PBX vs. VoIP Comparison

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Phone service has changed immensely over the past decade or so. Businesses now have more options with their phone service than ever before. They can choose a tried-and-true private branch exchange (PBX) phone system or a modern Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution.

Which system is better suited for the needs of your business? In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two to make your decision easier.

PBX vs. VoIP Comparison

Choosing between a PBX phone system vs. VoIP system can be a difficult choice. While the result is the same—great phone service—they offer unique features and benefits to support your unique needs.

What is PBX?

PBX stands for public branch exchange, and it’s the traditional phone service that most people are used to. Every desk phone is connected to physical phone lines, just like traditional landlines.

Advantages of PBX Over VoIP

Public branch exchange systems might not be as advanced as VoIP services, but there’s something to be said for simplicity.

Here are a few of the advantages you’ll get by choosing a PBX phone system:

  • Ease of Use – PBX phone systems are easy for anyone to use. They require less training and troubleshooting compared to their feature-rich, Internet-based counterparts.
  • Infrastructure – PBX phones use Cat3 wires, which are common in most businesses. You won’t have any trouble finding places to connect and there are a lot of PBX resellers and service providers.
  • Reliability – Physical telephone lines have stood the test of time and have proven to be reliable. If you can’t afford downtime, the reliability of a PBX system can’t be beaten. VoIP systems rely on the Internet, which is sometimes subject to outages.
  • Cost – Basic PBX phone systems might not be the fanciest option available, but they’re inexpensive to install and maintain.

Traditional PBX systems aren’t the most glamorous or high-tech option available, but they’re simple, cost-effective, and reliable.


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What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Instead of analog PBX phone systems that still use landlines, VoIP solutions digitize speech and convert it to data.

The data is then compressed and sent to your VoIP provider through an Internet connection. They’ll take the call data and convert it to analog to be sent over the public switched telephone network (PSTN) in real-time.

Advantages of VoIP Over PBX

It might sound like VoIP complicates the process, but moving your phone service to the Internet comes with several helpful features that can improve call quality and promote business efficiency.

Here are some of the benefits of VoIP over PBX:

  • Scalability – If you need more phones on a PBX system, you need to add ports, cards, devices, and extensions. Since VoIP phones work on a data network, you just add to your license. You can add new phone lines as needed to keep up with your growing business.
  • Features – VoIP systems come with dozens of features to choose from. You can add voicemails, do not disturb, conferencing, auto attendants, and much more. With VoIP, there’s a feature to fit every unique business need.
  • Less Hardware – To install an on-premise PBX system, you need phone lines, switchboards, and lots of technology. With a digital VoIP system, everything is virtual and can even be hosted off-site at a data center for completely unified communications.
  • Device Integrations – VoIP systems can integrate with various devices including cell phones, computers, and tablets, so you’re always connected to your business lines.

If you are interested in a feature-filled system with flexible options, a VoIP phone solution is hard to beat.


Need help deciding between VoIP and PBX? Let OnCall’s experts make your decision easier.


VoIP vs. PBX: How to Make the Right Decision

Still can’t decide which solution is right for you? Several types of PBX phone solutions take the simplicity and reliability of a PBX system and add VoIP features and flexibility:

  • IP PBX – This is a similar setup to a traditional PBX system, except the phones, send digital signals instead of analog signals. It has the simple setup of a PBX with the digital benefits of a VoIP system.
  • Cloud PBX –Cloud PBX systems take the hardware of an on-premise PBX system and move it to the cloud for a cost-effective option that’s simple to install and setup.
  • Digital PBX – This type of system works with traditional PBX and VoIP solutions, allowing you to use both in your business simultaneously.

The biggest challenge of deciding which service is right for you is choosing a provider.

There are hundreds of VoIP and PBX providers, and each offers different features and services. If you choose the wrong one, you might be stuck paying for services you don’t need or missing out on features to help your business grow.

The only way to find the system that’s best for your business is to do the research, weigh the pros and cons, and choose the one that best aligns with your business’s needs and goals.

Find the Right Phone Solution With OnCall Telecom

It can take days of research to go through all the VoIP and PBX solutions for your business. Even then, it’ll take some technical expertise to identify which features will work for your unique goals.

Working with a company like OnCall will eliminate research time and find the perfect phone solution for your business immediately.

We’ll meet with your team to learn about your business. Then, using our technical knowledge, we’ll identify the right products, services, and providers to help you achieve your business goals.

Don’t waste time deciding between PBX vs. VoIP. Contact OnCall today to find the perfect phone solution for your business.

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