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How do I Choose the Best Wireless Pager?

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan

To choose the best wireless pager, you must understand the features available on paging devices and your own specific needs. You may find that certain features are a higher priority for you than others. For instance, a restaurant needs a simple, short range pager which has a tone or light alert. A family that wants to use a pager for simple text communication needs a more complex model with two way capabilities. Familiarize yourself with the types of wireless pagers available and then compare them to your needs, then you can make the best choice.

There are basically four types of wireless pagers: signal, numeric, alphanumeric, and two way. A signal wireless pager is the simplest, offering only a tone, vibrate, or light alert. A numeric or alphanumeric wireless pager has a small screen on which callback numbers or messages are displayed. Two way pagers are usually alphanumeric, have a small screen to view messages, and also have some type of keyboard to type messages.

On-call hospital staff is expected to carry their wireless pager with them at all times.
On-call hospital staff is expected to carry their wireless pager with them at all times.

Signal pagers are commonly found in restaurants, hospitals, and houses of worship. These pagers are often part of a set, ranging from fewer than ten pagers to over a hundred individual handsets, depending on the need. The range of a signal wireless pager is short, typically a few hundred to a few thousand feet.

Quick recharging and a variety of customizable alert combinations are useful features in a signal wireless pager. It is also good to find a pager which has a warning alert to indicate when a handset has gone out of range. This helps clients remember to return the pager before leaving the premises. Some pager companies also offer labeling so that your company or business information is on every handset.

Some wireless pagers have texting capabilities.
Some wireless pagers have texting capabilities.

Numeric and alphanumeric pagers are often used by professionals who must be contacted quickly over a range of several miles. The pager has a unique number, which can be called from a telephone, cell phone, or through certain Internet websites. Numeric pagers can only accept a callback number from the caller. Alphanumeric pagers can receive text messages and sometimes e-mail. Usually, there is a subscription and fee required for this service.

The best numeric and alphanumeric pagers can store over 15 messages, have an easy to read display, 90-day or longer battery life, and multiple alert options. You should also look for an alphanumeric pager with an out-of-range indicator, so that you will know if you go out of the service range of your pager. An alarm clock is another common and useful feature found on these types of pagers.

Two way pagers have the capacity to receive and send messages. They work something like the short message service (SMS) text messages commonly available on cell phones. Some also offer a voicemail service and can send select pre-programed voicemails. Two way pagers have a range of many miles but typically require a subscription service with a fee that is usually comparable to the monthly fee for a cell phone. These are popular among families and businesses who need to communicate regularly throughout the day.

Many two way pagers have a QWERTY keyboard. This feature makes texting easy and fast. You should also look for a large storage capacity to hold both your messages and virtual address book. A rechargeable handset is the most cost efficient, but check the product to find out how many days a typical charge will last.

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    • On-call hospital staff is expected to carry their wireless pager with them at all times.
      By: JPagetRFphotos
      On-call hospital staff is expected to carry their wireless pager with them at all times.
    • Some wireless pagers have texting capabilities.
      By: visi.stock
      Some wireless pagers have texting capabilities.