VoIP hardphones and softphones explained

VoIP hardphones and softphones explained

You may be thinking of getting a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system for your business and are in the process of considering factors such as your business size, organizational structure, and the volume of calls you handle. But have you ever considered whether to use a hardphone or a softphone? This article will discuss the differences between the two, and which is better for your business.

What is a hardphone?

A hardphone is a physical device connected to your VoIP network that allows you to make calls using the internet. It resembles a traditional desk phone with the addition of a built-in screen and webcam. In addition, it also comes with a variety of features you will not usually find in regular telephones such as:

  • Call recording
  • Call monitoring
  • Conference calling
  • Call reporting
  • Call waiting
  • Call forwarding

Hardphones are ideal for people accustomed to using traditional desk phones and are in the office most of the time.

What is a softphone?

A softphone is software you can install on your computer or mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone that allows you to make calls through the internet. It functions similarly to a hardphone and comes with the same features such as call forwarding, call recording, and more.

If you're always out of the office, then a softphone is an ideal option for you. It lets you make calls anywhere as long as there's an internet connection.

Comparing hardphones and softphones

Here's a quick comparison between hardphones and softphones.

Hardphones Softphones
Call quality Hardphones have better call quality compared to softphones because they are dedicated to handling calls. Since a softphone is installed on a computer or a mobile device, it tends to compete with other software for system resources which can affect call quality.t
Interface Although hardphones come in all shapes and sizes, they all have physical buttons similar to standard desk phones. Newer hardphone models come with a touchscreen and full graphic user interface (GUI). Softphone interfaces are software-based with GUI elements that can work with mouse and keyboard shortcuts.
Dependability Hardphones are connected directly to a router using ethernet cables, which means that hardphones are always on. If your internet service provider (ISP) is reliable, then you shouldn't worry too much about downtime. Softphones can be affected by PC and device issues. If your devices are suffering from performance problems, you might have difficulty using your softphone.
Ease of use Hardphones resemble traditional phones, making them easier to use. Some onboarding and training may be necessary to use softphones properly.
Portability Hardphones are big, bulky, and connected to cables and wires, making them impossible to carry around. Also, hardphones require a dedicated power source like a power outlet on a wall. Portability is where softphones really shine. Since softphones can be installed on your laptop or mobile devices, you can easily make calls from just about anywhere.
Deployment Deploying and implementing hardphones on a company-wide scale takes time because of all the hardware that needs to be installed. Softphones, on the other hand, are easier to deploy and maintain. All you have to do is install the softphone software on your computer or mobile devices and you're good to go.
Cost Hardphones are expensive because you need to buy the device and the additional hardware needed for installation. Softphones are more affordable because you don't need additional hardware. The only thing you have to pay for is the software license.

Which is best for you?

The choice between a hardphone and a softphone depends entirely on your business needs and budget. Both hardphones and softphones have their pros and cons and you have to determine which of the two types of phones would best fit your office setup.

If you're looking for a reliable VoIP provider for your business, you should partner with Complete Document Solutions. Our VoIP service will provide you with an efficient and affordable way of communicating and collaborating with customers and clients. Give us a call today to learn more.

Don't have an IT roadmap?

Outsourcing the day-to-day management of your office technology will lead to more productive employees and reduced costs. Find out more by scheduling a call with us or getting a free quote down below.

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