rapidBox vs. ActionTec Internet Phone Wizard

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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rapidBox vs. ActionTec Internet Phone Wizard

Yesterday I posted my review of the ActionTec Internet Phone Wizard with Skype. Ironically, four days earlier I received an email tip about a very similar device called rapidBox from RapidVoIP, which retails for $49.99 and is ~$20 cheaper than the ActionTec device.

I have not tested the rapidBox, but like the ActionTec device, it supports Skype and can ring analog phones. In addition, according to its specs, unlike the ActionTec, it has an 3 RJ11 ports (ActionTec has 2 RJ11 ports), so you can actually have 2 persons on the same line talking to the caller. Of course you could just use a phone splitter.

My main complaint with the ActionTec device (see my review) was that the simulated dialtone interfered with my ability to use it with other third-party softphones other than Skype. Supposedly, the rapidBox DOES work with other VoIP softclients other than just Skype.

There is one other notable difference between the ActionTec Internet Phone Wizard and rapidBox - the rapidBox does not have a ring voltage generator whereas the ActionTec device does. So although your analog phone connected to rapidBox will ring on an incoming PSTN call (simply passes the tip and ring voltage from the Central Office (CO) through), on an incoming Skype call, the rapidBox device rings instead - your phone does NOT ring. While this is fine if you are near the rapidBox device, if you are out in the yard with your analog cordless phone, you will have no idea that there is an incoming Skype call since the ringing rapidBox is too far away. My guess is that a ring voltage generator added too much to the cost of the unit. One final note, RapidVoIP has an affiliate program if your interested in reselling these units for commission.

Update: A few people pointed out to me that there is another model called the rapidBox-R-Type which does ring your phone line on both Skype and regular phone calls. Seems to me the RapidBox-R-Type is the obvious choice over the rapidBox. The only advantage of the rapidBox is it has 3 ports, two of which let you connect 2 phones to so that two people can speak simulatneously. I'm not sure if that includes both PSTN calls and Skype calls - the website doesn't say, but I would assume it does. In my opinion an RJ-11 splitter can just as easily be used on the rapidBox-R-Type to add an additional port. Maybe I'm missing the need for the rapidBox when the rapidBox-R-Type has the most important feature - the ability to send ring voltage to your analog phones. Comments?

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