An answering machine allows you to screen phone calls and records messages if you are away from the phone or choose not to answer. Most modern answering machines no longer use cassette tapes, relying instead on a digital recording device to save messages. Once the answering machine is connected to your phone, receiving messages is an easy task.
Unpack the answering machine from the box and locate the telephone cord that is included in the package.
Unplug your existing phone from the telephone wall jack. Plug the new cord into the jack.
Plug the opposite end of the new cord into the answering machine in the slot labelled "line."
Plug your existing telephone cord into the slot on the back of the answering machine labelled "phone."
Connect the power plug to the appropriate plug-in port on the back of the answering machine, then plug it into an electrical socket.
Record your message for the answering machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Set up the time and date using the instructions for your particular machine. The machine will now answer the phone when you are away and record messages from callers.
Depending on the manufacturer of the answering machine, you can often set the machine to answer on any one of the first through fourth rings, giving you plenty of time to answer the call yourself if desired.