Best home phone service in 2021
Thinking about getting a home phone? Traditional landline service gives you some great advantages over just having a cell phone plan.
Whether you're looking for the cheapest landline phone service or want a specific set of call features, we've got you covered.
Use our no-nonsense guide to find the best landline phone service provider in your area. Learn the benefits of having a landline, plus some alternatives if you decide a home phone isn't for you.
Home phone benefits
Advantages of residential voice services include:
- Superior sound quality: There's nothing quite like the crisp, crystal clear call quality of an analog phone connection. Plus, no dropped calls.
- Security in case of emergency: A home phone line gives emergency workers your exact location. This allows you to get help faster than if they have to ping your cell phone.
- Reliability: Even though home phone service often uses electrical power, you can get battery backup so that your phone will work in a power outage. This is a super reassuring feature to have in these strange times.
- International calls: One of the biggest draws of a landline is the ability to get great international calling rates. Read the fine print as you shop, since each provider may serve different select areas.
- Security system and smart home compatibility: Some home security companies use a landline for communicating with your system and emergency services.
- Big savings by bundling: Combining your home phone with your internet connection and TV service is a great way to save money. Shop cheap cable and internet packages to see what kind of deal you can get in your area.
Best phone service providers
Here's a list of our top picks for home phone service providers:
|AT&T Phone Unlimited||Unlimited||$19.99|
Bundle an AT&T landline with their high speed internet and TV services to save the most money. AT&T is also a good choice if you make a lot of international phone calls.
|Xfinity Unlimited Calling Nationwide||Unlimited||$20|
Xfinity Voice is a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) plan with local, national, and international calling rates. Get it as a standalone or combine it with your high speed internet and/or cable TV service.
|Verizon FiOS Fios Home Phone||Unlimited||$20|
There are a couple of options available with Verizon home phone service. Choose a plan or go with a per minute rate, whether you're making local, nationwide, or international calls. Of course Verizon Fios bundles are also available.
|Spectrum Voice + Internet Ultra||Unlimited||$39.98|
Charter Spectrum operates in 41 states, which means there's a good chance Spectrum Voice is available in your area. They've got great international calling rates, no contracts, and bundles for saving money on internet and TV.
|Cox Voice Premier||Unlimited||$29.99|
Digital voice by Cox doesn't require internet although they do offer it. If you bundle your Cox Voice with internet and TV you also get unlimited calling to over 30 countries.
|Armstrong Home Phone||Unlimited||$9.99|
As a primarily rural home phone company, Armstrong offers affordable calling plans in seven states. Most of its service area is situated in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia. Armstrong phone service is available as a standalone or bundled with cable and internet.
|CenturyLink Unlimited Nationwide Calling||Unlimited||$60|
CenturyLink isn't the cheapest home phone service available but they do offer bundles with TV and internet connection. Internet via fiber optics is available in select areas. You can also get discount international calling rates.
If you live in the Cincinnati or surrounding areas you're in luck. Cincinnati Bell offers not only landlines but also high speed internet and cable TV services.
Frontier landlines are available to its residential customers in 25 states. Choose from VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) or digital voice. Battery backup is available. You can also bundle with Frontier internet and TV.
|Mediacom Xtream Home Phone||Unlimited||$29.99|
Mediacom landlines are unique because they use a broadband network, the Sprint mobile network, and the traditional phone line system to provide your home phone service. You can bundle with TV and internet and there are great affordable international calling plans.
With an Optimum landline you can use your existing phone jacks for your home phone service. You can also manage your landline through your mobile phone, and bundle with cable TV and internet for more savings.
|Sparklight Standard Phone||Unlimited||$25|
If you're looking for a budget-friendly option, a Sparklight landline is a solid choice. They offer great plans for local calls plus a lifetime price guarantee option. Bundle with high speed internet and TV service if you want.
Just like Optimum (both it and Suddenlink are owned by Altice) you can get a Suddenlink landline hooked up through your current jacks. Bundle to save money and manage everything through your cell phone.
|Windstream Unlimited Phone + Kinetic Internet||Unlimited||$47|
A traditional Windstream landline comes with all the calling features you'd expect, including unlimited local and nationwide calling. Buy it alone or bundled with TV service and high-speed internet.
Landline phone features
The best home phone service providers offer a variety of popular calling features including:
- Caller ID and call waiting ID: Find out who's on the other end before you answer.
- Call forwarding: Have your incoming calls redirected to another landline, your cell phone, or even multiple other phone numbers.
- Call return (*69): Quickly return calls with this handy calling feature.
- Call blocking: Stop unwanted numbers from contacting you.
- Call screening: One of the less common calling features, this one lets you send certain phone numbers to voicemail automatically.
- Three-way calling: This feature is great for talking with friends and family or coworkers.
- Speed dial: An oldie but goody, speed dial lets you call frequently dialed numbers by pressing just one button.
- Distinctive rings: Give each contact their own special ringtone so you know immediately who's calling.
- Call trace: You might have to shop around a little for this one. Some landline providers - AT&T for example - offer the ability to trace the last number that called you.
Best landline alternatives
Prepaid cell phone service
We don't just want to save you money on your landline, we also love to help slash your wireless bill.
Low-cost carriers (called MVNOs - Mobile Virtual Network Operators) offer great service on the same networks as the big wireless companies. Because they have lower operating costs they sell service for mobile phones at discounted prices.
Whether you want to replace your landline or switch to a prepaid cell phone plan in order to save money, we make it fast and easy to compare cell phone plans. Save up to 50% or more on your wireless bill without sacrificing the quality you're used to.
Transfer your landline number
Want to get rid of your landline but not your phone number? This option can save you money without the hassle of changing your home phone number. Companies like Community Phone provide this service for a modest fee.
There are a few things to know about transferring your landline number:
- Not all phone numbers are eligible.
- You can have your incoming calls forwarded to your existing cell phone or to a separate phone.
- Even if you're in an internet and TV bundle, you can still transfer your home phone.
Community Phone has a handy tool that tells you whether your landline number is eligible to be transferred.
Internet phone service
Another alternative to a traditional landline is internet phone service. This type of connection is called VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol. VoIP technology does require an internet connection, and depending on your calling habits you may need a paid plan.
You can use VoIP for everything you'd normally do on a home phone - whether local or long distance calls, including international calling.
Keep in mind that internet phone service is vulnerable to power outages. Also, ideally you should have a high speed internet connection to maximize call quality.
Finding the best home phone service in your area doesn't have to be complicated. Take into account your budget, phone habits, and the calling features you can't live without.
As we talked about earlier, bundling your home phone, TV, and internet will give you the best price on your home phone service.
Finally, don't forget to use our availability checker to find landline phone service by zip code!