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What’s the Difference Between My Old Phone and a VoIP Solution?

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Many businesses still use landlines simply because that’s what they’ve been using for decades.

Why fix what isn’t broken? 

For one thing? Infrastructure for standard telephony is starting to get a bit rusty. But that’s a bit of a gloomy start. Not fixing what isn’t broken, in this case, is like riding “a perfectly good horse” to work. It will get you there. But, you’re going to slow down traffic – and yourself.

We’ve laid out the main differences between traditional phone systems and VoIP solutions so you can learn why people upgrade from horseback to 500 horsepower.

1. Underlying Technology

First, let’s address the voice transmission for traditional and VoIP phones. Traditional phones transmit voice data through underground landline cables. This system requires traditional phones to physically connect to the wiring system, permanently affixing them to a location.

By contrast, SIP VoIP technology is internet based. Rather than leveraging phone cables, VoIP phones transmit voice data over the internet, and have the mobility of a typical Wi-Fi device. VoIP users can dial and answer calls anywhere they have an internet connection by using a desk phone, cell phone or laptop application. That’s why many businesses and call centers choose VoIP. It enables remote work and flexible scheduling without compromising communication, productivity and profitability. 

Additionally, since VoIP phone lines don’t depend entirely upon a physical infrastructure, businesses can easily add and remove lines month-to-month. This flexibility enables VoIP solutions to scale, rather than dooming a business to overpay for service it doesn’t use, or worse, stunting its growth with a capped number of lines. On top of all of that, VoIP equipment is transferrable among different providers; businesses don’t have to feel locked into a service that no longer fits their needs.

2. Traditional Vs. VoIP PBX

A PBX is equipment that connects calls to their destinations. Traditional PBXs are hosted on premise, while VoIP PBXs can be cloud-based. Since the VoIP providers host PBX functionality, they can be updated frequently and are easier to troubleshoot and repair.

VoIP PBXs’ continuous updates and internet-based technology make them more powerful than their traditional counterparts. Providers can quickly program PBXs to route calls based on customized patterns, including: call group-based round robin, routing to the least-recently called and forwarding calls to alternate numbers after a certain number of rings. It all adds up to fewer missed calls.

3. Maintenance & Support

Provider-hosted equipment makes VoIP solutions simpler to maintain and repair. With traditional phone systems, any problem short of a faulty landline is the business’s responsibility, and usually requires a contracted technician’s help. With cloud-based VoIP solutions, providers manage and fund most equipment repairs. Also, Tech support can troubleshoot most business-side issues remotely with quality of service adjustments or a bandwidth increase.

4. Advanced Capabilities

Since VoIP solutions are internet-based and continuously updating, they generally have a wider range of advanced capabilities than landline phones do. For example, VoIP solutions can integrate with a business’s CRM, enable electronic faxing and send voicemail transcriptions by email. In addition, businesses using traditional solutions usually have to contact providers to make CRM configuration changes. With VoIP solutions, however, managers can update most settings themselves, empowering a flexible business environment that’s open to change.

5. Voice Quality and Reliability

Quality is often a point of contention when businesses consider switching to landlines: isn’t an internet-based system less reliable than a landline-based one? This was originally the case; however, landline systems are aging, and updates fall to the wayside as newer VoIP technology takes over as the No. 1 choice for businesses. Landlines are now considered less reliable than VoIP solutions. New internet technology developments, like fiber optic solutions for small businesses, are further widening this gap.

In addition, VoIP technology is easier to recover in the event of a power outage, internet failure or other unforeseen event. Many VoIP providers offer customized disaster recovery plans and internet failover to provide instant back-up service in an emergency.

6. Cost Savings

With all the advanced features and business-friendly capabilities VoIP provides, many are surprised to learn that VoIP costs less than traditional phone systems.

Instead of investing in phone line infrastructure, businesses that adopt VoIP simply use their existing internet connection and pay for the number of lines they need. What’s more, most advanced features are included in standard packages (versus the typical à la carte model landlines use). And add-ons like VoIP toll-free numbers, long distance calling and other features are much cheaper than traditional phone pricing. That’s big savings for a more advanced, modern solution.

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Switching to a VoIP Solution 

Leaving well enough alone can be a great way to save on costs and avoid headache, but not if you find yourself riding bareback down the freeway. Want to learn more? Check out some of the other benefits of choosing a business VoIP provider like 4Voice in our infographic.


Amruth Laxman
About the Author

Amruth Laxman

25+ years of telecom experience, specializing in high availability software and systems, I’ve seen the transformative impact they have on businesses. As the founding partner of 4Voice, I deliver customized, reliable phone solutions and can’t wait to share my insights with you in this blog.

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