Skype + Router?
September 8, 2010 9:36 PM   Subscribe

Is there anyway to use an existing phone with Skype and a wireless router without a PC?

We're paying $40/mo right now for a real phone line that we barely use (moms call us), and we're looking to save money. Our internet and phone is through Bresnan (~$40 phone + ~$27 8 Mb/s + plenty of taxes). My girlfriend and I are both grad students, so we're looking for cheap alternatives to a real phone service.

We don't have a PC next to our router, so the phone-to-USB bridges (like this one) wouldn't work -- is there another kind of device that can connect to the phone and router that doesn't require a computer being on? We've got one base station for two cordless phones and a G router if that helps.

If that's not possible, can anyone recommend either a tiny, cheap PC to keep running all the time, a Skype router-phone that's relatively affordable (<$100), or any other alternative to an overpriced landline? We both have cell phones, but they're uncomfortable to talk on and usually somewhere inconvenient when we need them.

posted by fleeba to Technology (10 answers total)
Assuming you have mobile phones, why not just ditch the landline altogether?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:40 PM on September 8, 2010

Can you clarify what you mean by "router-phone?" There are a number of wifi Skype phones on the market, like this mostly-well-reviewed option. (I searched Amazon for "skype phone wifi" to exclude the many USB options that would require a computer.)
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:57 PM on September 8, 2010

something like this might be what you're looking for:

i have one and it works well. you hook up a base station directly to your router and don't need to have your PC on.
posted by canned polar bear at 11:41 PM on September 8, 2010

It will almost definitely be cheaper to buy a hardware skype phone. Or a hardware VOIP phone.
posted by devnull at 4:48 AM on September 9, 2010

Skype will run natively on an Android phone.
posted by valkyryn at 9:07 AM on September 9, 2010

Skype also runs on the iPhone (over wifi). I'm not sure if that addresses your issues because this question is sort of unfocused. Why are your mobiles "uncomfortable to talk on"? Ditching the land line would be the obvious choice.
posted by chairface at 12:01 PM on September 9, 2010

Thanks for the responses!

Re: Mobile phones

My girlfriend misplaces her phone most of the time, or it's dead, so part of the reason of having a landline is so someone can get ahold of her. My phone (Razr v3 or so) is just awkward to talk on for more than 20 min, but I can live with it since I'm not making/receiving too many long distance calls now. I guess the real problem is getting my girlfriend to keep her phone charged and around.

We both have another year on our Alltel (mine) and Verizon (hers) contracts, but I'll definitely keep the Android in mind when my overpriced cell plan is up, although maybe we'll have iPhones in Missoula, MT, by then.

Thanks for the recommendations on Skype phones too. I'll look into it, but also see if I can reach my girlfriend exclusively via her cellphone this week as a trial.
posted by fleeba at 8:43 PM on September 9, 2010

I have an Ipevo wifi skype phone and we really like it. It's small, the battery does pretty well, and Ipevo updates the firmware occasionally. It's a little tinny sounding, but otherwise is great.
posted by reddot at 6:41 PM on September 13, 2010

does it have to be skype?

have a look at Ooma, you buy the device, and then your phone number is essentially free (you have to pay something like $3 a month for 911 fees/taxes)
posted by jrishel at 10:04 AM on September 14, 2010

The Nettalk Duo runs from an ethernet line that plugs into your broadband modem.

It uses only 2.2 to 3.8 watts, and the computer does not need to be on.

You get the Duo with a local number (or a number anywhere in the U.S. that you want), voice mail, call waiting, call forwarding, it's $30 a year after the first year, and you can call anywhere in the U.S. and Canada free any time day or night.
posted by johnlvs2run at 8:24 PM on November 26, 2010

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