Grasshopper and Google Voice are virtual phone number providers that give you a business number on your personal phone. Grasshopper starts at $26 per month and is ideal for established small businesses that need multiple extensions while Google Voice is a free service that is better for solo entrepreneurs who need just one number.
When to Use Grasshopper
Companies and teams that want things like a toll-free number, a voice menu for callers, multiple extension support, and a strong core set of phone system features should check out Grasshopper. In addition to providing established organizations with a professional phone number and extensions, it can also be used on mobile phones, traditional landlines, or on desktops via an app.
When to Use Google Voice
Google Voice is a great free option for solo entrepreneurs and freelancers who only need one business phone line with basic call management. Google Voice provides a free virtual phone number for customers to use on either mobile devices or landlines for calls and voicemail as well as features like call forwarding and text messaging.
When to Use an Alternative
Businesses that need a more complete business phone system with a strong set of features should consider Nextiva. It offers a range of pricing tiers and has features like auto attendant, video conferencing, instant messaging, voicemail-to-text, and plenty more. It’s a full-featured voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) platform that offers much more than either Grasshopper or Google Voice but can come at a higher price.
Grasshopper vs Google Voice at a Glance
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How We Evaluated Grasshopper & Google Voice
Grasshopper and Google Voice both provide customers with local business phone numbers and a toolset to manage calls and voicemail messages. We find that for most small businesses, Grasshopper is the best virtual phone service because it offers more features and more robust customer service than Google Voice, but comes at a higher price.
We evaluated Grasshopper and Google Voice based on the following criteria:
- Price: We compared the price of each provider for service offered
- Ease of use: We looked at what customers of each service had to say about the usability of the services
- Call management: Management features like call forwarding, screening, and voicemail; each service provider was also considered
- Software integrations: We reviewed the different applications that each platform can connect to
- Phone numbers: A business phone may want a local number or prefer toll-free, so we checked to what types of numbers were offered
- Virtual fax: We looked at the fax functionality of each product
- Device support: We examined the types of devices that customers can use each service on
- Number of lines: The number of unique phone numbers and extensions offered by each service was another factor we considered
When comparing Grasshopper and Google Voice, Grasshopper’s feature set makes it an ideal choice for businesses that can afford to pay for things like a toll-free number and a voice menu. However, the fact that Google Voice is completely free makes it an attractive option for entrepreneurs on a budget who want a separate phone number for work use.
Grasshopper vs Google Voice: Pricing & Features
Grasshopper and Google Voice both offer customers a basic set of features like a local phone number, call management options, and voicemail functionality. Grasshopper offers more features than Google Voice but at a monthly cost. Google Voice is free except for fees that apply for international and calls to select locations in the United States.
Grasshopper has three different tiers of service. The Solo tier at $26 per month provides one number and three extensions, the Partner plan at $44 per month delivers three numbers and six extensions, and the Small Business plan at $80 per month provides you with five numbers and unlimited extensions. However, the main difference between these plans is the number of extensions and phone numbers you get.
Grasshopper’s features include unlimited call handling, call forwarding, voicemail-to-mail, unlimited calling to the U.S., and Wi-Fi calling. It might not have the full-blown communications functionality of VoIP systems like Nextiva, but it still has plenty to offer small organizations looking for a professional phone presence.
Grasshopper’s call management features include basic functions like voicemail transfer, call forwarding, and call blocking. It also allows you to configure a call menu that provides callers with different options like reaching various extensions or going directly to voicemail. Google Voice only offers voicemail, call screening, and call forwarding. Grasshopper is a better option for companies that want a more professional telephone presence.
Each Grasshopper account comes with your choice of either a unique local phone number or a toll-free number and multiple extensions, depending on your tier of service. The Solo option gives you one number and three extensions, the Partner edition offers three numbers and six extensions, and the Small Business tier includes five numbers and unlimited extensions. Each number comes with unlimited minutes for domestic calls.
Google Voice does not offer a toll-free number at all. It only offers local numbers. If having a toll-free number is important to you, Grasshopper is the better fit.
With the Virtual Fax feature, Grasshopper allows you to receive faxes and view them either in the Grasshopper app or as an email attachment. All your customers need to do is send faxes to your Grasshopper number, and then the faxes will be sent to your account.
Google Voice does not offer the ability to view faxes in its system. Companies that need to send documents back and forth will want to go with Grasshopper instead.
Grasshopper offers a number of integrations. For example, you can forward your Grasshopper number into Skype so that you can use the popular communication service for inbound calling. With Zapier, you can even configure your own integrations with more than 1,000 different apps. You can even forward your Grasshopper number to your Google Voice account.
Google Voice offers integrations with Google Hangouts but lacks the ability to connect to other solutions. It doesn’t even have Gmail integration, which is disappointing considering that they are both Google products. If integrations are important to you, Grasshopper is an ideal fit.
