This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
The best voice over internet protocol (VoIP) softphone providers retain the standard desk phone functionalities like call routing and voicemail while incorporating new features such as video conferencing and collaboration tools. They include visual voicemail, third-party integrations, and omnichannel capabilities. In this guide, we evaluated the softphone apps of seven VoIP providers based on user feedback, features, and use cases.
According to our research, the seven best softphones for small businesses are:
- Nextiva: Overall best softphone for companies wanting collaboration features for remote teams
- Grasshopper: Top choice for small teams looking for a budget-friendly phone system with virtual phone numbers
- RingCentral MVP: Ideal for companies needing robust call management features for managing high call volumes
- GoTo Connect: Excellent for organizations with a global presence needing unlimited international calling
- Google Voice: Best for Google Workspace apps users
- 3CX: Great for teams wanting to connect with clients on multiple communication channels
- Bitrix24: Best for businesses looking for an all-in-one business management solution with VoIP features
Best VoIP Softphone Providers at a Glance
VoIP Softphone Providers
$30.95 per user monthly
4.58 out of 5
$31 per month
4.47 out of 5
$29.99 per user monthly
4.32 out of 5
$27 per user monthly
4.24 out of 5
Free or $10 per user monthly
4.09 out of 5
Free or $175 per year
4.01 out of 5
Free or $61 per month
3.68 out of 5
Before exploring the top softphone providers, discover how softphones work in a modern business setting. In our article what is a softphone, we delve further into what makes it a better solution than traditional phone technology. While at it, check out our guide on how to set up a VoIP system to help understand the different VoIP types.
Nextiva: Best Overall VoIP Softphone Provider
*Pricing is based on one to four users. Discounted prices apply for annual billing and bulk purchases.
Nextiva is our overall best softphone for businesses, offering a wide array of workplace productivity features for remote teams. In its latest update, Nextiva introduced a new workhub app, NextivaOne, that brings together all interactions from calls, texts, emails, video meetings, and team messaging in one place. Streamline collaboration across teams and projects with integrated calendars, searchable links, and file sharing.
Aside from team communications, the NextivaOne app provides teams access to customer interactions, contacts, call transcription, and survey responses. Threaded conversations are the highlight of the workhub app, providing a single timeline view of previous conversations, regardless of the channel used. Explore additional features on our expert Nextiva review.
Despite Nextiva’s impressive productivity features, it doesn’t have a free version, and plans are on the more expensive side. If you’re looking for a unified workspace that combines CRM tools and collaboration features, consider Bitrix24. This provider has a generous free plan that includes built-in VoIP phone service, a CRM system, project management tools, and even automation capabilities.
- Attendance console: A web portal that lets you monitor the active phone status of employees to view user information and determine who’s busy, available, or away.
- Group paging: Initiate a one-way call to multiple people and make announcements from the convenience of a phone call.
- Call Me Now: Enables a customer to click a web icon or link to automatically initiate a call to your company line. Once they enter their phone number, your phone will automatically make a call to that number.
Grasshopper: Best for Budget-friendly Plans
*Annual subscription is available.
Grasshopper is a business VoIP provider that offers different virtual phone number options at affordable prices. All plans share the same call features but differ in the number of phone numbers and extensions included. Since it charges a flat monthly rate on all its plans, teams are able to share up to five lines with unlimited extensions, dropping the comparable per-user cost significantly.
When signing up for a plan, choose from local, vanity, and toll-free numbers. Additional local or toll-free phone numbers only cost $10 per month. If you want to access your phone system on the go, the Grasshopper mobile app lets you manage your business calls and texts while keeping your personal communications separate. In our Grasshopper review, we further examined its useful features, pricing, and user reviews.
Grasshopper is not a great fit for large teams needing access to remote collaboration tools like video conferencing and team chat. A better alternative would be Nextiva, which offers a wide range of productivity tools designed for distributed teams.
- Call blasting: If you have multiple call forwarding numbers on an extension, this feature will ring each line simultaneously to reduce callers’ wait time. It supports up to 15 call forwarding destinations.
- Incoming call control: Customize how and when to receive calls based on your business hours, individual extensions, and call handling instructions.
- Wi-Fi calling: Make business calls over Wi-Fi in locations with little or no cellular coverage. This lets you save data and minutes when making outbound calls or texts.
RingCentral MVP: Best for Call Management Features
*Pricing is based on one to 20 users. Annual billing is available.
