The Shareware Review People


Type of Program: Internet Phone
Supported Platforms: Windows 95/NT 4.0.
Company Name: Voxware, Inc.[ Nasdaq: VOXW ]
Version: 3.0
Price: Price: Free 14 day trial with full features. After trial, conferencing,
multiple lines, call blocking, VoiceFonts, Local Phone Directory are
disabled. You can regain these and eliminate the ads for $29.95.
Installed Size: 3.61 MB


VoxPhone. The very name calls up images of the 1930's with families sitting around "watching" radio programs, listening to crackling static along with music and sound effects.
Which is about where this technology is today for the normal home user's connection speeds. My "internet bridge" partner in England and I have been testing several internet phones since real phoning is prohibitive and my fingers get numb from all that chatting. We downloaded VoxPhone easily, installed it and went through an interesting set up that helps the software gather information and then we were chattering away all last weekend. By the end of the first hour of conversation, the programme's [British spelling] cost had been saved in spades and in further hours was recouped several times over.
Did it sound as good as Ma and Baby Bells, MCI or Sprint? Not a chance. Was it usually understandable? Yes. Was it neat? You bet! Do I recommend it? Yes. Would I suggest you give up your current services? No, but in future???
One of the nicest things about VoxPhone was the familiar telephone-like interface with dialing and ringing sounds. Also, the easy access to features like call blocking, dialing and hanging up were quite convenient. I don't have a full duplex sound card, but the interchange was not bad. There were some annoying echoes, delays and other noises that a real phone caller from the 1930's would recall, perhaps with a bit of nostalgia, but would not tolerate today. And that is the thing. Its cost of use for long distances is unprecedented and for a while we will have to put up with the halting pace, occasional shouting etc. but my guess is that within a year this will greatly improve. I will review other internet telephones and compare them to VoxPhone for you. So far its the best one I have tried.
Oh, did I forget anything? HELLO. It caused both of our systems to crash about once an hour, would not work without being hooked up to ICQ and we kept getting unwanted calls from other users in the directory if we did not check call blocking. BUT there is all that $$$ saved to consider, it works pretty good as is and WILL improve quickly. Anyway, its free to try a full featured version for 14 days and a somewhat disabled version after the trial. Another thing, the sound is much better than PowWow's. Check it out for yourself and if you have overseas friends who are online, I'll bet you will like it even more.

Performance: At 28.8 on 166MHz Pentium: I imagine users with more system resources, faster modems and ISDN or better connections may experience vastly different sound quality.
User Friendly:
Cost: for disabled version. Fully enabled version.
Ease of Installation:
Support: None needed yet. Paid users get free phone support for a month,
you pay for the call as far as I can tell. Free version and paid users:
by email. This is a good deal.
Reviewed by: Robin Hall

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