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When Should I Choose VoIP Over a Landline for My Business?

This article was updated on December 30, 2023

Landlines, VoIP, or UCaaS? Whether you’re in the market for a brand new business phone system or just looking into a potential upgrade, it’s important to know your options. This article looks specifically at the advantages VoIP can provide that landline systems simply can’t match.

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How to Assess VoIP and Landline Systems

As technology continues to evolve, it’s important for businesses to periodically assess their communication needs and consider whether there are opportunities to streamline business operations. While landline phones are still popular among some businesses, they generally represent an outdated technology with limited features.

Does upgrading to a VoIP business phone system make sense for your business? In this article, we’ll explore a few topics related to the debate of VoIP vs. landline for business.

What Is a VoIP Phone (Versus a Landline)?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and refers to a system that enables “the transmission of voice and multimedia content over an internet connection” as opposed to a traditional landline. In other words, a VoIP setup trades a network of physical wiring for reliable, internet-based calling.

Are VoIP Phones Any Good?

Yes, they are — especially when compared with traditional landline phone service. Some of the most impactful advantages of VoIP phones over landlines include:

  • VoIP systems typically cost less than a traditional landline system.

  • VoIP systems provide Increased flexibility and mobility, making them the more cost-effective and scalable solution.

  • Since they transmit calls over the internet (instead of a public switched telephone network (PSTN), VoIP can be more secure than landlines.

How Good Is VoIP Sound Quality? Do Landlines Sound Better?

VoIP systems generally offer superior clarity over landlines in terms of sound quality. That being said, this really depends on the available internet connection. A landline system could sound better in environments where an internet connection is spotty, inconsistent, or overloaded.

Are VoIP Systems as Reliable as Landlines?

Excellent call quality and robust features don’t matter so much if the network doesn’t perform well — and VoIP systems are certainly up for the task. As long as you’re set up with a high-quality internet connection, VoIP systems are as reliable as traditional landlines, if not more so. In fact, Vonage’s VoIP systems provide consistent results, with 99.999% uptime based on averages from July 2021 through February 2022.

How Many Businesses Use VoIP?

In 2022, over half of companies (61%) reported switching from traditional phone systems to VoIP. For a majority of them, the switch is often inspired by factors like the advanced features VoIP offers. Among these companies …

  • 20% reported a rise in employee productivity

  • 91% reported that compliance was made easier by the switch to VoIP

  • 50% of their telecom costs were reduced by switching, including up to 90% savings on international calls

When Should a Business Use VoIP Instead of a Landline?

There are a number of compelling reasons why VoIP is better than traditional phone services, including:

  • Cost: VoIP solutions generally cost less overall, especially considering the sheer amount of work it takes to set up, configure, manage, and maintain hard-wired landline phone service. Long-distance and international calling are more affordable, too.

  • Security: While there is some debate between VoIP vs landline security, VoIP-based communications can be effectively secured through encryption and other security protocols.

  • Features: Because VoIP is internet-based, it can offer a number of advanced modern features you can’t get with landline-based services — things like SMS messaging, video, voicemail, and more.

  • Scalability: Since they don’t rely on cumbersome, physical networks of phone lines, VoIP systems are easier to scale than traditional landline-based services.

  • Accessibility: With a VoIP solution, a wide range of personal, portable devices can be enabled for VoIP calling — especially helpful if employees work remotely.

What Is the Main Disadvantage of VoIP?

Because VoIP relies on the internet, connection issues or outages can cause problems for VoIP-based systems. If you have a strong, consistent internet connection, you shouldn’t encounter much in the way of latency or jitter issues. A power outage, on the other hand, can create issues with call quality or other functions, which is why having a backup power system and setting up call forwarding are always recommended as best practices.

In addition, VoIP is well-suited for voice calling and limited SMS capabilities, but many businesses (and their customers) prefer to have more communication channels enabled. And while you can certainly add these additional features on your own, there’s a more complete solution: Unified Communications as a Service, or UCaaS.

Many businesses are increasingly retiring their landlines in favor of VoIP, and many are making an even more significant upgrade by leveraging a UCaaS platform.

What Is UCaaS?

Think of UCaaS as being an all-in-one, comprehensive solution for business communications.

What Are “Unified Communications”?

In addition to everything VoIP offers, UCaaS provides more channels within a single platform. With a UCaaS platform, you can easily take advantage of capabilities like:

These are just a few features that can make up a comprehensive UCaaS solution. Read more about Vonage’s full range of features.

What Does Unified Communications “as a Service” Mean?

When you opt for a UCaaS solution, you’re not just paying for the platform itself, but the management of it as well. That means you'll have a dedicated point of contact whenever you need to change your configuration, add channels, or otherwise manage your services.

Many additional UCaaS features empower companies to improve their internal collaboration through intuitive features like screen sharing, virtual whiteboarding, project and task management, integration with other business applications, and more.

Explore Vonage’s UCaaS Solution

Vonage’s UCaaS platform is an easy-to-use, customizable, and comprehensive solution for small businesses that are ready to leave their traditional phone systems — and even VoIP systems — behind. Some key features include:

These features are just a sampling of what’s included with Vonage’s UCaaS solution — dive in to learn more about these features.

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