Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that provides high-quality voice communications over the internet. The VoIP technology sends voice signals, or “voices,” using standard data packets.
VoIP is a popular alternative to traditional phone service because it offers many benefits to consumers and businesses. For example, it allows people to make calls from wherever they have an internet connection. That means you can talk on the phone while sitting at your desk at work or while you’re on vacation in Europe!
But what exactly is VoIP? How does it work? And how can you get started with VoIP today?
In this guide, we’ll answer all of these questions and more. We’ll also show you how to choose a great VoIP provider for your home or business so that you can enjoy this technology’s benefits immediately!
How does Voice Over Internet Protocol exactly work?
VoIP works by converting the audio signal from your phone into a digital data stream, sending it over the Internet, and then converting it back into an audio signal on the other end. This means that when you call someone using VoIP, it’s like calling them on their computer or smartphone — except there’s no monthly fee for making calls over a cellular network.
VOIP can be used for free, but it’s not as reliable as traditional landline telephones because the quality of Internet connections varies from place to place. For example, if you have poor cell reception at home but strong Wi-Fi coverage, your call quality may still suffer when using VOIP over Wi-Fi.
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What is a VoIP Service?
VoIP phone systems are networks that allow you to use your internet connection to make and receive phone calls. It’s similar to how Skype or FaceTime works, except with a VoIP system, there is usually no monthly fee associated with the service. Instead, you pay for the equipment upfront and then pay for minutes as needed.
Features of VoIP Phone Services
The best VoIP service should deliver many features that are similar to a traditional phone line. These features include:
- Caller ID – The caller ID can display the person’s name before you answer the call. This feature helps you to avoid unwanted calls because you can see who is calling before answering.
- Call Forwarding – Call forwarding lets you designate where incoming calls should be routed when you do not answer them. For example, if your office is closed on weekends, but you still want to receive calls, call forwarding lets you route those calls to another number, such as your cell phone or home number, so that you can answer them when it is convenient for you.
- Speed Dial/Redial – Speed dial lets users quickly dial multiple numbers at once by pressing just one key on the phone’s keypad instead of having to punch in each number individually. Redial automatically redials the last number that was called, so you don’t need to keep pressing buttons every time you want to call someone back!
- Three-way calling – Three-way calling is one of the most common features of a VoIP phone system. With this feature, you can talk to more than one person at once by joining two calls into one conversation. This is very useful for businesses with multiple employees working from different locations at once or for families wanting to keep track of their children during after-school activities.
- Call forwarding and call waiting – Most VoIP phone systems’ other great features are call forwarding and call waiting. These features allow you to forward your calls to another line if you are busy on another call or if you want to receive calls while on vacation (or even if you just don’t want to be disturbed). Call waiting allows you to receive another incoming call without ending your current conversation.
- Voice mailboxes – You can access your messages anywhere by calling into your mailbox and listening to them through your phone or computer. This feature saves time because you don’t need to return every call yourself; if it’s important enough, someone else will do it. Voice mailboxes also allow others to leave messages on your behalf if they don’t have access to your regular number.
- Multi-Line Phones – You can have multiple lines for incoming calls and extensions for your employees so they can answer calls at their desks without having to walk over to a phone. Many providers also offer fax capabilities, which is helpful if you still use fax machines in your office.
- Virtual Extensions – Virtual extensions allow you to set up different numbers for your company without paying for an actual phone line or physical address. For example, you could set up a virtual receptionist who would answer all calls from your clients with their own extension number instead of yours.
Benefits of having a VoIP Phone System
- Lower Costs – A VoIP phone system costs much lower than other options, such as landlines or cell phones. This is because you don’t need expensive hardware or a dedicated line from an ISP (Internet Service Provider). You can also save money on monthly fees for equipment and long-distance charges if you have an internet connection at home (or anywhere else).
- Numerous Features – Most providers have many features you can use with your account, like call forwarding, call waiting, caller id, and more! These features were once only available on expensive business lines, but now they’re available to anyone with an internet connection!
- Easy Installation – Most VoIP providers offer easy installation options so you can get started immediately without having to wait on technicians or technicians coming into your office.
- Faster Deployment – It can take weeks or months to get everything set up and running with traditional phone systems. With VoIP, deployments can happen in days and be fully operational within hours.
- Flexibility – You can use your VoIP services anywhere there’s an internet connection. This means you can take your business video conferencing with you when you travel and keep in touch from anywhere in the world. You also don’t have to worry about missing important calls when you’re at the gym or out for dinner with friends because you don’t need to be sitting by a home phone all day long.
- Reliability – The best VoIP service should offer redundant connections, so if one link goes down, another will automatically take over without any interruption in service or change in quality.
- No maintenance fees or equipment charges – VoIP system has no hidden costs, so you don’t need to worry about any ongoing maintenance fees or equipment charges. These are one of the biggest benefits of using VoIP as your business phone system. You only need to pay for your internet connection, which is likely included in your monthly bill anyway.
- Ability to customize the system per user specific needs – You can have multiple extensions or phone numbers and offer call routing, three-way calling, or voicemail on demand.
VoIP providers offer several ways per user to save money on monthly phone bills:
- Pay-as-you-go plans: With this option, you pay only for what you use. In most cases, there are no set-up fees or contracts required; however, extra charges may be if you exceed your allotted minutes before the end of each month. Some companies offer unlimited calling packages at an additional cost; others do not.
