Wisdom of Cordless Telephones

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. No matter how long a telephone extension cord I buy, it manages to be one inch shorter than I need to reach a document or that cup of coffee I left on the shelf. I’ve been thinking of dumping my regular corded phone and using a cordless instead—not a cell phone but simply a plain cordless. Are you aware of any downsides—such as security—to such a plan? I have heard stories about conversations on cordless phones that were picked up by other phones. And I have to be concerned about privacy.

A. Not only do I know of no downsides, but I would encourage you to pursue the idea. It makes no sense to be tethered to a phone. Today’s cordless phones—operating at 900 Megahertz—have an extended range of hundreds of feet. Some even claim a range of several hundred yards through walls and floors. Privacy is assured with these phones because they contain microchips that not only scramble the transmission but also vary the transmission frequency, making eavesdropping nearly impossible. Some wireless phones even can handle multiple incoming numbers, too.

Hello Direct, a mail order company, puts out a catalog with a wide assortment of such phone equipment. You can access the company at www.hellodirect.com or telephone them on your corded phone one last time at 800-444-3556.

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