Buying guide: Cordless phones

Our buying guide will help you shop for the perfect cordless phone system for your house

Image Credit: coudron on stock.xchng (http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=233579)

Image Credit: coudron on stock.xchng (http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=233579)

FAQ: Cordless Phones

What is the range of my cordless phone?

The range is how far you can use the cordless phone away from its base station. Consider a large range if you wish to take the phone into the backyard or a fair distance away from its base station. Generally, the more expensive the handset, the better the range, but be sure to double-check the specifications of the unit before you buy.

What is DECT?

DECT stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Communications. DECT is a frequency that is only used for cordless phones, so there is no chance of interference from other wireless devices.

Does a cordless phone run on battery or AC power?

Both, to an extent. The cordless phone itself runs on rechargeable batteries, but the base station is plugged into AC power to operate. The handset batteries are charged whenever it is docked in the base station.

Can I see who is calling me?

Yes. Most cordless phones offer caller ID, which displays the number that is calling on the screen of the phone. However, this feature is dependant on your telephone network provider and may come at an extra cost on top of your phone bill. See your provider for more information about the caller ID service.

Can I store numbers in my phone?

Yes. Most cordless phones should offer a phone book with a minimum of 15 to 20 entries. A phonebook allows you to store numbers and names in the phone, so they can be quickly called without dialling the phone number.

Can I still use my cordless phone in the event of a blackout?

No, as cordless phones require AC power to operate. It’s important to keep a regular telephone handy.

Does my cordless phone have a speakerphone?

Many do, but not all cordless phones have a speakerphone. This allows you to have a conversation without having to hold the phone up to your ear. If you can, check that the speakerphone is loud and clear before you buy, as this is a common issue.

Does my cordless phone have an answering machine?

Some but not all cordless phones have an answering machine included. If you don’t want or need an answering machine, then be sure to check that your potential purchase doesn’t have one, as they can be more expensive.

What does the "page" button on my cordless phone do?

The page button is a quick way of finding your handset. It is usually located on the base station or charging dock and pressing it sounds an alarm on the phone. This is an ideal feature when the phone is misplaced around the house or in the backyard, as it offers a quick and easy way of locating its whereabouts. All cordless phones should come with a pager button.

How many phones can I have in my house?

This depends on the particular model. Some cordless phones can only support one or two handsets; others may be fine for use with four or five. Check how many handsets the phone can support before you purchase. Also, it may be cheaper buying a package with multiple handsets included, rather than buying each handset separately.

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