The best virtual phone system provides a standalone phone solution with basic call and text capabilities at lower pricing. It works for solopreneurs and small teams that simply need a dedicated phone number to separate their work and personal calls. Virtual phone systems typically include a variety of call handling features, such as auto-attendants, call forwarding, voicemail, and hold music.
Here are some of the best virtual phone systems, as well as their best use cases:
- Grasshopper: Best for phone number sharing
- CallHippo: Best for sales and support teams
- Phone.com: Best for varying call volumes
- Google Voice: Best for personal use
- MightyCall: Best for advanced call features
- RingCentral: Best all-in-one communications system
Best Virtual Phone Systems Compared
Virtual Phone Systems
Monthly Starting Price (per User)
4.52 out of 5
4.47 out of 5
4.39 out of 5
4.19 out of 5
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4.09 out of 5
Grasshopper: Best Overall for Phone Number Sharing
Grasshopper takes the top spot as the best virtual phone system as it allows an unlimited number of users to share phone numbers for a fixed monthly fee. This offers bigger cost savings for small teams that don’t need multiple phone numbers but want to share responsibility for handling incoming calls.
Most competitors typically include one phone number per plan and charge per user. With Grasshopper, all plans share the same feature inclusions with no user cap. The monthly plan you pick will depend on how many phone numbers and extensions you need. You can also choose toll-free vanity numbers for no additional cost.
What we least like about Grasshopper is the limited voice calling features offered. It lacks interactive voice response (IVR), call queue, and call recording. If you’re looking for a more robust alternative, check out MightyCall. This provider is fully packed with advanced telephony capabilities like call analytics, call management, and call monitoring.
- Incoming call control: Choose how you want to receive incoming calls. Screen callers, block certain numbers, or set up a custom schedule based on your business hours.
- Simultaneous call handling: When your line is busy or unavailable, Grasshopper will redirect callers to the next forwarding number you had set up. Instead of hearing a busy signal, the caller will hear a normal ringtone until someone picks up the call.
- Custom greetings: Automatically plays a business greeting when a customer calls. Personalize your main greeting, voicemail, or away message. You can also try Grasshopper’s Voice Studio to hire a professional voice actor to record your greeting for a small fee.
CallHippo: Best for Sales & Support Teams
CallHippo stands out as a virtual phone system with its call center features designed for sales and support teams. While most providers focus on basic phone capabilities, CallHippo has campaign management, outbound dialers, gamification, and call feedback. These agent-focused features aim to enhance sales performance and provide timely support.
Besides its virtual phone system, CallHippo offers additional services, including speech analytics, call tracking, and voice broadcasting. These add-ons follow a custom pricing model and are useful for your inbound and outbound campaign efforts.
Although CallHippo has a free version, its monthly plans can be too costly for small teams. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly solution that doesn’t compromise on features, consider Phone.com, which offers over 50 standard voice features at a monthly starting fee of $14.99 per user.
- Number masking: This CallHippo add-on feature anonymizes phone calls to protect the caller’s identity. It hides the customer’s contact number in an agent’s dashboard, including incoming/outgoing calls, call logs, and saved contacts.
- Toll-free forwarding: Choose a toll-free number from over 50 countries and route calls made to that number to another device in case of unavailability. This lets you receive all important calls wherever you are without paying for long-distance charges.
- Shared inbox: Provides team members with complete visibility of all call activities, including voicemail, call records, and customer feedback. You can also archive tasks and create teamwide to-do lists.
Phone.com: Best for Varying Call Volumes
Phone.com is one of the few virtual phone providers with metered and unlimited plan options. Most competitors usually force users to get unlimited call plans that they cannot actually utilize due to fluctuations in call volume. With Phone.com, businesses can mix and match metered and unmetered plans based on the individual call activity of their team members.
The entry-level plan has 500 pooled minutes and 1,000 pooled text segments, but you can purchase additional minute bundles to avoid overage charges. During periods of high call volume, you can upgrade to higher-level tiers for unlimited calls. A la carte pricing applies to add-on features, such as live receptionist, international dialing, and global numbers.
On the downside, Phone.com only has a handful of connected applications, including Zoho, Chrometa, and Comm100. It relies on Zapier to integrate its platform with popular third-party apps. If you’re looking for a fully integrated cloud phone system, RingCentral is a better choice as it connects with over 300 business solutions.
- Text-to-greeting: Converts a written text to a voice message using one of over 40 automated voice talents. Simply enter the script to be read, select the voice you want to use, and add it to your automated menu.
- Click-to-call: Allow website visitors to quickly call your business by simply entering their number or clicking a button. This will trigger an outbound call to the customer’s phone number.
- Call waiting: When you’re on an ongoing call, you will hear a beep that indicates another call is waiting. You have the option to forward it to voicemail or switch the call over without dropping the original call.
Google Voice: Best for Personal Use
The straightforward nature of Google Voice makes it an ideal choice for individual users or business owners who simply want to separate their work and personal calls. It doesn’t overwhelm you with extra features because both the free and business plans only offer a handful of features for sending and receiving calls and text messages.
Google Voice seamlessly integrates Google Meet, Calendar, and Drive as part of the Google Workspace subscription. This makes it easier to sync meeting context and create calendar events for business calls.
Since Google Voice is purposely built for individual use, its functions may not be enough for enterprise-level companies needing more flexibility and customization options for their phone system. In this case, consider RingCentral, which is known for its complete phone solution fit for any size business.
