Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fixing Skype DualPhone Philips VOIP8411B /01 issues when using multiple instances of Skype (Windows, Mac, Linux, Ipevo Skype phones, etc)

Fixing Skype DualPhone Philips VOIP8411B /01 issues when using multiple instances of Skype on a computer and other Skype phones (e.g. Ipevo phones):

I've waited a bit because I wanted to give Philips a chance for a worthy solution. So far nothing that would really help the issues of your Philips VOIP8411 crashing/losing network connection or losing Skype contacts.

So learn how to fix most issues step-by-step:

Learning that you have a problem:

You are having a problem, if:

-Your contacts on your Skype phones vanish and on Skype for computers, the contacts that got automagically deleted on the SKype phones are still there but in the computer clients, they lost authorization

-Your Philips VOIP8411 displays the "S!" warning icon (which means "network issues", no further info gathered when asking Philips and the manual is thin). If you got that icon, you most likely have a contact list sync error then you will lose contacts in consequence. (Skype confirmed this can happen when asked)

-Your Philips VOIP8411 tells you "no network" or "unavailable" every 2nd day and you have to remove it and replug it into the power outlet.

Here is how to resolve the issues:

STEP 1: Applying Firmware update

On the English support pages of the phone you can find a document mentioning some important points that you have take care of, or otherwise the process will fail (it's not so easy to brick the phone or make it dead so don't be so afraid).

This document hasn't been translated into other languages so you might not find it on the localized download pages if you are unlucky.

a) If you are using a network of cascading router/switches, do yourself a favor and connect it to the main router

b) Keep the phone on DHCP, you may set a static IP for the MAC address of your phone in your router if you want to, it could come into handy.

c) For your own sake disconnect any other Skype phone and shut down any other skype client!

d) Disable any security software including nasty firewalls or threat detection software.

e) Use Internet Explorer! Either IE6 or IE8 in page compatibility mode!!! don't use any other!
If you cannot find it on your PC, be sure it is there! START --> RUN... > iexplore

f) Detach the PSTN phone network cable! Despite the phone is in a firmware upgrading procedure, the phone won't care and still rings on incoming phone calls!

Now download the correct firmware files be sure to download the one fitting to your release version of the phoone! and select it and if you see that it's upgrading now in the browser window then everything is fine. the procedure is taking 15-30 mins.

If it fails, the handset will still be blocked for 15 minutes saying "Updating software.... please wait"

If this doesn't change after 45 mins, replug and try again and check you didn't miss a point above.

In the worst case scenario press the reset button on the base unit for 15 seconds, remove the batteries from the handset for 10 minutes and try again.


Stabilizing the VOIP8411 phone

Unfortunately it's very picky on settings, if you don't do it EXACTLY the way as suggested it here, it will crash/lose network connection constantly.

Here is the proof that I got it right:



Getting the settings right:

- DHCP . Keep it there. The phone loves to be set to DHCP. You don't want to have a mess in your network? Set a static IP for the phone in your router's static IP settings.

-Admin login: Keep the default password!

-Link Speed : 10 MBit

-Keep the default Skype port settings and the default "alernative ports: Yes"

Setting ports for your other Skype phones/Skype windows/mac/linux/ect clients

Skype ports: Disable alternative ports and check the port used in the Philips phone and set a different one for any other Skype phone/client so none of them have the same Skype port and set all on "alternative ports: No".

I REPEAT: Keep the alternative ports on the PHILIPS phone on YES or else you will have a Skype Network warning and lose contacts
(Your contacts on your Skype phones vanish and on Skype for computers, the contacts that got automagically deleted on the SKype phones are still there but in the computer clients, they lost authorization )

IMPORTANT: Unfortunately the IPEVO S0-20 cannot be used yet as this is (to my knowledge) one of the rare phones if not even the only NOT allowing to set Skype ports!

I asked them to offer this ability in the near future, eespecially since this is required in many enviroments to work correctly (like university networks, etc)

Conclision: The phone is rock solid if you know exactly how to setup it correctly. The best would be if Philips was addressing the problems by supplying some new firmware update as this is a no hardware defect . Anyway, I seriously urge Ipevo to fix the S0-20 as well.

Once the Philips VOIP8411 is setupped correctly, it perfoms awesomely as described in my earlier review of this phone - here.

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