What is a ‘digital home phone’, anyway?
Traditional home phones use analog POTS (plain old telephone systems) which use fixed telephone cables to conduct calls. That’s why they’re often referred to as ‘land lines’.
Digital phone systems, on the other hand, use the internet to conduct calls, using VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol).
What are the advantages of digital home phones?
Using the internet to make and receive calls delivers quite a few advantages for home users:
- Long-distance calls are generally much, much cheaper than traditional land lines, and many digital phone packages cover unlimited long-distance calls to certain regions
- VOIP-based home phone packages often provide a range of value-add services that traditional phone companies charge extra for, like Caller ID, Call Waiting, Voicemail, etc. (plus others, like in our package)
- Your phone line can actually go with you: Take your phone + adapter to the cottage, on vacation, to your mother-in-law’s house when you’re visiting for the weekend – you don’t have to worry about missing calls even if you’re not at home for an extended period
- Call quality can be significantly improved (particularly in areas with good internet coverage)
- You can keep your existing landline number
Are there disadvantages to digital home phones?
The biggest issue for home users is that if their internet or electrical power goes down, then their phone service goes down, too. But here in Ontario and Quebec, where major internet and power outages are rare and brief – and many people have access to cellphones – this risk is slight and definitely outweighed by the cost savings and value-adds provided by digital phones.
Do you need special phones?
In the early days of digital phones and VOIP, home users had to invest in purpose-built telephones, which were often cumbersome and expensive. But these days, all you need is an ATA (analog telephone adapter), which will allow you to use almost any ‘regular’ phone with a digital phone service.
Want more information?
We know it can feel like a big shift to move to digital phones at home, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have. Just get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.