Virtual phone systems allow you to add a business number to your existing landline or mobile phone so that you can keep your personal and work lines separate. We gathered the 20 best virtual systems on the market and narrowed it down to the best six, and determined the best based on pricing and features.
Top 6 Virtual Phone Systems 2019
|Virtual Phone System||Best For|
|(Best Overall) Companies wanting the best combination of price and call management features.|
|Solopreneurs and freelancers who want a free virtual phone number with basic features.|
|Small companies that want a portable phone number and a complete business phone system.|
|Organizations that want a customizable vanity number like 1-800-FLOWERS.|
|Teams with a multinational business presence that need an international phone number.|
|Businesses that want virtual faxing functionality with their phone system.|
How We Evaluated Virtual Phone Systems
Virtual phone systems should keep business calls on your landline or mobile phone separate from your personal calls, and also allow you to use two phone numbers on the same device. More advanced virtual phone features include voicemail, multiline management, and software integrations. Services should also be affordable, intuitive, and have adequate customer support.
To determine the best, we evaluated virtual phone numbers based on the following:
- Price: We compared the price and features of each virtual number provider.
- Ease of use: Each service was assessed for how easy it is to set up and use.
- Call management: The types of call management features each provider offers were evaluated, including voicemail call screening, call forwarding, and call block capability.
- Multiline management: We assessed how easy it is to separate your business calls from personal calls on a landline or mobile phone.
- Extensions: Options for routing calls via phone number extensions were noted for each solution.
- Phone numbers: We looked at whether each system offers a toll-free, international, or vanity phone number.
- Auto-attendant: We assessed whether the provider offers an automated attendant for greeting and routing callers.
- Call quality: Audio quality during calls should be clear and reliable.
- Customer support: We assessed the type of customer service support each provider offers.
Based on the above criteria, we find that Grasshopper is the best virtual phone system because it is affordable and provides features like unlimited extensions, faxing, and both toll-free and local phone numbers. Here is how our six providers stacked up against each other.
Best Overall Virtual Phone System for Small Businesses: Grasshopper
Grasshopper is a virtual phone system that provides a strong set of a business phone features without the need for any additional equipment. Pricing starts at just $26 per month and all tiers of service offer features like unlimited calling, call forwarding, and an automated attendant. We feel that this is the best service for most small business owners who need a complete virtual phone service that they can use on their smartphone or landline device.
Grasshopper offers three different service plans. Plans include the Solo package for $29 per month, the Partner tier for $49 per month, and the Small Business edition for $89 per month. All plans come with the same feature set, which makes it a good value for a system of its kind.
Each plan comes with the following virtual phone numbers and extensions:
- Solo Plan: One number and three extensions for $29 per month
- Partner Plan: Three numbers and six extensions for $49 per month
- Small Business Plan: Five numbers and unlimited extensions for $89 per month
All tiers of Grasshopper come with features found in other business phone systems, such as voicemail, faxing, and call routing. It also comes with hold music, a dial-by-name directory, business texting, and an automated attendant to greet and help callers.
Grasshopper features include:
Grasshopper comes standard with an automated attendant that answers inbound calls and forwards callers them to the employee or department they are trying to reach. You can route callers to any phone number, including those on mobile phones and landline devices. This matches the auto-attendant of more expensive systems like Nextiva, although it does not have as many features as that platform.
Grasshopper offers call management functionality like call forwarding, call transfer, call block, and custom controls that can block calls during set times of the day. It also comes with a call screening feature that allows you to hear the caller’s name and number before deciding whether to answer the call. This matches the management options found in its competitors.
Extensions & Call Routing
Grasshopper gives customers complete control over how incoming calls are routed. You can create extensions, choose the number where calls should be routed, and define the order in which those numbers should ring. This is similar to the functionality offered by eVoice and Phone.com as well. The service also offers unlimited extensions at the highest tier of service, which makes it one of the more powerful systems on the market.
