Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a popular alternative to landlines, especially in the business world. VoIP providers deliver digital telephone services that rely on the internet for voice and video calls. The main advantages of VoIP are that you can make long-distance calls at a very affordable price and benefit from a faster connection compared to a traditional landline.
A VoIP service is worth considering if you run a small business or make a lot of international phone calls, but comparing different VoIP providers can be challenging if you’re not familiar with the technology. We’ve compared different VoIP services to help you find the best provider to fit your needs.
The best VoIP services at a glance:
RingCentral is a California-based VoIP company with offices located around the world. Its network backbone also resides in the U.S., but you shouldn’t experience any increased lag due to the company’s primary location. It’s one of the most well-reviewed VoIP services available, offering prices that make it hotly competitive with contemporaries.
RingCentral is particularly well-suited for the average business, with all the helpful features that a business needs. This includes unlimited calling and conferencing, toll-free numbers, customizable caller ID, and support for up to 10 users. Larger packages add internet fax, unlimited users, video conferencing, automatic call recording, and many other useful features.
RingCentral claims that you can have your office set up with the service in a day or less. Even if that’s a particularly hopeful estimate, there’s no denying that the company has a lot of practice connecting companies with the VoIP services they need, making it an easy recommendation.
Prices start $25 per month per user for the basic package and go up to $50 per user for the “Office Ultimate” package. Paying annually can also net you discounts.
Jive’s approach is especially friendly to small businesses, providing voice services that are of unlimited use, which means no extra fees for exceeding monthly usage. It’s also available from 1 to 99 users, with customized pricing provided to businesses with more than 100 users.
Jive lists all the features you can get, such as recording, multiple conference options, custom messages, call filtering, fax to email, virtual fax, voicemail and voicemail-to-email, and so on. There are even more specific features for unique modern business situations such as Whispering, which allows a supervisor to eavesdrop on a conversation and talk to the agent — ideal for call centers. There’s hot-desking too, which is switching to different desks or devices in a flatter, on-the-move organization.
Finally, Jive’s pricing is very reasonable. For under 100 employees, it costs $20 to $30 per month without a contract, though contract versions with discounts are available. It may not be the best option for very small companies or home offices, but Jive offers a lot to growing businesses.
8×8 offers what it calls “virtual office” plans that are a great fit for small and mid-sized companies. Packages offer many features that we’ve already discussed, such as unlimited calling, auto attendants, online call management, conferencing, and mobile compatibility that includes options for business texting.
However, 8×8 also adds integration with Salesforce, Zendesk, and Netsuite. This is a huge boon to businesses that are actively using CRM platforms to gather and organize their data. If CRM is particularly important to this phase of your business, 8×8 could be the best option for you.
One downside to note is that some useful features, such as internet faxing and call recording, are locked behind more expensive packages. The company prefers if you get an official quote, but costs tend to range between $25 and $55 per month, per user.
If your business continues to grow and you want a larger service that caters more specifically to your professional needs, Verizon is here to help.
Typically known for its wireless service, Verizon also provides a full-featured VoIP platform tailored for growing and larger companies. There are plenty of standard features like holding, forward, waiting, call transfers and caller ID. It also includes advanced features like multiple monitoring options, voicemail to email services, and different online portals that administrators, IT specialists and agents can use to control the service.
Additionally, a suite of mobile features allows you to operate mostly everything from mobile devices, enabling you to switch from the desktop client as needed. If your office requires more down-to-earth hardware, then Verizon also offers direct sales of phones and phone devices that are all compatible with its services.
Packages start at $35 per month, supporting anywhere from 10 to more than 20 VoIP lines. However, according to the fine print at the bottom of their website, Verizon only guarantees such pricing under either year-long “no annual contract” plan or a two-year, auto-renewing contract, so it may involve some commitment over the long term.
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