minute.

The online portal is a great way to manage your phone number. You can check your voice mail, look at your call history, see your bills, and even simulate a call to see how much it will cost before you place it.

You can buy the netTALK DUO WiFi online for $75. That includes one year of service with free calling to Canada and the U.S. and low-cost international calls. When it’s time to renew your plan, annual packages start at $40.

Overall, the netTALK Duo Wifi is a convenient and low cost phone option for your home or office. It’s especially great if you place a lot of long distance calls.

Bonus tips

You can activate all the dead phone jacks in your house using a Nettalk product. Buy a simple phone splitter and plug it into your Nettalk device. Then plug one end into your base phone as you normally would, and the other end into a dead phone jack. All of the phone jacks in your home will now have a dial tone form the Nettalk device.

You can also block your number for outgoing calls on Nettalk. Just dial *77 before the number you’re calling and your number won’t be displayed on caller ID.

Brian JacksonBrian Jackson is the Editor at ITBusiness.ca. E-mail him at bjackson@itbusiness.ca, follow him on Twitter, connect on , read his blog, and check out the IT Business Facebook Page.
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