I broke down and bought one last week.
I have been doing a lot of research on it via numerous reputable computer software sites, as well as other sources, and the reviews (opinions) were all very good.
I got a 30 day free trial, so I thought "What they hey!". It cost $40, and that is for the unit and the $20 first year service fee. I also took the five year option for an additional $58. But I won't be billed if I return it by the end of the 30 days.
It simply plugs into your USB port on your computer, while you plug your phone directly into the back of the unit. Once your computer recognizes it, you have some very simple setup steps to follow to activate it. You select the region of the country (state) and area code you're located in, and it then issues you a phone #. 911 is directly linked to you home address.
So far I am impressed. The connection and audio quality is very good IMO. I've had no problems. You have caller ID, voice mail, and numerous other options. It works through my answering machine. You can switch from either using your phone handset or use the control panel and operate it on the computer via your speakers and a mic.
I'm still investigating if it will utilize a fax machine, which I have.
I did have several questions though, and they have a chat technical support system that did a good job in assisting me, and answering any questions I may have had.
AND IT WASN'T LOCATED IN INDIA!
But we're talking $20/year for unlimited calls anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.
So I'm going to give it a shot for the next 30 days and see how it goes.
I'd love to tell Embarq to take a flying leap!