A landline phone is one of the most reliable home phones around. It works during power outages when cell towers go dark, and Internet connections go down.
You can set up a landline without messy copper wire connections or hire an expensive installation technician.
Get a Number
Whether or not you’re planning to get landline for your home, you still need a phone number. Registering one is usually straightforward with your provider, who can walk you through equipment and technician requirements.
If you’re considering a new landline, check out providers offering cheap plans. Many have bundles that include Internet and TV, which may be more affordable than paying for each service separately.
Get an Antenna
Depending on where you live, you may need to get an antenna to pick up good reception. It is particularly true if you’re living in rural areas. Signals can bounce off buildings and other tall structures; trees can grow leaves in the spring that block stations you were able to receive with no problem in the winter, and atmospheric conditions can change how signals reach your house.
Fortunately, the community phone’s landline base connects to cell towers to get a dial tone without needing Internet or copper wire connections. It also has a built-in battery that provides 12 hours of backup power in case of a power outage. The base is easy to install, and no technician is needed.
Many people who still have landlines rely on them for home security or medical alert systems requiring a proper landline connection. If you decide to go this route, check out our list of the best home alarm systems with a landline for more information.
Get a Phone
According to a study, Americans talk on the phone 25% more and calls last 15% longer on landlines than on cell phones. Start by snagging an old-school phone — search your basement or attic, check thrift stores or flea markets – any push-button or rotary-style phone should do the trick.
Find a reliable landline provider that offers the features you’re looking for. Consider the monthly cost, available options, contracts, equipment fees, and customer service. Compare the satisfaction guarantees each provider offers as well.
Get a Modem
The modem bridges your home network and your Internet service provider. Without it, you won’t be able to access your Internet because your devices and the ISP use different delivery methods to send data back and forth.
For example, if you subscribe to DSL, you’ll need a special DSL modem that supports your provider’s DSL technology. Check your ISP’s website or Google “[ISP] compatible modems” to find a list of approved devices, although you may have to wait for an update to the list to appear.
Be sure to double-check the modem’s compatibility with your Internet subscription before buying (and beware of models that use Broadcom’s Puma 6 chip; it has software vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to take control of your network). You also want a modem that can work as a router, which is useful for creating Wi-Fi. The cheapest ones typically do that, but the more expensive models add other features.