New Wifi SIP Handset From VOIP Supply

VoIP Supply’s Garrett Smith has tipped us off to a new Wifi SIP handset. Apparently it’s making him rethink his stance on VoWifi hardware. As we are of like mind on this topic this raises my curiosity. Perhaps even enough to actually preorder one of these little beasties. Availability is projected as end of October.

Example Of Using The XML Browser On A Polycom Phone

A short while I go I wrote a lament about how the better IP phones with large LCD displays are woefully underused. Specifically, they provide XHTML browsers that allow the phone to interact with online data sources.

Poking around online I found a company in Colorado that develops apps to leverage these features. Further, they make available a public example that you can access for your Polycom phone.

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Network Maintainance At Home: Moving Subnet

Sometimes the apparently simple, little things take longer than you’d expect. In my recent travels I’ve had some trouble when trying to VPN connect back to my home office. This generally happens for one of two reasons;

  1. The ISP at the remote location is blocking related ports
  2. The network at the remote location is on the same subnet range as my home office network

The first cause is something that I simply cannot control, but the second is something that I decided to address today. I moved my entire network onto a new subnet.

The process is simple enough. Make the required changes in the m0n0wall router and reboot just about everything. As much as possible I leave network devices with DHCP enabled and the reserve IP addresses in the routers DHCP server. Even so some things need hand tweaking.

For example, my wife tried to make a call only to find no dial tone on the house phone. It turns out that the Sipura SPA-2002 that we use with that phone had a hard coded DNS server entry. Oops. Gotta change that manually then dial tone returns.

Just to be safe I rebooted a lot of things and confirmed that they were back on the network and working correctly. I expect that we have more on-LAN devices than most homes. The process took a couple of hours.

On Security: Intercepting VOIP Over Wifi

OK, VOIP over Wifi and VOIP via mobiles (cell phone networks) is getting a lot of attention lately, be it Skype, Truphone, Gizmo, iSkoot or whatever. Martin Sauter has a nice post about just how easy it is to capture, decode and hear VOIP call on a wifi LAN.

Is this news? No. It’s not. This has been known for some time. Like all things on networks some attention needs to be paid to matters of security. If you’re in the wild world (ie. not on your own LAN) then its difficult to be certain that the call is secure. You can use VPN technology or TLS/SRTP if your provider supports this. I look forward to TLS/SRTP support in Asterisk, which is underway and to be in v1.6.

While we’re on the topic, if you’re at all concerned about VOIP security you should be paying some attention to the Voice Over IP Security Alliance (VOIPSA) This is a great resource for voice security information.

Updating Firmware On The snom m3

This afternoon I finally took some time to update the firmware in the snom m3 phone system. The phones arrived early in January loaded with v1.01, but in the eight weeks since then snom has released v1.07.

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Polycom IP200W SIP-DECT Cordless Phone RSN

Is this new Polycom cordless phone a snom m3 in Polycom clothing? It sure looks that way.

According to VOIP Insider, the blog from VOIP Supply, Polycom is readying the release of their new IP200W cordless SIP-DECT phone. The post is here. As was pointed out previously this is based on the same hardware platform as the snom m3. What was unclear previously is that it’s a new product for both companies. That bodes well for future of firmware development to overcome the devices few issues, most especially lack of remote provisioning for contact lists or allowing the use of SIP URIs.

If you follow the link they give to a Polycom PDF document it lists an MSRP of $449 for a base and two handsets. That’s exactly the hardware that I purchased for around $400 USD delivered. Taking in account the street price will be less than MSRP it looks like the pricing will be similar.

VOIP Insider also published a short review of the snom m3, reaching about the same conclusions that I did.

It is curious that even though VOIP Supply carries the snom desk phones they don’t list the m3 on their web site. Perhaps they have decided to offer the Polycom version exclusively. I’m certain that they do more business with Polycom in general.