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What's the difference between POTS and VoIP

What is the difference between POTS and VoIP?

Bob Webb


Understanding the difference between POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems is crucial in today’s digital age. POTS, the traditional telephone system, has been around for decades, operating over copper wire networks to deliver analog voice signals. It’s known for its reliability, especially in rural areas or during power outages, as it doesn’t require external power sources or internet connectivity.

VoIP, conversely, uses the internet to transmit voice data, offering a host of modern features like video calling, instant messaging, and digital faxing. This system significantly reduces costs for long-distance and international calls and is easily scalable to business growth. VoIP’s advanced functionalities support today’s dynamic communication needs, such as remote work and multimedia sharing.

Technical differences between POTS and VoIP lie primarily in their operation and infrastructure requirements. VoIP converts voice signals into digital data packets for transmission over the internet, requiring IP phones or adapters, whereas POTS uses analog signals transmitted over dedicated copper lines.

While POTS remains a benchmark for communication reliability, particularly in critical applications of public safety communications (such as with fire alarms, elevators, escalators, security callboxes, security alarms, building entry phones, access controls and essential phone lines) VoIP’s flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and feature-rich platform make it a compelling choice for businesses and consumers alike. The replacement of POTS marks a significant shift in how telecommunications infrastructure is viewed and utilized.


ClearlyIP’s VoIP Failover Gateway

ClearlyIP’s VoIP Failover Gateway addresses the critical concern of reliability in transitioning from a traditional phone system to VoIP services. This multi-path solution ensures your business doesn’t compromise on the dependability and assurance of continuous communication when moving away from costly copper lines. It’s a comprehensive solution that connects analog systems to cloud services, ensuring operational continuity even during internet downtime through 4G connectivity. This gateway not only saves costs but also maintains essential services at all times, offering a smart, cost-effective security layer.

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ClearlyIP VoIP Failover Gateway - POTS Replacement