RingCentral MVP (Message, Voice, and Phone) is one of the best business phone systems for its comprehensive features and reliability. It comes with an array of call management features like interactive voice response (IVR) and multilevel auto-attendant that benefit companies with high call volumes. Additionally, the softphone app has an intuitive interface and accessible navigation features that let you seamlessly transfer calls to another device.
RingCentral also ranks as one of the best video conferencing software, providing a feature-rich solution for online meetings. To create a more engaging meeting experience, RingCentral leverages its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities through live transcription, noise reduction, advanced meeting insights, and immersive presentation modes. Learn more about this in our RingCentral review.
RingCentral offers advanced features that unlock in higher-priced plans. Small businesses with low call volumes looking for a basic VoIP solution should consider providers like Google Voice or Grasshopper. They are ideal for businesses with a limited budget and phone system requirements.
RingCentral MVP Features
- Call flip: Move an ongoing call between a softphone, mobile phone, or desk phone based on a pre-assigned digit. Unlike call transfer, a call pulled by call flip should be picked up by the user who initiated the conversation.
- Hot desking: Enable employees to access their extensions, voicemail, and profiles by logging in to any shared phone. It is designed for field or remote employees working in different offices.
- Call park: Put an ongoing call on hold in a virtual waiting room to allow another user to retrieve it on a different phone or extension. RingCentral lets you park up to 50 inbound and outbound calls simultaneously.
GoTo Connect: Best for Unlimited International Calling
*Discounted pricing is available for volume purchases.
GoTo Connect is a business VoIP provider that allows unmetered calling to international regions. While providers like Nextiva and RingCentral charge international calls by the minute, GoTo Connect lets you make unlimited calls to 52 countries. This primarily benefits companies that want to make calls to customers or partners overseas but don’t want to rack up charges for international calls.
While other providers package their contact center services in a separate plan, GoTo Connect makes it easy by simply upgrading to its highest-level tier. The Premium plan includes customizable contact center features like supervisor dashboard, admin controls, and agent effectiveness reporting. Discover more of its capabilities in our GoTo Connect review.
Although GoTo Connect has plenty of valuable features, it still doesn’t compare to how many features and integrations RingCentral has. Its plans are designed to address the growing needs of small businesses and support various communication channels, such as video, text messaging, fax, and team messaging.
GoTo Connect Features
- Virtual voicemail: Stores voicemail messages as a separate audio file in the cloud and lets you access them through your email inbox, smartphone, web app, desktop app, or an outside line.
- Number porting: Have your landlines and mobile numbers transferred from your current provider to GoTo Connect’s service. This lets you access new communication features without losing your existing phone number.
- Advanced call management: Automate your call handling process by creating custom call flows between extensions, agents, and departments. The visual call plan editor lets you modify call flow elements and adjust call destinations.
Google Voice: Best for Google Workspace Users
*Pricing plans apply to Europe, Africa, and Middle East regions only.
Google Voice is a VoIP softphone provider offering a straightforward phone system solution to businesses with a Google Workspace account. It integrates seamlessly with Google productivity apps such as Calendar, GDocs, Drive, and Gmail, making it easy to keep your teams connected. If you’re a solopreneur, Google Voice offers a free plan for personal use, including access to basic call and messaging features.
Among other providers in this list, Google Voice has the cheapest monthly fee for its business phone plan. The platform’s simplicity makes it ideal for individual users who simply need another phone number to keep their business and personal calls separate. It’s also suitable for small teams that only need basic phone features like voicemail and an auto-attendant. Learn more in our Google Voice review.
If you’re looking for a VoIP phone system with enhanced call capabilities, you’re better off with more robust phone systems like RingCentral or Nextiva. These providers join our list of the best call management systems that provide an excellent mix of VoIP features and advanced capabilities.
Google Voice Features
- Voicemail transcription: Google uses artificial intelligence (AI) to transcribe voicemails to readable texts automatically. Translate it into seven languages, including English, Spanish, and French.
- Multilevel auto-attendant: Set up phone menus to route callers to the right agents or departments in your company. It lets you add greetings, create a submenu, send callers to voicemail, and customize work hours.
- Ring group: Create a ring group to enable an entire team to answer calls from the same number. A call will continue to ring all the members of a ring group until someone answers.
3CX: Best for Omnichannel Capabilities
*Annual pre-payments are available.
