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VoIP vs Landline Phones: Which is Best For Your Business?

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What is VoIP & how does it work?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that uses the internet to make phone calls. The analogue signals of the speaker are converted into digital signals and transferred to the VoIP service provider via the internet. They are then converted into digital packets before being sent to the receiver.

With the news that the UK’s old system of landline will be phased out by December 2025, many businesses have shifted to VoIP phones. And logically, it is the right thing to do. At the most basic level, you just need an internet connection along with a device (mobile phone or computer) to make a call using VoIP.

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What is a landline phone & how does it work?

A landline phone uses physical copper wires to transmit voice signals between telephones. When a call is made, the voice signals are converted into electrical signals that travel to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). They are then routed to the recipient’s phone before being converted back into audio. It is to be noted that you require a physical handset on both sides for the landline to work.

Landlines provide reliable communication, especially in areas with limited mobile coverage or even during power outages, however, they are becoming less popular with the rise of internet-based devices.

Differences between VoIP & landline

There are many differences between the installation, cost and features of VoIP and landline. Let’s discuss a few.

  • Infrastructure: VoIP uses the internet to make calls while landline uses physical copper wires.
  • Hardware needs: You need dedicated phone sets on both sides of the communication for the landline, whereas you can make and receive calls from any internet-connected device using VoIP.
  • Mobility: A landline phone needs to be connected to a specific telephone port so it can’t be carried around but you can take a VoIP phone anywhere and make calls with it as long as you have stable internet.
  • Encryption: VoIP phone calls are generally encrypted, while landline calls are not.
  • Reliability: Landline phones continue to work during power outages, while VoIP systems don’t. You need a backup internet connection for that.
  • Features: VoIP offers advanced features like screen sharing and call centre analytics. Landline phones have limited functionalities.
  • Charges: VoIP often offers lower costs for international calls compared to traditional landlines.
  • Scalability: VoIP systems are easily scalable as you can quickly add and remove lines, while landline systems require the physical installation of new lines.
  • Accessibility: VoIP systems can be integrated with other digital services like email and messaging which enhances accessibility, while landlines are standalone communication devices.

VoIP vs Landline for business: Which is the best?

Is it worth switching to VoIP? Read the points below and decide whether VoIP is better for your business or landline.

Feature Description

Security

Landline calls are not encrypted while VoIP phone calls are encrypted and the system comes with advanced security features, too.

Cost

The installation and running costs of the VoIP system are less than landline the phone system.

Reliability

Landline phones remain functional in power outages while VoIP services do not.

Features

VoIP offers more features and accessibility than a landline phone system.

Scalability

Since you don’t need physical phone lines for VoIP, thus it is easier and quicker to scale.

Sound quality

The sound quality of landline phones is traditionally better than VoIP but that is changing with the betterment of codec technology.

Requirement of equipment

A VoIP phone system doesn’t need dedicated desk phones or phone lines but landline phone systems require both to work.

Freedom of different phone numbers

You can only have one fixed local phone number for your landline phone but in the case of VoIP, you can choose a phone number from anywhere in the world.

1. Security

Landline phone calls are routed through the PSTN, which is not encrypted, making them vulnerable to interception. VoIP phone calls, on the other hand, are usually encrypted which means they are more secure.

But make sure you choose a reliable VoIP provider that offers effective security features like call monitoring system, authentication measures, segmentation of voice traffic, high-level encryption, multiple servers and security certifications.

2. Cost

Businesses that choose to switch from landline to a VoIP system will save money on installation and monthly charges as well.

VoIP providers offer different monthly packages that you can choose from depending on your needs. Landline providers, conversely, usually offer a fixed rate per line.

Lowest monthly cost of VoIP in the UK: £7/month per user
Lowest monthly cost of landline in the UK: £12/month per line

It’s to be noted that this VoIP rate includes extra features like auto-respondent, call centre analytics and video sharing which landlines don’t offer.

Also, the installation cost for VoIP service is essentially zero, as you can utilise your existing cellphone or computer to handle calls. Conversely, with landlines, an additional phone line and desk phone are required, adding to the minimum installation expenses.

Moreover, the calling charges for VoIP phone service are lower than landline phones. There are good VoIP providers in the UK offering packages that allow unlimited domestic calls and affordable international calls. On the other hand, landline phone providers charge a per-minute cost for domestic calls and high costs for international calls.

3. Reliability

Contrarily, the landline phone system boasts greater reliability compared to VoIP. Landline phones remain functional even during power outages or internet disruptions. In contrast, VoIP relies entirely on internet connectivity; thus, call management becomes impossible if the internet connection is lost.

