Introduction to the Linksys WIP 300

The Linksys WIP 300-NA Wi-Fi IP Phone enables high-quality voice over IP (VoIP) service through a Wireless-G network and high-speed Internet connection. Connect at home, your office, or at a public hotspot, and make low-cost phone calls through your Internet Telephony Service Provider.

Linksys WIP 300 Features

The WIP300 Wireless VoIP Phone operates in the 2.4GHz band, supports 802.11g and the latest VoIP SIP protocols. The large, full-color high resolution display features an intuitive user interface enabling users to easily and quickly configure the handset using Secure Easy Setup (SES).

• Pixel-based display—Provides intuitive access to calling features
• Nine speed dials configurable in the set
• Comfort noise generation (CNG), voice activity detection (VAD), adaptive jitter buffer, and echo cancellation
• RF and battery level indication
• Local phone book
• Embedded 2.4GHz antenna
• ABS+PC plastic housing
• 1.8” COLOR TFT LCD with backlight
• Simple keypad with backlight
• Remote Firmware upgrading via Wi-Fi
• SIP v2 signaling protocol, RFC-3261
• POP3/SMTP E-mail access (optional)
• SMS (optional, by system default)
• USB charger interface

Linksys WIP300 Product Packaging and Documentation

The Linksys WIP 300 is packaged well in a small box, with plastic packaging to prevent the phone and battery from moving around. Documentation consisted of a quick start guide on paper and a full user guide in the form of a PDF file on a CD. I didn’t read either one since the onscreen menus were intuitive enough to get the phone up and running. An electrical charger is included too.

Linksys WIP 300 Administration, Configuration, and Use

The administrative/configuration interface for the WIP 300 is similar to that of a typical cell phone, in that every menu function is squeezed into the small space of two soft keys, directional keys, a small LCD screen, etc.

You have to get used to the menu structure of the phone and how the buttons operate. There is an easier to use internal web page too that can be used to view or change settings.

Linksys WIP300 Asterisk Integration

I was able to connect the Linksys WIP 300 to my wireless equipment with no problems. For the review, I have a Buffalo WBR-G54 802.11g wireless access point/router. Since my WBR-G54 is not my primary firewall, I had to set it up as a quasi access point to ensure that the WIP 300 and my Asterisk server were on the same subnet. I setup the WIP 300 with manual IP address settings since my own network is generally an exception to the rule. Most often, a wireless VoIP phone would get its IP address from an up-steam DHCP server. This would be the case if a wireless access only product with a separate DHCP server is in use or a wireless access point/router that has its own built in DHCP server is used instead.

Wireless settings were programmed as 802.11g only, a hard to guess preshared key and SSID, WPA encryption, TKIP, and no SSID broadcast. These settings were programmed into one of the default profiles on the WIP300.

Settings for SIP registration were programmed into MySQL for realtime integration. I programmed additional statements in extensions.conf related to other phones I have.

For the review, I programmed my primary desktop IP phone to always forward incoming calls to the Linksys WIP 300. I was able to receive calls with no problems during this test.

Linksys WIP300 VoIP Service Provider Integration

I don’t personally use a VoIP service provider myself for any long distance calls. I have a traditional Ma Bell phone line instead for any local or long distance phone calls. The phone had no problem acting as an extension on my Asterisk server, so I was able to make local and long distance calls as I normally would on a desktop IP phone.

Linksys WIP 300: The Good

The phone is small, lightweight, and would function well as a secondary IP phone. Sound quality was good on the call flow tests I made. A test of sending and receiving email messages via POP3 and SMTP worked well.

Linksys WIP 300: The Bad

The battery cover easily slid off when I handled the phone in my hand.
The cover reminded me of one found on a TV remote control. The latching mechanism needs to be improved.

A blind transfer function test didn’t work properly with Asterisk. I made a call from the WIP 300 to one of my two desktop IP phones. I put the call on hold from the WIP 300 and dialed the other desk phone, then pressed the transfer soft key. I answered the second desk phone. Audio only went only one way between the two desk phones. A similar blind call transfer initiated from the desk phones went fine. There may be a problem in the SIP or RTP implementation of the WIP300. An upgrade of the firmware (1.00.07) and bootloader (1.00.02) didn’t solve this problem. The version of Asterisk for this review is 1.4beta2.

The Linksys WIP 300 does numerical dialing only. This will probably be the case for most if not all wireless IP phones of this type. I tried to dial a SIP URL from the keypad or the speed dial list, but was unable to.

I am not sure how well the battery will perform over time, so further tests of this type would need to be done. I was unable to perform a wireless roaming test since I only own one wireless access point/router.

Overall Impressions

The phone functioned well overall and I recommend it.

The Linksys WIP300 is available for only $209.99. Click Here to Purchase!

About the Reviewer
Dave Roper is an IT professional with experience in VoIP, security, networking, Linux, and Windows. He has worked with VoIP companies at the carrier and office level and in deployments of PBXs and IP phones. He has been working with Asterisk and VoIP since 2004 and Linux since 1998.

Discussion

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  1. We used the Linksys 300 Wifi phones, 5 of them, for a month. We had to tape the battery covers to all of them. Also couldn’t get the transfer feature to work with Asterisk. Battery life was terrible (30 min talk time). Linksys doesn’t sell replacement batteries. You got it – when the batteries are shot, the phone is replaced. We returned them. I don’t know about other vendors, but this product is not ready for prime time. I’m guessing that the Wifi transmitter/receiver use a lot more power than a cell phone.

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  2. What is the point of doing this review if no voice calls were made from the phone? So far the comments were far more useful than the review, ie battery covers and battery life. Also, any idea what providers are willing to activate this phone as a VoIP device? Packet 8 said they would not let me use this with their service.

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  3. Can explain what SIP fields you set to get the phone to register with Asterisk?
    My phone will not register and on Asterisk console displays the following error message:

    Registration from ’6108 ‘ failed for ’192.168.1.101′ – No matching peer found

    Reply