What is a Smart Call Blocker?

Smart Call Blocker

What is Smart Call Blocker?

The truth is that scam callers are outsmarting landline phones. And honestly, it is only getting easier and cheaper for them to do so.

This means you need to prepare for even more ringing. All. Day. Long.

In an attempt to stave off the scammers, technology is racing to keep up with the demand of consumers seeking a solution to spam calls while spammers are getting more and more creative in their tactics. The concept of a smart call blocker is to block the bad guys while letting the good guys through.  

Aka - making your landline "smart."

The typical landline phone of yesterday came with standard options like built in answering machine and caller ID capability. Today, some brands are offering a smart call blocker as a new feature. Each model is a bit unique but all are designed to do the same: block spam, scam and robocalls on your landline.

As you'll see, not all smart call blockers are actually all that smart. Some work better than others. But only one works 100% of the time.

Are All Smart Call Blockers Created Equal?

"Smart call blockers" is a category of devices for landline phones that try to block calls you don't want.

Smart call blockers come in all shapes and sizes from all kinds of different phone companies. But the truth is not every smart call blocker works.

In fact, most smart call blockers only stop about 5% of unwanted calls. Which isn't very helpful.

With 40 million households using landline phones, it's no wonder call blocking is such a wildly sought after solution. Especially as spam, scam and robocalls continue to plague landline phone users. And

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Meet imp: THe Smartest of the Smart Call Blockers

We outline below the various smart call blocking devices available for landline phones. But we want to start by telling why imp is different and how its able to stop 100% of unwanted landline calls.

The secret behind imp's success is simple: it starts with the calls you actually want.

At setup, imp pairs the contacts from your smart phone to your landline via our imp box hardware. From there it checks every single call that comes in. If its someone imp recognizes, your phone rings. Otherwise imp silently handles the call for you and takes a message.

All of the other smart call blockers take the opposite approach of focusing on calls you don't want. It is impossible for this strategy to work. Think about it: there are hundreds of millions of phone numbers available. And scammers know how to access them all (and even make them look like its your neighbor calling). So these call blockers are trying to analyze hundreds of millions of phone numbers in real time, sifting through all of the spoofed data that comes with it. There is no way for this to work.

But if you are only working with a couple hundred numbers (on average people have ~500 contacts in their phone), checking for those becomes much more doable.

This is why imp is able to stop 100% of your unwanted landline calls.

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Big Brands with Smart Call Blockers: AT&T, Panasonic, VTech


The AT&T smart call blocker feature lets you block callers with a little bit of work. To screen robocalls, you set the device to ask the callers to press the # key. For unknown callers, it will ask them to record their name and then press the # key. Once these steps are taken, the phone rings and announces the caller's name and you can choose to block or answer the call, or forward the call to the answering system.


With the Panasonic device, you can press the call block button in the following situations to disconnect the current call and add a phone number to the call block list:

• when an incoming call is being received

• when an incoming call is being recorded on the answering machine

• when talking on and outside call

Once a phone number has been added to the call block list, the unit will block calls from that phone number in the future. Up to 250 single phone numbers and ranges of numbers can be stored in the call block list. You can add to your block list manually or by pairing your cell phone. You also have the option to view/edit or erase any of your blocked numbers.


The V-Tech system works similarly to the AT&T system. It also allows you to "blacklist" up to 1,000 numbers. It can filter robocalls and unwanted calls while allowing other calls to get through. To screen out robocalls, you set it to ask the callers to press the pound key. To screen out unknown callers, you update your settings to ask the callers to record their names and press the pound key. After your caller completes the request, the phone rings and announces the caller's name. You then can choose to block or answer the call, or forward the call to the answering system.

All three of these phones with smart call blocker features are helpful in dealing with the endless stream of spam calls. And anyone with a home landline knows the extent of these calls with many of them are not only annoying but down right dangerous. The Harris Poll and Truecaller research report from March 2022 revealed that an estimated $39.5 billion was lost to phone scams during this past year.

Do these smart call blockers work?

The short answer is: 'kinda'.

Each of the smart call blocker features on the above phones can only block a certain number of calls. And the user is usually required to set up and monitor each and every call that comes in.

So even if you added 300 numbers to your smart call blocker system, there are literally millions more known spam numbers out there that you will not be able to identify - let alone stop - until they call. 

Making things even more difficult, there are times when a number can look familiar so you may pick up.  Neighbor spoofing might be at play. Basically, they use a spoofed caller ID to trick a person into thinking somebody local, possibly even someone they know, is calling. This can easily trick an unsuspecting individual to answer their phone.

As you can see, this is why these smart call blockers 'kinda' work. The process quickly become more complicated (and time-consuming) than it is worth especially since spam, scam and robocallers are savvy, resourceful and relentless.

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When is it worth investing in a smart call blocker?

Spending money to actually block a number on a landline phone is money well spent. But only if it actually works 100% of the time.

Unfortunately, only 5% of calls are successfully blocked using traditional call blocking methods. And since only 20% of calls are actually wanted, This means the almost 75% of calls received are unwanted and ring through to your landline. So even though consumers are in desperate need of a solution - and are even willing to pay for it - these call blockers for landlines have not been worth the purchase.

Until now.

the imp system a landline call blocker that works

Meet imp - a wicked smart call blocker
(that works 100% of the time)

The imp system is like a smart call blocker. But smarter.

Since imp is actually not only a smart call blocker but rather a an overall smart home call-filtering system, it stops 100% of the unwanted calls and so much more. imp is designed to focus on calls a person actually wants to receive while never ever letting any unknown number from ringing through. That means no spam, scam, robocall, political call, survey, or any other unwanted call will ever make your phone ring.

As we talked about above, making one of the AT&T or Panasonic or V-Tech smart call blockers work for you requires a lot of your time. You have to be near your phone, manually updating as you go. On top of that, you have limits to the number of callers you can actually block. imp is much easier to implement. Using the imp app on your smartphone, you are able to manage your landline from anywhere at any time. You can see who called directly in the app and even listen to your messages anywhere. There is no complicated set up or prompts asking callers to perform tests. If imp doesn't recognize them, then the system simply takes a message. And there are no limits to the number of unknown or unwanted callers imp can handle.

Likewise, traditional call blockers also fall short when it comes to dealing with unwanted landline calls. These devices also focus solely on numbers identified as spam which they then collect in a database. If one of these specific numbers calls a landline with a blocker, it will indeed block the call. BUT this is only true IF the number is already in the collected database. And as we now know, tens of thousands of new spam phone numbers are created everyday - not to mention all of the spoofed numbers constantly created.

So, call blocking - whether it is the traditional approach or the newer smart call blocker devices - is never going to catch all the calls and your landline will still ring with these callers. But if you have the imp system connected to your landline, none of these calls will ever reach you.

How is imp different?

The imp call filtering system takes the opposite approach from traditional call blockers. Instead of fruitlessly focusing on the calls you don't want, imp gives all the attention to the calls you do want. How does imp do that? By silently checking each and every call for you. If it is a number imp recognizes, the caller will ring through. But if it is anyone else, imp will simply take a message for you without the phone ringing once.

The plug and pay set up easily syncs your smartphone contacts with your landline phone. From that moment on, the ONLY calls ringing on your phone are your contacts. The rest are answered through a smart answering system that gives the caller the opportunity to leave a message. As an imp user, you will get a notification on your smartphone that imp has handled a call and you can jump on the app, see who it was and decide how you would like to proceed.

Since imp is not playing the losing game of trying to block every spam, scam, and robocall call, you are 100% guaranteed that your landline phone will NEVER ring from any of those numbers.

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