Skip to main content

How does RingCentral work? Everything you need to know

Virtually every company does at least some of its business online nowadays, and if yours is among them, then you need a communications solution made for the digital age. The best way to streamline your communications is with a voice over internet protocol package, and if you’re looking for the best VoIP service, then look no further than RingCentral. Of course, you shouldn’t hand over your hard-earned cash without understanding what you’re paying for, but since VoIP can get pretty technical, we’ve put together a brief explainer on how RingCentral works and how it can help your business.

See Plans and Pricing

What is RingCentral?

RingCentral is a VoIP communications service. VoIP, short for “voice over internet protocol,” simply allows you to make phone calls over an internet connection rather than a traditional landline or cellular network. Since the internet was developed from telecommunications (most of us remember the days of old-school dial-up internet), VoIP isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. However, VoIP providers like RingCentral offer a lot more than the simple ability to make phone calls using the internet; it’s much more comprehensive than that.

RingCentral is a complete all-in-one communications package for phone, text, team messaging, and more, and one that you can tailor to fit the size and needs of your business. You have several plans to choose from, each one with its own set of features and services (we’ll dive more into the different RingCentral plans and their pricing later). All of these packages offer unlimited voice calls, texts, team messaging, file sharing, and voicemail transcriptions. The higher plan levels add more advanced call handling functions and enterprise features.

Using a single, dedicated VoIP package like RingCentral is much better than having to use a bunch of different apps and services at once. By unifying your business communications (with your customers and clients as well as your colleagues and employees), you can streamline your operations, improve your workflow, and even reduce overhead if you’re currently over-paying for multiple subscription services. RingCentral is also objectively better than free software such as Skype or Zoom, which are fine for small-scale casual use but are lacking in advanced features and are not really built to handle the bandwidth that businesses need. That’s not to mention that these free apps are pretty much useless for handling incoming communications from your customers, as they’re not designed for that at all.

How does RingCentral work?

You should now have a general idea of what RingCentral is, but how does it actually work? As explained above, a VoIP service like RingCentral, at its most basic, is a way to do all of your communications over your existing local internet network. Combining your business calls, messaging, and other communications in this manner removes the need for a traditional landline while also offering a lot more utility than simple video calling and text messaging apps can provide. But there’s a little more to it than that.

After you choose the right RingCentral plan for your business, you’re ready to get started right away. RingCentral setup is straightforward and should take only minutes. If you ordered any equipment, such as VoIP phones, you’ll of course have to wait for those to arrive, but you can start using the RingCentral software immediately. The RingCentral app works with Windows and Mac computers as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. This gives you an interface for team messaging, file sharing, video calls, and so on, and for managing other features of your RingCentral plan, such as call analytics. You can also sync RingCentral with popular third-party workflow apps such as Microsoft Teams and Slack if you use them, as well as industry-specific platforms like Zendesk, Salesforce, and Canvas, among others. This is business-grade software, but note that some features are locked behind the upgraded package tiers — more on that later.

RingCentral is basically a cloud-based communications app that combines phone, text, voicemail, team communications, and document sharing on one platform, but it works with physical VoIP phones as well. VoIP phones are handsets that, at a glance, look (and operate) much like traditional landline phones. However, they integrate with your RingCentral plan to offer a bevy of other services including text messaging and video calls. These VoIP phones are useful for businesses that don’t want to do completely without traditional handsets, but you don’t need them, of course — you can use RingCentral entirely on computers and mobile devices and enjoy all the features that your subscription package provides.

Shop VoIP Phones

Is RingCentral expensive?

RingCentral is one of the more cost-effective VoIP services in our opinion. The core RingCentral product is its Message, Video, and Phone (or MVP) plans. There are four MVP plan tiers: Essential, Standard, Premium, and Ultimate. Pricing for each tier varies depending on how many people will be on the plan as well as whether you pay monthly or annually — paying for the yearly subscription nets you the better rate, and the per-person price also decreases as the number of users scales up.

