• 04/24/2006
    6:40 PM
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The Top Five Skype Add-ons

Skype is more than just a telephony client. There are many accessories that enhance the basic Skype functionality. Here are the ones we like the most

Probably the number one request I get is "How do I use Skype without leaving my computer on all the time?" One way is to use Skype with Wi-Fi. Two options are to use the Pocket PC with Wi-Fi like the Verizon PPC 6700 and the Pocket PC version of Skype, or the new NetGear Wi-Fi Skype phone that you can use anywhere you can get an open Wi-Fi signal. The NetGear WiFi Skype phone is portable and will let you make or receive Skype calls when you're near an open Wi-Fi hotspot. To use it in your home, you'll need to install a Wi-Fi network. You can also join a WiFi service like Boingo or use one of the many free WiFi hotspots worldwide.

By the way, if you want to use a Pocket PC with Wi-Fi and Skype, you need to have the proper processor, and the option to use a headset. For Smart phones with Windows Mobile 2003 or later and the proper processor and Wi-Fi enabled, you can add Skype to make a nice Wi-Fi Skype phone that can even make Skype calls over your cell provider's high-speed broadband network. I use a PPC 6700 from Verizon, (also available through Sprint) and it works fabulously as a WiFi Skype phone.

4. USB Telephones

Linksys USB phone

A USB telephone is clearly the option for those that are mobile road warriors with laptops or just want a telephone-like device to make Skype Calls from a computer. Just load the software for the USB phone, plug the USB phone in and make and receive Skype calls. USB phones are easy to use and gives you the same experience as a telephone. There are many vendors of USB phones, so look for ones with features that you want like a speaker phone option, speed dial, and similar options. A good choice is the Linksys USB phone. With all these phones, keep in mind that the more features, the more the cost. They are available in both Wintel and Mac versions.

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