VoIP vs Landline – Which is Better to Use in 2024?

At Techopedia, we understand that the choice between VoIP vs landline for your company communications is an important decision. It affects day-to-day business operations and long-term success.

To help you decide which communication method is best for your business, we discuss the pros and cons of each option here, providing the guidance needed to make a sound choice.

Key Takeaways

  • VoIP systems are generally more cost-effective than landlines, offering lower monthly costs and minimal upfront expenses.
  • With VoIP, businesses gain flexibility and mobility, allowing teams to make and receive calls from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • VoIP provides advanced call features and easy integration with business applications, which can significantly improve efficiency and customer service.
  • Scalability is a top advantage of VoIP, allowing your business to easily adjust your communication system to match growth.
  • While landlines are known for their reliability and simplicity, VoIP technology has evolved to provide comparable stability and user-friendly options.

VoIP vs Landline — Overview

VoIP and landline systems are two voice communication options for businesses, each with its own set of features and benefits. VoIP is a more versatile and cost-effective solution.

VoIP services are particularly suited for businesses that value advanced features, scalability, and remote work capabilities. Here’s a quick comparison:

VoIP Traditional landline
Suitable for Remote or expanding teams needing sophisticated call management Onsite teams needing basic call handling
Primary characteristics – Interface based on digital technology
– Interactive Voice Response (IVR) options
– Call queue management
– Analytical reporting
– Flexible virtual numbers
– Standard voicemail service
– Call forwarding
– Built-in auto attendant
– Support for multiple lines
– Caller ID
Initial investment No charge Between $150 and $400 for each line
Ongoing expense $20 to $40 per month for each user $15 to $40 per month for each line
Equipment requirements Essential: Devices with internet connectivity
Optional: Desk phones ranging from $50 to $200 each
Essential: Traditional desk phones, ranging from $50 to $200 per unit
Advantages – Easily scalable
– Connects dispersed teams
– Broad range of features
– Cost-effective
– User-friendly for traditional users
– Operates independently of the internet
Disadvantages – Dependence on the internet
– Potential complexity in feature set
– Basic features
– Higher expense
– Maintenance required

What is VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a technology that allows voice calls to be made using a broadband internet connection instead of a traditional landline. VoIP converts sound into digital packets and transmits them over the internet.

When comparing VoIP vs landline, it quickly becomes evident that VoIP offers more flexibility and savings. VoIP offers a range of features, such as call forwarding, voicemail to email, and conferencing, often at a lower cost than landline services.

Why Are Businesses Moving to VoIP?

About 31% of businesses already use VoIP systems. This is because VoIP offers several huge advantages over landlines.

Enhanced Features

VoIP technology provides a range of features that surpass those offered by traditional landlines, enhancing productivity and user experience. These include:

Advanced Call RoutingVideo ConferencingMobile IntegrationVoicemail-to-EmailCall AnalyticsInteractive Voice Response (IVR)

Direct incoming calls to the right individual or department based on specific rules you set. It streamlines call management and improves customer service by reducing wait times.

Enables face-to-face meetings with remote participants. This feature facilitates collaboration and reduces travel expenses for in-person meetings.

Allows employees to use their business phone numbers from their mobile devices. It ensures that workers are reachable while out of the office, increasing flexibility and accessibility.

Converts voicemail messages into text and sends them to your email. This allows for quick message scanning and response without listening to audio, saving time and enhancing productivity.

Provides data on call patterns and volumes. Businesses can use this information to improve staffing decisions and customer service strategies.

Automates call reception with a menu system for callers. It efficiently directs callers, improving their experience and reducing the need for a live operator.

Integration With CRM Systems

VoIP’s ability to integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) systems is a significant business advantage over traditional landlines.

This means that when a call comes in, the VoIP system can automatically pull up the caller’s information from the CRM software, enabling you to see all previous interactions with them.

Here are some key benefits:

  • Enhanced customer interaction — Employees have immediate access to customer data as they speak, allowing for personalized communication and better service.
  • Increased productivity — Automatic information retrieval saves time and reduces the need for manual data entry, allowing staff to handle calls more efficiently.
  • Streamlined workflows — With VoIP-CRM integration, call logs and recordings can be automatically attached to customer records, keeping all information in one place.
  • Data-driven decisions — The combined data from VoIP and CRM systems can provide insights into customer behavior and call patterns, aiding strategic business decisions.

This seamless convergence between voice communication and digital information empowers your business to deliver superior customer experiences and operate with greater efficiency.

Improved Scalability and Flexibility

VoIP’s scalability is a key advantage for growing businesses for a number of reasons, including:

  • Easy addition of users and locations — As your business grows, adding new users or locations to a VoIP system is simple and cost-effective.
  • Flexibility — Unlike landlines, which are limited by physical wiring and line availability, VoIP allows for easy adjustment in users or call capacity, fitting your business requirements.
  • Adaptability — Pay only for what you need. During slower periods, you aren’t stuck paying for unneeded services, and you can quickly scale up during busier times.
  • Expansion — For businesses with changing needs or those in expansion mode, VoIP offers the flexibility and ease of scaling without the constraints and costs of traditional phone systems.

