Top business VoIP providers to consider
Best VoIP providers for small businesses
These providers all have their strengths and features they are best known for. This will be discussed in details. They also have some cons, or rather features that they are missing. This comprehensive review will help you in your quest to pick a VoIP service provider that best suits your business needs.
Business VoIP services
Small business owners are increasingly tempted to join the VoIP bandwagon due to its simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and its wide range of features compared to the traditional phone systems. VoIP services also do away with most of the on-site hardware.
Basic features to expect in a VoIP phone system
The VoIP phone system has all the standard features of a traditional phone but also has many more extra features. This is why the phone system is becoming more popular among small businesses. The basic features to expect in most of the VoIP providers are as follows:
- Web-based system administration
- Call forwarding
- Caller ID
- Call transferring
- Call blocking
- Call waiting
- Automated attendant
- Conference calling
- Conference bridging
- Video conferencing
- Voicemail to email in an audio format
- Voicemail to text
- Fax to text in a PDF format
- Mobile management for Android and iOS
- Hold music
- Ring group
- Online sharing on multiple devices
- Find me/ Follow me
Determining the best VoIP provider for your call center and communication solutions
There are some basic, yet deal-breaking features, that you can compare to determine whether or not you are willing to partner with a certain VoIP provider. For small businesses, in particular, it is important to know how well a VoIP service meets your needs.
To determine the best VoIP provider for your business needs, the following features should be considered.
The cost of the business VoIP solution
VoIP solutions should be relatively cheap. This is a key advantage of VoIP phones over traditional business phones. Popular VoIP solutions have different packages and plans with different features. The plans have prices depending on the features you will be receiving. It is important to study all these packages in order to get the best value for your money.
Auto attendant services
Auto attendant is another crucial service you should consider when choosing a business VoIP provider. This service can be used for greeting and routing callers.
Set-up of the VoIP system
The set-up process for some VoIP providers can be expensive. It might require some equipment and hardware. The ease of set-up is another factor to consider.
The ease of use of the VoIP phone system
For the phone services to be more effective, the VoIP system must be very simple to use. The more simple the service is, the better for your business.
Call management services
This is another important feature in VoIP services. Call management tools include call transfer, screening, hold, and park. You should consider whether the VoIP provider is offering such services.
The quality of calls is one of the key factors to consider. The call sound and quality of the VoIP provider should be reviewed before making the decision.
To help manage customer relationships better, VoIP providers are supposed to integrate CRM software. Availability of the integration tools for CRM software will make the VoIP provider a better option.
VoIP providers should have 24-hour customer support services. The support should be both online and live support.
The best overall VoIP provider: RingCentral
You can’t really go wrong with RingCentral as it checks all the boxes when it comes to features. It is also easy to use and very reliable. With regular updates of its features, you will not be left behind. This premium VoIP experience comes with some extra costs. Using RingCentral means you have to cough a little more money compared to its competitors, but it is all worth it.
RingCentral has three packages. The Essential plan, which is the most basic, will cost you $19.99 per user per month if billed annually. If you decide to pay for the Essential plan on a monthly basis, the cost will rise to $29.99 per month. This plan allows ten users, video conferencing of up to 4 people at a time, unlimited calling, visual voicemail services, and 100 tollfree minutes every month. You will also get integration with Google, Microsoft, Box, and Okta.
The second tier package from RingCentral is the Standard plan. This plan will cost you $34.99 per month. The extra $5 per month will ensure you get 1,000 tollfree minutes, call log reports, unlimited fax, and multi-level auto attendant.
The premium plan from RingCentral is designed for large enterprises with a lot more call volumes. It costs $44.99 per user per month and comes with 2,500 tollfree minutes. The package also supports up to 100 people video conferencing, voicemail transcription to text messages, and automatic call recording.
When you start adding the extra features and add on, you realize that RingCentral is not the cheapest option. However, it is definitely worth it. It has everything you would need in a VoIP provider, and that is why it is our best overall VoIP provider.
The best VoIP for small business: Ooma
Ooma is the best phone systems for small businesses. It is well priced for small businesses and is very simple. Moreover, their services are scalable and therefore offer room for company growth. If you are looking to expand and grow your small business and still maintain low communications charges, then Ooma is what you are looking for.
