VoIP vs Landline In Depth ComparisonBy:Reuben Yonatan (G+)|June 19, 2013
It might be best to leave behind Landline Service and consider making a permanent transition to VoIP service. But don't just take our word for it, we've compiled this extensive comparison chart for you to see for yourself.
VoIP vs Landline Overall Comparison Chart
|Wiring Specifications||Ethernet cable||Telephone Jack|
|911 access||Included - Paid for by taxes||Included - Paid for by taxes|
|411 Directory Assistance||Varies by Provider, usually included at no extra cost||$0.99 -$1.79/call, human operator|
|Security||As secure as web traffic/connection. Has potential vulnerabilities, if not properly secured.||One of the most secure methods of communication|
|Reliability||99.9% uptime||99.9% uptime|
|TTY Accessibility||TTY compatible||Hearing aid compatible; TTY compatible|
|Domestic Calling||Usually Included in most plans||Add'l cost per minute|
|International calling||Very Inexpensive as low as $0.02 cents per min- Can come as standard option w/certain carriers.||Very Expensive per minute charge|
|Equipment||Business Phones are pricey.|
Can use existing landline phone with ATA
|Phones are generally inexpensive|
|Fax Options||Paperless faxes: high reliability; high quality||Paper faxes:medium reliability, low quality|
|Electric Dependency||Relies on power||Independent of power grid|
|Voicemail Options||Voicemail accessible online and remotely||Answering machines/voicemail available, usually for a fee|
|Bundle Packages||Big discount on hardware w. long term contract||Available with TV/Internet|
|Global Market Share||$63B in 2012||$551B in 2010|
|Alarm Security||Not always compatible with alarms||Compatible with alarms|
|Carrier Selection||New VoIP providers founded every month||Only Three major carriers|
|Dropped Calls||Calls may jitter, but rarely drop||Calls rarely drop|
|Type of Quality||Digital||Analog, TDM|
|Video Options||Available (depends on equipment/service)||Not Available|
|Contracts||Less likely; price decrease or free/discounted hardware with long term contract||More likely; price decrease with long term contract|
|Ease of Setup||Plug into router||plug into wall|
|Audio Quality||Subject to network traffic, Wideband if available||Not subject to network traffic|
"3 Cs of service", where VoIP clearly edges out Landlines at every turn:
VoIP service offers the options to customize your subscription -- that means electing the services you want and eliminating the ones you do not.
With VoIP you can e-mail yourself an audio copy of a voicemail you just received or have calls directed to your cell at a fixed certain hour when out of the office or on Holiday. For the sentimental, VoIP adapters will hook right up to your old phone, eliminating the need to purchase an IP phone if you don't necessarily want to invest in one.
|Landline service offers low bandwidth, no mobile capabilities, and what you see is essentially what you get -- there are no options for add-ons or customized features with PSTNs and landline phones.|
If you're willing to excuse the alliteration, there's nothing quite like the convenience of click to call from a softphone. Placing a call from your computer screen is just one of the many ways VoIP makes staying in contact so much easier, eliminating the need to cycle arduously through address books.
Undeniable is the convenience of portability that VoIP offers, enabling the use of calls through any internet connection. All VoIP calling requires is a VoIP phone number and an account with a provider. Business travelers may slip a VoIP phone adapter into a briefcase, then make a call from their hotel room while retaining the same VoIP number. VoIP technology also facilitates users to access phone, email, fax, web conferencing, Internet and video applications, and more all at once.
Landline service is pretty much in a fixed location - wherever one might find a dedicated telephone jack. Portable phones can become tiresome with the charging of batteries, going out of range, etc. Plus, nothing is worse than engaging in activities around the house to find later that your neck aches from cradling the cordless receiver between your shoulder and head. I know that sounds like an infomercial pitch, but I assure you, that pain is very real. VoIP is the perfect blend of convenience and customization, improving call quality in more than just ergonomics.
|Cost||Bills will be the same from month to month, and you'll know exactly what amount to expect. The convenience of having everything in a digital form (i.e. bills, plans, contracts) is also a luxury that is seldom, if at all available for landline service. On average, VoIP users can spend about $20-25 a month, all inclusive of local and long distance calls and features. As VoIP technology grows, many of the costs are coming down as providers vie for your business by improving their own overhead and thus, offering cheaper service.||Landline bills can change depending on taxes applied, various fees, going over on minutes, etc. For starters, bills are around $30-$50 on average, but once caller ID, call waiting, and anything else is added, bills can almost double those averages. VoIP Providers don't have the costs involved with maintaining a traditional phone network, due to the fact sending signals through Internet costs considerably lower.|
A changing of the guard is certainly upon us, and retiring rotary phones was just a precursor to how cumbersome and dated landline service is becoming. The sheer magnitude of options to customize, cut costs, and improve one's quality of life and calling are substantial, as VoIP adoption becomes more prevalent in lieu of landline service. Check out consumer reviews for coverage on some of the top providers for business and residential VoIP services.