In a world where cell phones have become the norm, it may seem like traditional landline phones are a thing of the past. However, having a reliable home phone is still essential, especially for seniors and residents in rural areas where cell phone services have poor coverage. Home phone services allow you to make and receive calls in an old-fashioned way, without any advanced and complicated procedures or devices.
Even though these services tend to be quite affordable, some people cannot afford them. Luckily, it is possible to get free home phone service, and in this article, you will learn all about it.
The Benefits of Getting Free Home Phone Service
Although mobile phones and internet-based communication have become dominant, some people still value the reliability, affordability, and simplicity that comes with landline phones.
The benefits of getting free home phone service include saving money on your monthly bills, having a reliable and consistent means of communication, and the ability to make and receive calls without relying on your mobile phone. With a home phone, you can also easily make emergency calls without worrying about the battery life of your mobile phone or the quality of the connection. Additionally, many free home phone service providers offer features such as call waiting, caller ID, voicemail, and more at no additional cost, making it a convenient and practical choice for many households.
Compared to a cell phone service, home phone service is considered more reliable, as it is not affected by factors such as network congestion or poor signal strength. This means that you are less likely to experience dropped calls or poor call quality. Moreover, during power outages or natural disasters, cell towers may go down or become overloaded, making it difficult to make calls or send texts. Home phones, on the other hand, can often continue to work during these situations, as they are powered through the phone line. Additionally, the sound quality of home phones is better than that of cell phones. Overall, getting free home phone service comes with numerous advantages, as such, you should consider this option even if you also have cell phone service.
In the following sections, we will discuss all the ways how you can get free home phone service.
The Best Free Home Phone Service Providers
For many reasons listed above, many users still need or prefer landline services. Therefore, there are several great free or inexpensive home phone service providers that offer various convenient features and options. Currently, these are the most popular providers that offer the very best home phone service. Make sure to review and compare their offers to make an informed decision.
Ooma provides a free home phone service with free nationwide calling, covering both local and long-distance calls across the US. However, users have to purchase an Ooma Telo device to avail themselves of this service. While taxes and fees are the users’ responsibility, the monthly cost is much lower than traditional landline services. Additional features, including call blocking and voicemail transcription, can be added to the service for an extra charge.
Start your Ooma journey by visiting https://www.ooma.com/ and following the on-screen prompts.
NetTalk offers a free landline phone service that operates through VoIP technology and requires a NetTalk device purchase. It provides free long-distance and local calling within the US and Canada. Users can add international calling and virtual fax features at an extra cost.
Apply for the service at https://nettalkconnect.com/.
Google Voice is a web-based phone service that allows users to make free calls within the US and Canada through a web browser or a smartphone application. To convert Google Voice into a free landline service, users can purchase an Obihai device and connect it to their home phone. The service offers free voicemail, call forwarding, and call screening features. However, international calls are not free and can be made at an additional cost.
To start, visit https://voice.google.com/u/0/about and follow the instructions.
magicJack is a provider of a landline phone service that uses VoIP technology. To use the service, users must purchase a magicJack device. The service provides free calls across the US and Canada, and it includes features such as voicemail, call waiting, and call forwarding. Users can also make international calls, but they need to pay an additional fee for this service.
To enroll, visit https://www.magicjack.com/account/mjLandingpages.do?page=index and follow the prompts.
BasicTalk is a cheap landline phone service that utilizes VoIP technology. It’s necessary to buy a BasicTalk device to use the service. It provides unlimited domestic calling with no monthly charges, but taxes and regulatory fees are the responsibility of the users. It doesn’t have the advanced features of other providers, but it’s a suitable and economical choice for those who require a straightforward landline service.
To sign up, visit https://www.basictalk.com/ and follow the instructions.
How to Get Free Home Phone Service Through the Government?
There are government-sponsored programs that offer free or discounted landline phone services to eligible individuals, aiming to provide access to essential communication services regardless of financial situation.
The main government assistance program that offers discounts on monthly phone services is Lifeline. The program offers free home phone service (wireline) or free cell phone service (wireless). An eligible household can apply for one or the other, depending on their needs, however, you cannot get both.
How to Qualify?
To qualify for Lifeline, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria:
- You can qualify based on your low annual household income, which must be at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. These guidelines depend on the state.
- Alternatively, you can qualify based on your participation in specific government assistance programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, FPHA, Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit, and certain Tribal programs.
- You must also be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor, a resident of the state where you are applying, and the only applicant in a household.
How to Apply?
You can start your application process by visiting https://nationalverifier.servicenowservices.com/apply?id=nv_home&ln=RW5nbGlzaA%3D%3D. The application process requires providing personal information and proof of eligibility (either your low income or your participation in a government assistance program).
