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The Best Answering Machines of 2017

Record Voicemails While You Are Away

Answering Machines Review

Why Get an Answering Machine?

Answering machines, once commonly found in consumer homes, have largely been replaced by voicemail services from landline phone providers. However, if you prefer push-button controls to calling voicemail, an answering machine is your best option. With digital answering machines like the AT&T 1740, the Uniden D3097 and the Panasonic KX-TG4742B, you can toggle through your messages, saving, deleting or skipping them much faster than you can with voicemail. And while many voicemail services require a monthly fee, an answering machine is just a one-time charge.

Answering Machines: What to Look For

Choosing the best answering machine comes down to your needs. Do you need a phone, too, or simply an answering machine? How about a machine that connects to multiple lines? Be sure to find the device with the right combination of features for your phone setup. The categories below will help you narrow down your choices.

Features
The primary function of a telephone answering machine is its ability to capture messages and replay them. A common issue among older models was sound quality, but with modern advancements this is no longer such a huge problem. The device should allow you to manage your messages, such as playing, stopping, deleting and skipping messages. In addition, the digital storage capacity is a critical element, because if you run out of space on the answering machine, it quickly becomes useless.

Standalone vs. Phone Combos
While standalone answering machines still exist, these are becoming rare as manufacturers pair a cordless phone with an answering machine. The advantage of a standalone answering machine is that you can use it with any telephone. However, combo devices are convenient since the phone charging base is integrated with the answering machine. If you want to keep your current telephone, then a standalone machine is an excellent option, though they are becoming hard to find. You’ll be able to find combo options for a price comparable to the standalone, and with more features.

Warranty
Answering machines are like any other electronic device and are prone to failure after years of use or in the event of manufacturing defects. In either case, you need a warranty that will protect all of the device's components, including its recording storage. If the storage isn’t covered, then you’re forced to just replace the entire device as it’s be the cheaper alternative.

A phone answering machine can help you stay on top of calls without running up your cell phone minutes or taking up hard drive space with voicemails. Whether you’ve got a family with kids that need a way to contact friends or you use your phone to conduct business, you need a convenient way to save and check messages when you’re unable to answer.