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

    • Fox News Host Brenda Buttner Dead at 55

      Brenda Buttner, host of the Fox News show Bulls and Bears, has died after a battle with cancer. She was 55.

      People
    • MYSTERY: Half-eaten shark on Florida beach raises speculation about what killed it

      A half-eaten shark that washed up on a Florida beach Saturday raised questions about a bigger fish possibly lurking in the water. A Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue lifeguard snapped a photo of the shark on New Smyrna Beach. Beach Safety spokeswoman Tammy Morris told News 4 Jax that the shark was “definitely” eaten by a bigger fish. She added that the shark was either a blacktip or spinner shark. A 14-foot great white shark named Katherine was spotted off the Florida coast in January. Another great white shark was spotted in the waters on Feb. 1, Florida wildlife officials said. Morris said half-eaten sharks do not wash up on the beach often, but she has seen it before. Officials said

      Fox News q
    • Milo Yiannopoulos Could Be Fired by Breitbart Over Pedophilia Comments (Report)

      Milo Yiannopoulos could stand to lose his job as editor at Breitbart News over newly unearthed comments he once made about pedophilia, the FOX Business Network reported. According to the financial network “there is a fierce internal debate at Breitbart over whether he should remain with the website over his latest comments,” with some at the right-wing site telling Fox News that Yiannopoulos could be dismissed as early as end of the day Monday. Yiannopoulos was disinvited from Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Monday after a video of him talking about pedophilia resurfaced over the weekend.

      The Wrap
    • Dozens fired after skipping work to participate in 'A Day Without Immigrants' protests

      Across the U.S. employers fired hundreds of protestors who skipped work to participate in rallies.

      CNBC.com q
    • Entertainment Tonight
    • Trump's Russia scandal takes an unexpected turn

      On Friday afternoon, FBI Director James Comey delivered a classified, hour-long briefing to the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russia scandal, and soon after, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent “formal requests to more than a dozen organizations, agencies and individuals, asking them to preserve all materials related to the committee’s investigation” into the controversy. We don’t know much about how the briefing went – committee members were tight-lipped following Comey’s presentation – though Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted late Friday that he’s “now very confident” that the committee will conduct “thorough bipartisan investigation” into Russia’s “interference and influence.” Reading

      MSNBC q
    • Photos of the day - February 20, 2017 (21 photos)

      Orthodox priests take part in a procession commemorating the third anniversary of the Ukrainian pro-European Union mass protests in 2014, in central Kiev, Ukraine; a demonstrator dressed as Donald Trump poses for photos before the “Not My President’s Day” rally in Central Park in New York City; and, the Milwaukee Brewers’ Neftali Feliz throws during a spring training baseball workout in Phoenix, Ariz. These are just a few of the photos of the day for February 20, 2017. See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr.

      Yahoo News Photo Staff
    • Doctor gets life in prison after intentionally botching spine surgery in Dallas County  | Courts

      They heard from Philip Mayfield, who cries when he thinks of all of his son's football games that he hasn't been able to watch because he often passes out from chronic pain, and Barry Morgaloff, who limps with a brace and a cane as a result of irreparable nerve damage in his spine. They heard from Jeff Cheney, who woke up paralyzed from the neck down on his right side, and Jackie Troy, who talks in a permanent whisper and almost died from an infection after she was left with puncture wounds in her throat after Duntsch performed neck surgery on her. "I'm just trying to stay focused and be thankful that I'm one of the lucky ones in this situation," said Troy, who's alive to talk about her encounter

      Dallas Morning News q
    • Brenda Buttner Dies: Fox News ‘Bulls And Bears’ Host Was 55

      Brenda Buttner, host of Fox News Channel's Bulls and Bears , has died after a battle with cancer. She was 55. The news was confirmed by Your World 's Neil Cavuto, who shared a special tribute to Buttner during the show. "She took stock of life much more than any stock in life,” Cavuto said. “It’s what separated her from everyone else in this business. Not just dollars, you see, Brenda had depth." He continued: “Let it be known that Brenda Buttner made us want to watch a…

      Deadline
    • Melania Trump's sister shows rare behind-the-scenes look

      (CNN)Melania Trump is beginning to forge her own path as America's first lady, assembling a team of aides and advisers. But the name of one longtime confidante, and perhaps her most trusted friend, won't be announced with a news release or statement or a new title: her sister, Ines Knauss. Knauss, Trump's older sister, lives just blocks from Trump Tower in the Trump Park Avenue property, public records confirm. She was Trump's maid of honor at her 2005 Palm Beach wedding, People magazine reported at the time. And the first lady called Knauss "an incredible woman and a friend" in her July speech at the Republican National Convention. And the sister of the famously private Slovenian-born first

      CNN q
    • UFC fighter asks for Ronda Rousey after knocking out her boyfriend

      Derrick Lewis brought up Travis Browne’s past domestic abuse allegations and took a step further when he brought up his opponent’s current girlfriend, the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

      Cagewriter
    • Elderly Woman Stuck in Chair for Months Found `Molded` to Chair

      Residents in a Springfield Township neighborhood had no idea one of their neighbors was living in squalor until emergency vehicles lit up their typically quiet street, the Toledo Blade reported.

      Tribune
    • Rob Kardashian Shares His ‘Favorite Pic’ with Daughter Dream Following His Split from Blac Chyna

      Rob Kardashian took to Instagram Monday to share a throwback snap of himself and daughter Dream Renée days after news broke that he and Blac Chyna have called it quits. “My favorite pic of us,” he captioned a sweet photo of himself holding Dream, now 3 months, with his eyes closed and hers open and alert. Chyna, 28, and Kardashian, 28, split “a while ago,” a source close to Kardashian told PEOPLE Thursday.

      People
    • NASA Has Made A Huge Discovery About Planets Outside Our Solar System

      Exoplanets are widely believed to be the best hope of finding life elsewhere in the universe. 

      International Business Times
    • Pelicans trade will cost DeMarcus Cousins a lot of money

      DeMarcus Cousins’ trade to the New Orleans Pelicans is going to cost the three-time All-Star a lot of money over the life of his next contract. Cousins was expected to sign a “designated player” extension had he remained in Sacramento this summer, which would have paid out more than $200 million over five additional years once his contract expired in 2018.

      SB Nation q
    • Beyoncé and Blue Ivy Keep It Cute at the NBA All-Star game

      Other than three-day weekends, there’s nothing we love more than seeing Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, and Jay Z looking happy as a family.

      Hello Giggles
    • Inside Edition
    • So What Happened Last Night In Sweden? Donald Trump Saw It On Fox News – Update

      Updated 2:07 pm Sunday, with Trump response  President Donald Trump has explained his Sweden comment: He saw it on Fox. “My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden,” he’s just tweeted. My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19…

      Deadline
    • Priscilla Presley Confirms She's Caring for Granddaughters as Lisa Marie Presley’s Husband Is Investigated for Child Abuse

      Priscilla Presley has broken her silence over her daughter Lisa Marie Presley’s bitter custody battle and confirmed she’s caring for her twin granddaughters. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for “all” your positive support,” she wrote above a photo of the sisters smiling and cuddling one another.

      Us Weekly