7 Reasons to Hang on to Your Landline Phone

Thinking of ditching your landline? Make sure you understand the pros and cons first.

Telephone cord

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Landline telephones seem to be falling out of popularity and into obscurity.

According to a survey by the CDC in 2015, over 47% of American homes used only cellular phones. Folks — especially those ages 25 to 34 — are ditching their landlines, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow suit.

There are still plenty of reasons to justify keeping a landline in your home.

1. Cost. Depending on your phone service provider, the cost of a landline might not add up to much on your bill when it is coupled with TV and internet. In fact, some plans can be more expensive if you nix the home phone.

2. Emergencies. Landline phones should work even when you experience a power outage. This could come in handy if you live in an area prone to hurricanes or other inclement weather.

In the event of an emergency that requires a call to 911, the operator will quickly track a call from a landline, but a cellular device cannot necessarily be traced. This may seem absurd in the era of GPS technology, but, according to the FCC, emergency call centers can only track a cellular call to the nearest cell site. Even if the operator can deduce a more specific location from a cellular call, multi-story buildings can present a further challenge to emergency response, whereas a call from a landline phone is easily traced.

3. Quality. Consumer Reports found that sound quality on a cordless home phone was better than any cellular device. This can be a pertinent asset if you spend a significant amount of time on the phone or if you suffer from hearing loss.

4. Simplification. Many people may find they enjoy the ability to use a telephone without the trappings of modern technology. Your landline doesn’t provide a way to play Candy Crush or check your e-mail, but that might be okay at a time when “60 percent of college students admit they may be addicted to their cell phone,” according to a Baylor University study.

5. Security. Home security systems use your telephone line to connect to an emergency call center. Although there are more options for wireless security services, these present similar challenges that cell phones do during storms or in areas with bad signal.

6. Teaching responsibility. If you have children who aren’t quite old enough to have cell phones, maintaining a landline can be a good option for giving them some responsibility and teaching phone manners. Instead of borrowing your cell phone to contact their friends you can encourage them to use the landline. They will have some access without possessing the world at their fingertips.

7. No contract. Many phone service providers offer landline service without a contract. This can be refreshing to anyone who has been trapped in an expensive cellular contract.

RELATED: “The Lost Art of the Phone Call”

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  1. I’m in my thirties, but I have a chronic medical condition that means I rarely leave the house. That said, I flatly refuse to use a smartphone because I find the quality of m landline so much better. That, and I’m not having to constantly wrestle with a touchscreen!–pressable buttons are so much more efficient. So, even us “younger people” still enjoy landlines.

  2. Landline is the name of a type of telephone. Basically, these are telephones with transmissions via a metal cable or fiber optic line. Synonyms for “landline” include “home phone”, “main line”, “landline” and “landline”. It differs from today’s telephones, which use radio waves to transmit.

  3. I love my traditional analog home landline phone. I won’t give it up. We still use and love our Western Electric touchtone phones. Have a yellow LED Trimline on the wall in the kitchen. Look like new and 40 years old. I have a collection of over 200 new looking phones dial and touchtone. The only problem is my bill has been going up every six months. I spoke to AT&T,they mentioned it will be going up every six months on average of $2.60. Reason being the wiring system (various junction boxes are ancient and need constant maintenance. They are encouraging people to switch to VOIP. You can still have have your home phone but it’s now plugged into a router. There is a glitch however. You have to get a bundled service including internet to work. It cannot be used as a stand alone system such as the nostalgic Merlin Telephone system. AT&T rep had the nerve to tell me that there are a lot of people who want to keep their traditional phone but refuse to upgrade to VOIP. And the bill will continue to increase every six months. That’s bad customer service. Home phones are essential to those who have disabilities and in the event something malfunctions with your smartphone. By the way my first job was assembling Bell System Western Electric phones 20 years old 1976-1981. Bottom line is I won’t give up my home phone even though my bill will increase every six months,,even though I’m on a fixed income. I would advise anyone with disabilities to keep their home traditional phone for emergencies. Thank you for reading.

  4. all of these still apply…to a *real* landline, not VOIP or fiber.
    To those wondering why it’s “so hard” to get one? because it’s costly for thr phone companies to maintain. they’d rather switch you to something cheaper

  5. Most of the individuals comments were great spam callers, I would like to stop. Have called AT&T, asking how to stop “Spam callers, some 3-4 day. They said to log dn the spam- nerd numbers, No great success. What else, can I do? Any input would be appreciated.

