Hardware vs. Online

SMS Gateways comparison

Hardware SMS Gateways and Online SMS Gateways are two options for businesses and organizations to send and receive SMS messages. Here we compare the key differences between these two options to help you determine which solution is best for your business needs.

What are the basic differences between
Hardware SMS Gateway and Online SMS Gateway
(service in the cloud)?

Hardware SMS Gateway

Fixed Costs    👍

Initial Investment  👎

Works Offline    👍

Sensitive data security & privacy    👍

Sentout speed 30 – 240 / min  👎

API integration    👍

Multiple features & automations    👍

Custom features    👍

Easily integrated via Email To SMS    👍

High security    👍

Sender ID cannot be changed​    👎

Online SMS Gateway

👎    Pricing per each sent SMS

👍    No initial investment

👎    Doesn’t work offline

👎    Dependent on the provider’s security measures

👍    Doesn’t have limitations

👍    API integration

👎    Limited features & automations

👎    Does not offer advanced software integration/customization

👎    Some services have this in the offer, some do not

👎    Limited security

👍    Sender ID can be changed while making

         Two-way communication impossible


Hardware SMS gateways are cost-effective compared to online SMS solutions for three reasons. Firstly, they save money by getting rid of monthly fees. Secondly, they are a one-time investment, unlike online services that need continuous payments, making them a budget-friendly choice.

Hardware SMS Gateway

Initial costs

Hardware SMS Gateway requires an initial investment for purchase and low usage cost.

Online SMS Gateway

No initial costs

Online SMS Service doesn’t need initial investment, and usage fee is included in the price of each sent SMS.

Hardware SMS Gateway

Fixed costs

Hardware SMS gateway device uses your SIM card. This allows you to have a SIM contract with a carrier that best suits you and a reoccurring monthly payment.

Online SMS Gateway

Changing costs

Online SMS Gateway has a pricing per each sent SMS and subscription fee per phone number for incoming SMS.

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Send mass SMS campaigns 3x cheaper
than online SMS gateways

SMSEagle hardware SMS gateway can be 3x cheaper compared to online SMS gateways. One-time payment grants you access to all features, there are no subscription fees and hidden costs. 

Functions & features

Hardware SMS gateways outshine provide businesses with advanced features and automations without additional costs, offering a more comprehensive toolkit for communication needs. The dedicated nature of hardware gateways allows for easy customization to meet specific requirements, enhancing their functionality beyond the limitations often seen in online alternatives. Additionally, hardware gateways operate independently of the internet, ensuring messages are delivered even during network outages, providing an extra layer of reliability and functionality.

Hardware SMS Gateway

Works Offline

Hardware SMS Gateway uses UMTS/LTE modem(s) that allow it to function without an internet connection.

Online SMS Gateway

Can't work offline

Online SMS Service is dependent on a stable online connection.

Hardware SMS Gateway

Throttled Speed

Speed depends on the number of modems in the device and varies from 30-240 SMS/min. Can send 10,000 SMS in 42 min.

Online SMS Gateway

Doesn't have limitations

Online SMS Service offers high throughput > 2000 SMS/min.

Hardware SMS Gateway

API Integration

Hardware SMS gateway API is a software interface that allows applications to send and receive SMS from external systems or software.

Online SMS Gateway

API Integration

Modern Hardware SMS and Online SMS Gateways both offer API interfaces.

Hardware SMS Gateway

Two-way communication

Hardware SMS Gateway is capable of two-way communication allowing for improved to communication.

Online SMS Gateway

Sender ID change

Online SMS Service allows for ID change making two-way communication impossible.

Hardware SMS Gateway

Email to SMS

Email To SMS allows you to convert an email to SMS message (email to text). Hardware SMS Gateway usually offers built-in email-to-SMS functionality.

Online SMS Gateway

Varied Integration Availability

Email to SMS availablity varies for Online SMS Gateway (some services have this in the offer, some do not).

Hardware SMS Gateway

Multiple features & automations

Hardware SMS Gateway provides a wider range of features and automations as it’s software is constantly improved and updated

Online SMS Gateway

Limited features & automations

Online SMS services have limited ability to cater to specific needs.

Hardware SMS Gateway

Custom features

Hardware SMS Gateway offers software customization. This allows to adjust the software to the specific needs of a customer like custom features/functions etc.

Online SMS Gateway


Online SMS services do not offer advanced software integration/customization


Hardware SMS gateways offer heightened security compared to online SMS solutions. By keeping data within the organization’s premises, hardware gateways provide an extra layer of protection against data breaches and unauthorized access, addressing the top security concerns of businesses. This localized approach ensures a more secure environment for handling sensitive information, making hardware SMS gateways a preferred choice for businesses prioritizing the safeguarding of confidential data over online alternatives.

Hardware SMS Gateway

High Security

Hardware SMS Gateway is installled in the organization’s premises. This allows control over access to the device. 

Online SMS Gateway

Limited security

Online SMS Service is dependent on the provider’s security measures and internet connection.

Hardware SMS Gateway

Sensitive data security

Sensitive data is kept on-prem avoiding 3rd party middlemen and external unauthorized access attempts.

Online SMS Gateway

Limited data security

Online SMS Service is dependent on the provider’s security measures and internet connection.

Do you want to learn more?

Your obstacles are unique, and the solutions for them should be too. SMSEagle devices allows you to incorporate SMS/MMS communications into your workflow in a way that makes sense to you. To find out how SMSEagle will allow you to create the solution you need, get in touch with our team.