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VoIP vs. Landline: How do they compare?

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VoIP vs. Landline: How do they compare?


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Now, the corded landline phone with rotary dials is considered an antique. Since its inception in 1876, telephony had undergone many changes in terms of hardware design and technology. Irrespective of the technology used, having open communication channels is a must for any business.

Today, communication is all about VoIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol. Let's take a closer look at VoIP vs landline communication systems and how to choose the best .

TechnologyTransmits voice calls over the internet using IP (Internet Protocol)Relies on traditional copper wires or fiber optic cables for communication
ConnectivityRequires a stable internet connectionRequires physical wirescables infrastructure
CostOften cheaper for long-distance international calls, relies on internet feesHigher cost for long-distance calls, additional fees for international calls
Call QualityQuality can vary depending on internet connection strengthGenerally consistent call quality
MobilityOffers flexibility and mobility with devices that can connect anywhere with internetStationary, limited mobility based on physical infrastructure
FeaturesOffers various features like video calling, conference calling, and moreBasic features like call waiting, voicemail, and caller ID
InstallationTypically easy to install and set up with minimal hardware requirementsRequires professional installation and setup of physical lines
ReliabilitySusceptible to internet outages affecting call qualityMore reliable during power outages and independent of internet disruptions
LongevityEvolving technology, subject to continuous updates and improvementsEstablished technology, less frequent major updates

What is VoIP?

VoIP is a system of communication that relies on connecting people over the internet rather than a telephone network. This technology allows you to make and receive voice and video calls as well as exchange messages over the internet.

Like telephone accounts, VoIP services are usually subscription based, but rather than being linked to a device, they are linked to an account. Hence, you can use VoIP services from the same number through any communication device that is connected to the internet. This could be a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or VoIP-supported desk phone.

Is VoIP The Same As A Landline?

VoIP and landline connections refer to different types of communication technology. Landlines are supported by traditional telephone networks and are reliant on phone cables or radio signals. On the other hand, as the name suggests, Voice over Internet Protocol technology is dependent on broadband connections.

VoIP Vs Landline: How Do They Work?

Before diving into the pros and cons of VoIP vs Landline phones, it is important to understand how the two systems work.

As mentioned above, VoIP systems transmit communication over the internet. You can use mobile data plans or Wi-Fi networks. When you speak on the phone, your voice is converted from an analog form to a digital signal. This is then compressed and transmitted to the receiver. All of this happens in real time with no noticeable lag. Replies are transmitted in the same way.

The degree of compression depends on the service provider. When you have access to limited bandwidth, higher compression is required. The higher the compression, the lower the output quality.

Landline phones enable telephone conversations by converting sound into electrical signals that are then transmitted through copper wires or radio waves to the other person through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). These cables run underground or overhead and hence are susceptible to damage from exposure to natural elements and man-made accidents.

What Are The Advantages Of VoIP Vs Landline?

When compared to landline phones, VoIP has many advantages:

  • It Is Cheaper

Using VoIP services is much cheaper than subscribing to a landline network. To begin with, there is no need for additional hardware or devices of any kind. In turn, this means you don't have to worry about hardware maintenance costs either.

You don't need to buy a new phone or invest in laying cables. This is a cloud-based service that can be accessed through apps downloaded on your existing communication devices.

The subscription plans themselves are much cheaper than phone connections and usually inclusive of unlimited free calls to and from numbers in several locations.

For example, Ringover offers unlimited calling plans to numbers in 90 global destinations. This doesn't mean your audience has to be limited to these locations. You can make calls to out-of-plan destinations as well. These calls are billed at a very low rate on a per-minute basis.

On the other hand, with landline phones, you may need to invest in a new device if you don't already have one. In addition, you must pay for the installation and maintenance of the hardware devices.

The subscription fee is only responsible for keeping the connection alive and all calls are billed at a per-minute rate. This call rate is much higher than VoIP call rates. Depending on the destination of calls, these rates can be quite high leaving you with a high bill at the end of every month.

VoIP subscriptions are also inclusive of many add-on features such as call monitoring, transcriptions, voicemail, etc. that you would otherwise have to pay an additional fee for if you use a PSTN connection.

  • It Is More Flexible

VoIP services are not bound to specific devices. You can access the same account from multiple devices. This minimizes the risk of having calls go unanswered. Every missed call is potential lost revenue for businesses.

With VoIP connections, you can take a call from your desk or your mobile phone while you're commuting to the office. Service providers like Ringover even allow you to switch devices while you're having a conversation. So, there's no worry of having your phone die out of a low battery mid-call either.

Having the flexibility to make and receive calls from different devices and having the accounts linked to the user rather than the device make it especially useful for remote workers.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with landline phones. These are rigid connections and if you can't reach the phone in time, the connection will get cut off. In most cases, you have just about a minute or two to answer a ringing phone.