If your application gets approved by the National Verifier, you can proceed to choose a Lifeline service provider in your area and apply for their discounted or free services. To do so, visit the company’s website and follow the on-screen instructions.
Best Lifeline Free Home Phone Service Providers
You can only apply for the services of a Lifeline provider that operates in your area. To find a list of all the Lifeline companies in your state of residence, visit https://cnm.universalservice.org/, enter your location, select the Lifeline program, and press Search. The list will mention some details about the kinds of services the companies offer, however, to find out more, you can visit each company’s website and compare their offers.
Some of the best free home phone service providers that offer these benefits through the government-sponsored Lifeline program include:
- AT&T: AT&T provides government discounts on both landline phone services and internet services. Customers can select from a range of nationwide or worldwide standalone plans. Details of landline plans are available at https://www.att.com/home-phone/lifeline/.
- Century Link: This is a wireless company that provides both landline and internet services. To view their home phone offering, you can visit https://www.centurylinkquote.com/home-phone.
- Verizon: Verizon provides various services such as mobile, landline, internet, and TV, along with Lifeline discounts for eligible households. You can visit the following link to learn more about these discounts and apply for them: https://www.verizon.com/support/residential/account/manage-account/lifeline-discount.
- Frontier Communications: Frontier Communications offers different kinds of benefits to Lifeline customers. To learn more and apply for these benefits, visit https://frontier.com/resources/discountprograms/lifeline-program.
- TDS Telecom: This company provides voice, internet, and entertainment services, in addition to discounts for government assistance. Their home phone services can be found at https://frontier.com/resources/discountprograms/lifeline-program. You can apply for Lifeline through their website at https://tdstelecom.com/lifeline.html.
Benefits of Lifeline
Benefits vary by state and the provider. In some cases, you can get either discounted or completely free home phone service. Lifeline doesn’t include extra charges, such as fees, taxes, or equipment costs.
Additionally, there are also state-specific programs. State-specific programs have different eligibility requirements and benefits, such as California’s California Lifeline Program and Texas’ Texas Lifeline Program. To find and apply for these programs, visit your state’s public utility commission website or contact your local landline service provider. Remember that these programs aim to help those in need and can help save on landline phone service costs.
How to Get VoIP-based Free Home Phone Service?
The technology called VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has changed the way people communicate by making it possible to transmit voice calls over the internet. This has led to the rise of free and low-cost landline phone services based on VoIP.
More About VoIP Technology
VoIP technology converts voice signals into digital data, which is then transmitted over the internet. Compared to traditional landline services, VoIP services can offer lower costs and more features. The advantages of VoIP include free or low-cost local and long-distance calling, advanced call features, and the ability to use the service from any location with internet access.
Great Free VoIP Home Phone Service Providers
Some popular free VoIP providers for landline phone services are Google Voice, Ooma, and NetTalk. You can read more about their offers in one of the previous sections.
To use a VoIP service for landline phone service, you will need a high-speed internet connection and a VoIP adapter or device, such as an Ooma Telo, NetTalk device, or Obihai device for Google Voice. Connect the VoIP adapter or device to your internet router and your landline phone. Follow the provider’s instructions to set up your account, configure the device, and activate the service.
VoIP Advantages and Disadvantages
Using VoIP for landline phone service has its pros and cons. The pros are lower cost compared to traditional landline services, advanced call features and flexibility, and the ability to use the service from any location with internet access. The cons are the reliance on a stable internet connection, which may be an issue in rural areas or during power outages, some VoIP services may not support 911 emergency calling or may have limited support, and call quality may be affected by internet bandwidth and network congestion. Before choosing a VoIP-based free landline phone service, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons and ensure that the service meets your needs and expectations.
How to Get Free Home Phone Service With Free Calling Apps?
Free calling apps designed for smartphones and computers can also be used for landline phones by using additional hardware. Google Voice and Skype are two free calling apps that can be used on landline phones. These apps offer free or low-cost calling and advanced call features, such as voicemail and call forwarding. However, using these apps on landline phones requires additional hardware and a stable internet connection, and some apps may not support emergency calls. To use these apps on landline phones, you need to purchase the required hardware and set up and activate the service.
Are There Any Alternative Ways to Get Free Home Phone Service?
The methods listed above are considered the best ways to get free home service. However, you can also reach out to other telecommunications companies and inquire if they offer any promotional deals on such services. Moreover, if you are struggling financially, you can contact a non-profit organization or charity that provides assistance, though the likelihood of finding such benefits is low and you may have to prove your financial need. Finally, instead of searching for free home phone service, which may be hard to find, you may need to settle with cheap home phone service instead. To do so, you can try your luck with Xfinity, Armstrong, Cox, or Community Phone.