Nuisance calls are an ever-increasing problem. From annoying telesales staff who always seem to phone when it’s least convenient to automated “robocalls,” nuisance calls cost time and money. In the case of genuinely malicious calls, they can also be harmful, causing unnecessary stress and anxiety. While BT and other telephone service providers typically offer a withheld number blocking service, this usually is subscription-based, increasing your phone bill. You can usually block individual numbers, but this can be very tedious. It’s not always effective, either, as the more persistent callers can simply switch to another line.
Fortunately there is an effective solution: installing a call blocker. Call blockers are hardware units or software applications that intercept all incoming calls and block those that meet its nuisance call criteria. A call blocker will typically have built-in list of numbers known to be responsible for nuisance calls, such as those used by telesales companies; you can also add extra numbers to the banned list. Additionally, call blockers can refuse calls where the caller is withholding their number. Call blockers are useful for both private individuals and businesses, protecting the peace and quiet of one’s home and improving efficiency and productivity in the office.
Hardware Call Blockers
A hardware call blocker is an electronic device that you connect between the phone line and your telephone. They typically cost between £50 and £100, although cheaper and more expensive models are available.
Hardware units are generally very easy to install. You simply connect the unit to the socket in your wall as your would an ordinary telephone and then plug your telephone into the socket in the call blocker.
If a nuisance call arrives from a new caller that isn’t on the blocker’s list of banned numbers, you can add that number to the list once the call is terminated. A popular feature for call blockers is a button that simplifies the process by cutting off the call and automatically adding the caller’s number to the blocked list.
Most units give you the option of programming in a list of trusted numbers that the machine will never reject. Typically, you can populate this list from your mobile phone contacts.
Editing Your Banned List
If you need to check the list of banned numbers and possibly change or remove some of them, there are various ways in which you can do this. Some devices let you edit the list from your phone while others provide a Web-based interface.
Many call blockers come with an extra port for your fax machine, allowing you to block spam faxes. Features such as a built-in answer-phone and voicemail are also popular. Some high-end devices let you record your telephone conversations.
Software Call Blockers
If you use a smartphone, you can install a software application that blocks unwanted calls. When downloading and installing any application from the Internet, always choose a reputable source to avoid the risk of malicious software.
- Key Takeaways:
- Call blockers can be hardware or software based.
- They rely on a list of banned numbers and banned codes, as well as blocking calls where the caller withheld their number.
- You can add new numbers to the banned list and create a list of trusted numbers.
- Many units offer additional features such as voicemail.