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Best Home Phone Service for 2017

Looking for low-cost landline options? We review the best home phone services

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Best Landline Phone Service

Choosing the best home phone service may seem useless. After all, you already pay for a cellphone that doesn't leave your side; right? I have certainly had some doubts of my own.

After sufficient research, though, I have uncovered the many benefits to purchasing a landline phone service in your area. I have also discovered some things you need to know and consider before making a decision. Once you've got it down, I will show you the best home phone service providers in your area based on cost, customer service, bundle deals and essential features offered.

Best Home Phone Service – What to Consider

Best Home Phone Service

  1. AT&T
  2. Verizon
  3. Comcast
  4. Charter
  5. Cox

1. Which home phone services are offered in my area?

It's important to check out which home phone companies provide landlines in your area. There are many online search engines that will show you landline service providers by ZIP code. This is the easiest way to determine which landline services are available to you.

2. What kind of calls am I, my family or business going to be making?

When purchasing home phone plans, you should consider what kind of calls you're going to be making. You should also take into account how often you'll be using the phone(s). These determinations will help you decide on a plan that works best for you at the most affordable price.

Phone companies add charges based on what kind of calls you're going to be making. For instance, if you make a lot of long distance calls to people outside your local and regional area, you may want to choose a plan that offers unlimited long distance.

3. What features does the company offer?

Home phone companies usually offer features like international calling, long-distance, multiple extensions and more. In this article, I have compared each provider's features to determine which home phone service is best for you.

4. What are the cheapest home phone service options?

Again, make sure to research the bundles your home phone service offers. Bundles are a way to save money and make bill-paying more convenient. You can pay for home-phone and Internet bundles with TV all in one bill. You may also want to check out our article on the best VoIP service for other cheap home phone service options via Internet connections.

5. How is the customer service?

When looking for a home phone service, customer support is a vital consideration. You'll want to make sure they have a good reputation for getting back to their customers. If they have a live chat option, that's even better. You also want to make sure they'll send someone to help if anything goes wrong.

6. Are there contracts and extra fees?

When you purchase a home phone service, many providers will expect you to sign a contract binding you to them for a certain amount of time. If you choose not to keep their service, you may have to pay a fee. Just keep this in mind.

Also keep in mind that most phone companies offer a guarantee that your price won't go up if they make you sign a contract. Make sure they allow you that option. It's also important to note if the company charges extra fees for activation and installation, equipment, taxes or if the price goes up after a certain amount of time.

Home Phone Service Plans

Provider Minutes Monthly Price
from $49.99
from $39.99
Unlimited from $9.99
Unlimited from $10.00
Unlimited from $29.99

Best Home Phone Service - What to Know

It may seem as though traditional landline home phone services are on their way out. About 45 percent of U.S. households just use cell phones these days. But according to The New York Times article from 2014, about 80 million people and several million small businesses still used copper-based landline phone service providers.

...about 80 million people and several million small businesses still use copper-based landline phone service providers.

This number has certainly decreased since then; it has been recorded that cell phone usage will be higher than landline usage for the first time in 2016. Unfortunately, many of those choosing to live without a landline may not fully understand what they're giving up.

The cheapest landline phone service options can benefit you and your family in numerous ways. There are several things you may not know about the best home phone service in your area. For instance, how do traditional landlines differ from digital connections and VoIP services?

What is a landline phone service and how does it work?

  1. Landlines used to be mainly analog phone systems which operated via copper cables. These days, most phone systems have switched to digital but still require two cables: a voice and a data cable.
  2. These cables transmit call information to the telephone box outside, which sends the information to your local or regional phone provider.
  3. The provider then connects you with the receiving party, all within a split-second.

Home phone systems with digital or analog landlines are more secure and dependable because of the way they are set up to transmit call information. There are newer options available, such as VoIP networks; but they are not as reliable as traditional landlines.

