As a business owner, you have dozens of choices to make every day—including which phone service is best for your company. We’ve listed some facts about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and landline phones to help you make the right choice for your business.
When a customer dials your phone number using landline phone technology, they’re sending an electrical signal through a long strand of copper wire, often buried underground or strung on telephone poles. After surging through many strands of wire, the call connects, and the customer’s voice is converted into electricity and sent to your phone. The process repeats itself as you talk back to the caller.
VoIP technology, on the other hand, transfers calls through a VoIP-enabled phone and your existing internet connection, transforming your voice into a data file and sending it to the receiver of your call. Their phone decrypts the data file back into a vocal message, and so forth.
Now that you understand how VoIP and landline phones work, let’s consider the pros and cons of each before choosing either service for your business.
Good VoIP service needs a dependable internet connection. If you lose your broadband connection or your business experiences a power outage, your VoIP phones won’t work, and phone calls will go straight to voice mail.
Landline phones still function during power outages and will deliver consistent, quality calls even with a bad internet signal. If you’re operating from a remote area with questionable internet service, landline phones are the best choice for you.
On the other hand, most companies already need fast and reliable internet to conduct business, so for many business owners, VoIP’s dependence on internet isn’t an issue. If you’re in an area with competitive broadband coverage, VoIP’s quality can easily match landlines.
If you’re looking for budget-friendly phone service, VoIP is the clear choice. One small business with five dedicated landlines could pay about $120 for each line a month, whereas five VoIP lines could be as low as $28 each. You may find even lower prices in your area. The monthly service cost of VoIP is much lower than landline phones, and the setup and hardware fees for VoIP are typically very low.
Both VoIP and landline phone systems offer helpful services to your business. However, landline phones often depend on additional software, called PBX systems, to provide those services. PBX system features include business extension lines, call recording, voice mail, call transfer, and automated voice menus to filter calls, and installing them can cost $500 to $2,000 per user plus a monthly fee.
Similarly, VoIP offers features like three-way calling, cheap long-distance and international calls, increased mobility, voice mail to email transcription, and automated voice menus. VoIP and PBX systems providers may offer different services, so it’s up to you to decide what your business needs.
It’s important that you feel comfortable with your office technology. Depending on your personal taste, you may prefer the security and familiarity that comes with landline technology. However, some consider landlines an obsolete technology with no new advances and imminent difficulties with supplies and repairs.
VoIP is newer technology, which means it’s had less time to resolve security concerns and other issues. This concerns some users, but the benefits that come with the advanced technology have enticed nearly 75% of businesses to adopt VoIP, according to the International Data Corporation. It’s an expanding field of technology that will only continue to improve.
You know your business better than anyone, and now you know more about VoIP and landline phones and how each can impact your business. Now is a good time to upgrade—your new phone service is calling.