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Actiontec VoSky Call Center

Anything that reduces the number of dangling wires from our computers, phones, and even our heads is okay in my book, and the VoSky Call Center by Actiontec is making a small contribution toward that end. The Call Center is a Skype-certified device that enables you to make and receive Skype calls with a regular telephone rather than a cheap headset dangling from your computer.

For the uninitiated, Skype is a peer-to-peer internet telephony (VoIP) network where you can call other Skype users for free, call land or cell numbers for a fee (SkypeOut), receive calls from traditional phones (SkypeIn), and receive voicemail messages for a small fee. The only other requirements for Skype use is that both ends have high-speed internet connections, and up until now, you have had to use a headset, or a Skype-specific phone such as the LinkSYS CIT200 to make Skype calls.

With the Actiontec Call Center, you can use any phone to make and receive Skype calls at home, make Skype calls remotely, have Skype calls forwarded to a landline or cell phone, and be notified by Call Return when a Skype contact comes online. The only requirement is that a phone be connected to the Call Center, your computer must be on, and that you have an active high-speed connection to the internet.

I'm thinking: This has got to be great. But is it?

Before I tell you that, let me tell you this: The VoSky Call Center includes a software CD, the Call Center box with lights to indicate "Regular," or "Internet" calls, a USB cable, and an RJ-11 phone cable. Happily, the Call Center does not require an external power source as it derives its power from the USB cable. The Call Center also requires that you have Windows 2000 or Windows XP. Sorry, Mac users.

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