VoIP stands for voice over Internet Protocol and defines a system which transmits voice data via the Internet. Digital phones differ from VoIP services because they are run by cables a lot bigger than VoIP cables; but ultimately, digital phones use a lot less power.

Types of home phone calls

  • Local calls - When you choose a plan, your local call radius is determined. Any call you make within this radius is considered a local call.
  • Regional or local toll calls - These calls are outside of your call radius, but they are not far enough to be called long distance. The federal government dictates which areas are local and which are regional.
  • Long Distance - This includes calls that are outside of your local and regional calling areas. These calls are made to people in your state, in another state, or in another country.

Landlines are more secure and dependable because of the way they are set up to transmit call information.

Knowing the meaning of local, regional and long distance calls can save you money when you purchase your best home phone service plan. If you make a lot of long distance calls, look for a plan that offers unlimited long distance calls within it. This way, you won't get angry when you see extra fees on your next bill.

The Best Home Phone Service Providers

1st
Minutes
Monthly Price $49.99-99.99

Exede Internet Review

  • Pros
  • Well known provider with a solid reputation
  • High speeds with all plans
  • Little difference in speed between peak and slow times
  • Late night free zone for unmetered bandwidth usage
  • Competitive pricing
  • Cons
  • No standard 30 day return policy/cooling off period
  • No live chat facility for customer support

Exede has some great internet plans, and they offer a lot of things no one else in the satellite internet game is doing. For example, their Freedom Plan offers the closest thing to an unlimited package around. 12 Mbps is their standard download speed, with 3 Mbps as their upload speed, both being fairly speedy for this type of internet connection.

Their Freedom Plan is an excellent choice for those in need of unlimited access without a data limit. Unfortunately, though, this plan is only available in select areas. They offer 25GB of data monthly, which is average for the industry, however, they also offer the option of purchasing additional data if need be. Conveniently, and cost-effectively, DIRECTV service can be bundled with Exede internet for added savings.

2nd
Minutes
Monthly Price $39.99-69.99

Dish Internet Review

  • Pros
  • Reputable brand that has been around for years
  • Entry level and comprehensive package available
  • Discounts and fee waiver available on bundles
  • Up to 30GB monthly data plans available
  • Get up to 10Mbps
  • Cons
  • Speeds considerably slower than cable internet
  • Not ideal for heavy gamers due to poor latency
  • Not BBB accredited

DishNet is extremely popular for their great prices, especially in regards to their bundled services, which can include television and phone service. As one of the most reliable and readily available internet choices, DishNet satellite internet is widely available in all 50 states. They do not have the same level of high speeds as others in the industry, however, they offer exceptional affordability. 10 Mbps is their standard download speed, and 5 Mbps is their upload speed.

Most plans come with a standard 50GB of data available for use at off-peak times. Another aspect to consider is that the technology involved is continuously evolving, and companies are always developing new advancements to improve the level of quality; DishNet is always on point with this. Along these lines, DishNet boasts some of the most steadfast internet connections, designed to work in any weather conditions.

3rd
Minutes Unlimited
Monthly Price $9.99

AT&T Home Phone

  • Pros
  • No long-term commitment required
  • Popular features
  • Home phone and Internet bundles
  • Up front about extra charges
  • Cons
  • Installation, taxes and other extra fees

AT&T standard home phone services start at $26 a month or less. They go up to just $59 a month or less with extra features and packages. They have one package including the Internet and home phone services for just $41 a month or less. Prices vary depending on where you live.

Their plans contain options like unlimited local and nationwide calling, long distance plans and the most popular calling features. AT&T home phone features include three-way calling, reliable connection, call return, call forwarding, privacy manager and more.

Unfortunately, AT&T does charge installation, taxes, equipment and other fees. The good thing is that they are honest about it on their site. They also don't require that you commit to them long-term; so you can switch if you feel the need.

