MyNetFone Netgear TA612V review: MyNetFone Netgear TA612V

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The Good Easy to set up and use out of the box. Able to make two VoIP calls simultaneously. Can sit horizontally or vertically to take up the minimum amount of space. Included voicemail box. Good call quality.

The Bad If you're not using a combined modem/router, the unit's single Ethernet LAN port means you'll need a switch to connect more than one PC. The automated voicemail prompts can be annoyingly slow to use.

The Bottom Line The TA612V is a solid unit that provides a low-cost way to make VoIP calls. It is a good choice for households or small home offices keen to cut their telephone bills.

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8.3 Overall

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It's hard to be overly creative when designing an analog telephone voice adaptor (ATA) for a VoIP service, but Netgear has still managed to do a good job with the TA612V. The unit incorporates both an ATA and an Ethernet router housed in a curved, white case. The unit can sit horizontally or vertically with the attachment of two included plastic feet.

The front panel has a row of indicator lights that show when the power is on as well as the status of the unit, the Internet link, the two VoIP phone lines and whether there is a PC directly attached.

On the back there is a power connection, two analog phone ports and two Ethernet ports -- one for PC connection and the other for a broadband modem. A handy legend printed on the bottom of the unit reminds you which port does what.

The TA612V has been pre-configured to work with the MyNetFone VoIP service and includes AU$10 worth of call credit out of the box.

The way in which you set it up will depend on the type of broadband modem you already have in place. If it's a stand-alone modem, the TA612V will sit between it and your PC. If it's a combination modem/router, the TA612V will connect via one of the router's Ethernet ports.

Being designed to work with a particular VoIP service makes the unit very easy to set up. Once it's connected to the modem or router and powered up, it automatically connects via your broadband connection to the MyNetfone server and registers itself. This process can take a number of minutes during which time the unit may download updated firmware. The process is complete once the front panel status light stops flashing. A conventional phone handset can then be connected to the Phone 1 port on the rear panel.

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