This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
Voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) softphone apps send and receive calls over the internet via both mobile and desktop apps. The best VoIP softphone providers include features like visual voicemail, multiple communication channels, third-party integrations, auto-attendants, and call routing. We reviewed the top options based on user feedback, feature sets, and use cases to help you find the best solution for your business.
According to our research, the five best VoIP softphones providers for business users are:
- Nextiva: Overall best VoIP softphones for business and those wanting collaboration and conferencing apps for distributed workforces
- Grasshopper: Best option for small teams needing five or fewer business numbers
- 3CX: Best VoIP softphone provider for teams using multiple customer service channels, including Facebook
- Google Voice: Best choice for free VoIP softphone services or Google Workspace integration
- CounterPath Bria: Best softphone for businesses wanting an app to complement their existing VoIP system
VoIP Softphone Providers
Starting Price per Month
4.7 out of 5
4.47 out of 5
4.01 out of 5
3.88 out of 5
3.45 out of 5
*Nextiva pricing is for monthly billing for one to four users. There are volume discounts as you add more users, and you can save significantly with a one-, two-, or three-year annual prepayment.
Nextiva: Best Overall VoIP Softphone Provider
*Prices are based on one to four users with a monthly payment. Nextiva provides additional discounts for volume and annual billing.
Nextiva’s features make it a standout among the best VoIP softphone providers. It’s the best option if you want unified channels for communication and team collaboration, including video, in one platform. Nextiva competitor 3CX, for example, has tools for customer communication but lacks private and group team messaging. Likewise, 3CX charges $75 per support ticket while all Nextiva plans include 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and chat.
Nextiva is also the best option for professionally recorded greetings, as from one to three recordings come with Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate packages. Plus, Nextiva is the only system that provides toll-free minutes with every plan. Explore additional features and user ratings on our expert Nextiva review.
See why Nextiva tops not only this list but came in second on our list of the best business phone systems. Although Nextiva is our top choice, you should consider Grasshopper if your team is smaller and doesn’t need built-in collaboration tools. You’ll pay just $80 per month for five lines ($16 per user) versus $109.75 with Nextiva.
- Team collaboration: Use the Nextiva CoSpace app to meet with your team and an unlimited number of guest users online. Task management tools and a shared team calendar make it easier to track projects, while co-workers can join in throughout the day using the persistent chat feature.
- Professionally recorded greetings: Nextiva creates and uploads custom recordings for your auto-attendant menu and voicemail. The Professional plan comes with one greeting, whereas Enterprise and Ultimate versions both include three. Choose from six male or female voice-over artists with Latin American Spanish, American, or British English dialects.
- Video conferencing: Nextiva subscriptions include unlimited one-to-one video meetings and all versions (except the base plan) support video conferencing with up to 250 participants. High-definition (HD) audio and video keep communications clear, while screen sharing helps your team collaborate in real time.
Grasshopper: Best for Small Teams Needing Five or Fewer Lines
*Prices are based on monthly billing. Choose annual prepayment to save over 10%.
Grasshopper’s user-friendly mobile app and 24/7 U.S.-based support make it a perfect option for small teams. Its pared-down feature set and simple interface reduce the learning curve, and its flat-rate billing system can save you considerably.
For example, Grasshopper’s highest-tier plan costs $89 per month as a flat rate with no per-user fees. Your team can share up to five lines with unlimited extensions, dropping the comparable per-user cost significantly. Extensions can be forwarded to multiple phone numbers, so you can add staff without paying an extra per-user fee, as long you don’t need more phone numbers.
Although Grasshopper doesn’t provide toll-free minutes like Nextiva, you can choose a local, vanity, or 800-number, whereas similar virtual phone number providers, such as Google Voice, only offer local numbers.
It also lacks remote collaboration tools, like video conferencing and persistent chat, so a platform like Nextiva is a far better option for remote teamwork. Discover the best business use cases for Grasshopper and see what users think about it in our Grasshopper review.
- Instant response: Ensure your customers feel valued by automatically sending a text message if you miss their call. Just create a template and add your company’s logo or website link. Encourage your caller to message you back with additional details or simply let them know that you’ll return the call as soon as possible.
- Mobile apps: Topping our list of the best virtual phone number providers, Grasshopper is an excellent solution for professionals who want a second number for business so they can use their cell phone as a business phone. It keeps text and voice communications separate, works over your cellular or Wi-Fi connection, and can forward calls to various team members until someone picks up the line.
- Voicemail transcription: Unlike Nextiva, voicemail transcription comes standard with all Grasshopper subscriptions. Use your mobile app to save time by reading your voicemails or checking them out via email.
3CX: Best VoIP Softphones for Businesses Using Multiple Customer Support Channels
*The above prices are based on four simultaneous calls, and customers must pay in full annually. Increase the number of concurrent calls for volume-based discounts or pay ahead for three or five years of service for an extra 5% to 10% off.
3CX uses a different pricing model than other VoIP softphone providers. Your first year of any subscription is free, and pricing is based on the number of concurrent calls employees make instead of per-user fees. You can add an unlimited number of extensions to all plans, whereas Grasshopper (which also doesn’t charge per person) only supplies unlimited extensions on the highest-plan tier.
In addition, 3CX is the only provider to natively support live chat on your messages and let you view and respond to Facebook messages without leaving your softphone app. For large corporations with on-site technical support teams, 3CX is an affordable solution for unifying customer support conversations from many channels.
However, 3CX lacks open application programming interfaces (APIs) and integrations. Compare this to Nextiva, which natively connects to many customer relationship managers (CRMs), or CounterPath Bria, which offers developer support and publicly available APIs.
