What Are They? Where Can I Get Them? How Do I Get Them Onto My Cell Phone?

Ringtone is the sound made by a telephone to indicate an incoming call. Recently, the term has come to mean the customized ring that comes to a cell phone. Individual specialty ringtones are helpful to cell phone users so they can differentiate their cell phone ringing from others. And they're just plain fun! Ringtones are available from the major wireless companies such as Verizon Wireless, Cingular, Nextel, Sprint and T-Mobile. Cell phone manufacturers also support ringtones on almost all of their makes and models. Most ringtones now available come from a selection of music styles, including pop, rock, country, hip-hop, and more. Read on for more information on getting ringtones that suit your style and personality.

Where can I get Ringtones?

First, check your cell phone itself. Most cell phones come pre-programmed with some ringtones. You may find one you like there. Of course, if all of your friends have done this, you may still have a hard time distinguishing if it's your phone ringing, or one of your friends. If you want something more unique, your next step should be to check your cell phone carrier for more options. Additionally, ringtones are available from the makers of your cell phone, too, as well as other web sites. Be wary of the sites that claim downloadable "free" ringtones. Because of copyright infringement, ringtones are not free, unless you happen upon a site distributing illegal ringtones.

  • Cingular Wireless offers a "Cingular Sounds Tone Club," which allows you to download ringtones and graphics directly to your cell phone for a monthly fee. This service is only available to Cingular Wireless subscribers. They also offer "Answer Tones," which is what your caller hears as your phone rings.
  • T-Mobile has a "Music and Sounds" section on their website, which allows you to download ringtones and "CallerTunes" if you are a T-Mobile customer. A small charge applies to the sounds and features you select.
  • Nextel's ringtones start at $1.49 each, and are yours to use until you delete them from your cell phone. They offer a catalog of ring tones online for you to listen to and select from.

Additionally, many web sites offer ringtones, wallpaper and other features through the major carriers. Here are just a couple of them that look good to us:

  • Ringtone.com offers services for the major carriers, such as verizon Wireless, Cingular, T-Mobile, Netxtel and more. Thousands of ringtones to choose from. There is a charge.
  • BestRingtonesOffer.com offers ringtones for all the major cell phone carriers as well as lesser known ones.

How Do I Get Ringtones?

Whether you go through your carrier's web site or one of the others, you will need to know who your cell phone carrier is, and what make and model of cell phone you have. Most of the above web sites ask you for your cell phone number first, then they can check to see if you are able to download your choice of ringtones. There's really no such thing as a "free" ringtone, unless you've stumbled upon a site which is pirating them. Ringtones will cost about $1.49 to $2.00 each, and as mentioned above, some major cell phone carriers offer a plan for a set monthly fee that allows you to download all the ringtones you want. If you access ringtones through your own carrier, you'll find these charges added to your monthly bill. Even at $2.00 a pop, if you get carried away you can easily spend an additional $20.00 each month. If you want the variety and plan to download more than a couple of ringtones, sign up for your carrier's plan.

Access the ringtones link from whichever website you are using and follow instructions. You'll be downloading these ringtones directly to your cell phone, so it needs to be turned on. You can also access the ringtones from your cell phone. Check your owners' manual for more help if you want to do this through your cell phone.

In Conclusion

Ringtones are not only fun, they are useful, too. You can pick out your phone's unique ringtone easily, from all the others around you. Check out your carrier's web site for more information on how to access them, the costs, and to download.

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