Millions of people have canceled their home or landline telephone service in recent years, but
millions of people still have them.
The ‘home phone holdouts’ likely have service because it comes with their cable TV and internet subscription but some keep the landlines online because all of their friends still call them on the number they’ve had for decades.
It’s a good idea to have a ‘home phone’ for everyone in the house for a few reasons. One is that
it allows children without cellphones to call family and friends and 9-1-1 in an emergency. It also
makes it easier for parents to control when kids can and cannot use a phone.
Even the FCC refers to landline phones as “plain old telephones”. Say what you will about
them, but unlike cell phones, landlines are about the only way to have a true ‘home phone’. And
that’s one reason many people still use them. But if you want a ‘home phone’ that everyone can
use, there are a few solutions.
Cell2Jack is a device that gives life to any plain old phone by connecting it to a smartphone. Connect the cable from the old phone, and plug it into power. After downloading the ‘Cell2Jack’
app, press the hashtag, or what we used to call the ‘pound sign’ twice. It’ll connect to a
smartphone over Bluetooth. Now, when someone calls the number for the smartphone the old
phone rings with the bells or beeps. You can also make phone calls through the old phone, you
even get a dial tone, remember those?
You can also use an old smartphone as a home phone. Just plug it into a power source and
keep it where everyone knows where it is. If you’d like a dedicated home phone number, you
can get it through your carrier, but it’ll cost money to add another line.
An option is getting a brand new number through Google Voice. You can get a free number from any area code. Forward the calls to another number, or just let it ring your new home phone over the internet.
You can use Google Voice on most iPhones and Android devices provided they can download
the Google Voice app and can connect to your home WiFi Network. Combine the new number
with the cell2Jack device, and you’ve got a nostalgic home phone that works.