Out With The Old, In With The New: PSTN vs. VoIP

PSTN represents the old guard of business telephony, but it’s become a bit outdated. VoIP technology, on the other hand, has rung in an exciting new age of efficient, cost-effective communication. Explore how PSTN and VoIP compare, and discover which solution fits your needs best.



Main differences between





Hardware setup can be costly and hinder expansion.

No hardware needed, expansion made easy.


Costly hardware setup.

Save on costs with easy setup.


Legacy solutions offer comparatively few features.

VoIP is typically packaged as part of comprehensive call center software.


Since PSTN operates on its own without the need for a stable internet connection, it is generally considered more reliable than VoIP.

Connection quality is dependent on internet provider.


Difficult to expand since you need on-site hardware wherever calls are made.

VoIP is more scalable than PSTN on account of the fact it doesn’t require landlines or on-side infrastructure of any kind to operate.

Best fit

Ideal for businesses valuing traditional networks, PSTN ensures reliable communication without internet dependency.

Small businesses that want some snazzy features or make plenty of long distance calls and would like their phone system running through an internet connection.

Worst fit

Recommended for companies without reliable internet connections or those worried about frequent service interruptions.

Businesses that don’t have an internet connection or would be worried about it dropping.

What is PSTN & How does it work?

PSTN, or Public Switched Telephone Network, operates by sending analog signals over traditional copper wires. When you make a call, a dedicated path is created for the conversation using circuit-switching technology. 

This path is maintained through a network of exchanges, ensuring a reliable connection between you and the person you’re calling.

What is VoIP
& how does it work?

VoIP is an acronym for a Voice over Internet Protocol. It converts voice signals into digital data packets. Those are then transmitted over the internet, with no need for traditional phone lines. Once the data packets arrive at a recipient’s end, they transform back to voice signals. 

VoIP software is cost-effective, scalable, and offers a wide range of features. If you are seeking an efficient and affordable communication solution, it’s a great choice.

PSTN vs. VoIP: Which is best for your business?

PSTN, with its reliance on traditional copper wires and circuit-switching technology, ensures a dedicated and reliable call connection. On the other hand, VoIP leverages the internet to transmit digital data packets, offering cost-effectiveness and a rich feature set, including can’t-miss features like Smart Analytics and Click-to-Call

Choose PSTN for a reliable, established infrastructure or opt for VoIP for its cost efficiency and versatility in meeting modern communication needs.


Expand business,
reach new levels



Premium features



Uptime SLA



Customer support



Countries available



Security and data monitoring

Let’s talk about
pros and cons


Dependability Unmatched

Enjoy a straightforward and reliable phone service unaffected by internet outages, ensuring consistent calling capabilities.

Effortless Setup

Easily set up your phone system with existing infrastructure, requiring only the purchase of phone sets and service provider assistance.

Ready for Anything

Be prepared for any situation with a system that works during power outages and internet interruptions, crucial for emergencies and security systems.

Enjoy a Local Infrastructure Advantage

Leverage pre-existing physical infrastructure in most locations, minimizing setup hassles and streamlining installation and maintenance processes.

Costly Calls

Face high charges for long-distance and international calls, with limited access to modern value-added services, impacting overall cost-effectiveness.

Scalability Hurdles

Encounter difficulties in scaling your system; expanding requires purchasing additional hardware and paying for extra lines, potentially hindering growth.

Global Obsolescence Risk

Acknowledge the urgent drawback that PSTN faces—declining usage in various places globally, posing a risk of becoming completely obsolete.


Save Money on International Calling

Avoid expensive long-distance calling charges with features like International numbers and save both yours and customers’ money.

Embrace Freedom With a Remote-friendly Solution

Break down geographical barriers. VoIP lets you receive calls from anywhere with an internet connection. This possibility is invaluable for remote teams.

Adjust Your Calling Software As You Grow

VoIP adapts to your needs, no matter the size of your business. The highly scalable and adjustable software helps you grow seamlessly.

Streamlined Growth and Savings

Experience streamlined growth and financial savings with VoIP. The software adapts to your business size, providing a cost-effective and scalable solution.

You Need a Reliable Internet Connection

Just like cloud-based software, VoIP relies on a stable internet connection. You may experience delays, packet loss, and reduced call quality if your internet connection falters.

Location tracking May Be Limited

VoIP technology may fail to provide accurate location information  to emergency services when a user dials 911. It can happen that VoIP doesn’t transmit accurate geographic data.

You Can Face Security Threats

Depending on a provider, VoIP can be vulnerable to security threats and cyberattacks like hacking, eavesdropping, and other malicious activities.


What is the difference between PSTN and VoIP?

PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) represent two distinct methods of voice communication. PSTN relies on traditional telephone lines, while VoIP operates over the internet, offering cost-efficiency, flexibility, and enhanced features.


No, PSTN and VoIP are different technologies. PSTN is the traditional analog phone system, whereas VoIP utilizes internet connections to transmit voice data. They differ fundamentally in infrastructure and functionality.

What are the advantages of VoIP over PSTN?

VoIP offers numerous advantages over PSTN, including cost-effectiveness, scalability, advanced features like call analytics and automation, and seamless integration with business applications. VoIP enhances productivity and customer experience, making it a preferred choice for modern businesses.

Is PSTN obsolete?

While PSTN is still in use, its limitations are prompting a shift towards advanced communication technologies like VoIP. The evolving business landscape demands flexibility and efficiency, qualities where PSTN often falls short.

Are VoIP calls secure?

VoIP offers a secure means of communication with clients and customers, thanks to continuous network protection and monitoring. Cloudtalk stands out as a prominent VoIP provider, guaranteeing robust security measures at budget-friendly rates.

Do VoIP users need a phone handset?

VoIP users have the choice to use or not use a phone headset; there are alternative methods available. Calls can be made through specific mobile apps or on a desktop using a microphone/speaker setup or a connected headset.

Which signaling is used in PSTN?

The Common Channel Signaling System 7 (SS7) oversees signaling in the PSTN, managing call setup, operation, and termination. These standards support various global versions used universally.

How does VoIP integrate with PSTN?

Integrating a VoIP call with a PSTN line follows the same process as making a regular VoIP call. Analog voice is transformed into digital data packets, which are transmitted over the internet to reach your VoIP provider and their carriers.

CloudTalk is a data-driven solution for exceptional customer experience and intelligence is a key part of it.

Schedule a demo today and find out for yourself.