I created this web page simply because I found the Verizon Home Phone Connect Service to be a really good product.
By chance, I was in a Verizon store and saw the Home Phone Connect unit which lets you connect your home phones to Verizon wireless for $19.99 (My total bill is about $23 a month).
I live in a rural area with no cable service. My local Verizon land line phone service was costing me $28 per moth for limited local calls, no long distance, and no extra services (Caller Id, etc.). For long distance I used Google Voice.
When I first saw the unit and the description of its features for the cost, I thought it was too good to be true. I purchased the unit from a local Verizon store, did the testing below, activated the service, and cut my land line connection.
I now get unlimited local and long distance calls plus all the features listed above. Plus when I travel, I take the unit and one of my phones with me.
• Unlimited local and long distance calls
• Caller ID Name
• Call Forwarding
• 3–Way Calling
• E911 Support
• Integrated GPS for 911 Support
• Messaging: SMS for network message only
• TTY/TTD Compatible
• $23/month with all fees and taxes
• One time $39 activation fee
• Unit free with two year contract
You ONLY have 14 days to test the service and return it without a penalty. On the web there are stories of people who missed the deadline by one day. When Verizon says 14 days, they mean 14 days.
The unit is just a black box that you plug your phone into [More information on using your all of your phone jacks below]. View the manual.
Do you get a Verizon cellular signal?
The big question is whether you get a good Verizon cellular signal. All I needed was a signal strength of one bar out of three. The number of bars didn't seem to make a difference in my line quality.
Will your home phone number port over?
The Verizon store will verify if your home number can be ported over to the Home Phone Connect service. When you get your unit, it comes with its own phone number which then can be replaced with your existing home phone number.
Internet using DSL over your land line
If you get your internet using DSL, you MUST keep your land line. However there are comments on the Internet about a closed loop service (a dedicated DLS line) which is a land line setup just for your DSL.
Is your phone system new enough?
My Panasonic cordless phone system worked fine with the unit. Caller ID showed the names of any contacts stored in the phone. From what I saw on the web, some older phone systems may not fully handle caller ID. An old princess phone I had worked, but had some static.
With only one bar out of three signal strength, the service works just as well as my old land line I activated the service as instructed in the manual. I also activated the Verizon answering service even though I thought I was not going to use it. This proved helpful when I ported over my phone.
My cordless phone works the same as when on my land line.
My cordless phone and my Directv work with the Caller ID. Since I connect my Directv over the internet via my router, I don't know if there is a problem in cases where the Directv connection is only phone based. Verizon says that the unit will not work with Directv service.
I stopped using my telephone's answering machine as Verizon's service was easier to use. If you wish to use the Verizon answering service, the newer cordless phone systems let your phone directly interface with the answering service.
Porting my home phone number
Once I tested the unit, I decided that I didn't need a land line any more. However, I did give pause to stopping my land line service. This reluctance to change seems common to many other people. Since this unit has a two hour battery backup and I have a cell phone, I didn't see the need of a land line If you get your internet using DSL, you MUST keep your land line
To port your existing home phone number, you call Verizon's toll free line and an operator takes your information and passes you to the automated porting system. The package said it would take 2-10 days before the change over would occur. It took just three days. On the night of the second day, no one could call us, but they could leave messages on the Verizon answering service (I'm glad I had set it up). The next morning, there was no dial tone on the unit, so I entered *228 to reactivate the service. Then all was well. My answering machine worked and I was able to call into the Verizon answering service to retrieve messages from friends who called when the porting was taking place.
Using all of your existing phone jacks
To use all of your existing phone jacks you simply have to disconnect your house phone line from the main line (Do this ONLY after your land line is ported over). I disconnected mine by going to the outside box where the phone line goes into the house. I unscrewed all four of the house lines and cut the exposed wire. Once this is done, plug your Home Phone Connect into any phone jack and all your your phones will be connected.
If you are concerned about power outages, you can always plug your cordless phone base unit and the Home Phone Connect unit into a battery backup. I've had good luck with a Cyberpower uninterruptible power supply (UPS). You will only need the least expensive UPS as the phone and Verizon units draw very little power.
Faxing is not supported
Since faxing is not yet supported with Home Phone Connect, here is a link to online faxing service reviews. Of course, some people don't fax, but just send scanned images as e-mail attachments.
Home security systems
Although Home Phone Connect doesn't support home security systems, some services do offer internet connections that are discussed on the Internet.
Medical alert systems
While land line based systems are not compatible, some users of Home Phone Connect have programed a speed dial to the local Emergency Services and/or 911 numbers into both their mobile and Home Phone Connect phones. GreatCall offers the 5Star Urgent Response cell phone that acts like a medical alert device. It is small and works both inside and away from your home. I purchased one for my mother and found it was half the cost of the regular medical alert services.