Hunt groups and shared lines both offer the facility for multiple people to deal with calls to one number. The sections below attempt to highlight some of the key differences between hunt groups and shared lines.
Hunt Group Positives
- No need for new phones to use hunt groups.
- The handling of multiple calls is more elegant than with shared lines.
Hunt Group Negatives
- When you dial internally, you can't dial out as the hunt group, so your direct extension is always displayed
- When you dial externally, it is possible to set your displayed number as the hunt group number - but this is an all-or-nothing switch. You cannot change between calls.
- By default, phones will not differentiate between calls to a hunt group and calls to the phone. (The only way to differentiate between calls direct to the phone, and calls to the hunt group, is to put the hunt group in the same pick-up group as the phones.)
- The only voicemail notification you can have is e-mail alert.
- The the CDRs do not give details about calls to hunt groups very well.
Shared Line Positives
- Clear indication what line/number the call is for.
- Ability to dial out as the shared line (so call does not appear to come from an individual person)
- Clear indication of voicemail on shared lined.
Shared Line Negatives
- Unless you have spare line buttons on your phone, you will have to buy a new phone.
- The handling of multiple incoming calls can be difficult to master the more shared lines you have.
- It is not possible to configure the divert-all or auto answer on a shared line.
- A shared line is limited to 10 phones at a location.