Linksys offers yet another excellent VoIP solution with the iPhone CIT400. Sitting at the top of the Linksys range, the CIT400 provides users with a dual-mode VoIP solution capable of transmitting calls over both Skype and a traditional landline. While it has some call clarity flaws, the phone is a good option if you are considering the transition from landline to VoIP telephony.
The use of Skype over other established VoIP networks such as MSN Messenger will suit users who already have a Skype account and contact list. For those who don't, however, account creation is simple. Given that Skype-to-Skype calls are free, there are clear advantages to the move to VoIP. The CIT400 eases the transition, allowing the use of both landline and VoIP telephony until the user has a comprehensive list of Skype contacts.
The CIT400 doesn't support Wi-Fi like the CIT200 , but it uses a base station and cordless phone setup. Given our past experience with some other Wi-Fi VoIP phones, the CIT400's design is preferable, particularly for a dual-mode setup. In order to use both simultaneously, the base station will have to be situated next to a router or modem, as well as an available telephone jack. The handset has a range of anywhere up to 50m indoors, making it an adequate for homes.
Setup is a largely automated process — the phone automatically retrieves data from the base station and is able to make landline phone calls almost immediately. Once Skype details are entered, Skype-to-Skype calls can be made. SkypeOut (calls to non-Skype numbers) can also be used provided the user has purchased Skype credits. A single base station can support up to four handsets. Individual handsets are also able to switch between several base stations, should the situation require it.
The handset's interface is quite easy to use. The menu resembles a standard mobile phone interface, and allows the user to control settings associated with both the base station and the handset. Skype contacts can be added from the handset, which can also double as a phonebook for traditional landline numbers. When dialling a landline number, the handset will give users the option of calling through SkypeOut or the landline. The phone can also send an alert to remind users of the amount of Skype credit that remains. Users need to access a computer to purchase more credits.
Call quality was acceptable but did have some issues. It should be kept in mind that the quality of service using VoIP is dependant on a number of factors, including the quality of your Internet connection. In landline-to-landline calls, the recipient's voice sounded slightly tinny. The recipient claimed that our voice sounded mechanical and quiet. In SkypeOut-to-landline calls, the tendency to accentuate high-range frequencies continued, with the addition of some static on the call. The recipient claimed that our voice was clearer and much easier to listen to. While there are certainly some inconsistencies in call clarity, the quality is sufficient enough for making calls of varying time lengths.