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TMCNet:  netTALK DUO Wi-Fi Review

[April 04, 2012]

netTALK DUO Wi-Fi Review

Originally posted on VoIP & Gadgets Blog, here: http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/voip/nettalk-duo-wi-fi-review.asp.

nettalk-duo-wifi-stock-photo-box.jpgnetTALK DUO Wi-Fi is the latest generation of their VoIP product which brings low-cost phone calling to consumers and competes directly with the popular magicJack plus product. I reviewed the original netTALK DUO last year and was very impressed. When I heard a new Wi-Fi version was in the works I was looking forward to checking it out. First the unboxing:

netalk-duo-wifi-unboxed.jpg

Including in the box is a cardboard quick start guide, micro USB cable, micro USB power adapter [not shown above], Ethernet cable, and PSTN cable.

In my rush to get it installed, I didn't read through all the directions and only saw the step to install the USB drivers at www.nettalk.com/downloads. I assumed the DUO Wi-Fi Application I needed would also be available on this download page - it wasn't. I didn't notice until much later on that the DUO Wi-Fi Application, was available at a different URL - www.nettalk.com/wifiguide. I should RTFM? smiley-embarassed

After connecting the device using the micro USB cable to my PC and installing just the USB drivers, I noticed the new netTALK app in my Windows 7 System Tray had assigned the IP address 192.168.2.1 and 192.168.2.2. Curious if I could setup the Wi-Fi using my browser instead, I tried 192.168.2.1 but it didn't connect. I tried the other IP address (192.168.2.2) and voila! I was able to see a rudimentary Web interface that let me set my SSID, encryption (WEP, WPA2, etc.) and other Wi-Fi settings. Within a few seconds, the analog phone I had connected to the netTALK DUO Wi-Fi rang and the LED on the device went green indicating it was ready to make calls.
nettalk-wifi-web-admin.jpg
netTALK DUO Wi-Fi web admin screen

Thus, if you don't want the DUO Wi-Fi Application just to setup the Wi-Fi settings, you can install the USB drivers, connect the DUO Wi-Fi to your PC, and then browse to 192.168.2.2. Though, just to see how easy the DUO Wi-Fi Application was to use, I did install it (after finding correct URL). The software supports both Automatic and Manual mode. If your computer doesn't have Wi-Fi you can change to Manual mode and enter Wi-Fi settings manually. In Automatic mode it shows all the Wi-Fi hotspots in your area and you can select the appropriate network and enter the password. The info is then permanently saved on the DUO Wi-Fi.

nettalk-duo-wifi-management-tool.jpg

netTALK DUO Wi-Fi Management Tool

After configuring the device I made my first test call. The call quality was very good. I hadn't activated my device yet, so only outbound calling worked. To get an inbound number I needed to activate. The activation process has not been changed since the previous non-Wi-Fi DUO. It's a simple 3 steps to activate the DUO Wi-Fi, mostly consisting of asking for address info for E-911 requirements as well as asking your area code and then providing you a list of local exchanges from which you pick a phone number. I picked a phone number in my local area and then proceeded to test a few inbound calls. The phone connected to the DUO Wi-Fi rang and once again the call quality was excellent.

I made multiple calls and didn't hear any choppiness. Next, I proceeded to measure the latency of the netTALK DUO.

Continue reading netTALK DUO Wi-Fi Review...

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