VoIP vs. Landline: Which One is Better for Your Business?
Nowadays, your customers must be able to reach you at almost any time of the day. When they are, you’ll improve your customers’ experience and serve them better.
The thing is, with remote working becoming the new norm, this is becoming more challenging. This is where VoIP comes in. It helps you connect with your customers, no matter where you are. Apart from this, it has several other benefits.
In this post, we’ll compare VoIP and landline phones and help you decide which is best for your business.
What is a VoIP Phone System?
Let’s start by looking at what a VoIP phone system is. At its simplest, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) uses your internet connection for telephony. It thus lets you make phone calls over the internet rather than using physical phone lines or wires.
VoIP phones make this possible by converting audio into data packets. The system then transmits these data packets to a VoIP service provider. In turn, these service providers direct calls between recipients over the internet. For this reason, it’s also commonly referred to as internet calling or digital phone service.
It doesn’t stop there, though. VoIP also typically offers more advanced features than landline phones. These features include automatic call forwarding, video conferencing, and more.
What is a Landline Phone?
By this time, you’re familiar with landline or analog phones. Also known as Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), landlines work the same way for ages.
So, in contrast to VoIP phones, they use physical lines or wires that a phone company installs. These lines are then connected to a telephone service provider. To let you make calls, they use electrical pulses through these lines to transmit a call to a recipient.
Difference Between VoIP and Landline Phones
Based on our recap above, the major difference between VoIP and landline phones is how they work. However, there are several other differences between them that you’ll need to consider. This is because these differences can impact whether it’s worthwhile switching over to VoIP.
When it comes to flexibility, there’s no question that VoIP is better. Because it’s not limited by physical hardware, these phones can be used anywhere. Conversely, landlines would tie you to a specific location. To illustrate this, let’s look at an example.
Let’s say a business uses VoIP. Its employees can use their phones from wherever they are. As such, as long as they have an internet connection, they’ll be able to make and receive calls using a VoIP phone, softphone, or even their mobiles. This flexibility is vital in a modern business environment, where there’s an increasing shift to remote work.
Another difference between VoIP and landline phones is price. Here, you’ll almost always pay less for a VoIP telephone system. Here, you’ll typically pay a monthly subscription per user, which often includes unlimited domestic calling. You’ll only pay for data transfers across the internet for calls outside this threshold.
For each user, you would then receive a line and a number. Also, depending on your requirements, you would need VoIP devices. Your VoIP setup will be complete with these in place as no installation is necessary.
In contrast, landline phones are far more expensive. Firstly, you’ll need to pay for the installation of the system. This includes wiring, devices, and labor costs. In addition, you’ll typically also need PBX equipment if you’re using the system for many users. When making calls, you’ll have to pay a per-minute rate for calls outside your local area.
In respect of security, it’s important to understand that neither VoIP nor landline phones are 100% safe. Landlines are, however, seem to be the safer option. The reason for this is because of the way these systems work. When the system transmits sound using electrical pulses, it forms a closed circuit. This circuit only opens when the caller or the recipient ends the call.
As mentioned earlier, VoIP systems use data packets to transfer sound over the internet. In turn, hackers can intercept these data packets because they’re transferred through unsecured channels. Moreover, because this data is digital, it can be manipulated after the fact. With landline phones, this is not possible.
There is, however, a solution to this problem. To increase security and keep VoIP phone conversations private, you should use a provider or apps that implement encryption.
Because VoIP systems use your existing internet connection, they’re far more scalable. This means these systems make it simpler to expand your business or add new employees to your team. And when you do, you’ll be able to add new lines quickly and easily. Also, when scaling back, it’s just as easy to remove lines. Simply put, you can tailor a VoIP system to your specific needs and requirements at any given time.
The opposite is true for landline systems. For one, when you need to add a new line, it involves considerable expenses, not to mention the hassle. This is simply because a phone company would need to install additional lines. Apart from this, landline systems and lines often need maintenance to ensure they work as they should. All these aspects make landline systems challenging to scale efficiently.
