The best voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) services for small businesses deliver a wealth of call management capabilities that traditional landlines cannot, all for a lower cost. They go beyond typical voice calls by offering video conferencing, instant messaging, e-faxing, and third-party app integrations without additional fees. Monthly fees start at $10 per user, but pricing may vary depending on the provider, call plan, and feature inclusions.
Here’s a listing of the top providers as well as their best use cases:
- RingCentral: Best for high call volumes
- Zoom Phone: Best for low-cost VoIP service
- Phone.com: Best for low or fluctuating call volumes
- Nextiva: Best for managing customer communications
- Vonage: Best for custom VoIP service
- Dialpad: Best for artificial intelligence (AI)-based VoIP
- Grasshopper: Best for VoIP phone numbers
- Ooma: Best straightforward telephony service
Best VoIP for Small Business Compared
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RingCentral: Best Overall for High Call Volumes
RingCentral is our best VoIP phone system for small businesses dealing with large amounts of inbound and outbound call traffic. With its comprehensive call management system, entry-level users have access to multi-level interactive voice response (IVR), shared lines, call queue, and call park—features that most competitors offer in higher-level subscription tiers.
Configure your phone systems across the company, regardless of device or location, and use the mobile app to set up admin and user settings. RingCentral also secured a position on our list of the best business cell phone plans due to its essential call features like answering rules, call transfer, and call forwarding.
If you want the robust nature of RingCentral, but find it a little expensive, you’re better off with a low-cost VoIP solution like Zoom Phone. While Zoom is best known for its video conferencing solution, it provides a full-featured VoIP platform with monthly plans starting at as low as $10 per user.
- Multi-level IVR: Set up routing menus with a visual IVR editor and route calls to voicemail, extensions, and external phone numbers. Each account supports up to 250 voice menus and submenus.
- Multi-site management: Support all your branch offices’ site assets based on their unique needs within a single account. Each site has its own outbound caller ID, call handling rules, user roles, and auto-receptionist.
- Analytics portal: Get real-time insights on adoption, usage, and quality of service with RingCentral’s analytics portal. Various call metrics let you set key performance indicators (KPIs), identify top performers, and track issues quickly.
Zoom Phone: Best for Low-cost VoIP Service
Zoom Phone is our best VoIP service for small businesses on a budget thanks to its monthly plans ranging from $10 to $20 per user. All plans are all-inclusive, which means you get the same phone features regardless of the plan you choose. What sets each other apart is the type of call plan, whether it’s for metered or unlimited inbound and outbound calling.
We also chose Zoom Phone as one of our best hotel phone systems, with its affordable international calling plans. For only $20 per user, monthly, you get unlimited regional calling in one of the 48 countries supported by Zoom. Another cheap deal is the unlimited international calling add-on, which starts for as low as $10 per month.
Unfortunately, Zoom Phone has monthly charges for local or toll-free phone numbers, which can get expensive if you need to purchase multiple phone numbers. A better alternative is Grasshopper, our best virtual phone number provider offering toll-free number bundles and vanity numbers without extra fees.
Zoom Phone Features
- Call delegation: Assign a phone user to make and receive calls on another user’s behalf. Both users can view the status of the shared lines and access the delegator’s direct phone numbers.
- Shared line groups: Share a phone number and extension common area phones or a group of phone users. You can set routing rules and apply custom business hours.
- Call quality dashboards: View the overall quality of phone calls and filter voice data on a specific user. It includes usage reports that display phone usage data for a specific user or call queue.
Are you on a tight budget? Check out our list of the best free VoIP services with competitive feature inclusions.
Phone.com: Best for Low or Fluctuating Call Volumes
Phone.com is our best VoIP phone system for small businesses with low or seasonal call volumes all throughout the year. Instead of purchasing unlimited call plans that you can’t utilize, Phone.com offers a metered plan for only $14.99 with 500 pooled minutes and 1,000 pooled SMS segments, which you can share with other Basic users in your account.
Like Zoom Phone, this provider offers a mix and match of metered and unlimited call packages, allowing you to pick the best plan for individual user requirements. Advanced tiers have unlimited minutes, while the base plan lets you purchase additional minutes or text credits if you exceed the limit on your plan. Calls will only be charged at 3.9 cents, while text messages will incur 0.75 cents.
On the downside, Phone.com has relatively few integrations, which significantly limits its functionality to connect with other third-party apps. If you need a VoIP solution that readily integrates with your current app stack, check out RingCentral. It has a dedicated app gallery that includes over 300 business solutions for automation, customer relationship management (CRM), and productivity.
