SunRockets LaunchKit Makes Adding VOIP Easy

Review: The simple Gizmo works with POTS gear.

Third-party voice over IP is catching on as a possibly cheaper alternative to telco/cableco phone service...if youve already got broadband Internet service.

Along with Vonage, Bell-spawn like Verizon, and DSL/cable broadband providers, SunRocket is one of the many companies offering VOIP landline service for consumers.

SunRocket service starts at $9.95 per month (for 200 minutes), or unlimited calling to the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico for $24.95 per month or $199 per year—including fees and taxes.

SunRocket uses a small Linksys "Gizmo" router/VOIP adapter that works with POTS phones and wiring.

SunRockets new $39 LaunchKit (possibly free, depending on current promotions) includes a "Gizmo," cables and simple instructions intended to make for a quick, simple installation.

I was able to sign up online, and then install the LinkSys "Gizmo" VOIP-adapter router quickly.

The Gizmo goes either between your cable modem and home router, or "behind," plugging into an Ethernet port on your home router.

Note, the Gizmo doesnt work behind some routers (such as the D-Link I have) but I got it to work directly attached to my cable modem.

And placed behind a new Linksys WRT-54G router, it connected and is working fine.

Once configured via my PC (JavaScript was needed), I got dial-tone on one of my spare POTS phones.

Outgoing call quality was indistinguishable from POTS.

Within 48 hours (of a possible 10 days), the number was receiving incoming calls.

Users start with a new phone number, but can migrate an existing one to SunRocket.

In addition to the usual enhanced POTS-type services, SunRocket offers Internet features such as receiving voice messages via Web, or .wav files in e-mail.

Part of SunRockets appeal will be for anyone making ad-hoc or regular international calls.

The services include lower per-minute rates for international calls, including 3 cents per minute by default to their "SunSpots" group of 30 countries and 11 international cities. Unlimited international calling plans are also available.


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