VIDEO: Making VoIP Reliability Relatable – The Reliability of VoIP


Welcome to the Telonium Thursdays Whiteboard Web Series. I’m your host for the week, Alex. Last week, we discussed the steps you take in order to switch from analog to VoIP.

Today I’ll be going over a question many people have – how reliable is VoIP?

The first thing we want to address is audio quality. We mentioned this in a previous video, but we’ll touch on it again. 20 years ago, when VoIP first was available, internet speed was terrible. Now, with high speed internet and things like HD voice, sound quality is no longer an issue. If you think you might be using too much bandwidth for your internet service to handle (which could cause poor audio quality), then you can check out the resource we have on our website or link we included in the YouTube description called the Internet Speed Test, which will help you figure out how many extensions or phones you can have with your internet connection.

Something a lot of people bring up is the possibility of a VoIP call being hacked. First, remember that any phone system can be intercepted, even analog. In fact, VoIP is just as secure, if not more. There are a lot of further points for and against VoIP in terms of security, but that goes beyond the scope of this video, so we’ll move on. If this is a major concern of yours, feel free to direct message or call us and we can answer some of your questions


So our first diagram is a picture of how you make a phone call to someone using an analog system and the second is a picture of how you would make a phone call using VoIP.

In the first picture, you see Bob making a call to Alice. First, his call is routed through the analog PBX, then through to his carrier, then through the PSTN to Alice.

In the second picture, Bob makes his call using VoIP. First, Bob’s call is sent through the Internet, which is analogous to his call being sent through a PBX in the first picture. That’s why we call this a “hosted” PBX, because the PBX is being hosted on the internet. Through the Internet, the call is sent to us at Telonium, and then sent to the PSTN, and then finally connected to Alice.

All these points and connections are places where problems can occur and have to be considered when judging the overall reliability of the system.

Let’s look at the first point, the connection to the PBX.

When it comes to the connection to the PBX, some relevant questions are: will the individuals involved set it up right? Will they make mistakes in maintenance or when they have to make small changes to the system?

It’s clear that there’s a huge human factor involved. And considering this,the less complicated something is, the more likely humans will be able to set it up right without making costly mistakes. Something else that has to be taken into account is that a small business, with less resources than an enterprise-level business, will likely have more trouble installing and maintaining a complicated analog phone system. If you’ve ever seen a closet PBX before, you know exactly how complex something like this is. If not take a look at this picture:


Granted, this is a pbx for many more people than you’d have at a small business. But it’s still extremely complicated.

Meanwhile, with a VoIP system, all you have to do is plug in an IP phone into the internet and voila! You can make phone calls! The setup here is extremely simple.

Now even if you somehow mess up in this case, you still have some sense of a backup. In VoIP, messing up plugging in things will only result in certain IP phones not working. But if you mess up plugging in things involved in an analog PBX, the entire PBX can fail. In other words, your entire phone system might not work.

The second connection is from the PBX to the carrier; alternatively, from the hosted pbx to your VoIP provider. Let’s face it, both your analog phone line and your internet connection can go out. But with VoIP, you can have a backup: you can go anywhere with an internet connection and still be able to make calls. That means if your internet is out at your business, you and your employees have the option to work from home or route inbound calls to your cellphone.

Through both connections 1 and 2, you also need to have power. You need to have power to run both analog and VoIP phone systems. But with VoIP, once again, you can easily work from home for the time being rather than trying to buy an expensive power generator just to deal with downtime. Our facilities that power our hosted phone systems are often on a separate and more reliable power grid with generators that can sustain the entire building for almost 10 hours. During these rare occasions, we also can reroute the phone systems to our backup locations across the country to provide you with a continuous service.

The third connection is from the carrier to the PSTN, or alternatively, from us to the PSTN. Our reliability here is 99.99%. When you read some of the reliability comparisons of VoIP to analog, this is what they’re talking about when they say VoIP is less reliable. Analog providers have a higher percentage of reliability here. Some things Telonium is doing to increase reliability is partnering with multiple carriers to reroute calls in case of a link failure.

Typical comparisons in reliability of VoIP to analog ignore a lot of these points we’ve brought up today. Although VoIP may seem worse at first glance, a look in depth shows that it has a number of backups that analog systems lack.

Thanks for watching  and make sure you stay tuned for next week’s video. Until then, tweet us @telonium, follow us on pinterest and instagram, or visit our website at