What is a “hard phone” vs. a “soft phone”?

A VoIP hard phone is a tangible device that sits on your desktop.  It looks similar in many ways to a conventional analog telephone.  The exception is that it plugs into your home or company IP network as opposed to an analog telephone line.  A VoIP soft phone is an application that installs on your desktop or laptop computer.  The window that appears on your display will most likely have a dial pad and a window similar to that of a cell phone.  Both the hard phone and soft phone work identically to connect you via VoIP and your VoIP provider to other VoIP users or to conventional telephone numbers, dependants on the type of service you purchase from the VoIP provider.

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