Home Phone Packages
The concept of the home phone has come a long way since its humble beginnings, when you would have to rent the phone itself from the Post Office and use your fingers to laboriously spin a rotary dial. There was little choice in terms of provider and package and you wouldn't always be assure of a smooth connection. However, today things are almost the complete opposite of the past, with a huge number of options available to the consumer when it comes to choosing a home phone packages, and a variety of different methods of getting home phone calls at great rates.
Land Line Home Phone
The most common way to receive home phone is still via a copper land line provided by BT, and their network reaches 99% of UK households so if you're in a property without a phone line it is almost a certainty that BT will be able to provide you with a connection. Because they have had stiff competition from other areas over the last couple of years, which we'll go into in a moment, they have changed their packages to cope, and for the price of the monthly line rental you can get unlimited off peak calls to UK landline numbers, which is great if you're a talker.
Now for that competition. Most Internet Service Providers, large and small, have started offering their own home phone packages on top of their broadband packages, so if you want the convenience of one bill and one monthly payment for both then the option is there. Companies like Tiscali offer deals that are actually better value if you take their home phone package, and you won't need to pay line rental to BT either as the cost is included.
These deals often offer things like unlimited evening and weekend calls or cheap international calls should you require them, and prices and services vary so it's worth comparing every deal and working out what you need rather than what is the most appealing.
Cable Home Phone
If you are in one of the households covered by the Virgin Media cable network, which accounts for around 50% of homes but is constantly growing, you could opt for a Virgin Media home phone package supplied by an underground cable rather than a BT landline. You will need to pay for installation but there is a great range of choice in terms of their phone packages, which of course become better value if you purchase them in conjunction with other services like broadband and TV.
There are six options, the first three give you a variety of free off peak and free anytime calls to UK land lines, and the other three, the 'Talk' packages, operate more like mobile phone contracts. You will have a set number of free minutes a month, either 200, 400 or 800, and with those minutes you can call any number anywhere in the world up to the number of minutes you've chosen. These packages are slightly more expensive, but if you need the minutes to call an expensive number frequently then the benefits speak for themselves.
If you have a broadband internet connection you can easily sign up for a VoIP phone service like Skype which makes it free to call any other PC or VoIP network in the world, any time any where, and you can even call landlines, though there will be costs.