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When people wonder about the difference between VoIP and PBX systems, they’re actually comparing apples and oranges. VoIP, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, refers to how voice signals are transmitted and is best compared with traditional telecommunication delivery methods. On the other hand, PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange–a private telephone network where multiple users share a limited number of trunk lines that can support either IP or analog phone service. For many business owners, a PBX system is all but mandatory, so the real question in their minds is: Should I get an IP PBX phone system or traditional PBX? Let’s cover some key factors in determining which system is best for you.
Given that either system has a reliable track record, the number one concern overall should be cost. But that means more than just seeing which service is cheaper; it’s important to factor your monthly rates against features your business may need. The cost of landlines has fallen in the past ten years, but even with plummeting prices landlines can’t compete with the variety of features available to VoIP users, let alone the budget-friendly rates of IP-based service. While that’s a serious blow to traditional PBX systems, we’ll see that it’s definitely not a knockout punch.
Business owners need to have confidence that important calls–particularly international ones–won’t be dropped or digitally mangled. Landlines are unquestionably more dependable than VoIP solutions and don’t rely on electric lines to operate. That means that even during a power outage you can get in touch with clients or offsite partners. When the power goes out for VoIP users, so does their phone line.
Another quirk of VoIP connections is the higher possibility for sound distortions, echoes, or other signal-related anomalies disrupting calls. However, the negative aberrations described above are rare, and VoIP is typically comparable to the sound quality of traditional phone lines.
About those features we mentioned above–what’s actually available? In addition to traditional features like caller ID, call forwarding, voicemail, and call blocking, VoIP users can access their phone records through their computers or mobile device. Moreover, they can manage their voice service and features through user-friendly online interfaces. Last of all, a business can use their VoIP service to hold videoconferences.
So there you have it, the pros and cons of both PBX options, and a little lesson in telecommunications jargon. In the end it’s up to you decide which blend of costs, quality, and features is best for your business. Whatever you decide, Frontier Communications can give you the products and support you need to stay on top and in touch.