Deciding what you need before you shop can save money. Here is a list of the most popular features:
Auto scan channel-hopping: This feature automatically scans various frequencies for the channel with the greatest clarity.
Call log: This feature stores the last few numbers dialed on the handset so the user can scroll through if necessary.
Call waiting ID: If you want to know who's calling on call waiting, the screen identifies the caller's phone number and, on some models, the name of the caller.
Channels: Cordless phones using the 900 MHz radio band automatically monitor a variety of transmission channels and select the clearest one. Lots of channels means your phone has a greater chance of switching to another one if you encounter interference.
Digital security codes: These help prevent unauthorized use of your phone line and protect against false rings from other cordless phones in the area.
Memory telephone numbers: This feature allows you to store telephone numbers in memory.
Out-of-range alert: This beep lets you know you've walked out of frequency range while using the phone, and you need to move closer to the base unit.
Page find: Some phones have a one-way paging system to help you locate the phone if you misplace it; other phones have two-way paging to alert either party that the other is looking for them.
Range: If your work area is small, a short range may be all you need; if you wander more than 1,000 feet from your desk, look for a long-range model.
Standby time: This is the number of minutes, hours or days the phone handset can function away from the base unit without being recharged.
Time and date stamp: Some phones display this on screen; others use a digitized voice.
Jill Amadio is a writer in Newport Beach, California.