The service offers the choice of either a local or toll-free number when you start a new account. Having a toll-free 1-800 number can be helpful if your company has a nationwide business presence and you want a phone number to reflect that. This puts Grasshopper ahead of Google Voice, which only offers numbers with a local area code.
What Grasshopper Is Missing
Grasshopper’s feature set isn’t as extensive as some of its competitors. For example, it lacks call recording, so you won’t be able to save conversations for later reference. It also lacks video conferencing, so you won’t be able to see your fellow meeting participants. If these are important to you, you might want to consider a complete voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) system like Nextiva.
What Users Think About Grasshopper
Grasshopper’s customers appreciate the system’s pricing and reliability. However, there are several complaints that the company’s customer service can be slow in solving service problems.
Where to Find Grasshopper
Businesses seeking a virtual phone system with the best balance of features and pricing should look at Grasshopper. It provides teams with powerful telephony features and can work on whatever hardware you already have. The company offers a seven-day free trial with no credit card required.
Best Free Virtual Phone System: Google Voice
Google Voice is a free, basic virtual phone service that can be used on any device. Features include unlimited domestic calling to most of the U.S., text messaging, call forwarding, and call block. Solopreneurs and freelancers who are simply looking for a free separate business number would benefit the most from Google Voice.
Google Voice Pricing
Google Voice provides you with a free local number that you can keep separate from your personal phone. The service offers free calling to most of the United States and Canada. Calls to select U.S. and international locations start at one cent per minute.
Google Voice Features
Google Voice provides a small set of basic features like voicemail, call blocking, and call screening. It allows for basic call management but lacks a toll-free number, extensions, and an auto-attendant like most virtual services. Still, it is good for solo workers who only need a basic virtual business phone number.
Unlike Grasshopper, Nextiva, and other providers, Google Voice does not provide an automated attendant, so you won’t be able to provide callers with a voice menu of options. However, the service does come with a call screening module that greets calls before forwarding them to you. While it’s not as good as having a complete attendant, it can still help your business look more professional.
Google uses data from your address book to tell you who is calling. Like most other phones, you have the option of answering the call, sending it to voicemail, or blocking the number entirely. This works in a very similar fashion to eVoice and other services on the market.
Extensions & Call Routing
Google Voice does not offer the use of multiple extensions. It simply offers one local number that can be shared across multiple devices. If you need extra extensions, then systems like Grasshopper or Phone.com might be a better fit for you.
When you start using Google Voice, you can choose a local area code and choose from a list of available numbers. However, unlike Grasshopper, it does not offer a toll-free 1-800 number. This means that your business will only have a local business presence and could make you look less established. Still, companies that are just starting out and only need a separate business number will benefit from the free features offered by Google Voice.
What Google Voice Is Missing
It’s easy to overlook many of Google Voice’s flaws considering that it is a completely free service. However, it lacks many of the features that come standard with paid virtual phone services like an automated attendant and extensions for multiple users. If you are looking for an affordable option that provides many more features, we’d recommend Grasshopper instead.
What Users Think About Google Voice
Google Voice users enjoy the ability to adopt a separate business number at no cost. They appreciate that it provides call routing, screening, voicemail, and SMS functionally as well. With that said, there are numerous users who say they have experienced difficulty porting phone numbers over from landlines.
Where to Find Google Voice
Solo workers, freelancers, and very small teams that are looking for basic virtual phone features will find a lot to like in Google Voice. Anybody with a Google account can start using Google Voice immediately. Click the link below for more information.
Best Business Phone System With Virtual Phone Features: Nextiva
Nextiva, which starts at $19.95 per user, per month, is our overall pick for best business phone system. It comes with many virtual phone features like unlimited domestic calling, conferencing, and the choice of a local or toll-free business number. Nextiva is ideal for businesses that want a virtual phone number integrated with a complete internet business phone system.
