Lots of people have disconnected their land lines and use their mobile phones exclusively.
However land lines still have a place in today's world, especially for people who talk on the phone a lot.
Mobile phones can cut in and out, but a land line (or Voice-over-IP line) will be more reliable, more clear, and a cordless phone can provide more talk time on a single battery than a mobile phone.
If you have a broadband Internet connection, check out these Voice-Over-IP devices.
OBi200 from Newegg or Amazon for $40.
Supports up to 4 voice-over-IP services on your single home/cordless phone system.
OBi202 from Newegg for $55.
Supports up to 4 voice-over-IP services on up to 2 home/cordless phone systems (a good way to use one phone for personal, and another phone for business, through the same box).
After you get the OBi device, register it on OBiTalk.com.
From that page, click "Approved Service Providers" to see a list of VoIP providers that OBi can quickly apply onto your account.
One of those services is PhonePower, and OBi currently has an offer to give you PhonePower for $35/yr.
The service includes a US or Canada phone number, free incoming calls, 300 outgoing minutes/month, call forwarding, call waiting, Caller ID with name, voicemail-to-email, E911, and fax.
They give you a real phone number, which you can also set your Google Voice account to ring (if you use Google Voice).
You can move your OBi device to any Internet connection, and your phone number will still work.
However be sure to tell customer service to update the address of your phone into the E911 system, so when someone dials 911 from your land line phone, the correct address will appear on the operator's screen.
Obihai Voice-over-IP Devices for Your Home:
Many people have disconnected the wire and use mobile phones and computers to make calls, but if you are someone who still enjoys having a home/cordless phone, there are some good options that use Voice-over-IP.
The above devices will require a voice-over-IP (VoIP) service.
Someone can just use a free Google Voice account to make and receive calls for free without paying for VoIP today, however direct Google Voice as a VoIP service will stop working as of May 15.
This means the OBi products will require a paid VoIP service to work with a Google Voice account.
One VoIP service you can use is CallCentric (reviews).
CallCentric has Pay-Per-Minute plans which will let you make calls and receive calls at about $2/mo plus around 1¢ to 2¢ per minute of phone usage (around $1/hour).
Other similar services compatible with the OBi devices are:
It is important to know that "pay as you go" plans do not include 911 service, meaning you would have to use your mobile phone in case of an emergency, or pay extra for a service which includes 911 emergency calling.
When properly configured, 911 service liked to your phone would immediately show your name and address to responders when you make an emergency call, which can save precious time trying to say your address during an emergency.
It is also important to note that VoIP services are not as reliable as your local telephone company (there are some negative reviews of CallCentric's poor customer service and some downtime)
Reliability is no longer a huge concern since most people have cell phones as backup, but it is something to keep in mind.
So if you buy an OBi device for $38-60, you can get home phone service for around $2 to $6 per month (with E911 service).
A good alternative is an Ooma device which costs $128 and gives you basic phone service for free (plus about $4 in monthly taxes).
The disadvantage of Ooma is you are locked in to Ooma service, not a problem if the Ooma service looks good to you, but the OBi would let you switch VoIP carriers whenever you dislike the service.