The Netgear SPH200D isn't the first Skype phone to work wirelessly over a network. In fact, it's not even the first Skype phone from Netgear to work wirelessly over a network - that particular accolade goes to the SPH101D. But it may just be the best we've seen yet.

The mechanics are simple. The package includes a base station and handset. The base station has separate connections for both the main phoneline and your ADSL or cable modem. The beauty of the extra connection for the main phoneline is that, should your internet connection go down, or should you just want to make a call using the landline, you can.

But why would you? It's very easy to get the phone hooked up with Skype and the quality of reception is good. We didn't find any noticeable drop in quality when using the handset and the ability to move around the house really pushes Skype to a new level of convenience. When fully charged, the handset offers around 10-12 hours of talk-time and you can plug in a set of headphones should you wish to put the phone down for a bit. It's easy to tap into such advanced facilities as phone logs and voicemail, and it's nice to know that, unlike standard cordless phones, this won't interfere with a wireless network.

The only potential flaw with the SPH200D is cost. £100 for a wireless Skype phone isn't extortionate compared to a digital cordless phone, yet most people will already have one of these and Skype's main selling point is the low cost of entry - £10-to-£15 will be more than enough to get you started with a standard, wired version.

Netgear SPH200D: Specs

  • DECT (1.9GHz frequency) phone
  • inputs RJ-45 ethernet and RJ11 PSTN
  • 10/100Mbps
  • 12-hour life
  • requires high-speed internet connection
  • 2-year warranty
  • 137x70x127mm
  • 235g
  • DECT (1.9GHz frequency) phone
  • inputs RJ-45 ethernet and RJ11 PSTN
  • 10/100Mbps
  • 12-hour life
  • requires high-speed internet connection
  • 2-year warranty
  • 137x70x127mm
  • 235g

OUR VERDICT

If you use Skype and you dislike being tethered to your PC, the SPH200D is the best wireless network Skype phone we've seen yet. Indeed, the extra convenience is probably enough that you'll save the cost of the phone because of the increased number of calls that you'll make using it.

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