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Thread: Do you still use a telephone answering machine?

  1. #1

    Default Do you still use a telephone answering machine?

    I got an old answering machine and it works well but had a hiccup the other day. It may wear out one day, so I was looking for a new one. They are hard to find.

    Do people use their cell phones or the Shaw/Telus call answering nowadays and have no use for these machines?

    It will cost me an extra $6 a month to upgrade at Shaw, so I may keep my machine! Who still has answering machines?

    Am I way behind the technical curve if I keep mine?

  2. #2

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    They're bundled with corded and cordless phones now, like this one: https://www.londondrugs.com/atandt-b.../L5793385.html. I don't have one yet, still using the one in my old Nortel desk phone, but when that dies I will, or at least as long as I still have a landline.

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    we also still use the answering machine bundled in with the base station for our cordless phones at home...

    somehow it's "easier to ignore" incoming calls than it is on a cell phone and just let them go to the answering machine. what's a bit surprising is that probably nine out of ten calls don't bother leaving a message meaning they're typically selling something or surveys or robo-calls. it's also easy enough to go through the numbers on the call log on occasion and block the ones that keep showing up without leaving messages.

    the cell phones still have their voice mail for anyone that has those numbers whose call doesn't get answered.
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  4. #4

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    Haven't had a land line for years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OffWhyte View Post
    Haven't had a land line for years.
    there are still things that an actual land line (ie twisted pair copper and not voip which isn't the same thing) can do that a non-land line can't (the first being the ability to function during a power outage).
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  6. #6

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    a cordless phone is still attached wirelessly to a landline (so calling it a non-landline would be false), and cell phone would still operate in a power outage situation as the cell tower has up to 48-72 hours of backup power. However, I think you are trying to say that a cordless handset would be useless in a power-outage situation, which would be correct...
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    ^

    no, what i was referring to was the service itself. if your "landline" is voip and not traditional twisted pair copper, you will have no telephone service during a power outage.
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  8. #8

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    Ahh yes, I forgot about VOIP... I guess one could get around that by backing up the power to their ISP modem.
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    ^

    and hope a power surge doesn't fry your backup.
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  10. #10

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    I'm still surprised to hear people have any type of home phone, twisted pair or voip... let alone a physical answering machine
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    ^

    most people that have had to go a couple of days without power at some point are probably predisposed to a communication system that is is self-powered. maybe less important to some than others now with longer cell phone battery life and battery packs but even those are only good for a limited time even if fully charged.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    I'm still surprised to hear people have any type of home phone, twisted pair or voip... let alone a physical answering machine
    That's what I was trying to say. No home phone of any kind, cordless or otherwise, and I haven't had for years.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eminent View Post
    I got an old answering machine and it works well but had a hiccup the other day. It may wear out one day, so I was looking for a new one. They are hard to find.

    Do people use their cell phones or the Shaw/Telus call answering nowadays and have no use for these machines?

    It will cost me an extra $6 a month to upgrade at Shaw, so I may keep my machine! Who still has answering machines?

    Am I way behind the technical curve if I keep mine?
    We still have a landline. Used to pay the monthly charge for voicemail but increasingly hated the cumulative bill* so we just picked up another portable phone set with an answering machine.

    I do miss the old dial phone handsets.


    *A strange old habit of mine is to calculate the ten yr cumulative cost of any reoccurring charge and think about what I’d rather have that money for. So your $7 month amounts to $840 in 10 yrs.
    Last edited by KC; 10-09-2019 at 03:46 PM.

  14. #14

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    I've had multiple UPSes from multiple venors for decades and never had one "fry" from a surge, even in a building with an elevator that would sometimes brown-out the circuit the wall with the UPSes drew its power (which was more fun than being in the elevator at that moment).

    Go get one of these: https://www.londondrugs.com/apc-back.../L9319963.html for 70 bucks (often on sale) and use it for your computer and modem and router and it's a good investment - way better than a power bar from any vendor. Double that if you're on a rural line.
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    I haven’t had a landline for 5 years and don’t miss it at all.
    Having said that there are 2 important advantages a traditional landline has over a cell phone. As mentioned already, the landline will work during a power outage (just make sure you’ve got an old style corded phone; you can buy them cheap on Amazon etc).
    But most importantly when you call 911 from a landline your address is shown at the call centre. This is a big advantage over a cell phone since they know exactly where to send help. At least theoretically.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    I've had multiple UPSes from multiple venors for decades and never had one "fry" from a surge, even in a building with an elevator that would sometimes brown-out the circuit the wall with the UPSes drew its power (which was more fun than being in the elevator at that moment).

