The 6 Best Call Blockers
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Since it became illegal to send robocalls to cellphones, marketers and pollsters have refocused their efforts on those people who still have landlines. If that's you, you can take back your privacy and rid yourself of annoying salespeople with one of these call blockers. With programmable lists, many of the options we've rated let you decide who gets through. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best call blocker on Amazon.
How Call Blockers Work
Call blockers are fantastic way to screen out calls from unwanted parties.
Cellphones do this automatically, but most traditional landlines need a separate device, either a call blocker or a caller ID.
Call blockers are fantastic way to screen out calls from unwanted parties. Whether you are trying to block marketing or collection calls, or even those from specific people you would rather not talk to, a call blocker could be the answer. The best way to think of a call blocker is like a combination of a caller ID and an answering machine. First, the caller ID component identifies the telephone number that the call has originated from, and if it matches one of the numbers on the block list, it will automatically answer the phone for you and playback an automated message telling the caller that their number has been blocked.
Call blockers are able to identify the number the call originates from because every phone number is like a fingerprint. When a person makes a call, their telephone number is transmitted along the phone lines as a series beeps at varying frequencies. This code can be read by the called phone and then displayed to the person being called. Cellphones do this automatically, but most traditional landlines need a separate device, either a call blocker or a caller ID. Some landline phones now have caller ID built right into the telephone.
Even when a number comes up as blocked on your caller ID, the number is transmitted to your phone, but at the caller's request, the phone company has hidden it from view. People can manually block their number by dialing *67 before dialing a phone number. Some companies use automatic call blockers that are integrated into their phone systems or subscribe to a service that blocks their number for them so their employees do not need to waste time manually entering the *67 code every time they make a call.
Call blockers contain a list of anywhere from 500 to 5000 scam numbers that are known to be used for robocalls and marketing calls. Many allow you to add new numbers to the blocked list immediately after hanging up the phone or by going into the settings.
The Inventor Of Caller ID
The invention of caller ID is somewhat muddled and it is difficult to determine who deserves the most credit. A number of different inventors in different countries have all been issued caller ID patents, which makes it even more confusing. There is no arguing that Theodore George Paraskevakos first started development on a system that could automatically identify a callers telephone number. He created the tone method that is still used today to transmit telephone numbers via telephone lines. Between 1969 and 1975, he was issued 20 patents relating to automatic telephone number identification. He was also issued patents relating to sending alphanumeric information along telephone lines so that a caller's name and other details could be sent. In 1971, while working in conjunction with Boeing, he constructed the first working caller ID device. After being installed in the People's Telephone Company in Leesburg, Alabama, it was demonstrated to various telephone companies.
In 1976, a well-known Japanese inventor by the name of Kazuo Hashimoto was also issued a patent for a caller ID device. His prototype was also capable of receiving a caller's name and telephone number, and was soon licensed to many of the major telecommunications companies throughout the world. To further complicate matters, a Brazilian inventor named Vladir Bravo Salinas was issued a patent by the Brazilian Patent and Trademarks Office in 1977. It was the first patent issued for caller ID in Brazil, but by 1980, two more Brazilian inventors, Nélio José Nicolai and João da Cunha Doya, applied for caller ID device patents. Mr. Doya's application, filed on May 2nd of 1980 was approved, while Mr. Nicolai's patent, filed on July 2nd, 1980 was denied and cited as being a copy of Mr. Doya's device. Just one year later another patent for a caller ID device was issued to two more Brazilian inventors.
Features To Look For In A Call Blocker
One of the first features you want to look for in a call blocker is a large preprogrammed repertoire of robocall and scam numbers. This will make the unit more effective from the outset and will require less of your time to add additional numbers. Some units may come with as little as 200 preprogrammed numbers, while others may have well over 1,000.
In general, the more automation a call blocking device has, the easier it will be to use and the less you will be bothered by unwanted calls.
Another feature that can make your life easier is the ability to add new numbers after hanging up a call by simply pressing a button. Some models have an easy to access button on the top of the unit that will allows users to press a single button to block the last number that called, without requiring you to delve deeper into the units settings.
In general, the more automation a call blocking device has, the easier it will be to use and the less you will be bothered by unwanted calls. Some units allow you to automatically block any number with no caller ID. Since many sales and marketing callers block their number, as do many collection companies, this can be a great feature for those looking to avoid any calls of this type. Try and avoid models that depend on you to spend a lot of time managing whitelists and blacklists, as this can be very time consuming and some may find it overly complicated.
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