This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
Free voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) services are available for solopreneurs, startups, and small businesses with limited phone system needs. Basic features include unlimited local calls, voicemail, and a softphone app. Since there are very few options for absolutely free VoIP phone service, we included in this guide three cheap VoIP providers known for their long free trial period and discounted plans, offering you the best value for the money.
Here are our top picks for the best free and affordable VoIP services:
- Google Voice: Best overall for Google Workspace integrations
- Ooma: Best free VoIP residential plan
- RingCentral: Best for call management and collaboration features
- Grasshopper: Best for shared toll-free phone lines
- Dialpad: Best VoIP system with built-in artificial intelligence (AI)
- OnSIP: Best for pay-as-you-go and unmetered plan options
Free VoIP Phone Services at a Glance
Free VoIP Services
Free personal plan
4.26 out of 5
Free residential plan
4.24 out of 5
14-day free trial
4.02 out of 5
7-day free trial
10% off for annual billing
3.96 out of 5
40% off for annual billing
3.95 out of 5
3.93 out of 5
Take our quiz to find out which free VoIP service best fits your needs.
Which free VoIP service is right for you?
Google Voice: Best Overall Free VoIP Service
Google Voice is our overall best free VoIP phone service thanks to its free personal plan for Google account owners. However, you need an existing U.S. phone number to claim your free local phone number for sending calls, texts, and voicemails. It covers all the basic phone features, including voicemail transcription, call blocking, Wi-Fi calling, and a mobile app.
Advanced VoIP features like multi-level auto-attendant and ring groups unlock at Google Voice for Business, starting at $10 per user, monthly. This is ideal for small teams handling communication with customers via multiple devices. It deeply integrates with Google Workspace apps, including Google Meet and Google Calendar.
One major downside of Google Voice is its limited call functions for handling high call volumes. If you don’t mind upgrading to a paid VoIP service to access complete call management features, choose RingCentral. This provider is known as the leading business phone system due to its feature-rich plans, extensive integrations, and collaboration features.
Google Voice Features
- Voicemail transcription: Google uses artificial intelligence (AI) to transcribe voicemails automatically. Google Workspace users can transcribe voicemails into seven languages, including English, French, German, and Spanish.
- Multi-level auto-attendant: Set up a menu system to route callers to the right agents or departments. Create greetings or prompts using Google’s text-to-speech option.
- Ring groups: Enable multiple team members to make and receive calls using the same Google Voice number. Call routing can be simultaneous or in random order.
Explore Google Voice’s personal and business plans in our complete Google Voice review.
Ooma: Best Residential VoIP Service
*Get the Ooma Telo device at $99.99 to avail of the free plan.
Ooma offers a modern home phone service in replacement of traditional phones. The Ooma Basic plan is a free VoIP service that only requires a one-time purchase of an Ooma device. Connecting Ooma Telo to your internet connection delivers all the standard landline features, including caller ID, call waiting, call logs, and voicemail.
For office users, Ooma has a business phone service for large teams needing advanced communication features. The base plan unlocks over 50 voice features, including video conferencing, text messaging, and Office 365 integrations.
Discounted rates are unavailable, so per-user pricing on Ooma business plans can get expensive if you sign up multiple team members. If you simply need a straightforward VoIP service that charges a flat monthly rate regardless of the number of users, consider Grasshopper. Its all-inclusive packages allow unlimited users without extra charges.
- Enhanced caller ID: If you receive a call from an unknown number, this feature will look up the caller’s name in the national phone database. Instead of appearing as an unknown caller, the caller ID screen will display the phone number and its registered owner.
- Custom call blocking: Create a list of caller ID names and phone numbers you don’t want to receive calls from. You can also choose what happens to blocked numbers.
- Multi-ring: Select which phones will ring when you receive an incoming call to your Ooma phone. You can direct calls to your Ooma Home Phone app, landline, or an external number.
Ooma offers separate phone plans for residential and office use. Find the best choice for your small business needs by checking out our Ooma review.
RingCentral: Best for Advanced Call Management
*Discounts are available for annual pre-payments and volume purchase.
