Digital Crave

7 alternatives to landlines

landline cancel alternatives

If you're reading this, chances are you've thought about cancelling your landline.

After all, why incur the extra monthly expense when your friends and family call you on your mobile phone anyway? Or perhaps you prefer to chat via email, text or instant messenger?

In some countries, landlines are already passé, and the U.S. is inching towards that trend, too (mobile phone use first overtook landlines in this country back in 2004).

And so here we take a look at more than a half-dozen landline alternatives to save you cash.

Mobile phones

Many are ditching their landline in favor of a mobile phone. Perhaps this isn't an ideal scenario when there's a large family at home who needs to make or accept a call (and you're out with the only phone), but it can make sense, and saves cents, for younger, on-the-go types. And with the new carrier competition there are some pretty aggressive wireless rates these days, including unlimited calls and data, for less than the cost of a landline at home in some cases -- especially when you add up the extra features like Caller ID, voicemail, and so on.

Bluetooth cordless phones

Bluetooth-enabled cordless phones can turn your cell phone or smartphone into a home phone. Panasonic, Uniden and Good Call, for example, have Bluetooth-enabled cordless phones that wirelessly connect with your mobile phone when you walk in the door. Then, when a call comes in, your cordless phone will ring. You can also make outgoing calls, too, of course. You can use your mobile phone with an existing landline service, but many people have cancelled their home phone account in favor of being reached with just one number.

Skype

Not only can you make free calls around the world using popular instant messaging software, such as Skype, but these programs support video calling, too. As long as you have a webcam, which you can pick up for as low as $10, you can make video calls to other people using the same software -- plus some cross-platform support is available, too, including Yahoo! Messenger. Use text, voice or video to chat, exchange files or have fun with special effects that make it look like you're in a different location or wearing silly apparel.

MagicJack, Ooma

Those who use it swear by it. MagicJack is a pocket-sized product that turns your computer into an inexpensive landline alternative. YMax Corp.'s $40 device -- promoted on one of those "As Seen on TV" infomercials -- is inserted into an available USB port on your PC and then you plug in a regular telephone jack into the other end and talk via VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology. MagicJack Plus ($70) can be used without a computer. For $20/year you've got unlimited calls to the U.S. and Canada and all incoming calls are free. Porting your existing number costs $20, and then $10 a year after that. The similar Ooma Telo system (pictured here) offers even better audio quality and additional features and services.

UMA

Most people are unaware of Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA), a technology that allows a mobile phone to use your home’s Wi-Fi network -- and you can talk all you like for free as it won't count towards your monthly minutes. Ask your carrier if it offers it. Mobile phones seamlessly switch from a cellular connection to your wireless network, and vice-versa. T-Mobile has something similar to UMA called Bobsled direct Wi-Fi calling, and operates on the same principle: using your mobile phone via your wireless network to make free calls in the U.S..

Apps

Smartphone apps -- such as Free Calls with MagicJack, Google Talk, NetTalk, Talkatone, Line2 and Viber – all let you make free phone calls to anyone in the U.S. and Canada, including to landlines and mobile phones (some require you to sign up to use a service, like Viber, while others don’t, including the MagicJack app). It even works with the iPod touch. iPhone’s Facebook app and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) on BlackBerry devices also have options to chat for free via Wi-Fi with others. Audio quality can be spotty for all of these apps and services, however.

ACN

Endorsed by Donald Trump, the ACN digital phone and service lets you make unlimited calls in the U.S. and Canada and some international markets -- including a video phone called Iris that lets you see who you're talking to in its 7-inch screen. Essentially, ACN uses VoIP (Voice or Internet Protocol) technology that uses your high speed Internet connection instead of a phone line, plus you can keep your phone number, choose another area code and manage your account online. Price for the video phone is $30/month for unlimited calls – including landlines in 70 countries. Be forewarned, however, ACN is also a multilevel marketing (MLM) company, so you might be pitched to sell or buy products from your friends.

Yahoo! Digital Crave readers, do you use any of these alternatives to landlines? Or do you still prefer a "home phone"?

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Dwyane Wade missed a triple double by 1 rebound because his 'teammate didn't want him to be great'

      Dwyane Wade was not happy about this one. Dwyane Wade was one rebound away from a triple double as the Bulls-Cavaliers came to an end. Cristiano Felicio takes away Dwyane Wade's triple double On Court interview with Wade included.