Nextiva offers three tiers of service: Office Pro, Pro Plus, and Office Enterprise. Pricing ranges from $19.95 to $27.95 per user, per month. This is one of the more expensive solutions on our list, but it is an affordable system when compared to other full-featured voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) platforms.
Nextiva Tiered Features
|Pricing||From $19.95/user. per month|
|Free Local Number|
|Free Toll-free Number|
Nextiva’s Office Pro package starts at $19.95 per user, per month. Prices for this plan and other Nextiva plans go down as you add more users. The service offers the choice of a local or toll-free virtual number. It also comes with unlimited calling, SMS texting, voicemail-to-email transcription, and on-hold music.
It’s disappointing that this plan does not come with a mobile app, as this comes standard in less expensive services like Grasshopper. It also lacks the conferencing and call recording features found in the more expensive packages of this service. Still, this plan is good if you only need a virtual number and a handful of advanced features.
Office Pro Plus
The Office Pro Plus Edition of the service starts at $20.95 per user, per month, and comes with conference calling and access to the mobile app. This gives you the ability to take your business number wherever you go. This plan also includes a professionally recorded voice greeting. This customized greeting will be recorded by a professional voice-over artist and give your company a more professional business phone presence.
Unfortunately, this version lacks call recording, CRM, and analytics features found in the more advanced version. The lack of call recording is especially frustrating considering that even free services like Google Voice offer it. This version is best suited to those who want conference calling functionality and the ability to take their calls with them via the mobile app.
The Office Enterprise plan, as its name implies, is intended for larger companies. The package starts at $27.95 per user, per month, but requires more than 100 users. Unique features include analytics that give you information on call activity, call time, and more. You also get access to Nextiva’s CRM features, which allow you to track prospects through a sales pipeline.
While Nextiva’s Office Enterprise plan is powerful, it is far too expensive for most small businesses. This is especially true when compared to virtual phone systems like Grasshopper and VirtualPhone.com, which come at far lower prices. As a result, this version is only recommended for larger companies that can afford to pay for an advanced feature set.
What Nextiva Is Missing
Nextiva is a robust, completely voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) system with a strong feature set. With that said, it is far more expensive than basic virtual phone systems, especially when you consider that it is priced on an individual user basis. Those looking for a solid core set of features for a lower price should instead look at Grasshopper, which starts at just $29 per month and supports up to three extensions.
What Users Think About Nextiva
Customers are generally pleased with Nextiva’s features and pricing. Our readers have mentioned that the customer service is helpful. With that in mind, many users say that they have run into technical issues while using the system.
Where to Find Nextiva
Organizations that want a virtual phone number as well as a complete business phone system should consider Nextiva. The company even offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee. Click the link below to get started.
Best Virtual Phone System With Vanity Numbers: Phone.com
Phone.com, which starts at $12.99 per month, is a virtual phone service that provides an auto-attendant, voicemail, and a toll-free number. It also comes with the choice of either unlimited or pay-per-minute calling plans. The service is great for business owners who want a customized virtual number, like 1-800-FLOWERS, that stands out from the competition.
Phone.com offers packages ranging from $22.99 to $27.99 per extension for unlimited calling plans, and prices range from $12.99 to $39.99 per month for pay-as-you-go plans. This is one of the few virtual phone service providers on the market that lets you subscribe to a limited minutes plan.
Phone.com’s pricing plans are as follows:
- Base: $12.99 per month for 300 calling minutes or $22.99 for unlimited calling
- Plus: $19.99 per month for 500 calling minutes or $24.99 for unlimited calling
- Pro: $39.99 per month for 1,000 calling minutes or $27.99 for unlimited calling
Phone.com Tiered Features
|Premium Hold Music|
Phone.com’s Base plan costs $12.99 per month and comes with 5,000 text messages. Like Grasshopper, It includes a mobile app as well as features like Wi-Fi calling, voicemail-to-email transcription, and conference calling. At this price, it is one of the more affordable packages available today.
