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Written by
Katy Ratican
24 May 2022
5 minutes

Softphones versus VoIP | Comparison, pros and cons

A detailed comparison of softphones versus VoIP to help small businesses make the right choice
Softphones vs VoIP

So you’ve decided to ditch the landline and shift to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). You have seen the advantages of VoIP and are convinced that it can reduce costs and give you business tools. Now it’s time for a softphone versus VoIP comparison.

The phone you choose, whether it’s a softphone or an IP desk phone, will have a great impact on your business operations. The VoIP solution you choose should suit your own business needs, call volume, organisational structure and the placement of your team. That’s why before making the switch, small businesses should have a softphone versus VoIP analysis.

What is a softphone?

A softphone is software that allows you to make and receive calls over the internet through a VoIP service. You’ll be able to use any connected device like a laptop, smartphone or tablet as long as it has the software. It’s just like using any other app.

Some softphones have advanced features designed for businesses like auto-reply, call routing, call forwarding, voicemail etc.

What is a VoIP phone?

VoIP phones or VoIP hardphones look like traditional phones and also use the internet to make and receive calls. They do so by connecting to an IP network. The biggest difference is that they’re plugged into workstations.

Some VoIP phones come with built-in screens for video conferencing.

The pros and cons of softphones


The biggest advantage is that a softphone app can be run on any device that’s connected to the internet. This makes softphones the preferred option for remote teams and those who spend time away from their offices.


You don’t need to buy expensive hardware or pay a license or high monthly fees. You also don’t have to worry about any installation charges. Anyone can install the app on a device and can start making and receiving calls.

Global connectivity

A softphone versus VoIP comparison will show you that hardphones cannot compare with the connectivity of softphones. You could be travelling and as long as you have an internet connection, you’ll stay connected to your team and customers.

Audio quality

The performance of a softphone depends on two factors: the hardware and the internet connection. If the device isn’t powerful enough, the audio quality will suffer. Similarly, unsteady and patchy internet connections can lead to interrupted or dropped calls.

The pros and cons of VoIP phones

Voice quality

VoIP hardphones aren’t susceptible to WiFi interruptions and therefore, give superior audio quality. This makes them suitable for long conference calls.

Ease of use

Businesses that prefer hardphones in a softphone versus VoIP comparison usually do it for their ease of use. They resemble traditional landlines and don’t require any learning curve to operate.


VoIP phones require expensive hardware. Other than the device, you’ll also have to get a reliable headset. The price will go up if you need premium features.

Softphones versus VoIP: Which is better for small business use?

If you’re a large business that mostly works out of a fixed location, and are not worried about the costs and limited features, VoIP hardphones are suitable for you. But if you’re a small business, startup or freelancer, a basic softphone versus VoIP comparison will show you that softphones are your best bet.

You can get a dedicated number for your business without having to pay for expensive devices and headsets. Download the VoIP app on your devices and you can start communicating with your team members and customers. Do remember that you’ll be making these savings every month, which will help reduce your operational expenses.

Softphones are also the ideal solution for an increasingly remote and hybrid world. You or your employees could be in the office, at a worksite, working from home or travelling and still be able to use the number. When customers and clients can reach you seamlessly, it will make you look credible and encourage them to trust you.

Softphones also come with business tools that will help you analyse your calls. You’ll also be able to make use of auto-reply, call recording, voicemail, chat and a host of other features. All these will help optimise your business communication and give you a better work-life balance.

Softphones versus VoIP for small businesses: The verdict

With a softphone, you pay less, get more features and can use it from anywhere. If you’re a small business, the softphones versus VoIP debate should easily convince you that softphones are the perfect communication solution for smaller, agile and future-focused teams.

Grow your business with Chalkboard

Chalkboard isn’t just another top-rated virtual app. It’s a communication and marketing machine built to grow small businesses. It gives you everything you would expect from a top-class softphone and much more. With Chalkboard, you can:

Download Chalkboard and try it now. It’s a softphone designed with your needs in mind.

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