- Cheaper rates: Many VoIP service charge less per month per user than traditional phone companies and offer more features at no additional cost (for example, voicemail, caller ID, and call waiting). Some even offer unlimited local and long-distance calling for an affordable flat rate — in some cases, much cheaper than what you’d pay for an unlimited talk on traditional landline or cell phone plan.
- No contracts: Most VoIP services don’t require a contract, which means you can cancel your service at any time if you’re not happy with it. Some providers also offer trial periods so you can try out their services before committing to a long-term contract.
10 Best VoIP Providers
A VoIP service Provider is a company that provides you with internet protocol phone service. These providers per user to make phone calls over the internet instead of traditional landlines or cellular networks. VoIP providers can also offer other services, such as video conferencing and messaging, call recording, and call diversion, depending on the type of account you have with them.
If you need the best VoIP provider, here is our list of the best VoIP services. It includes a few top-tier companies and a few lesser-known web-based VoIP software. We’ll break down the pros and cons of each so you can decide on the one that’s right for you.
Zoom is a known business VoIP solutions provider, a cloud-based communications platform that helps businesses connect with customers, employees, and partners globally from any device or location. Zoom’s award-winning desktop video collaboration software enables users to connect face-to-face via HD video conferencing that are clear, crisp, and seamless on any device.
Why we like Zoom
Zoom’s video conferencing service is extremely reliable and easy to use. It provides HD video quality, clear audio, and an intuitive interface. The service simultaneously supports up to 100 participants with no additional fees for larger audiences. It also allows users to share their screens during calls, which is useful for webinars or other presentations.
Zoom is also compatible with most major platforms, including iOS, Android, Mac OS X, and Windows 10 devices. The company recently launched its own free mobile app (available on the App Store and Google Play), which makes it easy to join video conferencing from anywhere in the world by simply opening the app and joining a call number or meeting code.
Zoom’s advanced features
- Touch-up: You can edit and improve your voiceover recordings after you finish recording by using touch-up. This tool allows you to adjust volume, remove noise, and remove pops.
- Trim: Trimming allows you to cut out specific parts of a recording so that you can use only the essential parts for your project.
- Markers: Markers allow you to mark important points in your recording so that they can be easily found later.
- Multi-user support: You can invite as many people as you want to join your meeting, even if they’re not Zoom users
Zoom provides a wide range of features that make it easy for users and administrators. Its simple interface makes it easy to set up meetings quickly, while its robust feature set includes things like PIN codes for joining meetings, the ability to share documents during calls, and more advanced options like access controls.
Zoom also includes many other pros, such as:
- It supports both video conferencing and screen sharing. You can share your computer screen during a call or even broadcast your desktop to multiple people at once. This makes Zoom perfect for business meetings, seminars, and other events where you want to share documents, presentations, or other information with others.
- You can also use Zoom to simultaneously make conference calls with up to 250 participants! This is especially useful if you’re trying to schedule a call with many people at once but don’t want to pay for multiple phone lines.
- Zoom offers free audio conferencing plans, so you don’t need any special equipment or software installed on your computer in order to use it.
- The audio quality is good enough for most business calls and conferences – especially if you’re not planning on doing any voiceovers or recording interviews with clients.
- Zoom offers toll-free numbers in various areas of the U.S., including those that are available nationwide, as well as others that are region-specific (such as New York City). A caller can call any toll-free number anywhere in the world, and it will ring on your computer just as if you were calling from any other VOIP system.
- There is no need for an expensive phone system. If you want to get rid of an expensive phone system, but don’t want to give up your business telephone number, then the VoIP phone number offered by Zoom is a perfect solution. You can use it in place of your existing landline or cell phone number without having to change anything else about how you run your business.
Although Zoom is one of the best VoIP services, it isn’t perfect; users should know about some cons to using it before deciding. Here are some disadvantages:
- The service is expensive. You’ll pay $15 per user per month and $3 per user per month for each additional line. If you have five employees, that’s $60 per month for the first line and another $15 for each additional line. If you have 50 employees, that’s $150 per user per month just for their phones! And if you want to integrate your voicemail into the system or use third-party apps like Ring Central, then those costs increase even more.
- You can’t copy and paste phone numbers from Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook into Zoom’s dialer, so you have to type them manually every time you want to call someone new (and hope they don’t have an extension number).
- It can be difficult to get support from Zoom because they don’t have phone or email support available 24/7 like some other companies do; instead, they have live chat support during business hours (Monday through Friday). If something goes wrong outside of those hours, there isn’t much help available.
- Zoom doesn’t support many different devices other than computers and smartphones. This means that if you want to use this service with other types of devices like tablets or desk phones, you won’t be able to do so unless they contain built-in microphones and speakers.
- Zoom also has limited security features when compared to other VOIP service providers like Skype and Google Hangouts, which means that your conversations could be intercepted by hackers if they are not encrypted properly during transmission.
Zoom is a great VoIP phone service for business owners who need frequent video calls with employees or clients but don’t want to invest in an expensive conferencing system. It’s also useful as an everyday business tool because it allows you to host webinars and other events without having to worry about technical glitches disrupting your presentation or speech.