RingCentral is known for its extensive functionalities for call management, phone administration, and unified communications (UC). While it doesn’t have a free version, users can enjoy a two-week-long free trial, annual billing discounts, and bundle deals for over 50 users. You get excellent value for money by getting the base plan, which includes full phone system features such as shared lines, call recording, and interactive voice response (IVR).
RingCentral is our top small business VoIP service due to its robust app integrations and collaboration features. It readily integrates with over 300 business apps for marketing automation, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and productivity tools.
If you’re a solopreneur and don’t have the budget for a full-featured phone system, Google Voice is the best option. It offers a personal plan for basic VoIP users without charges. Upgrading to a paid plan won’t cost that much since monthly pricing starts at only $10.
- Heads-up display and call delegation: View the real-time status of all user extensions so your phone operators can manage and distribute multiple calls efficiently.
- Shared lines: Allow calls made to a single phone number to be picked up by multiple devices. You can also place a call on hold and then continue the conversation from another phone.
- Call flip: Move an in-progress call between your mobile phone, softphone, or desk phone with no interruptions. The call can only be picked up by the person who initiated the conversation.
Learn why RingCentral is the leading small business VoIP service in our RingCentral review with details on monthly plans, niche features, and best use cases.
Grasshopper: Best for Teams With Shared Phone Lines
*Get over 10% discount by paying annually.
Grasshopper is a virtual phone provider for teams that want to share phone numbers and extensions and don’t want to pay for a full-featured cloud phone system. A shared phone line allows calls to be routed based on teams or departments, eliminating the need for time-consuming call transfers.
All Grasshopper plans share the same feature inclusions but differ in the number of toll-free phone numbers and extensions. Users also have the option to choose a local or toll-free vanity phone number.
While most VoIP providers charge per user, Grasshopper lets you add unlimited users to your plan without paying for each seat. This is a good deal for businesses that want to avoid per-user rates. There’s no free plan, but annual billing discounts and a seven-day free trial are available.
Collaborative teams needing UC capabilities like video meetings, team messaging, and integrations may want to consider RingCentral or Dialpad. Grasshopper is a virtual phone system, so its capabilities are limited to managing voice calls and text messages.
- Instant response: Automatically send a text message if you missed a call from a new caller. Customize your message by business information, including logo, physical address, company website, and operating hours.
- Desktop and mobile app: The Grasshopper softphone app keeps your work and personal communications separate without the expense of additional devices. Know when a call is business-related while keeping your personal number private.
- Wi-Fi calling: Make business calls over an internet connection in areas with poor cellular coverage. Switching to Wi-Fi will save your minutes and data for outbound calls and texts.
Learn why Grasshopper is the most budget-friendly virtual phone system in our in-depth Grasshopper review.
Dialpad: Best AI Phone System
*Save up to 40% by paying annually.
Dialpad is an intelligent business phone system that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) for voice interactions. All paid plans include built-in AI tools, such as real-time call transcriptions, post-call summaries, live speech coaching, and analytics. These features reduce manual work by automatically taking notes, transcribing calls, and tracking action items so that you can focus on the conversation.
No free plan is available, but Dialpad offers a 14-day free trial and up to a 40% discount for annual billing. What’s more, you don’t have to pay for an advanced plan to get all the important VoIP features because Dialpad bundles all of them in the base plan. These include multi-level auto-attendant, call recording, and custom call routing.
Dialpad may be overkill for small businesses that don’t need all the advanced AI features. If you’re looking for a free VoIP option with straightforward VoIP offerings, try OnSIP. Its free plan allows up to 100 users with free voice calls and unlimited extensions.
- Visual voicemail: Listen and access all your voicemails in an intuitive voicemail inbox. It transcribes voicemails in real time and allows easy sharing in your Dialpad team messaging app.
- Company directory: A digital address book containing all the contact information of everyone in your company. Search for any employee, make a quick call, view their phone number, and send a message.
- Exec-assistant pairings: Appoint an assistant who will answer your calls or take necessary actions that don’t require immediate attention. Give them access to your voicemails, recordings, and transcripts.
Learn more about Dialpad as a unified communications solution in our full Dialpad review.
