I'm just wondering what the requirements are to get a working handset. I have the following :
- only 1 phone line (dry loop, already set up for internet)
- high speed dsl internet
- skype number
Basically I want to leave a handset in my home and allow people to call me on my skype number or skype account from their regular phones or skype account.
I haven't had a traditional phone line for years. I just switched my parents over to the same setup I am using. Personally I am not a fan of DSL since the upload speed on standard DSL doesn't tend to be < 1Mbit and you will generally have a better blanced experience with all of Skype's functions with a higher upload speed (1-2+).
What you will need:
Internet (DSL/Cable/Fiber/Satellite, etc.)
A traditional Skype account (can't be a Microsoft/Facebook/etc.) Skype account
Skype Online number
Skype ATA device/Home phone adapter (allows you to use a standard handset with Skype) I use the Freetalk Connect Me.
A Freetalk Connect Me will run you anywhere from $30-$60. An unlimited USA/Canada subscripiton costs about $30-$36 dollars a year. A Skype online number costs about $30-$60 a year. If you plan on getting a subscription, buy it first to get the online number for cheaper otherwise you will pay more.
The Freetalk Connect Me was designed to work with 1 phone, but it can handle the load of several. Most people nowadays only use one phone jack and a single base station, while others still like to use several standard telephone handsets. Since you are using a dry loop if you want to be able to use any phone jack in the house you can plug in the handset jack from the Freetalk Connect Me to any free phone jack directly or through a splitter (as a psuedo-upload). You will still need DSL filters on all your phone jacks to not interfere with your Internet connection. That is another reason I don't favor DSL. This configuration worked fine when my parents had DSL. If you sign up for everything under the same account, you will receive Skype/phone calls on all your handsets and your Skype clients. Whichever you answer first will get the call.
In all actuality if only one of your phone jacks in the house is operable, then there is no need to tie into it. The Freetalk Connect Me is basically a phone jack. Wherever it is, is where your phone base station can be. So as long as you can provide wired Internet or wireless Internet (through a converter) you can place the Freetalk Connect Me/Phone jack anywhere you want.
In my house I use a Panasonic DECT 6.0 phone in conjunction with the Freetalk device. There are many different models out there. Getting a DECT 6.0 or 6.0+ phone ensures your phone isn't operating in the same frequency as your wireless. One base station and several handsets ensures your home is covered. The onboard speakerphone on the handset resolves volume issues you may have at times. So if you plan on getting a phone, get one with those features by any company.
Do I need this freetalk device or just a DECT 6.0 phone, or both? I don't understand what hooks up to what here. I looked up this DECT phone and it seems like just a regular cordless phone...I must be missing something. Maybe there is a diagram somewhere out there I can look at for people who want a set up like I mentioned.
A Dect phone is nothing but a standard cordless phone. To use it with Skype you still need a Skype adapter that will give you the phone port you need.
LAN cable from router ----> LAN port on the FreeTalk device.
Handset port on FreeTalk device ----> Your wired/wireless/DECT phone.
The FreeTalk device can be accessed by your web browser to allow you to input in your Skype name/password. From then on it saves your password, so it will automatically log you onto Skype whenever it is power cycled.
This setup guide that you can interact with should help you understand how things connect/interconnect.
As far as I know the product is not discontinued. I believe one of the global merchants/suppliers of this device is, making it no longer available through the Skype store. Even if at one point in the future it does become discontinued, it doesn't necessarily mean the product won't work on the Skype network. It just means no new firmware updates/support from the company. I actually bought a new unit less than a month ago and updates are still under development.
You can buy one off of places like Ebay, Amazon, and the makers site: http://ca.freetalk.me/featured-skype-accessories/p