4th
Minutes Unlimited
Monthly Price $10

Verizon Home Phone

  • Pros
  • Good value bundles
  • Reliable service with good features
  • Long distance operator service
  • Virtual support agent, how-tos and video tutorials
  • Cons
  • Two-year agreement
  • Extra taxes, fees and equipment charges

Verizon home phone service offers cheap TV, Internet and phone bundles. Their cheapest deal starts at $19.99 for high-speed Internet and phone services. They also have a Fios Triple Play bundle that includes high-speed Internet, TV, and phone starting at $69.99 a month. Their premium Ultimate TV, 150/150 Internet plan comes with Internet, TV, and phone for $144.99 a month.

Verizon's home phone plans are affordable and reliable with good features, but prices vary with location. They also have adequate customer service, including a virtual agent option available on their site whenever you have a question. Keep in mind, though, Verizon requires a two-year contract and charges extra for taxes, equipment, etc.

Some of Verizon's home phone features include their "let your calls follow you," three-way calling and privacy options. With "let your calls follow you," you can send your incoming calls to another telephone so you never miss a call.

Verizon has an international operator feature as well, but they charge rates per call. Overall, Verizon is known to be reliable with cheap home phone service options.

5th
Minutes Unlimited
Monthly Price $29.99

Comcast Phone Service

  • Pros
  • Comes with popular features
  • Great bundles
  • Live Chat option
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Cons
  • Two-year contract
  • Extra fees

Comcast home phone service has exceptional customer service with a live chat option. This allows you to contact an expert at any time when you have a question or concern.

Comcast offers two calling plans including Comcast unlimited and Comcast local with more. You can choose various amounts of data and popular features like three-way calling and call-forwarding for each plan.

They also offer affordable bundles and specials on their website. For instance, right now you can add TV and home phone service to your Internet plan for just $34.90. Keep in mind, though, bundles and specials may vary depending on your location and special offers.

Comcast home phone service even offers a 30-day money back guarantee. If you don't like their service, you can get your money back and switch providers within 30 days. Unfortunately, after your 30-days is up, you have a two-year contract to abide by. They will also charge you for equipment and installation; prices vary by location.

Benefits to Finding The Best Home Phone Service

1. Clear and reliable reception

Have you ever had your call dropped in the middle of a really important conversation? I know I have. It's embarrassing and inconvenient, especially when you have waited a long time to speak with an actual human. You may experience this issue more often if you live outside of the city.

Fortunately, a home phone service can be much more reliable than a cell phone. If you like to make important calls without worrying about your reception, a home phone can save you the hassle. It is also great for businesses.

With a landline phone service, you do not have to worry about whether your phone has battery life. Cell phones often run out of power. In contrast, home phones are put back on the receiver when not being used; so they should never run out of battery. They can even work when the power goes out.

If you have a cordless phone, just make sure you keep it on the receiver when it's not in use. That will keep it charged up.

2. More security

Land lines work differently than VoIP and cell phones. For one, they provide better security. 911 operators can trace calls straight to your exact emergency location when you call with a landline. It links your address with your call; so if you get disconnected, they can still find you.

Cell phones don't work nearly as efficiently in emergency situations. According to the National Emergency , it can take up to twenty-five seconds or even minutes to retrieve your location information when you call 911 from a cell phone. When they receive your location, they still don't know your actual address, just your general vicinity.

VoIP doesn't always link your address with your call. Cell phones do not link your address either. This is definitely something you should know before going with a VoIP or cell phone instead of a trusty home landline service.

Additionally, landlines are known to stay on in power outages. If your cell phone dies or the Internet goes out in a power outage, you're in luck with a landline.

3. It's good for families

Families need a reliable system of communication. On the other hand, parents worry about getting their children cell phones too early. Landlines are the perfect solution for families in this predicament. Having a home landline service can keep your kids from becoming slaves to their cell phones, at least for a couple more years.

4. It's convenient, especially for businesses

Landlines are very useful for families and businesses. They can provide multiple reliable extensions for everyone to use at once. The best thing about landline connections is their reliability. Reliability is really important for big businesses and even small businesses that rely heavily on being able to make phone calls.

