Answering machine

An answering machine is able to accept missed calls and greet the caller with a personalised message. After the message is played it provides the option to leave a message which the called person can listen to on their return. The call acceptance by the answering machine can be configured in a number of ways: Answering machines can be set so that they only play a short message, without a subsequent recording option. They can answer every call immediately or after a certain number of rings. They can also be set so that no calls will be accepted. Modern answering machines are also able to store fax calls so that they are available for later retrieval or printing out. The earliest devices were equipped with magnetic audio tape, on which the welcome messages and caller messages were stored. Modern answering machines are almost exclusively equipped with digital storage.

Answering machine within a terminal device

Today, answering machines are often built into a telephone. With many cordless DECT telephones, the answering machine function is integrated in to the DECT base. For the device to be ready for use, it must be connected to the telephone network and activated. Alternatively, separate answering machines can be connected as external devices between a telephone and the telephone line.

Answering machine in the telephone network or the cloud

Increasingly, the answering machine is no longer a separate physical device, but it is provided as a feature by the telephone network provider. The answering machine stores messages and data on central servers, and can be enabled and configured through the local phone. Messages are listen to via the telephone. This solution offers the advantage that no separate answering machine is required at the customer's home. The function is independent of whether the actual connection is available and can, for example, record messages when there is a local fault on the telephone or line.

The modern Voice over IP telephony and cloud PBX systems mostly provide answering machine features centrally in the form of a voicemail box as standard. Thanks to the linking of computers and telephones through Internet technology these answering machines can now offer numerous additional functions.

Special features

Central network mailboxes, and also local answering machines, can usually be accessed remotely. By calling the device and entering a secret PIN recorded messages can be retrieved from any telephone. The signalling that messages have been received is done on a local display. Central voicemail systems alert by telephone call, or by an electronic text message. Modern solutions are able to send an audio message as an email attachment to any email address.

Further information


Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications, abgekürzt DECT, bezeichnet einen Übertragungsstandard für die kabellose Übertragung von Telefonaten oder auch Daten.

DECT wird häufig für die schnurlose…

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