It’s been years since we’ve had a land-line in our house, or perhaps I should phrase that:  years since we’ve had a home phone.  Like many other early adopters, Malin and I made the switch to cell phones long ago (my first one was in ’99).  Not long after, we abandoned the land-line all together.

There are a few problems with a cell-only plan:

  • the phone heats up, and becomes annoying to keep against your face
  • long distance rates suck
  • it’s compact, sometimes too compact for comfortable use
  • it get’s misplaced
  • it runs out of power
  • regular (or excessive) use cost a lot of money

So, along came VOIP, Skype, Shaw Home Phone and many others.  We signed onto Skype under a year-long promotion a couple years back.  $12 bucks (and change) for unlimited* long distance in North America for an entire year.  Yep…  a full year for $12 bucks.

We used the service for a year with a headset, and generally we were quite happy.  Sound quality was good, but our headset mic wasn’t up to par so the call quality for the other end was hit and miss.

Fast forward to today…  we’ve had a DLink USB Phone adapter for over 3 months now.  We went out and purchased our way into the present with a set of Panasonic Phones.  When all is setup, the Panasonic phones are scattered around the house, the DLink is setup in the den, and the desktop computer is turned on and logged in to Skype.

It works!

Call Quality is excellent for both sides, monthly subscriptions are $2.95/month for unlimited* calling to North America.  We don’t think twice to call our parents (who are both a long distance call away), and we don’t bat an eye to call Hawaii for our wedding planning.  All is great!  We love our Skype!

However…. the problem is that the DLink+Skype solutions occasionally disconnects our call.  Sometimes it’s 3 seconds in, other times it’s 30 minutes.  It’s not a major inconvenience, but when that happens it also means we need to reset the solution before it works again.

Resetting the solution goes like this:

  1. Kill DLink software (kill the DLink DPH-50U Process in the Task Manager)
  2. Unplug the USB connection to the DLink box
  3. Wait a few seconds for Windows to catch up
  4. Re-plugin the DPH-50U USB Box
  5. Wait a few seconds
  6. Start up the DLink Software
  7. Wait a few seconds for everything to reconnect
  8. Place another phone call

This works, every time.  But what a pain in the ass.

Does anyone else know a solution to fix the DLink – Skype – Windows problems I am having?

Anyone else have some feedback on how Skype works for them?

Not using Skype? You should get connected!

* A fair usage policy applies. Excludes service, special, premium and non-geographic numbers.

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