Skype Freetalk Connect Me home phone pictures and hands-on
Skype recently unleashed a couple of devices to get you all VoIPed up without even needing to turn on your PC; the Skype Freetalk Connect Me home phone adapter and the GE Digital Cordless Expandable Telephone with Skype.
Starting with the adapter and the premise is simple - it turns your home landline phone into a Skype phone, but still allows for landline calls through your provider as well. Confused? Well don't be - it's all rather straight forward once you're up and running.
The adapter plugs into your regular phone line, your home phone, your router and the mains, and gives you the option to make calls via Skype rather than through your landline.
For people with international Skype call packages, the advantages of the device are obvious. The adapter is sold with Skype call plan bundles as well, such as up to 300 minutes of international calls to landlines and mobiles for £34.99 (£5 more for unlimited UK and Ireland) or unlimited worldwide calls to landlines in 41 countries (and mobiles in selected countries) for 3 months for £44.99.
When you first set up the adapter, you need to log on to your PC and use the set-up wizard to configure your Skype login details and your quick dial options - up to 100 speed dials and 200 Skype contacts. Once that is done, your PC never needs to be on again.
You will always show as online on Skype though, so people can call you, so consider setting up a separate Skype account if you don't want people bothering you at all hours.
The GE Digital Cordless Expandable Telephone with Skype, takes the idea one step further, by bringing in a fully functional Skype phone to the setup.
Not only will it still receive incoming calls from your landline, it has a nice interface that allows you to tweak the settings so it behaves just as you want. For example, you can select to have all calls diverted through Skype, all calls through your landline, or the option to select each time.
You can also sign out of your Skype account (and into another, should you wish) and the neon blue display will even tell you which of your Skype contacts are online and how much Skype credit you've got.
With 300 minutes of international calls to landlines and mobiles you'll pay £53.99 (£6 more for unlimited UK and Ireland landlines) and the unlimited worldwide 3-month plan is £66.99.
Both devices are available now from shop.skype.com.