The most basic package is the Essentials plan, which can support up to 20 users and costs $20 per person per month if you pay annually ($30 per user for a monthly subscription). Aptly named, the Essentials tier offers all the standard VoIP functions like unlimited calling, text, team messaging, file sharing, and voicemail-to-text, but lacks more advanced call handling functions and third-party app integrations. The Standard plan supports unlimited users and adds features like video meetings, customer service analytics, workflow app integrations, and unlimited audio conferencing for $28 per user per month paid annually.

The $35/user/month Premium package — arguably the best value of the RingCentral MVP plans — includes all of that plus enhanced call handling functions, broader integration with third-party apps like Salesforce and Zendesk, and more advanced website development applications. The $50/user/month Ultimate plan has all of the features of the lower tiers along with device status reports and unlimited storage for recording calls, meetings, and other data. The prices quoted here are for annual subscriptions with less than 100 people; for businesses with more than 100 employees, the per-person price is $2 to $7 cheaper.

RingCentral does offer a free trial for its MVP plans, but in 2020, RingCentral rolled out a free video calling service in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden surge in people working and taking classes from home. RingCentral Video isn’t a VoIP package, but it offers video calls for up to 100 participants, unlimited meetings, file sharing, and team messaging. It can even integrate with popular work apps like Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft 365, which is quite impressive for something that’s totally free.

See Plans and Pricing

These deals are proof robot vacuums are cheaper than you think
irobot roomba i7 robot vacuum deal best buy january 2023  7550 wi fi connected self emptying charcoal

Robot vacuums are an extremely convenient piece of tech for your smart home, but many of the best robot vacuums give off the impression they’re out of most people’s price range. This isn’t necessarily true, especially when you consider the robot vacuum deals that are taking place right now. You can currently find deals on high quality brands such as Ecovacs, iRobot and Eufy, with sale prices touching a price point for nearly everyone and starting below $200. Read onward for more details on how to land the best deal on a robot vacuum right now, and if you need a little more help, you can read about how to choose a robot vacuum as well.
Eufy BoostIQ 11S Max — $190, was $250

The Eufy BoostIQ 11S Max robot vacuum is one of the slimmest robot vacuums you’ll come across, yet still maintains incredible suction capabilities that can keep every floor type clean. It’s one of the most affordable robot vacuum options currently available, and it’s a great option if you’re in search of something that can compete with the best robot vacuums for pet hair or the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors, as it presents a very affordable alternative. It comes with a remote control and charging base, and it’s even equipped with an anti-scratch tempered glass top covered for protection.

Read more
Nanoleaf opens preorders for its first-ever Matter smart lights
The Nanoleaf Essential lineup installed in a home theater.

After a brief showing at CES 2023, Nanoleaf’s Matter-enabled smart lighting solutions are now available for preorder. The Essentials lineup consists of both smart light bulbs and smart lightstrips -- and with full support for Matter, they should be easy to integrate into most smart homes.

Three new products are arriving this year, with the Essentials A19 Light Bulb, BR30 Light Bulb, and Essentials Lightstrip all expected to arrive before the end of April. All three work with Matter over Thread, marking the first time Nanoleaf has used the interoperability standard in a product launch. Pricing for the devices starts at $20 for a single smart bulb and goes up to $50 for the Essentials Lightstrip, positioning the lineup as a reasonably affordable way to bring Matter into your smart home.

Read more
The Aventon Abound cargo ebike is perfect for grocery trips, hauling gear, and more
Aventon Abound rider with plants and store bought items on road.


This content was produced in partnership with Aventon.
Ebikes or electric bikes are the next wave of sustainable and convenient transportation, merging the manual machinations of a bicycle with an electric motor to empower the average rider. Aventon is at the forefront of that innovation, offering several thoughtful models like the , or the off-road friendly with fat tires. This time around they've shifted focus a little, offering an ebike, as you might expect, but with quite a bit more utility. Called Abound, it's the company's first-ever cargo ebike that can be used to haul, well, just about anything.

Read more