The difference between hosted and PBX VoIP

This post is part of an ongoing series that will look to answer commonly asked customer questions.

Question: What is the difference between hosted and PBX VoIP?

Answer: Anyone who has heard an advertisement for VoIP technology has been exposed to the terms "Hosted VoIP" and VoIP "PBX." There is a good chance that you have asked yourself, "what are these and what is the difference?"

For the most part, the two systems offer many of the same features, like toll-free numbers, email integration and faxing software. They also both rely on a strong internet connection to be successful. So what sets them apart?

Hosted VoIP

Hosted VoIP services involve an outside company managing the entire phone system. Businesses need to install any necessary software and the IP telephones that the solution uses. It is also easier to pick up and move the system if a company changes location. However, it can be difficult to add new users and add custom options, and you are subject to the needs of your service provider.


A VoIP PBX system requires businesses to purchase and maintain all of their hardware and could require a specific IT professional to manage the technology. However, it is highly customizable, allows companies greater control over adding features and users, and makes it so a third-party company is not required to make any changes.

So which solution should your company purchase? That depends on what you need. By partnering with an IT consulting firm that specializes in VoIP phone systems, any company can get a hand when it comes to adding the technology.

From our offices in Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland, PRO OnCall is your single-source technology consulting service, offering managed IT support, unified communications solutions and on-call IT support.