Textphone software

What is textphone software and how can it help?

A textphone is a device that enables phone calls to be made using text. Textphone software can be used on a computer to enable it to be used as a textphone.

Older textphone software uses a type of modem that converts the text into audio signals which are sent over the phone line. Although this software is often cheap or free, the type of modem it relies on can be difficult to find and set up – and may require an expert to fix any problems that may arise.

There is software that allows you to make textphone calls using your internet connection. This is often easier to use because you do not have to deal with the modems directly, but you will probably need to set up an account with the service provider.

What should I look for when buying one?

If you are not highly technical or cannot call on the assistance of someone who is, then it is strongly recommended that you try to avoid having to deal with modems directly.

Accessibility of the software is important and you should make sure that you can access all of its features. Check that the software can receive incoming calls as well as making outgoing calls and find out what number people will need to ring to call you.

Software that requires an account to be set up will still use the phone lines to place calls and is likely to charge these costs back to you. Ask about the cost of calls. They may be more expensive than standard voice phone calls.

Possible stockists

Please note: The list below is not exhaustive and Sense is not responsible for the content of the external sites nor do we endorse the products mentioned.

Action on Hearing Loss

First published: Tuesday 22 May 2012
Updated: Wednesday 26 February 2014