      SB Nation q
    • Careful! These 10 Cars Look Nice, but They're Made Cheap

      They may look alright on the outside, but when it comes to overall quality, these 10 cars can't cut the mustard.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Transgender boy wins controversial girls state title

      CYPRESS, Texas (AP) — A 17-year-old transgender boy completed an undefeated season Saturday by winning a controversial Texas state girls wrestling title in an event clouded by criticism from those who believe the testosterone he's taking as he transitions from female to male created an unfair advantage.

      Associated Press
    • Hmm, maybe this is why Trump doesn't want to attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner

      On Saturday, Donald Trump made history as only the third president to bow out of the White House Correspondents' Dinner. And while this has much to do with Trump's ever-worsening battle with the press and his constant struggle to book talent, it's also worth remembering that, to be frank, Trump probably has another reason for ditching: He usually gets clobbered at these things. So, in the interest of, uh, elucidation, please enjoy these videos of Trump getting roasted at the 2011 and 2016 White House Correspondents' Dinner. Better yet, enjoy Trump's mirthless reactions. They're uncomfortable to watch, but extremely worth it. SEE ALSO: An exclusive look at Donald Trump's Twitter drafts for Oscar night First, here's President Obama clapping back at Trump's relentless "birther" conspiracy-mongering. The Lion King is involved. Next, observe Seth Meyers insisting that Trump must be running for president as a "joke." Trump does not smile. And here's Obama ripping on The Apprentice.  Finally, here's a delightful compilation of all the best Trump burns from the 2016 dinner.  A Larry Wilmore highlight: "Yeah, Trump's campaign is inspiring ... mass violence." (Trump did not attend that one, BTW.) So, there you have it. While we're not sure about the future of this year's event, we'll always have those stunners to fall back on.  And you can always zoom in on this cursed image while listening to "Sound of Silence." Image: Youtube/C-Span BONUS: Jordan Peele reacts to 'Get Out' as Barack Obama: 'Surrounded by white people! Not fun'

      Mashable
    • Warren Buffett just shared his best investment advice, and said the 'elite' have wasted $100 billion ignoring it

      Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is out with its annual letter to shareholders. The letter...

      Business Insider
    • Alex Rodriguez and Anne Wojcicki Have Called It Quits: Report

      Alex Rodriguez and Anne Wojcicki are reportedly no longer an item. According to Page Six, the retired Yankees legend, 41, and his entrepreneur girlfriend have called their relationship off after having been together just short of a year. “They were an unusual couple, from very different backgrounds, but they are both smart business people, and had quite a few things in common, including a fascination with the tech world,” a source told the outlet.

      People
    • Swedish 'national security advisor' interviewed by Fox News not known to Swedish officials: report

      Fox News's “The O'Reilly Factor” this week featured a guest with inaccurate credentials, The Washington Post reported Saturday. During the show on Thursday, the network invited Swedish journalist Anne-Sofie Naslund and “Swedish defense and national security advisor” Nils Bildt to talk about the country's immigration policy. According to the Post, the Dagens Nyheter newspaper on Friday reported that Bildt is unknown to the Swedish Foreign Ministry and the armed forces. The newspaper reported that Bildt came to the U.S. from Sweden in 1994. He is listed as one of the founders of Modus World LLC, a company that provides consulting "and management of possible kidnap and ransom situations.” “I made

      The Hill q
    • Robert De Niro snaps at wife for 'spending all my money'

      Trouble is brewing over Grace Hightower’s coffee company. We’re told that her husband, Robert De Niro — who is a major investor in the firm — is steamed because the 5-year-old Grace Hightower & Coffees of Rwanda brand is turning into a money pit. The New York Post reports that Hightower has frustrated business associates — as well as the legendary actor — by dithering over simple decisions, and “changing her mind about how to run the business depending on who she spoke to last.” A source tells the paper that, in a moment of frustration, De Niro boiled over while bickering with Hightower in public at a Manhattan bar, telling her, “I wouldn’t have to keep making s - - tty movies if you didn’t spend

      Fox News q
    • Latest: Donations top $1M for Kansas bar attack victims

      OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on a deadly shooting at a Kansas bar that some witnesses said was racially motivated (all times local):

      Associated Press
    • 8-year-old fatally shot in Houston after car crash

      An 8-year-old girl was fatally shot following a car crash in Houston, Texas, early Saturday morning, police said.

