When selecting a virtual phone system, you’ll find the market teeming with options. Still, when it comes to pound-for-pound features, you won’t find many that compare to Grasshopper and Ooma. Both providers are very solopreneur-friendly, but which comes out ahead in the Grasshopper vs Ooma head-to-head? In this guide, we’re going to take a look at each of these providers and show you how each stacks up against each other in distinct, business-specific criteria.
Based on our comparison, the best use cases for Grasshopper vs Ooma are as follows:
- Grasshopper: Better for those looking to not pay per-user fees
- Ooma: Better for solopreneurs looking for a one-time payment for service
While both of these providers offer useful features for voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP)-based calling, neither is particularly strong when it comes to integrations or unified communications (UC) features. For those needing a more full-fledged communications stack, here’s an alternative:
- RingCentral: Better for those with larger-scale communications needs
Grasshopper vs Ooma Compared
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These two providers are competitive options, but they are hardly the only acts in town. Neither of these has features like international numbers, and while each provides an auto-attendant to receive your calls, neither has an interactive voice response (IVR) system by default. Here is a list of the best alternatives if you need a little or a lot more than is offered by either Grasshopper or Ooma:
- RingCentral: This provider is best for companies requiring a wider range of communications options. Grasshopper doesn’t have UC features outside of dialing, and Ooma’s UC tools aren’t as robust as RingCentral. RingCentral is also the market leader for integrations, with built-in connectivity to more than 300 third-party solutions. It also has IVR out of the gate, which grants high-level call routing. To get a fuller picture of this provider, read our in-depth RingCentral review.
- Phone.com: Phone.com is a unique provider when it comes to virtual phone systems. Unlike some other providers, Phone.com has video conferencing, a smart feature for small businesses just building out their communications stacks. Pricing is also very reasonable—its initial plan starts at a meager $14.99 monthly for 500 pooled minutes. Check out our Phone.com review for more details.
- Google Voice: When users think of convenient internet calling for free, oftentimes it’s Google Voice they are considering. Google Voice is relatively bare-bones, but with their base version, which comes with any Google account, you get a free number and unlimited local calling for nothing. In addition to this, Google also has a paid plan that is one of the cheapest VoIP options available and still includes a good number of calling features. Our Google Voice review breaks down more features.
Best for Pricing: Grasshopper
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Pricing is paid per user on a monthly basis.
When taken holistically, Grasshopper comes out ahead of most providers when it comes to pricing. This is due to Grasshopper’s commitment to not charge per-user fees. You’ll have a free number for your entire team to use, no matter the number of answering endpoints (devices) on your account. Add to this the fact that Grasshopper makes adding numbers easy and cheap, and pricing is very inexpensive with this provider.
Ooma, conversely, charges its pricing on a per-user basis. Charges are based on the number of agents using the system. Despite Ooma’s prices above the second tier being cheaper, Grasshopper equates to lower per-month charges for growing companies. With the topmost tier, you get five numbers for $92 a month. For just five users on Ooma’s base-level tier, you’ll pay $99.75 per month. You won’t have access to the numerous calling features available across all Grasshopper plans since Ooma locks specific calling features behind tiers.
Finally, Grasshopper has annual pricing, which isn’t available with Ooma. With this, the above monthly pricing comes down significantly:
- True Solo: $14
- Solo Plus: $28
- Partner: $46
- Small Business: $80
Best for Virtual Phone Numbers: Grasshopper
When growing a business, it’s critical to have a convenient and professional number where your customers can always reach you. In total, there are four types of direct inward dialing (DID) numbers that can be offered by a provider. These include:
- Local numbers
- Toll-free numbers
- Vanity numbers
- International numbers
While neither of these providers offers international numbers, it’s noteworthy that Grasshopper offers three out of the four. For most businesses, local or toll-free numbers will be invaluable, but having a vanity number, which incorporates wording into your number, helps a brand become more memorable.
For this reason, when comparing virtual number availability for Ooma vs Grasshopper, Grasshopper comes out ahead in this matchup round. Find out more about Grasshopper’s number options in our Grasshopper review.
Best for International Features: Ooma
If your small business has international customers or partners, you’ll need a cheap option to reach them. One of the best features of a dedicated VoIP provider is the fact that it’s much cheaper to dial internationally compared to traditional analog phone systems. So, how much does international calling cost? This depends on the provider, but both Ooma and Grasshopper have international rates for dialing around the world.
When comparing the two, Ooma comes out far ahead. For example, while both have calling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Grasshopper charges 10 cents per minute while Ooma only charges 3.1 cents per minute, and frequent calls can certainly be significant for a small business. Add to this the fact that Ooma also has unlimited international calling plans to up to 40 countries, and you’ll see the value of a provider such as Ooma.
