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We present a comparison of three of the best VoIP phone service providers, based on reviews. We take a closer look at a number of low cost service packages they offer. The three companies featured here are: RingCentral, Phone.com and Grasshopper. Each of these has a dominant online presence and deep penetration into this particular telecom niche. The price tiers of their various packages are highly competitive and, for the small business client, actually quite cheap. All three use VoIP platforms. All one really needs is a high speed internet connection.
What is a VoIP Phone Service?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. With this, phone service providers use remote, internet based technology over WiFi to run the architecture, switching and networking of a telephony communications setup. All data and information is processed through software. Because very little, if any hardware is needed, the relevant maintenance and setup costs that come with this are minimal.
In a bygone era, technical departments would be required to install, configure, update, maintain and troubleshoot such hardware. Nowadays, this is no longer needed. Service packages are therefore available -from many companies- which are low coast and easily affordable for businesses of all types.
Researching and finding the best VoIP phone service providers allows your business a number of technical capabilities including, but not limited to:
- Seeing and maintaining records of call provenance, call duration, client hold times and call times.
- A suite of applications which comprise of virtual receptionist services, call conferencing, caller ID, call routing, business texting, business chat, call forwarding and much more.
- The ability to provide a single number to many clients at the same time and use the virtual receptionist capability to route each call to the next available customer service representative.
- Internally designating what types of calls go to which particular representatives. So by knowing what type of incoming call you are getting (via the choices the customer makes while being navigated through by the virtual receptionist), you can route more difficult calls to more experienced representatives, for example.
- The ability to access the service from any suitable computing device, be it desktop, laptop, mobile phone or tablet. This means that employees can be in any geographical location. They can even be in transit while traveling.
- No technicians are needed to set up or configure hardware for your workers. This is all internally handled by software.
- If your business relies on consistent interactions with your customers, virtual phone systems are invaluable for presenting a professional image of your company.
Best VoIP Phone Service Providers
We consider three low cost business phone system services:
RingCentral – This industry leader from Belmont California is a leader in this field internationally. They provide phone services for companies of all sizes worldwide. RingCentral offers one of the most feature-rich packages available anywhere. Their list of features and applications is comprehensive, with all functionalities needed for VoIP office telephony and communications. Among these are call forwarding, video conferencing with screen sharing, call waiting and transfer, 1000 toll-free numbers, caller ID, share one line on multiple mobile devices and users, and more. The service also allows integration with other services such as Gsuite, Dropbox, Microsoft and more.
RingCentral’s low cost business phone service price tiers begin with the Essentials package which is priced at $19.95 monthly per user. At this level, you can have up to 20 user. The package comes with:
– unlimited phone calls within the United States and Canada;
– toll-free or local number;
– 100 toll-free minutes allowed per month and more
Higher tiers offer all of the above and many more additional services.
GrassHopper – This company has a focus on solopreneurs and small businesses. A main feature of its low cost business phone service is that it offers virtual phone numbers. With these calls can be forwarded to any real phone number via any computing device, particularly mobile devices. With this setup however, one would still need a standard phone line in order to make outgoing calls.
Phone.com – Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, the company was founded in 2007 and has grown steadily since. It offers a large range of service packages. At the base level, there is a low cost monthly base price of $12.99 per month, which is quite cheap. This allow you 300 minutes. Unlimited packages are also available and these are set at prices beginning at $29.99 per user each month for its Base plan, $37.99 for its Plus plan and $54.99 for the company’s Pro plan. If you choose to pre-pay at the available yearly rate, your price drops to an even lower cost: by $5 per user monthly for the Base and Plus plans, and by $10 for the Pro plan monthly respectively.
Managing your account and the various phone services is done through a number of apps the company provides. Toll-free, and vanity phone numbers associated with the US, Canada, and UK are offered.
Recognized as one of the best VoIP phone service providers for small business nationally, the company’s account packages allow all the expected standard features like call routing, texting, forwarding, auto concierge, hold music, voicemail to email transcripts, call waiting and more. Grasshopper uses a number of extensions, so the service is perfect for employees who are not onsite or who are -for example- on the road while in transit. This service also gives you access from any suitable device: desktop, mobile phone, tablet or laptop.
Grasshopper’s standard plan is priced at $26 for 1 number, which comes with 3 extensions. This is the base price.
We have more on what an internet business phone system is technically and its associated advantages on our home page.