This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
A softphone app lets you use your cell phone, tablet, or computer to make and receive business calls. The best softphone apps integrate with your other business software, include toll-free minutes and international calling, and have flexible plans or pricing options so you can get the most value for your money. We compared several options and identified the five best softphone apps based on features like these as well as affordability and overall ease of use:
- Nextiva: Overall best softphone app and best for integrating phone system, project, and customer management tools
- GoTo Connect: Top softphone app for organizations with a global customer base
- Phone.com: Most affordable softphone app by mixing metered and unlimited plans
- Grasshopper: Best simple softphone app for small teams able to share phone lines
- Counterpath Bria: Best softphone app that works with existing business phone systems
Monthly Starting Price*
$25.95 per user
7-day free trial
4.39 out of 5
$24 per user
14-day free trial
4.34 out of 5
$12.99 per user
30-day money-back guarantee
4.33 out of 5
$31 flat rate
7-day free trial
4.30 out of 5
21-day free trial
3.36 out of 5
*Some providers offer discounts for annual prepayment or higher numbers of users (volume), or both.
Nextiva: Best Overall Softphone App
*Nextiva pricing is based on two to two to 99 users with monthly billing. Pay annually to save much more.
Nextiva is one of the best business phone systems thanks to its options for professionally recorded greetings, call flip, and numerous integrations. Nextiva also stands out because of its superb support—even with the base plan, phone, email and chat support is available. Other providers, like GoTo Connect, only provide this extensive level of support at higher plan tiers.
Unlike Grasshopper, which can only forward calls to devices with an existing phone number, Nextiva completely replaces your current phone system. Plus, all plans include at least 1,500 toll-free minutes. In comparison, GoTo Connect also provides toll-free minutes, but you’re limited to 5,000 on its highest plan tier versus 12,500 with Nextiva.
Explore more user ratings and features in our Nextiva review.
- Integrations: Integrated phone systems streamline your group’s workflows by reducing app switching and syncing data. Out-of-the-box integrations mean you can connect your customer relationship management (CRM) or project management tools with just a few clicks. APIs let your developer team add voice, video, or instant messaging to your most-used devices. Nextiva has integration options in categories such as CRM, help desk, productivity, and enterprise resource planning (ERP).
- Unified communications: Nextiva puts several voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) communications channels on one platform, including one-to-one and group messaging, video, voice, unlimited electronic faxing, and texting. Combine this with two-sync for your CRM to easily track conversations across many channels.
- Softphone apps: Nextiva apps allow your employees to use their favorite (and most convenient) devices to join video meetings, collaborate with their co-workers, and answer incoming calls. Nextiva’s softphone app consistently is recognized for its ease of use.
GoTo Connect: Best Softphone App for Unlimited International Calling
*GoTo Connect pricing is based on two to 10 users with monthly billing. Prepay annually to save up to 12%.
Per-minute international calling rates add up quickly if your customers live outside of the U.S. However, GoTo Connect solves this problem by providing unlimited international calling to 52 countries on two out of three plans. Plus, you don’t need to put down a deposit as Grasshopper and Phone.com require.
GoTo Connect subscriptions include advanced features that other softphone apps charge more for. GoTo Connect Premium costs $39 per user, per month for two to 10 people with monthly billing. It has live metrics, call whisper and barge, and short message service (SMS) queues. A comparable plan from Nextiva is $40.95.
GoTo Connect Features
- International calling: Unmetered international calling means you don’t have to worry about unpredictable per-minute charges on your bill. Softphone apps with unlimited international calling are rare. 8×8 and GoTo Connect are the only providers with this service. But, only GoTo Connect supports unmetered calls to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Croatia, Estonia, and French Guiana.
- Contact center tools: GoTo Connect Premium delivers insights about your call center while empowering supervisors to make decisions based on real-time data. Customizable dashboards keep important metrics on the screen, and managers can listen to calls, coach agents, and join a call.
- Video meetings: Although GoTo Connect supports fewer participants than 8×8’s 500, it has a higher capacity than Nextiva or Phone.com. Cloud recordings are stored for one year, and mobile users can join a meeting and share their screen.
Phone.com: Best Softphone App for Metered & Unlimited Calling Plans
*Phone.com pricing is based on one to four users and monthly billing. Save 20% with annual prepayment.
All Phone.com packages include an automated attendant, video conferencing, and inbound faxing. It’s one of our picks for the best small business VoIP services, as are GoTo Connect and Nextiva, but only Phone.com offers metered plans. Plus, you can mix and match calling packages to meet different needs. As such, Phone.com provides the most affordable subscriptions on our list.
Unlimited packages support sales, marketing, and customer service teams that need to connect via video, phone, or text without time limits. For part-time staff, contractors, and remote employees who may make an occasional call or use different software, the budget-friendly metered plan is a good fit.
