You can make outgoing calls from either the handset or the base. The base has an on-screen number pad and a speaker phone for this purpose. The handsets are similar to other cordless phones. To make a call, you simply type in the number and press the "send" button.
The base and handsets can also function like an intercom system. When activating handsets, you can designate which one is which. You can broadcast a message from a handset or the base to all the other Hub devices in your system or to just one of them.
When you make a call from the Verizon Hub, you do so over the voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) standard. Instead of using phone lines, these calls travel through broadband Internet connections. When you speak on a VoIP handset, the device sends the information across data lines the same way everything transfers on the Internet: in little pieces called packets. The packets travel across the network to the destination and reassemble. The person on the other end hears your speech. The process takes a fraction of a second.
There are some drawbacks to VoIP. The first is that it depends upon the reliability of your high-speed Internet connection. If your Internet connection isn't reliable, your phone calls will be choppy. It might be hard for you and the person with whom you're speaking to understand the conversation. Verizon recommends that you have a broadband connection capable of downloading data at 1.5 megabits per second at a minimum.
Another drawback is if you lose power, you won't be able to make any phone calls using the Verizon Hub. Unlike traditional phones, the Hub draws its power from power outlets rather than a phone line. If you lose power -- or if your broadband connection goes down -- your Hub will be out of service. That could become a serious problem if there's an emergency, which is why you should always have another phone -- cell phone or otherwise -- as a backup. Verizon has included a backup number feature that sends incoming calls to a backup number of your choice in the event of a power outage.
Verizon designed the Hub to work within the United States. While the Hub may work in other countries, Verizon stresses that using the device in an unauthorized location could violate local laws.