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If you want to call anyone in the world at an affordable rate, then Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) may just be the answer. Freshtel’s 4030 Stickphone may provide users with a built-in Firefly software and Internet calling capabilities, but does it bring anything fresh to the table?


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For users who are always on the go, it is good to know that there are a lot of companies that provide a VoIP service that include affordable calls to any mobile phone or landline in the world. With this service, users will pay far less than a long distance call, resulting in longer conversations with minimal costs. The new Freshtel 4030 Stickphone is a USB device that converts into an Internet phone as soon as it is plugged to a computer, giving you the ability to talk to anybody in a snap.

The package comes with the 4030 Stickphone, audio headset, and a USB extension port. The 4030 Stickphone looks just like any flash drive in the market today, but only comes with a storage capacity of 128MB (minus 35MB allotted to the driver/program). In order for the Stickphone to work, users must satisfy the minimum requirements (Pentium III, Windows 98SE, USB 1.1, Broadband Internet) to enjoy the product without problems.

 

Performance:

To get started, one needs to connect the audio headset to the 4030 Stickphone and plug the device to any available USB port. Should the headset be a little uncomfortable, a user may be able to connect their favourite headset to the device just so long as it uses a 2.5mm jack. Once the unit is connected to the computer, the drivers will automatically be installed (including the Firefly software) and the computer must be restarted before running the Firefly software for the first time.


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To use Firefly, users have to register for a username and password at the Freshtel website (www.freshtel.net) or follow the prompts upon launching the Firefly software for the first time. Once the user is registered, they can be able to make free calls to any other Firefly user or call any landline or mobile number anywhere in the world so long as credits are loaded onto their Firefly account.

The interface is similar to various Instant Messaging and VoIP programs available for download. Users may be able to create groups and contacts by clicking the menu button, instantly call contacts by double-clicking on their name, or call any landline or mobile phone (anywhere in the world) by inputting the number on the virtual keypad/keyboard. Contact information saved or taken from Microsoft Outlook will be saved on the device so that users can call their contacts when connected to the Internet.

 


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We have called several people on their mobile phones and landline to test the sound quality of the Freshtel Firefly service. Overall, we have found the service to be good as neither side did not encounter echoes and the conversation was load and clear. The hold, conference, and transfer functions were well-implemented and simple to use. Users can also view their call history by clicking on the Call History bar or check their voicemail by dialling 123.

Conclusion:

Freshtel’s 4030 Stickphone gives a fresh new look to VoIP. With this small USB ‘phone’, you can call anyone in the world so long as you have access to a computer with an Internet connection. Just remember to put credit on your account if you are planning to call somebody on their landline or mobile phone.

Product features:

  • Free Firefly to Firefly calls worldwide
  • Free personal Voicemail
  • Includes headset
  • 128MB memory
  • No soundcard necessary
  • Can be used at any internet cafe

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Freshtel 4030 Stickphone | $48.99 |  | www.freshtel.net

For: Easy installation; Free calls to Firefly users; Voicemail; Interface; Conference, hold, and transfer functions; small profile
Against: Memory capacity could have been better (128MB)
Conclusion: A fresh new device with a lot to offer

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