- Call handling: Create a set of rules to route incoming callers to the right destination. Options include forwarding, auto-attendant, dial-by-name directory, and scheduled routing.
- Voice tagging: Announces which menu option was selected by the caller before answering the call. This is useful for businesses with multiple auto-attendant options that ring to the same number.
- Live receptionist: This add-on feature lets you add live answering services to your Phone.com account. With a monthly starting fee of $90, you get professional phone operators to answer your business calls.
Nextiva: Best for Managing Customer Communications
While VoIP systems are primarily designed to streamline customer interactions, Nextiva takes a more comprehensive approach by combining VoIP with its customer experience platform. It brings calls, text, video, and chat in a single place, giving teams access to customer interactions, call transcription, and history.
As one of our best VoIP providers for small businesses, Nextiva aims to un-silo customer information through shared management. Users can send automatic surveys after every phone interaction and receive all the important customer details before picking up a call.
Despite its feature-rich offerings, Nextiva has a relatively steep price point, which can put budget-conscious teams at a disadvantage. If you’re after affordability, check out Zoom Phone, one of our best cheap VoIP services, with monthly plans starting at $10 per user.
- Call Pop: Displays the caller’s details before you pick up the call. Customize it to show whatever customer information you need, like sentiment or account value.
- Automation tools: Enhance service efficiency with automation features like automated surveys, real-time suggestions, and automatic follow-ups.
- Call pulling: Transfers an ongoing call between devices without interruption. This feature works on desk phones, computers, and mobile phones.
Vonage: Best for Custom VoIP Service
Vonage is one of our best VoIP phone systems for small business users wanting to fully customize their plans based on the capabilities and integrations they need. Instead of purchasing all-inclusive plans, Vonage’s a la carte approach gives you the freedom to add your desired features as your business needs change.
There are 18 paid add-ons to choose from, such as call recording, e-fax, a paging system, and a virtual mailbox, to name a few. The same works for integrations, where you can add and purchase third-party apps through the Vonage App Center.
However, those who want to try Vonage for the first time are at a disadvantage because it strictly requires a one-year contract for new users. If you’re new to VoIP and don’t want to commit to any long-term contract, try Phone.com. It uses the same a la carte model as Vonage, but you can subscribe to its metered plans, which you can cancel at any time.
- App Center: Offers a self-service platform to view and purchase third-party apps like customer relationship management (CRM) systems, productivity tools, contact centers, and support platforms.
- Admin portal: Allows designated admins to manage and customize the company’s phone system. Audit account changes, track employee activity, and view monthly billing.
- Business inbox: Directly access all your messages from SMS, MMS, and Facebook Messenger in one unified inbox. You can assign users to have access so they can send and receive messages from customers.
Dialpad: Best for AI-based VoIP Service
Dialpad is the best VoIP system for small businesses with tech-savvy teams wanting to utilize automation features for optimizing customer service delivery. Its AI-powered phone system includes a wide range of smart tools like a virtual assistant, live coaching, call summary, and sentiment analysis.
If you’re dealing with a high volume of calls, Dialpad’s built-in AI will transcribe conversations, track action items, and take notes while you’re focused on the conversation. The best part is that artificial intelligence (AI) tools are available on all Dialpad plans, so you can enjoy streamlined workflows and provide personalized customer experiences.
Sadly, Dialpad can only accommodate up to 10 participants for video meetings. If you frequently host large-scale meetings, consider RingCentral, which supports up to 200 participants, including access to robust video conferencing features like breakout rooms, whiteboards, and remote control.
- Simultaneous ring: Route incoming calls to multiple devices at the same time so your team will never miss a call. Supported devices include desk phones, computers, and mobile devices.
- Three-way calling: This free Dialpad feature lets you seamlessly add a third-party participant to your business calls. You have the option to mute, hold, and transfer all the participants.
- International services: Enabling this feature lets you start placing calls and messages internationally. Calls are billed per minute, while texting rates are billed per message.
Grasshopper: Best for VoIP Phone Numbers
Grasshopper is the best hosted VoIP for small businesses with distributed mobile workers needing multiple phone numbers for coordinating communication. While most VoIP providers charge extra for additional phone numbers, Grasshopper offers them in bundles at a fixed monthly price.
Another highlight feature of Grasshopper is that it offers toll-free vanity numbers without extra charges. When you sign up, it provides the option to choose from a local or toll-free vanity number or to port your current number. You can customize a number or let Grasshopper generate one.
