Choose the best softphone app for your business

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Softphone apps are a cost-effective, flexible, and accessible alternative to a traditional landline phone service. Whether you’re a business owner or communications manager, you should know how softphones work and the advantages they provide for modern businesses. 

With so many softphone service providers out there, choosing which one is right for your business can be challenging. In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about softphones and how to choose the right solution to suit your needs.

The softphone interface of the RingCentral mobile and desktop app

What is a softphone app?

A softphone is a software-based phone that allows users to make phone calls using a downloadable app or web browser on computers, tablets, or mobile devices with an internet connection. Softphone software apps don’t require physical hardware like traditional phones. All they need is an internet-connected device. 
Softphone software is usually included as a business communications feature as part of a VoIP phone system or unified communications platform. Softphones offer all the functionality of regular landline desk phones, along with a range of added capabilities (auto-attendant, voicemail, video conferencing, etc.) that are accessible via a user-friendly interface.
Here’s what the RingCentral softphone app looks like:

How do softphones work?

Softphone apps operate using VoIP telephony. To use a softphone, you’ll need:

  • A broadband or wireless internet connection to make outgoing calls and receive incoming calls. 
  • Internet-connected device (laptop, tablet, cell phone) with a speaker 
  • Conferencing headset or device with built-in speaker

A VoIP SIP softphone functions using SIP trunking (Session Initiation Protocol ), which converts analog voice signals into digital ones to initiate a real-time VoIP session. A business VoIP solution means you don’t need an on-premise PBX and can use a cloud-based virtual PBX that provides advanced features, mobility, and flexibility via your SIP phone for your business. 

To install a softphone app, all you need to do is download the software onto any chosen device, complete the setup, and start calling! 

Softphones feature all the same calling features as a regular business phone, like the ability to transfer calls, mute, and hold. The RingCentral softphone app is integrated with the wider business communications platform, so you can access voice and video calling, team-based instant messaging, and business app integrations with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, help desk software, calendars, and more.

Key features of softphone software

Enterprise softphone software provides a range of advanced features along with all the traditional calling functionality that you’re used to.

1. Audio and video calls

Unlimited calling with high-definition call quality means your team can chat in real-time internally and externally. Make and receive calls anytime, anywhere using the RingCentral softphone dialer desktop app or mobile app. During a video call, you can improve team collaboration and guide customers with screen sharing.

2. Advanced call management features

Provide better customer service with a range of advanced calling features that’ll upgrade your call center software and empower your sales teams. Softphone calling features include:

  • Call analytics: Business phones typically feature call analytics and tracking software for valuable insights into call center operations. 
  • Call forwarding: Set up rules for call forwarding to ensure calls make it to the right destination every time. 
  • Call recording: Record calls and download, store, or forward them to colleagues for training or review. 
  • Call transfer: Make call transfers to any extension or phone number.
  • Intuitive interface: Get a birds-eye-view of multiple calls and transfer, mute, or divert calls to voicemail with ease. 
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR): Improve customer satisfaction and contact center operations with an automated menu system that ensures callers are routed appropriately
  • Voicemail: Voicemail is a given feature of any standard business phone system. Softphones elevate standard voicemail capabilities by allowing users to convert voicemails into audio messages or transcriptions received via email or push notifications and even intercept them as callers are leaving them.

3. Contact management

With a softphone app like RingCentral, you can integrate your company address book to find customer contact details efficiently. Regardless of whether you’re a small business with just a few contacts or a large enterprise with thousands—this will save time spent manually searching for and dialing extensions.

4. Team messaging and business SMS

With RingCentral, you can instant message colleagues anywhere in the world and empower your teams to collaborate better with file sharing. Send and receive business SMS text messages without using your personal phone number. You can also set up your RingCentral app to send message alerts to your desktop or mobile device.

5. Web conferencing

Hold conference calls with up to 6 callers to get your team together for face-to-face meetings or client liaison. The RingCentral softphone app makes the conference calling experience even more convenient by enabling you to flip calls between desktop and mobile devices seamlessly—even if you’re mid-conversation!

6. Presence  

RingCentral’s business VoIP service informs you of the Presence Status of your team on the app for improved productivity and efficiency. Users can set their status manually to let colleagues know when they’re online, offline, away, on a phone call, or in a meeting.

