Analogue Phone Line Vs. Digital LAN Connection

Does a franking machine need a phone line or a LAN connection? Well in the past franking machines use to require a phone line as standard. It was the only way for franking machines to receive price and credit updates. It is a slower, unreliable and more costly method.

However everything is now moving to the digital world – even franking machines. Franking machines can now be connected via a LAN (and Wi-Fi) connection which offers a faster, reliable and cheaper method of receiving price and credit updates. If you are still using the analogue method of connection then you could be missing out on further savings. Let’s compare analogue and digital franking machines.

Mailcoms Mailstart Plus Franking Machine


Analogue franking machines need a phone line to receive price and credit updates and these speeds are about 50-56 kilobytes per second. As such the time it takes to update can take a while.

On the other hand digital franking machines can connect to the internet directly via a LAN or Wi-Fi connection. This means the speed is equal to the broadband speed you use. These speeds can range anywhere between 15-300 megabytes per second. This means the time it takes to update is much quicker.


When using an analogue phone line, you would only know if something was wrong when the franking machine stopped working. Sometimes you wouldn’t even know what the issue was.

However with a digital franking machine you are connected directly to the internet via a LAN connection. This makes performance easier to track and monitor, allowing issues to be flagged before they are business critical problems.

Future Proof

Analogue franking machines are quickly becoming obsolete pieces of equipment. They have been around for a long time and they are now becoming outdated and not required. Buying an analogue device in this digital age is therefore risky as there is no guarantee it will still be usable in the future. Parts will become scarce and suppliers could eventually stop servicing this technology.

Mailcoms Mailstart Plus Franking Machine

Digital franking machines however are not subject to these issues. Advancement in technology means a digital franking machine can connect to the internet directly.


In their prime, analogue phone lines changed how mail was processed. However with Mailmark fast becoming the industry standard, there is very little room for analogue franking machines using outdated technology. Analogue devices lack automatic updates, the ability to reclaim VAT on postage (Smart Meter technology) and the ability to print pre-paid reply envelopes. A digital franking machine can do all of this and more.

If you are considering moving to the franking world, or even upgrading your currently outdated analogue franking machine, go digital. You will benefit from all of the Mailmark benefits and be in the digital age of franking.

Mailcoms are one of the Royal Mail’s Authorised independent inspectors and maintainers of franking machines and as such we can provide you with a Mailmark franking machine to suit your needs. Whether you want to buy or rent a franking machine, or just genuinely want some advice on making this decision, we are more than happy to help.

A Mailmark franking machine can help massively when sending your mail and connects via a LAN connection. If you are interested in getting a franking machine or upgrading to a Mailmark franking machine with even lower prices available, then please view our franking machine page here or call us today on 01543 572 776.