Comparing the Extend ATA to the X-Link adapter

I’ve used two X-Link adapters for nearly 20 years. One connects to my home phone system, the other to my SO’s home phone system. Both of these home phone systems are older, two-line systems. Mine has one local and 4 remote handsets, hers has one local and 6 remote handsets.

Over the years the X-link adapters have been extremely reliable. The ones we have simultaneously connect up to 3 cell phones to our home phone systems. Each cell phone automatically connects via Bluetooth so once configure there is nothing else to do but get within about 30’ of the device. Bluetooth protocols have undergone a lot of upgrades over time. Firmware updates to the X-Link adapter have kept up with them.

The X-Link adapter is easier to connect to a home phone system than the Extend ATA because it involves only a power connection and a phone system connection. The ATA must also connect to an Ethernet router which may or may not be in close proximity or have and open Ethernet port. In my case I faced both problems and used an Ethernet switch to solve them. This solution isn’t possible at my SO’s condo but I could get one to work at her place using an Ethernet-to-WiFi adapter.

The ATA provides better audio than does the X-Link adapter probably because the direct connection to the router is better than the Bluetooth connection. Moreover, the ATA essentially delivers a land-line equivalent (nearly equivalent) home phone with the same telephone number as one’s cell phone. I say “nearly” because the plain old telephone land lines have backup battery/generator power that keeps them going when the power fails. In my case my cell number is in my local exchange so my neighbors can call it from their land lines without incurring long distance charges. Didn’t we all dream of having the same number for all of our devices?

The Extend ATA provides a backup for lost, stolen or broken cellphones. This will be very handy while waiting to obtain a replacement cell phone.

There is no service charge for using the X-Link adapter. RW has not said whether or what service charge will be required with the ATA but I presume there will be one because it is constantly connected to their switch just like any other wired or VOIP service. For my SO and me this will involve a value judgement. Will shutting down our conventional land lines offset the cost of the Extend ATA VOIP Line? In her case, probably because her land line is wired and completely separate from her cable internet service. My wired land line uses the same copper as my DSL service and my lying telephone company claims it is necessary to have phone service in order to have DSL service. Cable service is unavailable to me.

In summary, with one cell phone at home I believe the Extend AT is superior to the X-Link adapter . It remains to be seen if overcoming connection issues is fairly cheap and it makes sense financially.

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I think these devices serve two very different purposes. If I simply want it to be easier for me to answer my cell when at home, then I use a bluetooth device like the X-Link or one of the cordless phones with Bluetooth built in.

If I want to have a fully functioning second connection to my cell phone number. Something my wife can use when I’m not home. Something I can use when the cell is lost. Etc, then a solution like this makes sense.

I’m not sure there’s a whole lot of overlap between the options.

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Our primary reason for getting the X-Link adapters was to avoid having to carry our cell phones around the house. It is perfect for that but the Extend ATA does that with better quality audio and other benefits albeit for just one phone.

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