VOIP vs Landline – What’s the Difference? – Explained (Pros and Cons)

VOIP vs Landline – What’s the Difference? Nowadays, the world is rapidly moving with technology. So do the business. Therefore the communication methodologies are also getting evolved and subjected to modernization. In this article, we will discuss the newest communication method, VoIP over the most commonly used method throughout the decade, landlines.

What is a Landline?

Landline phones, which are also referred to as telephones, are the most commonly used equipment in businesses. It was invented in the late 19th century and has consistently been used with timely modifications. Landline phones send signals via a series of physical switch boxes connected via copper wires.

Pros of landline systems

  • Reliability: Landline phones are highly reliable since they use wires to establish connections. There are no frequent drops as it uses dedicated hardware for each connection. If any issue is raised within the wiring system, it can be easily fixed compared to internet downtime. Therefore, landline systems have reduced the connectivity issues that occur in your business.

  • Accessibility & availability: Landlines are still the most famous and commonly used communication method. Any customer can easily reach you through another commonly available landline phone.

  • Quality: Unlike internet calls, landline calls are not affected by network issues. You can experience better sound and call quality without calls getting dropped as long as you have uninterrupted or unbroken wiring.

Cons of landline systems

  • Considered old age: Some new tools and concepts have begun to penetrate the business industry due to the development of communication technology. People tend to move along with the new trends as they incorporate many more added features and advantages. In addition to the landline, systems may restrict the ability to make calls anytime to anywhere since it has hardware constraints and limitations.

  • High cost: Landlines are highly related and dependent on hardware installation. Hence it has an initial installment cost. Other than that,  you will be additionally charged if you are going to add extra features such as call waiting, call logs, call identification, and voicemail. Moreover, you are bound to pay taxes and other additional charges, which will increase the cost further.

  • Spam calls: Unlike VoIP, there are no regulations and technical features to track and block spam calls. Hence your business will tend to receive more spam calls.

What Is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is the technology that allows you to make calls via the internet. Hence it is also known as IP telephony or Internet calling. It is a modern alternative for traditional analog landlines, which uses telephony devices connected with wires or optical fibre (the newest method of physical transmission).

You will need a quality, speed, and stable internet connection and a computer(softphone), adapter, or dedicated telephony system designed for VoIP to establish a VoIP connection. Some VoIP services are designed to be used over a computer, while some offer the flexibility of using a landline phone connected to a VoIP adapter.

You can use multiple apps such as Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Google voice for communication if you are using a computer or a smart device. On the other hand, if you use a dedicated VoIP phone, it will be just an ordinary telephone connected directly to the internet instead of a wired system.

In VoIP, your voice signal is divided into small digital packets and then sent to the receiver as data over the internet. VoIP is now available in many systems, making it available for anyone on the internet.

Pros of VoIP

  • Technology: The world has moved more into digital and modern methodologies with time. Using VoIP means that you are updated and compatible with the newest technologies. Additional components such as smart devices, accessories, headphones, and automated systems allow you to use new cutting-edge technologies to enhance the quality and flexibility of your VoIP system. Managing software such as FreePBX will also be beneficial in working with these systems


  • Reliability: Since VoIP is a digital communication method, it can be embedded with multiple security protocols to enhance reliability. For example, it allows you to identify spam calls, unlike traditional telephone systems. Furthermore, it can secure reliability as it has a robust infrastructure.


  • Low cost: The major benefit of this system is the lower cost. You will only be charged for the data you consume while using the internet call system, which will be a lesser amount than the cost of the same in a landline. You can easily manage multiple connections, which is more costly if implemented with a landline. Moreover, VoIP offers cost-effective solutions that are compatible with data packages to reduce the cost further. More importantly, the software used for VoIP is often offered for free.


  • Improved functionalities: VoIP is not limited to voice calls. It also enables you to have video conferences, share multimedia messages and documents. Features such as voice mails, voice to text, call analytics, and spam call rejection are either offered within the apps or can be added at a lesser cost.


  • Quality: While voice is clearer and less distorted than landlines, it depends entirely on how stable your internet connection is. You can have a consistent call quality if you can keep an uninterrupted connection.

Cons of VoIP

  • Internet Dependency: VoIP solely depends on the internet. You can’t use a VoIP system if you don’t have internet connectivity. Therefore, connection, quality, reliability, stability and other attractive features depend on the internet connection.


  • No emergency support: Most VoIP systems are unable to support in an emergency. Besides, most of the service providers do not provide emergency call service. So you will have to go through a complex process to integrate it. Tracking will also be useless and emergency services will not be able to support it because VOIP calls are always traced into a single geographical location. The best solution for this issue is choosing a service provider who automatically offers emergency services.

Difference Between VOIP vs Landline

We have discussed the features, pros, and cons of both systems to guide you in choosing the best solution. In addition, there are a few facts that should be taken into account when choosing the right method.

  • Features: VoIP phones have wider range of features (virtual receptionist, voicemail to email) but landline phones are limited to only the most basic features. The larger the business across multiple office locations with so many mobile devices and operations in the cloud are most needed then VoIP is the better solution for your business.
  • Reliability: Currently landlines win over VoIP phones with reliability. But with increase of high speed internet service providers the gap between VoIP and landline reliability will close. On the other hand traditional landline phones are extremely reliable. The connection is based on hard wires. This can very important for the businesses for productivity and accessibility. So reliability between VoIP vs landline choice will depend on your area and service provider with closing that gap. 
  • Cost: If you have multiple landline phones you need private branch exchange (PBX). This physical hardware , premise based is very expensive. If you considering upgrading to much cheaper service and maintenance costs the better choice is VoIP as it’s a far more inexpensive proposition.
  • Technology: VoIP is more advanced with the latest technologies, such as newest headsets, newest phones and many others.  And with the view that technology is always advancing the better choice will be a VoIP system than a landline.
  • Functionality: VoIP option offers greater functions than landlines by making it possible to use video calls, send multimedia messages. Other functions that are more and more desired are: voicemail or anonymous call rejection. On the other hand traditional landline brings consistent quality with no dropped calls. So the choice of VoIP vs landline here is a difficult one.
  • Equipment: If you currently have traditional landline system in place is probably cheaper to hold on to what you already use. In the future if switching to VoIP you choose  the minimal infrastructure and hardware.

VOIP vs Landline

Last points to consider with the differences of VoIP  vs landline is:

  • Internet connection dependence: This is a critical need if you are going to use VoIP. Hence ensure that you have a stable internet connection and to avoid dropped calls.


  • Maintenance cost: VoIP systems are much easier to update and maintain. Landline has  physical location and the system is also subject to taxes and additional fees, which further raise their costs.

VOIP vs Landline – What’s the Difference? Conclusion

Using a VoIP system is more promising for you than a landline system if you have or are planning to have a rapidly growing business that uses high technologies and components. VoIP is the better choice in the telecommunications industry.


VoIP has a lower setup and maintenance cost than using landlines, plus most of the features are available at no additional cost.  Landlines are relatively expensive to setup and maintain, but are consistently reliable and no dropped calls and work in any emergency situations. Overall traditional landline systems are no match against the more advanced VoIP telephone service.

Avatar for Shanika Wickramasinghe
Shanika Wickramasinghe

Senior Software Engineer at WSO2 which is the 6th largest Open Source Software Company in the World. My main skills are machine learning and software development. I have 5+ years of experience as a Software engineer.

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