Nextiva is one of the best VoIP phone services that offer a range of phone services to small business owners. Nextiva’s main focus is on business-class VoIP services, but its service is also available to residential customers.
Nextiva was founded by Jeff Pulver, the same person who founded Vonage. The company’s headquarters are in Scottsdale, Arizona, but it has offices worldwide, including Canada and Australia.
Nextiva’s core product is its hosted VoIP solution, which lets you run an office system from any computer with a broadband connection. It includes features like call recording, unified messaging, and call routing.
Why we like Nextiva
Nextiva has offices in every state and worldwide, making it easier for customers to reach them whenever they need assistance with their account or service problems. In addition, there is no problem with connectivity because they use Internet protocol (IP) technology instead of traditional phone lines.
Another great thing about Nextiva is that it offers free faxing per user with its basic plan, so you don’t have to pay extra if you need to send documents as faxes from your office.
Nextiva’s advanced features
Nextiva offers several innovative features that make it an attractive option for small business owners:
- Voicemail to Email – allows users to retrieve voicemails as email attachments, which can be listened to on a computer or mobile device.
- Visual Voicemail – allows users to view a list of voicemails and listen to them directly from their smartphone.
- Forward Call Function – forwards incoming voice calls to another number when you are unavailable.
- Call Recording – allows users to record incoming and outgoing calls for training purposes or legal compliance.
- Multi-level IVR – the company’s virtual system can handle multiple callers at once, so your calls are answered quickly and efficiently.
- Conference calling – have multiple people on the line with you at once for an important call.
- Voicemail transcription – transcribe voicemails into text messages so you can read them instead of listening to them.
- Virtual system – Virtual phone systems are hosted in the cloud and operated by a third-party provider. These systems are more affordable than traditional phone systems because they require no hardware installation or maintenance. Virtual phone systems offer many of the same features as traditional phone systems, such as voicemail, unified messaging, and call diverting, but they may not include some advanced options, such as direct inward dialing (DID).
Nextiva’s VoIP service offers several features that make it easy to use and manage small businesses’ phone systems:
- Easy installation – Nextiva offers both physical and virtual solutions. Both options have a simple installation process that takes just minutes to set up. The virtual solution can be installed directly from your browser without needing additional software or hardware.
- Ease of Use – Nextiva’s web portal makes it simple to manage your phone from anywhere in the world. You can even control call diversion settings on each extension right from your web browser!
- Compatibility – Nextiva’s system can be accessed through any computer or mobile device connected to the internet using any operating system such as Windows or Mac OS X or iOS or Android devices. The system also supports most third-party software, such as Skype.
- Price – The cost of this small business VoIP system varies depending on the number of extensions, services you need, and user per month. However, it’s important to note that there are no contracts with Nextiva. That means if you find another VoIP provider that offers better rates or more features, such as team messaging, unlimited calls and call routing, you’re free to switch among the business VoIP providers at any time.
- Limited Integration – It does not have any online faxing integration with its product, which many customers have complained about. This means that if you want to integrate your e-mail system with Nextiva, you will have to do it manually every time someone sends an email to your address.
- Inability To Use Phone Numbers From Other Providers – If you want the same number for both your landline and VoIP service, then it would be better if you used RingCentral or Google Voice instead since these two companies provide gateways for all major carriers, including Verizon Wireless and AT&T.
- Limited headphone Capabilities – It does not allow you to use your own headphones when making calls with its service; instead, you must use the company’s proprietary headphones
Nextiva is best used for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a cloud-based phone system in the $50 to $100 range per user per month, as long as you don’t need any special features like hunt groups or voicemail to email.
Microsoft Teams Phone
Microsoft Teams Phone is a VoIP phone that works with Microsoft Teams. It’s a desktop app for Windows and Mac that lets you make and receive calls, hold video conferences and share your screen.
You can use Microsoft Teams Phone to make calls to regular phones or other team users, but if you want to use it with a T-Mobile phone number, there are some extra steps involved.
Why we like Microsoft Teams Phone
There are many reasons why users prefer Microsoft Teams Phone. The first and foremost is that it is free. Users can install it on their computer or mobile device and start using it. Another reason is that it has a very user-friendly interface and the best part is that it offers all the features of analog phones without any additional monthly cost. There are no monthly charges for using this application, which makes it very popular among users.
Microsoft Teams Phone advanced features
Microsoft Teams is a combination of team messaging, meetings, and calls. It is a modern communication platform for teams to collaborate and get work done.
Microsoft Teams Phone features include:
- Shared Line Appearance – You can use Microsoft Teams to instantly connect to any number of people on your team — even if they are on their mobile phones or don’t have a desk phone at all. You’ll see the status of the call on your desktop and mobile device, so you’ll know who is available and who has joined the call.
- Call Transcription – When enabled by an administrator, Microsoft Teams will transcribe inbound calls from other users in real-time. This allows you to read what was said during the call without listening to it first-hand.
- Channel Call Documenting- In addition to transcription, administrators can enable this feature that records all calls placed through Microsoft Teams server-side, meaning no audio recording software is required at all!
Microsoft Teams Phone is a great way to integrate your work and personal life, as calls can be made from your mobile device or desktop computer. Here are some of the benefits of using it:
- Unlimited calling – You can call as many people as you want without paying any monthly fees or running up a tab on your mobile phone plan.
