VoIP VS Landlines
Even if you don’t know what VoIP is, you have probably heard the term somewhere but you don’t fully understand what it means or why it matters.
If you already have a landline, you have probably asked yourself on a number of occasions why you should go through the effort of replacing it with a VoIP system.
After all, are they not all the same? Are landlines truly that different from VoIP?
If you want to know what separates VoIP from landlines, you need to first understand the nature of both technologies, how they work, what makes them tick, etc.
Consider the following:
PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network. The technology is as old as the telephone and it works by connecting two endpoints through mediums such as copper and fiber optic cables to form a circuit.
Your landline requires physical wiring to connect you to the person at the other end of the line. This is why the word ‘Analogue’ is used in reference to communication that uses PSTN.
PSTN uses circuits established through physical wiring to enable communication between endpoints. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is a technology that enables communication over the internet.
Circuit VS Packet
PSTN uses a process called circuit-switching to establish a connection between two points. During a phone call, a dedicated pathway is created between the callers and it remains in place until the call is over.
VoIP uses packet-switching. This is where audio information is captured, converted into elements known as packets, transmitted through your network device (most likely a router), re-configured into its original form and delivered to the user at the endpoint.
If you do not understand computers and networking, then most of these terms won’t make much sense to you.
This is what you need to understand. Packet-switching is more flexible than circuit-switching.
Circuit switching is only compatible with dedicated phone lines such as a landline. This isn’t the case with packet-switching. You can make and receive calls with any device at your disposal so long as you have an internet connection.
Packet-switching uses fewer resources, as the transmission of data only occurs when sound is detected. This is as opposed to circuit switching that continuously consumes resources until the call between two endpoints is terminated.
PSTN requires dedicated phone lines and landlines are far more expensive to configure for a business than VoIP. You need to purchase multiple dedicated handsets, not to mention all the wiring that has to be done to connect your entire office.
So many of the tools and process VoIP requires are situated on the cloud. So you don’t actually need as much hardware to install, configure and operate a VoIP system.
VoIP does so much. By routing international numbers to local phone lines, you can avoid the exorbitant rates associated with the making and receiving of international calls.
Employees can work from remote locations, as they can just as easily access work lines from any device. Call forwarding, call transfer, call tracking, all these functions and more are at your fingertips.
Most people you meet today can do little more than make and receive phone calls with their landlines.