However, it’s worth noting that adverse weather conditions tend to impact landline phones more than VoIP phones. This is because the majority of internet lines are buried underground, whereas telephone lines are susceptible to damage from wind and rain above ground.

So, realistically, it’s a trade-off that you have to analyse.

4. Features

One of the biggest differences between VoIP and landline is the number of features they offer.
This is where VoIP beats landline hands down. While landline systems offer basic functionalities like caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding and voicemail, VoIP systems offer a variety of features. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Voicemail transcription: The voicemails get converted into texts so call agents can reply to the text without listening to lengthy voicemails.
  • Auto attendants: The calls from the customers are received by automated greetings and instructions before being diverted to the right department (or agent).
  • Ring group: It’s a group of phone numbers that ring simultaneously. They work on a first-come, first-served model. This shortens the call queues and hold times.
  • Call centre analytics: This system monitors call data and arranges it for better understanding and tracking. This includes call duration tables, usage reports, sentiment analysis and predictive analysis. You can generate customised reports, agent performance charts and business trends using them.
  • Video conferencing: Remote and in-house team members can hop onto video meetings, share their screens and execute in-meeting chats to improve collaboration and productivity.
  • Ticketing: The incoming phone calls from customers get converted into tickets and sorted in the inbox for better prioritisation and streamlined workflow. The agents can then respond to these queries using email, one-click calling, texting or video.

Furthermore, you can integrate the VoIP phone system with other software applications like customer relationship platform (CRM) to improve the workflow and performance.

5. Scalability

Scaling a VoIP phone system is speedy and involves less hassle. To add a new line, all you have to do is call your VoIP provider. They will add a virtual extension through the software and you can then assign that extension to your employee.

When it comes to landlines, each new employee requires a new physical line. While you can generate additional extensions, you’re limited to the maximum capacity set by your private branch exchange system. Moreover, you have to have a separate desk phone for every team member you add.

All this makes scaling the landline phone system expensive and time-consuming.

6. Sound quality

One of the benefits of landline vs VoIP has long been that landlines offer better sound quality since the signals carry more audio information. But that is changing with the introduction of HD codecs being used in VoIP phone systems.

Thanks to this technology, the previous issues of VoIP sound being jittery are quickly being resolved.

7. Requirement of equipment

A landline phone system needs dedicated phones that have to be connected to a specific port. That means each employee needs to have a separate desk phone which he can’t even take around the office. Which means the scope of mobility is limited.

In addition, you also need phone lines to connect each landline desk phone to the PBX system.

As for the VoIP phone system, it can be set up on any internet-connected device (laptop or phone). The employees can take their phones anywhere to manage calls and you don’t need to invest in a separate phone desk for each of them as well.

This is particularly important for remote workers. Even if they’re not at their work desks, they can easily take phone calls on the go, provided they have a stable internet connection.

8. Freedom of different phone numbers

Since every landline phone connection is linked with a specific address, thus you’ll receive a specific local phone number when using a landline phone. For example, you’ll receive a phone number with 020 dialing code if your business is based in London.

With the VoIP phone system, you can choose a virtual phone number from anywhere in the world because they are not tied to a local address. This means that you could use a dialing code of 212 (New York) while running your business from London.

This helps your business feel local no matter where you’re reaching, pulling in more customers. For instance, you can get a VoIP number of Australia and chat with Australian customers.

VoIP vs Landline - Final winner?

Voip vs Landline

Since most of the aforementioned factors favour VoIP, it’s quite clear that VoIP phone systems should be preferred by businesses. Be it affordability, scalability or security, VoIP surpasses landline.

However, the final decision should be based on the unique goal of your business.

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FAQs

Yes, VoIP can work on a landline phone. What you need is a VoIP adapter. It plugs into a wireless router or wired modem. You have to enter the IP address on the VoIP adapter using an internet-connected device, follow the steps to configure it and finally plug your landline phone into it.

Yes, the traditional landline lines will be switched off by December 2025 and they will be replaced by digital lines that will use the internet to make and receive calls. But you can still use your landline to make calls. Your telephone provider will guide you about the necessary changes needed.

Although its benefits beat the cons, but some of the biggest disadvantages of VoIP include reliance on an internet connection, risk of hacking because of the internet transmission and no emergency calling support as the number is not linked to a physical address.

Written by:

Isabella Robinson
Isabella Robinson
Isabella Robinson is a seasoned business content writer, leveraging several years of experience to craft impactful narratives that seamlessly blend business insights with engaging storytelling across diverse industries. Her expertise lies in delivering compelling content that resonates with audiences.