- No phone number required – You don’t have to give out your personal number when you use Microsoft Teams Phone; people can reach you through the email address associated with their account.
- Flexibility – You can connect it directly to your on-premises telephony system so you can make and receive calls from your desk phone. This is particularly useful if you have employees who work in different locations and don’t always have access to their laptops or smartphones.
- Integrations – Microsoft Teams Phone uses Office 365 Voice (part of Microsoft’s cloud-based phone service) for its call integration, which means that it integrates seamlessly with other Office 365 services and can be used as part of an overall strategy to improve productivity at work. This includes integration with Microsoft Teams app, Yammer, SharePoint, and OneDrive for Business.
- Security – Microsoft Teams Phone offers secure communications through end-to-end encryption technology. This ensures that your calls are safe from hackers and other intruders who may try to listen in on your conversations. The service also protects against eavesdropping and hacking by using other security measures, such as two-factor authentication, which requires users to enter a password and confirm their identity before accessing their accounts.
There are many benefits to choosing Microsoft Teams Phone as your VoIP provider, but there are also some downsides.
- Lack of customizability – There’s no way to change the number displayed on caller ID or set up custom greetings like you can with other providers like Vonage or RingCentral.
- No call documentation- If you want to keep calls for legal reasons or business purposes, you’ll need to find another program that supports this feature.
- Dependent – It cannot be used as a standalone service without being integrated into an Office 365 subscription.
If you’re already running Microsoft Teams, then it makes sense to use its phone service. The service works over both Wi-Fi and cellular connections so that you can take calls on the go. It also gives you a local number that you can give out to customers or clients. And if you have an existing PBX system, the Microsoft Teams Phone will integrate with it seamlessly.
Dialpad Talk is one of the best VoIP service providers that bring the power of the cloud to your phone. It’s an easy and cost-effective way to manage all of your calls, texts, and voicemail in one place.
It is an affordable, easy-to-use business system that gives you control over every aspect of your call flow. You can customize voicemail greetings, create extensions, route calls, and more without buying hardware or software.
Why we like Dialpad Talk
Users appreciate the simplicity of the Dialpad Talk platform: it’s easy to navigate and use with no training required. And its features are intuitive enough that most users can get up and running without issue.
The reason many people like using this service is that they’re able to save time by using its fantastic features like call registration or CRM integration. You can also use its secure messaging feature if you want to communicate with clients or colleagues without having to worry about your messages being intercepted by hackers or other third parties
Dialpad Talk advanced features
Dialpad Talk has provided a reliable and easy-to-use solution for businesses of all sizes. Some of the features why users prefer Dialpad Talk include:
- User Experience – The user experience offered by Dialpad Talk is unmatched in the industry. It offers a simple interface that enables users to quickly access all their communications services from one place.
- Enterprise Features – With its enterprise-grade features, Dialpad Talk provides businesses with extensive tools to manage their communication needs effectively. These features include built-in call recorder, call transcription, call stats, message transcriptions, and more.
- Cloud Hosting – Dialpad Talk provides cloud hosting for its users so they can seamlessly integrate their communications into their existing apps without worrying about monthly scalability or maintenance costs.
- Metrics – You can monitor relevant metrics for your team’s performance, such as the number of calls made by each user, minutes used per employee, and total cost per employee.
- Do Not Disturb (DND) – This feature allows you to turn off all incoming communications at certain times or when you don’t want to be disturbed by calls or texts. You can also set automatic DND periods based on the time of day, day of the week, or date.
- Call Filtering – This feature allows you to block specific numbers from contacting your business line, such as customers who call too frequently or leave voicemails that are less than professional in nature. Call filtering also applies to incoming text messages so that only those from people in your contact list will come through.
- Call Queues – Automatically have an auto attendant that route incoming calls to different people or departments based on caller ID, time of day, or even specific keywords in the caller’s message.
- It’s easy to use – Dialpad Talk’s app is designed for small business owners who don’t have time to learn complicated new software. It’s also compatible with most devices, making it easier for employees to stay connected no matter where they are in the world.
- It’s affordable – Dialpad Talk offers a free 30-day trial and then charges $9.99 per user per month after that. The company also offers discounts if you sign up for multiple lines or pay annually rather than per month.
- Free Calls & Texts – Dialpad Talk offers unlimited business SMS, calling, and video conferencing to U.S. numbers. They also offer international calling at competitive rates per month.
- Easy setup – Setting up Dialpad Talk is easy; it takes less than 10 minutes from beginning to end. Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up for an account, you’re ready to start making calls!
Despite its benefits, there are some cons that you should know about before using this app.
- Training can be expensive and time-consuming – If you don’t have the budget or resources for training sessions, then this might not be the right choice for your small business.
- You may need to buy extra dedicated VoIP hardware to use Dialpad Talk – While some of the features in this software can be used by anyone with a computer, some require additional hardware, such as headsets or webcams.
- Device limitations – Dialpad Talk doesn’t support all types of phones or devices. You can’t use it with a fax machine or with analog phones that use traditional phone lines. Also, you won’t be able to make calls to international numbers or receive calls from international numbers.