Since Grasshopper is a virtual phone system, users should note that it doesn’t have unified communications (UC) features. If you’re looking for a VoIP provider that lets you host video meetings and chat with team members, choose RingCentral or Nextiva. Both solutions have robust UC capabilities, allowing you to streamline collaboration across teams.
- Virtual receptionist service: Adding Ruby to your Grasshopper account gives you a live answering service that will answer calls on behalf of your business.
- Call transfer: Grasshopper offers two ways of transferring calls: blind or supervised. Blind automatically transfers calls, while supervised lets you speak with the receiver first.
- Custom greetings: Record phone greetings on your own, or use Grasshopper’s voice studio to have a professional voice actor record your script.
Ooma: Best Straightforward Telephony Service
Ooma takes a more straightforward approach to its VoIP service by focusing on basic call management. It emphasizes phone and voicemail capabilities for businesses with moderate call volumes. This provider works as a no-frills cloud telephony service compared to top competitors like RingCentral, with a feature set that can overwhelm a small team (e.g., business analytics and intelligent meetings).
This platform also secured a spot on our list of the best VoIP service for home offices thanks to its free home phone service. Once you purchase the Ooma Telo device for $90, you get unlimited access to its internet home phone plan, which includes free U.S. calling, HD voice, and online call logs.
Although Ooma has video conferencing, its features are not as robust as other full-fledged UC providers. We recommend RingCentral, our top Ooma alternative, which offers the most comprehensive VoIP and video conferencing solution in the market.
- Multi-device ring: This is a call forwarding variation that lets you receive calls on any device and have multiple devices ring when an Ooma user is called.
- Extension monitoring: Allows a user or receptionist to monitor the status of other phone extensions and perform different actions like call transfer or three-way calling.
- Distinctive ringtones: Add a unique ringtone to a call queue or ring group to give team members a heads-up about the nature of the incoming call.
How We Evaluated the Best VoIP for Small Business
The best VoIP phone for small business includes various tools for efficiently handling incoming and outgoing calls while supporting a wide range of budget requirements. For this guide, we compared eight well-known providers with VoIP services and unified communications features. We analyzed them based on cost, key features, and performance.
Learn how we evaluated the best VoIP for small businesses by clicking on the tabs below:
25% of Overall Score
Small businesses have different budget considerations when choosing a VoIP service provider. With this, we examined the cost of VoIP solutions based on the availability of free trials, type of discounts, and lower annual pricing. We gave higher points to providers with lower costs than more expensive alternatives.
25% of Overall Score
Every company that provides VoIP services has to offer standard calling features to help users manage inbound and outbound calls. We looked at overall VoIP features, such as an automated attendant, conference calling, SMS, and voicemail. We also checked whether each platform includes a desktop and mobile app or not.
15% of Overall Score
We gave points to providers that offer additional key features, such as IVR, toll-free numbers, voicemail transcription, and software integrations. We also examined which systems allow international calling.
10% of Overall Score
We evaluated each VoIP provider’s usability by determining the technical expertise required to set up and operate their phone systems. We evaluated if platforms have an intuitive interface and easy-to-use admin settings.
10% of Overall Score
As part of our evaluation, we considered the types of customer support channels offered by each provider. These include live chat, phone, email, and help desk ticket. We gave more points to providers operating 24/7 and partial points to those available during business hours.
15% of Overall Score
Using our firsthand experiences with each provider, we came up with our expert score by examining their unique features and ease of use. We also considered user reviews to determine the popularity and value for money of the best VoIP services.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
VoIP is a worthwhile investment for small businesses looking for an efficient and cost-effective way to communicate with employees and customers. It provides excellent call quality, advanced call features, and the ability to work from anywhere without high costs.
Fundamentally, a VoIP service works exactly like a desk phone that lets you transfer calls, play hold music, view voicemail, and block callers, to name a few. But since VoIP is a digital solution, you can enjoy advanced features like instant messaging, video conferencing, app integrations, and real-time analytics.
Yes. However, VoIP has less extensive hardware requirements compared to the traditional analog phone setup. Since VoIP is software-based, it can be installed on any device that connects to the internet, including a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or an internet protocol (IP) phone.
VoIP phone systems offer significant value to small businesses due to their scalability, lower costs, portability, and rich features. In an increasingly competitive market, RingCentral rises above as the best VoIP for small businesses. With its robust call management features, this benefits companies with high call volumes and scaling businesses that require a complete phone solution. Visit RingCentral for a free demo, or sign up for its 14-day free trial.