Softphones are desktop or mobile apps that let you make calls using voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) technology. This means you only need a device with an internet connection to make or receive calls, but the best offer even more benefits to business users. We dug into the market to find the top six softphone providers for businesses based on price, ease of use, and available features.
The best softphone providers are the following:
- Grasshopper: Best overall softphone provider for small businesses thanks to its easy-to-use platform and budget-friendly pricing
- 3CX: Great option for large teams that want a softphone system that can make calls, initiate chats, and help them communicate on Facebook
- Bria: Best for small teams that want to add a low-cost softphone solution to supplement features of their existing phone system
- Google Voice: Perfect for small teams familiar with Google products that want an easy-to-use business phone system that integrates with Google Workspace
- Nextiva: Best for mid-to-large-sized companies that need a business phone system with flexible calling options
- Bitrix24: An excellent option for small businesses wanting an all-in-one tool for call handling and customer relationship management (CRM)
How We Evaluated the Best Softphone Providers
Most of today’s leading cloud-based business phone systems include softphone apps for mobile and desktop, but some work just as well, if not better, using a traditional deskphone. Others provide more functionality a business might need but require additional system integrations or component installations. Therefore, to determine the best softphone providers, we considered a number of business use cases.
After looking at pricing, ease of use, features, and our own feedback, we found Grasshopper to be the most straightforward and versatile softphone provider. It provides the essential solutions most businesses need without cluttering their apps with complex features.
Here’s how we evaluated the best softphone providers:
30% of Overall Score
Softphone providers ditch the hardware requirement, making them a cheaper alternative to more robust full-featured phone systems. We looked at the various pricing plans provided by each platform to see which has the lowest entry-level costs and affordable scalability.
30% of Overall Score
Users will be relying entirely on the softphone providers’ desktop and mobile apps to do their job, so it needs to be intuitive and straightforward. We looked at the apps’ interfaces and reviewed user feedback to ensure the solutions were clear and easy to learn.
30% of Overall Score
Softphone providers must walk a fine line between providing the right features without overcomplicating interfaces for users. We looked at the softphone providers’ primary communication channels and advanced features to see which provided the core fundamentals while maintaining ease of use.
10% of Overall Score
We gave the products a try for ourselves and then dove deep into the user feedback to learn about real user likes, dislikes, and experiences.
Grasshopper: Best Overall Softphone Provider for Small Businesses
Small businesses that just want to add business calling and texting to their personal devices will love Grasshopper’s simplicity and affordability. Just download the desktop or mobile app, port your existing number or purchase a new one, and you’ll be ready to go. Grasshopper provides a few business phone system features that make it easier to run your communications, like auto-attendant, instant response, custom greetings, call transfers, and incoming call control. However, it doesn’t offer video conferencing or call recording functionality.
Grasshopper Notable Features
- Includes call and text history
- Offers voicemail transcription
- Supports multiple extensions with a single line
Visit our Grasshopper review page if you’d like a more in-depth view of features and pricing.
3CX: Best Softphone Provider for Omnichannel Communications
3CX is a communications system that provides many of the features found in more robust business phone systems, but it does so at a fraction of the cost for teams. In addition to allowing users to make business calls using its softphone app, the service also works with your website, giving you the ability to engage in chat messages. It also lets you send texts or answer Facebook page messages, making it a good option for teams that want to be able to tailor how they communicate to the individual customer’s preference.
However, despite its budget-friendly tiers (and free plan) for rapidly scaling teams, 3CX’s mobile and browser-based apps lack polish. They’re unintuitive and somewhat tricky to navigate, on top of appearing outdated.
3CX Notable Features
- Includes live chat tools for your website
- Works with Facebook messaging
- Offers remote assistance for web conferencing
- Includes an auto-attendant
Bria: Best Add-on Softphone Provider
Unlike the other softphone providers on this list, Bria by CounterPath works primarily as a supplemental add-on application for your existing VoIP service rather than acting as a standalone calling solution. That said, even without a VoIP service integration, Bria enables team messaging and calling with support on up to four separate devices for each individual user.
Bria also provides a polished, easy-to-navigate interface that makes your communications processes smoother and more straightforward. That means you can use your VoIP solution on your desktop or with you on the go on your personal laptop, tablet, or mobile phone, making it a good option for people who want to give their team an improved softphone experience but are otherwise satisfied with their existing business phone service.
Bria Notable Features
- Includes HD voice and video chat
- Offers team chat with tap to call functionality
- Integrates with major VoIP providers
- Provides developers with an API to add softphone functionality to custom-built tools
Google Voice: Best Softphone Provider for Google Workspace Integrations
Google Voice is a great softphone provider for solopreneurs, freelancers, and small teams. It provides a user-friendly interface that’s reminiscent of the simplicity most Google apps feature. You’ll also get powerful integrations with other Google Workspace apps like Google Calendar and Google Meet.
If you are a single user who wants to separate business calls from personal calls on your mobile phone or if your business already uses Google applications, then Google Voice is a natural extension. However, it’s not the most robust business phone system, and other softphone providers can provide similar functionality at a lower cost.
Google Voice Notable Features
- Offers unlimited calling and SMS in the U.S. (and unlimited international location on the Premier plan)
- Integrates smoothly with Google Workspace applications like Google Calendar, Google Meet, and Google Fi
Check out our Google Voice review for more information on how this software can help your business grow.
Nextiva: Best Softphone Provider for Robust Calling Features
Nextiva provides a unified communications solution with business features like call, text, video conference, team chat, file sharing, and faxing. It’s an excellent choice for medium-to-large businesses and distributed teams that need remote-enabling solutions on top of their VoIP platform. However, its mobile softphone and full suite of customer service capabilities are only offered in the higher-tiered plans.
Nextiva Notable Features
- Includes voicemail-to-text
- Offers caller ID and call screening
- Lets you switch between desktop and mobile devices without interrupting a call
- Gives you the ability to set different ringtones based on contact or call information
For a full review of the best and worst parts of Nextiva, check out our Nextiva review.
Bitrix24: Best Softphone & CRM Provider Combined
Bitrix24 is an all-in-one business solution. Its powerful VoIP features are just one aspect of the platform as it also provides a contact center, CRM, and project management tools. While it might be a bit overkill for small businesses that just need a phone solution and don’t need more advanced functionality like website integration or a tool that can help you create mind maps, Bitrix24 is great for scaling organizations that want to consolidate all their business tools.
Bitrix24 Notable Features
- Offers appointment scheduling and resource booking for more efficient calling
- Includes expense tracking in addition to call logs
- Gives you the ability to log follow-up tasks without leaving the mobile calling app
- Captures leads from Facebook ads and adds them to your contact center
- Lets you create a web store for online selling