Do you really need to keep your telephone landline? This seems to be a question that is on many people’s minds these days, especially with the prevalence of cell phones. More and more households are choosing to shift from a traditional telephone landline to wireless service only. For most, it is simply more cost-effective to cut the cord and just use their cellular carriers.
The National Health Interview Survey reveals the following trend:
Source: CDC/NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, released 05/2016
Sometimes called POTS, for plain old telephone service, your landline still has some valid selling points, though.
- Reliability- If your smartphone has spotty coverage in your house, it may be wise to keep a traditional telephone line separate from your mobile carrier.
- Emergencies-Can you rely on your wireless carrier 100% in the event of an emergency at home?
- Simplicity-Even for those individuals who are out of touch with technology, using a landline telephone is common knowledge. It can provide easy access without the fuss of signals, chargers, and text alerts, all of which could be confusing to some.
However, a traditional landline runs about $20 a month (or more!). That adds up to a minimum of $240 a year, for a service that is rarely used. So, should you kick that cord to the curb?
It may be worth it to stick with your traditional phone line service only if you can’t rely on your wireless carrier at home. Otherwise, you can replace your home phone line with Google Voice, thanks to this simple piece of hardware by ObiHai.
What is Google Voice?
Google Voice is a free service that includes an optional phone number (recommended) along with the ability to text from your computer, easily manage voicemails, and more. The phone number you get with Google Voice can be set to ring your home phone, mobile device, or desktop computer. It also has very flexible features to ring directly to voicemail or also ring all three devices at the same time.
How To Sign Up For Google Voice
- Navigate to google.com/voice
- Read the Terms of Service. Click on Proceed if you agree
- Select I want a new number
- In order to obtain a new number, you will have to confirm an existing home or mobile number. Enter your existing number and select the Phone Type
- Verify your phone number. Click on Call me now and enter the two-digit code when prompted.
- Select your new phone number and you are finished!
Setup The ObiHai Adapter With Google Voice
Once you have set up your Google Voice account, you can pair it with an OBi200 VoIP Phone Adapter. This device can utilize any existing telephone hardware you may have, no matter how basic. This even means that grandma could continue using the corded phone she’s had for ten years -- no need to force a confusing change. The adapter can be found for less than $50 on Amazon.
Setup is simple and straightforward, too. Once the process is complete, you will be able to operate your telephone as normal.
If you need a phone provider that can place or receive emergency calls, or if you need extra telephone features such as Caller ID, then you should look to alternative VOIP providers like Vonage and Ooma. These can also save you a ton of money on your landline over time. Please note that at present, Google Voice cannot support 911 dialing.
If you want a simple home phone line using your existing telephones, though, Google Voice may be able to meet your needs -- for a one-time purchase of less than $50!
Do you use alternatives, like Google Voice, in place of a basic landline? What has been your experience and is it well worth the huge cost savings to you?