The popularity of VoIP has been growing in recent years and users will know that there are several options open to them. These include SIP trunking and hosted PBX, but what are the differences?

Hosted PBX is a system with a number of advanced VoIP features, which means the user does not need to have a lot of equipment on site. PBX stands for private branch exchange. The calls that come into the system can be sent to different extensions in the room or building, with the system service provider responsible for all the technical details.

There are a number of advantages to using this system. It allows more than one person to be reached via a single phone number and can also deal with calls that are not picked up immediately. Features such as voicemail, fax systems, conference calls and call records can all be included. Many of these features can also be found with SIP trunking, but hosted PBX can be a very cost-effective system to have. Upgrades and changes of hardware do not affect the end user and this is a popular option for small businesses.

SIP trunking is another option for the business user. SIP stands for session initiation protocol and is used to help to improve communications quality. The use of a SIP system means that the user no longer needs to have primary rate interfaces and ISDN basic rate interfaces. SIP trunking makes use of VoIP to help to connect the internet with a PBX. For the user, the PBX has to be able to connect to all the internal users of the system and to the service provider.

The internet acts as a replacement for the traditional line, meaning that the user is easily able to connect with both mobile and fixed-line users no matter where they are in the world. The use of SIP trunking also means that data can be combined, and there is no longer any requirement for separate system for each mode involved. This makes this system cost-efficient and it is also known for its reliability.

One of the main differences between the two systems is the size of use. If you are running a small business with less than 20 staff members, then the hosted PBX option may work best for you. Businesses with more than 20 employees will see more benefit from SIP trunking.

Businesses will also notice a difference in the level of flexibility with each option. SIP trunking has the same infrastructure that is needed for the maintenance of a PBX; however, the flexibility here comes with the cost. The hosted PBX has the potential to cut out some of the configuration but the provider is often willing to adapt to the needs of the client. Add to this the superior security found with SIP trunking services and it is easy to understand why many companies are turning to this option, even with the advantages of hosted PBX.