- Omnichannel support: Meet customers on their preferred channel, including live chat on your website, Facebook messaging, voice calls, video meetings, and short message service (SMS) text messaging. Other VoIP softphones for businesses require third-party integrations for live chat tools.
- Call center tools: Optimize customer experiences by monitoring and recording calls and improve agent performance by whispering instructions to reps in real time. Additionally, advanced call routing helps direct messages to the best agents based on skills or schedules.
- Public branch exchange (PBX): All subscriptions have core features, such as intercom and paging capabilities, voicemail, and call parking. Check out our 3CX review to learn more about its PBX features.
Google Voice: Best Free VoIP Softphone Provider for Solopreneurs & Startups
*Paid Google Voice plans are an add-on subscription for Google Workspace users. Google Workspace subscriptions start at $6 per user, per month.
If you want a free business phone number for taking calls on your cell phone or desktop, Google Voice is the only VoIP softphone provider offering a free version. Although it costs nothing to use, you still get features like call recording, unlimited calling and texting, and visual voicemail. As your team grows, the paid subscriptions give you access to more features at a very affordable price.
Paid plans require a Google Workspace subscription, starting at $6 per user, per month. This combination works well for remote collaboration and VoIP calling. Google Voice provides 24/7 technical support, and can end up costing far less than similarly supported alternatives like Nextiva. You can explore the plans and features on our Google Voice review page.
Google Voice Features
- Call screening and blocking: You can enable call screening and blocking on any Google Voice plan. It announces the caller before you pick up the line, either by matching an incoming caller to your contact list or Google asking your caller to state their name. The caller hears a “number not in service” message if you block a number.
- Voicemail: Record a custom greeting and view voicemail transcripts right from your cell phone, or forward them to your email. You can also elect to send messages from your personal line to your Google Voice mail box. Paid versions offer transcription in seven languages, including English, Spanish, and German.
- Calendar integrations: Google Voice connects to your Google Calendar, so setting the do-not-disturb (DND) feature and avoiding unwanted calls during off-hours or while on vacation is simple.
CounterPath Bria: Best App for Supplementing Existing VoIP Services
*All paid plans must be prepaid annually.
CounterPath Bria differs from other softphone providers because it works as an add-on to your current VoIP business phone service. It’s a good choice if you can’t switch VoIP systems but want more mobile app features.
People also use CounterPath Bria to handle communications through multiple phone services. For instance, company branches may use different business phone systems yet want a technical support team to handle incoming calls from all support lines. In this case, instead of navigating separate apps for each service, you can simply toggle between them in your Bria app.
Like Grasshopper, CounterPath Bria rates highly among the best softphone apps, thanks to their user-friendly mobile applications. If you don’t have a VoIP phone system and want features similar to CounterPath Bria, including team chat and video conferencing, consider Nextiva. Its mobile app is also highly rated and supports remote collaboration.
CounterPath Bria Features
- Chat, video, and screen share software: CounterPath Bria provides HD audio and video, one-to-one or group chat rooms, and video conferencing for up to 200 people. Start a screen-sharing session by sending attendees a link or switch to screen sharing during a call or chat.
- Call recording: Paid versions of CounterPath Bria let you record conversations from any connected VoIP services (up to five providers). You can download the Bria app on up to three devices, so you’re always ready to record a call, and call recording works even if your existing service doesn’t support it.
- Business contacts: You can unify contact data from several address books and VoIP accounts. In addition, CounterPath Bria lets you add images and ringtones to contacts to make it easier to screen calls.
How We Evaluated the Best VoIP Softphone Providers for Small Businesses
Comparing the best softphones for businesses can be challenging because many offer similar features yet vary widely in features and pricing. We used objective rating criteria, our own firsthand experiences, and customer reviews to assess feature sets and usability. From there, we explored the use cases for each of the best VoIP softphone providers.
Nextiva is the best softphone for business users with a score of 4.7 out of 5. The unified communications platform supports voice and video calls, team messaging, and file sharing. Distributed teams can use Nextiva for remote collaboration while delivering excellent customer experiences with call routing and professional greetings. Get started today risk-free by signing up for a seven-day free trial.
Learn how we evaluated the best softphones for business use by clicking on the tabs below:
20% of Overall Score
The cost per user can vary greatly, especially when factoring in each provider’s annual and volume discounts. We ranked subscription plans according to price and rated softphone providers with a free plan higher.
30% of Overall Score
The best softphones for business use provide call management tools, voicemail transcription, visual voicemail, and toll-free numbers. We also reviewed providers based on communication channels like short message service (SMS) and video conferencing.
25% of Overall Score
Some VoIP softphone providers offer advanced features on different plan tiers, whereas others include them with all subscriptions. However, we only included softphone services with mobile and desktop apps, call reports, and auto-attendants. We scored platforms with international calling and faxing higher.
25% of Overall Score
We based our expert score on personal use of the systems and mobile apps while considering user ratings. Each software provider received a rating according to its standout features, popularity, and overall ease of use.
The best VoIP softphone systems enable your team to interact with co-workers and customers using mobile apps on their smartphone and desktop devices. Call management tools get calls to agents efficiently, while advanced features such as voice or video transcription save time on after-call work (ACW).
Equip your staff with collaboration and communication tools using Nextiva. This VoIP softphone provider checks off all the boxes with annual and volume discounts, faxing, and robust call management tools. Connect your team and optimize your business operations by signing up for a seven-day free trial.