Today’s leading voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) services transmit calls as data over the internet in order to provide cheaper calling, texting, and voicemail features than landline or cellular alternatives. They also have advanced features like video calling, auto-attendants, and mobile apps. We looked at the best small business VoIP systems on the market and evaluated them based on pricing, features, and usability.
(Best Overall) Businesses that want a powerful yet budget-friendly phone service that is also easy to use
Companies that want a capable VoIP system that comes with a free, professionally recorded voice greeting
Teams that want unlimited calling to nearly 50 countries around the world at no extra cost
Organizations that want to add individual features onto their service on an a la carte basis
Businesses with low call volumes that would benefit from plans with limited monthly minutes
Teams wanting a capable service with simple, streamlined pricing
How We Evaluated Small Business VoIP Providers
Phone services have come a long way since the first copper landline networks were installed more than a century ago. Since the time when VoIP services first entered the market, they’ve been offering lower pricing and more functionality than traditional landline and business cell phone plans. The best VoIP services are affordable enough for small businesses and intuitive enough for workers of all skill levels. They also provide modules like mobile apps, automated attendants, and the ability to adopt a toll-free number with a 1-800 prefix.
Click through the tabs in the box below to see our full evaluation criteria for business phone services.
25% of Overall Score
A small business VoIP service should be affordable enough for smaller teams to afford. For most systems, pricing is on a per user, per month basis. Systems with lower costs per user were given higher scores than more expensive alternatives. I based general pricing off of what a business could expect to spend for around one to 10 users.
25% of Overall Score
Every VoIP service lets users make and receive calls, so we looked at whether each system has common phone features like toll-free numbers, automated attendants, mobile apps, and video conferencing. Systems that checked all these boxes in at least one tier of service got a higher score than those that did not.
25% of Overall Score
Bonuses like professionally recorded voice greetings, integrations with outside business software systems, and application programming interfaces (APIs) can be highly beneficial to small businesses. This is because they help the VoIP system work more seamlessly with a company’s greater business tech workflow. We also examined policy factors, such as whether a company offers 24/7 customer service over the phone.
25% of Overall Score
I used this field to judge subjective factors for each service. I looked for services that have modern-looking, intuitive interfaces. Each system’s popularity was also a concern, as company size can play a role in a company’s ability to help customers, keep their software up to date, and keep your data safe from cybersecurity threats. My own experience using the service also played a role in the score.
Earning a score of 4.5 out of 5, we find that RingCentral is the best service for most small business users because it is powerful, easy to use, and comes with different pricing packages that just about any small business can afford. It has all the features you need to handle your call traffic and foster better communications among your team, especially when compared to less powerful virtual phone services. With that in mind, choosing a service can be a daunting process. We recommending taking our quiz to help you decide.
Which Small Business VoIP Phone System Is Best for You?
RingCentral: Best Overall Small Business VoIP Service
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5
RingCentral is a small business VoIP system that comes standard with unlimited domestic calling, SMS, and an automated attendant to handle your incoming call traffic without human intervention. Pricing starts at $19.99 per user, per month for two to 20 users on an annual basis.
Simply put, RingCentral provides a fantastic all-around package of VoIP features, affordability, and usability. Its mobile apps are among the best on the market, and its interface is exceptionally smooth and modern. Nearly any small business could benefit from using the platform.
RingCentral Small Business VoIP Service at a Glance
Exceptionally easy to use
Could be overkill
Automated attendant handles incoming call traffic
No professional voice greeting included
Smooth mobile apps
Advanced functionality locked behind premium tiers of service
- Essentials: $19.99 per user, per month for up to 20 users, unlimited calling, and unlimited texting*
- Standard: $24.99 per user, per month with unlimited audio conferencing and video meetings for up to 100 participants*
- Premium: $34.99 per user, per month with unlimited call recording, analytics, and integrations with outside business software*
- Ultimate: $49.99 per user, per month with device status reports and unlimited storage*
*Pricing is on an annual basis for two to 19 users. Volume discounts are available, and so are monthly plans that come at an extra cost.
In an attempt to ease some of the strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, RingCentral has temporarily made their Office Premium tier free for K-12 educators, healthcare providers, and nonprofit organizations. This provides, among other things, a free automated attendant and video conferencing for up to 100 people. You can read their COVID-19 offer page for more details.
