T-Mobile HotSpot @Home Talk Forever Home retail package
By Matthew Miller
T-Mobile may not have a 3G data network, but they are on the cutting edge with helping people ditch their home phones and use VoIP services. The latest service allows you to use your standard home cordless phone with a new T-Mobile line. The service does require a new special modem, available for US$50 with 2-year commitment.
Back of the retail package
The back of the retail package shows the ports on the router in clear colored detail.
911 notice on outside of inner white box
There is a plain and simple 911 notice on the inner package that makes sure you call and register your address for 911 service.
Inner contents of retail packaging
You will find a CD, setup guide, A/C adapter, ethernet cable, SIM card, and the router in the retail package.
Manual, setup guide and SIM card
There are a couple of documents included in the package, along with your new SIM card.
Cables and vertical stand
You get an ethernet cable, A/C adapter, and a vertical stand in the box.
Front of setup guide
The setup guide walks you through the process of setting up the router in a very simple step-by-step method.
Back of the setup guide
The back has details on finalizing the setup and using your phone with the new service.
Voice mail feature explanation
Your home voice mail is the same as a mobile phone system, but I personally wish there were a few more features for your home phone.
Vertical stand bracket
This sturdy stand is used to mount the router vertically.
The Linksys/Cisco router is optimized for vertical mounting.
Extending the antenna
The antenna is shipped in a stored position, but should be flipped up for optimal signal strength.
Wireless security key button
T-Mobile has this same security key button on the Talk Forever and HotSpot @Home Mobile routers.
Front indicator lights
Phone, wireless, internet, and T-Mobile security key indicator lights.
More front indicator lights
Ethernet connection lights and the power light appear, along with the HotSpot @Home logo and branding.
Power jack, reset button (red dot), and two phone line ports.
You can connect up to 4 wired devices to your router. I have my Mirra backup drive and Slingbox connected to my router.
Internet ethernet port
The top port is for connecting your ethernet port to your router.
View of the entire router back
In this shot you can see the entire arrangement of ports on the back of the router.
SIM card cover
This cover on the back of the router protects the two SIM card slots.
Two SIM card slots
You can activate two lines with this router and service. You need to make sure you plug your phone into the same port as the SIM card, but selecting 1 or 2 does not matter.
Inserting the SIM
You simply insert your SIM and then lock it into place to get started.
HotSpot @Home logo
The logo is branded on the device.
Front Linksys branding
There is some Linksys/Cisco branding on the front where the router rests in the vertical stand.
You will find the Quick Setup Guide, manual, and FAQ on the CD. The Windows PC setup wizard is also included.
Router hooked up to my system
Here are the cables I have connected at this time.
Indicator lights in action
Most of the lights are green glowing or flashing lights on the front of the device.
No phone action
At first my SIM was not activated so there were no lights for either phone.
Lovely blue LED
The glowing blue LED over a phone indicator means you have an active SIM. The light will actually blink when there is voicemail in the system.