Belkin Skype Wifi Phone Dropping Calls – Troubleshooting

In my quest to transition from a standard land-line to a completely digital phone experience I purchased one of the new Belkin Skype Wifi Phones. In my previous post about the pros and cons of the Belkin phone (read here), I mentioned the issued about the phone dropping calls right in the middle of conversation and said that it was similar to a drop call with a cell phone. I thought it was because of the Wifi connection and how it interacts with the phone but I’ve still not had much success at getting it to a more consistent standard. Myself and a friend of mine, who also has this same unit as his primary phone of communication, feels that the inconsistent manner by which the phone operates does create some concern about the using the device as a full time alternative to land-lines. In my hope to make the device more efficient I learned several useful tools for maintaining the device in case something goes wrong or make the signal stronger.

Belkin Skype Wifi Phone Settings:

1. Signal Strength: There are a few key factors that can help keep the call online.

A. Preferred Networks: The device works well on one or two networks, but when there is a lot of saved networks in the system it tries to connect to the other ones the minute a signal is not found in the current wifi area. This means that a person that roams should also check the settings in the preferred networks and make sure that the current signal that the phone should receive is the on the very top of the list. There are settings inside the option area to move the preferred networks up and down. I try to clear off ones that I’m not using or don’t need so that the phone only keeps the current network that I want. The other option is the set the phone to not connect automatically to networks that you don’t use and this will also help the phone receive the right amount of data to keep the signal strength. Go the the phone settings and there is an option called preferred networks, and from there you can use the option pad to move them up and down, as well as select them to change settings like the auto connect.

B. Receiving and Sending Audio: It takes a lot of data packets to move the audio back and forth and the phone is sending this data in the air to the router which is then sending info back in the air to the phone. From my experiences, I’ve noticed that when conversations are getting loud, or there is a lot of noise in the background, that is when the phone call drops. If I’m trying to talk over the other person and we are both sending a lot of data and the same time, then it starts to get weak and I can hear the phone quality dropping. If I’m patient and allow the conversation to flow easy without a lot of extra noise or audio input then the calls stays on longer. I’ve actually talked on the phone continuously for over 1 hour on the same call without one drop. However, I’ve had conversations where for whatever reason the phone call dropped several times, but there were often other audio distractions going on so there was feedback going in. The additional noise could be a loud TV, noisy room, music, or even sometimes yelling into the device makes the audio start to fade out the signal. When I noticed it and calm down the signal quality starts to return.

I’ve read that Belkin is aware of these issues and are working on ways to improve the firmware that runs it to make it more stable. I hope there is an update coming soon and that is also be available to current owners through the software update service on the phone device.

C. Router: I’ve learned that is also helps to have a good router and one that puts out a good strong signal. I noticed that when I replaced my router with a newer and stronger router with better signal stability, it also improved the connection with the phone and made the calls much clearer. It may be a no-brainer but stronger signal strength starts where the signal is coming from so make sure that the device you are connecting to isn’t the problem rather than the phone.

2. Power Down: Every now and then the phone just needs to be reset. None of the data is lost in a full power down, but it may ask you sign into your Skype account again. I’ve noticed this to be very handy when I don’t get a signal or the signal strength is poor. I give the phone a power down and when it comes back up it seems to be working fine. The entire power down usually takes about 5 minutes as it may take about 1 minute to go down and about 3 minutes to come back up. You may also have to sign in again which may take another minute or so.

I’ve been enjoying most of my experiences thus far and hope that the new firmware updates will make the device applications more stable so that it will continue to be a productive and efficient part of my communication. There are also a few other devices on the market that I will be reviewing soon and look forward to seeing if they can be good parts my communication chain. I’ve been hearing good thing about the Vosky Call Center Device. It hooks up to any phone and can make Skype calls. It sounds be pretty interesting but I’m already seeing some flaws with this device and I’m sure I’ll be writing about it soon.

9 thoughts on “Belkin Skype Wifi Phone Dropping Calls – Troubleshooting”

  1. My Belkin constantly drops the wifi connection where as my netgear skype phone is very reliable and never drops out. I have tried several things, static address on prefered network, DCHP connection, still same thing occurs. I have not made my wifi connection open as if yet, and may someday try this. I suspect this a Belkin software problem.

    Cheers,

  2. I have exact the same phone for the exact same reason: a replacement for a standard land line phone.

    My experience with it would advice against buying it. It drop calls all the time and also drops connection many times a day.

    There is nothing wrong with my wifi router (Time Capsule) as I have my MacBook connected to it almost all the time and the connection is completely stable.

    The problem is on the phone side. My guess is the slow processor response. It freezes sometimes and some other times it just hangs for minutes to for a simple command like a “menu navigation”. When it happens in the middle of a conversation thats where the call drops.

