KoolSpan TrustCall for iPhone
July 01, 2013
$125 one-time activation fee, plus $45 monthly recurring fee.
- Ease of Use:
- Value for Money:
- Overall Rating:
- Strengths: Easily deployable voice encryption for off-the-shelf iPhones.
- Weaknesses: Quite expensive on an ongoing basis.
- Verdict: Overall, a good offering, but a bit pricey. More online support would be helpful.
TrustCall for iPhone from KoolSpan offers hardware-based encrypted calling between off-the-shelf iPhones. It achieves this by sending communication through the TrustRelay Server, which can be installed onsite or hosted by KoolSpan. To enable encrypted communication between iPhones, each phone must be in the specially designed sleeve, which contains a TrustChip. The TrustChip communicates with the TrustCall app on the iPhone itself and sends all voice communication through an encrypted channel to the relay server, and then to the other TrustCall-enabled iPhone.
TrustCall actually consists of two major parts. The first is the TrustRelay server. This serves as the communication point between the TrustCall-enabled phones. Customers can either use a universal relay server - provided by KoolSpan - or they can opt to install their own server onsite and manage it themselves. For our evaluation, we used the universal relay server. The second piece is the TrustCall app. This can be downloaded right from Apple's Mac App Store and easily installed directly on the device. Once the app is installed and started, the phone must be authorized with the relay server. We found this to be easy to do by simply going into the app settings and selecting authorize. From there we were able to make encrypted calls with no trouble at all.
We found this product to offer quick and easily deployable secure, encrypted communication between off-the-shelf iPhones. We did not have to fumble around with a complicated installation process or difficult-to-use management console. We simply had to place the iPhone in the sleeve, register it and go. Each phone is given its own TrustCall number, which is separate from the actual phone number and can be customized to meet the needs of any organization. TrustCall is also available for Android and BlackBerry devices as well.
Documentation consisted of a short quick-start guide in PDF format. This illustrated detailed instructions on downloading, installing and configuring the TrustCall app on the phone, as well as a few basic instructions on using the various app features. This guide was mostly screen shots and was organized in an easy-to-read format with clear step-by-step instructions.
KoolSpan offers eight-hours-a-day/five-days-a-week phone and email-based technical support as part of the monthly access fee paid by the customer. There are no other options available - such as online support through a knowledge base or support portal. 24/7 assistance is also not available.
At a price of $125 one-time activation, plus a $45 monthly access fee per TrustChip, this solution in not inexpensive by any means. We find this product to be a good value for money based on application. While we do not see this product to be feasible for everyone in an organization to have a TrustCall-enabled phone, we can see it to be a good option for a select few who need total security through encrypted voice communication. We also find its overall ease of use and deployment to add to its value.