Types of Virtual Phone Systems

10th January 2020

This is as good a time as any to get a virtual phone system for your business. Virtual phone systems are popular because they are cheap and easy to use. They also make communication more efficient. However, a lot of people start shopping for virtual phone systems without first determining what they want.

This is because most of them think that virtual phone systems are just one thing. But that isn’t true. There are thin lines separating virtual systems into categories. Virtual phone systems are categorised based on the way they operate, for instance:

Hosted PBX

This is often the starting point for pre-existing businesses that are looking to join the virtual phone system train. Hosted PBX systems are attractive because they don’t utilise the internet. You have to use the internet to make certain changes to your system because the settings are accessible via an online control panel.

Other than that, the internet isn’t a major factor in the operations of hosted PBX. These systems are designed to work with your existing phone network. This is perfect for people with an attachment to their PTSN and cellular networks because you don’t have to acclimate to any major changes.

The system doesn’t require any special hardware. So the cost of installation is low. It is also worth noting that people have a tendency to use ‘VoIP’ and ‘Hosted PBX’ interchangeably. This is because so many service providers these days combine VoIP with hosted PBX to create a system that is heavily dependent on the internet.

However, there are ‘Non-VoIP’ versions of Hosted PBX phone systems on the market.

VoIP

Everyone knows VoIP. This technology uses the same equipment that connects your business to the internet to enable phone communication. VoIP phone systems are attractive because they are cheap and easy to deploy.

You don’t have to invest heavily in the acquisition of new hardware components. It is worth noting that VoIP requires a reliable internet connection. Whenever people accuse VoIP of failing to deliver clear and efficient services, it is normally because they paired the system with a weak internet connection.

The quality of the calls made over VoIP depends on the quality of your internet. This is why we always encourage people to test their internet connection to ensure that it is adequate for VoIP before they adopt the technology. But if you can upgrade your internet connection, the capabilities of a VoIP virtual system are limitless.

Some people argue that its dependence on the internet makes VoIP a liability because any internet outage will cripple your phone system. While this is true in some circumstances, most businesses have redundancies in place to counter the consequences of internet outages.

VoIP and hosted PBX are the only significant categories of virtual phone systems on the market. But some people think that app-based virtual systems have a place on this list. However, app-based phone systems are not necessarily a viable option for businesses.

Individuals use them because they are the cheapest virtual systems available and there are so many of them these days. That being said, you can make ordinary phone calls with an app-based virtual system but the advanced features found in VoIP and hosted PBX are absent. App-based systems are also not scalable. You cannot rely on them to keep the communication mechanisms of your business afloat.

If you are interested in getting a virtual number for personal use or your business, call us free on 0800 44 99 66 to find out more.