Phone.com also doesn’t restrict the number of users on base plans, meaning you could add 25 metered users for $179.75 per month with annual billing. In contrast, some providers, like GoTo Connect, cap their lowest-priced subscriptions to 20 users.
- Small team scalability: Get the most value out of your phone system by selecting plans based on employee usage.
- International calling: Phone.com charges U.S. local rates to landline numbers in Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. In comparison, GoTo Connect offers it in 52 countries. However, you’ll pay more than $29 for service with GoTo Connect versus $12.99 to $19.99 with Phone.com.
- Mobile apps: Turn any smartphone into a business phone with Phone.com’s iOS and Android apps. Users can view their business calls, texts, and voicemails (and respond to customers) without carrying a second cell phone.
Grasshopper: Best Softphone App for Sharing Phone Lines
*Grasshopper pricing is based on monthly payments. Select annual billing to save more than 10%.
Grasshopper is the best virtual phone number provider because it’s easy on your budget and supports toll-free, vanity, and local phone numbers. It’s the only softphone app on our list that doesn’t charge per-user fees. Instead, the Partner and Small Business subscriptions bundle multiple lines and extensions into one flat rate.
Other applications, including Nextiva, are more complicated to set up than Grasshopper due to their advanced feature sets. Grasshopper keeps it simple with basic VoIP calling, texting, and incoming fax capabilities. And you can reach out to U.S.-based customer support teams 24/7 on your preferred channel, an option that’s more limited with other providers.
- Unlimited extensions: While other softphone apps include unlimited extensions, you’re still paying a per-user fee. Grasshopper’s pricing model is different―with the Small Business plan, you can assign your small sales team one phone number and give each employee their own extension. Use your other four phone numbers to direct calls to different departments or allow your sales reps to have extensions on other lines.
- Customer service: Your small team may not include technical support employees, making your softphone app’s customer service essential. Grasshopper lets your team request assistance using their preferred channel. The U.S.-based contact center provides customer service through phone, live chat, email, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Desktop and mobile apps: Turn your personal device into a business tool with Grasshopper’s softphone apps. It shows you which line or extension your customers call, provides transcribed voicemails, and lets you adjust your user settings. You can even sign and email faxes and portable document formats (PDFs).
Counterpath Bria: Best Softphone App for Use With Existing VoIP Phone Systems
*Counterpath Bria pricing is based on annual billing.
Counterpath Bria is the only softphone app that works with an existing phone system, making it the best fit for organizations with multiple locations and phone services. Instead of downloading up to five different apps on your devices, Counterpath Bria consolidates all communications into a single application. It supports most major VoIP systems and popular features, such as call recording, video conferencing, and team messaging.
Like Nextiva, you can use Counterpath Bria APIs to set up custom integrations with your technical support, help desk, or project management tools. In addition, the persistent chat rooms promote spontaneous interactions among remote employees, and users can seamlessly move from a chat to a video call.
Counterpath Bria Features
- Call management: Use the Counterpath Bria softphone apps to transfer calls, place callers on hold, or record conversations. Integrated contact lists and presence data show you who’s available to take the call.
- Multi-account Functionality: Respond to customers from multiple business locations without confusing them with unknown phone numbers. Simply toggle between business phone systems right from the Counterpath Bria app.
- Remote teamwork: The team messaging and collaboration features let employees drag and drop files and share screens. Users can switch devices without restarting conversations and jump into a video or audio call with a single click.
How We Evaluated the Best Softphone Apps
The best softphone apps turn your smartphone or computer into a tool for business communication and collaboration. However, softphone apps vary widely in price, function, and overall usability. We assessed the best softphone apps based on pricing and feature sets while reviewing standout features, popularity, and ease of use.
Learn how we evaluated the best softphone apps for small businesses by clicking on the tabs below:
15% of Overall Score
Softphone apps work for a range of budgets and may offer volume-based or annual discounts. We reviewed subscription plan pricing and rated apps with free plans higher than those without.
25% of Overall Score
All softphone apps on our list provide call management features. But, we also gave points to services with short message service (SMS) texting, visual voicemail, video conferencing, and voicemail transcription. We also verified the number options, including toll-free digits.
40% of Overall Score
Only softphone apps with iOS and Android applications made our list. But we scored services with call reports and automated attendants higher. We also ranked them according to the costs for international calling and faxing.
20% of Overall Score
We based our expert score on personal experience and user ratings while paying attention to standout features and ease of use. Lastly, we scored the softphone apps according to the overall value for the money and popularity.
Softphone apps enable your team to work from anywhere using smartphones, tablets, laptops, or computers. The services come at different price points, and some, like Nextiva, can replace your current phone system, whereas others, like Counterpath Bria, work with your existing VoIP phone service.
Nextiva earns 4.39 out of 5, making it the best overall softphone app. It integrates with multiple third-party platforms and includes toll-free numbers, even at the base level. The mobile and desktop apps receive high user ratings and unify conversations from different channels onto one platform and device. Try it out by signing up for a seven-day free trial.