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VoIP vs Analog Phone Systems

by John Ciarlone on November 24, 2012

voip vs. analog phone

To weigh your options and take a decision wisely, it is very important for you to understand the differences between VoIP vs. Analog phone systems. You must compare the technologies on various criteria like technology, cost-effectiveness, availability and so on before taking a final decision.

Short on time? Download our free guide Evaluating Total Cost for VoIP Phone Systems

VoIP Vs. Analog Phone Systems -Technology

  • VoIP: (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems work by breaking the voice signals received in small data packets which are transmitted over the internet. VoIP uses PSN (Packet Switching Network) technology where packets are marked and transmitted in a sequential manner so that the original voice signal can be generated at the receiving end.

  • Analog phone systems: are the traditional phones which work by converting the voice signals into electronic waves of varying frequency and amplitude which the telephone
    exchange receives and direct it at the receiving end. This phone system uses CSN (Circuit switching Network) in which analog signals travel through cables to provide
    point to point connectivity and establish communication.

meraki communications

What is an Analog Phone?

An Analog phone system enables you to establish a call via a telephone exchange. Basic components of an analog phone system:

  • An Analog telephone is equipped with a switch hook along with a ringer which remains connected to the telephone line while it is on the hook. As soon as the phone is taken off the hook, the phone line establishes connection with the transmitting and receiving circuitry of the phone system.

  • On dialing a number from analog phone, the transmitter sends the electronic signals and a telephone exchange acts as a switching device for the signal so that the transmitted message reaches the correct receiver.

  • To avoid interference of transmitting and receiving signals, a complex coil circuitry is incorporated in the Analog phone system.

A VoIP system comprises of the following key components:analog phone system

  • A modification of traditional handset having additional features such as call hold button, mute button and a display screen in which you can see your input and also caller ID.

  • Internet access is one of the most important components of a VoIP phone system. All the communication in a VoIP system is done over the internet. Therefore, it is very important which service you chose as it will determine the speed, reliability as well as the cost of your phone system.

  • It is very important to have a switching and connecting system as multiple users try to connect to different locations at the same time. A switching device is incorporated to share lines between users.


Along with additional features like call forwarding, holding, diverting and so on, VoIP phone systems can operate wherever an internet connection is available. This makes it a cheaper medium for long-distance communication. Analog phone systems can only provide connectivity in localities where there is physical wiring and high call rates make long distance calls quite expensive.


A VoIP phone systems are highly portable as you can use your cell phones to communicate with the help of VoIP supported communication applications like Skype. On the other hand, Analog phone systems have a very small range. Even if they are not wired, they do not provide the portability feature due to the technology they use.

Scale of business

If you are handling a small scale business with not many clients and less long distance calls, Analog phone systems will fit to your needs. On the other hand, a VoIP phone system is beneficial in a multi-national business establishment where an internet connection is already available. A VoIP phone system is more affordable and comfortable for you to invest in as it enables you to make long distance calls almost free of charge.

It can be said that while Analog phone systems are the primitives of phone systems, VoIP phone systems are phones of the future.

Still debating whether or not VoIp is right for you? Read How a VoIP Phone System can Save your Sanity to help with your decision. 


Topics: Phones