Unfortunately, the Base plan lacks the premium hold music or call recording found in the software’s more expensive tiers. It also does not offer an international number like VirtualPhone.com. With that said, it is still a good low-cost option for small teams that don’t need a lot of calling minutes.
The Plus package, which starts at $19.99 per month, comes with two local or toll-free numbers along with 500 minutes of calling time. You also get 10,000 text messages, voicemail-to-text, and premium hold music. This version costs about the same as other mid-level packages, but it offers more phone numbers.
This plan is missing video conferencing, analytics, and call recording features found in the premium plan. It is also missing software integrations found in other solutions we looked at. Still, the Plus tier is good for teams that prefer SMS messaging over calling.
The top-tier Pro plan comes with three phone numbers along with 1,000 minutes of calling time for a starting price of $39.99 per month. This makes it among the more affordable top-shelf options on the market. It also comes with 20,000 text messages, call recording, call analytics features, and video conferencing for up to 25 people.
It is unfortunate that the Pro package doesn’t offer an international number like VirtualPhone.com, or come bundled with professionally recorded greetings like Nextiva (recordings are available starting at $79). The Pro plan is still a good fit for businesses with low call volumes but still want tools to analyze and save call data.
What Phone.com Is Missing
Phone.com comes with customer relationship management (CRM) integration, but that module comes at an additional fee. If you want to connect data with your CRM solution free of charge, then you should look at VirtualPhone.com, which includes the feature at no extra cost.
What Users Think About Phone.com
Phone.com’s users like the pricing of the services. Those with low call volumes especially like the pay-as-you-go plans. However, there are a number of complaints about the wait times that customers face when trying to contact the company’s support team.
Where to Find Phone.com
Companies wanting a vanity virtual number that’s easy for customers to remember will love Phone.com. Not only that, but the system also provides a strong set of call management and auto-attendant features that are helpful for any organization. The company even offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee. Click the button below for more details.
Best Virtual Phone System for Multinational Companies: VirtualPhone.com
VirtualPhone.com, which offers a free version, is a voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) service that provides a virtual international number with every new account. It also comes with features like unlimited extensions, fax functionality, voicemail, and an auto-attendant. VirtualPhone.com is a great option for small companies that do business overseas and want an appropriate phone presence.
VirtualPhone.com offers a free plan and three paid plans. The Starter edition ranges from free to $19 per month. The Medium plan costs $39 to $99 per month, while the high-end Large plan can cost anywhere from $149 to $499 per month. The lack of a flat rate makes it expensive for high-volume environments.
With each plan, you choose a bucket of minutes or text:
- Starter: $9 per month for 200 minutes or texts, or $19 per month for 500 minutes or texts
- Medium: $59 for 2,000 minutes or texts, or $99 per month for 4,000 minutes or 3,000 texts
- Large: $199 for 10,000 minutes or texts, or $499 for 30,000 minutes or texts
Along with allotments of calling minutes and text messages, VirtualPhone.com offers you the choice of a local, toll-free, or an international number in dozens of countries. It also provides features like call management, an auto-attendant, and voicemail functionality.
VirtualPhone.com features include:
VirtualPhone.com’s auto-attendant comes with features like call routing to any phone number, extension, or department that you want it to. Like other virtual receptionist modules, users can also customize prerecorded greetings for inbound callers. This can be very helpful for teams that want a more established phone presence.
VirtualPhone.com comes with call management options like call forwarding, call hold, and call block. Like Grasshopper and other systems, these options are configured either through the service’s desktop or mobile app. It’s a good fit for companies that want to better manage their inbound call volumes.
Extensions & Call Routing
VirtualPhone.com offers you unlimited extensions regardless of what package you are subscribed to. This effectively means that every employee has their own unique extension, which is a far cry from other services that only offer so many extensions in a top-tier plan. This is great for growing teams that want to give all employees their own extension.
