I’ve been doing a lot of working from home lately, and that means spending a lot of time on the phone. Since I don’t have a POTS landline, and my cellphone is both expensive to use and tends to run out of batteries just when I need it most, I’ve been thinking that VoIP might make sense.

The main features I need are the capability to have two independent VoIP “lines” — one for me and one for the S.O. — and to integrate without too much fuss into my current LAN. I also don’t want to be tied to a single provider (e.g. Vonage, Comcast, Skype) or buy hardware that will become obsolete too quickly.

  • Linksys SPA-2100

    • Review at VoIPUser.org
    • Two ports for handsets/devices (FXS ports), no analog backup
    • Two 10Mb Ethernet ports (WAN and LAN) with optional NAT routing
    • Uses QoS bit
    • Discontinued; replaced by 2102, below
  • Linksys SPA-2102

    • Info page on VoIP-Info.org
    • 2 FXS ports
    • Two 100Mb Ethernet ports with optional NAT routing
    • QoS
    • T.38 fax transport (this is neat!)
    • Compatible with SPA-2000 dial plans (source)
    • Replaces the discontinued SPA-2100
    • Uses Voxilla configuration wizard
    • Allegedly supports two concurrent G.729 calls
  • Linksys SPA-3102

    • Review
    • One FXS, one FXO (one handset, one analog/POTS backup)
    • Can be configured using the Voxilla.com online tool
  • Linksys PAP2-NA

    • The “NA” version is unlocked, some other versions are locked
    • VoIPUser Review
    • TechZone Review
    • Wikipedia article
    • Official Linksys Page
    • Based on Sipura SPA-2000 (at least generally)
    • Basically a rebranded SPA-2002 (source)
    • Large user community
    • Two FXS ports (device), no FXO (analog backup)
    • Can only do one compressed call (G.726 or 729) at a time
    • Discontinued, replaced by PAP2T, below
  • Linksys PAP2T-NA

After doing a lot of comparison work myself, I found a nice page comparing all of Linksys’ VoIP ATAs. It claims, contrary to other sources, that the PAP2T can handle two simultaneous G.729 calls. I’m finding this more and more doubtful as I read more.

Right now I’m leaning towards the PAP2T, just because it seems likely to have the most people using it in the near future.