3CX is a business VoIP system with omnichannel capabilities, such as voice, video, voicemail, live chat, WhatsApp, and Facebook. This enables your business to provide multiple contact options to customers and manage all customer queries in one platform. By downloading the softphone app, users are able to centrally manage all messages and assist customers across several channels from a single interface.
For businesses with sales and support teams, 3CX has a full-featured contact center solution with call monitoring tools, call queues, built-in reports, and CRM integration. A call flow designer helps customize advanced and complex call flows. Check out more of its features in our 3CX review.
However, 3CX lacks open application programming interfaces (APIs) and integrations. If you’re looking for a platform that connects with several business applications, check out RingCentral. This provider has over 300 out-of-the-box integrations, including popular apps across productivity, automation, developer tools, and customer support.
- Video conferencing: Host virtual meetings with 25 to 250 attendees without any time limit. Video conferencing tools include screen sharing, polls, whiteboard, and remote screen control.
- Live chat widget: Allow your website visitors or agent to initiate a chat or call within the web browser. This lets you instantly provide support or real-time advice to your potential leads as they browse through your website.
- Business SMS: Send and receive text messages from the web, desktop, and mobile app. To ensure quick response times, 3CX lets you route incoming messages directly to a queue of agents.
Bitrix24: Best for All-in-One Business Management Solution
*Quarterly or annual payment options are available.
Bitrix24 is a full-featured CRM system that includes tools for collaboration, contact center, website building, project management, and workflow automation. It is a unified workspace that provides various communication tools such as voice calls, chat, video calls, and audio conferences. Upgrading to paid plans unlocks omnichannel capabilities and VoIP features like IVR, call transfer, and business hour settings.
For project management, Bitrix24 lets you create a workgroup and assign roles to team members. There are over 35 tools for team collaboration, including absence chart, presence indicator, and task time tracking. It also lets you visualize project stages using a Kanban board, Gantt chart, or team calendar. Discover more features by checking out our comprehensive Bitrix24 review.
While Bitrix24 provides an all-in-one platform for company communications, it is difficult to deploy and set up. Businesses looking for a more convenient way of managing team and customer conversations should look into Nextiva. The NextivaOne app offers an easy-to-use solution by putting all your communication and collaboration tools in a single view.
- Canned replies: A set of predetermined responses for frequently asked questions. This will also keep customers on hold when no agent is available to answer the call.
- Bitrix widget: Add a widget to your website that allows customers to start a live chat, submit a web form, or make a phone call. The widget icon, background color, and website position can be configured.
- Routing rules: Create a set of rules to route, manage, and distribute customer chats among your agents. You may assign a chatbot or verify a client’s profile in your CRM database when a client inquiry is received.
How We Evaluated the Best VoIP Softphone Provider
To come up with this list, we looked at dozens of VoIP phone services for businesses with desktop and mobile softphone apps. From there, we narrowed down the list of providers to seven based on several factors such as pricing, ease of use, general features, and value for money.
Learn how we evaluated the best VoIP softphone provider by clicking on the tabs below:
25% of Overall Score
Costs vary greatly, especially when factoring in each provider’s annual pricing and volume discounts. We ranked subscription plans according to price and rated softphone providers with a free plan higher.
25% of Overall Score
The best softphones for business provide call management tools and voicemail transcription. We also reviewed providers based on communication channels like text messaging and video conferencing.
25% of Overall Score
Some VoIP phone services for businesses offer advanced features on different plan tiers, whereas others include them with all subscriptions. We only included softphone services with mobile and desktop apps, call reports, and auto-attendants. We scored platforms with international calling and toll-free numbers higher.
25% of Overall Score
We based our expert score on personal use of the systems while considering user ratings. Each software provider received a rating according to its standout features, popularity, and overall ease of use.
VoIP softphone systems provide a flexible solution for remote and hybrid teams wanting to manage their calls and messages wherever they are. It also combines the basic functions of a traditional phone system and advanced communication tools, resulting in work efficiency, effective collaboration, and better customer experience.
Nextiva is the best softphone for small businesses, with a score of 4.58 out of 5. This provider checks all the boxes with annual and volume discounts, call management tools, and video conferencing. Distributed teams should try the NextivaOne app to bring together workplace collaboration and customer communication in a single place. Discover its powerful unified communications platform by requesting a demo on Nextiva’s website.