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Phones for house and internet use

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I shall be resident in France from 3rd September and I have just been thinking about what type of phones I shall need. I am used to DECT portable phones in the UK and would like to carry that on in France. However, reading this forum it seems that a lot has been said about having a phone that is not portable in case things go wrong i.e. storms and power cuts etc. What I really need to know is, do I have to get a specific type of phone for use with my PC so that I can make calls via the internet. And do I need to have my PC on all the time to receive calls that way, also is it normal to have more than one telephone socket in a French house or would I need FT to add more (just one in bedroom). Any info gratefully accepted.


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1)   If you are having a France Telecom subscription,  then you can plug a conventional (non powered) phone into a socket and be fine during a power cut.  You can also plug in a DECT phone, it will be fine too if the power is on,  but will stop working in a power cut.

2)   If you take out an ADSL package (Broadband) it may well offer calls via the internet.   In this case you can plug a DECT or ordinary phone into the box that comes with the ADSL package,  and you do not need the computer on either to make or receive calls.  However,  if there is a power cut the box of course goes dead and so do any phones (of whatever sort) plugged into it.   However,  if you've kept your FT subscription you can still use that,  assuming you've got a conventional non powered phone plugged into the FT socket.

3)    In many areas you can ditch the FT sub and just have the ADSL service.   However,  ours falls over most evenings for - often - an hour or two,  and so we have kept our FT sub as a standby.  You'd feel pretty stupid if the house caught fire during an ADSL outage if - like us - running into the street and yelling would only disturb a few cows.

4)    As to making phone calls via VOIP on its own (rather than by an ADSL package),  I don't know the answer.   However I think you need a special VOIP phone and I imagine the ocmputer does have to be switched on.   That's one for a computer geek to answer!

5)   It's not difficult to fit extra sockets if there is already a "master" socket in the house,  but I don't think FT charge that much for doing it,  and if you're new to France it might be worth paying the money and having it done by the pros.   Especially if you can't tell if it's a master socket (generally if you can unplug the phone there will be a master socket somewhere.

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Just to add a bit to Matin's point 4) above ( and no, I'm not a computer geek [geek] )

I make calls from my computer using one of the VOIP providers and I use an ordinary microphone to speak and the computer speakers for the incoming. You can also buy a headset ( like a call centre [:D] ).

You can buy a VOIP phone which, I think, plugs into the computer. Peaople say that this gives a better reception than either the microphone or the headset although 99% of the time I'm happy just using my microphone.

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