An online answering machine works just like a regular answering device. The only divergence is that you have to connect your phone to the computer instead of a traditional answering device. The online answering works on both dial-up and broadband connections and ensures that you do not miss any call. The answering software allows you to listen to messages as and when they are being recorded, and also download other messages and listen to them much later.
Here are step-by-step instructions that will help you install and setup online answering software:
- Before downloading and installing the software, do check if your computer has the necessary space and memory, and the appropriate modem. You will need a voice modem – space and memory should not be a constraint.
- Before buying any software, download the trial version and test it. It must be easy to use and you should take a liking to it before buying it. Most answering software companies offer a free trial, and you should try 3-4 different software before zeroing on to one.
- After choosing convenient answering software, you should buy and download it. Save the exe file in a folder of your choice.
- Remove the line cord from your telephone and connect it to the modem port in your computer. The other end should be plugged into the wall jack. Connect the telephone line to your modem. If you need clarity on this step, talk to customer support of the online answering software vendor.
- Now, install the answering software. Install it as recommended in its manual or as per directions printed on the installation screens.
- You have to now configure the software based on your preferences – For example: set the number of rings that should be allowed before the software answers the phone, set the silence detector and the toll saver features. You also should configure the recording time limit for messages. Check all the other features in the software and set them up as per your requirements.
- Next, set up one or many mailboxes to record a greeting message. You can record multiple messages – one each for every mailbox. Many software tools have a feature that allows you to record a special greeting for a few phone numbers of your choice.
- To stop unauthorized people from accessing your messages, you must setup a password. Note down the password in your diary. Remember, you can even access your messages remotely.
- If you are the type of guy who gets very important messages all the time, then you should enable email forwarding of messages. That way every message will be forwarded to your email inbox.
- If you want to be alerted every time a new message rolls in, then you have to configure the appropriate alert option.
Finally, do not install an Internet answering machine without equipping your computer with a robust firewall and antivirus programs. You don’t want people hacking into your computer and stealing your precious data, including the important messages in your mailboxes.
Roger A. Delatorre is a blogger from Minneapolis, MN who recommends checking out MaxEmail for a simple solution for an internet answering machine.