Linksys CIT200 Skype Phone

Linksys' CIT200 Skype Phone does a good job of bringing the Skype experience to the cordless handset world. It's not without its flaws, however, and you'd be well advised to carefully research your VoIP options before making a purchasing decision.


7.6
User Rating

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Design
Linksys' CIT200 Skype Phone looks, for all intents and purposes, just like another cordless DECT phone. We placed our review unit in a standard Sydney suburban home right next to a standard Uniden DECT phone, and on more than one occasion picked up the wrong handset. The base phone unit has a standard array of call buttons, a small colour screen and the all-important Skype button at the base of the phone. That sits on a very standard charger and awaits a signal from the USB base station that connects up to your PC and the provided Skype client. Installation is thus very simple; run the provided install CD to provide drivers and the core Skype software (if you're not already running it), and then synchronise the phone to your Skype installation.

Skype, if you're not familiar with it, works in much the same way as any other VoIP based service, although it's notable in that it's primarily designed as a PC to PC calling software; as such the phone itself won't do anything if your PC isn't currently powered up and running the Skype client. It's also totally incompatible with other VoIP services, as Skype uses a different communications protocol for its voice calling.

Features
As a standalone phone, the CIT200 performs much as any other cordless phone, albeit one with a Skype-centric service model. You can alter calling tones, copy over your Skype contacts for seamless free calling, and that's about it. Once the software's installed on your PC, it will by default launch every time Windows starts, start up the Skype client itself and then seek out the CIT200 phone from the base station. The base station also features a large paging button for those times that the phone's been lost behind the sofa or in the outside shed.

The CIT200 package also proudly proclaims on its packaging that it comes with 60 minutes of SkypeOut service. SkypeOut is Skype's calling service to regular phones, with associated charges. The 60 minute claim is a touch deceptive; you don't in fact get an allocation of minutes, but an allocation of funds -- when we redeemed the code within our trial pack, we got €1.02 worth of credit allocated to our account. Depending on where you were calling, that might make up sixty minutes of calling time -- but it might not.

Performance
There are a few interesting catches with the CIT200. Firstly, the manual notes that you may find it broadcasting any and all of your PC audio through the phone -- this is because in order to act as both a speaker and microphone, the handset has to take over some of these functions from your PC. We didn't hit that particular problem, although we did notice that making calls while playing music files often created audio playback problems -- your experiences may vary.

The SkypeOut service isn't a bad one, and the inclusion of free dialling time is a useful hook, although it's a significantly less user-friendly experience than practically any other Australian VoIP service. This is because there's no local point of presence for the Skype service, and this means that all of your calls have to be routed internationally. The practical upshot here is that you have to insert full international dialling codes for all of your "real world" calls, every time. Compared to local VOIP services, which are essentially plug and play, this becomes grating very quickly. Still, the plan for the CIT200 is to sell it to confirmed Skype junkies, and for that market it's no trouble at all.

We've seen a run of VoIP-centric products here at CNET.com.au, from the CIT200 to all-in modem/router units such as Netcomm's NB9W recently. There's no shortage of hype surrounding VoIP, and seemingly no shortage of products either here or in the pipeline. This should give consumers both a great range of choices and lots of price competition, but it should also make you ponder your VoIP choices carefully. On the plus side, the CIT200 integrates superbly with Skype, and if you're already addicted to the service it's a great way to make it extremely portable. On the minus side, it's totally incompatible with any other bit of VoIP kit out there, and for real world phone calling it's considerably more expensive to run (you can find a table of the current rates here), and it's much more convoluted due to the need for international dialling codes.

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Lila posted a comment   

Hey from Colorado, Texas! Nice site!.
I am from Moldova and also now am reading in English, give true I wrote the following sentence: "Book cheap airline tickets to domestic destinations, cruise packages, hotels, car rentals and vacation packages at flyless."

Thanks for the help ;), Lila.

Frustrated CIT 200 user
1
Rating
 

Frustrated CIT 200 user posted a review   

The Good:You don't need to sit at the PC to make a call

The Bad:Frustrating as no support from Cisco and it is supposed to be an end-user device (ie not installed by a techie)
This is rubbish and don't buy it as the speaker on the handset intermittently stops working. Installed latest drivers; reboot; replug into USB. Still no sound.

