While your mobile may be your closest companion, there are still many reasons to maintain a fixed phone with landline: lower rates, reliability (no going straight to answerphone), and crisper voice transmission. A cordless phone offers you the mobility you need within your home or office while still offering clearer sound and cheaper calling than a mobile phone. There are plenty of models on the market; whether you are purchasing a phone for a large office, a small business, or simply for home use, there is certainly a phone to fit your needs and budget.
About the Styles
- The basic cordless phone includes a phone (handset) and a charging base. It has no answering machine and no special features. It is an inexpensive and easy way to go cordless if you already own an answer machine.
- Expandable cordless phones have a base, usually with an answering machine, and multiple handsets with charging stands that can be placed throughout your home or office.
- Multi-handset models have a main base and expandable handsets. Some models support up to 10 extra handsets.
- Answer machine cordless phones offer more features and the possibility of adding another phone line. They may come with additional handsets, but they will add even more to the already high price tag.
- Corded phones with optional additional handsets are ideal for adding lines and for use in large homes or offices. They will also come with all of the standard features of both cordless phones and corded phones, including conferencing.
What To Expect When:
- Phone pager
- Earpiece volume control
- Option to wall mount the unit
- Dialing tones: pulse or tone
- Memory for speed dial
- Walkie talkie capability
- Illuminated keys and LCD displays
- Various ring tones
- Onboard phone book
- Headset jack
About the Jargon
Analogue vs. Digital
- Less expensive.
- Does not provide a private and secure signal.
- Currently the most common.
- Sound quality is better due to stronger signal reception.
- You can go further away from the base unit than with analogue.
- More secure because your voice is encoded before sending the signal, so radio frequencies cannot pick up your conversations.
- Digital Spread Spectrum (DSS)
- Most powerful form of digital allows for improved reception, reach, and safety.
- ADPCM is another type of digital encoding that reduces noise and distortion.
- 900MHz: This is frequently the amount of power that you will find on most phones for home use. They are inexpensive, but often they lack the more advanced functions that you will find on more powerful phones.
- 2.4GHz: This is the average level of power on cordless phones today. They offer better performance at this level, as well as improved sound quality. More features become available on these models.
- 5.8GHz: This is the best technology that you can get with the clearest signals, the most range, and the best security. Because few people are using this bandwidth, there is less interference. This is the best option for eliminating interference in homes that are running wireless networking gear in their home.
Personalising Your Phone
- Multiple Handsets:This is a unique way of making the best use of your phone system. The main base plugs into an electrical outlet and a phone jack. Along with the base you have several handsets as well as handset accessories. This allows you to have both multiple handsets for use throughout the home or office, as well as a way to intercom between them. Simply pick up the phone, dial the base or an extra handset, and you have instant communication.
- Answer Machines: Instead of having two devices to clutter up your desk or countertop you can have just one phone with a built-in answer machine. It allows you a minimalist way to screen your calls and get messages. Some models offer remote message retrieval from other phones as well as multiple mailboxes for family homes with more than one person who is looking to get their messages.
- Caller ID/Call Waiting: Some phone are made with an LCD screen built-in to support Call Waiting and Caller ID if you subscribe to it through your service provider. Using this technology you can see who is calling you before picking up the phone (great for avoiding obnoxious telemarketers). You can also use it to see who called when you were out without needing an answering machine. Plus, it will automatically save a caller's phone number.
- Speakerphones: Despite the fact that many people dislike being put on speakerphone, it can be a very useful add-on. It's great for meetings and conferences in the office and it allows for multiple people to talk at once when in the same room and listen to the other person speak in real time at the other end of the telephone. When there are multiple speakerphones in one household or office they can act as intercom devices from one room to another.
- Individual rings: Some phones allow for multiple rings for each user.
- Three-way conferencing: This enables you to have three different callers on three different phone lines connecting to have a conversation in one call. It's a fun feature for using at home, especially if family lives far from each other, but it can also be useful in the office for conferencing calls. The only drawback is that usually one end suffers from poor sound quality.
- Dual Lines: Instead of a phone that only supports one phone number, get a dual-line phone that allows for two phone lines in one. This is a great solution for a residence that doubles as a small business.