Telephone vs VOIP: Phone Technology Comparison 

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VOIP (Voice Over Inter Protocol) is a relatively new type of calling service that is designed to make standard land line telephone service obsolete. The border between VOIP calling and traditional telephone calling has been blurred. This article seeks to layout the pros and cons of each technology, as well as address the differences between the two.


PhoneWhat is VOIP?

VOIP is a technology that uses an internet connection rather than a phone line in order to transfer audio between users. The only connection it requires is any type of low latency internet connection. A user can setup the VOIP service through a provider such a Packetworks, or through an app on their smartphone that allows VOIP calls to be made. A user is given a phone number that they can receive calls at from other VOIP users, or telephone line users.


Strengths of Each Technology

Both telephone and VOIP technology have unique strengths that make them attractive to users. The following table outlines the strengths in detail:


Telephone Strengths

VOIP Strengths


  • Stable, worry-free, operation 
  • Does not require electricity 
  • Existing infrastructure 
  • Simple setup



  • Low cost 
  • Designed for international use 
  • Does not require a physical phone line



As shown by the chart, the telephone’s main strengths lie with its simplicity and worry free operation, whereas VOIP’s strengths are with its low cost, focus on international calling, and the ability to be implemented where phone lines have not been laid.


Key Differences

In an ideal world, the two technologies would function nearly identically, with the benefit going to VOIP due to its low cost. However, due to aspects such a power failure and bandwidth constraints, there are some concerns when using a VOIP service.

  1. If the power goes down, a telephone line can continue to operate, but a VOIP service cannot 
  2. If the internet slows drastically due to environmental factors, other people surfing the web, or time of day, a VOIP service may get ‘laggy’ or ‘choppy’.  
  3. VOIP requires the purchase of an internet connection from a third party, whereas a telephone line does not. 
  4. Since the internet is a global service, VOIP calling is significantly cheaper than telephone when calling internationally.

Many of the differences appear due to limits in technology such as internet speed and power failure. It is important that all users are aware of such limitations before purchasing a VOIP service.


What Situation is Ideal for Each Technology

Due to the strengths and differences given prior, each technology excels in different areas.

Situation 1: A business that relies on receiving many calls from customers. Phone operation is essential to business operation, and must work at all times. Telephone line is what should be used in this situation since it is a more stable connection. Note: if a business has access to fiber internet through a provider such as Packetworks, then they can enjoy stable VOIP calls without having to worry about lagging or choppiness.

Situation 2: A user makes many calls internationally to friends and family members across the globe. VOIP should be used in this situation since it provides much cheaper rates than telephone for calling internationally

Typically any user who relies on receiving many calls should use a traditional telephone line. Any user who must make many calls, and has access to a stable internet connection, should use VOIP calling, since it will save them a significant amount per month.




  • A business telephone line typically costs between $50-$75 per month, where as a VOIP line would be $25-$30.
  • North American calling rates range between $0.20-$0.60 per minute over telephone, compared to Free-$0.05 per minute over VOIP.
  • International rates are between $0.30-$2.00 per minute over telephone, compared to $0.02-$0.25 per minute over VOIP.



VOIP calling is a brilliant new technology, that given a stable internet connection and electricity, is a strong option for any user due to its low cost and international focus. Telephone lines have the dedicated infrastructure behind them to be much more stable, but cost significantly more per month.



For further reading, checkout the article: The Benefits and Cost Saving of VOIP Calling



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