9 Best Call Blockers | April 2017

9 Best Call Blockers | April 2017
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We spent 31 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. Skip to the best call blocker on Amazon.
The TeleZapper TZ 900 guards your privacy by emitting a special tone that makes your number appear disconnected to computer-generated calls. It's a tiny model that connects between your phone and the wall outlet, but it cannot be programmed for specific callers.
  • built-in battery
  • extremely easy to install and use
  • beeps whenever you pick up
Brand Privacy Technologies
Model TZ-900
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
The SoulBay 1500 is a highly functional, low-cost device that gets the job done. Not only will it block unwanted calls on your landline, but it can also be hooked up to a fax machine to prevent solicitous faxes from wasting your paper.
  • blocks number from 3 to 16 digits
  • 4 brightness levels
  • not compatible with cordless phones
Brand SoulBay
Model pending
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
The LeeKer LK-P06W Landline can block area codes and prefixes of up to five digits, so even the more clever solicitors and robocallers out there can't sneak past its defenses. It has a memory of 100 incoming numbers, so you can see what's been stopped.
  • very easy to set up
  • clear lcd screen
  • some compatibility issues
Brand LeeKer
Model pending
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
With the simple press of a button, the HQ-Telecom T-lock 5.0 stores a number to its permanent blacklist, and it can be set to automatically block calls with no caller ID. It is conveniently line-powered and doesn't need to be plugged into an outlet.
  • tracks last 100 callers
  • compatible with voip services
  • no communication with handset
Brand hqtelecom (OEM)
Model CT-CID803 V5.0
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
The CPR V108 offers a quick solution to pesky callers, as it is preprogrammed with 200 rogue calling numbers to start you off right. It is a good choice for small apartments or offices without a lot of space, as it has a very compact body.
  • works on all home phone lines
  • company has great tech support
  • doesn't track blocked calls
Brand CPR Call Blocker
Model V108
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The Tel-Lynx Guardian will automatically block robocalls and scammers without you having to worry about managing whitelists or blacklists. It features integrated voicemail and an intuitive dial by name function from any type of telephone.
  • remote admin with no monthly fees
  • blocks nearly all telemarketers
  • settable ring patterns for friends
Brand nVideon
Model TLG
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
The backlit LCD on the Digitone ProSeries shows you the name and number of incoming calls, as well as the time and date of each. It can block entire area codes and exchanges or specific callers that you select for the unit's blacklist.
  • works on analog phone lines
  • 1000-number bank
  • 1-year warranty
Brand Digitone
Model pending
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
The Sentry 3.1 Screener is fully automatic once you've completed its relatively simple setup process. It boasts 100 percent effectiveness on telemarketing, election, and robocalls, and it allows you to record a personalized outgoing message.
  • informative lcd readout
  • worldwide compatibility
  • easy-to-program whitelist
Brand Sentry Call Blocker
Model V2.0
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
The compact CPR V5000 features a large, red "Block Now" button for quick call blocking, as well as the ability to respond to touch-tone input from your handset. It comes with 500 scam numbers preprogrammed, to get you started immediately.
  • blocks entire area or country codes
  • extremely easy to use
  • includes a free line splitter
Brand CPR Call Blocker
Model V5000
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

How Call Blockers Work

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.

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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Last updated on April 24 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.