      ABC News q
    • Try Solving This Math Puzzle That Is Making People Go Crazy on Facebook

      Ever wanted to tear your hair out and question everything you've ever learned about math? Well, thanks to the website Brain Dare, you can. The company recently posted a math puzzle to its Facebook page that's made the internet divide into two categories based on answers. Take a look at the puzzle below and determine your own answer. Did you get 40? Or 96? Though Brain Dare states that 96 is the correct answer, other users are claiming that both can be correct. Brain Dare figured out its answer with multiplication. To begin, you multiply the first number by the second number. For example, 1 x 4 = 4. Then, add that result to the first number and you'll arrive at the answer after the equal sign;

      PopSugar q
    • All the Celebrities Sitting Front Row at Milan Fashion Week (9 photos)

      While we love the clothing, models, and new trends that emerge during Fashion Week, one of our favorite parts of the show takes place just beyond the runway: the front row. The coveted seating section is home to the best of the best, from all-around it-girl Olivia Palermo and A-list celebrities like Salma Hayek , to edgy, fashionable men like Tom Hiddleston and A$AP Rocky. And then, of course, there's the wow-worthy fashion. From sexy metallic ensembles to elegant embroidered dresses, front row-style is versatile and can be unpredictable, but always leaves us in awe. VIDEO: Watch Our Recap of Milan Fashion Week RELATED: See All the Wild and Mild Looks from the Gucci Fall 2017 Runway Show Browse through our gallery of celebrities seated front and center. Milan Fashion Week draws some of the chicest and most stylish celebrities, so keep checking in to see even more celebrities runway show sighting. Where fashion goes, fashionistas follow!

      InStyle
    • Transgender boy 2 wins away from girls state wrestling title

      CYPRESS, Texas (AP) — Mack Beggs could win a Texas state wrestling title on Saturday.

      Associated Press
    • 6 charged in death of UConn student run over after party

      Six University of Connecticut students were charged Friday with alcohol-related offenses connected to the death of a student who was run over by a fire department vehicle after leaving a party last fall.

      WPVI – Philadelphia
    • El-Erian: Here are my main takeaways from Warren Buffett’s letter

      Yahoo Finance reached out to Mohamed El-Erian to get his take on today’s release. Spending part of a Saturday morning reading Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders is one of my cherished traditions.

      Yahoo Finance
    • Who is this random guy Fox News had on to talk about Swedish security?

