VOIP or PBX: Which Phone System Is Right For Your Business?


Selecting the right phone system for your business is key if you want to effectively communicate with your customers. Many people prefer to use the internet to contact companies these days, but that doesn’t mean you should have a high quality phone system: clients may be calling with issues or to ask questions, and you might even miss out on leads without a great phone system set up. 

About VoIP

Oftentimes, VoIP systems make a good choice for different kinds of small businesses. As many as a third of small businesses are now working with a VoIP system, and many of them actually have less than 50 employees. In the early days of VoIP, the sound quality was pretty terrible, but there’s no need to worry about that today. VoIP phone systems simply use the same internet connection that your company already uses. They come with a range of features, too, such as call queues and having voicemails sent to your email inbox. 

About PBX

A PBX is a private telephone network used within a company or organization. The users of the PBX phone system can communicate within their company or organization and the outside world, using different communication channels such as Voice over IP, ISDN or analog. A PBX also allows you to have more phones than physical phone lines and allows free calls between users. Features such as transfers, call recording, and ACD call queues can all be taken advantage of with a PBX. They are available as both hosted and in-house solutions. 

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Making A Decision

Before you can decide which phone system is right for your business, there are a few questions you should ask yourself:


  • Do you need a full phone system that includes desk telephones? 
  • Could your business get by with a virtual phone service that is reliant on mobile devices? 
  • What kind of service do you want if you do need desk telephones? Would you prefer a traditional telephone service provided by a local phone company, or VoIP, running over the internet? 
  • What features are important to you?
  • Which phone system do you believe will better help you to manage your customer relationships? 

Once you have answered these questions you can take a look at the pros and cons of each to help you figure out which option is right for you. 

The Cost 

VoIP tends to be the cheapest option, as both the initial investment and monthly charges are small. You will only have to sign up online and pay a small charge for setup and phone adapters to activate your service. Calls are free and you just pay a low fee monthly charge. It can sometimes be more expensive to set up a PBX system depending on who you choose to go with. To find out how much does a hosted PBX phone system cost? You will need to find a reliable provider and get a quote. 


One of the disadvantages of VoIP is that it relies so heavily on the internet to function. If your internet goes down, then you’re left without any phone service. You can get both hosted PBX systems and in-house, so you may or may not run into this problem with PBX too. 


PBX often gives you a system designed for a certain amount of lines and telephones, so if you have paid for enough, you won’t have issues. You may have issues with VoIP as your internet connection can limit you when it reaches capacity, and call quality will suffer. 

Voice Quality

How high quality calls are with VoIP will depend on your internet connection. However, as both VoIP systems and PBX systems can experience similar issues depending on the connections used, it’s safe to assume that voice quality is no longer something you should worry about too much in 2019. 


In the past, 911 calls from VoIP phones has been less than reliable. Mixed success has been reported by users. With a PBX line, telephone companies tend to know where the line ends and emergency services can find you using caller ID. You have to tell the VoIP service provider where you are using the service, as there is no set location, but this has proved less reliable than normal 911 service, because the VoIP call may not connect to the correct emergency services number. Hopefully you won’t have to worry too much about making emergency calls, ut it is a factor you should keep in mind and research.