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Using the Unit

As I mentioned before the instructions included with the unit are very helpful to get you up and running with Deltathree in no time. The first step is to setup your free Deltathree account. Deltathree will e-mail you back a confirmation with your username and password. Next time you run the Deltathree software simply input your username and password and you are in business. With the Deltathree software running you can now simply dial your long distance call, and Deltathree will make al the necessary connections. At first this can be a little disconcerting because there is a delay before you will hear normal "phone - call" sounds like ringing. However, at that point it pretty much sounds and works like a normal long distance phone call.

There are three LED's on the front of the unit. A-Phone, I-Phone, and Ready. The Ready light will always be blinking when connected to a USB connection. A-Phone denotes that the unit is being used as a normal analog phone and you can place phone calls normally. I-Phone denotes that the unit is being used as an internet phone and when lit, the Deltathree software, Internet Explorer, or other third-party internet telephony service is on. If you are in analog mode you can easily switch to internet mode with the Internet Phone Wizard by pressing on the pound key (#) twice. Couldn't be much simpler than that. A pretty neat feature with all this analog and internet switching is that the Internet Phone Wizard supports Actiontec's call waiting modems. If you happen to have one of these modems you'll be notified of an incoming call while you are talking over the internet.

Actiontec sent a username and account for me to use with the Deltathree software. But since the process is so easy and I was planning to make only long distance calls in the U.S. I went ahead and setup my own free account. I made a couple of calls to friends in different areas of the U.S. One was on the East Coast, one on the West Coast, and the last one was all the way on the other side of Texas. I make special mention of the Texas long distance calls because I have to pay higher in state long distance than out of state long distance. After some getting used to I was up and running with the unit. The sound quality with these calls was quite good. One big note of warning here though: my main system runs WindowsMe and has for a couple of months now. The Internet Phone Wizard is the first USB device I've come across that is incompatible with this operating system. Windows98 and 98SE worked just fine with the Internet Phone Wizard, but Me is a definite no go at this point. Consider that if you will be planning an upgrade to WindowsMe after its September debut.

Pros
Cons

No more long distance phone bills!

Easy to use

Does not work with WindowsMe at this time

Conclusions

I like this product quite a bit. If there is one thing I can always use its more money in my pocket saved from long distance bills. If you don't find yourself in love with the Deltathree software Actiontec has a few more programs they recommend listed at their website. When internet telephony software first hit the market there was one major flaw: sound quality. You'd have to spend quite a bit of time tweaking your MIC and headphone settings to get the best possible sound. All that is easily taken care of with the Internet Phone Wizard. What's more, if you need more gain or volume simply adjust them from the on screen area of the Deltathree software. Couldn't be easier than that. If you find yourself in a position where you are spending a lot of money on long distance calls I recommend you look into the Actiontec Internet Phone Wizard. The money spent initially on the unit will more than be offset by the savings you'll have from not seeing any more long distance bills.

Victor Oshiro August 23,2000

 





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