    Go get one of these: https://www.londondrugs.com/apc-back.../L9319963.html for 70 bucks (often on sale) and use it for your computer and modem and router and it's a good investment - way better than a power bar from any vendor. Double that if you're on a rural line.
    from your link:

    "Power your wireless home networking equipment (router and modem) and maintain your internet connections for 2+ hours after safely shutting down your PC or other high powered devices."

    we've had lightening strike our house, coming in through an eave and exiting through the co-ax and cat 6 running in the attic to the main ground beside the entry point for the router. pretty sure it would have fried this usp just as it did the power bar. besides which it was a darn sight longer for service to get restored than 2+ hours even if it had survived a surge coming from the wrong direction. the fire department disconnected the main service and epcor won't reconnect until an electrician has been able to come in and repair/reinspect/recertify everything. in the meantime the fire department has left and says "call us if there's any hotspots we missed that flare up".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudly View Post
    I've had multiple UPSes from multiple venors for decades and never had one "fry" from a surge, even in a building with an elevator that would sometimes brown-out the circuit the wall with the UPSes drew its power (which was more fun than being in the elevator at that moment).

    Go get one of these: https://www.londondrugs.com/apc-back.../L9319963.html for 70 bucks (often on sale) and use it for your computer and modem and router and it's a good investment - way better than a power bar from any vendor. Double that if you're on a rural line.
    Just keep in mind that if you're using a UPS for your PC, that the one linked will only handle a fairly low powered one. If you have any sort of GPU in your system, you'll need to start at 600VA at least. And also keep in mind that they're lead acid batteries and will need replacement every 3-5 years.

    Otherwise I wholeheartedly recommend UPS's and have one with all of personal and work computers.

    And yes, I've never had a UPS get fried from a surge, or even a more typical surge protector. It happens, sure, but it's extremely rare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post

    we've had lightening strike our house, coming in through an eave and exiting through the co-ax and cat 6 running in the attic to the main ground beside the entry point for the router. pretty sure it would have fried this usp just as it did the power bar.
    My sister had lightning strike one of those small pad mounted transformers that were located in front of her neighbor's front yard. It destroyed the transformer and the resulting surge damaged several electrical devices in her house that were all connected to surge protectors. She lost a big screen TV, printer, desktop computer, router as well as a few other items.
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    ^

    most people that have had to go a couple of days without power at some point are probably predisposed to a communication system that is is self-powered. maybe less important to some than others now with longer cell phone battery life and battery packs but even those are only good for a limited time even if fully charged.

    well landline will only work for so long in a prolonged power outage anyways as the telco is running on backup power source too, and that will only hold out so long.
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  20. #20

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    And just because you have a landline doesn't mean it'll function in the event of an outage if you're on fibre. The POTS inside the home is a product of the ONT. No power to the ONT, no power to the POTS lines.

    ONTs typically have a battery backup versus being centrally powered.
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    ^^

    true enough but the telco's backup is probably diesel or gas fired generators, not battery powered ups. they'll run as long as they have fuel delivery.
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    ^^

    which is the noted difference between twisted pair copper and voip telephone service.
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  23. #23

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    POTS over fibre isn't VOIP.
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  24. #24

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    No it's not, but it's definitely marketed as VOIP...

    Looking at you ComWave
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  25. #25

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    Comwave is VOIP.

    POTS via a Telus ONT is not.

    Neither will function in a power outage once their battery backups run out. The Telus ONT has an internal one, whereas with Comwave you'd need to roll your own UPS solution.

    Source: Am a Comwave customer with my infrastructure behind a UPS, power conditioner & surge protector.
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    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    Comwave is VOIP.

    POTS via a Telus ONT is not.

    Neither will function in a power outage once their battery backups run out. The Telus ONT has an internal one, whereas with Comwave you'd need to roll your own UPS solution.

    Source: Am a Comwave customer with my infrastructure behind a UPS, power conditioner & surge protector.
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    even though even telus ont is not good old copper twisted pair even if it isn't voip.
    Last edited by kcantor; 11-09-2019 at 09:48 AM.
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  27. #27

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    When the book Good Omens was written, a character using an answering machine was normal. When they recently made an Amazon mini series, the answering machine now fit into the characters love of antique technology .

    Panasonic makes good wired/wireless phones, with the primary unit being a wired phone with an answering machine, and then multiple wireless handsets paired to the main unit. I don't know for sure if the base unit will work with main power off. Good luck!

  28. #28

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    Speaking of telco backups, I was on a tour in the 90s of the 104St/104Ave swtiching station, as a member of their Small Business Advisory Panel. It still had the old electromechanical switches for some exchanges - racks of them that quietly rusted like the breeze through a poplar stand. I still have one of those switches in my "old technology" collection. But on the second floor was a backup battery: a 9'x3'x3' (at least, from memory) glass-walled tank full of suphuric acid with a cathode at one end and an anode at the other. Like a giant fish tank.

    Whenever I am shoppng for a new cordless phone, I ask the clerk which ones get returned the least and buy that one, and for a decade ot so it's always been a Panasonic.
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