Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP as it’s more commonly known, is increasing in popularity as more people ditch their landlines. Businesses, in particular, can benefit from using VoIP services, which are well known for being cheaper, more versatile, and more scalable than traditional phone services.
The best VoIP service is RingCentral, which offers useful features like unlimited calling and conferencing, internet faxing, and automatic call recording, all at reasonable monthly rates. But if RingCentral doesn’t quite meet your business’ needs, be sure to keep scrolling and check out our other picks for the best VoIP services.
Sidenote: If you’re just looking to video call with a friend, check out our guide to the best video-chat apps for Android and iOS.
RingCentral is a California-based VoIP company with offices around the world, including the U.K., and is one of the most well-reviewed VoIP services available. With a network backbone in the U.S., there shouldn’t be any increased lag from the company’s headquartered location, and its prices make it hotly competitive with its contemporaries.
RingCentral is particularly well-suited for the average business, with all the helpful features that a business (preferably one that makes lots of calls) 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 — and 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 $20 per month for the basic package, going up to $50 for the ultimate package, although paying annually can net you discounts.
Jive’s approach is especially friendly to small businesses, providing voice services that are 1) unlimited use, which means no extra fees for exceeding monthly usage, and 2) available to anywhere from 1 to 99 users, with customized pricing available for businesses with more than 100 users.
You can see all the features you get here, but they include 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 whispering (a supervisor can listen to a conversation and talk to the agent, ideal for call centers) and hot desking, which is switching to different desks or devices in a flatter, on-the-move organization.
Jive’s pricing is also very reasonable: For under 100 employees, it costs $20 to $30 per month without a contract (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. The 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 in 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 with 8×8 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.
Skype for Business
If you run your own business, especially from home, you may not need much scalability or all the extra call features that some VoIP services provide. In this case, Skype for Business or possibly Skype Meetings are particularly well suited to your needs.
You can hold video conferences and record meetings with up to 250 people at once, personalize your invite links, and use features like instant messaging or screen sharing within the app. A whiteboard tool and PowerPoint are both supported within the Skype app, making it perfect for presentations or collaborative group projects. It also integrates very well if you use Office 365, which adds a lot of compatibility and extra scalability when your business is ready to grow. The service costs $2 per month, per user.
Verizon Business Digital Voice
Maybe your business has already been growing, and you’re looking for a larger service that can cater more specifically to your professional needs. Verizon is here to help with a full-featured VoIP offering that’s tailored toward growing and larger companies. There are plenty of standard features like holding, forward, waiting, call transfers and caller ID, but there are also many 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.
There’s also a suite of mobile features that allow you to operate pretty much everything from mobile devices, enabling you to switch from the desktop client whenever you need to. If your office needs some more down-to-earth hardware, then Verizon also offers direct sale of phones and phone devices that are all compatible with its services. Packages range from $25 to $35 per month, supporting anywhere from 10 to more than 20 VoIP lines. However, Verizon does require a two-year, auto-renewing contract, so it does involve some commitment over the long term.