Top five call blocking home phones
By Jon Barrow
Tackle nuisance calls by buying a new cordless home phone with call blocking features. Here are the best as chosen by our experts.
Nuisance calls offering to refund your PPI or to repair your PC are common nowadays, and they can be a daily irritant. Luckily, tech can save the day, as there are plenty of options available to make sure your phone only rings when there’s someone you actually want to talk to on the other end of the line.
Below, we’ve listed five great call blocking cordless phones that can help curb nuisance calls. And that's not all – these handsets also impressed in our home phone lab tests, and all offer fantastic call quality and excellent cordless coverage.
Remember, for any call blocking phone to work you’ll need to activate your Caller ID with your landline network provider.
All pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of November 2019.
Best call blocking home phones
Dialling is a doddle with this cordless phone, due to its extra-large, tactile buttons and sizeable screen, which has a good contrast between the black text and orange background. It’s simple to set up, the ring volume is loud and this home phone is compatible with digital hearing aids. Calls sound clear, but it also has an amplify button to boost the volume when you need it.
This well-equipped Best Buy phone has sophisticated call-blocking features that can put a stop to nuisance calls. You can save up to 200 numbers in the phonebook – these will be put straight through to you – and block up to 1,000 that you don't want to hear from. The phone's range is excellent and the handset will sound an alarm if you start to wander too far, giving you the chance to return to an area of stronger coverage before you're cut off.
This top-of-the-range phone is packed with features, from Bluetooth connectivity so you can easily add your mobile contacts, to fantastic call-blocking options. It does the basics well too. Calls are clear and the ringers, in both the base unit and the handset, are very loud. The phone’s signal strength is among the best we've seen, so you're unlikely to be cut off if you wander around the house while you're speaking.
This phone has extensive call-blocking features and can block up to 1,000 numbers - either specific numbers or those including a strings of digits (for example, all those which begin with 0871 or 0203). It can also block withheld numbers though not international or mobile callers. Blocked callers are disconnected and can't leave a voice message.
This good value model lets you automatically reject up to 100 specific numbers as well as different types of calls such as those from international or withheld numbers. There's also a call-blocking button to reject a call as it comes in plus a Do Not Disturb feature that will prevent all but your specially tagged VIP callers getting through during a set time.
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How to stop nuisance calls with a home phone
There are a number of different ways to prevent unwanted calls. We round up the most common below and explain how they can help to stop these nuisance calls from getting through.
This is the most effective call blocking option. Many of us have done this manually in the past, checking the caller ID shown on the display and then transferring unwanted calls to the answering machine. But some cordless phones offer a more sophisticated, automated option. They ask the caller to state their name and business before putting them through – most nuisance callers won’t bother, choosing to hang up and try someone else instead. Legitimate callers will be happy to give their details, at which point your phone will ring, a recording of their answer will be played and you can then choose whether to accept or reject the call. If a number is already on your saved contacts list, they should be put straight through and won’t have to state their name first. Blocked numbers will be immediately prevented from getting through in any case.
Call screening is available on some phones and also through some standalone call blockers.
Last caller barring
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this feature blocks the number of the last person to call you. It’s useful if you take a call from a salesperson or other nuisance caller and know from the first conversation that you’ll never want to speak to them again. Once selected, the caller will hear a busy tone the next time they call. Of course, they have to call you at least once before you can block them and sadly many nuisance callers frequently change their numbers, which can be incredibly frustrating.
Last caller barring is available on some phones, as well as via your phone provider or through most call blockers.
Anonymous/withheld number call blocking
Lots of nuisance calls come from anonymous or withheld numbers, so this feature will nip such unsolicited callers in the bud by simply not allowing any of these types of calls through. It can be extremely effective, but it’s worth remembering that plenty of legitimate companies and organisations – such as banks and the NHS – can also show up as ‘anonymous’, so you may miss out on an important call.
Anonymous call blocking is available on some phones, as well as via your phone provider or through most call blockers.
Individual number blocking
If you don’t want to blanket-block numbers and would rather deal with persistent pests individually, most phones, devices and services will give you the option to block certain numbers. How many depends on how you go about it – services tend to only let you block a small number (around 10), while some call blocking devices can block as many as 1,000.
Individual number blocking is available on some phones, as well as via your phone provider or through most call blockers.
International call blocking
If most of your calls from abroad are from a man in Mumbai trying to offer you an upgrade on your broadband, then you might be tempted to block international calls. Only UK-based phone numbers will be able to get through to you, although the trueCall call blocker will also let any friends or relatives abroad enter a special code to bypass the block.
International call blocking is available on some phones or through most call blockers.