A private voicemail box allows a person to receive telephone messages when the phone cannot be answered. A single voicemail box and a single phone line are often connected to one-another. This is the most common type of private voicemail. In other cases, multiple boxes may be connected to the same phone line, allowing a number of people to receive their messages separately. An answering machine can also be used as a private voicemail box that allows people to keep their voicemail at their homes or businesses.
The most common type of private voicemail connects one telephone line to one voicemail box. This type of voicemail is a common feature of cell phones. Callers are often connected to voicemail if the phone is not picked up after a certain number of rings. Though a voicemail provider may work with thousands or even millions of clients, each user's voicemail account is kept separate from the others. This allows uses to access their private voicemail but not the voicemail of other users.
Another type of private voicemail allows multiple accounts to be attached to the same phone number. Any number of voicemail boxes can be attached to a single phone number, allowing individuals in a family or employees in a business to receive their messages separately from those of other people who can be reached at that number. In most cases, these private voicemail accounts are accessed when a caller dials a certain extension.
Most of the time, voicemail is kept in digital format on a large server. These servers are kept by the voicemail provider and are accessed remotely by clients who have private voicemail accounts. This allows people to access their voicemail from a variety of different locations and through a variety of different means. Voicemail information can also be transferred to an individual's computer, though messages are almost always first stored on the provider's servers.
An answering machine can also be considered a type of private voicemail. These machines are connected to land line telephones and may have one voicemail for all users of the phone line or may be able to separate messages into individual voicemail boxes for the various people using the line. A user typically accesses the messages by pressing buttons on the machine itself, though it is also possible to access answering machine messages from a phone line or computer.