With analog phone systems, one phone is connected to another via a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). The phone uses electrical signals to generate audio in the speaker at the receiving end.
Hosted VoIP phone systems, on the other hand, transfer voice data over the internet.
It starts with an IP phone that turns your live voice communication into data packets. Unlike an on-site VoIP solution, the data packet first travels to one of many data centers. If the recipient phone is on the telephone network, the VoIP service provider handles the conversion and transfer of data.
If you already have a PBX in place, you can still take advantage of VoIP features with SIP Trunking.
How Does Hosted PBX Work?
A PBX, or private branch exchange, is a business phone system. PBX solutions have features like call queuing, extension numbers, voicemail, and more.
These features are powered by a complex hardware solution that IT professionals will have to manage.
Unlike a traditional PBX, a hosted PBX service is entirely differentóin a good way.
You get all the same features, but a company manages the hardware solution for you. Your phones do not connect directly to an internal server. They connect through VoIP servers securely hosted the cloud. So on top of typical PBX functionality, you can also integrate top-notch phone service between offices.
A virtual PBX service gives you all the benefits of a PBX without any of the hassles. If you already have one in place, you can read more about hosted PBX vs. SIP Trunking.
Hosted VoIP Architecture
The foundation of VoIP is a reliable, fast, wired internet connection. As a rule of thumb, your wireless router isnít ideal for your phone system.
You need a modern business router to connect each phone to your LAN. We recommend a minimum of 100 kbps of bandwidth per line from your ISP. Be sure to read our in-depth guide to understanding how much data VoIP uses.
Next, you need either a VoIP conference phone or a standard VoIP phone.
How a Hosted VoIP Phone System Works (Diagram)
For a more modern solution, you can also use VoIP headsets and handsets. If you want to keep your existing desk phones, use a VoIP adapter.
If you’re interested in moving away from an analog or PBX phone system, read about how to switch to VoIP.
Hosted VoIP Features
Hosted VoIP offers all the essential call center features. From call queues to auto attendants, it provides everything your team needs:
Advanced call analytics
HD call quality
Toll-free phone numbers
Local phone numbers
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These are just a few of the calling features Nextiva offers in its VoIP plans. You can read our full list of VoIP features here.