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.
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.
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.