VoIP vs. Landline: What’s the Difference?
If you’ve never used VoIP before, you may be wondering what it is and how it differs from a traditional landline phone. We hope this article answers your questions and helps you make an educated decision for your telephone needs! (Currently, we offer VoIP only to business customers.)
Defining VoIP and POTS
VoIP stands for “voice over internet protocol” (or voice over IP). It’s a method that utilizes certain technologies to deliver communications over IP networks. In layman’s terms, VoIP allows you to send and receive phone calls via the internet.
Unlike traditional telephone systems (sometimes called Plain Old Telephone Systems, or POTS), VoIP doesn’t use twisted-pair copper wire to transmit signals. Instead, these phones are plugged directly into a computer or router, allowing them to use the same broadband connection that powers the rest of the internet-operated devices in your home. When you use VoIP, there’s no physical exchange of sound waves through wires as there would be when using POTS.
In essence, VoIP is a phone line gone digital. Because it uses internet connectivity to operate, VoIP can offer innovative features that many customers make their daily communications more streamlined and productive.
VoIP gives customers unparalleled control over their operations. Some of the features you may get with VoIP can include:
- Automatic call forwarding. You don’t have to be at your desk to receive calls! VoIP can redirect calls to your Wi-Fi-enabled device, wherever you may be.
- Voicemail to email. Your VoIP system can create audio files out of the voicemails in your inbox and email them to you so you can access them on any device.
- Three-digit dialing. You can pre-program essential numbers with a three-digit code for fast, easy access.
Why Choose VoIP
In addition to providing useful features, VoIP is incredibly fast, and you can place and receive phone calls without any additional hardware. But perhaps the biggest draw of VoIP is its low cost. Because all calls are directed via the web, VoIP is a much more affordable telephone solution than a traditional landline—especially when you compare the cost of the extra features.
To run VoIP, all you need is an internet-enabled device like a desktop, laptop, cell phone, or tablet. However, if you’re more comfortable with a traditional landline phone, you don’t have to give up your desk phone just yet. It’s easy to get an internet-enabled desk phone that has all the benefits of a VoIP system while maintaining the familiarity of a landline system.
While many VoIP users choose it for business purposes, it can just as easily be used for residential calls. It is a perfect solution for those who regularly travel, people who are often away from home, or those who simply prefer the simplicity of internet calling.