There are very few people who use traditional copper wire phone for business today. Even lots of homeowners have switched to VoIP for their residential use. They are leveraging the power of the internet to send and receive data at high speed. No doubt landlines were replaced by smartphones but since they are battery hungry, they are not a perfect solution to make calls for business, not all the time. The VoIP arena has brought us a variety of options. Who can say no to reduced call prices, support services like e911 and high-end features such as call forwarding, call hold, and voicemail?
You will often find VoIP service providers offering Residential VoIP and Business VoIP plans separately. The Residential VoIP service is for homeowners and small offices who just don't want to pay higher landline bills. Business VoIP service is meant for enterprises that have international clients spread all over the world. Apart from standard VoIP features, the business VoIP offers advanced features like voicemail, video conferencing, and third-party integration options.
VoIP makes and receives calls the same way for business and residential services but there are a number of differences between the two. One of the prominent differences is that business VOIP is expensive than residential VOIP. However, it is flexible and mobile. To learn more about the two, have a look at the differences:
Residential VoIP services are straightforward and they come with limited features like call waiting, call blocking, voicemail, do not disturb, etc. Business VOIP, on the other hand, comes with features catered towards improving the efficiency and productivity of a business. It offers features like call forwarding, conference bridge, conference calling, mobility features like call routing, find me, mobile apps, etc.
Residential VoIP is quite basic. It comes with standard calling and all the basic features. There isn't much room for customization. In business VoIP, there is room for customization. You can add new features, more numbers, extensions and even make changes in the admin portal. The mobility features of the VoIP help employees stay connected to each other no matter where they are.
With residential VoIP, you get the option of keeping your existing number or you can choose a new number. Business VoIP allows this along with providing you virtual extensions and toll-free numbers. The virtual extensions let your remote employees become a part of the same phone system.
Now that we know there are plenty of VoIP providers out there and if you have limited information about their service plans, features, and pricing, you might end up choosing the wrong one. We have tried to make the decision easier by bringing you the list of top 10 VoIP providers. Let's begin reviewing each of them one by one:
AXvoice is the top VoIP provider on our list. It has been designed for those who like to make calls without worrying about their phone bills. AXvoice residential and business VoIP plans offer high-quality voice calling. It is not just our top choice because it is offering the lowest domestic and international calling plans for residential and business customers. It's our top choice due to its extensive features and customer support. You can manage your online account from anywhere. They have a plug and play service so your phone system will be up and running as soon as you buy and set it up.
Their residential plan starts from $8.25 per month and you can make unlimited local and long distance calls. The price of their business plan starts at $14.99 per month. You are given 200 outgoing minutes across the US & Canada, and the activation and setup are free for both plans. AXvoice also offers a hosted PBX system designed for small businesses who have a minimal calling needs. There is a separate package for that and it includes 200 outgoing minutes to anywhere in the U.S. or Canada along with a virtual PBX. Their customer support is very responsive. Although they don't have live chat support yet, they are good at communicating via email. AXvoice is certainly a great value for money and it has very limited customer complaints.
Call waiting, do not disturb, blacklist, distinctive ring, call filter, simultaneous ring, Caller ID, anonymous call rejection.
Find me follow me, failover, call forwarding
Call logs, free in-network calling, BYOD support, enhanced voicemail, and Softphone support
OnSIP specializes in hosted VoIP solutions. The phone solution they are offering include advanced features and the BYOD option. You can scale your phone system as your business expands. It is offering 50+ phone system features, flexible payment options, and a great integration.
OnSIP has 3 service plans: Pay As You Go, Per Seat Metered, and Per Seat Unlimited. If you are a startup and you don't think you will need to make a lot of calls, then you can choose the Pay as You Go Plan. Even if you are not sure about OnSIP, you can take a test drive with the 30-day free trial offer.
Apart from having standard VoIP features, it also comes with advanced collaboration options like third-party softphone integration, voicemail to email, web-hosted PBX, etc.
Everything about OnSIP sounds great, right? The only problem is it's too complicated to use. Some of the features offered may be additional for your business. If you want to add advanced features to your plan, then that will cost you extra money. There aren't many tutorials on the website regarding managing the dashboard and using its features optimally.
RingCentral is one of the leading providers of Business VoIP solutions. It doesn't just come with a robust set of features, but pricing plans that are affordable. Its lowest plan starts from $19.99 per month. It also offers the foundation for hosted PBX system with a variety of advanced features. Hence why its price is higher than most of the VoIP providers on our list. They have a quick start 7 steps to configure guide on their website that consists of handy instructional videos and features to configure the system and use it to its full potential. All its plans include unlimited phone calls and unlimited business SMSs. You can switch to the premium plan if you want critical features like inbound caller ID, SSO, call recording, etc. and 2500 toll-free minutes. You can also integrate RingCentral to its existing PBX system or local phone by using its ATA.