Google Voice Pricing
Google Voice is a virtual phone number service that is free to use. It offers free calling to almost the entirety of the U.S. and Canada. It’s only when calling select U.S. and international locations and do fees start. Rates start at 1 cent per minute. However, Google Voice can be used without spending anything.
Google Voice Features
Google Voice includes a small set of basic features such as call blocking, forwarding, and voicemail. Calls are essentially forwarded from your existing mobile or landline number, but your Google Voice number is what the other party calls and sees on their caller ID. It’s different than Grasshopper in the sense that it does not have conventional business phone service offerings like toll-free numbers or faxing features.
Google Voice is an inbound call forwarding service that offers features like call blocking and screening. You can configure personalized voicemail greetings for recognized callers and search for voicemail contents. However, Google Voice has fewer call management features than Grasshopper, which has a virtual receptionist to route calls. If having a voice menu for your callers isn’t important to you, however, then Google Voice is a free option that’s worth trying.
Google Voice accounts include one local phone number that can be used for calls, texting, and voicemail. Numbers can be linked to either a mobile device or a traditional landline. Google Voice does not offer toll-free numbers, so companies that need it should look at Grasshopper instead. However, Google Voice is still a great option for customers that only want a standard local number.
If you are taking an important call and want to save its contents for later, Google Voice gives you the option of recording your calls. After the call is complete, you can access it on the “Recorded” menu on the app. Grasshopper does not offer any call recording features whatsoever. If you need to save your calls for future reference, then Google Voice is the platform for you.
Google Voice allows you to get calls and text messages in Google Hangouts. The feature is not available with Google work accounts, but personal account holders can send and receive messages from the Hangouts app without having to switch.
Google Voice does not offer nearly as many integrations as Grasshopper. The fact that Google Voice doesn’t integrate with company-affiliated Google accounts like the one you’d use to access your Gmail inbox makes the integration meaningless for many business users. Still, freelancers and solo entrepreneurs with personal accounts may find the Hangouts integration useful.
Grasshopper vs Google Voice: Ease of Use
Grasshopper and Google Voice are both designed to make talking on the phone more efficient. The setup process to a virtual phone number service should be smooth, and each provider’s features should be easy to understand. We looked at how easy both services are to set up and use. We found that both services were just about equal in usability.
Grasshopper Ease of Use
Grasshopper is easy to use with a setup process that is fast and painless. It also has a very clean interface on all of its apps, and I also had no trouble navigating around the software. If you adopt Grasshopper, there shouldn’t be any headaches when starting out with the service.
Google Voice Ease of Use
Once you have a Google account, you can start sending and receiving calls with a new number right away. I have used Google Voice many times in the past and found it incredibly simple. Google Voice has a slight edge here, in terms of ease of use, if only because setup takes just a few seconds if you have a Google account.
Grasshopper vs Google Voice: Customer Service
Grasshopper and Google Voice both offer online help to customers when they need to troubleshoot minor issues and get clarification on things they find confusing. However, when comparing the two, Grasshopper offers more live human support, so it has the edge here.
Grasshopper Customer Service
Grasshopper offers an online knowledge base that offers text-based guides on getting started with the platform, performing basic tasks, and troubleshooting common issues. “The support at Grasshopper has really been great, and they volunteered to help me set up some pretty basic stuff,” said Chris Clemens from Exploring Upstate.
Google Voice Customer Service
Google Voice providers customers with an online knowledge base and user manuals. Beyond that, the company also provides a Google Voice forum to discuss issues as well as a Google Product Experts Program where users can ask a question to Google’s top contributors and customers. It’s helpful, but it’s doesn’t have a customer service line to call.
Grasshopper vs Google Voice: Customer Reviews
It can be helpful to hear what customers think of Grasshopper or Google Voice before investing in them for your own business needs. We looked at our user reviews for each solution to get a sense of how users feel about these platforms.
Grasshopper Customer Reviews
Our readers have generally favorable opinions on Grasshopper, which currently has a 2.9 out of a possible five-star rating. Readers say that the platform is easy to use and reliable. With that said, customers are dissatisfied with the inefficiency of the company’s customer support channels. Users report that representatives can be slow in getting back to requests for help. For more impressions, visit our Grasshopper user review page.
Google Voice Customer Reviews
Our readers rated Google Voice very highly, giving it a 4.5 out of five stars. They particularly like the convenience of the platform and say that the call reliability is quite good, especially considering the service is free. Customers are disappointed at the lack of integration with other Google products, however. For more impressions, visit our Google Voice user review page.
The Bottom Line
Grasshopper and Google Voice both offer Internet-based phone features such as giving you a local number and allowing you to make calls and receive voicemail. Call management functionality and integrations with other software products can help make these solutions even more useful.
If you want a professional telephone presence that includes a virtual greeting for callers and a toll-free number, you should check out Grasshopper. While the service does cost money, it’s going to offer more for your business than the minimalistic Google Voice can. Visit Grasshopper’s website for more details.