VoIPs and cell phones are great, but what if there's a storm? VoIP connections can go down in a storm, leaving communications throughout your business fluttering in the wind. Even cell phone receptions are known to be iffy. This is especially true in rural areas or inside big buildings that block signals to cell phone towers.

5. Most landline providers offer bundle packages

Landlines can be expensive. Fortunately, you can pay a fair fee for TV, the Internet and a landline with a bundle. Make sure to review every option for bundles before making a decision.

Also be sure to read over your bundle deal before signing up. You'll never know if you're signing up for extra charges if you do not read your contract's terms and conditions.

Best Home Phone Service Features

The best home phone plans will have excellent customer service. They will be reliable and affordable with features that make your daily tasks less of a hassle.

Some features included in home phone services include:

  • three-way calling
  • call forwarding
  • call waiting
  • speed dial
  • privacy options
  • unlimited long distance and local calling

You should understand every feature before picking the perfect home phone plan. If you purchase a bundle, make sure it comes with the correct features to suit your specific needs.

If you don't like to miss a call, your service should offer call forwarding to direct your calls straight to you. If you make a lot of international calls, you need to make sure your plan includes unlimited international calling so you don't get charged extra fees.

It also doesn't hurt to understand your privacy options, such as whether or not your name can be seen when you make a call. These are all things to consider when determining which home phone company is the best option for you.

Best Home Phone Service - Questions to Ask

There are several important things to know and ask yourself before choosing the best home phone provider in your area.

  1. Which home phone providers are available in my area?
  2. What type of phone connection is the company offering?
  3. Is the service reliable?
  4. Is the customer service reliable?
  5. How many people will be using the line?
  6. What kind of calls will users be making?
  7. How is the company's customer service?
  8. Are there any contracts?
  9. Will a bundle save me money?

If you ask yourself these questions when searching for a home service, I guarantee you will figure out what's best for you in no time. Make sure to read all of the details of your plan and get them in writing before you sign up for anything. You don't want to get stuck in a contract that costs hundreds of dollars to get out of.

Also, make sure a home phone line is what you need before making a purchase. There are many different options and connection out there these days. It's important you understand how each home phone system works to determine if they can cater to your needs.

Best Home Phone Service Recap

Overall, home phone lines have many benefits for homes and offices. They can provide you with a way to keep your children from owning a cell phone, even just for a little while. They can also be a convenient communication medium for offices needing various extensions and reliable phone connections.

According to my research, the home phone providers mentioned in this review are some of the best you can get at affordable rates. Make sure to pay attention to bundles and see what you can do to get the lowest price available.

Now that you're educated about home phone systems, I think it's a good idea to compare your best home phone provider to the best internet provider and the best cable TV provider. Bundles usually include Internet plans and TV packages; so it's important to know what you're getting.

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Search for Home Phone Providers by ZIP Code

Best Home Phone Service FAQs

How much does it cost for a landline?

A landline that includes unlimited local calls, but no long distance or international service typically costs $15-$30 each month. Additional features, such as long distance calls, call waiting, voicemail, or caller ID generally cost extra. The actual monthly cost will depend on the provider as well as local taxes.

How much does a landline cost per month?

A landline that includes unlimited local calls, but no long distance or international service typically costs $15-$30 each month. Additional features, such as long distance calls, call waiting, voicemail, or caller ID generally cost extra. AT&T's basic service costs $23 per month.

What is Ooma phone service?

Ooma phone service is a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service that enables you to make calls with your standard phone using the internet. For a single monthly fee, plus taxes and fees, you can make unlimited calls and get services like call waiting, caller ID, and voicemail.

How much is a landline phone bill?

The average landline bill is much cheaper than a typical cell phone bill, only $20-$30. This bill can be much larger if you make unexpected long distance phone calls or have extra features like multiple lines, call waiting, caller ID, or provider hosted voicemail.

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Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.