Understanding the Main Differences Between Hosted VoIP and PBX

Both internal and external communication are crucial to running a business.

In most cases, having a poor-quality communications system for your business can have a negative impact on the rest of your company. Many people aren’t sure, though, which is the better option for them when choosing between hosted VoIP and PBX.

While these two systems accomplish the same task of completing/receiving phone calls, there are key differences between them that are important to be aware of.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.


In general, a VoIP system is far less complicated than a PBX.

PBX systems use what is essentially a network of telephone lines to complete both incoming and outgoing calls. In order for this system to function properly, you’ll need a control board that manages lines that connect to a public system.

From here, those lines connect to a switching system that then routes calls to the appropriate phone.

A VoIP system, though, transfers voice data over the Internet. So, you’ll only require an Internet connection. It should be noted, though, that cloud-based PBX services are also an option.

Interestingly, VoIP services can be used in combination with cloud-based PBX networks in order to avoid dealing with conventional equipment.

Equipment Options

As previously mentioned, a typical PBX system requires far more equipment than a VoIP system. In addition to the equipment you’ll need to facilitate the connection, you’ll also require dedicated phones. Depending on the setting, you may also require a headset.

VoIP services have notable flexibility when it comes to equipment, though. In particular, users can download software that allows their computer or mobile device to function in the same way that a dedicated phone would.

For those who use VoIP services and still want what could be considered a more ‘traditional’ experience for their phone system, using a wireless or IP phone to make calls over the Internet is an option.


Since you can manage your VoIP services from a computer, it’s often far easier to customize them when compared to PBX. You’ll find that it takes little effort to accomplish tasks like routing incoming calls to certain numbers, voice-to-text transcription, etc.

This is particularly noteworthy for larger companies with more complex systems, as changes are able to be made with ease.

While a PBX system can also be customized to perform similar tasks, there’s a noticeable difference in flexibility when compared to a VoIP system. Changes also often require someone with administrator-level knowledge to complete.

Choosing Between Hosted VoIP and PBX Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about hosted VoIP and PBX in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making the decision that’s best for you and your company.

We’ve got over 45 years of combined experience in helping our clients meet their IT needs.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.



Vitreous Admin