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VoIP product reviews

We've done the research for you. SearchVoIP.com's product reviews provide the pros and cons of VoIP technology releases to help you decide if the product you're considering is the right one and will also introduce you to some new ones.

We've done the research for you. SearchVoIP.com's product reviews provide the pros and cons of VoIP releases to help you decide if the product you're considering is the right one and will introduce you to some new ones.

Product review: An introduction to Cisco's MeetingPlace for voice, video and Web conferencing
Product: Cisco's MeetingPlace 5.3
Product description: Cisco's CallManager-based video telephony combines its IPVC videoconferencing in order to provide an easier method for setting up meetings and attendance in conjunction with voice, video and Web conferencing capabilities and control.
Class: Enterprise-level communications

Product review: Avaya's management enhances reliability, sets stage for next-generation VoIP
Product: Communications Manager
Product Description: Centralized VoIP server and infrastructure management and reliability tools
Class: Enterprise level communications, where multiple sites or an HQ-plus-branch-office configuration requires reliable, failure-resistant communications infrastructure
Company: Avaya
Cost: Starting at $100,000 for large or HQ sites and up
You'll love this product if: Your enterprise doesn't mind deploying multiple central site and remote or branch offers servers to achieve rock-solid communications that can withstand central server failures, where central server failover to backup servers, and local server takeovers stand ready to keep phone systems working even should central server or communication link failures occur.
You won't if: You are a small to medium company, because you can find more cost effective options, or might require less expensive and extensive infrastructure options.
Early adopters: University of Washington (30,000 line system on 3 campuses)
Fringe benefits: Enables much easier tie-ins with local 911 response services required for service providers and large-scale private system operators.

Product review: Asterisk brings open source VoIP to the enterprise
Product: Asterisk Business Edition
Product description: Open source PBX software
Class: Professional class, suitable for small and medium businesses
Company: Digium
Cost: $995 for the Business Edition

Product review: Priority VoIP appliance
Product description: Quality of Service (QoS) Internet appliance that buffers slower-moving Internet protocols to permit time-sensitive ones like those for VoIP and video conferencing to speed by.
Class: Small office/home office communications, suitable for home, home office, or small remote office situations.
Company: Hawking Technology
Cost: Prices range from $60 to $99.99, with most in the $60-70 range.
You'll love this product if: You need to improve voice quality for VoIP calls or image quality for videoconferencing or other time-sensitive services on a congested IP network.
You won't if: You don't have performance problems, or you're planning on upgrading your Internet link speed in the very near future.

Product Review: A do-it-all remote office IP handset: The Zultys Zip 4x5
Product: Zultys Zip 4x5 VoIP handset telephone
Product Description: Advanced IP telephone with built-in Ethernet switch, routing, and security functions (built-in DHCP server, NAT, VPN, and firewall)
Class: Enterprise-level communications, suitable for home office, remote office, satellite office use (supports centralized management and provisioning)
Company: Zultys
Cost: Retail pricing is $300-350 for plain version, $340-425 for Bluetooth version, volume discounts available.

Product review: Headset for softphones
Product: DSP 300 headset
Product Description: USB-based headset with built-in sound card capabilities. Class: Individual user level softphone headset (additional softphone program required for VoIP use)
Company: Plantronics
Cost: $68-77
You'll love this product if: You like a lightweight (8 oz), reasonably compact wired headset that's easy to install and use.
You won't if: You're looking for the smallest headset available, or a wireless headset (this one uses a fair amount of wire and gets its sound card capabilities from an in-line circuitboard and includes an inline volume control/mute button as well).
Fringe Benefits: Doubles as a hi-fi headset for listening to music, MP3s, or DVD sound tracks.

Product review: USB Cordless DUALPhone provides easy Skype access
Product: USB Cordless DUALPhone
Product description: Advanced IP telephone with built-in POTS and Skype VoIP service access capabilities; one base station supports up to four handsets.
Class: Small office/home office communications, suitable for home, home office or small remote office situations.
Company: DUALPhone
Cost: Retail pricing is $139.99 at the dualphone-us.com online shopping page (not yet available through third-party retailers).
You'll love this product if: You need a compact, do-it-all cordless Skype/POTS handset.
You won't if: More than four handsets or support for multiple POTS lines is needed (each base station supports a maximum of four handsets and only one POTS line).

Product Review: Minute, featherweight Bluetooth headset
Product description: Bluetooth wireless telephone headset; works with both Bluetooth mobile phones and conventional or VoIP desktop handsets.
Class: Office or mobile phone communications, suitable for remote, office or home/home office use.
Company: GN Netcom
Cost: MSRP is $279, but deals abound; for example, you'll pay $136.99 at Buy.com (prices range from $127-200 at online outlets).
You'll love this product if: You need a compact, comfortable, wireless telephone headset.
You won't if: You need to roam more than 33 feet from the base station, work in a noisy environment (the in-ear speaker does poorly when there's lots of background noise) or if the unit doesn't fit your ear well (it's not adjustable).

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