RingCentral and Grasshopper have been leaders in the voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) space for years, but the two platforms provide dramatically different solutions. RingCentral provides a robust, full-featured phone system that offers a variety of communication features and channels, whereas Grasshopper takes a more simplistic approach in providing basic call and text solutions and works by forwarding calls to existing lines.
- RingCentral: Best for small businesses needing vast communication options, extensive integrations, robust features, and scalability
- Grasshopper: Best for entrepreneurs and small teams needing unlimited extensions, budget-friendly pricing, and targeted communication channels
RingCentral vs Grasshopper at a Glance
$19.99 to $49.99 per user, per month*
$26 to $80 per month**
Ease of Use
Call, SMS, fax, video, messaging
Call, SMS, fax
video, CRM integrations, APIs, call management, hot desking, document sharing
custom greetings, instant response, call transfers, mobile and desktop app, call reports
24/7 chat and phone support
*Price calculated using annual rate with an estimated two to 20 users.
**Price calculated using annual rate. Note that RingCentral charges per user, whereas Grasshopper’s monthly charge includes multiple extensions.
Best for Price: Grasshopper
When it comes to price, it’s hard to beat Grasshopper’s budget-friendly tiers for teams of two or more. At a glance, RingCentral and other alternatives can seem like cheaper options. $19.99 is less than $26, but Grasshopper prices its packages a bit differently than competitors. Each plan comes with a set number of phone numbers and includes multiple extensions. This means that multiple users can share a phone number, making it a more economic option for those who don’t need a dedicated line.
For example, Grasshopper’s Small Business Plan is $80 per month and comes with five phone numbers and unlimited extensions. This offer makes the cost per user about $16 per month. RingCentral, on the other hand, gets more expensive as you scale to more advanced tiers. Regardless of your plan, you’ll have to pay for each user every month, which could be as costly as $49.99 per user.
With Grasshopper, you get all the available features regardless of which plan you choose. With RingCentral, you’ll have to carefully pick the right plan to get you access to the features you need without breaking your budget. Compared to other full-featured phone systems, RingCentral is a reasonably priced competitor, but it’s very expensive compared to a toned-down VoIP solution like Grasshopper.
Winner: Grasshopper wins for providing a reliable VoIP phone system at one of the market’s lowest price points.
Best for Ease of Use: Grasshopper
RingCentral has made it surprisingly easy to navigate such a robust communications platform, but many of the features and functionalities can get in the way of more fundamental use cases.
Grasshopper delivers a simple, easy-to-use platform that agents and customers will find no problem getting accustomed to.
RingCentral delivers a full-featured phone system that’s surprisingly easy to use, especially in the context of how much it has to offer. However, it’s hard to beat Grasshopper’s platform when it comes to simplicity and learning curves. It has the bare-bones essentials for a VoIP service, making it easy to navigate and learn all the ins and outs.
Yes, Grasshopper is easier to use, but it also lacks many of the more advanced features and functionality that RingCentral delivers. In a lot of ways, it’s like trying to compare an old-school flip phone with a modern-day smartphone. Sure, the flip phone was easier to learn and navigate, but that’s because it lacked the advanced functionality that today’s smartphones deliver.
Winner: Grasshopper wins for ease of use, but there’s a slight caveat. Grasshopper is easier to use because it delivers fewer features and functionality, which can be both a curse and a blessing (depending on the user).
Best for Calling Features: RingCentral
RingCentral’s robust feature set gives you the flexibility to build and operate your communications program however you’d like. With extensive third-party integrations, open APIs, and advanced call management functionality, you get to control the entire call experience—from before it starts to way after it’s finished.
Grasshopper provides the essential communication features your business needs—nothing more, nothing less. You won’t get all the advanced call management features, making the platform more affordable and easy to use. However, if you have more advanced communication needs, then Grasshopper might disappoint you.
In the end, you get what you pay for. If you want all the features and functionality, you’ll have to dig deep in the bank to afford RingCentral’s more expensive platform. However, if you’re on a budget, you’ll have to settle for Grasshopper’s toned-down feature set.
Winner: RingCentral wins for offering one of the most feature-heavy platforms on the market. You won’t find another solution that provides more functionality than this tool. To learn more about its features and functionalities, read our RingCentral review.
Best for Alternative Communication Channels: RingCentral
RingCentral is the king of communication channels. You can use RingCentral for calling, texting, messaging, faxing, and video conferencing—basically, everything. Grasshopper only provides calling, texting, and faxing.
