VoIP or Landlines: Which is Better for Your Business?

If you’ve been using a landline for your business, you might be wondering what all the hype is over voice over IP (VoIP) phone service. Maybe you’ve had your landline service for many years and don’t think there’s any significant benefit to switching.

While landlines do offer some benefits, like the fact that they work even if the power goes out, there are far more benefits that come with a VoIP phone service.
VoIP vs Landlines
Here’s a breakdown of the benefits, drawbacks, and differences between landline and VoIP phone technology.

Landline drawbacks

Relying on a landline for your business comes with several key drawbacks.

* Availability. Landlines are becoming less prevalent because they’re being phased out. It’s become too expensive to maintain the infrastructure, and many companies are simply not offering landlines anymore. While you might have a landline service now, there’s no guarantee you won’t have to switch to VoIP in the future, much in the same way everyone was required to switch from analog television to digital. At first, there were converters, but now analog stations don’t exist.

* Cost. Currently, landlines cost more than VoIP in many cases. If you need dedicated lines, you pay a lot for each line. Additionally, it’s possible that companies may keep their existing landline customers going forward, but they’ll charge you more to cover the cost of maintaining the infrastructure. If this happens, you can expect to pay exponentially more for your phone service.

VoIP benefits

When you use a VoIP business phone service, you get all the standard features you’d get with a landline, like voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding, and more. However, there are significant benefits that go beyond what a landline can offer.

* Conference calling. With a landline, you can only call a few people at a time and it’s cumbersome to manage. VoIP makes conference calling a breeze, and you can get a large number of people on a call.

* Video conferencing. Since VoIP is software-based, you can use it on your cell phone to host video conferencing for your whole team.

* Call routing. With VoIP, you can set up an automated system to route calls to specific phone numbers based on selections made by the customer. This allows you to have a customer support team located anywhere in the world, and makes it easy for customers to get help.

* Free long distance.
With landlines, you still have to pay for long distance, either per minute or with a flat fee per month. VoIP can offer free long distance because the conversations are happening over the internet, and it doesn’t cost any more to talk to someone in your office than it does to talk to someone 5,000 miles away.

* Get phone numbers all over the world. With VoIP, you can get phone numbers that work like local numbers from all over the world. This means you can provide regional numbers to your customers so they don’t have to dial long distance. It’s also a great alternative to managing 800 numbers because if you’re in the United States, people outside of the U.S. can’t easily dial 800 numbers. When you have VoIP, you can get national and international phone numbers for your customers to use.

* Text messages. VoIP can be used to send and receive text messages when used on a cell phone.

* Faxing. If you need to send or receive faxes, but you don’t have a fax machine, VoIP will allow you to receive and send faxes from a phone number and whatever fax you receive will go directly to your email.

* Instant messaging. Similar to text messaging, some VoIP providers offer instant messaging, so everyone with the app installed on their phone can participate in instant messages.

VoIP drawbacks

There are only a few drawbacks to using VoIP for your business phone services. The main one is that VoIP relies on the power provided by your modem. If the power goes out, you lose service. This can be resolved by installing a reliable UPS for your business.

The other drawback is that you need a good internet connection for VoIP to maintain quality calls. It’s not suited for DSL connections and some slower broadband connections may see quality suffer as well. If you choose VoIP, make sure to get high speed reliable internet.

VoIP is the future of business phone services

There’s no doubt that at some point, voice over IP is going to become the only option. If you haven’t adopted VoIP yet, consider making the switch now so you won’t experience a disruption later when you’re forced to give up your landline.