What’s the difference between VOIP and conventional phone systems?

Conventional phone systems, also known as a landline refer to a telephone that uses a twisted pair of copper wire and plugs. Ever since the copper wire technology was invented in the 19th century, it has not changed much. These conventional phones are based on analog technology. They send signals through physical switchboxes that later connect calls between two parties.

A VoIP, on the other hand, is the technology that allows you to make and receive calls over the internet. It does not use or require a twisted pair copper wire. The two phones on each ends are connected with broadband internet connection. These phones convert sound into digital signals. VoIPs are mostly cloud-based systems and they are better than the traditional phone systems in many ways. To understand this, let’s have a look at the differences between VOIP and conventional phone systems:

Underlying technology

VoIP uses a different technology for sending voice to the person on the other end.  In traditional phones, voice travels via copper lines over a PSTN. This network uses the circuit switch technology for sending voice signals. VoIP sends voice calls over internet or LANs. It uses the packet switching technology for communication.


Whenever a call is made on a landline the circuits from the location of the caller open up to the other person. Throughout the call duration, the circuit has to remain open which is why long distance calls on landline are expensive.  That means the more distance a call has to travel, the more circuits have to be opened because no other call can travel the same route.

Things are different in VoIP- it converts the human voice into data packets which are then set to its destination. They don’t travel together, they take up different routes. Then they are assembled in order and converted into sound which the person at the receiving ends receives.  You don’t need a separate infrastructure for VoIP. All it uses is your existing internet connection. You just have to pay a fixed price on a monthly basis and that’s it. VoIP is always budget-friendly. Even if you choose advanced features, in case you are running a business, the cost will not be that high. It will still be an affordable option especially if you have to make a lot of international calls.

Sound quality

A landline provides great sound quality, even for international calls. VoIP connections can be great too but their quality is not as reliable as that of a landline call. You can face troubles such as echoes, crackling or interruptions if the internet quality is not good.

Power and internet requirements

You have one advantage with landlines. The instruments don’t need external power source to work. Even if the power or the internet is out, your phone service will still work. However, VoIP requires not just internet connection but a power to work. You cannot make or receive phone calls if one or both of these are missing.

Call from any device

When it comes to landline, a user has to use a single device which is fixed at a particular location at home. Things are different when it comes to VoIP. You can use any phone number to make or receive call from a compatible device. Yes, you can use your mobile phone, computer, tablet or even desk phone to make or receive calls. There is no dependency on a single device. The best thing is, you can even use VoIP on the go.


When it comes to features, VoIP takes the lead. A landline phone just lets you make or receive phone calls. But VoIP phones offer you a range of features starting from a virtual receptionist, 3 digit dialing, conference calling, call forwarding, virtual receptionist, voicemail, etc. You can learn more about the features of VoIP here.


As long as you have a high-speed internet, you will not have to worry about the reliability of your VoIP.  The call quality will be crystal clear and there won’t be any disconnections. However, as mentioned above, if there is a problem in the power or internet connection, then the reliability of the VoIP is in question. Landline, on the other hand, is quite reliable.

VoIP is a great option if you are running a business. It does not have infrastructure cost, you can add as many users as you want to and you will have lots of features to control and manage the calls. Landline is perfect if you don’t want to make international calls and need a phone for local calling only.