Another major difference between VoIP and landline phone systems is the features they offer. Keep in mind, though, depending on your needs, you might not need all these features, but it’s worthwhile knowing what features are available.
|Auto attendant||Yes||Requires PBX|
|Phone extensions||Yes||Requires PBX|
|Call routing||Yes||Charged extra|
|Call Encryption||Depends on the provider and plan||No|
|Business voicemail||Yes||Charged extra|
|Number privacy||Yes||Depends on provider|
Pros and Cons of Using Landline Phone Systems
Now that we’ve looked at what landline phones are and some of their features, let’s look at the pros and cons of using a landline phone system.
- Reliability. One of the main benefits of being an older technology is that landline phones are highly reliable. Also, because the system is based on physical wiring, it can provide continuous service and is not influenced by factors like weather.
- Consistency. In cases where you have an unreliable internet connection, landline phones can provide far more consistency. As such, it can deliver consistent audio quality and no dropped calls.
- More expensive. As mentioned earlier, landline phones are more expensive than VoIP, not only regarding call costs but also when it comes to installation. These costs can also significantly increase when you add features that are usually standard with VoIP phones.
- Older technology. Landline phone systems are based on older, analog technology. This could be a problem as the world is increasingly shifting to digital technologies. The result is that analog landline phones could soon become obsolete.
Pros and Cons of Using VoIP Phone Systems
Although VoIP phones do have some disadvantages compared to landline phones, the advantages outweigh these by far. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of VoIP?
- Lower costs. As mentioned before, VoIP phones are cheaper than their landline counterparts. This is because they don’t require installation, have lower, if not free, call costs, and include many other value-added features.
- Quick installation. No professional installation is needed with a VoIP phone, and you can set up your phone system in an hour or less.
- Flexibility and mobility. Unlike landline phones, you won’t be tied to a single location when using a VoIP system. This allows you to quickly move the system when moving to another premise. Also, as mentioned, you can use a VoIP phone from almost anywhere using your laptop or mobile.
- Features. There’s simply no comparison between VoIP and landline phones when it comes to features. Here, VoIP phones offer several advanced features that are simply not available with landline phones.
- Sound quality. Today’s VoIP systems use advanced technologies to ensure that you get the highest call quality. Keep in mind. However, that sound quality depends on the quality of your internet connection.
- Reliability. VoIP providers use robust and advanced infrastructure, making VoIP phones extremely reliable. Like sound quality, reliability also relies on the reliability of your internet connection.
- Emergency calls. One of the major drawbacks of VoIP phone systems is that they could, in some cases, not support emergency call services. So, it might be worthwhile to find out if a specific provider has this feature enabled.
- Dependent on the internet. As mentioned earlier, VoIP relies on a reliable and consistent internet connection to provide many of its benefits. As such, if your internet is unreliable, VoIP might not be the best option.
How to Choose Between a VoIP vs. Landline for Your Business
We’ve now considered the pros and cons of VoIP vs landline. The question now is: What should you consider when choosing the right system for you? Some factors that could help you decide on the right system include:
- Internet connection. It’s simple: VoIP won’t be the best option without a reliable internet connection. However, if you do have consistent and reliable internet, VoIP is worth considering.
- Equipment. You’ll also need to consider what equipment you already have. Also, you’ll need to consider whether you’re willing to replace all your equipment.
- Costs. Here, you’ll have to determine how much value you’ll get by switching to a new system. For example, you might consider what features you’ll get when switching to VoIP and how these features can help make your business more efficient.
- Scaling. VoIP should be on top of your list if you have extensive growth plans, as it’s far better at scaling. This is because, as mentioned, it’s easy to install, maintain, and add or remove new lines.
VoIP vs. Landline: Which One is Better
VoIP vs landline, which is better? Well, it depends on your specific needs. But, considering everything mentioned above, VoIP has more features and can scale effortlessly as your business grows. As a bonus, it’s cheaper too.
So, want to set your business up for growth? Then get in touch with ULTATEL. With our cloud-based phone system, we aim to change how you do business by delivering the most comprehensive range of cloud telephony services. And starting at only $17.95 per user per month, you’ll save a lot of money in the process.
To learn more about our products and how they can help you, request a demo today.