What is PBX: PBX vs. VoIP

Whether you’re choosing a new phone system for a new business, upgrading an existing system, or deciding how best to add new users to your current setup, you’re going to have to make some critical choices about how your phones work. With the widespread availability of VoIP, unified communications and mobile technology, you may be surprised to learn that plenty of offices still have analog phones (or, it might not surprise you at all if there is one sitting on your desk).

But regardless of what’s the latest and greatest, you want to choose the setup that works best for you. So how do you choose between PBX and VoIP? Keep reading to find out.

What is PBX?

PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange. PBX is a line-to-line connection that connects each phone extension to an exchange and then through to their number of choice. Many offices still utilize an analog PBX since replacing the entire system can be quite costly and time-consuming.

While a legacy PBX phone system (this is different from cloud or hosted PBX, which you can read about here) is more or less reliable, it can be very difficult to scale. Every new phone needs a new connection to the exchange, which can mean purchasing a new bundle of lines for your office, even if you only need one right now. On a month-to-month basis, traditional PBX can also lead to higher costs because you will need to have separate phone and internet services, and PBX bills can be higher than those of VoIP systems. Finally, PBX phones do not have nearly the same productivity feature set as modern VoIP systems do. If you are unable to answer a call through this system, it can go to voicemail, but cannot follow you to a mobile phone or offer you the kind of flexibility a newer setup can.

What is VoIP?

VoIP is another acronym, but this one stands of Voice over Internet Protocol. A VoIP phone system works by associating every user with a phone number but that number is not tied to a specific handset. Rather, that number can be used through a desk phone, a mobile phone , or even a softphone client. VoIP relies on your business broadband internet connect to transfer voice calls and over the years has become both a reliable and cost-effective solution for many businesses. VoIP systems are also quite scalable since you do not need to purchase additional lines to add new users.


Do You Have to Choose Between PBX and VoIP?

Luckily, you do not necessarily have to choose between PBX and VoIP. Many companies that want to upgrade their phones but cannot afford to get rid of their analog PBX just yet have opted for a hybrid solution. By utilizing cloud VoIP technology, you can begin to add new users to a VoIP system while still using your PBX system for existing users. Making the transition to VoIP in this measured way can save you in the long term while making sure that you start to take advantages of VoIP features as soon as possible.

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