Hosted IP PBX Overview

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: March 28, 2011

Hosted IP PBX is a special type of web service that lets companies make phone calls over a data network. The system is highly scalable in its implementation, and you don’t need to purchase a PBX or have phone lines in place for the service to work – the hardware is fully owned and operated by a hosting company.

Hosted IP PBX is compatible with most computers and tends to work with broadband, local area networks, and WAN connections. All you have to do is plug the IP phone into your modem or router, and you will gain access to the hosted phone network. You can also use a wireless router as long as you connect each of the phones with a standard Ethernet cable.

This type of phone system is generally considered to dependable since it tends to not have a single point of failure. The hosting company will usually have redundant servers and databases set up at a centralized location so an unexpected hardware failure won’t bring the phone system down. You also don’t have to perform maintenance on the equipment since the hosting company automatically does that for you.

Another notable benefit of hosted IP PBX is the special features that are available for businesses. You can have voice mail, extension dialing, caller identification, and a ‘find me’ feature that lets you call multiple phone numbers at once. Other common options include conference calls between five or more people and a password protection system for added security.

These features aren’t limited to a specific location. If you have employees who work from home or travel on a regular basis, they will still be able to transfer phone calls and put customers on hold. This mobile versatility also applies to companies that have branches in different cities.

Hosted IP PBX also tends to be highly flexible in the number of extensions that a business can possess. Most hosting companies allow you to have an unlimited number of users who can be added or removed at any time. Some hosting companies charge on a ‘per user’ basis, but this still tends to be cheaper than a traditional PBX.

Furthermore, hosted IP PBX has softphone capabilities which let you use your computer as a telephone. As long as you have a headset or microphone and a good set of speakers, you should be able to make and receive phone calls through the system. This can help to save money during the initial setup phase since you won’t necessarily have to purchase IP phones for every employee.

Overall, hosted IP PBX provides a cost effective solution for companies who want a business-class phone service. The system requires little to no infrastructure, tends to be highly reliable, and grants access to phone features that might otherwise be out of reach of small businesses.
 

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