Dialpad Talk is best for people who want to make calls and send texts without paying much money. It’s also good for people who want to keep their existing number or who want to try out new devices without having to go through the hassle of porting their number over.
Ring Central MVP
Ring Central MVP is one of the cloud-based business VoIP services that allow users to make and receive calls on the go. The platform also allows you to manage your business from anywhere and is compatible with existing hardware and software.
It offers many features that help you manage your business more effectively. The company has been around since 2006 and has more than 300 employees working in its headquarters in Irvine, California. The company offers its products through an online store or through partners such as Amazon, but it also has physical sales locations in Denver and Phoenix.
Why we like Ring Central MVP
There are several reasons why Ring Central is so popular among SMBs. First, its platform is extremely simple to use — even for people who don’t have much experience with technology or telecommunications services in general. Second, it offers some of the most competitive pricing on the market today — including free VoIP services between Ring Central users!
Ring Central MVP advanced features
- An auto attendant who can answer calls and route them to the right person
- Call screening and call diversion so only the right calls get through
- Automatic call documentation, so you never miss important conversations
- Voicemail transcription, so you can read voicemails while driving or at other times outside business hours
- Dozens of integrations with CRM, project management, and payment systems, so you don’t have to switch between multiple apps
- No Contracts – Ring Central MVP won’t lock you into long-term contracts or require expensive termination fees when you want to cancel service. You can set up your account with them and leave whenever you want without any penalties or fees.
- No Hardware Required – All of their accounts come with free softphones that allow you to make calls over the internet using your existing laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. No extra hardware is required!
- Unlimited Local & Long Distance Calls – With Central MVP, there are no hidden costs per month or restrictions on local or long-distance calls within North America*. Unlimited calling plans make it easy for the remote workers in your company to stay connected with friends and family wherever they may be located!
- Local number availability in over 70 countries – Ring Central has local numbers in over 70 countries, so you can choose the same area code for your business as your customers do. This helps to create a sense of familiarity and trust between your company and clients.
- No Offline – The system relies heavily on Internet access to function properly, so you’ll need a reliable connection at all times. If your network goes down or if you have an issue with your ISP, this could cause problems for all users using the system at the time.
- One Extension Only – It only allows one extension per account at no charge during the 30-day trial period. This means that if you want more than one phone number associated with your account during this time frame, you’ll need to pay for each additional number separately before being able to use them.
- The cost is also high – Ring Central MVP starts at $20 per month and goes up to $35 per user per month (or more). That’s significantly more expensive than many other cloud-based VoIP providers.
- Limited Price Plans – It also doesn’t have any other plans for small businesses or individuals who just want voicemail or unlimited internet faxing.
If you’re a small business owner with up to 100 remote workers, Ring Central could be the right choice for you. With a $49-per-user subscription per month, it’s one of the most affordable VoIP providers on our list. You’ll also get tailored support from Ring Central’s team of experts, who will help you set up your account and ensure everything runs smoothly from the get-go.
Ring Central MVP isn’t as feature-rich as some other business VoIP services, but it has all the essentials covered — including unlimited local and long distance calling in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Ooma Office takes your home phone to the next level with unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada, crystal-clear HD voice quality, and great features like caller ID, call blocking, and voicemail to email.
With this, you can choose from various plans that fit your needs – one line or multiple lines for your business or home office. All plans include unlimited nationwide calls, cool features, and more!
Why we like Ooma Office
The main reason that people choose this VoIP service provider over others is because of its simple setup process and user-friendly interface. Anyone can set up their own system within minutes.
Ooma Office advanced features
Let’s take a look at some of the most useful ones:
- Call Diversion- divert calls to any number or cell phone, even when you’re traveling.
- Do not disturb – Set your account to automatically forward all calls to voicemail during certain hours of the day, so you can sleep peacefully without worrying about missed calls.
- Three-way conference calling – Convene an impromptu meeting with up to three people at once. You can also record these conversations for future reference or training purposes.
- Personal voicemail access – Access your business communications from anywhere in the world using your mobile phone or tablet.
- It’s easy to install – You’ll need to connect one device in your office to your router, but after that, all of your employees can make calls from their desk phones or laptops.
- You don’t need any special equipment or software on your computers or devices – The office phone comes with a free app that works on Android phones and iPhones as well as PCs and Macs.
- There are no contracts or fees – you pay only for what you use each month.
- There are no hidden charges or surprise fees – everything is clearly listed on the website, so you know exactly what you’re paying for every month.
- Low cost – It costs $15 per user per month. This includes unlimited nationwide and international calls to Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the UK.
There are some drawbacks to using this service, however. For example,
- It doesn’t support 911 emergency calls, so if you need that functionality, you should look elsewhere.
- If you want to add more phones or users later on down the road, you’ll have to pay an extra fee for each new device or user account.
- It doesn’t support faxing over SIP or UCMA. Instead, you must use Ooma’s email-to-fax feature to send faxes directly from your email client or web browser.
- You can’t use it as your primary phone number. If you’re looking for a home-based business phone system, you’ll need to try other options.
The company has built its brand around being extremely user-friendly, making it easy for anyone to use its service. This means you have an auto attendant and less training time for employees and less money spent on getting your office set up properly.
Overall, it can be used as an alternative to your current small business landline if you want to cut down on costs, or it can be used as a secondary line with separate voicemails and numbers. Ooma Office is a good option if you already have a landline but want more flexibility in how you use it.