  6. A landline:
    * Makes it possible for two (or more) people to participate in the same conversation.
    * Makes it possible to have extension phones in several locations including the garage.
    * Works even if the nearest cell tower is too far away.

  7. zar, I don’t think it’s even possible to get a real landline at all now, that’s not connected to the internet. I have Spectrum (Time-Warner) and just pay $45 per month for the internet. For my regular phone attached to it I pay $40 per year for magicJack, and that’s it. It’s far from perfect. Sometimes it won’t ring through, and my friends will call the cell letting me know they just called it! I have to unplug it then re-plug to reboot it, and it will ring again. I need the iPhone to call that number so I know it works! Both phones can and do suddenly drop calls.

    The BENEFIT though is for long, catching up calls with out of state friends that can last well over an hour, or if I’m on hold with a business call. The fact the back of the cell phone gets borderline hot kind of scares me, frankly. It’s fine for texting and brief calls, but that’s it. This has been a God send for the many long calls I’ve been on during the pandemic, despite the nuisance factors. You could look into this and see if might work. It’s better than having to be completely dependent on the cell, especially for calls. You really need two phones now to compensate for each other’s shortcomings, unfortunately.

  8. How can you even get a landline that doesn’t work via internet? What services do people use? I feel like all the majors make it extremely difficult. I only get offered internet phones at exhorbitant rates.

  9. Re-reading this now, I still stand by most of what I said 3 years ago. I like Dottie’s comment of 5/8/19. With the current nightmare we’re living in and with, a real landline, like my parents and grandparents had, is what I need.

    I get that hold times for a lot of things are a lot longer now, and can accept it. What I can’t accept is being on hold over an hour, diligently waiting (with the speaker on so I can have my hands free) then getting through, finally reaching a person, making progress, then… a rapid busy signal.

    Another time when I had the computer in ‘sleep’ mode while on hold because I’d need it with the agent in navigating something initially online, the rapid busy signal came on when I touched the space bar! Occasionally I need an agent’s help filling something out online because I get the dreaded red letters not letting me continue. Why? Because in one instance it wasn’t accepting my cell phone number, which is the only number I EVER use for contacting!

    I DO use the cell phone when making such calls also, but it has this habit of just dropping the call in mid-sentence, fully charged or not. Anyone else having problems like this?!

  10. landlines are still essential to have
    not everyone is savy with the new stuff and
    its more reliable Id go without internet
    just to keep the landline

  11. Hi
    A land line is a great last resort of communication in an emergency or after a long power failure. The most common failure of people is to buy a A/C powered cordless phone to plug into their fixed landline. Think power failure… the land line may work perfectly, but without power your phone will not. You need to have at least 1 hardwired powerless phone in the house. That means no answering and recording service, no call memory, just plain old manually dial out, and if you miss a call you will never know.

  12. I use a landline because the phone connected to it is heavier than a cell p[hone. I need stability. I need something dense. When my money is blatantly being taken from me for questionable services, I need to know I can still hold onto something solid.

  13. Are land phones still given to widows of veterans of WW2. We had one given to us years ago-needs a replacement!!

  14. ONE MAIN REASON AND MOST IMPORTANT REASON FOR KEEPING MY SAME TELEPHONE NUMBER (LANDLINE) AND HAS NOT BEEN MENTIONED HERE. I have had my land line with the same telephone number for forty years. All my important calls that I call out on to credit card companies, banks, insurance companies, etc that I deal with for years recognize my telephone number as my personal identification when I call them. This is a big help. Now if someone can tell me how I can switch to my cell phone or whatever AND KEEP MY TELEPHONE NUMBER THAT I HAVE HAD FOR YEARS, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I DO WANT TO SAVE MONEY AND GET RID OF MY LANDLINE.

  15. 1. Cost. I tend to disagree. I bought into the bundle “savings” mindset, but when the packages finally ballooned to nearly $200 a month (which doesn’t include my separate cellular service) with little consumption of all the channels and services I didn’t need, I decided to trim the fat. By cutting out cable ($100+) and telephone service ($40) and leaving internet access, now I’m spending only $40 a month for a service I actually use 100% of the time.

    2. Emergencies. “Landline phones should work even when you experience a power outage.” “Should” being the primary word. Our housing development was built with access to a fiber optic network. Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service providers enable telephony services digitally over that fiber network. It requires electricity to work (which is why you’ll find a battery backup in your fiber optic box). If the battery is dead during a power outage, so is your “landline” phone.

