Reviews Cisco-Linksys BEFN2PS4 EtherFast Cable/DSL Voice Router

Cisco-Linksys BEFN2PS4 EtherFast Cable/DSL Voice Router

Product description

The Linksys EtherFast Cable/DSL Voice Router is the perfect solution for connecting a small group of PCs to a high-speed broadband Internet connection or a 10/100 Ethernet backbone--and it features Voice over IP telephone calls powered by Net2Phone. With the EtherFast Cable/DSL Voice Router installed, no other special hardware is necessary for telephone calls. An ordinary telephone connects to the RJ-11 port (telephone jack) on the back of the EtherFast Cable/DSL Voice Router, and calls are routed by Net2Phone's superior quality network to anywhere in the world--significantly reducing long distance charges. Configurable as a DHCP server for your existing network, the EtherFast Cable/DSL Voice Router acts as the only externally recognized Internet gateway on your LAN. The EtherFast Cable/DSL Voice Router can be configured to filter internal users' access to the Internet and serve as an Internet firewall against unwanted outside intruders. Not only does it make Internet access available for up to 253 PCs on the network, it also adds an additional voice phone line for outgoing calls at no extra cost. None of your PCs even have to be turned on to make calls. The EtherFast Cable/DSL Voice Router handles all of your network and telephony needs in one integrated unit.

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I bought this Linksys voice router last year so I could make cheap long-distance calls. This is an excellent router. I use it to interconnect 3 of my PC's on my LAN. Phone capability is good but don't dump your phone line just yet.
I'll focus my review on the Net2Phone technology of this router.
Pros: You get $0.04/minute rate anywhere in the US with similar rates to other countries (check [...] for more information). I bought this router from Amazon, I hooked it up to my LAN, connected my phone, entered my credit card info with Net2phone and started making calls right away. Sound quality is generally good (reminds me of a typical cellular phone) but it doesn't compare to a landline on a corded phone. The unit works best with a corded phone and speakerphone. It's also compatible with a cordless phone, but there's more hiss. Also, unlike those 10-10 numbers, you don't have to pay a "connection fee" for each call.
Cons: I wouldn't recommend you dump your landline. Keep your cellular phone at the very least. First of all, Net2phone service has been shaky. In recent months, there have been a few outtages where I couldn't call parts of Eastern Europe at all. Second, you must have a fast Internet connection for this to work (DSL or Cable). In addition, you won't have a direct Net2Phone line that you could call home. There might be an 800 number that'll have your extension, but I haven't looked into it. Also, VoIP technology (voice-over-IP) won't allow you to make data calls (fax, ISP, etc.).
Overall: 4 stars out of 5. Excellent Linksys router. I deducted one start for no incoming calls capability and shaky Net2Phone service.

The only thing keeping me from giving this product 5 stars is its non-existant Macintosh support. Linksys could invest maybe another *day* of someone's time and support Macintosh computers with this product. Since I'm multiplatform, I was able to configure it using a PC...
If you want to use MAC address spoofing to have the Linksys present a particular MAC address to the cable company, you will need to do a firmware update to add the feature. This was not a big deal, but it is an extra step.
The Net2Phone feature works as advertised and seems to be of reasonably high audio quality. It's sort of like being on a cordless instead of a wired phone. Hook a cordless to it and have twice the fun!

I've an iCafe with less than 10 PC's, I used to make calls using a PCI card from other manufacturer and ecerytime a phone call was made and a client was using this PC, the computer used to fail. Therefore I always tried not to use this computer for normal internet but only for calls (8PCs - 1=7pcs for my business).
Besides, my ISP gave me 1 IP address. so I was doing NAT using a linux server. Linux is quite good but customers dislike to sit in linux machines (it's somehow different after all), therefore I was working with only 6 PC in my iCafe.
Now with the linksys router-phone, I've again 8 pcs and the quality of the calls are quite good. Just a few drawbacks:
1- The router doesn't offer cache, therefore I'm not saving bandwidth in this way.
2- No echo cancellation, and in fact no means to control the quality of your calls (volume of the speaker, mic, etc) as well as the usual problems from net2phone's bundle hardware: No way to know exactly how long the call lasted.
3- Sometimes I can hear no dialtone.. or calls simply doesn't get along... you've to switch off and on the router in order to get the call feature back working.
4- I got no net2phone account so now I've to pay local resellers for my phone cards. Linksys nor net2phone knows how to recover my account, or give me a new one.

Easy to install, fairly fool-proof and reliable for those wanting a router with voice through capabilities. Net2Phone is more problematic, taking several calls and complaints to get them to fix the account...finally they did it. Phone works flawlessly (no echo)as does the router. I am very happy with the item.

I bought this plugged it in to my network then plugged a cordless phone in and started making phone calls. The rate of 3.9 cents a minute was much cheaper than my other second line and its about the same quality so I canceled my second phone line. I guess this is where voice over IP is going. Works just like a regular phone... that's the way it should be...

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