I‘ve been in the PC business a long time. I would almost have to call myself a veteran at this point having worked at Texas Instruments (remember the TIPC?), Gateway Computers, and now PC Pitstop. In reflecting back, I am amazed at how far the PC has come, and more importantly the impact it has had on our lives.

Of course, there was one principal event of the 90’s that changed everything in computing. That was the advent of the internet. The internet had been around for a quite some time but it took a while for the world to get a grip on its amazing potential. Suddenly, a life without a PC was a life without information and communication. Those were exciting times!

Here we are at the beginning of another decade, and one begins to think what truly earth shattering, paradigm breaking technologies are out there. It was only a few years ago that Napster was born, and people changed the way they acquired and sampled music. Despite the record industries attempts to thwart individuals from file sharing, one thing is for sure. The recording industry will never be the same, and we can thank Shawn Fanning and Napster for doing that.

Now there is a new technology that promises to be just as exciting and innovative. It threatens one of the oldest and established industries in the world. Telecommunications. There is a new kid on the telecommunications block named Packet 8. They are attacking the telecommunications business by providing unprecedented value.

First how do they do it? It is really quite simple. They route your calls through the internet! Sounds simple. Packet 8 does not have the cost of your typical long distance carrier. They did not have to lay wires traipsing across the US, and they don’t even have to have a guy in a truck laying phone lines to your house. It’s all done through your existing broadband connection. That’s why Packet 8 can offer UNLIMITED long distance in the US and Canada for less than $20/month.

But there’s more. Lots more. Extra features that require a surcharge, such as call waiting and caller ID, are now included at no additional charge. Here’s another feature. Unlimited call forwarding combined with unlimited long distance. With this feature, you can make any phone anywhere automatically ring your telephone number, at no additional charge. The possibilities are endless.

For an extra $5/month, you can add more virtual telephone numbers to your account. Now you can have multiple telephone numbers throughout the USA all ringing on your Vonage phone. I am just amazed at the avenues that it opens. Plus since it is the internet, all your calls are digital.

I own one of these boxes, and it is awesome. The voice quality is about as good as a cell phone. I only have 100kbs (tested at PC Pitstop), and when I am uploading a file, the quality changes if the file is a large one. I would have to say that is the only minus, and it is really minor since I am not talking on the phone and uploading large files a whole lot.

This technology will change all of our lives. Even if you don’t buy Packet 8, you will reap the benefits because the telephone companies have to respond. Long distance rates are going to come crashing down, thanks to Packet 8.
Rob Cheng
CEO PC Pitstop LLC

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