The Difference Between ISDN and VoIP
For years, analog connections were the standard for businesses for phone and internet connections. ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) came along to provide faster service using traditional phone lines. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the latest advance using internet connections and higher data rates to provide phone service.
What Is ISDN?
While ISDN still uses common telephone lines and exchanges, it had a distinct advantage over analog systems. Before ISDN, telephone lines could only provide this fast connection over a single line. ISDN allowed the ability to connect multiple users on digital telephone systems that were already in place. Voice and data could be used simultaneously. In the past, each had to use separate lines.
What Is VoIP?
VoIP provides even faster service by bypassing the traditional lines from your local phone company. Using the internet to make calls eliminated much of the fees associated with ISDN line and copper phone company lines.
What’s The Difference Between ISDN and VoIP?
In a traditional phone system or ISDN through the phone company, your voice is switched through lines and connected to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). Your call is then routed to the party you call. The lines the phone company uses are leased by you and you pay a monthly access fee. In addition, you will pay additional charges for long-distance calls or international calling.
With VoIP, you bypass those leased lines. When you make a call, it is routed through your internet connection directly into the PSTN. This allows you to avoid paying for the leased lines or an access feed. It also eliminates long-distance charges and most international calling fees. In addition, if the person on the other end also has a VoIP client on their device, there will be no additional fees regardless of where they are in the world.
ISDN also means a hard wire connection in order to make calls. VoIP can be installed on handsets, computer, laptops, or mobile devices via an app. This means mobile workers, remote workers, and in-home workers can all work on your one network regardless of where they are.
Advantages and Disadvantages of ISDN and VoIP
ISDN has advantages over traditional phone services and higher speeds for internet. It also comes with a higher cost. VoIP provides even faster data speeds, more flexibility, and advanced calling options at significantly reduced fees from either traditional service or ISDN lines.
ISDN can provide multiple users through a single copper wire pair. In other words, you can do voice and data at the same time. Faxes, computers, cash registers, and other devices can be connected at the same time to the same line.
ISDN provides a faster connection than a traditional modem, but it is not an always-on, instant connection. ISDN requires special digital devices. It is more costly than traditional phone systems. It is also not designed for today’s high-speed internet connections and data demands.
With VoIP, you are only limited by the speed of your internet connection. Because you are not using the phone company’s leased lines, VoIP provides for substantial savings. A lower cost of total ownership often allows for savings of 50% or more over traditional phone services. There are no long-distance fees and reduced or eliminated international calling fees.
There is little up-front cost to install because you don’t need PBX hardware or software. VoIP systems can be implemented that use existing handsets with adapters, apps, or IP phones. Because everything is switched in the cloud, there is no need for IT staff to use. You get advanced calling features without extra cost. In addition, you can add or delete users quickly and easily. VoIP is scalable while traditional phone networks are limited and each change triggers a fee.
You need a strong internet connection. Your system won’t work without it. Power outages that disrupt your internet connection can prevent calls from connecting. You will still need to work with a VoIP provider, which means there is a cost to using the internet for calling. However, the costs are significantly less than traditional phone service or ISDN lines.
Choosing ISDN or VoIP
Most businesses that are still using ISDN lines are in the process of switching to VoIP. The cost savings, flexibility, and ease of operation make it an easy choice to migrate to VoIP.
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