Virtual Vs. Hosted PBX Systems

Private Branch Exchange business telephone or PBX systems offer multiple essential phone features that help organizations run smoothly. Call management features, call routing, voicemail, and handling multiple outbound and inbound call lines make up the basis of most PBX systems.

Communication technology has advanced, and different types of PBX systems have evolved to meet the changing needs of businesses.

There are at least four types of PBX systems, including traditional, internet protocol, hosted, and virtual. Depending on the needs and goals of a business, one type may be preferable to another.

Virtual PBX Systems Vs. Hosted PBX Systems

Virtual Vs. Hosted PBX Systems 2


One type of PBX systems, the virtual PBX system, is offered by hosted PBX providers because it is essentially part of a hosted system. Virtual PBX is geared towards smaller businesses that have few outgoing calls and utilize remote workers to focus on incoming calls.

Organizations seeking an automated answering service and incoming call routing to the desired landline, cell phone, or voice over internet protocol extension. The setup and maintenance of these systems are low compared to other types because of the ease of working with existing technology and inexpensive software.

It is important to note that a virtual system is not a fully hosted PBX because it does not offer all of the features. While the costs are lower than other systems, organizations will need an additional system to handle outgoing calls and extension dialing to connect employees, which can raise overall costs.

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Hosted PBX systems provide both inbound call routing and outbound calls. The design of this type of system is beneficial for organizations with many calls and a dozen or more employees. It is a particularly suitable system for businesses with multiple locations and those that are separated by geographical distance.

Extension dialing and the establishment of a main number are standard parts of hosted systems. This means that all incoming calls to the organization are routed from the main number and can be directly connected to the desired extension.

Auto attendants, call forwarding, conference calls, voicemail, call holding, and email messaging are also typically provided. The operating costs of a hosted PBX system tend to be lower than traditional systems.

The installation of a hosted PBX system can be expensive because it essentially replaces the existing system and requires changes to or replacement of technology. VoIP phones will likely be needed because calls will be dependent on broadband internet connection.


Virtual and hosted PBX systems are different and are advantageous for organizations based on a variety of factors. Comparing the two systems can help businesses find the best solution to their communication needs.

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Images by Gerd Altmann and Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

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