Virtual Private Branch Exchange

What Does Virtual Private Branch Exchange Mean?

A virtual private branch exchange (VPBX) is a business phone system that provides call routing, follow-me calling, voice mail, fax and automatic call distributor queues delivered over the public-switched telephone system.


VPBX offers a communication solution optimized to address the requirements of dynamic businesses using the latest IP technology. Unlike a traditional private branch exchange (PBX), businesses do not need to purchase or install special equipment because VPBX is run through software.

Virtual private branch exchange is also known as Centrex.

Techopedia Explains Virtual Private Branch Exchange

VPBX technology provides the small business owner with practically all of the features of a regular PBX, but at a fraction of the cost. The main difference between the PBX and VPBX is how the service is delivered. With a PBX, the customer must buy expensive equipment and house it on site. A VPBX, on the other hand, is mostly software-driven, and the software is housed on the service-provider’s servers.

But while virtual PBX is a cost effective system, it’s still a one-way alternative to a PBX system. Although it provides most of the features of a typical PBX system, it is only applicable for inward or inbound calls. Outbound calls can’t be made through this system.

Virtual PBX is provided by a telecommunications operator, Internet service provider and generally requires both a public switched telephone network and VoIP infrastructure to operate. Some of the features virtual PBX provides include call receiving, forwarding and routing, back-end music/message on hold, auto-attendant, voice mail etc.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…