How to Connect a Landline Phone to a Modem

If you bundle your phone and internet, plug your phone in through your router

What to Know

  • Connect your router to your modem, then plug the phone line into the “Phone 1” or “Tel 1” port on your router.
  • If you have a modem-router combo, just plug the phone line into the “Phone 1” or “Tel 1” port.
  • For DSL modems, you must use an additional telephone cable to connect the DSL port to a wall jack.

This article explains how to connect a landline phone to a modem. Instructions apply generally to all modems including cable modems, fiber optic modems, and modem-router combination devices.

How to Connect a Landline Phone to a Modem

Before you begin, your modem and internet service must be set up. Unless your modem has an extra phone port, you'll have to connect the phone through your router.

If your router and modem don't have phone ports, ask your service provider about what type of equipment you need to set up phone service.

  1. Connect your router to your modem if they are not already connected.

  2. Turn off your router and modem by unplugging the power supply.

  3. With the phone disconnected from the power supply, connect the phone line from the phone to the Phone port on your router.

    If there are two phone ports, look for the port labeled “Phone 1” or “Tel 1.” You would only use the second one if you have two lines with separate numbers.

  4. If you have a DSL modem, use another telephone cable to connect the DSL port to a wall jack.

    An Ethernet bridge with an open DSL port

    deepblue4you / Getty Images

  5. Plug in the power supply for your modem, router, and phone in that order. Wait a few minutes for everything to power on and boot up. If everything is connected properly, the phone light on your router will blink then turn solid.

  6. Depending on your service, you may need to call a number to activate your phone line. Check with your ISP for further help setting up your internet and phone.

  7. Pick up the phone and listen for a dial tone, then make a test call.

If you're having trouble with your phone or internet connections, try rebooting your modem and router.

Can I Connect My Landline Phone to My Router?

As long as your router has a phone port, you should be able to connect it to a landline phone. Depending on how your home is wired, you may be able to connect additional phones to the wall phone jacks. If you want to connect multiple phones to the same modem or wall jack, you may need a phone splitter. Either way, you must connect a phone to the modem to activate your phone service.

If you have a dial-up modem, plug one end of a phone line into the “Line” port of the modem, and plug the other end into the wall jack. Then, connect another phone line from the phone to the “Phone 1” or “Tel 1” port on the modem.

Can You Connect a Landline to Wi-Fi?

You can't connect your phone to your router or modem wirelessly. You must have a physical connection. Even if you have a wireless phone, the phone base must be plugged into a phone port. With this setup, the modem may use a technology know as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) to turn audio data into signals which can be transferred via the internet.

The quality of your phone connection depends on your internet speed. Makes sure both your modem and your router meet the requirements for your internet plan.

How Do I Connect My Home Phone to My NBN Modem?

If you live in Australia, your modem must be compatible with the National Broadband Network (NBN) standard. Follow the instructions above to connect a phone to your NBN modem. If you have a fiber optical connection, connect the phone line to the Uni-V port on your NBN Connection Box.

  • Can I get internet without cable or phone service?

    Most ISPs offer internet plans without cable or phone service. That said, you can't get cable internet if cable TV isn't available where you live.

  • Are landlines more secure than VoIP?

    Traditional landlines are more secure than VoIP because they are harder to hack. If you get phone service through your modem, then you're using VoIP. Fortunately, ISPs provide multiple layers of encryption to protect your privacy.

  • Is my Wi-Fi interfering with my cordless phone?

    Possibly. If you suspect that your W-Fi signal is interfering with your cordless phone, the easiest solution is to move the phone base away from your router.

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