RingCentral has comprehensive guides on its website but its customer support is not satisfactory. They offer live chat support too but whenever you come with an issue, the representatives do not know how to help you. It seems as if they are not trained for their job.
International numbers, local numbers and toll-free numbers available.
Auto-receptionist, call reports, call monitoring, single sign-on, extensions, music on hold.
Answering rules, call flip, call park, intercom, paging, call logs, shared lines, call screening, call forwarding, call recording.
Voicemail, voicemail to email, visual voicemail, and greetings.
Phone.com is a competitively priced VoIP for businesses and it comes with 40 features. Since it is a cloud-based system, it does not require hardware or maintenance. It is pretty simple to set up. The company provides free adapters as you sign up. You can use your own Phone or lease one of their IP phones.
Phone.com has 3 service plans: Base, Plus, and Pro and each one comes with unlimited and pay-per-minute options. Only the base plan users are eligible for its 30-day money back guarantee. If you want to include more features, you will have to incur additional charges. For instance, toll-free phones cost $4.99 per month each, and call recording costs $4.95 per month for 300 minutes. So, if you are a business with advanced VoIP needs, get ready to spend money extra money on the features.
Phone.com has a mobile app for Android and iOS devices. There is no need for a third-party app to use the service on your phone. The features of Phone.com are great but it's costly. Also, its customer support is not up to the mark. Very limited resource in the form of guides or tutorials is available on their website.
It's a residential VoIP that starts at $8.97 per month for its value plan. You get to keep your existing number, get unlimited incoming minutes and 500 outbound minutes per month in North America. Some of its core features across plans include call forwarding, blacklisting, caller ID, on hold music, call and spam filtering, etc. Its unlimited plan for the USA and Canada costs $17.97 per month with unlimited outbound calls to North America. If you want a plan with unlimited calling, then the World Unlimited plan is meant for you. Just like its residential plan, the business plan has 3 packages too. The lowest one is the Metered Plan that costs $14.97 per month per extension.
1-VoIP has a pretty simple interface and you will get a hang of it very easily. They have 24/7 phone support for the US customers. No doubt, it is a reliable and easy VoIP service. Although it is not a cloud-based service, it fits the household and small business needs very well. It gives you almost everything you need. If you are unhappy with the services, you can cancel the subscription anytime without incurring any cancellation fee.
Vonage is the VoIP service that is offering a variety of pre-designed plans to meet the international calling needs of small businesses. It has a popular name in both residential and international phone calling. Vonage has a variety of international calling plans equipped with some of its top features. It is a good fit for a business that has clients in Mexico since they offer calling plans for Mexico too.
The Vonage World and Vonage World Plus Plan let you make unlimited calls to 60 countries without worrying about incurring international calling rates. The World Plus Plan is an upgrade to the World Plan.
Setting up the adapter is pretty easy. The international call quality for Vonage is very low. You will have troubles with call clarity and frequency which is why it's not admired by most small business owners. On the whole, Vonage supports advanced business features and it also has a mobile app. It's offering both email and phone support. Their blog and FAQ page are not that comprehensive. You might have a hard time finding answers to your queries.
VoIPo is yet another recognized company in the VoIP industry. It specializes in providing international call services and residential plans for small business owners. Although it is offering a nice bundle of features, it does not offer an unlimited world plan. You will only get 60 minutes of international calling. And if your calls exceed this limit, then the international calling rates will occur.
When you subscribe to their services, you get a phone adapter for free and it readily works with regular phones. You don't need an additional software or computer to use the services. VoIPo provides 30-day money back guarantee. The residential VoIP package lets you make unlimited calls to the USA and you get 60 minutes free international calls per month. You will get a VoIP adapter and a free rollover line too.
VoIPo has a vPanel from where you can view all the calls and manage your account information. Their call quality is commendable. Their customer support is responsive too.
eVoice is the virtual phone system that is ideal for small businesses and entrepreneurs who have a remote workplace. They offer 3 basic plans that are more or less similar except for the minutes and extensions. This business phone service is managed on the cloud and it comes with valuable features that allow you to make your business represent in a professional way.
A good thing is there are no contracts, you are billed on a monthly basis. Once your allotted minutes are consumed, you will be charged 3.9 cents per additional minute. You can either get a new number or port your current number into the system. EVoice also has its own mobile app for iOS and Android. It also has a conference calling service. They are offering live receptionist services too but for that you will have to pay an additional cost.
