What’s the Difference Between Hosted PBX and a VoIP Phone System?
In short, not much. Hosted PBX is a type of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) designed for business use. Hosted PBX systems rely on VoIP technology, but they have all the features and capabilities associated with traditional on-site PBX systems.
Looked at another way, all hosted PBX systems are VoIP phone systems, but not all VoIP phone systems are hosted PBX. Other types of VoIP are designed for consumer use.
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The more important distinction is: How do hosted PBX systems differ from on-site PBX systems? All VoIP systems, including hosted PBX, route calls through the Internet. A third-party provider hosts the system on its servers and handles maintenance. Traditional PBX systems rely on telephone hardware and switches that must be stored and maintained on site.
Hosted PBX costs much less than the on-site variety to install and maintain. There’s less equipment to buy, and the provider handles all maintenance. Your monthly payment will go to the provider, not the local phone company, which tends to cost less.
Like traditional PBX systems, hosted PBX systems have advanced features such as auto attendant, call forwarding, custom greetings and automated directories. But the features tend to be easier to set up and use, requiring little IT support. Hosted VoIP also connects employees across multiple locations, routing calls to home offices and cell phones - a feature that traditional PBX systems lack.