When you were a kid, did you ever pick up your grandma’s home phone, spin the rotary dial a few times, and pretend to make an important business call on that big ‘ole hunk of plastic? (We did it all the time in our toddler years.)
And yet, even though it felt awesome to slam that heavy phone receiver down to make a sound point once you closed the deal, you always kind of wished that grandma’s good ‘ole plastic ringer could do more than just a make a call, right? Well today, it can.
Even in our modern era of always-on-hand cell and smart phones, home phones nowadays have evolved to do so much more than simply become relics of a less-connected time. They’ve come such a long way since the rotary-dial days, and below we’ve listed just some of the benefits of keeping that landline phone plugged in and your service still turned on.
Better voice quality and reception
Whereas cell phones have to wirelessly transmit a signal, home phones have a hard line connection tapping directly into the phone network. And even if you use a cordless handset for your landline, that signal is only being transmitted a short distance.
As a result, compared to their mobile counterparts, you’ll get better signal reception and far less static on a home phone since it’s a hardwired connection. This is especially true when calling from a basement or in areas far from a cell tower, as the wireless signal has a harder time traveling a long distance or pushing through that much metal, dirt, and concrete without being disrupted.
Faster and more accurate responses for 911 emergencies
Cell phones use a GPS-based method to report your location, essentially beaming the signal of wherever you are to the nearest transmitting cell tower. And, in the case of a 911 emergency, this not only takes longer to do, but it’s also not nearly as accurate, as the towers give only a general location rather than a specific one.
A home phone, on the other hand, is already connected to your address, including your specific apartment number, so the 911 operator knows exactly where to send help – even if you’re unable to speak. And those precious seconds could change everything if you have a home phone in an emergency.
Savings on your home services
Having one line to share for all the folks in your home without a cell phone is both a smart and saving move. It’s far cheaper and easier than having multiple, barely-used, cell lines – even when compared to the possible savings served up by a family plan.
Beyond that, a home phone line will decrease your home security bill, as it makes installing and monitoring the security system easier for providers like ADT. And, even better, a home phone may decrease your overall home services bill – simply by bundling it with your TV and internet service from providers such as AT&T, Xfinity or Verizon. In general, it’s cheaper for one company to set you up with multiple home services at one address, and so they pass some of those savings on to you.
Makes for a smarter, connected home
Modern home phones now have advanced features that integrate with other technology and smart devices already in your home. For example, you can now get Universal Caller ID on your TV and smartphones, readable voicemail, text messaging, the “Do Not Disturb” mode, and a “Locate Me” function.
Beyond that, with a Bluetooth connection, you can use your cordless handset to notify you of incoming texts on your cell phone, as well as to make or take cell calls. On top of that, some models support up to 12 home phone handsets from a single base, and these can be used as close-range walkie-talkies throughout larger houses.
How to keep your home phone connected
All across the telephone network, home phone providers have moved to a digital dialing system. For you, this means that your granny’s bold and old rotary phone won’t even work anymore – at least not without an adapter. But fret not, dearest dialer! You do have a number of different (and better) options than simple analog for keeping your home phone connected today.
- A hardwired digital connection – as brought to you by long-time and well-known phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon – uses the traditional phone cord you’re already familiar with to transmit your voice all across the country. And with a newer phone, you can now take advantage of all the information and advanced features that wire is sending your way.
- A VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) connection – as delivered by such companies as Xfinity, Cox, and Time Warner – uses a device called an ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) to route your calls through your internet modem to your home phone. This allows your phone call data to come packed with all these other internet-enhanced properties – such as having Universal Caller ID displayed across all your TVs, smartphones, and other communication devices.
- A satellite connection – as beamed to your home by satellite TV and satellite internet providers such as the DISH Network – also uses the VoIP technology to bring all the benefits of a landline home phone to you, now just in more remote areas of the country.
In the end, getting the most value out of your cutting-edge home phone service is smarter and cheaper than ever before (which also makes it easier to finally call your granny back). And with all the technological advances that both internet data and phone hardware improvements have brought about, you’ll be talking (and much, much more) on your home phone in no time at all.