More Americans than ever are ditching their landlines: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported back in 2015 that 47 percent of Americans were cellphone-only, 42 percent had a cellphone and a landline, and a mere 8 percent only had landlines. Two years later, it’s a safe bet the trend toward ditching the landline has continued. But what do you need to know before you give up yours?
- Is your cellphone reception reliable? Landlines often have clearer sound quality than cell phones, especially in areas where cell reception is poor.
- Does your cable company offer a better deal for an Internet-connected phone? “If you are someone who rarely leaves their home or has a business, a bundle (Internet, cable, and landline) may offer a better deal and better sound quality, says Amy Rice, gadget expert at gazelle.com.
- Do you live in an apartment building? If you live in an urban area, a landline gives you an edge when it comes to calling 911, says Bob Motamedi, a Los Angeles-based tech consultant. “A landline will give emergency services an exact location of the call, while using a cell phone in an emergency situation will only give first-responders the general GPS location of the caller,” he says. “This could make it difficult to find you if you live in an apartment building.”
- Do you have a security system? Monitored security systems are also more reliable with a landline. “If there is a power outage, some home security companies are no longer able to receive alerts or send help in case of an emergency,” says Motamedi. (Of course this may be an issue too, if you have an Internet-connected phone.)
- How big is your house? Also, with a landline you are able to have multiple phones with the same number in many rooms of your home. “Multiple phones in the home mean that if the phone is ringing, you can pick it up anywhere instead of racing from one room to another trying to find your cell,” says Motamedi.
- How many people live in your home? If you have a large household with many people, or have a nanny, a landline where everyone can be reached at a single number may be helpful, says Matt Ham, president and owner of Computer Repair Doctor.
- Do you trust yourself not to lose a cellphone? If you’re the type of person who constantly misplaces his keys or wallet, having a cellphone as your only means of communication can be risky.
- Will it really save money? Chances are, yes. But you may need to shop around for a plan—remember that family plans tend to be the best deal. You’ll want to know exactly how much of a savings you’re signing up for before you cut your telephone cord.
Thinking about cutting the cable cord next? Read on for tips on cutting the cable cord and saving money.