With the mobile app, you will have the liberty to manage calls and voice messages from your phone no matter where you are located. eVoice's customer support is based in California and Indiana and they are available 24/7. They are offering a 30-day free trial for anyone who is interested in testing their service.
The only downside about eVoice is its minute limitation. Each plan has a set number of minutes which can be a problem for most businesses. You will definitely have to incur an extra cost if the limit exceeds and that will eventually increase your expenses.
Lingo is another well-known residential and small business VoIP provider. It comes with a number of features like free calling to other Lingo users. You can also keep your existing number. You can call up to 50 countries. No matter what package you choose, you get free equipment and free activation.
As compared to the top rated VoIPs like, Vonage, Lingo's rates are great. Their home plan starts from $19.95 per month, which is $5 less than that of Vonage. You will get 20+ features such as caller ID, simultaneous ring, call waiting, E911, speed dialing, etc. If you want additional features like a toll-free number, a softphone or a fax line, you will have to pay extra. Lingo's call quality is fine. Most users have rated it to be average. It is more of a reliable solution for local calling. Some users haven't been happy with its customer support either which is why it is #9 on our list.
Google Voice lets you have a VoIP phone without an active cellular provider. There was a time when outgoing VoIP was not really an option. People used Google Hangouts for audio chats by using Wi-Fi. Google now offers VoIP calling with Google Voice. To sign up for this program, you just have to download Google Voice on your phone and link the service to your phone to start making and receiving calls with the Google Voice service. You can also forward incoming Google voice calls to your main phone number. If you already have Google Voice installed on your phone, you must update it to make outgoing calls. It's available on Android, iOS, and Desktop.
Google Voice VoIP service is great and inexpensive but the problem is, it works via Wi-Fi. Also, its VoIP services are only available in the United States. We only recommend using Google Voice if you have a tight budget and you need a service to make calls without having to pay for the cellular plan. It lacks even the basic VoIP features so you can't count on this service in the long-run.
Choosing the best VoIP provider depends on a number of factors. It can be complicated because what's right for one user may not necessarily be right for another. To help pick a VoIP provider that's the best for you, here is a checklist and some factors that you must consider:
Cost is a contributing factor when it comes to looking for a suitable provider. It is important to carefully look at what features are included in the price that you are supposed to pay. Some providers charge extra fees for functions that other providers have included in their standard package. You must first analyze your own business or residential needs as a minimum to operate effectively. Never pay for the features you don't need.
Although it is an obvious thing to consider, you still have to be sure the provider you choose delivers high-quality calls. Nothing is worse than poor phone signals when you are on an important international call. This can leave a bad impression of a client.
You don't really have to worry about maintenance much when it comes to VoIP but you still have to be sure the provider's representatives are available around the clock to provide you high-level of support whenever it's needed. If everything else is great but customer service is not, then we recommend you switch to another provider.
Depending on your business needs, you may want to integrate your VoIP with the existing system. If this is something you require, then you must be sure the product you are buying offers this function. If you overlook this step that means you will have to spend a considerable amount of time for creating databases from scratch.
So these are the absolute basics you must consider when looking for a reliable VoIP provider.
AXvoice is the most affordable VoIP of them all and it's the VoIP we recommend. Its residential plan costs $8.25 per month and business plan costs $14.99 a month. 1-VoIP has a range of plans in its residential and business package but it does not support advanced features that a business might need. OnSIP has affordable plans too and it's a highly scalable service but you have to pay extra for using advanced features. That makes the price of the overall plan expensive for a business that has just started its services. Plus, its integration and configuration features are too much to handle for a small-scale business. It's only recommended if you are running a large enterprise. RingCentral is another great business VoIP but a lot of customers say they had to switch to another provider because even its basic plan is expensive.
Phone.com is a pretty competitive option. It is offering 40+ features at the starting price of $22.9 month which is not a bad offer after all. But you will realize as your business needs increase and you need advanced features, upscaling will cost you extra money. You even have to pay for the local number which isn't really fair.
Vonage sounds to be quite a reasonable choice since you have to pay $14.99 per month. It also supports unlimited calls to the USA & Puerto Rico but the big turn off is its low-quality call service. There are also lots of complaints about customer service. VoIPo, eVoice, Lingo and Google Voice offer entry-level features and service quality is not up to the standards. AXvoice is packed with basic to advanced features and its call quality is reliable. The customer support is pretty amazing, too. It may not have the best features of them all, but its price and service quality outweighs everything. You can even check individual customer reviews to find out more about the quality of their service. They don't have a free trial version but they do offer money back guarantee in case a use not satisfied.
Now the decision is yours. Choose the VoIP provider that best meets your needs and fits your budget.