Seems to be a real problem with getting the speaker to work on the handset

tolbertn
9
Rating
 

tolbertn posted a review   

The Good:Skype gone cordless. Accepts multiple handsets, very clear. no echo. Does direct dialing, as long as you add +1 to calls

The Bad:only con's so far is slight delay when scrolling thru skype contacts, however phone has it's own phonebook to store #'s .. (if you want to set it up). Inability to click a # to call thru software, Belt clip is a joke

amd 64x2 4200, vista x86

Using new driver(3.82) with new Skype client(3.6.0.216) ,, works perfect, disconnected when first set up, found when set for skype auto start in cit200 driver , as well as auto start in skype client application , made phone disconnect ...uncheck "start skype when I start windows" option in client, and voila !! no more disconnect .. the driver will auto start skype as long as in start up folder in start menu. Phone crystal clear , works just as well in back yard, people I talk to say cannot tell diff between this and land line. Phone #, voicemail and unlimited calling in US and Canada for 5 dollars a month (skype pro, and skypein #)

john doe
5
Rating
 

john doe posted a review   

The Good:+ good sound quality
+ has connector for hands free
+ works like ordinary phone

The Bad:- driver problems, device gets often disconnected from the base station
- sometimes it's hard to make a call, maybe due compatibility issues with skype
- finding contact in long skype contact list is hard because the scrolling is slow and there is no convenient find function.

I have the same usb station disconnected problem. I think it's a driver problem, i'm using the latest driver (3.8.2 ) and skype (3.2.0.175) but still the problem persists.

Not very satisfied
4
Rating
 

Not very satisfied posted a review   

The Good:Works like a cordless phone

The Bad:Annoying disconnection from USB base

The handset gets easily disconnected from the base. It needs to be reset by unplugging the USB cable of the base from the USB port. Very annoying. Is this a bug? Have others seen this too? The disconnection occurs mostly on pressing the red disconnection key

chauchunchang
4
Rating
 

chauchunchang posted a review   

The Good:you have wireless access to skype

The Bad:The default sound playback and recording is changed to driver CIT200. This makes your speaker not working. If you change the driver to your original one, the speaker will work now. But, the CIT200 skype phone has no sound now.

The default sound playback and recording is changed to driver CIT200. This makes your speaker not working. If you change the driver to your original one, the speaker will work now. But, the CIT200 skype phone has no sound now.

Pom de terre
8
Rating
 

Pom de terre posted a review   

The Good:Easy to set up, even for a Skype novice

The Bad:Not immediately intuitive that you need to press the actually quite well-hidden Skype button to get to your contacts list, rather than the phone's own "Names" list.

This is pretty good, really. It looks and feels like an ordinary cordless phone, but press the Skype button and away you go. Installation is painless, Sound quality is good. Quite happy with it.

JayMonster
8
Rating
 

"Does what it is intended to do"

JayMonster posted a review   

The Good:Lightweight
Better than anticipated range
Good sound quality

The Bad:Lousy speakerphone
Anything but standard calling not intuitive

What the Linksys phone is designed to do, it does. It enables you to use Skype in a manner as close to using a "regular" phone as possible.

I think the phone is decent looking, it is lightweight (almost to a point of feeling fragine), and the sound quality while using it as a phone is good.

It has some annoying quirks like horrible speakerphone, and the need to dial "+" in front of every call, but the latter is really a minor inconvenience.

atechbuyer
3
Rating
 

"This product has no manual and no tech support"

atechbuyer posted a review   

The Good:Contrarary to CNET's opinion the headset for this system is actually nice. The installation is straight forward.

The Bad:While you can call your contacts in Skype, you can't directly dial call from the phone. You can only call contacts in your Skype directory.

The phone comes with no manual. Not even on the installation disk.

There is no guide on the Linksys site for the product. There are no Linksys staff answering questions on thre message boards.

 

"Better Options out there"

Nicole dimmis posted a comment   

I got this device from compello
and think its a better option.
much more heavy duty design. skype hot keys work a treat.
seemless set up....

price isnt too bad either.

http://www.compello.com.au/shop/home.php?cat=421


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User Reviews / Comments  Linksys CIT200 Skype Phone

  • Lila

    Lila

    "Hey from Colorado, Texas! Nice site!.
    I am from Moldova and also now am reading in English, give true I wrote the following sentence: "Book cheap airline tickets to domestic destinations, cr..."

  • Frustrated CIT 200 user

    Frustrated CIT 200 user

    Rating1

    "Seems to be a real problem with getting the speaker to work on the handset"

  • tolbertn

    tolbertn

    Rating9

    "amd 64x2 4200, vista x86

    Using new driver(3.82) with new Skype client(3.6.0.216) ,, works perfect, disconnected when first set up, found when set for skype auto start in cit200 driv..."

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