ASUS AiGuru S1: Skype goes WiFi

by Gary Key on 7/11/2006 12:05 AM EST


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  • PokerGuy - Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - link

    Thanks for the article, I'm glad to see this kind of review on my favorite tech site. There's a lot of interest in VoIP and Skype and lots of products are hitting the market now: we need AT to help us figure out what's junk and what really works.

    Also, another product that you might want to review is the Vosky Call Center (from Actiontec). It's basically a little box that plugs into the USB port on the PC and allows you to simply plug your own analog cordless phone (5.8ghz, 2.4ghz or 900mhz) into the box. That way, you use a 'regular' phone with skype, and you can make calls uing both skype or your regular landline with a single cordless phone anywhere in the house. Very convenient.
  • jamawass - Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - link

    The review doesn't address whether you can do all skype functionality with the phone. ie do all skype contacts appear in the phone's address book, does skype to skype calling function the same way as skypeout? Can one chat with this phone? Also do all the pc sounds go through this phone? One problem I have with skype is that I can't listen or watch anything else on my pc as all the sounds are transmitted over line. Does the phone have this problem? Reply
  • budsan - Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - link

    This was the most comprehensive and fascinating article on Skype and this new phone by ASUS. I am looking forward to more reviews from you on other Wifi phones. For those that are unfamiliar with VOIP technology, you made it a pleasure to read! Reply
  • soydios - Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - link

    "We might have been able to go further but did not trust our ability to outrun the person who kept a keen eye on our notebook while inching closer to our table during extended distance testing."


    Good article, especially for people like me who haven't looked much into Skype.
  • Schugy - Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - link

    I would call these things Peripherals.

    I think a phone is something like the Siemens C450 IP (+Router) or the AVM FT 7150 D.

    Then you don't need a PC, save 150W energy and you have talk times between 10 and 17 hours.
  • JNo - Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - link

    unfortunately, Skype uses proprietary protocol, not VOIP SIPs like other providers, and so wouldn't work with the Siemens C450 IP etc as it only supports VOIP SIPS Reply
  • Schugy - Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - link

    But using SIPS is one of the biggest advantages. If your provider has problems or bad support you can easily change it. There's maximum competition.

    But what is when Skype makes trouble and you have paid 300$ for a phone (this isn't a PC independent phone anyway) that you can't use with others? Well, I prefer throwing a 300$ phone out of the window over being locked into skype.

  • heulenwolf - Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - link

    I'm a bit confused about the wireless connection. Does the USB dongle connect to the phone over its own, separate 802.11g connection? Living in a densely populated neighborhood, there are already more 802.11g networks in my area than there are non-interfering channels and interference is a significant problem. Would the phone-computer connection add yet another wireless network to the mix or would it work over my pre-existing 802.11g network? When testing the phone, how many pre-existing wireless networks were there? Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - link

    The USB Wireless Link from Asus is a separate 802.11G connection. It will not work over an existing wireless network as the interface between the phone and the wireless link dongle is proprietary. In regards to the testing, there was an active 802.11G network via our DSL modem, an active Draft-N wireless network being tested, and a wireless 802.11G network in the building next door. We did not experience any cross-talk or interference during testing with the other networks. I will retest tomorrow with two active 802.11G routers in the same room. Reply
  • Gigahertz19 - Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - link

    Glad to see a review like this, I'm moving into a new house this Thursday and have to set up a phone service. Not sure to go with Skype or Vonage, no more standard expensive phone service for me. So Gary could you see this phone replace your landline as a permanent solution?

    Only thing I wish they could somehow do is find a way to still use Skype on your phone without your computer always turned on. That's why Vonage might be a little more attractive as a permanent solution. They need to come out with a adapter to plug into your router or something for Skype, that would be nice.
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - link

    I will be switching over to VoIP via our local cable company shortly due to 911 capability, our alarm system, and a great deal on a couple of phones. ;-) If you are unwilling to live with 911 capability and have excellent DSL/Cable uptime then a solution such as Skype is very attractive with a VoIP phone. I know the majority of my business conversations are on Skype at this time along with 99% of conference calls. Until I receive the Linksys and NetGear phones, it will be hard to determine if the sync issues (5~7 second delay) we experienced with landline and cellular phones is an Asus, Skype, or network issue. It happened enough times that it is concerning to me although we never had a call just drop out. I know the issue has not happened with a few of my friends who have VoIP service through the cable company or Vonage so I think it is phone or Skype related. Thank you for the comments. Reply
  • goinginstyle - Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - link

    I enjoyed the article and look forward to more VoIP product reviews. I was quite surprised to see a review like this. Is there any chance you can do a review of the netgear and linksys phones soon? Did you use skype on a linux machine? Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, July 11, 2006 - link

    Thank you for the comments. We might review other products in the future and certainly would like to do a review or comparison of the major VoIP services if there is enough interest in this subject. I have used Skype on a recent SUSE 10.1 install (have to use the latest beta and read the forums). However, the Asus phone only supports Windows 2000 (SP4) or XP (SP2) at this time. Reply

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