RingCentral vs. Phone.com vs. Virtual PBX

Discussion in 'Phone & Fax for Business' started by BradT5582, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. BradT5582

    BradT5582 New Member

    I'm doing some exploring for my boss who wants to switch to a "Virtual Number". Does anyone have an idea of what exactly that means? Can we keep the old number, or is a virtual number something completely different? And what is the point of a Hosted PBX service?

  2. Koby

    Koby New Member

    [Updated March 21, 2013]

    A virtual number is basically just a call forwarding number. So your company would purchase a virtual number and then when people call your virtual number, it would forward calls to your real number. With a lot of services, you can port your old number into their system to be used as your virtual number.

    The difference between a virtual number (something like Google Voice) and a hosted PBX service is that the hosted PBX service offers additional features like being able to set extensions for different people in your company. Generally speaking, a virtual number works best for a 1-person business, and a hosted PBX service works best for a business that has more than 1 person.

    Click here to view our apples-to-apples comparison of the best hosted PBX services like Phone.com, RingCentral, and Virtual PBX.

  3. BradT5582

    BradT5582 New Member

    Thanks for the explanation Koby. I now know we will definitely need a hosted PBX service with extensions and voicemail, not just a virtual number. For some reason I was thinking they were the same thing. Now I just need to decide if we need a local or toll-free number...
  4. rozenfeld57mh

    rozenfeld57mh New Member

    A <strong><em>Hosted PBX</em></strong> service is in essence a complete Unified Communications Suite providing functionality of an advanced business phone system and more. It offers traditional outbound calling features, call routing, desktop handsets, voice mail, and numerous business call control features such as transfer, 3-way, call parking, conferencing, video etc. Hosted PBX users can be in the same location or geographically disbursed while maintaining the call control features that they need on a daily basis.

    A <strong><em>Virtual PBX</em></strong> service provides an automated attendant service which is simply a subset of a Hosted PBX functionality without all of the call control capabilities. Simple speaking you can’t make an outbound call using it. Virtual PBX services answer calls for your business and route calls to your land line phones or cell phones which can be treated as extensions via call forwarding. The calls are forwarded on to employees or locations anywhere in the world. Like a Hosted PBX service, there is no hardware or software to buy or maintain – but there are also no business or call control features to benefit from. Your various users and locations each require separate phone service and you have to pay for the calls between them, there are no productivity benefits of unified messaging or presence. You also have to pay for call forwarding provided by Virtual PBX service provider for the entire duration of that call on top of what you are already paying your carrier.

    It’s because of these limitations that a Virtual PBX is usually suitable for very small business (typically 1 to 5 people) that operate using land lines or cell phones but wish to have a presence of a business with an Auto Attendant and an IVR tree. Virtual PBX Service is not necessarily

    <img style="float: right;" src="http://www.telephonyyourway.com/wp-content/themes/dlspbx/images/dls_hosted_pbx-telephony_your_way.gif" alt="VoIP Hosted PBX from DLS Internet Services" width="342" height="108" />

    going to be less expensive than a full Hosted PBX Service but it may only take minutes to set up.

    Hope this helps.


    Sam Rozenfeld

    <a title="Hosted PBX from DLS Internet Services" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.telephonyyourway.com" target="_blank">www.TelephonyYourWay.com</a>
  5. LindaaT

    LindaaT New Member

    Is a hosted PBX system all online? I noticed you mentioned that the virtual PBX forwards calls to land lines or cell phones. Also does one have to have a certain speed Internet connection for hosted PBX to work well?

  6. casey

    casey New Member

    Hi LindaaT,

    Yes, Hosted PBX Systems like RingCentral, Phone.com, and Virtual PBX are interacted with completely online. When you purchase one these services, you are given log in information to enter on their website through your web browser. Once logged in, you are able to customize a whole set of features. You may enter which real world phone lines you want your calls forwarded to. You may set up a menuing system that a caller hears when dialing your number which will prompt your caller to select which extension they would like to be connected with. You may set up a voicemail box and often you may set up a voicemail box for each extension, etc. I personally find toying with and exploring all these features to be pretty fun.

    In general you do not need to have a certain speed internet connection for your hosted PBX solution to work well. Your internet connection will only matter when logging into your account to edit your features and this will only require fast enough internet for comfortable web browsing. You'll never have any software or hardware running in your office that requires a constant internet connection. All calls to your virtual number are routed and forwarded to your phone lines by the company whose service you seek over whatever telecommunication network you receive your phone service over.

    I'd like to make the distinction that a hosted PBX service is not a phone service provider and should be thought of as a tool for receiving and routing calls to already existing phonelines. An internet based solution for actual phone service would be Voice Over Internet Protocol or VoiP as it is generally referred to.

  7. rozenfeld57mh

    rozenfeld57mh New Member

    To have a better understanding of the difference between Hosted PBX and Virtual PBX, there is a good article on TelephonyYourWay.com blog: http://www.telephonyyourway.com/2011/03/06/hosted-vs-virtual-pbx/

  8. Gaines

    Gaines New Member

    My experience has been that hosted PBX and virtual PBX are used as synonyms. This might be technically incorrect, but if so, it's widely used incorrectly. The service providers make no distinction between these two terms. However, there is a big difference between virtual PBX and a business VoIP system. The latter integrates a virtual PBX service (functionality described above) with VoIP phone lines and phones.

  9. nargiskhan

    nargiskhan New Member

    The virtual number is a telephone number without a directly associated telephone line. The virtual numbers forward incoming calls to one of the pre-decided phone numbers.

    to use virtual numbers you do not need any additional hardware.
    According to your needs you can forward your calls to any phone at any time of the day by just using virtual numbers.

    In virtual PBX also known as hosted PBX, you do not have to buy the large and expensive equipments. All you need is internet connection and IP phones to use the services of hosted PBX provider.

  10. Richard_M

    Richard_M New Member

    I am also really interested in PBXs as I am planning to build my own Windows PBX. I would like to share my experiences. I needed some sources and information and I found a site called Windows PBX Guru (http://www.windowspbxguru.com/ if you want to visit it) and it is really a guru in this topic :) and it provides tons of useful information eg: how to start building your own PBX, how to keep it up-to-date, what are the main problems with it etc.
    I can recommend it anyone who would like to build PBX system or who is new at this topic and want to do a research on PBXs.


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