An answering machine is able to accept missed calls and greet the caller with a personalised message. Increasingly, the answering machine is no longer a separate physical device. The modern Voice over IP telephony and cloud PBX systems mostly provide answering machine features centrally in the form of a voicemail box as standard.
Central network mailboxes, and also local answering machines, can usually be accessed remotely. By calling the device and entering a secret PIN recorded messages can be retrieved from any telephone. The signalling that messages have been received is done on a local display. Central voicemail systems alert by telephone call, or by an electronic text message. Modern solutions are able to send an audio message as an email attachment to any email address.