Virtual PBX Phone

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: April 01, 2011

Virtual PBX phones are a key component of IP-based phone systems. They serve as the physical hardware you speak into during a phone call, and transmit your audio signal over a data network through standard internet protocol.

There are three main types of virtual PBX phones available:

A VoIP phone is a telephone that “plugs” into the internet and lets a hosting company place the phone call for you. Their primary distinguishing factor is a socket on the telephone that can be directly wired to a data network. They also have a general purpose processor and ADC and DAC converters.

USB phones resemble an ordinary telephone, but have a USB port that connects them to your VoIP provider. They also require computer software in order to function and a computer that is kept on at all times. The audio processing is managed by a dedicated ASIC that is built into the phone.

Wi-Fi phones make use of a wireless network to connect to the internet and your hosted VoIP company. This allows people to make and receive phone calls while moving around a physical area, much like a cellular phone (keep in mind they have to stay within the confines of the wireless signal).

You can also obtain a softphone to serve a similar function. These are downloadable computer programs that run in the background of your computer (often the same software that is used by USB phones) and require either a microphone and set of speakers or a telephone headset.
 

Featured Research
  • 2017 Business VoIP Features

    If you’re considering an investment into a new VoIP system (or upgrading an old one), it’s important to understand what features are available and which ones your business will actually need. Especially if you want to keep costs at a minimum. more

  • What To Do When Your VoIP Contract Expires

    Automatically renewing your VoIP contract is a mistake. The VoIP landscape has been changing rapidly, and it pays to review all of your options before committing to another contract. more

  • VoIP Brings Big Benefits to Small Businesses

    If you run a small to midsized business and you're still relying on a traditional phone system, you need to rethink things. VoIP offers most businesses, regardless of the size, huge benefits. For small businesses, it unlocks the opportunity to have an enterprise-level communication system without the traditional expenses. more

  • [Infographic] How UC Can Improve Employee Productivity

    If you’re interested in a straightforward way to improve the productivity of your employees, it's time to consider adopting a Unified Communications (UC) strategy. more

  • How to Cut VoIP Costs Without Losing Features

    No matter how long your business has been around, when given the chance to cut costs without compromising important business processes, you make it happen without a moment’s hesitation. more