  • It Is Easier To Scale

VoIP subscriptions are billed on a per-user per-month system. In most cases, you don't have to change your subscription plan to add or remove users. You can simply add and assign a new number or remove a connection from your admin dashboard. New numbers become operational almost instantly and there's no need to invest in buying new devices.

However, you need to put considerable thought into scaling up or scaling down a landline connection. Each new connection requires a new subscription and new devices. Similar thought needs to go into scaling down a system. What do you do with the handsets that are no longer needed?

  • It Is More Secure

Whether it's personal or professional communication, everyone's concerned about keeping their conversations private. Any conversation conducted over physical phone lines is susceptible to being tapped or intercepted.

VoIP connections are also susceptible to being hacked but when you depend on reliable VoIP service providers, this risk is drastically reduced. Calls made over this connection are also encrypted to keep them secure. You can also start using two-factor authentication to add another layer of security and prevent unauthorized access to your account.

  • It Has More Features

Modern landline phones go a step further from the old-school devices to include video calling and fax along with voice calls. That said, the features available may not be enough for professional communication or managing a contact center.

On the other hand, VoIP connections offer a wide range of services and features. You can make and receive voice and video calls as well as exchange messages and faxes. Some of the other features that are included in most basic VoIP plans are:

  • IVR menus

VoIP service providers make it easy to set up an IVR menu for customers to navigate through to the relevant department. Depending on the service provider, callers can use dial pad inputs or voice inputs to navigate. An IVR menu improves the customer experience and helps strengthen the brand image.

  • Call transfers

VoIP users can easily transfer ongoing calls from one person to another so that customers get quicker resolutions and better experiences at every interaction.

  • Better call quality

Calls made with VoIP technology are much clearer and have higher call quality as compared to calls made from traditional landlines. They are not susceptible to call lags or breakdowns due to bad weather and natural calamities.

  • Customized holding messages

Even with the basic Ringover VoIP package, you can customize the music and recorded message that plays when callers are being kept on hold. You can use this as an opportunity to promote new products and services, build awareness about the brand, and so on. This is not usually a feature included in landline connections.

  • Call monitoring

VoIP service providers allow you to easily monitor calls and agent activity. You can tell which agents are busy or free at a glance as well as call duration. Most service providers allow managers and team leaders to listen in to calls as they happen for quality control. They can also speak to the call center agent without having the other person know, speak to both parties or take over a call if required. You can also record calls to listen to them later. In addition, calls and voicemails can be transcribed and sent to your email account.

  • Collaboration tools

Given the growing popularity of remote working, phones are required not just for communication but also for collaboration. VoIP services take this into consideration and provide the tools required for easier collaboration. You can convert any call to a conference call, hold meetings with multiple users at the same time or share screens.

What Are The Disadvantages Of VoIP?

As with any other service, you need to choose a reliable VoIP service provider. As long as you do that, there are very few drawbacks to using VoIP phone systems. The main trouble with VoIP systems is that they are dependent on having a high-speed internet connection.

If you have a slow or unreliable internet connection, call quality may drop. This is because call data needs to be compressed to a much higher degree when being transmitted through slow internet connections.

Is VoIP Better Than A Landline?

Switching to a VoIP system from landline connectivity is an upgrade. The switch offers multiple advantages that make your operations more cost-effective and efficient. The calls made through this system are cheaper, your agents get the tools required to be more productive and you have more control over call quality and the service being offered.

The switch is easy to make too. You can subscribe to plans online and get your team connected using their own devices or company-owned devices within minutes.

Can VoIP Replace A Landline?

Switching to VoIP phone systems is advantageous for businesses across industries. If you're still using traditional landlines and PSTN networks, you don't need to maintain both when you switch to VoIP systems. Hence, it can very easily be used to replace a landline. You can get access to all the basic and advanced features at a much lower cost.

Of course, if you have a small team and you don't need a system that can do more than make and receive calls, you can continue to use your existing landline connection. You can also continue to use a landline if your business is located in a region that has limited internet connectivity or in a region that faces common weather issues that could cause connectivity issues.

Choosing The Right VoIP Service Provider

To maximize the benefits experienced with switching to VoIP phone systems, you must ensure that you choose the right service provider. There are countless service providers and plans to choose from. You need to look into the service provider and the reliability of the overall services provided as well as the package details.

Ringover is one of the leading VoIP service providers for businesses of all sizes. A Ringover connection helps with internal as well as external communication through multiple channels. Choosing a plan is easy. Ringover offers Smart and Business plans for $21 and $44 per user/month respectively. The Advanced plan serves businesses with more advanced telephony needs at $54 per user/month.

The Smart, Business, and Advanced plans are inclusive of a wide range of clearly listed features. The transparency makes it easier to compare plans and pick the most appropriate one. Unlike some other VoIP service providers, Ringover does not limit the number of users for either plan or require you to buy add-on plans for access to specific features.

You can set up a Ringover connection with a new number or port your existing number. You can configure the cloud phone system in an instant. As soon as your users download the app on their devices, they can start using the connection to make and receive calls.

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