What's the difference between PSTN and VoIP?


When placing a phone call using PSTN, or Public Switched Telephone Network, you use circuit-switched telephony.  In this system, for the duration of a call, two points are connected through a dedicated circuit or channel.  PSTN carries analog voice data, thru copper wiring, over the two dedicated channels.


Get StartedVoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, being a newer technology, is based on internet technologies.  It is a digital, opposed to the anolog system PSTN uses.  VoIP uses packet-switched telephony to transfer voice information across the Internet thru individual network packets.

VoIP vs PSTN comparison chart:

Channels carried over on Internet connection Carried through dedicated lines
Carried at 10kbps in each dirrection Each line is carried at 64kbps in each dirrection
Features, such as Caller ID, and Call Waiting are typically included free with service Features, such as Caller ID and Call Waiting are available at an extra cost
Can be upgraded by software upgrades and bandwidth Requires new equipment to be upgraded or expanded
Long distance calls are typically included with service Long distance calls usually cost per minute or through bundle subscription
If no power, no service Can use during a power outage
911 calls can't always be traced to a location 911 calls can be traded to a location

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