RingCentral Standout Features
- Auto-attendant: Like most of its competitors, RingCentral comes standard with an automated attendant that can greet and route your callers without human intervention.
- Mobile apps: The system’s apps for iOS and Android make it extremely useful for remote teams. In fact, it could even serve as an effective business cell phone plan for your organization if your team members download the app on their personal devices.
- Video conferencing: RingCentral offers video calling for up to 200 people at once depending on which package you choose. This can save your team from having to use a third-party application such as Join.me or GoToMeeting.
Learn more: RingCentral reviews page
Nextiva: Best Small Business VoIP Phone Service for Professional Greetings
Overall rating: 4 out of 5
Nextiva is a small business VoIP service that comes with call management, mobile apps, and unlimited domestic calling. Pricing packaging starts at $27.95 per user, per month for five to 19 users on an annual basis.
All told, Nextiva has nearly the same core feature set of many of its competitors. However, it’s a noteworthy solution in the sense that its premium plans come with a professionally recorded voice greeting for your small business. This means that Nextiva will cover the cost of hiring a professional voice-over artist to effectively be the “voice” of your phone system.
Nextiva Small Business VoIP Service at a Glance
Free, professionally recorded voice greeting with higher-end plans
Somewhat clunky interface
Visual voicemail comes standard
No unlimited international calling
iOS and Android apps
Annual plans require a 36-month agreement
- Essential: $27.95 per user, per month for unlimited calling and a free local or toll-free number*
- Professional: $30.95 per user, per month with conference calling for up to four people, team messaging, peer-to-peer video calling, and a free, professionally recorded voice greeting*
- Enterprise: $37.95 per user, per month with voicemail transcription, voice analytics, and call recording*
*Pricing is on an annual basis for five to 19 users. Volume discounts are available as you add more users, and so are monthly plans at an additional cost.
Nextiva Standout Features
- Professionally recorded voice greeting: The Professional and Enterprise editions of Nextiva come with one free professionally recorded voice recording. Sounding more professional and established to customers over the phone can help drive customer satisfaction as well as set yourself apart from your competitors.
- Unlimited domestic calls and texts: Nextiva is similar to other services we looked at in the sense that it offers unlimited domestic calling and text messages, regardless of what device you are using. This puts it even when compared to Vonage and other competitors.
- Mobile apps: The system’s mobile apps support nearly all of the same features as the desktop version. It even supports mobile faxing.
Learn more: Nextiva reviews page
8×8: Best Business VoIP Service for International Calls
Overall rating: 4.18 out of 5
8×8 is a small business VoIP system that offers unlimited international calls to numbers in 47 different countries around the world. 8×8 bears a lot of similarities to other systems on the market. It has mobile apps, unlimited domestic calling, and some call center modules such as call queuing and monitoring. However, what makes it unique is that the service offers unlimited calling to nearly 50 countries around the world.
8×8 Small Business VoIP Service at a Glance
Affordable starting price
Entry-level package has a limited feature set
Unlimited international calls to 47 countries
Call center features
Most calling countries locked behind top-tier package
- Express: $12 per user, per month for unlimited domestic calling and a basic automated attendant
- X2: $25 per user, per month for unlimited calling for up to 14 countries, VoIP faxing, call reports, and call recording
- X4: $45 per user, per month for up to 47 countries
8×8 Standout Features
- Call center capabilities: The more premium versions of the system come with features that lend themselves well to call center environments, such as canned reports on call data, team presence notifications, and live call monitoring. This helps you measure the total performance of your team.
- Online file storage: Depending on your plan, 8×8 comes with up to 10GB of online file storage for your documents and recordings. When compared with Nextiva and other solutions, this is quite generous.
- International calling features: 8×8’s X4 plan offers unlimited calls to up to 47 countries all over the world. If you need to make frequent calls to international numbers, this could be a tremendous cost savings.
Learn more: 8×8 reviews page
Vonage: Best Business VoIP Service With a la Carte Pricing
Overall rating: 3.63 out of 5
Vonage is a VoIP phone platform that offers calling, texting, and voicemail functionality for both desktops and mobile devices. It starts at $17.99 per user, per month for five to 19 users.
Most of Vonage’s competitors offer non-negotiable packages with sets of features that the customer may or may not need. Vonage offers an alternative in the sense that you can get whatever pricing package you want and add individual features like toll-free numbers and call recording separately on an a la carte basis. It’s perfect for teams that want to build a package that works for their unique needs.