Vonage Business Cloud
Vonage Business Cloud is a cloud-based system for a small business that offers unlimited incoming calls, mobile support, and more. It’s available as a subscription service that costs $15 per month per line for the first six months and then $19 per month after that.
The service operates via the cloud, meaning there’s no need to purchase hardware or software upfront; instead, subscribers pay a monthly fee in exchange for hosted voice services over the Internet. This allows users to switch between providers at any time without worrying about keeping their equipment up-to-date with new features or technology updates.
Why we like Vonage Business Cloud
Vonage Business Cloud is one of the best available options today. Users prefer it because it is the only provider that offers a full suite of cloud-based communications solutions, including Phone service, Hosted PBX, Hosted Voicemail, and Hosted Email. With Vonage Business Cloud, you can run your small business from anywhere with a single monthly bill.
Vonage Business Cloud advanced features
Vonage Business Cloud offers features that can help you stay connected and move your small business forward, such as:
- Cloud Hosted PBX: You can access your business phone service from any device with an Internet connection. This means you can work wherever you want, whenever you want — whether it’s at home, on the road, or in a coffee shop.
- Unlimited Calling: There are no hidden fees or overage charges for domestic and international calls to more than 60 countries.
- Voicemail to Email: Review voicemail messages through an email link instead of listening to them on the phone.
- Choose your phone numbers – They’ll give you access to their Instant Number tool, where you can select your area code and the first three digits of your choice for each line.
- It’s simple – Vonage Business Cloud uses an intuitive interface that makes it easy to manage your company’s phone structure from anywhere. You don’t need expensive equipment or a dedicated IT team.
- It’s flexible – With Vonage Business Cloud, you can choose from over 1,000 different phone numbers in more than 60 countries around the globe. You can also customize your service plan based on your business needs — whether you need hundreds of extensions or just one for yourself, we have what you need!
- It’s affordable – Vonage Business Cloud is designed for small businesses with budgets that won’t stretch far enough for expensive hardware or IT management fees. And because there are no upfront costs, our pricing plans are all-inclusive with no hidden charges like most other providers charge!
- It’s convenient – When you sign up for Vonage Business Cloud, there are no contracts or long-term commitments required — just choose how many phone lines you need and start making calls right away!
- Unlimited calls – This service offers unlimited extensions, local and long-distance calls between U.S. numbers and Canada, and unlimited international calls to 100 countries worldwide.
- The customer service isn’t great – The reviews on TrustPilot are mixed at best, with most people saying the customer service is slow and often difficult to reach by phone or email — especially regarding billing questions. The same goes for social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
- There is no way for users to view call history in the platform – This makes it difficult for them to track employee behavior or analyze sales calls for performance improvement purposes.
- Text messaging does not handle images – Vonage Business Cloud does not support MMS (multimedia messaging service) messages. If your employees frequently send photos and videos, this could be a deal breaker for you.
- Lack of cloud storage – There is no native cloud storage feature or integration with third-party providers such as Dropbox or Box. This could be an issue if you want a file-sharing system that works with your VoIP service, but Vonage doesn’t provide that feature yet.
- No inbound faxing capability- You can only receive faxes from outside numbers through Vonage’s premium services plan or by purchasing a separate fax machine and fax software. Without these additional purchases or integrations, you cannot send faxes from within the platform.
Best for… (you’ll have to determine from research)
Vonage Business Cloud Best is the best choice for your small-to-medium-sized business if you’re looking for a high-quality VoIP solution that offers all the features and functionality of a traditional PBX system and a virtual receptionist. With instant activation, you can be up and running in no time at all.
GoTo Connect is an industry-leading, cloud-based collaboration VoIP solution that integrates your phone with the productivity tools you use every day. GoTo Connect is a flexible, feature-rich platform that offers a wide range of capabilities to help you improve communications and productivity.
Why we like GoTo Connect
Users prefer it because it’s simple and easy to use. It also offers high-quality audio and video, as well as reliable connectivity. It features a client-side browser widget that allows users to make calls directly from their desktop browsers. It also uses end-to-end encryption to ensure that your communications between you and your team members remain safe at all times. This ensures that no one else can intercept or monitor your data while you are using the service.
GoTo Connect advanced features
- Route Calls to any phone number or mobile device in the world, including landlines and toll-free numbers.
- Call transfers. You can transfer a VoIP call to another user on your network or to an external number.
- Call documentation capabilities. Record both sides of a call for later playback or review by employees, customers, and supervisors.
- Call waiting and voicemail with visual voicemail. Voicemail messages are delivered as email attachments so that you can listen to them anywhere and on any device, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
- Fax capabilities. Send and receive faxes from any location over the Internet using the GoTo Fax cloud service (an additional fee applies).
There are many reasons why users like GoTo Connect. Some of the most popular include:
- Convenience – The GoTo meeting experience is built on a web browser and works on PCs, Macs, iPads, and several other mobile devices. The service is also compatible with most operating systems and browsers.
- Easy to use – With GoTo Connect, you can connect with your team from anywhere at any time. Simply open your email or browser, and you’re connected to your team in seconds!
- Affordable pricing – The service is priced per user per month, making it an affordable option for businesses of all sizes.