For most businesses, calling and business SMS will be enough, but some teams require more extensive business phone systems. Adding video conferencing and team messaging to your communications suite could eliminate the need for other third-party software, like Slack and Zoom, consolidating your communications stack into one platform.
Winner: RingCentral wins for providing a full-on communications platform. Regardless of your calling, texting, or conferencing needs, RingCentral supports the channels you need.
Best for Scalability: RingCentral
RingCentral provides everything small-to-enterprise-sized businesses could ever need. Whether you need to integrate with another third-party software or need to add RingCentral communication functionality into your own desktop or mobile app, RingCentral has the scalability to make it happen.
However, RingCentral’s scale does suffer when it comes to price—the bigger you get, the more you’ll have to pay (by a long shot). Volume discounts can help reduce the cost, but the slight discount doesn’t change the expensive price tag.
Grasshopper doesn’t provide much in terms of scale. It really only works for small teams with a limited use case. It lacks third-party integrations and APIs to add it to your tech stack or applications. If you want to scale beyond an individual team, you’ll likely need to opt for RingCentral or another alternative solution.
Winner: RingCentral is one of the industry leaders when it comes to scalability. The only limit to your growth is your bank account when it comes to scaling with RingCentral.
Best for Hardware & Equipment Support: RingCentral
RingCentral and Grasshopper both work completely over VoIP networks, but RingCentral has the added benefit of including hardware solutions. If you’d like to purchase desk phones or compatible headsets, then you’ll be better off choosing RingCentral. Yes, you can purchase other third-party solutions with Grasshopper, but RingCentral provides significant discounts to new customers buying bundled packages.
Winner: RingCentral wins for providing additional flexibility with its options to purchase hardware like desk phones and headsets.
Best for Customer Support: Tie
Customer support can make or break your experience using a VoIP phone system. You need a provider that you can trust. Uptimes are important, but so is the trust that your platform team will help resolve any of your issues or questions as quickly as possible.
When it comes to customer support, RingCentral and Grasshopper both provide exceptional assistance. Users report being able to contact them quickly whenever a need arises, and they describe the teams as helpful and easy to work with.
Winner: Tie. Both platforms deliver over-the-top customer support to solve all your immediate needs.
Full-featured Phone System (RingCentral) vs Virtual Phone System (Grasshopper)
Full-featured Phone System
Virtual Phone System
Medium to large
Call Management Features
CRM integrations and APIs
Extensive or limited
Limited or nonexistent
Moderate to difficult
Easy to moderate
Moderate to extensive
Limited or nonexistent
Analytics & Reporting
While RingCentral and Grasshopper provide top-notch solutions for most business use cases, there’s a chance you’re looking for something else. Here are a few other VoIP alternatives to consider:
- Nextiva: Nextiva is a RingCentral alternative that delivers a full-featured phone system that rivals the latter. It provides a suite of channels, over-the-top features, and APIs.
- 8×8: Need to add international calling to your list of must-have features? No alternative does it better than 8×8.
- Ooma: Ooma provides a simple VoIP business solution that delivers the right minimal features at the right minimal price.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are VoIP & virtual phone systems different?
Yes, there are a few subtle differences. However, you’ll find many people use the terms interchangeably. A VoIP system provides you with a phone number, and virtual phone services send data through your internet connection. You may use Wi-Fi while traveling, your cell phone data, or business wireless services. A VoIP system can replace an existing business phone system.
A virtual phone number may work anywhere with an internet connection, like your home Wi-Fi or cell phone. But it typically doesn’t replace your current phone system. Instead, it routes calls to your cell phone using your mobile services.
Do small business phone analytics matter?
Small companies won’t have a huge problem tracking phone calls and messages across a few employees and limited customers. However, once you begin to scale your team, devices, extensions, and the like, you’ll want advanced analytics to provide detailed insights into your services. Analytics gives you data about call volume, times, and length while providing insights into how often various team members use the services.
Can I buy professionally recorded greetings?
Yes, Grasshopper and RingCentral both offer professionally recorded greetings. RingCentral partners with Snap Recordings. Packages start at $50 and take about three to four days to create. The Grasshopper Voice Studio provides professional voice greetings for a flat $75 one-time fee.
RingCentral and Grasshopper serve very different businesses, so it’s hard to make a direct apples-to-apples comparison. However, if we could only choose one platform, we’d have to go with RingCentral. It goes above and beyond to provide the full feature set your business could ever want or need. Yes, it’s a bit pricier than Grasshopper, but you get what you pay for—RingCentral takes no shortcuts on what it delivers.