Yamamoto EasyBlue Skype Box
I spotted this little box on eBay and couldn't resist giving it a try. It allows you to answer and make Skype calls using a standard phone, whilst still allowing the phone to be used for normal land-line calls. I have a DECT cordless phone system and like the idea of being able to use Skype from anywhere in the house.
To set up the EasyBlue, you connect it to your phone line, your phone and a USB port on your PC using the cables provided. One of the things that attracted me to this box is that the description said it didn't need a driver. This may be true but I did have to download a piece of software that interfaces with Skype and that now runs permanently in my System Tray. Installing the software seemed to mess up my Windows XP audio settings, for example, when I tried to use iTunes I couldn't hear anything. I had to go into "Sounds and Audio Devices" in the Windows Control Panel and change the Default Audio Device back to my sound card from USB Audio Device. This wasn't a major problem for me, but I can imagine that it would confuse others.
Once set up it is incredibly easy to use. If someone calls my Skype account the phone rings and I answer it as normal. To make a Skype call you can either instigate the call from the PC or from the handset. To dial a number using Skype Out you have to prefix the number with * and end it with #. You can also assign a short dial code to your normal Skype contacts and then dial those from the phone using *[code]#.
Overall I am really pleased with this little box and at £23.75 it's a bargain.