    The other argument is that dispatchers can’t find you if you’re calling from a cell phone. That argument is nearly 6 years old, and in technology years, that’s an eon. Modern phones using Apple’s Hybridized Emergency Location (HELO) or Android’s Emergency Location Service (ELS) can pretty much pinpoint where you are to 911 operators.

    3. Quality. This is subjective. I, too, suffer from hearing loss and find I can hear my cell phone just fine, and if not, then I can use headphones with my cell phone to remediate any interference from background noise.

    4. Simplification. Again, subjective. The “good ‘ol days” argument isn’t really a good enough reason to keep a landline.

    5. Security. Most modern security systems are network and cloud-based or can operate off a cellular network. They certainly don’t require a landline to operate.

    6. Teaching responsibility. What type of device you use to teach kids manners on is negligible. I could have them practice on a Fisher Price phone for much cheaper than keeping a landline around. Kids are acquiring cell phones at an early enough age (my 5th grader has one). By the time they are ready to start calling people and exchanging digits with their friends would correlate to the time they are ready to have a phone.

    7. No contract. This argument is counterintuitive to the cost argument. If you’re going to argue that phones are cheaper when you bundle them with a service provider, then chances are you will be locked into a contract when you are signing up for said bundle.

  16. I have a business I run out of my home and I find that the land line is essential.

  17. Any suggestions as to where to look for a genuine land line? I need one that does not hook to the computer.

  18. I also use my landline to find my cell. And what happens when u forget to charge your cell. And I would hate to lose my cell

  19. every comment in here is made by some crony for the phone/cable companies, nobody needs a home phone anymore, get real

  20. I hate having two separate bills. Verizon Fios covers my TV, Landline, and internet. We also have Verizon for our cell phones (4) and I have come to grips that I have had it up to HERE with these two bills. They are astronomical! Our contract is over and we are under serious scrutiny in terms of downsizing as much as we can. Tired of mindlessly giving away money by paying what they tell us we owe without blinking an eye. Tired of it!

  21. Richard,
    AT$T (dollar sign pushed on purpose) did my plan and phone the same way
    but I was able to get a battery back up to keep the land line phone on during
    power outage. Try to get them to do this for you. They installed it for free. For

  22. I have a collection of vintage dial phones, all of them converted to plug into the little box connecters but I can’t find anyone to install the wiring into my house. My service has to connect through the modem so I have to use a push button landline. Does anyone out there know who to call to get my house wired for regular old fashioned phones?

  23. I agree that a land line is almost essential for persons with a hearing deficit. I have a smart phone but tell my friends to call on my land line if we are going to have a conversation so I can understand what they are saying.

  24. I had a landline, until AT&T hijacked it by changing my service to VOI (voice over internet) Now, when my elect power goes out, so does my phone ! I want my “old” landline restored, but told it can’t be done. Thoroughly disgusted !

  25. All good points however,since I am part of the old fogies crowd,and finances are fixed,I use it for toll free numbers and calling any local business where I might be put on hold. It is easy for me to put the call on speaker phone and read my newspaper or magazine while listening to the phone tell me my call is important to them.No minutes racked up on cell phones.


  27. All the reasons stated above are true..I have a landline phone and plan to keep it…

  28. We keep a landline because you can hear a conversation better, clearer, and louder than on a cell phone; also, for the emergency 9-1-1 services, of course. The cost is only $20 a month, bundled with our communications company.

  29. I agree with this wholeheartedly, especially number 3. I have never had a cell phone conversation that wasn’t either filled with static, had a split second pause on the other end, low volume, or a battery running low. And a landline phone is just easier/more comfortable to hold.

  30. All of these reasons are very valid ones for keeping your landline. Unfortunately, I don’t have a genuine landline anymore. It’s still a phone with a receiver and curly cord, but it’s hooked up to my computer.

    I still have a small phone bill as part of my monthly internet bill from Spectrum, but is minimal thanks to the magic Jack. The clarity of the calls is superior to the iPhone, and will only have my REAL phone conversations on this phone. I use the iPhone (my company pays for) for quick calls only, and texting. My home phone kind of falls into a ‘twilight zone’ between a cell phone and a landline. If the internet is down, the phone is too. I’ve also used it to find my cell phone in the condo quite a few times, and it’s great!


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