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Monday, December 14, 2015

It is pretty common to see people asking about the differences between IP PBXs and VoIPs. One of the major reasons for such a situation is the fact that the industry sees plenty of these terms are used interchangeably. This is also why it is important that these matters are properly clarified. The term VoIP (Voice over the Internet Protocol) can be used to describe the basic technology and also the paid service that companies avail on monthly bases in order to furnish telephone services for their workers.

The Actual Definition of VoIP

The term VoIP is used in its fundamental and original state to define the standards and technologies that have been created in order to enable telecommunication by using a data based network. However, of late the term is also being used in order to include the service, which is supposed to act as a substitute for the legacy telephone services.

VoIP is a highly flexible service and can be used in order to put to use virtual software services in a wide range of platforms such as mobile phones, deskphones, personal computers, and other forms of communication. It is also very good for the smaller organizations that work with less capital and lower expertise of information technology. Since, it is a hosted solution it is the ideal way for changing over from the legacy telephones.

What is IP PBX?

The full form of the abbreviation IP PBX is Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange. It is basically a telephone system that operates within an enterprise as such. It changes calls between the designated users of that particular enterprise and this whole process takes place on local lines. At the same time, users also get the benefit of sharing a fixed amount of external phone lines by using the data network. This is basically the IP part of things. Till date, not many companies have been able to afford the hardware for building the PBX switched telephone systems since they happen to be pretty costly. One of the major reasons for such high costs is the fact that PBXs are highly rich in features.

Role of Cloud Technologies

However, all this has become tad redundant due to the cloud system’s emergence. The cloud technologies are also known as virtual or hosted technologies. They are working on the basis that large scale technologies like IP PBX are being hosted in virtual environments and are later on being sold as services based on subscription. In certain cases, these technologies work as platforms as well.

Main Areas of Difference

The VoIP system employs a packet switched network such as internet in order to transfer digitized voices between two points. Thanks to this feature companies are able to accommodate a greater amount of conversations in their bandwidth. VoIP handsets can be used by families as well. It can also be used by way of computers. This is done through a software programme and can be used to call people when they are online and this is basically free of cost.

On the other hand, PBX is basically a smaller network of telephones that is meant to work primarily within companies. The external lines to which calls can be made or from which calls can be received are fixed as well. These are used in order to bring down costs. These days the companies do not have individual lines for different departments as they are not used on a regular basis. Instead, they use the PBX, which means that the lines are fewer but every department still has its own unit. In case of internal calls, the routing is done internally. As far as the external calls are concerned, the available external lines are used for making calls outside the company. Most of the PBX systems, however, cannot handle VoIP phones. Do read “Advantages of IP Phones for Small Businesses” for more info


Thus, in a way it can be said that both these technologies are related but happen to be different as well. At times, hosting companies offer their IP PBX services on the basis that their VoIP services are availed as well. On other occasions, these services may be offered on an independent basis. They can also be offered along with time division multiplexing services.