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
  • [Infographic] Top 11 VoIP Vendors

    A good VoIP provider will offer additional benefits as well, but many first-time buyers find assessing each option to be difficult. Nevertheless, this is an important step in the buying process because a substandard provider can easily waste both your time and money. more

  • The New 2017 Phone Systems Comparison Guide

    It was a painstaking process, but to help B2B companies start 2017 off on the right foot, we recently compiled a comparative list of the top 34 business phone vendors in the world. In one, easy-to-reference location, we’ve neatly outlined the information you need. more

  • 8 Common Pain Points UC Eliminates

    Many businesses rely on a collection of communication tools that they adopt to address specific needs as they arise. This strategy may seem to work in the beginning, but eventually will lead to a system that is cumbersome to use, difficult to explain to new hires, expensive, and effective in some areas, but full of gaps. more

  • Top 11 VoIP Vendors

    Signing up with a VoIP provider is a major business decision that will affect your internal communications, customer service, and communications with business partners. The decision can be a difficult one; choosing the wrong VoIP provider can cost a business hundreds of thousands of dollars. more

  • How UC Can Improve Employee Productivity

    Unified Communications (UC) is a new concept that is revolutionizing business communications. Every year, more and more companies are ditching their traditional PBX systems for a UC solution. But before you make the move, it’s critical to understand how UC will affect your workplace and employees. more