DrayTek VigorTalk for DrayTEL review
DrayTek was one of the pioneers in the Voice-over-IP market. Over a year ago, the company was integrating support for the SIP system in routers such as the Vigor2500V. But although having this built into your router has its advantages, it also ties you to specific hardware for all the other functions included, such as wireless networking.
Much more flexible is the Internet phone adaptor. This device plugs into one of your broadband router’s Ethernet ports and offers a regular phone port at the other end. We’ve already seen similar devices from Netgear and freetalk, and now DrayTek is offering its own version with the diminutive VigorTalk adaptor. In this case, it’s intended to link to the company’s own DrayTEL SIP telephony service.
The VigorTalk isn’t quite as easy to set up as the freetalk, however. First, you have to register with DrayTEL, where a voucher code (in the box) gives you £2 of free calls on your new account. You then have to wait for your username and password to arrive before using the service. Unfortunately, our ISP decided this was spam and never delivered it, but emailing DrayTEL’s technical support soon resolved this.
Once you have the required details, the VigorTalk needs to be associated with your DrayTEL account, requiring the input of details using touch tones on your phone. More regular access to settings is via its own web interface, which the User Guide on DrayTEL’s website shows you how to access. You can use this to create speed-dial settings, for example.
As with most other VoIP services, DrayTEL’s rates are competitive compared to traditional telephony. On the Silver Tariff, you can call the UK, North America, Australia, many European countries, and even Taiwan, China and Singapore for just 1p a minute. However, you need to pre-purchase £20 worth of calls to get these rates; otherwise, charges are considerably more. By default, you get an 0870 number, but purchasing £10 of credit allows you to have a UK geographic area code number. You can even get a local US telephone number (in Washington State) via an agreement DrayTEL has with IPKall.
The VigorTalk could certainly save you money if you place a lot of calls to one of the areas charged at just 1p a minute. Its setup isn’t as seamless as freetalk’s, but for £26 it’s a cost-effective way of taking advantage of VoIP.