Almost every home phone company today offers common features like Unlimited Calling, Caller ID, and Call Waiting. But it’s those really awesome and advanced calling features that are evolving the functions of home phones all across the nation. These advanced abilities can take your home phone further and even integrate with your home’s entertainment system to make the whole experience more convenient. So read below to learn more about many of them, as one just might be the dealmaker for choosing one particular home phone company as your new service provider.
Advanced Home Phone Features Ready for the Future
Telephone technology has come such a long way since the 1870s when Alexander Graham Bell first patented the device. Nowadays, there are 5 main connection types, or ways you can make phone service happen in your home. Those technologies are Traditional Analog Line, Digital Phone, Cable Phone, DSL Phone, and VoIP (Voice-over-Internet Protocol), also known as Internet Phone. Each one has its own pros and cons – as well as its own technologies that make it happen – so be sure to research them all.
And as you’re doing your research, be sure to not only keep the price, coverage, and reliability of the home phone service in mind, but the included advanced features as well. Below we’ve listed the top 20 advanced home phone features for your convenience.
- Enhanced Voicemail: Provides all the features of an answering machine combined with the power of the web. That means you get the added convenience of checking your messages, getting Readable Voicemails, and changing your settings online.
- Caller ID: See the name and number of an incoming call before you answer the phone.
- Call Waiting: Uses a special tone to notify you of an incoming call while you’re on another call. It also allows you to switch between the two calls, placing the other on hold.
- Call Waiting with Caller ID: Just like regular Call Waiting, only it displays the name and number of any incoming Call Waiting calls, rather than just simply beeping in.
- Caller ID on TV: If you’ve decided to bundle your home phone and TV services together, then you have the opportunity to unlock another slick feature. You can instruct your home phone system to display a little Caller ID pop up on your TV screen whenever someone calls your number. This allows for seamless integration of your bundled services.
- Private Outbound Calling / Caller ID Blocking (*67): Hide your name and number on specific calls that you make. The person you are calling will see “Anonymous,” “Caller ID Blocked,” “Private,” or a similar message on their Caller ID display.
- Busy Redial (*66): When you receive a busy signal, you can use this feature to automatically redial the number for up to 30 minutes and alert you when the line is free.
- Three-way Calling: Have a three-way “conference call” by adding a third party to your conversation.
- Speed Dialing: Instantly call friends, family, and colleagues – even if you don’t remember their phone numbers. Program up to 8 phone numbers – both local and domestic long-distance – to a single touch on your home phone receiver.
- Call Return (*69): Identify and automatically redial the last incoming caller on your line. (Call Return may only be initiated for calls within your area code.)
- Block All Anonymous Calls: Blocks all calls to you where the calling party does not display their Caller ID info. Also works for charge and collect calls.
- Block Unwanted Callers: Block up to 32 telephone numbers from which you do not want to accept calls. Callers on your “Block Selected Call” list will receive the following message: “The caller you are attempting to reach is not accepting calls from this number.”
- Private Outbound Calling / Anonymous Calling: Hide your name and number on all calls you make. When this feature is turned on, the person you are calling will see “Private” or “Anonymous” on their Caller ID display.
- Call Forwarding: Redirects your incoming calls to a forwarding number so you never miss an important call. Also, note that when Call Forwarding is activated, you won’t be able to answer calls in your home, as they will only ring at the forwarding number.
- Call Forwarding to Do Not Disturb Message: Allows you to direct incoming calls to a pre-recorded greeting based on your selection. (It’s a nice way of automatically letting folks know you’re busy at the moment.)
- Call Forwarding by Time of Day: Set up a schedule for specific times and days when you want to have your calls forwarded to another number.
- Call Forwarding on Busy/No Answer: Select to have your calls forwarded when the line is not answered. You can also select the number of rings the caller will hear before the call is forwarded.
- Call Forwarding to a Backup Phone: In the event there is a temporary interruption of your phone services, you can have your calls automatically sent to an alternate number, such as a mobile phone or work number. (Note that when service is restored, calls will automatically ring to your usual telephone number once again.)
- Find Me / Answer Anywhere: Let your calls follow you wherever you go. Have your calls ring simultaneously on up to three additional phone lines, like a cell phone or work number. The incoming call can be answered by any of the phone lines, and the call will be connected to whichever phone answers first.
- VIP / Priority Ringing: Designate up to 32 telephone numbers to ring with a second, distinct ringtone. The actual ring may vary by phone, but is usually two short rings instead of a single long ring. You will also hear a different VIP call waiting tone when someone on your VIP list calls your number and you’re already on the line.
So, which of these advanced features are included in your package? And can you add your favorite ones on at a nominal price if they’re not already part of the package? These could make all the difference for how much utility you get out of your home phone service.
In the end, the best way for you to choose the perfect home phone service for your needs is to research multiple phone companies. And as you do so, always keep in mind that the goal for your residential phone service is to find a provider and plan that’s cost-efficient, but still packed with all the advanced features that will help you lead a happy, productive, and connected life.