Virtual PBX

A virtual PBX is a business phone system hosted by a VoIP provider.

In the VoIP industry, Virtual PBX can mean the same thing as a hosted VoIP PBX. Or a Virtual PBX can mean a complex call forwarding service, which is similar to Mobile VoIP. On this page, we compare and discuss the latter version of Virtual PBX.

Virtual PBX and Hosted PBX are synonyms.

Some VoIP providers use the term Virtual Phone Systems interchangeably with Hosted PBX - technically, they are the same thing. Visit that Hosted PBX page to see what that kind of Virtual PBX looks like (and works like).

Other VoIP providers use Virtual PBX to means something similar to mobile VoIP. That's what we'll deal with here:

7 Things a Virtual PBX Can Do For You

1. Virtual PBX Can Give You More Money

Premise-based IP PBX business phone systems and switchboards can cost you a lot of money. Sometimes premise-based PBX systems can costs hundreds of dollars per user.

Additionally, you need to spend money on maintenance. Someone has to manage your PBX system.

A Virtual PBX business phone system is completely hosted by the VoIP provider.

This means they keep, maintain, and repair the system at their facilities and offer the services to you at an affordable rate.

All you have to do is pay, per month, for the service. Whenever you need to add or change something, just manage your account online. Or call your VoIP service provider.

Virtual PBX is the easier and more affordable way to get a business phone system.

2. Virtual PBX Will Give You An Auto Attendant

With Virtual PBX, you get an auto attendant (also known as a virtual receptionist).

An auto attendant will:

  • Answer calls and greets callers with a professional recording
  • Give callers options for directing calls (e.g., "Press 1 for the sales department")
  • Route calls to the right person or department
  • Answer multiple calls at the same time so callers never get a busy signal

With a VoIP PBX system, auto attendant options are usually free with the service. Or they can be purchased separately for a relatively small fee (this varies from provider to provider and the auto attendant is usually free, again.).

This is one of the most important components for your Virtual PBX system because it makes sure your customers and partners are greeted and attended to. Also, you will never miss a sales call because your line's busy.

3. Advanced Call Routing

With a virtual PBX system, calls are not brainlessly routed; callers can also specify how they want their calls to be routed.

For example, the simultaneous ring feature allows a call to be routed to a user’s office phone, mobile phone, and home phone simultaneously. Whichever phone picks up first gets the call.

Here are some examples of Virtual PBX features that help route calls more efficiently:

  • Call Forwarding: If you are not going to be in the office, you can have all your calls automatically forwarded to your mobile phone
  • Forward When Busy: If a line is busy, the call can be forwarded to a colleague or a mobile phone
  • Find Me/Follow Me: You will never miss a call with this feature! Program several of your numbers on your Virtual PBX. If the first number is busy (e.g. your office phone), it will direct the call to your second number (e.g. mobile phone). If the call is still not answered, it will be directed to a third number, and so on.

You can specify after how many rings the call will go to voicemail.

Want to learn about more advanced call routing and Virtual PBX features? Read our VoIP Features Glossary and Definitions page.

4. Online Management

Online Management allows you complete control over your Virtual PBX.

Most VoIP companies offer you an online interface to manage calls and VoIP accounts easily. Your staff can manage their voicemail easily or specify routing options for find me/follow me.

Administrators can also tweak the features provided with each extension, depending on the user’s needs, or make changes to the company directory. They can also adjust the minutes allocated per extension and change how calls route on the fly.

With an online management system, you have enough control to make changes without contacting customer support. Changes can be made in a few clicks.

5. Easy Mobility

Your virtual PBX system moves with you, easily.

If you are switching offices, buildings, or cities, you don’t have to worry about your virtual PBX system. Each provider manages the transition differently, but it should work easily. It should take just one phone call.

With most IP phones from Virtual PBX VoIP providers, you can carry your IP phone anywhere, plug it to an Internet connection, and get your calls.

Other VoIP providers offer a softphone option, so you can your laptop or PC to make or receive calls. You still need an Internet connection. (Check your connection speed with our VoIP Speed Test).

6. The Ability To Grow

Your Virtual PBX phone system can grow with your company.

One call to your VoIP PBX provider is the most it should take to open a new extension or add a new user. Sometimes, you can even add users online!

With a virtual PBX phone system, you can start small and keep growing.

7. Resources and Assistance

With a VoIP PBX phone system, you are given a lot of freedom and control. You can make changes and troubleshoot your system. VoIP providers usually have online tools and resources to help you learn more about your system and handle minor issues independently.

The best VoIP providers also provide reliable customer support, 24/7, by phone, chat, and email.

Do these seven features appeal to you? Check out the comparison table above and pick the right Virtual PBX provider for your company.