Kill You Home Phone Without Going Strictly Cellular or Magic Jack

by Ryan on March 2, 2010

How to reduce home phone bill

I still see the need for land lines – they are superior in terms of quality and far better for actually having a conversation where both parties can hear one another and for folks with home offices and long distance relatives, call quality can be important and using a cell phone exclusively is not an option for many. Land lines are also a little better for your health than mobile phones (or so we think).

But now, it’s time to kill the ridiculous home phone bill without losing the home phone quality.  I’ve been thinking about eliminating my home phone bill for 3 years now and this past weekend was the time when I finally did it.  Even on Time Warner’s All the Best Package with cable, internet and phone service bundles, you still end up spending $20 a month on a home phone, or $240 per year.  Chances are that you already use a digital phone service from your cable provider.  If you don’t, then your already wasting an additional $300 a year on an analoge line and taking the steps in this post will then save you over $540 a year.  Read on to learn how.

If you have a wireless router in your home, you are already half way to killing your home phone.  You just need to take one final step to eliminate your home phone bill forever, without sacrificing the land line quality you are so accustomed to.

The final, bold step is to get a Skype number ($2.99 per month or $36 per year ) and a Skype landline phone.  These physical Skype phones run for about $170 (free shipping included) for a nice one and they do not require a computer to function, just a live wireless connection and a router with an available Ethernet port.  So now you’re out just $206 for a your first year of Skype home phone loving and just $36 per year thereafter.   Compare that to $240 per year for the cheapest home phone service you can find (Even Vonage is $15 per month or $180 per year – Ugh!).  Sure – once every 5 years you’ll probably need a new physical Skype phone but that’s not too bad considering you’ll have saved yourself around $1K over that 5 year term.

The final trick is to get a Google Voice number and make it forward to your Skype phone.  Give our your Google Voice phone number as your home number for life and you’ll never have to switch home phone numbers again – ever – not even if you move out of the country!  With Google Voice, you even get free voice mail and voice mail transcriptions.   The hilarious Google voice mail transcriptions are worth the switch alone.

After you’ve made the move, feel free to dig a hole in your backyard and bury your old home phone there.  Or, you can save a little more money and drop it off at your local Salvation Army for the charitable tax donation, just be sure to get a receipt.


1 aaronmoskowitz 04.30.10 at 3:16 AM

Interesting article Ryan. So is this truly a better way to go than the MagicJack? Also, did you know that TMobile @Home is only an additional 10 bux per month?

2 ryanborn 04.30.10 at 4:05 PM

With magic jack you have to have a computer on and hooked into it which to me is really silly and a deal breaker. Tell me more about @Home? Does it work off of your homes wi-fi? Does it work in conjunction with your existing cable / internet provider? Is there any additional hardware to purchase?

3 aaronmoskowitz 05.04.10 at 2:14 AM

I believe that I had to pay for the router (about 90 bux) and I pay $10 per month for @Home. It works with AT&T Uverse.

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