RingCentral and Grasshopper are two competing phone services, and each offers a plethora of features and add-ons such as SMS messaging, softphone dialing, and business telephone numbers. However, RingCentral’s complete VoIP system caters best to larger companies looking for a long-term phone solution, while Grasshopper—a virtual phone service—is better for smaller teams.
When to Use RingCentral
Fast-growing and larger companies will get the most out of using RingCentral. It was made for scalability, letting you build your service and grow with it over time. The more extensions you have, the more features that will be needed, such as voicemail, call handling (e.g., mute, hold, and transfer), and RingCentral delivers all these and more. Its higher-service tiers unlock many more features that are ideal for fast-moving businesses.
When to Use Grasshopper
Grasshopper is ideal for individuals and small teams who are just getting started, as it requires no additional equipment beyond a smartphone and an internet connection. Its most basic service tier supports one telephone number and three extensions, which can then be forwarded to other existing numbers, making it a great option for those who spend more time in the field than they do in an office.
Quiz: Which VoIP Provider Is Right for You?
RingCentral vs Grasshopper at a Glance
$19.99 - $59.99*
$26 - $89
Unlimited Domestic Calling
Yes, though a third party (Ruby Receptionist) is used
Yes, for an additional fee
Yes, for an additional fee
Up to 100 included with lowest service tier
Yes, for an additional fee
What Is a Virtual Phone System?
Both RingCentral and Grasshopper are considered voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone solutions, but unlike RingCentral, Grasshopper is a virtual phone service. This means that it acts as a call forwarding service. Grasshopper does not require you to install or maintain additional business telephony system components, but in order for Grasshopper to work, you must have an existing phone line it can link to (such as your personal cell phone number), whereas RingCentral does not.
Virtual phone numbers are great for businesses operating from home offices and startups that haven’t yet settled on an office location. However, they are limited in terms of scalability and lack more robust functionality, like interactive voice response menus, found in more complete systems. If you aren’t sure if a virtual phone system is best for your business, you may also wish to check out our guide on the top RingCentral alternatives for more options.
How We Evaluated RingCentral & Grasshopper
While the underlying technology is different, both RingCentral and Grasshopper offer a number of robust features like virtual faxing and custom greetings, making it easy to see why both are considered great options in their respective categories. However, to determine which is the better option, we examined how each service benefits businesses in a number of different use cases.
We then compared both business phone services using the following criteria:
- Price per user and length of the contract
- Ease of use of both desktop and mobile interfaces
- Available features offered in entry-level plans
- Call quality, reliability, and uptime
- Customer service
- Additional features
Ultimately, while both systems have their uses, we recommend RingCentral for the majority of growing businesses over the long term. Its scalability and many robust features like advanced call handling options, call recording, and the ability to video chat give RingCentral the edge over Grasshopper’s more basic features. In addition, RingCentral has even won our top spot in our VoIP buyer’s guide for the best small business phone service providers.
RingCentral vs Grasshopper Pricing & Features
Both services have multiple pricing plans, but these plans are structured differently. For example, RingCentral limits select features to its highest-priced plans and charges by the user. Grasshopper’s available features are not limited by the plan selected, but higher-priced plans allow you to add more phone numbers and extensions. This means that the size of your team will greatly influence which is the more expensive solution.
RingCentral’s pricing structure is more complicated than Grasshopper’s. In addition to having multiple plans that vary by features, RingCentral’s pricing is also influenced by the number of users, with price breaks for large teams. It also depends on whether you elect to be charged monthly or annually. Annual prices are about 33% cheaper than monthly prices, and the prices below reflect two to 19 users:
- Essentials: $29.99 monthly per user; $19.99 monthly per user on an annual basis
- Standard: $34.99 monthly per user; $24.99 monthly per user on an annual basis
- Premium: $44.99 monthly per user; $34.99 monthly per user on an annual basis
- Ultimate: $59.99 monthly per user; $49.99 monthly per user on an annual basis
Since Grasshopper’s target audience is smaller companies, its included features are markedly fewer than RingCentral’s. However, all Grasshopper features are the same no matter which plan you choose—the differences are the number of lines and extensions supported. Like RingCentral, you can choose to be billed monthly or annually, with annual plans costing about 10% less.
- Solo: $29 monthly; $26 monthly when billed on an annual basis for one number and up to three extensions
- Partner: $49 monthly; $44 monthly when billed on an annual basis for three numbers and up to six extensions
- Small Business: $89 monthly; $80 monthly when billed on an annual basis for five numbers and an unlimited number of extensions
When stacked against Grasshopper, it’s clear that you’re getting more for your money with RingCentral. RingCentral’s Essentials plan offers service for up to 20 users, while Grasshopper’s lowest-tiered plan only caters to one phone number and three extensions.
In addition, RingCentral lets you choose from local, toll-free, vanity, and business phone numbers to customize your phone plan exactly how you need it. You can also host video meetings with RingCentral’s higher three service tiers, and integrate the service with other business tools like G Suite, Office 365, Zoho CRM, and more.
Grasshopper features unlimited domestic calling and SMS texting using either its mobile or desktop app, making for the utmost convenience no matter where you are. You can also receive incoming faxes, read voicemail from either the mobile or desktop app, and set up custom greetings.
For an additional $75, the Grasshopper Voice Studio will enlist professional voice actors to record your script if you don’t want to record your own greetings. However, RingCentral offers a similar service that costs $50 for every 75 words, and on-hold greetings start at $99 for the first 100 words.
