Vonage Wi-Fi Phone review

4 out of 5
£89.99

For

Easy to set up and install, connects to any wireless hotspot, easy to use

Against

Styling is dated

So you've got a wireless network at home, like the idea of making calls over the Internet to save some cash but don't really fancy sitting in front of your computer to make the call.

In steps the Vonage Wi-Fi Phone, a landline phone that connects directly into a wireless network without the need for a PC.

The device, which can be charged via a USB cable looks like a mobile phone circa 1999 and apart from being a bit on the clunky looking side, works well.

Menu features include call logs, phonebook, different profiles and even tools like a calculator or alarm.

The catch is that to benefit from this wirefree calling you need to Vonage account.

Current packages include either the Vonage Residential Unlimited package that allows you to make unlimited local and national calls anywhere in the UK and the Republic of Ireland for £7.99 a month or a business plan where you get unlimited local and national calling anywhere in the UK and the Republic of Ireland plus a free fax line with 500 local and national minutes for £18.99 a month.

The service offers everything from three-way calling, call waiting, repeat dial on busy, call forwarding to user assigned number, call hold/resume, voicemail, call rejecting/redial/mute and Caller ID based on phone book entries, and although you will need a

Requirements of the Vonage service mean you must have a broadband connection, but apart from that, that's all you need.

Where the service comes into its own of course is that you don't need to be on your home wireless network to use the phone and this means that you could be sitting in an office, or any hotspot for that matter and still benefit from the Vonage Package.

The only thing we weren't able to test was whether or not you could use the service abroad and still get those unlimited calls to the UK.

Verdict

With a minimal amount of set-up this phone is a great idea for users who want to take advantage of their wireless network to make VoIP calls without having to sit in front of a PC.

Vonage's approach of getting you to pay a set fee up-front rather than Skype's pay as you go solution does mean that you are more likely to use this (just as you do broadband) rather than worrying about the bill at the end.

What's the catch? There isn't one really although the gadget fan within us hoped for a more stylish unit rather than the trip down memory lane to the phone we had 7 years ago.

Overall though, if you are happy to sign-up to the service, and we can't see why you wouldn't be, this is good stuff.