    I contacted Belkin support many times but they asked me to call them as they were not able to resolve my issue online… as if it would make any difference (technically speaking) if I am talking on the phone or writing on an email.

  3. I searched online for a solution to the problems you are all outlining above. I am infuriated by this phone and find that more often than not I want to throw it very hard at the wall and watch it smash to smithereens. I wish I still had the receipt so I could get rid of it and replace it with something that actually works.

    BELKIN products SUCK.

  4. I’ve heard that the Netgear product does better with their connection. I still get drops sometimes but not as much as before. I can talk for hours without it dropping once. One of the biggest things I can say is to have a good router. I noticed that when I got a stronger router and set up the static ip for the phone, it’s been tons better, but yeah I know your frustration because I can be in the middle of a call and the phone just drops dead. It comes right back and I can call the person back, but if it was like a company or something and you are on hold, then that would be very frustrating.

  5. RE:Belkin Skype Phones F1PP000GN-SK – Poor Battery Life & Lockups

    I have now gone through three (3) of these phones and the 4th is on its way to me from Belkin on yet another RMA. The first two went back directly to Buy.com. Below is a brief description of the same problem I have had on all 3, a problem that could easily cause the user to assume a poor battery life.

    In a nutshell, every one of these phones I have personally used for an extended period of time (days) has the same problem. As an electrical engineer, it appears to me to be a very serious design flaw, most likely a hardware semiconductor “avalanche”, “breakover” or “breakdown” issue. In layman’s terms, this refers to a semiconductor that goes into a “shorted” or relatively “super conducting” state until current is removed from the circuit.

    The problem presents itself as if the phone were battery had discharged and the phone is dead. In reality, it is my observation that the phone will lockup and draw an extremely large amount of current from the battery, to the point the battery quickly and fully discharged. If one encounters the problem while the battery is actually in this “rapid discharge” with the phone appearing to be dead, none of the keys will do anything to turn the phone on or reset the phone. It appears to the user that the battery has simply discharged. However, in this state, prior to the battery actually fully discharging, momentarily removing the battery and then reinserting it will break this excess current flow/rapid discharge and will restore the phone to a point where it can then be turned on again normally with the keypad ON button.

    The only cure I have found when any of these phones are in this mode is to momentarily remove the back plate and remove the battery, then reinsert it. If you have caught the problem in the early part of this lockup and rapid discharge cycle, the phone will then turn on after the battery is reinserted, and appear to operate normally until the next lockup or the remainder of the battery discharges. If caught at this point, the battery will appear to have very poor life after it is “reset” because a significant portion of the energy or charge in the battery has probably already been consumed in this cycle.

    So, what are the clues when this problem is occurring on your Belkin Skype Phone? First, if you catch the phone when it has first gone into this mode, the phone gets very warm to the touch, particularly in the area of the battery while the battery is rapidly discharging. When the battery is momentarily removed at this point, it will be very warm, if not hot to the touch. If you attempt to insert the charge plug while in this mode, while the battery is still discharging and the phone is locked up, there is no effect and the charging symbol will not appear. The phone will charge again, but only after the battery has been fully discharged by the phone or the battery and charger are physically removed and reinserted, thereby resetting the phone to a normal state.

    NOTE: This problem will most often appears to the normal user as extremely poor battery life. I have closely monitored this last phone and reset it immediately upon lockup each time and it is now out 3 days and the battery indicates 1/2 discharge. When that fact is extrapolated, the phone should run on standby for about a week or shortly less.

    Alternately, there is a slim chance this problem could be a firmware problem, but all phones I have tested have been current on firmware and I don’t have access to their source code, so who knows. It would be difficult to imagine a software or firmware related scenario that could put these phones into this high current drain mode to the point of heating the battery. My money is on a semiconductor in one of the power stages, such as the audio output stage etc. that has a breakdown/avalanche voltage that is too low by physical semiconductor design That is validated by the randomness and frequency of occurrence nature of these lockups, between different phones of this same model and with the individual phones themselves. They are going to have a difficult time convincing me that a “firmware update” of any kind will resolve the problem – at least until I thoroughly test it.

    I have talked and talked to Belkin about this problem – All I can get to are “technicians” who haven’t a clue as to the nature of the information I am providing them and the observations that could help Belkin resolve a problem that only one “second level” technician has acknowledged as being a problem.
    Until we all can get Belkin to listen and acknowledge this problem, AND FIX IT for everyone who has this problem, I recommend you stay as far away from Belkin’s Skype Phone as possible! Just my opinion.

  6. I had the very same problem with my Belkin – so I put it in a draw and forgot it – went to the 3 phone shop got a Pay as you go – connected to Skype 100% better no signal dropout AND you don’t need a Wifi Connection – Perfect !!

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