OnSIP: Best for Metered & Unmetered Call Plans
OnSIP is one of the top free VoIP service providers with flexible pricing models. It offers a combination of pay-as-you-go and per-seat unlimited plan, allowing businesses to configure the best payment option based on their budget and call volume. The free plan comes with a fully functional business phone with five-person capacity video calling, ideal for businesses with simplified communication needs.
The Basic tier is a metered user plan built for seasonal businesses with low call volume. Call minutes are not included, so a standard rate of 3.2 cents per minute applies. You can also customize your plan to exceed the minimum limits for each feature. The Unlimited plan includes unlimited access to all features, including call recording, hold music, and announcements.
OnSIP’s services are limited to VoIP and five-person video meetings, so businesses that rely on other channels like SMS, voicemail, and team chat should consider RingCentral. RingCentral is a full-fledged unified communications as a service (UCaaS) system that supports multiple communication channels, including voice calling, video chat, instant messaging, email, and internet fax.
- Personal ring strategy: Set ring time duration and configure where to redirect an unanswered call, whether your voicemail box or an external phone number.
- Busy lamp field: Set up the presence indicator on your desk phone to see who is available for a phone call at a given time. OnSIP uses three colors: green (available), orange (away), and red (busy).
- Five-way video conferencing: Host video meetings with up to five participants, including internal and external parties. Video meeting controls include hold, full-screen mode, and mute microphone and video.
How We Evaluated the Best Free VoIP Services
We looked for VoIP services offering a free plan with competitive feature inclusions. While there are only a handful of free VoIP providers, we included industry-leading VoIP services that make a potentially cheaper option due to their discounts for annual prepayment and volume subscriptions. From there, we handpicked the top six providers based on predefined criteria.
Learn how we evaluated the best free VoIP services by clicking on the tabs below:
15% of Overall Score
Aside from checking the availability of a free plan, we assessed each provider’s paid plans while checking for discounts for annual billing and volume pricing. Providers with a free trial and a base plan below $35 got extra points.
25% of Overall Score
We compared each provider’s VoIP offerings, including call management and unified communications features. We gave points to those offering basic capabilities, such as unlimited calling (U.S. and Canada), audio/video conferencing, a high uptime percentage, and a mobile app.
20% of Overall Score
We examined the free and paid plans offered by each provider to check which ones come with virtual phone numbers, an IVR system, and integrations. We also check which plans allow unlimited users.
10% of Overall Score
We evaluated each provider’s user interface by testing its usability and assessing the technical skill required to set up and operate its software. We explored its web portal, desktop app, and mobile app and considered the firsthand experience of its recent users.
10% of Overall Score
We looked at the available support channels, including phone, live chat, and a ticketing system. Additional points are given if all support channels are available 24/7.
20% of Overall Score
We based our expert assessment on our personal use of each software platform to determine ease of use and value for money. We also consulted customer reviews to measure the provider’s popularity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is VoIP cheaper than landline service?
Yes. Landline service is more expensive than a VoIP solution due to installation costs, per-minute calling rates, hardware, and maintenance expenses. With a cloud-based service like VoIP, you don’t need to pay for the equipment and maintenance since it is all covered by the software provider. On top of its feature-rich plans, VoIP solutions offer discounts and advanced communication tools like video meetings and team messaging.
Are free VoIP services secure?
The answer depends on the type of service provider you choose. Do your due diligence by checking the provider’s security policies and compliance certifications. Reliable VoIP solutions regularly undergo independent security audits and offer security features like data encryption, role-based access, and single sign-on (SSO).
How do I get a free VoIP phone number?
Free VoIP providers like Google Voice offer a free local phone number when you sign up for its Personal plan. However, most VoIP providers require a monthly subscription to get a free local or toll-free number. For example, Sideline offers a free phone number for a monthly cost of $9.99, which includes unlimited calls and texts.
While free VoIP phone services are a cost-effective way to make and receive calls, they are better for solopreneurs or home-based business owners who don’t plan to scale soon. Small businesses, particularly those with a growing customer base, are better off with a relatively cheaper VoIP service with more to offer in terms of improving caller experience and professional image.
We pick Google Voice as the best free VoIP phone service because it simply requires a Google account to get a free local number. Paid plans are also affordable, making it easy to upgrade to a full business phone plan.