Recent months have seen an explosion in the use of Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP as it's known for short, helped in part by the fact that new hardware is becoming available either offering USB handsets or converters such as the PAP2 allowing traditional telephones to be used.


Linksys PAP2


Configuring the Linksys PAP2 is fairly easy, although before you get in to the thick of the action you'll need to connect a phone to Port 1 on the rear of the device and deal with the Interactive Voice Response Menu, checking pre-configured settings such as IP address and Subnet are to your requirements, and if they're not setting them exactly how you want by following a scheme of button presses.

Thankfully once this stage is out of the way you can connect to the PAP2 simply by visiting the IP address (that you've given the device) in your web browser just like any normal website - most users will never get to venture much further than a couple of pages on "locked" units which have been supplied to them by VoIP providers, but if you buy an unlocked version such as ours you'll have full access to every setting possible, some of which you'll have no interest in even wanting to change.


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The configuration screens are simple to understand, although a few acronyms will be confusing if you know nothing at all about VoIP, thankfully the glossary in the manual gives a quick guide to some of the more common terms, which should make finding your way around the various sections and settings such as "SIP" and "STUN" considerably more easy. It's worth noting that the unit is based upon the Sipura phone adapter, which comes with a much more comprehensive manual (which you can download from the Sipura website) giving an enormous amount of extra information and configuration help.

Two separate VoIP SIP services can be configured with the Linksys PAP2, matching the number of phone sockets on the rear of the unit, meaning you can have two totally unique services running from your hardware - maybe one for local calls and another from a provider offering better value international call rates. Regional settings are also fully configurable, allowing you to change to familiar British style tones and ring patterns, although again due to the minimal manual this isn't made obvious and you'll have to Google for the recommended settings if it's something you want to change.


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For British users of the PAP2 the only real letdown comes in the fact that you'll need US to UK phone socket adapters to plug in British telephones, and also worth noting is the fact that there's no fall-over to a standard PSTN line for when your broadband connection is offline unlike some other more expensive VoIP phone adapters. Otherwise the Linksys PAP2 is an excellent bit of kit which has an enormous number of settings giving you full control over almost everything you could possibly want, and we highly recommend it.

Overall score: 8 out of 10
Manufacturer: Linksys
Recommended Price: 49.99 (devices locked to specific providers are cheaper)
Buy an Unlocked PAP2-EU from Broadband Buyer or a PAP2 for Vonage from Amazon.co.uk