What is a softphone?

Softphones are like virtual phones: they are software programs that allow you to make voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) calls over the Internet. This software can be installed on a PC, laptop, or mobile device. You can talk through a pair of headphones or from speaker phone on whatever device you have on hand. The user interface looks like a phone screen on a mobile phone, including controls like starting and ending the call and accessing the contacts list.

There are several programs that provide users with virtual phones:

Voip, sotphone

What Is the Difference between a Softphone and a Traditional Phone Setup?

The primary difference is in how the call connects to a caller:

  • Softphones use the Internet to make calls using cloud telephony, such as Cloudya
  • Traditional phones use the Public-Switched Telephone Network.

What is the Difference Between a Softphone and an IP Phone?

  • Softphones can be installed on any device that can connect to the Internet, including desktops, laptops, and tablets.
  • IP phones are phone handsets that have VoIP software installed. It combines the traditional phone with the software to make calls, but it does require a fixed device.

What are the Advantages of Softphones Compared to IP Phones?

Given the similarities between a softphones and an IP phone, there are several important factors to consider determining which is the right one for you.

  1. Cost Effectiveness:The primary cost for IP phones is the hardware. Softphones are more cost-effective as they can be installed on any device that can connect to the Internet. Since softphones are on a cloud-based telephone system, you can use them to call people from anywhere in the world from a mobile device. This saves costs compared to the fixed IP phones.
  2. Mobility: Softphones are location independent. As long as the device can connect to the Internet, you can make calls from anywhere on your favorite mobile device. IP phones can only be used from the handsets, making them less mobile. Staff and employers can quickly and easily adapt to working from anywhere since they will have all of their work contacts at their fingertips. This makes softphones a perfect fit for any home office. Information is more accessible so that contractors, freelancers, and staff who work from home can remain in the loop for projects.
  3. Simple Updates: Softphones are easier to update, requiring only a few minutes. This means that you can stay current on updates for new features or patches, reducing update times. Most physical IP phones require manual updates or will need to be replaced, increasing both the cost and time to make the update.
  4. Scalability: Softphones are easier and more efficient to scale. VoIP software on devices requires only a few clicks, allowing you to add or remove users on your network as your company grows. New users can be added without needing to preconfigure hardware.

    Cloudya, NFON’s cloud telephone system, is an example of how easy it is to connect analogue devices to the cloud telephone system. An analogue telephone adapter is required to complete the connection, but it can be used to connect to numerous devices.
  5. More Features: Telephony that can be operated using a softphone, offers a wider range of features than traditional phone systems. The user only needs to tap on a contact’s name to initiate the call, instead of manually dialing the number. Some softphones also let users connect over video calls, screen sharing. You can also activate voice traffic encryption to ensure privacy and confidentiality.

Further Information
For more details about using softphones, you can check out our dedicated pages on iSoftphone for Mac and Windows.
Want to know more? Check  our leaflets!

Further information

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