With this said, neither of these providers offers international numbers. These are useful for businesses needing a means for their international customers to reach them without calling overseas. If this is a feature you need, consider a provider such as RingCentral, 8×8, or Phone.com.
Best for Scalability: Grasshopper
When it comes to scalability, Grasshopper outperforms Ooma thanks to the fact that this virtual phone system has no user limits. With Grasshopper, you’re never paying per user, and every plan past the True Solo plan has unlimited users, which makes it very easy to scale your as you take on more agents. Additionally, each plan above True Solo has an increasing number of in-built phone numbers: Solo Plus has one number, Partner has three, and Small Business has five numbers.
With each plan, you can add numbers as needed, and all plans include at least one extension. With the Small Business plan, unlimited extensions are included. Ooma, on the other hand, has per-user pricing. Extensions are available with Ooma, and there are also four options to choose from as you grow. Still, the unlimited users ensure the victory for Grasshopper.
Best for Uptime Guarantee: Tie
Service reliability is critical when selecting a virtual phone system. For this reason, most providers deliver an uptime service level agreement (SLA) that guarantees a certain level of service availability. While the difference between a 99% and a 99.999% uptime guarantee might seem miniscule, the difference is massive when it comes to service availability.
Grasshopper offers an uptime guarantee of 99.999%, the gold standard of availability in the VoIP industry. This amounts to about 26 seconds of maximum downtime a month or a little over five minutes of service unavailability in a year. Ooma also has the same five nines agreement, meaning the two providers are tied in this part of the competition.
Best for Solopreneurs: Ooma
VoIP phone systems stand out for the very small business owner because of their dedication to simple calling without the sometimes high cost of traditional phone lines. These have high-quality calling, as well as calling features that establish businesses as professionals. Both Grasshopper and Ooma are excellent freelancer-friendly providers.
With Grasshopper, they’ve completely embraced the solopreneur with its True Solo plan that’s only $17 per month when paid month-to-month. This provides one free number and an extension for a nascent business. This also establishes them as one of the cheapest options out there, especially if you’re paying annually, as this helps reduce the cost to just $14 per month.
Still, when it comes to Ooma vs Grasshopper’s solopreneur-friendliness, Ooma wins out. Ooma’s Home plan helps new business owners start out since the plan is absolutely free when you purchase the $99 Telo device. We covered Telo and Ooma’s plans in our Ooma review.
How We Evaluated Grasshopper vs Ooma
Grasshopper and Ooma offer essential calling tools that also happen to come at very competitive price points, especially compared to the larger VoIP/UC solutions. With each having very strong solopreneur features, we considered what companies prioritize for this market. Some of the criteria we used include pricing, general features, and overall ease of use. We also opted to include in the evaluation our expert opinion on the provider’s value for money as well as the overall popularity of the solution.
Here’s a complete breakdown of these factors:
- Pricing: At the small business/solopreneur level, affordability is critical. To determine the viability of each provider from a cost-effectiveness standpoint, we looked at the cost of the base level and second-tier plans. We compared it to the prevailing price of business phone systems. We also considered which plan had a potential free option, even if that option was designed primarily for home-based calling. We also checked if the provider offers annual and volume discounts.
- General features: Some key general features we considered included unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada and important call management tools, such as call forwarding, ring groups, and call analytics. We also evaluated if the provider has features like a mobile or desktop app for those without IP phones. Reliability is also critical, which is why uptime was a key criterion as well.
- Ease of use: A VoIP-based business phone system should be about as easy as it would be to use a traditional analog phone system. With this in mind, we took a look at how easy it was to set up the system as well as how simple it is to use on an everyday basis.
- Expert score: This includes our direct evaluation of all of each provider’s most important features. We also checked user ratings in third-party review sites to determine how popular each platform is with those who have used it for business communications.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
One of the key selling points of Ooma for both personal and business use is its ability to be used with the Telo device, which is an analog telephone adapter. This hardware option allows users to effectively convert a landline phone into a VoIP phone. Ooma also has IP phone models available for purchase that are manufactured by Grandstream.
Grasshopper, on the other hand, is accessible almost exclusively through apps, both on smartphones and desktop/laptop computers. You can, however, forward Grasshopper calls to any device you choose.
As VoIP virtual phone providers, you can make calls on devices with an internet connection. This means that you can easily make calls wherever you are that have a Wi-Fi connection.
While Grasshopper has 24/7 support, Ooma has support only between Monday and Friday 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. There are also forum-based support options for those with queries after business hours.
Both Grasshopper and Ooma will be a good fit for any business that’s looking for strong call management features, even if there are budget constraints. While it’s useful that Ooma has a free plan with the purchase of its Telo device, Grasshopper has overall better pricing and no per-user fees. As a result, Grasshopper edges out its competition in the Grasshopper vs Ooma head-to-head. Looking to take Grasshopper out for a test drive? Try its seven-day trial today.