Ooma has the famous Ooma Office plan. This plan comes with unlimited domestic calls (USA and Canada), virtual fax, three-way calling, and most of the other features. Ooma Office starts at $19.95 per user per month.
There is also the Enterprise plan that comes with a unified communications solution that can be customized. This package also comes with more lines. The Enterprise package also offers more CRM integration, that is, you get complete integration of your phone system to your CRM software. This obviously comes with advantages such as transferring the whole client workspace when you transfer a client call in your workspace.
The only issue with Ooma is the high hardware costs.
The best business phone for international calling: 8×8 Virtual Office
If your business largely depends on making international calls, then 8×8 is the VoIP phone service for you. This business phone service offers unlimited international calling package for up to 47 countries. 8×8 might not be economical, but if your clients or vendors are mainly based abroad and you need to constantly talk to them on call, then this is the VoIP provider you want.
8×8 have three packages; they all come with international calling. The most basic package costs $28 per user per month. This plan offers unlimited calling to 14 countries. You will also get other services like audio and video conferencing, text messaging, phone number, media storage (1gb), unlimited fax, voicemail, auto attendant, team messaging, and CRM software integration.
The second package from 8×8 would cost $38 per user per month. This plan comes with unlimited calling to 32 countries. The other extra feature for this package is that you get 5gb of media storage instead of 1gb.
The top tier package from 8×8 will cost you $60 per user per month. This plan comes with unlimited calling to 47 countries with 10gb of media storage. The other extra service this package offers is advanced analytics.
8×8 will be cheap in the long run if your clients are based abroad. You would end up paying more for international calling with other VoIP providers.
The best inexpensive VoIP provider: Nextiva
For the best balance of service and features at affordable prices, then you should consider Nextiva. It has features like auto attendant, unlimited calling, conference calling, and voicemail to email transcriptions.
Nextiva is termed inexpensive compared to other VoIP providers that offer similar features because it has no package above $50. Additionally, if you get into long-term contracts and have more users, then the prices become even cheaper.
Nextiva’s basic plan is the Office Pro that will cost as little as $19.95 per user per month. This is if you sign a 36-month agreement and have 100 or more users. If you don’t sign a contract and have less than four employees, the fee shoots to $34.95 a month. This plan comes with cloud PBX, unlimited calling, auto attendant, tollfree number, and voice to email transcription.
The Office Pro Plus, which is the mid-level plan by Nextiva, costs $22.95 per user per month. This again is on condition that you sign a 36-month contract with 100 plus employees. Without a contract, and with fewer employees, the fee for this plan rises to $37.95 a month. This plan comes with extra features such as one professionally recorded greeting, SMS messaging, Mobile App, and conference bridge.
Office Enterprise is the top-level plan from Nextiva. It costs $29.95 per month per user with the same commitment contract and a high number of employees. Without those conditions, the price rises to $44.95 per month. This plan supports additional features as such three professionally recorded greetings, call recording, CRM software, and analytics & reporting.
The best VoIP provider for mobile businesses: Grasshopper
If you have an outdoor kind of business, then you might want to consider Grasshopper for your business phone services. Some businesses do not need or want desktop phones and would prefer running daily activities using a mobile phone. Grasshopper has Android and iOS apps designed for making and receiving calls on your mobile phone using the business number. This also means you can use your phone for business and private purposes but not mix them up.
Grasshopper has three packages. All the packages have unlimited calling, local phone number, and voicemail. Their basic plan is the Solo plan, which costs $29 per month and comes with one number and three extensions. Their mid-level package is the Partner plan that costs $49 per month. This plan comes with three numbers and six extensions. Finally, Grasshopper has the Small Business plan, which costs $89 per month. This plan has unlimited extensions with five phone number.
Grasshopper might seem like a good bet for small businesses; however, it is very costly and with fewer features. But, if you are looking for a VoIP provider that will integrate well with your personal mobile device and let you work on the go, then Grasshopper is the one for you.
The best business VoIP for collaboration: Vonage
Vonage offers unlimited calling, chat, and video conferencing perfect for multiple collaborations. Vonage is also very flexible and easily scalable.
