PBX vs IP PBX: Difference and Comparison

A PBX, also known as a unified communications system or a business phone system, serves as a fundamental central controller for calls within a company.

Internal traffic between stations is handled by IP PBX systems, which also operate as a gatekeeper to the outside world.

Private Branch Exchange is a very ancient word for a system that has changed greatly over the last century.

Key Takeaways

  1. PBX operates on traditional analog phone lines, while IP-PBX relies on internet-based VoIP technology.
  2. IP-PBX systems are more scalable and flexible than traditional PBX systems, making them suitable for growing businesses.
  3. PBX systems have higher upfront costs and maintenance fees, whereas IP-PBX systems have lower initial costs and operating expenses.


PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange, which is a telephone system used within an organization to handle internal calls, as well as calls to and from external parties. IP PBX is a type of PBX system that uses internet protocol (IP) to transmit calls. Instead of using traditional analog or digital lines, IP PBX systems use an internet connection to transmit voice data.


A PBX (Private Branch Exchange) is a private communication system that enables people to communicate with one another.

Connectivity to the telephone network is provided by a combination of hardware components. The internal telephone network of a corporation is managed by a PBX.

Inbound and outgoing calls are routed through a PBX system, which handles sophisticated calling capabilities.

A contemporary version of private branch exchange is IP PBX.

An IP PBX is a telephone switchboard that, instead of using the PSTN and traditional phone lines, utilizes IP to deliver phone calls across computer networks.

Instead of using phone lines to connect to the PSTN, an IP PBX connects to a PSTN gateway through the Internet.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPBXIP PBX
VoIP compatibilityDoes not have VoIP.Has VoIP support.
FeaturesTransfers only phone conversations.Can handle both calls and data.
ScalabilityThe process of upgrading is straightforward and new functionalities are easier to add.Highly scalable.
UpgradesNot very easy to upgrade and add new functionalities to it.They are handled by software.
Function handlingHandled by Hardware.Handled by software.

What is PBX?

The word “PBX” refers to a business-grade telephone network. Business phone systems provide essential voice functions businesses require to manage their day-to-day operations.

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Extension dialling, business hour settings to route calls outside of office hours, customer waiting queues, music on hold, and call conferencing are some features available.

These capabilities, which, in brief, link individuals at work, are not available on residential phone lines or cell phone services. Analog or digital phone lines are used to run PBX systems.

The actual phone line that enters the organization may be divided into many lines with a PBX phone system, allowing it to accommodate additional telephones.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to PBX systems.

Instead of making a substantial upfront investment, businesses may use hosted PBX solutions provided by a managed service provider.

However, the supplier provides PBX infrastructure as a service, and the company pays a monthly subscription to use it, eliminating the need to recruit and educate IT personnel.

PBXes exist in several configurations, but most are now digital and use the Internet to deliver audio and video conversations.

The three options are traditional Analog PBX Phone Systems, On-Premise IP PBX or VoIP PBX, and Hosted PBX or Cloud Phone Systems.

pbx 1

What is IP PBX?

An IP PBX is telecommunications equipment that connects desk phones in a building to facilitate voice communication.

It manages incoming and outgoing calls throughout its phone network using an internet connection.

Many IP PBX operations are managed, configured, and changed using a web-based graphical user interface console. This makes driving an IP PBX easier for administrators.

Users may even be given a personalized web page to log in to and select their choices.

Using the Application Programming Interface (API) supplied by many IP PBX suppliers, other programs and applications can communicate with IP PBX.

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IP PBXs store voice mail on servers or computer discs, allowing them to store more voice mail.

When a new voicemail is received, an IP PBX can send an email notification to the user.

Advanced Interactive Voice Response (IVR) creation or customization using an IP PBX is quite simple, and the tree structure may be modified regularly.

Integrating databases such as MySQL with IP PBX might enable various fascinating applications.

When users request certain database items, an IP PBX may be designed to get them by hitting certain key combinations prompted by an IVR – Interactive Voice Response.

Mobile Banking is an excellent example of a database-based application provided by IP PBX.


Main Differences Between PBX and IP PBX

  1. IP PBX adds IP VoIP compatibility to earlier PBX systems.
  2. PBXs can only transfer phone conversations, but IP PBXs can handle both calls and data.
  3. While a PBX system is restricted to the number of slots intended for, an IP PBX is extremely expandable.
  4. Compared to earlier PBX systems, upgrading the present IP PBX is a lot easier. Adding new functionality to an IP PBX is as simple as installing a software update provided by the vendor.
  5. Most of an IP PBX’s functionality is handled by software instead of hardware in a PBX.
  1. https://www.proquest.com/openview/a6b2ff5f9d049759aa3d55c23ab278b2/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=52057
  2. http://www.recursosvoip.com/docs/english/311289.pdf

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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