- Scalability – GoTo Connect is scalable to any size company and will work on your existing computer systems. This means you won’t need to purchase new equipment or software.
- Lack of integration – There’s no way to transfer calls from your phone to your computer or vice versa. If you’re trying to set up an answering service or conference call, you’ll have to do it manually on both devices.
- SMS function is still in beta – It doesn’t offer any text messaging capabilities or mobile apps like Google Voice or RingCentral. This means you can’t use it if you want to receive texts on your computer or make calls from your phone number using an app instead of a computer browser.
- You can’t install multiple versions of GoTo Connect simultaneously on one computer. If you’re using GoTo Meeting and GoTo Webinar, you’ll need to uninstall one to install the other.
- Glitches – There are many customer complaints about frequent connection issues and dropped calls, which can be frustrating for those who rely on their VoIP service for business calls or emergency situations where every second counts.
GoTo Connect Best is best for small businesses that need to connect multiple locations and employees together for a conference call or video conference. The service offers secure, high-quality voice and video meetings so you can communicate with coworkers and clients over the phone, via video chat, or through screen sharing.
OpenPhone is a premium VoIP software that allows you to make international calls without incurring any additional charges.
OpenPhone provides access to the open-source SIP protocol, which means that you can use any compatible softphone or mobile app to make calls over 3G/4G networks.
The company has been around since 2010 and has its headquarters in Palo Alto, California.
Why we like OpenPhone
Users love it due to its outstanding customer service, which sets them apart from other business VoIP providers. Their support team is available 24/7, so you can always reach them if you need help with your account or have any questions about how to use their services. They also offer free installation and setup, so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself!
OpenPhone advanced features
- Voicemail to Email – OpenPhone offers voicemail to email, which means you can listen to your messages as an audio file or read them in an email. This is a great way to stay on top of your messages when you aren’t around your phone.
- Call Diversion- When you forward your calls, they will ring both your cell and office numbers. If you don’t answer at either one, the call will go directly to voicemail. This is great for when you are on the road without access to your office phone or if you are away from home and want all calls to go directly to voicemail so that no one can reach you.
- You can use the search box at the top of the page to find specific information about their products or services (such as toll-free numbers).
- There’s also a section for frequently asked questions that covers topics such as billing information, international calling rates, and how to set up your account on your mobile device.
- You can purchase phone numbers from different countries worldwide so you don’t have to worry about long-distance charges when calling people far away from where you live.
- You can also buy credits which allow you to pay for additional minutes of talk time beyond what comes with most plans (there are several variables here).
- OpenPhone has a clean interface that’s easy to navigate
- A variety of calling plan options
- Ease of use
- Excellent customer service
- A wide range of phone numbers to choose from
- Affordability – You can get unlimited domestic calls for $9.95 each user per month, so you’ll never have to worry about reaching your minute limit again.
- Customization – You can choose from several different packages based on your needs; from basic calling services like voicemail, call routing, and conference calling to more features like team messaging or call recording.
- No custom ringtone – The default is a standard ringing sound.
- It does not have a visual voicemail feature – This can be a deal breaker for some people who wish to see their messages in text form instead of having to listen to them all over again when they do not answer their phones.
- OpenPhone only works when you have an internet connection, so you won’t be able to use the app if you’re traveling or somewhere without Wi-Fi or data.
OpenPhone VoIP service is ideal for small businesses and startups that want a simple way to communicate with their employees, partners, and customers. With an unlimited calling to the U.S. and Canada, you can keep your team connected anytime they need you. And with no contracts or hidden fees, it’s easy to get started and even easier to manage your account.
8×8 eXperience belongs on our list of best VoIP services. It is an innovative, customer-centric communications experience that helps you work more efficiently and collaboratively. It’s a new way of working that redefines how people communicate by seamlessly integrating voice, video, and data into one unified cloud-based solution.
The company was founded in 1996 as a leading provider of hosted unified communications platforms to businesses worldwide. Now, more than 20 years later, it has more than 1 million users around the world and continues to expand its footprint globally with offices throughout North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.
Why we like 8×8 eXperience
The 8×8 eXperience platform is designed to be easy to use and intuitive so that it takes just minutes for new users to get started. Users love it since they can find all the features they need at their fingertips without navigating through multiple menus or screens. Their simple interface also makes it easy for users to learn new features as they go along without having to read manuals or attend training sessions first!
8×8 eXperience advanced features
- Connect your team members with a single click. You can connect employees in one location or across multiple offices with their colleagues or customers with a single phone number.
- You can also forward calls to any mobile device or landline number. And if someone calls in from outside the U.S., they’ll automatically route them to an international line at no additional cost.
- Make calls over Wi-Fi or cellular data to save money on long-distance calling costs when traveling for business trips or vacations.
- A wide selection of business phones that work with our service, including cordless phones and headsets (availability varies by location)
- High-quality calls
- Unlimited minutes
- Flexible pricing plans
- Free trial period
- Lower costs compared to traditional phone services
- No hidden fees or contracts required
- Callers cannot access their voicemail directly from their phones if they are away from their desks. Instead, they must call back into the office using an outside line to retrieve messages left on the company’s system.
- There are limited field templates available when creating new contacts within the system; therefore, it may be difficult to customize contact forms without making changes manually through coding or XML files.
