What is the Difference Between VoIP and PSTN?

June 4, 2018
Category: Phone Systems, VoIP

Did you know that 46.5% of US households are without a landline phone? Compared to about ten years ago, this is a staggering number.

Ever since smartphones, we’ve been slowly moving away from landline, and thus distancing ourselves from PSTN. In just a few more years, personal cell phones will undoubtedly completely eliminate the need for landlines.

But, what does this mean for businesses who still utilize PSTN? Should everyone switch to VoIP? And, what is the difference between the two?

If you’re running a business in 2018, you’re going to need to know all you can about VoIP and why PSTN is a thing of the past.

What is the Difference Between VoIP and PSTN?

What is VoIP?

First, let’s begin by discussing the basics of VoIP. VoIP utilizes the internet in order to transmit phone calls. The premise is simple, but its features are vast and can benefit you in nearly every way possible.

VoIP is a drastic change for our understanding of business communications. It does all that PSTN can do, only more efficiently and with more features. We talk quite a bit about VoIP on our website, so here’s a link to learn a bit more about VoIP in-depth.

What is PSTN?

This is your traditional phone line system–it stands for Public Switched Telephone Network. It has served us well for many decades, but is losing its momentum as we move towards the future.

PSTN utilizes copper wires to transmit information, and does so separately from the internet. The farther away the call, the more wire required, which is why long distance calls used to cost more money. Now, however, you can call across the country for the same price as calling down the street.

PSTN is also what gave us our phone number blueprint. The first three numbers are an area code, the next three are an exchange code, and the last four are the caller’s individual number. We still use this template, but outdated technology is not helping the future of PSTN.


Here are the main differences between PSTN and VoIP:

  • VoIP is fast, due to its connection being unrestricted by the internet
  • VoIP systems will not go down because of a power outage
  • PSTN is rumored to have better-quality calls, though this is being disputed by many VoIP enthusiasts
  • VoIP’s extensive list of features outshines that of PSTN
  • PSTN is slowly making its way towards being unsupported
  • VoIP will allow you to use your current phone number

So, what’s the verdict? Your business is so much more likely to thrive when you switch to VoIP. Because PSTN is falling by the wayside, it only makes economical sense to switch to a more advanced system like VoIP.

Looking for a VoIP company in Maryland?

The process is easy, and professionals like those at DataStream Communications can help you get the job done in no time. VoIP is worth the switch, and we can guarantee that you won’t ever want to go back to traditional phone lines ever again.

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