Cost Efficiency

One of the most compelling advantages of VoIP is its cost-effectiveness. VoIP systems range from $20 to $40 per user, compared to landlines, which can cost between $15 and $40 per line.

VoIP services often come with minimal upfront costs and free installation, too, whereas a landline can require a $150-$400 initial investment per line, plus potential installation fees of up to $200.

Over time, the savings with VoIP can be substantial, especially considering the reduced hardware costs. VoIP adaptors for desk phones start at around $50, and desktop VoIP phones average between $100 and $200, depending on features.

VoIP upgrades are easy and affordable, too, ensuring that your communication system keeps pace with your business growth without incurring significant additional expenses.

What is a Landline?

A landline refers to a traditional telephone system that operates through a physical network of wires or fiber optic cables. This technology has been the backbone of business and personal communication for more than a century.

Landlines transmit voice data via a circuit-switched network, separate from the internet, and are known for their stable connection and consistent call quality. They require dedicated hardware and installation and are typically less flexible than VoIP solutions.

Is There Still a Place for Landlines in 2024?

While VoIP technology has become increasingly popular for its myriad of features and cost savings, traditional landline phones still offer a few advantages that may appeal to specific business needs.

It’s important to note that almost all the potential drawbacks of VoIP can be mitigated with a robust internet connection, proper system configuration, and the right VoIP provider.

Still, here are some areas where landlines still shine in the VoIP vs landline for business debate:

Dependable Call Quality

Landline connections are renowned for their consistent call quality, free from VoIP’s potential latency or packet loss. They’re unaffected by internet issues, ensuring clarity in every conversation.

Superior Reliability

Landlines are known for their reliability. They maintain functionality during power outages thanks to independent power sources and are less likely to fail during natural disasters.

Simplified Operations

The simplicity of landlines can be a boon for businesses, especially for those with teams less comfortable with newer technology. Familiarity with the systems can mean minimal training is required.

Security Advantages

Security is a strong suit for landlines, as calls are harder to intercept, and the system isn’t exposed to internet-based threats, making it potentially a safer choice for sensitive communications.

Emergency Services

In emergencies, landlines provide instant, accurate location data to responders—a critical feature that VoIP is still striving to perfect.

Established Infrastructure

The landline’s widespread infrastructure and the longevity of its equipment make it a reliable choice, particularly in areas with limited internet service.

Despite this, VoIP solutions, when properly implemented, offer a modern, scalable, and feature-rich alternative that can meet and even surpass the traditional landline experience.

How to Make the Switch to VoIP

Making the switch from landlines to VoIP is relatively straightforward, but it pays to put a plan in place. Here’s a step-by-step to follow:

  1. Evaluate Your Needs

    Start by assessing your business communication requirements. How many lines do you need? What features are essential for your operations?

    Also, evaluate your current internet bandwidth to ensure it can handle the additional load that VoIP will bring. As a rough guide, a 10 Mbps internet connection will support up to 10 concurrent VoIP calls.

  2. Choose a VoIP Provider

    Research VoIP providers to find one that fits your requirements. Consider factors like cost, features, customer support, and reliability. Use our helpful resource to discover the best Internet phone services.
  3. Plan the Transition

    Develop a transition plan that minimizes disruption. Decide whether you’ll phase out landlines gradually or switch over all at once. Communicate the change to your team and provide a timeline for the switch.
  4. Set Up Your VoIP System

    Work with your chosen provider to set up your VoIP system. This typically involves installing VoIP phones or software on existing devices and configuring your network to prioritize voice traffic.
  5. Train Your Team

    Ensure your team knows how to use the new system. Provide training on making calls, accessing voicemail, and using any additional features your VoIP service offers.
  6. Test and Troubleshoot

    Before going live, conduct thorough testing to ensure everything works as expected. Be prepared to troubleshoot any issues and work closely with your VoIP provider’s technical support if needed.
  7. Go Live

    Once you’re confident in the setup, go live with your new VoIP system. Monitor the performance closely in the initial days to promptly address any unexpected challenges.

Conclusion

Landline vs VoIP is a significant choice that’ll affect your business’ communication capabilities. VoIP offers many benefits, including cost savings, flexibility, and advanced features, making it a compelling option for many businesses.

While landlines have a few advantages, such as simplicity and reliability, the trend toward digital transformation suggests VoIP is the future of business communications.

FAQs

Can VoIP replace a landline?

Does VoIP slow down your internet?

Is it safe to use VoIP?

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Richard Sutherland

Richard brings more than two decades of computer science, business operations, and full-stack development experience to Techopedia. A Computer Science graduate and former Samsung IT support manager, Richard has taught courses in Java, PHP and Perl, and created code for the public and private sectors. A prolific B2B and B2C tech writer, Richard has worked for Samsung, TechRadar Pro, and more.