As more and more of everyday life becomes predicated on our connection to the digital world, the chances we will be targeted or vulnerable to cyber-attacks has also risen
Sitecom Wireless Internet USB Phone
- Ease of setup, works with many voice applications
- No hands-free speakerphone, no display, basic features, wireless range of 10 metres
The Sitecom IT-002 is a basic VoIP phone that scores points for value, ease of setup and the fact that it can be used with a number of applications. However, its wireless range is poor and it doesn't have a display screen.
Price$ 89.00 (AUD)
The Sitecom IT-002 Wireless Internet USB phone is a VoIP phone that allows you to make calls over the Internet. It's also compatible with a number of voice applications, including Skype and MSN Messenger. The IT-002 uses a 2.4GHz radio frequency via a USB dongle, which offers a wireless range of up to 10 metres.
The IT-002's design is reminiscent of a standard mobile phone, and it looks quite sleek. Finished in a dark blue plastic with grey and silver trim, most would be hard pressed to see the difference from a regular mobile phone. Unfortunately, the IT-002 doesn't include a standard display. Instead, what looks like a screen is merely a Sitecom logo that lights either white or red, to indicate that the phone is on and ready for use, or that it's currently charging.
The IT-002 consists of a small keypad, 'answer' and 'end' call keys, 'up' and 'down' keys along with dedicated keys that bring up your default voice program (Skype or MSN Messenger or a software phone for a VoIP account such as MyNetFone, for example) and the Sitecom software. The keypad is below these controls, but each key requires a firm press to operate and they keys aren't raised enough to provide adequate tactility. Those with large fingers may find it awkward, as the keys are quite small and very close together. The keys and controls aren't backlit either, so calling at night time may be a concern. The arrow buttons scroll through Skype tabs, so users can easily view and dial their saved Skype contacts using the IT-002.
Setup is a very simple process. Just install the included software, charge the handset via the included USB cable and then plug the USB dongle into a spare USB port on your computer. Windows will automatically configure the hardware and then the IT-002 is ready to use. The IT-002 requires your computer to be switched on and the USB dongle plugged in order to function. The dongle has a small blue LED on its side, indicating that it's connected to the handset.
During testing, the IT-002 produced a mixed bag of results. Using Skype, we were able to hold a conversation, but the quality of the conversation was poor. In particular, the volume of the handset could have been louder, as we struggled to hear the caller through background noise, even with the volume at its highest level. The quality of calls isn't as crisp or clear as we would have liked either. Keep in mind that VoIP calls do depend on the quality of your Internet connection. Our tests were conducted using a dedicated iiNet ADSL2+ connection, which offers a download speed up to 24Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps. These speeds are more than enough for voice data.
Sitecom quotes a wireless range of "five to 10 metres in an open environment" for the IT-002, but we found that the quality of calls diminished after we ventured more than eight metres away from the dongle. Keep in mind that this distance isn't long enough to be able to walk around your home or office while on a call, so although the unit is wireless, you'll still need to be fairly close to your PC. The IT-002 also includes four ring tones, and these can be changed by pressing the 'down' key and scrolling through the available options as they play. The Sitecom software can also be used to change these ring tones, as well as adjust the speaker and microphone volumes.
The IT-002 runs off a 600 mAH battery, which is charged via a standard mini-USB cable, the port for which is located at the bottom of the phone. Battery life is rated at up to 48 hours of standby time and six hours of talk time, so it compares favourably with a regular mobile phone.
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