The Difference Between VoIP Hard Phones and Softphones

VoIP has become increasingly popular in recent years, both at work and as a personal communications tool. The advantages are such that switching to VoIP is a no-brainer for both individuals and businesses, particularly owing to the substantial reductions in long-distance communication costs.

Here’s what you should know about VoIP hard phones and softphones:

VoIP Hard Phones vs. Softphones

Hard Phones

A hard phone is a physical device that connects to a home or company network and resembles an old-fashioned dial phone. It has the same buttons and handheld receiver as the traditional analog phone, but a graphical display or touchscreen is becoming increasingly popular. Desktop computers or specialized forms for particular workplaces, such as large form ruggedized handsets in a factory floor setting for workers wearing gloves, are available.

A hard phone, in fact, is a tiny microcomputer that runs software to provide its core functionalities. The full range of functions may be accessed via network connections with VoIP systems.


A softphone is a kind of smart device that uses software to replicate the functions and features of a hard phone, usually utilizing a visual display that resembles that of a hard phone.

It will undoubtedly have voice support, and it’s possible that video will also be supported. Some workplaces, such as call centers, may need headsets. If the smart device is a mobile smart device, SIP compatibility is required.

The Difference

Both hard and softphones have similar capabilities, with the exception of mobility. Hard phones are fixed in place, whereas softphones may be mobile if they’re linked to a mobile smart device.

Depending on location and usage, one type of phone is superior to the other. For staff who aren’t required to move around frequently, static hard phones are ideal since they provide a similar feel and appearance as regular phones. Staff that require VoIP connectivity at all times, whether inside or outside the workplace, should use mobile platforms instead.

At TSC VoIP, we currently offer a full complement of VoIP and UCaaS services. We are also pleased to offer no-cost, no-obligation quotes for business class phone systems and service. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business!