This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
When comparing Grasshopper vs Google Voice, both deliver reliable calling, but Grasshopper has more advanced features like simultaneous call handling, custom greetings, and Instant Response, which sends messages to callers you can’t immediately answer. However, Google Voice is less expensive and still serves businesses with lower call volumes with features like call forwarding and voicemail transcription.
Here’s a quick and easy breakdown for Grasshopper vs Google Voice that will help you understand which types of companies might best use each:
- Grasshopper: Best for solopreneurs and small businesses that need versatile calling and messaging options in their communication stacks
- Google Voice: Best for solopreneurs looking for a simplified (and sometimes free) communication system that integrates seamlessly with the Google Workplace
Grasshopper vs Google Voice at a Glance
How We Evaluated Grasshopper vs Google Voice
Both Grasshopper and Google Voice are popular virtual phone providers that allow you to call clients and partners using smartphones. Each provides numbers from which to dial to keep your personal cell phone number separate from the number you use for business. Both providers are more appropriate for solopreneurs or small businesses rather than enterprises, but which works best for your business will depend on specific factors.
To make the best comparison of Google Voice and Grasshopper that will help you decide which works best for your business, we took a look at a few key factors. These include pricing, the mobile experience, business calling features, ease of use, and help and support.
Here’s a complete breakdown of these criteria:
30% of Overall Score
Since both are geared toward smaller organizations, each must have a budget-friendly price point. For this reason, we gave pricing a heavier weighting than some of the other criteria. We looked at aspects like subscription price and which provider has the more consistent plans across tiers, and we also took a look at monthly and annual plan options.
30% of Overall Score
Basic features for a virtual phone system include things that affect call handling. For example, both providers have transfer capability, auto-attendants, call forwarding, and voicemail transcription. For the general features criteria, we evaluated how these providers compared with calling features and extensions management.
20% of Overall Score
Not every business has the budget for a full-fledged IT department to manage a virtual phone system. For this reason, a calling system for smaller organizations must have an easy-to-use design that allows anyone to bring up analytics, change auto-attendant settings, and set up new features. Effectively, we looked at which provider was the most intuitive. We also took a look at the mobile experience since this is so very important for a virtual phone system.
10% of Overall Score
Though these platforms should be user-friendly, it’s also important that each provides customers with the support they need. To compare Grasshopper vs Google Voice, we checked the support structures for each provider. Specifically, we looked at whether support was available via live chat, phone, email, and social media.
10% of Overall Score
When examining each of these providers, we used our own firsthand experience with each platform’s virtual phone system. In addition to this, we also performed in-depth research into reputable site reviews regarding each platform to read what customers were saying about standout features and overall value for the cost.
Why Choose Grasshopper?
Grasshopper is one of the best business phone systems for smaller teams and solopreneurs because of its simplicity. With every plan, you get a preset selection of features, ensuring that your team has all of the most important business phone functions. As a Google Voice alternative, Grasshopper also stands out for its very strong customer service.
These include mobile and desktop apps, virtual fax, business texting, voicemail, and of course, dialing to the U.S. and Canada. There’s also impressive reporting and an “Instant Response” feature that automatically sends texts to any caller you can’t immediately talk to.
Why Choose Google Voice?
To start, Google Voice is going to be very convenient for any business that uses Google Workplace. It integrates extremely well with Google Workplace applications and fits the general needs of the same types of small businesses and solopreneurs that would use Grasshopper.
By default, Google Voice comes with important business features like voicemail transcription, business texting, personalized voicemail greetings, and an auto-attendant. These features are also present in Grasshopper’s plans, but Google Voice is missing the toll-free and vanity number options that make Grasshopper one of the best virtual phone number providers.
