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The Benefits of a Landline in Your New Home

by Mary Leigh Howell

While some of the world has gone smart-phone solo, there are still people who find great value in landline phones. Whether they're for running a household of kids or a home-based business, wired phones offer features that simplify home communication, while enhancing the value of your wireless device.

Plays well with others

The best thing about today’s landline phones is their ability to integrate with other communication devices. Most landline phone systems can assimilate with your cellular phone to make one, smooth-running communication network.

  • “Connect to Cell allows you to connect several cellular phones to your landline,” says Brad Pittmon, director of retail product marketing for VTech Communications, a maker of corded and cordless phones. Once you’re inside the home, you only have to answer one system. But how can you differentiate which line is ringing? Many systems will let you code a different ring tone for each line, so you'll know whether your incoming call is cellular or landline.
     
  • Cell Phone Directory Transfer is another landline/cellular integration feature. It gives you the ability to transfer the numbers in your cellular contacts directory to your landline phone. Download thousands of cellular phonebook entries to your landline phone via Bluetooth technology.

Can you hear me now?

  • High Definition Audio, also known as Wideband Audio, is a significant improvement in sound quality for landline phones. “HD Audio extends the audio frequency band, allowing the signal to be reproduced and tuned for a fuller, clearer sound,” says Pittmon. And just like the sound on your stereo, built-in equalizers enable you to tune the sound further, emphasizing bass, treble, and natural tones.
     
  • With the Push-to-Talk feature, your landline turns into an intercom or walkie-talkie. Broadcast the fact that dinner is ready without straining your voice. Or with the walkie-talkie feature, relive your childhood fantasy of being an officer on Adam 12.

Answer me, maybe

  • Voice Announce Caller ID means if you need to screen calls, you don’t have to get to the handset or phone base to figure out who’s calling. When someone rings you up, the caller’s name or number is announced on the phone speaker.
     
  • Any Key Answer, when activated, allows you to press any key on the keypad to answer your call. Have you ever dashed to the phone, only to miss the call because your fingers couldn’t find the correct button? Then the Any Key Answer feature is for you.

Multiply and conquer

  • Multiple Lines provide a big advantage over cellular phones. Landlines allow you to operate several separate phone lines from one device. You can put one or two lines on hold while you answer another. It’s very helpful for home-based businesses and families that have separate lines for parents and children.
     
  • Chain Dialing allows you to access previously used number sequences while you’re on a call. It can help you recall an access code or account number while navigating a phone tree.
     
  • Expandable Systems are especially helpful for small or home-based businesses. The expandable nature of most landline phones means you can add more handsets to your original phone without needing another phone jack. The additional handsets connect to your system wirelessly, so you can grow your office without hiring an electrician.

So keep an open mind about integrating a landline into your home. Today’s wired phones are multi-taskers, geared towards convenience and simplicity. Use them to extend the life and usefulness of your cellular phone.

Mary Leigh Howell specializes in communications for the home, furnishings and garden industries.