An open and uninterrupted communication channel is of paramount importance for businesses. Most small businesses employ the services of a traditional landline provider or pay for a dedicated VoIP service. Traditional systems use copper lines while VoIP services rely on a strong broadband connection to provide a communication channel. Landlines are your traditional phone systems that require a dedicated hardware setup to function. Local and national service providers install these systems to facilitate phone calling in the premises.
VoIP is Voice over Internet Protocol. The service enables you to make a phone call using an Internet connection in place of a landline. VoIP eliminates your costs and dependence on a physical landline and facilitates calls over an Internet connection. There are multiple benefits of choosing a VoIP service over landline. They are cost-effective and cheaper to install as these services can be integrated with existing business Internet links and technology.
Here we can understand the differences between landline and
A VoIP setup is free of cost and does not require additional hardware for installation. However, landline providers may charge an additional fee for installing all the necessary hardware to enable the connection.
In the debate of VoIP vs landline, features play a key role. VoIP providers offer multiple features including auto-attendant, voicemail, advanced call routing, mobile functionality, voicemail-to-email assistance, third-party application integration, and instant messaging over the same connection. Traditional landlines offer nothing more than a basic auto-attendant service and voicemail assistance apart from calling features.
Landline phones transfer call data from the source to its destination on a predetermined communication path or channel. This method is called circuit switching. Throughout the call, the circuit remains closed making it very difficult for hackers to gain unauthorized access. VoIP, on the other hand, transfers call data using a method known as packet switching. Here, the voice data is broken down into digital packets to be sent over an Internet connection. The data sent over packet switching is not as secure, making it easier for hackers to breach and violate your privacy by listening in on calls.
A typical Verizon landline connection for five separate lines will cost you approximately $435 in some cities. However, a VoIP service provider such as RingCentral can install five lines for less than $300.
Points to consider while comparing traditional landline vs VOIP services
VoIP services are beneficial for businesses that have a strong Internet connection. Since the service transmits voice data over the Internet, a stable and powerful connection is necessary to maintain multiple phone lines. The additional ability to integrate VoIP to external services gives your business an advantage over many that still use landline communication.
However, a traditional landline is best suited for companies and businesses that operate from remote locations and areas where power outages are common. Landline systems always run on a dedicated power service to keep the communication channel open constantly.
vs VoIP: An overview of notable features
- Connection reliability
The call quality for a VoIP service will depend directly on the bandwidth and Internet speed. A fast Internet connection will provide clear audio and better voice calls. A VoIP provider must additionally have backup power to provide uninterrupted Internet. In such cases, a landline connection is more reliable as these systems can run without an Internet connection. Landlines can also maintain uninterrupted communication during power outages.
- International calling
Landlines offer international calling. However, these calls can be very expensive when compared to VoIP services. The outgoing rates for various destinations will vary on a traditional phone system. It is also not possible to purchase an international number for the existing landline connection. VoIP services provide international calling at cheaper rates and also allow you to purchase call-in numbers for many destinations abroad.
- Mobile use
Landline systems cannot be integrated with a mobile number. While there is a way to bundle in mobile numbers with the existing landline service, you will still have to use a different calling number for the same. VoIP services, on the other hand, offer dedicated mobile support. The service enables you to use your mobile device as an extension for the office number. Call patching and forwarding can be done with ease to make and receive calls from any location. There is no need to maintain a separate contact number for international travels. VoIP systems provide a more economical choice to maintain a constant communication channel.
- Software integration
A landline system does not offer any kind of software integration. In a modern business world where there are multiple enterprise management resources, software integration is a critical addition to enhance operational efficiency. VoIP services, on the other hand, offer dedicated software integration to third-party applications, especially CRM software. This software can record and log incoming and outgoing business calls for reference and training purposes. External applications also feature tools and plugins that help enhance the quality of information.
VoIP vs landline: Final considerations
- From a consumer point of view
If you are looking to buy a VoIP connection for your home and personal use, the cost of making long distance calls is eliminated with the service. The savings in bills for VoIP services are far better than landline plans. Also, VoIP and Internet bundles can be purchased as part of a single package to save extra on the monthly cost of owning a connection. However, a landline system is more reliable during times of emergency as VoIP systems can malfunction after a power outage or loss of Internet connection.
- From a business point of view
Long distance calling, Internet bandwidth, connection uptime, and software integrations are primary features of communication offered by premium VoIP services. Landline services may fall short on many of these features making VoIP a prudent investment for enhancing the communication of the business.
At the end of the day, individual and business
needs will define the parameters to weigh the merits and demerits of a
traditional landline and VoIP service.