Analog PBX, or legacy PBX
Uses regular telephone lines for calls. The only meaningful difference between this system and other land-based phone systems is the PBX box. What is a PBX box? It’s a piece of hardware that enables incoming calls to be directed to phones within the premises. So, your company will technically accept calls from the box and forward them via legacy phone lines.
The system is straightforward, with no advanced tech involved. However, it involves substantial upfront costs because each line must be laid and paid for individually.
Voice over Internet Protocol
This is a type of technology that uses an internet connection instead of telephone lines. It works through a session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking, an application layer capable of connecting your phone service to the internet to manage calls.
You don’t have to pay for lines, and you have the option to connect as many as you want for no extra charge. Also, the maintenance is less demanding than with analog. But you need to consider that the quality of your calls will depend on your bandwidth capabilities.
A hosted PBX phone system
Let’s first compare it to a VoIP system. Both operate via an internet connection. But in the case of VoIP, the system is operated on-premises by someone within the company. A hosted PBX is managed off-premises by a third-party provider.
As a client, you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription fee. It can be an optimal option for small businesses since the charges are based on the number of phones connected to the network. Another benefit is that you won’t have to deal with maintenance—this service is included in the provider’s fee.
It’s easier to explain the concept by comparing it to the ones we’ve already discussed. A cloud PBX is similar to VoIP PBX in the way that it operates over the internet and can be integrated into existing office equipment. It is also similar to a hosted PBX because the equipment is located off-site.
But unlike an IP or hosted one, a cloud-based PBX is not a complete phone system. It’s more of an automated answering and call routing system. It’s best for companies that don’t need advanced phone functionality.