Skip to main content

Netgear SPH200D Dual-mode Cordless Phone with Skype


The SPH200D Dual-mode Cordless Phone from Netgear offers one of the most convenient ways to use Skype. It's a cordless phone that plugs in directly to a router and allows one to use Skype without a computer. It can also function as a cordless phone for plain old telephone service (POTS). Hence the "dual-mode" in the name. The phone uses Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) to connect up to four handsets to the base station.

Based on all the positive reviews and feedback from other users, I purchased the phone from Amazon.com for $165.85 with a $30 mail-in-rebate. The box arrived within a few days with the following contents:

  • Base station with power adapter
  • Cordless handset with rechargeable batteries
  • Handset charging cradle and power adapter
  • Ethernet and POTS cables
  • CD with user guide
  • Warranty

It was a breeze to setup the base station and the handset. Once I turned on the handset, the system walked me through a couple of selections for country code and area code, reminded me about the absence of emergency calling (9-1-1 in the United States) and then reset itself to start Skype. It then asked me to login in to my Skype account. I had to use the multi-tap interface to login and voilà I was logged in. (I later discovered that I could have used a web-based interface on the base station to enter my sign-on information.) I had access to all my contacts, and the phone displayed my Skype Out balance correctly.

Then things turned south. I tried making a call and there was no voice. Neither the earpiece not the speaker worked. With no obvious volume controls, I started playing with the settings until I realized that the keypad had the volume controls built in. Setting the volume to max had no effect either. At that point, I deregistered the handset from the base unit to see if that would help. Bad move! After that I just couldn't get the handset to register again. The manual had no information about this either. The base station comes with a password protected web server with default user admin and password admin but I couldn't get to that either.

With the inevitable Google searches I stumbled on three key pieces of information:

  1. I found instructions to perform a reset to default state.
  2. Someone else had discovered that the manual included in the package was incorrect. The default admin password was password.
  3. When connecting via a router/firewall, it's best to place the phone in the DMZ.

Armed with that information, I reset the device and paired the handset to the base station. This time I used the web-based interface to enter my Skype account information. I also noticed that the default connection was using 10 Mbps but that I could switch it to 100 Mbps to match the rest of my LAN. After this, the phone started exactly as advertised. No problems at all with voice even on the speaker phone.

All-in-all, despite the hiccups, I'd strongly recommend this phone. Feel free to Skype meSkype Me™!

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

FCC Aproves Sirius-XM Merger

This has been a long time coming but finally the FCC has finally approved the merger of Sirius Satellite Radio with XM Satellite Radio . The combined entity is pretty much a monopoly in the satellite radio space but they are still competing with terrestrial radio. Either way, their stocks, NASDAQ:SIRI and NASDAQ:XMSR should get a good boost on Monday. Yahoo! Finance Quote for SIRI Quote for XMSR

Lead Tide SIM Reader

I recently came across a cheap little device for reading SIM cards . It was available from Meritline for less than USD 5 with free shipping. Curious to see what it was like, I ordered one. The device came in a small package along with a mini CD containing drivers. The packaging advertised the device as the LEAD TIDE Sim reader . Like most things these days, it's made in China. The device has a USB 1.1 interface. There was no product code or number anywhere on the packaging. Installing the drivers for the device turned out to be harder than I expected. The mini CD's autorun installed some stuff but Microsoft Windows XP couldn't install any suitable driver for the device. The mini-CD had several top level directories with what appeared to be product codes but I couldn't match any to the device itself since it had no product code. Google searches revealed that I wasn't alone in my endeavors to get the device working . Further digging revealed pointers to some thir

Getting Mailvelope on Chrome to use GnuPG on macOS

Mailvelope is a browser add-on that helps use GPG encryption and signing on webmail systems like Gmail. Here are the steps on macOS (tested with "Big Sur") to get Mailvelope to use the GnuPG backend. Install gpgme via Homebrew: brew install gpgme This will install gpgme-json in /usr/local/bin by default.  Create a file called gpgmejson.json in  "~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/NativeMessagingHosts" with the following contents: {     "name": "gpgmejson",     "description": "Integration with GnuPG",     "path": "/usr/local/bin/gpgme-json",     "type": "stdio",     "allowed_origins": [         "chrome-extension://kajibbejlbohfaggdiogboambcijhkke/"     ] } Now in Mailvelope > Options > General , GnuPG will show up as the encryption backend.