Best for Pricing: Google Voice
Does not offer a free plan
Has a free tier for individuals
Solo: $26 per user, per month for one phone number and three extensions
Starter: $10 per user, per month for one local number and up to 10 users
Partner: $44 per user, per month for three phone numbers and six extensions
Standard: $20 per user, per month for one local number and unlimited users
Small Business: $80 per user, per month for five phone numbers and unlimited extensions
Premier: $30 per user, per month for one local number and unlimited users
*Pricing reflects annual billing, which saves over 10% per month
Compared side-by-side, it’s pretty clear that Google Voice is the more budget-friendly business calling option. To start, Google Voice is the only one of these cloud-based virtual phone systems with a totally free plan. If you’re the only user, you can make as many calls as you like; however, even as you progress upward to paid plans, there’s a pretty massive price differential.
At the base paid tier, Google Voice is less than half the Grasshopper Solo plan price, and this trend continues. At the top tiers, Google’s service is $30 compared to Grasshopper’s $80 Small Business plan, which is adjusted for annual pricing.
Best for Mobile Experience: Grasshopper
With both Grasshopper and Google Voice, you have a responsive and feature-rich set of apps for Android and iOS systems. Both providers deliver some top-notch functionality with time savers like voicemail transcription, which automatically prints out received voicemails, and easy call forwarding so that you can send your softphone calls to your mobile device.
Still, Grasshopper pulls ahead here thanks to its Instant Response feature. When customers call and you’re either away or busy, you can show them that you value their call by instantly sending a text response. This makes the mobile experience more responsive and seamless when you are on the go.
Best for Calling Features: Grasshopper
By default, Grasshopper and Google Voice offer a healthy selection of calling and call management features. For instance, each has simultaneous calling, caller ID, and call forwarding.
Unfortunately, Google Voice falls behind Grasshopper because you can’t actually place calls on hold, and there is no way to set custom business hours. Both of these features are available at every plan tier with Grasshopper. There’s also no method for creating customized greetings on Google Voice.
Best for Ease of Use: Google Voice
There’s something to be said for having an app ecosystem that seems to mesh perfectly, and this is one of the biggest draws when using Google Workplace. Google Voice integrates well with most apps in Google’s app ecosystem, and as a result, it’s very easy to use.
For ease of mind, there’s even a feature that automatically filters out unwanted texts from suspicious numbers. The navigation bar is also very intuitive, so that it’s easy to jump between calling, contacts, voicemail, and messaging. While Grasshopper isn’t difficult to use, its more robust feature set makes for a slightly less intuitive experience.
Best for Help & Support: Grasshopper
Google Voice falls behind when it comes to support because users have to navigate forums to get help. Grasshopper, on the other hand, has phone and email support. There’s also a dedicated support site, and the provider offers social media support chats on both Twitter and Facebook. This is much more timely than support from Google—posting an issue on an online forum sometimes takes hours for resolution.
Other Alternatives to Consider
These two virtual phone systems are far from the only providers out there for you to consider. Here’s a listing of three others to take a look at if, after comparing the two, neither Grasshopper nor Google Voice is a good fit for your business’ needs:
- GoDaddy SmartLine: GoDaddy SmartLine delivers better support services than Google Voice and does a better job of providing an intuitive user interface than both of our competitors. It also packs in useful features like voicemail transcription, custom business hours, and custom voicemail greetings. There’s even support for HD voice calling.
- RingCentral: RingCentral is another compelling option because of its scalability and features. The provider serves as not only a great option for a virtual phone system on both iOS and Android, but it’s available on desk phones and has a few great unified communications features as well. It also scales well since there are four plans available to use as your company grows. Find out more about RingCentral in our comprehensive 2021 RingCentral review.
- OpenPhone: With plans starting at around $10 per user, per month, OpenPhone has an attractive price point similar to Google Voice. You receive some strong integrations with solutions like Zapier, Slack, and most email software for that price. There are also robust calling features that include recording and auto-replies, similar to Grasshopper’s Instant Response feature.
Grasshopper and Google Voice are both good solutions for businesses looking to link small teams and receive calls from customers. While the race was tight, Grasshopper pulls ahead because it just has more robust calling features for a small business. Solopreneurs can easily find that Google Voice is an intuitive and more cost-effective solution, but for small businesses that need to scale, Grasshopper performs better.