Tag Archive for cell phone substitutes

Hello from the Grand Canyon’s rim

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Hello, friends, followers, and readers!  Though I’m on vacation this week (and will be returning very soon) I’ve got blogging on my mind.  Sounds like a song, “Blogging is my business, and I’ve got business on my mind.”

So what could I possibly write about, technology-wise, while sitting beside one of the seven natural wonders of the world?

Well, it’s sitting right next to me, my Netgear SPH200D Internet phone with Skype.

The Netgear SPH200D

What a wonderful device Netgear has made!  I’ve had it for almost a year now. It’s a cellphone-sized unit, plus a box about the size of a small paperback, and two power adapters. It’s so portable I’m able to fit it all into a shaving case sized bag.

The phone system can be plugged into any high-speed Internet connection allowing me to make and receive call just as if I were home. Much like a cellphone, the phone number goes wherever I go.

So What?

Netgear's SPH200D

Netgear

… You might say, “I can take my cell phone anywhere, too, and I don’t have to plug into anything except a wall outlet from time to time.”

That’s true, but how much are you paying for that convenience?  $50 per month?

My Netgear phone with Skype is costing me $50 a year! Yes, a year!

I admit, it’s not a replacement for a cell phone, but I have been able to reduce my cell phone usage significantly, by using the Internet phone instead when possible.

Like now, from the edge of the Grand Canyon with my hotel’s free Internet service. Or tomorrow, when I get to my sister’s home, I’ll connect it to her home network’s router.

My cellphone usage has dropped far below my provider’s lowest level service plan. I’m half tempted to get rid of it entirely, or switch to a pay as you go plan. I used to pay $1,200 a year for cellular service. That dropped to $600 a year shortly after getting the Internet phone, and I may very well be on my way to getting it as low as $240 per year if I play my cards right.

I’d get tired of all that setting up

Again, I agree, and Netgear has a solution for that, too. They have a unit that operates without the box. It’s just a single cellphone sized device that works with any wireless Internet service you may be near. So I could use it with the hotel’s wireless internet service, or the airport’s wireless serice, or my sister’s wireless router, or the wireless internet at the local Starbucks’ or Borders bookstore.

Sounds better, doesn’t it? You bet.  That’s why I’m getting ready to pick up one of those, too.

Enough, how much does the Netgear phone cost?

The SPH200D I have goes for $149, and can be purchased at your local Best Buy, or from Skype. The wireless capable unit goes for $199, and can be picked up at the same locations.

It uses rechargeable AAA batteries that you can buy anywhere, and it comes with a recharger base.  You can also purchase two more handsets, and use them with the box base.

Skype?

I’ll talk more about Skype (www.skype.com) later. They have plans that run from FREE to $20 to $60 per year. That’s yearly, not monthly. The free service enables you to connect with other Skype users, while the pay plans enable you to make and receive calls with anyone else. They even have software which can be installed on your computer.

Talk to you soon!

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