AEEM Guide Buying a Cordless Telephone
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No change since the introduction of the touch tone telephone has changed making a call from home as much as the cordless telephone. Cordless telephones have a base piece that plugs into your household outlets just like an ordinary phone and a handset that can look like anything from a walkie-talkie to a cell phone. When shopping for a cordless telephone, choose from these important features:
  • Transmission frequencies vary among 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5.8 GHz (older 43-50 MHz models are disappearing). There is no difference in sound quality though lower frequency analog models tend to have somewhat shorter transmission distances between the handset and the base unit and are subject to more interference as well as eavesdropping. Higher frequency digital sets, especially those that use spread spectrum encoding, suffer less interference, offer a little bit more distance, and are generally immune to eavesdropping.
  • Some base stations allow extra handsets so that any one of up to six telephone handsets can use the same telephone connection. That can be very handy for placing telephones in different rooms of your home without having to rewire the house with additional telephone outlets.
  • The battery life of the handset is important if you plan to leave the handset on a table or counter top away from the base unit for ease of use. One week of standby operation is typical; two weeks between recharges at the base unit are not uncommon. Nickel-cadmium batteries while cheaper to replace may suffer from high drain and the so-called memory effect that limits the amount of charge the battery can hold while nickel-metal hydride and lithium batteries are more robust and deliver more power for less weight at greater cost.
  • Unlike regular telephones that are powered by the telephone line itself, cordless telephones require an electrical outlet and will not work if the power fails. A backup battery in the base unit will supply power so your cordless telephone continues to work in an emergency when the lights in your house are out.
Consider built-in extras like a speakerphone

for sharing a conversation with a group, an answering machine for capturing missed calls, dual line units if you run a business at home, and handset to handset intercom for talking to separated members of your family in the house.

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