Landline vs VoIP: Which Works Better for Your Business and Why

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Updated June 27, 2022

If you can’t reach out to potential customers, and if they can’t reach out to you, how can you expect to grow? Communicating with customers and coworkers is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. When it comes to the way you communicate, you’ll need to decide between landline vs VoIP. And this is where the best business VoIP providers play the biggest role. Keep on reading to learn more.

While there are a variety of different ways to deliver information to external parties, real-time communication is typically available in either a landline phone service or a VoIP service.

Both of these technologies are prevalent in today’s business world, but which one is better for you?

Maybe you have a landline and you want to switch to VoIP, or vice versa. Maybe you’re just starting your business and you want to know which option is better for companies in their infancy. Whatever the case, it’s important that you know the differences between these two options. That way, you can make the best decision for your company, employees and customers.

What is a Landline?

Traditional Landline Phone
Landlines use older technology, but they are still reliable.

When you think about a traditional phone system, what you’re seeing in your head is more likely than not a landline. This technology hasn’t changed much since the 19th Century, when it was first introduced.

Landline phones use a hardwired setup, which involves a copper wire plugged into a wall jack that eventually connects directly to a physical switchboard. That switchboard then connects two different phones to initiate the phone call. Sounds ancient, right?

As you might imagine, landlines are quickly going obsolete when compared to digital and mobile phone technology. However, that’s not to say that they don’t have their benefits

What is VoIP?

VoIP Phone System
VoIP phones connect directly to the internet and offer more versatility.

VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. VoIP was first introduced in the late 80s and early 90s, and while that sounds old, it continues to evolve just as the internet does.

Instead of connecting two phones physically through copper wires and switchboards, VoIP phones use the internet to initiate the connection. These phones are connected directly to computers or modems. As such, the success of any VoIP system relies solely on the quality of the internet service you have in your business.

This reliance on good internet can bring on its own host of problems, but it gets rid of complicated phone closets and physical exchanges that were once so prevalent.

Landline vs VoIP: VoIP Wins (almost) Every Time

So, can landlines even compete against VoIP phones? Does the new technology outpace the old, or does the reliability of hardwired systems trump virtual connections? Many businesses still use traditional landline setups while even more are starting to use VoIP services.

Let’s take a look at some of the major considerations and how each type of phone system stacks up:


VoIP cost vs Landline cost
VoIP tends to be cheaper than landline services.

Cost is always a deciding factor when it comes to choosing between two different sections. And while providers in both technologies vary widely in the types of plans they offer, VoIP services are cheaper than landlines on average. Cost savings come into the picture for one main reason.

Because landlines are hardwired, businesses are required to install and maintain a central hub that manages all the phone lines, called a Private Branch Exchange (PBX). These PBXs often cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the number of phones you need.

VoIP services run off a virtual PBX, without the need for any kind of extra hardware.

Both services require you to purchase actual phones, and there’s usually no difference between the two there.


Reliability is one area where landlines still have somewhat of an edge over VoIP services. Because landlines are hardwired, and because of the way the system as a whole is set up, it’s very rare that landlines go down.

As mentioned above, VoIP phones rely on a stable internet connection to work well. If your internet goes out or if your ISP is having troubles, you’ll likely be without phone service. However, as internet technology continues to evolve, VoIP services will soon surpass landline phones in reliability.

Versatility and Customization

Landline vs VoIP Features
VoIP plans offer a ton more functionality than landline phones.

When it comes to flexibility, versatility and customization, VoIP phones win hands down. Due to limitations in technology and hardware, landlines are simple but lack any kind of extra functionality.

With VoIP services, you have the option of adding almost limitless features to your plan, ranging from virtual receptionists to comprehensive call monitoring and reporting functionality. If you want customization, the only option is to purchase VoIP.

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