- Poor customer support. They have no live chat option, and there is no way to contact them via email. According to users, the only way to contact them would be through their toll-free number or by filling out a form on their website, which takes days to get back to you with an answer.
8×8 eXperience is great for all businesses, especially those with a large, distributed workforce. It’s also a great choice for companies with employees who work from multiple locations or who travel frequently.
How to choose a VoIP provider?
When it comes to VoIP services, there are a handful of well-known providers. But if you’re looking for a new VoIP provider, here’s what you need to know:
While it may seem like any VoIP service will do the trick, that’s not true at all. When choosing a VoIP provider, the quality of their network is very important. The best business VoIP provider offers high-quality connections with low latency and high data transfer speeds. The last thing you want is for your video calling to sound choppy or for callers to experience delays during conversations.
The price of the service is also important because it will determine how much money you spend on using your landline or mobile phone every month. If you want to save money, make sure you choose an affordable provider with great features that suit per user needs.
You need to know the service’s features before deciding which one to go with. Some providers offer unlimited calling, while others only allow local and international calls within certain areas or countries. You should also verify if there are any hidden costs associated with using the service, such as activation fees or equipment rental fees, among other things.
Is it easy to navigate? Can you find the information that you need? Does it provide support for various devices? Is there a page for VoIP provider reviews? A well-designed website will help you make an informed decision about whether or not this company is right for your business needs.
The best business VoIP provider should offer 24/7 support via phone, email, and call centers so you can get help right away if something goes wrong with your system or network connection. They should also be able to provide training on how to use their system, so employees don’t have to figure it out on their own — especially if they don’t know much about technology in general (which is often the case).
Do the VoIP services charge extra for features like voicemail transcription or call diversion— features that are included with other providers — and if so, how much extra does it charge? Is its billing process transparent enough that you know exactly what you’re paying monthly?
Are their products compatible with your existing equipment? Do they work well with other popular devices like smartphones? How easy is installing their software on different platforms (Windows, Mac OS X)? Can they integrate with other software that you use at your business?
Types of VoIP Systems
The VoIP system is a combination of software and hardware that allows users to make telephone calls over the Internet. This type of system offers many advantages over traditional landline phones. The following is a list of the most common types of VoIP systems:
The host-based VoIP system is one of the most popular types of VoIP systems because it is the easiest to implement and manage. The host-based VoIP system is hosted by a service provider, and it uses your existing Internet connection for voice and data communications. The phone number does not change when you switch from traditional telephony to VoIP. You will be able to use your existing phones to make calls through this system as well.
This type of system can also be used for small businesses, home offices, and large enterprises. Hosting companies set up their own networks to provide services for their clients and customers. They also support their clients if there are any issues with their devices or services.
A virtual PBX (private branch exchange) uses a cloud-based system to allow multiple users to connect to their own virtual extensions within the same physical location without sharing the same hardware. Virtual PBXs offer many benefits over conventional PBXs, including lower upfront costs and scalability options. However, they’re also more susceptible to downtime since all user extensions rely on a single connection point to access voicemail messages and features like call diversion and voicemail transcription services.
Private Branch Exchange (PBX)
The PBX is integral to VoIP business phone systems, but it’s not always a VoIP system. A PBX is installed inside your building and connects directly to the telephone network through an analog or digital line. It allows you to make calls both within your company and outside lines, which can be expensive if you use the public telephone network.
Cloud PBX is one of the most common types of VoIP systems. This type of system uses software installed in the cloud. It allows you to make calls from anywhere in the world as long as internet access is available. The cloud PBX can also integrate with other apps so that you can manage your contacts and voicemail messages through an app on your smartphone or tablet device. This makes it easy to manage all your business communications while away from the office by using any internet-connected device, such as a laptop computer or smartphone with WiFi capabilities.
What is the cheapest VoIP phone service?
A Google Voice number is the best option for business phone service if you’re looking for an affordable way to make voice calls. It offers free domestic calls, text messages, and unlimited international calling to a handful of countries. You can also make calls through Hangouts, Google’s messaging app, at no additional cost.
How can VoIP save me money?
The cost savings are in two areas: the cost of your service and the equipment you need to make calls on a landline phone. Your monthly phone bill may be higher if you have many long-distance or international calls. With VoIP, those fees are eliminated or reduced dramatically since they charge only for what they deliver. According to studies, the average residential VoIP customer saves about $40 per month compared with basic wired landline service.
How does VoIP enhance business efficiency?
VoIP can help businesses save money on their phone bills and increase productivity by allowing remote workers to take advantage of mobile devices and smartphones while away from the office. They can also easily add more lines if needed without having to install additional wiring or purchase new equipment or software licenses; this makes it easy to scale up your telephone needs as your small businesses grow.
VoIPs are the future of staying in touch and rapidly gaining popularity. Pretty soon, you may be getting rid of your traditional landline altogether and starting to make Internet calls instead. How do you know if a VoIP service is right for you? Should you go with the cheapest one, or should you focus on customer support and other factors?
No matter where you choose to go with your VoIP provider, be sure the service is the best fit for your purpose. Whether that means a traditional business phone system or a VOIP-based system for your small business or big call centers, be sure that you evaluate all your options and make the call that is best for you.