Do You Need a Landline? 4 Things to Consider
We get it — you’re reading this because you’re in doubt. What made you think about landlines, anyway? Is it because your phone, internet and TV provider is offering a discount if you get all three? Or is it because your dad told you that it’s not safe to live without a landline? Maybe you’re here to prove a point: you think landlines are stuck in the past, and you’re tracking with the future.
There’s more to your landline than you think, so before you decide whether or not you need a landline, let’s look at what they do and why they’re still around.
They still work during power outages
In most cases, a landline phone will still work properly during a power outage. Consider this if you live in an area with extreme summer or winter storms that can leave you without power. If you have a home security system, it’s also very likely connected to your landline to relay information about breaches. If you have a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) landline phone, you may need a backup battery to keep your phone up and running in the case of an emergency. Your provider should be able to tell you what type of landline you have and where to obtain a backup battery.
Your mobile phone’s battery, obviously, is not going to work forever. And if you can’t charge it, you don’t have another option. This is also true of your home security system if it’s using your wireless connection to communicate with the service provider. Not to be dramatic, but this could get pretty dramatic.
They give 911 dispatchers your exact address
If you have a power outage and call 911, a dispatcher can easily trace your call. If emergency services need to be sent to your location, a landline will provide dispatchers with your exact address.
Your mobile phone cannot be located as accurately, and the 911 dispatcher will only know which cell tower your phone is using. Just like in the movies, they may be able to “triangulate” your location, but they’ll still be left with a large vicinity to search instead of an exact location. You can only be traced to an exact location with a mobile phone if you have GPS enabled during the emergency, and your phone’s software is able to share location data with 911. The GPS location accuracy is affected by your mobile provider, geographical issues and the age of your phone.
Bottom line: If you want total peace of mind, you need a landline.
Have great reception anywhere in your home
You can take your cordless home phone anywhere in your house and count on a consistent phone call with no drop outs. This is key if you use your phone a lot when you’re home. If you work from home and take conference calls, you can’t afford to keep dropping. People have to hear what you have to say, and you have to know they’re going to hear from you.
You’ve been there…your mobile phone only works just right if, for example, you stand with your left shoulder at the west window in the dining room…
Bottom line: If you work from home or use your phone a lot in the house, you need a landline.
Features you’re used to on your smartphone
If you think a landline can’t keep up with smartphones…well, you’re mostly right, but they have all of the essential calling features we now take for granted. If you or a loved one don’t like fumbling around with touchscreens (and isn’t there just something special about real, physical buttons?), a landline can provide a better experience with the same features.
- Call waiting
- Call forwarding to another landline or mobile device
- 3-way calling
- Caller ID
- Texting through your computer
- Speed dial and stored contacts
- Call blocking
- Call logs
Bottom line: This one’s up to you, but don’t feel like you’re stuck in the 80s just because you’re on a landline.
Landlines aren’t very expensive
If you’re part of the majority of people in the United States who already have TV and internet service, adding a landline shouldn’t cost you much. For providers, the cost to offer landline service is nominal compared to things like internet and TV, which require more infrastructure, so they don’t need to pass off huge costs off to you. Providers may also offer deals that allow you to pay less money for better internet speeds and TV services if you include landline phone service in your package.
Bottom line: If the benefits of a landline are even slightly attractive to you, see how much it costs to add to your current or future package — it’s probably less than you think.