Vonage Small Business VoIP Service at a Glance
Add features on an a la carte basis
A la carte options can add up to be expensive
Video conferencing for up to 100 people
Mobile apps available for all packages
Video meetings capped at 100 people
- Mobile: $17.99 per user, per month with unlimited calling, mobile app, and team messaging*
- Premium: $27.99 per user, per month for video calling for up to 100 people, software integrations, and a multilevel automated attendant*
- Advanced: $37.99 per user, per month for 15 hours of on-demand call recording, visual voicemail, and company-guided setup of your system*
*Pricing is for five to 19 users. Volume discounts are available as you add more users.
Vonage Standout Features
- Video calling: The Premium and Advanced versions of the solution accommodate HD video calling for up to 100 people. This makes Vonage a viable alternative to dedicated conferencing services such as Join.me and GoToMeeting.
- Team chat: Vonage comes with individual and group text chat that works in a similar fashion to the likes of Slack and Microsoft Teams.
- A la carte features: Add individual features like toll-free numbers and voicemail transcripts for an additional monthly fee. This makes Vonage one of the most flexible platforms on the market today, especially when compared to industry players like Nextiva.
Learn more: Vonage reviews page
Phone.com: Best VoIP Service With Pay-per-Minute Plans
Overall rating: 4.37 out of 5
Phone.com is a phone system that offers plans with both limited and unlimited minutes. Pricing starts at $9.99 per month on an annual basis, making it one of the more affordable options on the market.
If your staff has a low monthly call volume, then most VoIP systems on the market are effectively making you pay for minutes you don’t need in the form of unlimited plans. Phone.com is perfect for those who don’t make a lot of calls, as it offers pay-as-you-go plans with limited bundles of minutes.
Phone.com Small Business VoIP Service at a Glance
Limited and unlimited calling packages available
Auto-attendant available in all packages
Video calls only available in unlimited plans
Pay-per-minute plans can get expensive after going over monthly allotments
- Base: $9.99 per month for 300 monthly minutes*
- Plus: $14.99 per month for 500 monthly minutes*
- Pro: $29.99 per month for unlimited monthly minutes*
*Pricing is on an annual basis. Monthly plans are available for an additional fee.
Phone.com Standout Features
- Flexible plans: Phone.com is one of the few options on the market that offers plans with limited minutes, which can save businesses a great deal of money.
- Auto-attendant: Each version of Phone.com comes with the ability to greet and route callers without human intervention.
- Conference calling: Phone.com offers the ability to hold teleconferences with up to 300 people.
Learn more: Phone.com reviews page
Ooma Office: Best Business VoIP Service With Streamlined Pricing
Overall rating: 3.8 out of 5
Ooma is a business phone system that comes with unlimited calls, voicemail, and an auto-attendant with plans starting at $19.95 per user, per month. Most of Ooma Office’s competitors offer a wide range of plans with different feature sets. To the small business owner with limited time to research phone systems, this can be overwhelming and discouraging. Ooma Office has a respectable feature set and it only offers two streamlined plans. It is good for those who want an easy-to-understand pricing structure.
Ooma Office Small Business VoIP Service at a Glance
Ooma Office Strengths
Ooma Office Weaknesses
Simple pricing structure
Desktop app requires Pro package
Auto-attendant available with each package
Lacks video chat
Ooma Office Pricing
- Ooma Office: $19.95 per user, per month for unlimited domestic calling, mobile apps automated attendant, and text messaging
- Ooma Office Pro: $24.95 per user, per month for desktop app, call recording, and voicemail transcription capabilities
Ooma Office Standout Features
- Auto-attendant: Ooma office comes standard with an automated attendant. The module works in a similar fashion to its competitors.
- Call recording: Ooma Office Pro allows you to record and store your important calls for future reference.
- Desktop app: The Pro version of the system offers calling from a desktop computer. This makes it even with other solutions we looked at.
Learn more: Ooma reviews page
There is no shortage of powerful, affordable VoIP services available on the market today. What’s more, today’s leading systems go beyond calling and offer a full-blown communications suite with their subscriptions. The fact that they can also be used on mobile phones and any desktop computer is turning them into essential tools for the remote workforce as well.