Actiontec Internet Phone Wizard review

Price when reviewed

The Internet Phone Wizard is moulded from a wave-like sweep of two-tone plastic. Windows 2000 and XP compatible, it connects to your PC by USB and to your regular landline phone using an adaptor. A third port on the rear connects to the wall-mounted landline socket through which you access your existing BT or cable phone service. Unlike the others here, though, it isn’t simultaneously an ADSL router.

Actiontec Internet Phone Wizard review

That sounds like a lot of connections, but it’s self-powered so needs no adaptor, and fuses your VoIP and landline accounts to provide a second home line on just one handset at no extra cost. Lights on the front show which line is active, and hitting your phone’s # key twice will switch between them or, if you’re on a VoIP call when a landline call comes through, switch lines and put your online caller on hold.

We tested the Phone Wizard using Skype and it worked flawlessly. It also let landline calls through when our PC was switched off, which was an unexpected bonus. The smartest touch, though, was the way each line had a distinctive dial tone, with a higher pitch for our VoIP line. This allowed us to use a cordless phone and, by setting speed dials on our Skype account, call online contacts from the end of the garden, even though we couldn’t see or interact with Skype.

At less than £40, the Phone Wizard is excellent value for money and, as the simplest route to wireless VoIP calling, it’s hard to imagine a better solution that wouldn’t cost double.

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