Google Voice Features
- Desk phone compatibility: Set up a desk phone to use Google Voice. Connect the phone to the internet to assign a Voice license and a phone number for the desk phone user.
- Do not disturb: Turning on this feature will forward all incoming calls to voicemail. If your work hours are configured on Google Calendar, this feature will automatically turn on outside working hours and when you’re out of the office.
- Multi-level auto-attendant: Create an automated phone menu in Google Voice to route callers to the correct person or department. This will play greetings or announcements and allow callers to choose the options.
MightyCall: Best for Advanced Call Features
MightyCall has one of the most comprehensive offerings, as it provides all the features you expect from a virtual phone system. The entry-level plan includes all the advanced telephony features, such as multi-level IVR, warm/cold transfer, ring groups, and call queues.
Starting at $20 per user, monthly, you get unlimited call minutes and text messaging. This is relatively affordable since most competitors charge higher for unlimited calls. Another great thing about MightyCall is it offers international phone numbers for as low as $10, which puts it in our list of the best virtual phone number providers.
One major drawback of MightyCall is it requires a minimum team size of three to 10 users to subscribe, which puts individual users at a slight disadvantage. If you’re looking for a virtual phone system that’s exclusively designed for business owners, Google Voice is a good choice. A free version is available, while paid plans start at $10 per user, monthly.
- Multi-level IVR: Provides an advanced automated phone system consisting of submenus for routing calls across several levels. This is useful for offering multilingual voice menus or connecting multiple branch offices.
- Call intercept: Disconnects the agent handling the call and allows the supervisor to completely take over. This leaves the supervisor to address the customer’s concern and efficiently manage the situation.
- Cold transfer: Enables an agent to quickly transfer an ongoing call to another agent or department without informing the receiving party beforehand. This creates a smooth call experience since the caller doesn’t have to wait on hold.
RingCentral: Best All-in-one Communications System
RingCentral, one of the top VoIP phone systems, secures a spot in this list due to its complete phone and communication solution. It works more than just a phone service as RingCentral combines video meetings, team messaging, business SMS, and fax in a user-friendly interface.
With RingCentral, you get a suite of enhanced VoIP capabilities, such as auto-attendant, call park, and call flip. This enables you to implement complex call management, including routing incoming calls, sending unanswered callers to voicemail, and switching calls between devices.
It also has hundreds of integrations with popular third-party apps, allowing you to integrate your phone system into your existing workflows.
On the downside, RingCentral’s unified communications (UC) capabilities may be overkill for businesses with basic phone needs. In this case, consider a provider like Grasshopper, a straightforward office phone system that you can easily manage, and allows unlimited users for a fixed monthly fee.
- Shared lines: Set up a single phone number to share calls for multiple devices. This lets you efficiently distribute incoming calls to multiple devices sharing the same phone number.
- RingOut: Make calls by highlighting or clicking any number you see on a web page, email, or Word document. It lets you make outbound calls using another number, but displays your RingCentral number as your caller ID.
- Call highlights: Uses RingSense, RingCentral’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform, to generate highlights, keywords, and summaries with each recorded call. Access shortened highlights to collect key information faster.
How We Evaluated the Best Virtual Phone Systems
We came up with our list of the top six virtual phone systems by handpicking a dozen service providers and comparing their unique selling points. We created a rubric scoring sheet and scored them based on a set of standard criteria. Learn how we evaluated the best small business virtual phone system by clicking on the tabs below:
30% of Overall Score
We assessed the value for money of each provider by checking for the availability of a free trial, free-forever version, solopreneur plan, and discounts. Higher points were given for monthly per-user plans that cost less than $30.
20% of Overall Score
We checked if the provider covers fundamental virtual phone capabilities, such as unlimited domestic calling, audio/video conferencing, and a mobile app. We also gave more weight to providers with a high uptime guarantee of 99.999%.
15% of Overall Score
We looked for providers offering additional value through niche capabilities, such as low-cost international calling, an IVR system, and virtual numbers. We also confirmed if the platform integrates with popular third-party apps, including CRM and productivity tools.
10% of Overall Score
We took into account the user-friendliness of each platform by exploring it ourselves and checking user reviews from reliable websites. We considered whether there were learning curves during the setup and configuration phase.
10% of Overall Score
We checked each provider’s customer support channels, including phone, live chat, email, help desk, and community forum. Additional points are given if all support channels are available 24/7.
15% of Overall Score
We assessed each provider’s overall quality and performance by looking at its standout qualities and value for money. We also considered their level of popularity and quality of user experience.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
VoIP refers to the technology that allows users to communicate via phone, video, and chat. A virtual phone system is powered by VoIP so you can make and receive calls via the internet. They are typically cheaper and have basic phone functionality that works best for solopreneurs and small teams with low-level phone usage.
A virtual phone system provides basic call features that enable businesses to efficiently manage incoming calls. These include an auto-attendant, phone greetings, call forwarding, voicemail extensions, and call blocking.
Like any technology, virtual phone systems are vulnerable to security risks such as malware and hacking. However, they can be secure if you choose the right service provider and implement the best security practices. Ideally, look for virtual phone solutions equipped with data encryption that is compliant with global security standards.
Virtual phone systems provide businesses with all the capabilities of a traditional phone, but with the added benefits of the cloud. Among our top six recommendations, we choose Grasshopper as the best virtual phone system for small businesses due to its fixed monthly pricing, unlimited user seats, and all-inclusive features. Sign up for a free trial to try out Grasshopper’s convenient phone service for seven days.