      A trans-Atlantic wave of puzzlement is rippling across Sweden for the second time in a week, after a prominent Fox News program featured a "Swedish defense and national security advisor" who's unknown to the country's military and foreign-affairs officials. Swedes, and some Americans, have been wondering about representations of the Nordic nation in the U.S. since President Donald Trump invoked "what's happening last night in Sweden" while alluding to past terror attacks in Europe during a rally Feb. 18. There hadn't been any major incident in Sweden the previous night. SEE ALSO: Sweden's embassy in the U.S. is looking forward to schooling Trump Then, Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly convened an on-air face-off Thursday over Swedish immigration and crime between a Swedish newspaper reporter and a man identified on screen and verbally as a "Swedish defense and national security advisor," Nils Bildt. Bildt linked immigration to social problems in Sweden, lamented what he described as Swedish liberal close-mindedness about the downsides of welcoming newcomers and said: "We are unable in Sweden to socially integrate these people," arguing that politicians lacked a systematic plan to do so. But if viewers might have taken the "advisor" for a government insider, the Swedish Defense Ministry and Foreign Office told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter they knew nothing of him. Calls to Swedish officials Saturday weren't immediately returned. Bildt is a founding member of a corporate geopolitical strategy and security consulting business with offices in Washington, Brussels and Tokyo, according its website. His bio speaks to expertise on defense and national security issues, saying his experience includes serving as a naval officer, working for a Japanese official and writing books on issues ranging from investment and political climates to security issues in working in hostile environments. But security experts in Sweden said he wasn't a familiar figure in their ranks in that country. "He is in not in any way a known quantity in Sweden and has never been part of the Swedish debate," Swedish Defence University leadership professor Robert Egnell said by email to The Associated Press on Saturday. He and Bildt — also known then as Nils Tolling — were in a master's degree program in war studies together at King's College London in 2002-2003, and Bildt moved to Japan soon after, he said. Johan Wiktorin, a fellow at the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences, also tweeted that the guest was "not known in our circles as an expert. Not on National Security anyway." So @FoxNews This is Nils G Tolling and he's not known in our circles as an expert. Not on National Security anyway. pic.twitter.com/2MVu85mhWr — Johan Wiktorin (@forsvarsakerhet) February 24, 2017 The executive producer of "The O'Reilly Factor" said Bildt was recommended by people the show's booker consulted while making numerous inquiries about potential guests. "After pre-interviewing him and reviewing his bio, we agreed that he would make a good guest for the topic that evening," executive producer David Tabacoff said in a statement. In any case, Twitter didn't take long to make a mockery of Fox News' mystery expert. Well, they also had this French expert who confirmed everything Nils Bildt said. So, fake?! I think NOT! @FoxNews #NilsBildt #svpol #Sweden pic.twitter.com/vtlOhDxKIm — Benny Ekeroth (@bennyekeroth) February 25, 2017 Fox News is totally out of hand! First Nils Bildt and now this?? pic.twitter.com/Jja99wGtD7 — Adam Friesendorff (@Farbrokado) February 24, 2017 I want to start a rumor that Nils Bildt is just Seb Gorka without his glasses on. pic.twitter.com/eIa3d9B0Ji — RussianSpyShip (@russian_spyship) February 25, 2017 Fox embarrasses itself with fake Swedish "expert" Nils Bildt. Can we pls get back to the *real* talking heads who know nothing about Sweden? — Michael C Moynihan (@mcmoynihan) February 25, 2017 "We are all Nils Bildt." — William Gibson (@GreatDismal) February 25, 2017 The network said O'Reilly was expected to address the subject further on Monday's show. Bildt didn't respond Saturday to email inquiries; a person who answered the phone at his company agreed to relay one. He told Dagens Nyheter on Friday that he was a U.S.-based independent analyst, and Fox News had chosen its description of him. "Sorry for any confusion caused, but needless to say I think that is not really the issue. The issue is Swedish refusal to discuss their social problems and issues," he added in a statement to the news website Mediaite , explaining his profession as being an independent political adviser. Trump's initial remark about "last night in Sweden" stirred a burst of social media mockery, while Trump explained on Twitter that he was referring to a Fox News piece on immigration and Sweden that he'd seen the night before. Trump and his supporters, though, saw vindication when a riot broke out Monday after police arrested a drug suspect in a predominantly immigrant suburb of Stockholm. Cars were set on fire and shops looted, but no one was injured. Trump took to Twitter again Monday to declare that large-scale immigration in Sweden was "NOT!" working out well, upsetting many Swedes. Mashable contributed reporting. BONUS: 'Get Out' rips the mask off a monster we know too well

      Mashable
    • Nissan has one of the best engines out there — but its days could be numbered

      Business Insider's Transportation team loves engines. And it's a great time to be an engine...

      Business Insider
    • Suspect in Kim Jong-nam assassination claims she was paid £72 for 'baby oil' prank

      Suspected killer of Kim Jong-nam, Siti Aisyah, told police she was paid the equivalent of £72 for what she thought was a 'baby oil' prank for a TV show. Malaysian investigators believe that the 25-year-old Indonesian masseuse was recruited to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother. Andreano Erwin, Indonesian deputy ambassador to Malaysia was permitted to spend 30 minutes with Aisyah on Saturday (25 February).

      International Business Times UK q
    • Best dog ever waits for this girl every day after school, and OMG can we pet him, too?

      Dogs are just the best things ever. Sure, cats are nice and everything, but sometimes cats are mean. Dogs are never mean….

      Hello Giggles
    • Baylor women's coach says parents concerned about sexual assault scandal should be 'knocked right in the face'

      Kim Mulkey, the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Baylor University, had strong words for parents who were concerned about female students’ safety on campus. After the women’s team clinched the Big 12 regular season title on Saturday, Mulkey used her postgame speech to defend her school, which has been under fire for a sexual assault scandal under former football coach Art Briles.

      The Dagger