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Telephone Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a new telephone.

Getting Started

Telephones are essential communication devices in a home. Some households have opted to communicate via cell phones and not use a landline at all. However, in some homes, landlines are necessary. When you are in the market for a phone, consider the following types and features.


Corded VS. Cordless

If you are always on the run, you may need a cordless phone. Cordless phones offer portability and versatility. If you just need basic phone, a corded phone will give you the best value. They are affordable and easy to use.

Analog VS. Digital

After deciding which type of phone will best suit your needs, you'll have to choose between digital or analog signal formats. Analog phones are less expensive, however as an analog telephone handset moves farther away from its base, clarity begins to diminish. Digital phones sound better, their signal travels farther and they are more secure because outside radio scanners rarely pick up their signals.


Do I need an answering machine?

Phones are available with or without answering machines. If you are often outside the house, or run a small business, where every call is important, a phone with an answering machine is necessary.

Two-Line Telephones

If you have a home office, modem, fax machine, or a teenager who's always on the phone, you may need a phone with two lines.

Caller ID

Most manufacturers and phone companies provide the caller's incoming name and number on the phone's display screen. Additionally, some phone companies allow you to connect your phone to a computer via a USB port and download a picture that you want associated with a telephone number or put the contact information on a TV screen.

Multiple Handsets

When deciding on a phone, determine how many telephone jacks are available. If you have a large living space and don't want to be tied to one location when speaking on the phone, multiple handsets can be placed in the most visited spots of your home.

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