Now that everyone has cell phones, not many of us have home phones any more. But for those of us that cannot afford a fancy cell phone, or don't want to sell our soul for a mobile contract, or even for those of us that have a business that needs a separate business line, we still need a home phone for some reason or another and don't want to pay the high prices of having a home phone. Where I live we only have a limited number of choices for any type of entertainment service. Until recently we could only get one Internet company that was not so great, one telephone company that was expensive, and our only television option was satellite. Recently we have had access to a better company, but in order to use their phone or television services we have to sign a contract. Living in an apartment with a six month lease, and signing a 2 year contract for television just does not scream "good idea" to me. This next product gives you the option of having a telephone, without the contract, and without the high price.
I'm sure you have heard of the Magic Jack, or you have at least heard of a similar product before, right? Well NetTALK has come up with something similar, but much better then the Magic Jack. My only computer happens to be a laptop, so having a phone pretty much permanently connected to my computer, like the Magic Jack, really is not an option for me. Which is why the NetTALK Duo is such a great product. The NetTALK Duo can connect to your wifi, so you don't need to have it plugged into your computer.
While the set up process was relatively easy, I think that it could be made a little easier with possibly a set up disk or something similar. The directions seemed simple enough, but when I started to actually try to complete them things got a little harder. First, I had to find a place that I could sit down with my computer, my phone, and of course the Duo so that I could concentrate on getting it set up. The software can take some time to download, and when it comes to downloads on the computer I can be very impatient. After the software download is complete you have to fill out your information, and make an account. Which was also simple, but took some time. Finally I was able to unplug the Duo and the phone and put them where I wanted them to stay. I was yet again left sitting next to the computer waiting for something to happen. Right when I was about to start all over, the phone rang letting me know that it was working.
One major issue that I have run into while using my Duo, is that periodically it will just stop working and I will have to re-enter my IP address into the program on my computer. The Duo does not give me any warning that this has happened, and the only way I can find out if it has happened is to try to make a call. If my call goes through, great! If it does not ring, then I have to re-enter my IP address again. I have made it a habit to check my phone every morning just to make sure that it is working, which generally it is, but it is not fun to worry about whether or not I missed a call in the process.
As with any online communication, talking on the phone can be a little sketchy. Unless you have a very fast, reliable Internet connection that never fails you, your phone may be a little staticy from time to time. Our Internet runs at approximately 10 Mbps but can jump anywhere from 7-15 Mbps at any given time. We not only run this phone off of our connection, but we also run my computer, and our Playstation, which is either being used to play games online, or to watch television shows on Hulu. So by the time we added the phone, there wasn't very much bandwidth left to begin with. Because of this our phone will often cut out, or will be very staticy. When we are only using the phone, it seems to work pretty well, and doesn't cut out as often.
Even with the few problems it does have, I still love my Duo. I don't have to worry about contracts, or my phone being shut off because of a late bill.
NetTALK also just came out with an app for your smart phone that allows you to have free calling to the US and Canada, without using up all your minutes. They currently have apps for both Android enable phones and the iPhone.
You can find the NetTALK Duo at your local Target store!
Want to win your own NetTALK Duo? Enter my giveaway below!
**Disclaimer** I was in no way paid, or obligated to give a positive review, or a review at all for this company. If you would like to read my full disclaimer for reviews you can find it here.