RingCentral vs Grasshopper: Ease of Use
The ease or difficulty of getting a new system running can make or break the user experience. We compared the ease of use between each service.
RingCentral Ease of Use
Overall, customers are very happy with RingCentral’s setup and daily use. Clients report that setup is simple for all skill levels, and the mobile and desktop apps make it very convenient to immediately begin configuring settings. However, the many features of RingCentral could make it potentially confusing for people unfamiliar with or learning the environment.
Grasshopper Ease of Use
Clients enjoy how simplistic Grasshopper is to use. Since you can use your own device, you are already familiar with how it works and how to change settings, so Grasshopper is just another app on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Its fewer features and intuitive user interface (UI) make Grasshopper very easy to use for most people, whether they are tech-savvy or not.
RingCentral vs Grasshopper: Customer Service
When there’s a technical issue, it’s imperative that it gets resolved quickly. RingCentral and Grasshopper both include several avenues for getting you the help you need.
RingCentral Customer Service
RingCentral offers multiple ways to get in touch with customer service if you encounter issues. These include:
- 24/7 live chat for North America (there are hours of operation outside of the United States, but visit RingCentral’s customer support page to learn about specific countries)
- Submit a case online by filling out a support form
- Live 24/7 telephone support for higher-tiered plans
- Social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- RingCentral University, a highly intuitive support encyclopedia that lets you browse help topics
Grasshopper Customer Service
Like RingCentral, Grasshopper’s customer service department has many different support methods. These include:
- 24/7 phone support for sales questions
- Social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
- Handwritten letter to be mailed to the Boston-based office
- The Grasshopper Knowledge Base, which is set up very much like RingCentral University
RingCentral vs Grasshopper: Customer Reviews
In this digital age of online reviews and the number of stars attached to your business, customer reviews carry a lot of weight. We looked at what customers had to say about each service, good or bad.
RingCentral Customer Reviews
Overall, customers have very positive things to say about RingCentral. They appreciate its many different options and features, easy setup and use, and dependability in its call quality. However, those who are unfamiliar with the VoIP setting might get lost in the many menus and options that are available.
You can learn more about what other users are saying by visiting our RingCentral reviews page.
Grasshopper Customer Reviews
Customers enjoy the simplicity of Grasshopper; compared to heartier systems like RingCentral, it is easy to use and very easy to set up. They love the included features that give Grasshopper a more professional presence, including different kinds of phone numbers and online faxing. Some users report glitchy software, but they also report that the customer service teams get those glitches taken care of quickly.
Learn more about Grasshopper’s plans by visiting our Grasshopper reviews page.
Pros & Cons of RingCentral vs Grasshopper
Both services have aspects that they excel in, while there is room for improvement in others. Here are only a few of the best and worst aspects of RingCentral and Grasshopper.
Pros & Cons of RingCentral
Pros of RingCentral
Cons of RingCentral
Feature-rich: RingCentral lets you reap the benefits of its services with all tiers, giving you access to many different features that build up with every service tier.
Feature-rich: When it comes to RingCentral, its features are its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. Although there are a myriad of options, for some users those options could be overwhelming.
Many lines and extensions: Allowing up to 20 users in its most basic service tier, RingCentral gives you the most value for your money.
Uneven calls: VoIP telephone calls are transmitted over the internet, which means that if your internet connection is not strong, your calls won't be either.
Scalability: If you’ve got a team that is on the larger side or growing, RingCentral is ideal for those who are interested in upgrading services either imminently or down the road.
Call recording history: Though not offered with all plans, call recording is an available RingCentral feature. However, recorded calls only trace back as far as three months, which can present a problem if you’d like to refer back longer than that duration.
Customer service: Top-rated customer service agents are available to help you with whatever issue you might be encountering.
Pros & Cons of Grasshopper
Pros of Grasshopper
Cons of Grasshopper
Easy setup: Quick and efficient setup makes Grasshopper a breeze to use.
Price: Compared to RingCentral’s number of users supported, Grasshopper is significantly more expensive per user.
BYOD: Bring your own device; Grasshopper allows you to use whatever device you’d like without the necessity of buying or renting additional equipment.
Contacts: There is not a separate section for Grasshopper contacts in its mobile app; you must sync your device with your personal contacts.
Basic functionality: Rather than get lost in a rabbit hole of menus, easily navigate your way through your phone system with its basic tools and functions.
Wi-Fi calling: Users dislike that, in order to use the Wi-Fi calling feature, you must disable the Wi-Fi calling feature in your current cellular plan.
Phone numbers: Pick from local, vanity, or toll-free telephone numbers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will either service replace my internet service provider (ISP)?
No. While you can connect to Wi-Fi and make calls over the internet, you will need an established internet service first. Neither RingCentral nor Grasshopper is an ISP.
Is Grasshopper a VoIP service?
Yes. You have the option to make calls using Wi-Fi as well, but Grasshopper is primarily a VoIP service.
Am I able to port existing numbers to each service?
Yes. With both RingCentral and Grasshopper, you can port existing phone numbers to your new service for no additional fee. Note that it will take two to three weeks to complete this task, regardless of the service you choose.
Depending on your company’s individual needs and the features that you want, RingCentral and Grasshopper are both great choices for a VoIP provider. Both are feature-rich and offer multiple customer service avenues, giving the user an overall positive experience. However, their differences are striking and will ultimately impact the decision you make between the two.
We recommend RingCentral as our pick for the best VoIP service. Its wealth of features is balanced by a good base price, serving more customers than Grasshopper while simultaneously giving you more features. To learn more about RingCentral, its features, and user reviews, refer to our RingCentral reviews page.