VirtualPhone.com offers the choice of many different business phone numbers, such as a local, toll-free, or international number. This is the only service we looked at that offers an overseas phone presence. This makes it great for companies that do business in other countries and want to accommodate their foreign callers.
What VirtualPhone.com Is Missing
VirtualPhone.com has a strong set of basic functions, but lacks some of the richer features found in its competitors. Teams that want multiple local phone numbers or robust software integration should instead look at Grasshopper or Nextiva.
What Users Think About VirtualPhone.com
Customers like the fact that VirtualPhone.com offers international numbers in more than 120 countries. With that said, there are many complaints that the company’s customer service is slow to respond, especially when it comes to helping out with billing issues.
Where to Find VirtualPhone.com
If you are looking for a virtual phone number for international calling, then VirtualPhone.com is for you. The company offers a free plan, a demo, and a risk-free trial so you can see all it has to offer for yourself. Click the link below to get started.
Best Overall Virtual Phone System for Faxing: eVoice
eVoice is a virtual phone service that comes with integrated faxing capabilities. It also includes features like call forwarding, texting, auto-attendant, and call block starting at $12.99 per month. eVoice is a good choice for businesses that would prefer to use fax to exchange sensitive information rather than email, such as financial or healthcare firms.
eVoice comes in four different service plans based on extensions, monthly minutes, and phone numbers. Prices range from $12.99 per month and go all the way up to $79.99 per month, depending on the package. Outbound faxing is available for an additional fee. This is one of the more affordable solutions available.
eVoice price plans include:
- $12.99 per month: 300 minutes, two extensions, and six phone numbers
- $29.99 per month: 1,000 minutes, five extensions, and 15 phone numbers
- $49.99 per month: 2,000 minutes, 10 extensions, and 30 phone numbers
- $79.99 per month: 4,000 minutes, 15 extensions, and 45 phone numbers
All eVoice plans come standard with features like an auto-attendant, voicemail, call forwarding, and inbound fax. Outbound fax is also available for an extra $1.95 per user, per month. You also get access to the company’s mobile app, allowing you to make and receive calls while on the go.
eVoice provides you with an auto-attendant that greets your callers, routes them to the correct extension, and lets them look up names in your dial-by-name directory. This works almost identically to other phone services on the market. This is very helpful in assisting the people who call your organization.
eVoice has nearly all of the call management features found in Grasshopper, Nextiva, and other competitors. You can block, forward, transfer, and screen calls just as you would with any other phone system. Most business users should have no problem managing calls with eVoice.
Extensions & Call Routing
eVoice provides unlimited extensions at all levels of service, just like VirtualPhone.com. Grasshopper, on the other hand, only offers this in its most expensive version. Most companies will appreciate being able to add as many extensions as they need without any extra costs.
eVoice provides you with the choice of either a local or toll-free number, just like most of its competitors. You can also adopt a vanity or international number for an additional monthly cost. Phone.com, on the other hand, provides a vanity number for free with service plans. eVoice is best for teams that only need a local or toll-free business phone number.
What eVoice Is Missing
eVoice offers no discounts for annual subscriptions. This is disappointing, as Phone.com and VirtualPhone.com both offer lower prices for purchasing a full year of service. It also lacks unlimited calling, which Google Voice provides free of charge. Businesses that consider those must-haves should consider eVoice’s competitors.
What Users Think About eVoice
eVoice customers generally like the system, saying that it is effective and easy to use. Positive reviews highly value the fax features of the service. With that said, many seem to be frustrated with the company’s unresponsive customer service.
Where to Find eVoice
Businesses that want a virtual phone number that also includes faxing capabilities will love using eVoice. The company even offers a 30-day free trial so that you can try it out for yourself before committing. Click the link below to learn more.
Virtual phone services are helpful for separating your business calls from your personal messages. They include useful features like faxing, voicemail, and auto-attendants, and can be transformative for solopreneurs, small teams, and established companies alike. They also help your company seem more professional than if you just had a personal number.