Vonage is on the cheaper side of VoIP providers. It has three plans, Mobile, Premium, and Advanced packages. The mobile plan costs $19.99 per month per line. It includes up to four lines. The premium plan starts at $29.99 per month while the Advanced plan starts $ 39.99 per month. These prices reduce as the number of users increases.
The Advanced and Premium packages support a lot of integration and features. These features include CRM integration, auto attendant, video conferencing, team messaging, mobile app, unlimited calling, SMS messaging, voicemail to email transcription, and music on hold. The Advanced package also comes with onboarding support, visual voicemail, call group, and on-demand call recording.
Other top-rated VoIP providers for small businesses
Business VoIP providers you should consider
Jive provides simple and affordable hosted VoIP solutions to small businesses. Simplicity if Jive’s key selling point. They can help businesses manage their phone set up in a simple way that improves internal and external communications.
With Jive you will get full control of call routing and call sequencing features. Other features that come with Jive include call queue, call analytics, call sequencing, call recording, custom greetings, fax, auto attendant, desktop integration, hold music, virtual fax, ring groups, and unlimited extensions.
Jive also has a US-based customer service with 24/7 live chat, phone, and email options. Jive also has a dedicated Youtube channel meant for understanding phone systems.
Jive pricing is based on the number of users. Its first plan that supports up to four users costs $29.95 a month. The plan becomes cheaper as the number of users increases. For 50+ users, the cost falls to $19.95 a month. There are also rates for 100+ users.
MagaPath is known for its high-quality features at affordable rates. They provide VoIP and PRI/Analog line to small and mid-size companies. Moreover, MegaPath has tailor-made plans suited to fit your business need. These plans are also very scalable to help your business grow.
When it comes to MegaPath charges, it all depends on the features you want and the plan you choose. The basic business VoIP phone service starts from $19.95. This comes with about 50 communications features.
Freshcaller is popular for free calls. Small businesses that cannot afford a paid VoIP package can enjoy a free entry-level plan. Freshcaller also comes with caller ID, custom greetings, and call center tools.
Freshcaller has three packages, Sprout, Blossom, and Garden. Sprout is the free entry-level package. Blossom is priced at $25 per user per month, while Garden costs $49 per user per month. The plans also include calls that are charged per minute starting from 16 cents. Tollfree numbers cost $2 per month, while local virtual phone numbers cost $1 per month.
Mitel provides a number of business phone systems. It has plans for unified communication, call centers, and cloud communications systems. Mitel gives you total control over your phone communications due to their robust and comprehensive system.
Mitel has three packages. The popular one is the MiCloud connect phone service, which costs $20.99 per user per month. This plan comes with PBX features, conferencing, and collaboration. There are also Elite and Premium plans. These come with CRM integration, automated operators, call recording, and archiving.
This business VoIP phone service is meant for small companies and startups. It covers the basics; call quality, customer support, and other features. UniTel is also affordable and really easy to use. You can manage your cloud PBX features and run your company from the mobile app, softphones, or IP-phones.
What makes UniTel special is its customer support. Their customer support is US-based and is free. At all times, there is a person to help you set up the system.
When it comes to prices, UniTel Voice starts charging at $9.99 per month. This includes extensions, unlimited users, voicemail, unlimited greetings, and more. UniTel Voice has free features such as free voice recordings and free set up.
With UniTel, you are also not forced to commit to a long term contract. Their plans are on a month to month basis.
Skype For Business
This cannot really be considered as a VoIP platform, but it is a simple set up that can help in trying out the VoIP experience. You can easily connect to Skype users using texts, make voice and video calls. There are also conferencing options and screen sharing features.
Conclusion on choosing the best VoIP for small businesses
Landline and traditional phones are quickly being replaced by VoIP phone systems, and small businesses are not left behind. VoIP is a cheaper alternative and offers more features such as auto attendant, unlimited calling, tollfree numbers, text messaging, and other services that improve customer relations.
If you want the overall best VoIP provider out of a very good bunch then checkout RingCentral. For small businesses, Ooma is the best option. If you want a special feature for your business, there are VoIP providers that rule the rest. Go for a VoIP that best suits your business needs.