Choosing a landline phone instrument
Once you've chosen to install a wired phone (remember, that itself is a decision point - many people do without a landline altogether), the next step is choose the technology (cable, VoIP, traditional landline and so on). Once you've done that, you select a service provider (AT&T, Verizon and so on). And when all of that is over, you buy a landline phone instrument.
This section gives you tips on how to choose the right phone device.
- First decide if you need a cordless or a corded phone. A cordless phone is convenient, but may not always be the natural choice. For instance, if you already have cell phones, and your main purpose of having a landline is a fixed location phone that doesn't get lost in the house and always stays charged, you may want to avoid a cordless.
- Ask yourself - do you need an instrument with an answering machine or not? After all, you can always retrieve voice mails by subscribing to a voice mail service with the phone company. But that will cost you a nominal charge every month. On the other hand, if you do choose an instrument with an answering machine, you will have to check for features like voice quality and recording media and duration (I personally chose a voice mail service).
- If you do go for a cordless instrument, choose a frequency. For people with lots of wireless devices at home, go for an '802.11-friendly' device. This will allow easy integration with your existing wireless network and ensure minimal interference. Otherwise, just stick to the most popular frequency - the 2.4 gigahertz band.
- Check out the features of the instrument. For instance, you may want a speaker phone for a hands-free experience. Or conferencing capability. Or caller ID. Or a 'mute' button. There are all sorts of features out there, so don't lose out on the ones you really need. Of course, you'll have to balance the options you want with the instrument's price.
- If you want multiple phone lines in the the same instrument, make sure the phone supports that capability.
- Landline phones do come in two technology options - digital and analog. Analog costs less, but I would highly recommend digital technology as being a no-brainer, since digital phones are more secure, less immune to interference, have a longer range and offer more features.
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