The Chatter Bug is about the size of a computer mouse, but it has the power to provide unlimited long-distance calling in the U.S. and Canada for $9.95 a month. The device, which plugs into a regular phone, routes long-distance calls through normal phone lines to an Internet portal, which carries the call to the recipient’s local exchange. Unlike Internet-based phones, it doesn’t require a computer or a high-speed Internet connection. Because your phone company continues to provide local service, your phone number stays the same and 911 emergency service isn’t affected. One Chatter Bug is required for each hard-wired telephone, but a single Chatter Bug hooked to a cordless phone base station will serve multiple cordless handsets.

The Chatter Bug costs $24.95, plus $9.95 per month. Contact Laguna Wave at 866/690-3919 or visit www.chatterbug.com.