VoIP vs Landline In Depth Comparison

Voip vs Landline
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

Residential Cost$5-$20/mo$30-$50/mo
Business cost$20-35/user$30-60/user
Wiring SpecificationsEthernet cableTelephone Jack
911 accessIncluded - Paid for by taxesIncluded - Paid for by taxes
411 Directory AssistanceVaries by Provider, usually included at no extra cost$0.99 -$1.79/call, human operator
SecurityAs secure as web traffic/connection. Has potential vulnerabilities, if not properly secured. One of the most secure methods of communication
Reliability99.9% uptime99.9% uptime
TTY AccessibilityTTY compatibleHearing aid compatible; TTY compatible
Domestic CallingUsually Included in most plansAdd'l cost per minute
International callingVery Inexpensive as low as $0.02 cents per min- Can come as standard option w/certain carriers. Very Expensive per minute charge
EquipmentBusiness Phones are pricey.
Can use existing landline phone with ATA
Phones are generally inexpensive
Fax OptionsPaperless faxes: high reliability; high qualityPaper faxes:medium reliability, low quality
Electric DependencyRelies on powerIndependent of power grid
Voicemail OptionsVoicemail accessible online and remotelyAnswering machines/voicemail available, usually for a fee
Bundle PackagesBig discount on hardware w. long term contractAvailable with TV/Internet 
Global Market Share$63B in 2012$551B in 2010
Alarm SecurityNot always compatible with alarmsCompatible with alarms
Carrier SelectionNew VoIP providers founded every monthOnly Three major carriers
Dropped CallsCalls may jitter, but rarely dropCalls rarely drop
Type of QualityDigitalAnalog, TDM
Video OptionsAvailable (depends on equipment/service)Not Available
ContractsLess likely;  price decrease or free/discounted hardware with long term contractMore likely; price decrease with long term contract
Ease of SetupPlug into routerplug into wall
Audio QualitySubject to network traffic, Wideband if availableNot 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.

​CostBills 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.

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Business VoIP Buyer's Guide - 10 Questions to Ask
- Residential VoIP Providers Offer Must-Have Features