More than a softphone software dialer, RingCentral app also includes messaging and video meetings as features

Benefits of a VoIP softphone application

1. Cost savings

One of the biggest benefits of softphones is that they’re much more cost-effective than an on-premise PBX. Opting for a business VoIP solution with a softphone app enables you to save in a few different ways:

  • Softphones are software-based, so they don’t require as much hardware equipment as traditional on-premise business phone systems. 
  • Calls are conducted over the internet, so you’ll save on costs associated with international calling. 
  • Most softphone apps provide access to video calling, web conferencing, team messaging, and more—so there’s no need to pay extra for different services. 
  • Updates are automatically carried out by the service provider, reducing maintenance and upgrade costs for businesses. 
  • Instead of paying a one-time fee, softphone pricing is typically billed monthly on a tiered scale, so you only pay for what you need.

2. Flexibility

Softphone apps provide businesses with the flexibility to make and receive calls from any internet-enabled device. As calls are made via the internet, a cloud-based phone system doesn’t tie you down to any particular location. With RingCentral, all of your business data is stored in a centralized and secure communications platform hosted in the cloud.

3. Mobility

Softphones are entirely portable. With RingCentral, your team can log on from their laptop in the office or from a mobile app on their cell phone and access all the features they need to work effectively. The RingCentral softphone app is ideal for remote teams or frequent travelers seeking a solution that provides complete mobility.

4. Efficiency

Softphones and the advanced features and functionalities they offer are highly efficient. The simple-to-use interface of the RingCentral app allows you to manage calls, send a text message, and switch between devices—all with the click of a button. Moreover, you can leverage a range of business collaboration features to enhance productivity, including:

  • Video calling and screen sharing
  • Team messaging
  • File sharing
  • Business app integrations
The RingCentral app is not only a softphone for calling but a team messaging app as well

Considerations when choosing the best softphone software application for your business

Most of us rely on free VoIP softphone apps to communicate with friends and family overseas because—let’s face it—international calling is expensive. When it comes to choosing a softphone for your business, you’ll require more robust functionality. Here are some things to consider:

1. Cost and Features

Softphones are generally a cost-effective alternative to traditional phones. However, costs can vary among providers. Consider whether the solution offers all the key features (call transfer, call forwarding, voicemail, etc.). 

Opting for a business communications platform like RingEX that covers the softphone basics and provides you with a range of additional functionalities will truly empower your teams to communicate effectively and efficiently.

2. Operating system compatibility and integrations

Ensure the softphone service is compatible with your operating system. Most softphone apps are compatible with desktop and mobile Microsoft, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android devices. With RingEX, users can access all their softphone needs along with additional features from virtually any device—anytime, anywhere. 

What’s more, RingCentral offers robust app integrations to boost your business. You can enjoy integrations with:

  • Your CRM software
  • Marketing software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Google Drive
  • File sharing apps
  • Productivity tools

3. Phone lines

Find out how many phones or users the softphone app can support and whether it’s easy and affordable to add or remove them as your business grows.

4. Customer support

Everyone needs help sometimes. Ensure the business VoIP provider you choose supplies robust technical support in case something goes wrong or you need a helping hand. RingCentral offers 24/7 customer support, as well as a resources library with user guides and white papers to streamline any issues you might have.

5. Security

Just like other software, softphones are susceptible to cyber-attacks. Ensure the solution you choose has powerful security measures in place to keep your employee and customer data protected. RingCentral protects you with seven layers of security and call encryption so you can rest assured your business data is in safe hands.

A team having a video meeting through the RingCentral App

RingEX—Enhance business communications with the world’s leading softphone app

RingEX is the virtual phone system every modern business needs. With integrated voice, video, message, and much more—RingCentral VoIP phone service, with its overall softphone functionalities, combines all the features of traditional phones with the flexibility and scalability of the cloud. 

The result? A robust business communications system that empowers employees, enhances communication, and boosts business operations.


A softphone is a software-based phone that enables users to make and receive phone calls between internet-connected devices.
Just configure your device to make the RingCentral softphone app your main device for placing and receiving VoIP calls. All you need to do is use the in-app dialpad or click the call icon next to one of your contacts.
For Windows 7 (or later):
  • 2 GHz (32-bit or 64-bit) processor
  • Minimum of 1 GB of RAM
  • 300 MB of hard drive space
For Mac OS X® 10.10 Yosemite (or later):
  • Intel® processor
  • Minimum of 1 GB of RAM
  • 300 MB of hard drive space
If you want to learn more, watch our demo or talk to our team today!