Engin Voicebox 3102

If you want a simple VoIP box with PSTN pass-through, the Voicebox 3102 is it. It's a pity that it's locked to one VoIP provider, however, making it a slightly expensive option.


7.4
CNET Rating
6.3
User Rating


Design:
There are only so many providers of VoIP hardware, with branded (and locked) VoIP boxes from companies such as MyNetfone with their version of the Netcomm V300. Engin's latest version is the Engin's Voicebox 3102, which is itself a Linksys SPA3102 Voice Box.

As ATAs (Analog Telephone Adaptors) go, the 3102 is quite unremarkable. It's a small silver box -- good if you don't want lots of "techy" looking stuff cluttering up your phone table -- with phone, line, Ethernet and Internet ports labelled on the back. Engin also supplies a short length of Ethernet and phone line cable in the box, along with the requisite power adaptor. A set-up CD is provided, although this proved problematic for us; it's not Mac OS X compatible, and when trying to run it under Windows Vista, it proclaimed that the set-up routine wouldn't run on Windows 95 or NT machines. Now there's an odd error for you. Thankfully, like most ATAs, it's equipped with an IP-based Web interface -- more on that later.

Features:
The 3102's primary function is of course routing voice calls, but it's also equipped with a PSTN pass-through port. What this means is that unlike a straight VoIP ATA, when you plug in your phone and line to the 3102, it's also capable of receiving calls on your regular POTS phone line number. If your VoIP goes down -- either due to an ISP problem, or a problem at Engin's end -- then the 3102 defaults back to the POTS system.

Set-up is no more difficult than plugging in the correct cable and then contacting Engin to activate your box. Our review sample came pre-approved from Engin, so we can't speak to how difficult or easy this may actually be.

Performance:
Call quality to a variety of landlines and mobiles with the 3102 was acceptable during our test period. That's something that could vary depending on the circumstances of your particular broadband connection. For the record, we tested with a home ADSL2+ connection that typically reports around 4Mbps on CNET.com.au's Broadband speed test.

Annoyingly, we couldn't figure out a way to force the 3102 to use the POTS line; this may be important in certain emergency situations, but in our case we were merely trying to call for a pizza, and the VoIP line routed us to the wrong store. Other pass-through devices, such as the Netcomm V300, make this a simple keypress operation, but the 3102 appears to only fall back to the POTS line if the Engin service itself is unavailable. It'd be nice to have the choice without having to pull out the router cable from the back of the box.

As with most vendors who offer a "branded" (and somewhat subsidised) VoIP box, the set-up and configuration pages for the 3102 can be accessed via IP address, but not altered in any way. This means you can't buy the Engin branded 3102 and then easily take it to another VoIP provider. As such, we can't much see the point in paying the AU$129 price tag; you may as well sign up for 12 months and get the box for "free". If you're curious about VoIP, and don't mind a 12-month commitment, then the 3102 is a good, simple match for your needs.

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ProCactus posted a comment   

Aha, I fix it. I thought i should come back to fix my last statment.
I can now access the local network.

This is the fix to access local computers on a network:
dial ****
then dial 201#
and confirm by dialing 1

 

ProCactus posted a comment   

I had no problem, As soon as i got it I plugged it in and it worked out of the box. I dont even know what the CD is for.
I got the $15/mth with a free voice box.
I was even using it while being shaped to 64kbit, So its great on bandwidth. I would'nt be suprised if it worked on a dialup modem.

One problem is, I cant access the local network though it.

craig
8
Rating
 

craig posted a review   

Maybe the locked version doesn't allow you to change the dial plan? An unlocked 3102 allows you to use multiple providers for least cost routing and can easily be configured to force PSTN calls, for example on mine I just press # and I get a PSTN dial tone.

For tech savy users, go the unlocked 3102 linksys. For everyone else, find someone who knows how to configure it or just stick with a locked version like this one.

lelly
9
Rating
 

lelly posted a review   

The Good:Sounds just like old landline phone .No lossof quality.Really cheap interstate/overseas calls

The Bad:haven`t had any yet

I had trouble connecting but found support quick and helpful.The operator I got was excellant and I was connected in no time

petergaskin
2
Rating
 

petergaskin posted a review   

The Good:Free for 12 month contract. Free phone calls to local and national fixed numbers.

The Bad:Not able to get it to work. Ring support and wait and wait and wait.... until you give up in disgust
Savings are available but only if you can get the unit to work.
At the end of software installation, Vista stated that the installation may not have been successful.

Unable toget on to the internet through the voice box configuration. I have a modem and a wireless router - this does not seem to work




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User Reviews / Comments  Engin Voicebox 3102

  • ProCactus

    ProCactus

    "Aha, I fix it. I thought i should come back to fix my last statment.
    I can now access the local network.

    This is the fix to access local computers on a network:
    dial **..."

  • ProCactus

    ProCactus

    "I had no problem, As soon as i got it I plugged it in and it worked out of the box. I dont even know what the CD is for.
    I got the $15/mth with a free voice box.
    I was even using it w..."

  • craig

    craig

    Rating8

    "Maybe the locked version doesn't allow you to change the dial plan? An unlocked 3102 allows you to use multiple providers for least cost routing and can easily be configured to force PSTN calls, fo..."

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