MyNetFone Netgear TA612V

The TA612V is a solid unit that provides a low-cost way to make VoIP calls. It is a good choice for a household or small home office where users are keen to cut their telephone bills.


8.3
CNET Rating
9.3
User Rating

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Design
It's hard to be overly creative when designing an analog telephone voice adaptor (ATA) for a VoIP service, but Netgear has still managed to do a good job with the TA612V. The unit incorporates both an ATA and an Ethernet router housed in a curved, white case. The unit can sit horizontally or vertically with the attachment of two included plastic feet.

The front panel has a row of indicator lights that show when the power is on as well as the status of the unit, the Internet link, the two VoIP phone lines and whether there is a PC directly attached.

On the back there is a power connection, two analog phone ports and two Ethernet ports -- one for PC connection and the other for a broadband modem. A handy legend printed on the bottom of the unit reminds you which port does what.

Features
The TA612V has been pre-configured to work with the MyNetFone VoIP service and includes AU$10 worth of call credit out of the box.

The way in which you set it up will depend on the type of broadband modem you already have in place. If it's a stand-alone modem, the TA612V will sit between it and your PC. If it's a combination modem/router, the TA612V will connect via one of the router's Ethernet ports.

Being designed to work with a particular VoIP service makes the unit very easy to set up. Once it's connected to the modem or router and powered up, it automatically connects via your broadband connection to the MyNetfone server and registers itself. This process can take a number of minutes during which time the unit may download updated firmware. The process is complete once the front panel status light stops flashing. A conventional phone handset can then be connected to the Phone 1 port on the rear panel.

The next step is to create a MyNetFone account by going to www.mynetfone.com.au/register and following the instructions which includes selecting a suitable call plan.

Performance
Once installed and configured, using the TA612V is as easy as making a normal phone call. Call quality is surprisingly good with clear, full duplex capabilities -- that is, you can talk and hear at the same time without interference. The review unit came bundled with a Panasonic KX-TG1811 cordless phone which allows the service to be used from anywhere around the house.

Calls to both landline and mobile numbers connect quickly and called parties report clear voice quality. Call quality can suffer, however, at times of peak Internet usage or when someone else on your home network attempts to send or download a large file.

Because the unit actually has two inbuilt VoIP adaptors, it's possible to make two VoIP calls simultaneously by connecting a second handset to the Phone 2 port. Only one line can receive calls, however, via the included PSTN number provided by MyNetFone.

The service also comes with a free voicemail box. By dialling 121 you can record a personal greeting and also check for messages. Unfortunately there is no way to know whether you have any voicemails without dialling into the service, and the recorded voice that reads back the number of the party that called you is painfully slow. Listening to a list of messages takes quite some time.

Note: MyNetFone is offering the Netgear TA612V for AU$19.95 with AU$20 of credit included for the month of August. Check the Web site for details.

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D
9
Rating
 

D posted a review   

The Good:*Reliable
*Great Value
*All the features of a router i.e. port forwarding, UPNP, NAT protection, etc

The Bad:Only a single network port and a broadband router port. Not that this is much of an issue but it would be nice to have a 4 port router built in.

Using this Voice converter with mynetfone and have only had one issue and that is my own fault. Apart from that it's been running reliably 24/7 since I installed it.

D,
http://deadalus-geek.freehostia.com

HeatherM
10
Rating
 

HeatherM posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Cheap, we just use it for all our local calls and an occasional STD call, easy and trouble free. Log in to see exactly where you're at, and it works a treat. Anything that stops Telstra squeezing the life out of the bank balance deserves a medal.

The Bad:None so far.

After reading your newsletter with the $20 Netgear advertised and reading your review we got online and ordered this. Arrived the next working day but we were expecting a headache setting up. No such thing, easy as. We were dubious after having continuous major headaches with our first VOIP provider, this experience has been poles apart from that. Thank you C/NET. I always review products on your site before purchase now.

MadWally
10
Rating
 

MadWally posted a review   
Australia

The Good:It's just great value! I love it!

The Bad:None that I can think of right now??

The unit is amazing value... think about it... for $20 you got two phone ports and a router... and $20 worth of calls... fantastic!! I love it! Works a treat, plug and play, people can't even tell I'm calling over the internet!!

Mongoose07
8
Rating
 

Mongoose07 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:*It was actually plug and play. I just plugged it in to my modem and it worked - that's never actually happened before!
*Can check all account details and make adjustments online - I've never actually had to call MyNetFone at all. I like that.
*Call quality is pretty much perfect (except when the kids try to do something massive like download movies and music all at once)

The Bad:*The unit is a bit bulky, though I may try to stand it up vertical as you say - I haven't tried that yet.
*Need to use a separate handset for incoming calls on the landline. That took a few days to get used to.

You've pretty much hit the nail on the head with this review - Mynetfone has saved me *heaps* of money I'd otherwise be giving to Tel$tra for STD and mobile calls in the few weeks I've had it.
It took a bit of convincing to get her to try VoIP, but it's got the Wife's approval ... So that's kept me safe!




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User Reviews / Comments  MyNetFone Netgear TA612V

  • D

    D

    Rating9

    "Using this Voice converter with mynetfone and have only had one issue and that is my own fault. Apart from that it's been running reliably 24/7 since I installed it.

    D,
    http:/..."

  • HeatherM

    HeatherM

    Rating10

    "After reading your newsletter with the $20 Netgear advertised and reading your review we got online and ordered this. Arrived the next working day but we were expecting a headache setting up. No su..."

  • MadWally

    MadWally

    Rating10

    "The unit is amazing value... think about it... for $20 you got two phone ports and a router... and $20 worth of calls... fantastic!! I love it! Works a treat, plug and play, people can't even tell ..."

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