Updated October 2020
We wager you landed on this article for one of two reasons:
You currently use Vonage and think it’s time to look for a new communications provider,
You’ve researched Vonage but aren’t sure it’s the right choice for your business.
Whether it’s one of these cases or a mystery third, you’ve come to the right place. Vonage is a feature-rich option for your business phone needs, with both team collaboration tools and video conferencing offered, depending on the monthly price per user you choose.
But every small business is unique, with different needs when it comes to connecting with their customers. For example, Vonage might be the right choice for some, but if you’re on a tight budget, you might need to keep looking. At this time, Vonage is one of the pricier PBX options.
If Vonage isn’t the best fit for your business, that’s okay. There’s good news about the world of VoIP technology today: you have options!
Lots of options.
So many options, in fact, that it’s hard to know where even to start.
Before the cold sweat kicks in: we’ve got you covered. We rounded up and ranked six of the top alternatives to Vonage, with small businesses in mind. These products are affordable options (some more than others) that offer different levels of service and features, depending on your price point and goals.
How we ranked these 6 Vonage alternatives
These are the criteria we used for this comprehensive ranking of UCaaS (unified communications as a service, or as you probably know them, all-in-one communication platforms) products:
- Ease of use. Time is a valuable resource for small businesses, so we looked into customer reviews about each product’s ease of use and customer support.
- Quality of service. In a small business, outages can mean a loss of real customers. How reliable is the cloud phone connection?
- Affordability. Every dollar counts when you run a business. How much will this service impact your bottom line?
- Integrations. How well does the platform sync with your current applications, like your CRM or email client? The less toggling you have to do, the better.
- Customer support. How easy is it to reach them, and how helpful are they in a crisis?
- Overall value. Affordability is important, and what you get for that price determines a product’s true value. A la carte apps might look cheapest on the surface, but add-ons can really add up.
Based on these criteria, here’s our ranking of Vonage alternatives—and what they’re best for:
- RingCentral: Best overall quality and features
- 8×8: An affordable (initially, at least) option
- Fuze: Better for on-site teams
- Dialpad: An easy-to-use option
- Star2Star: An option for teams concerned about disaster recovery
- 3CX: Super cheap
The top 6 alternatives to Vonage, ranked for small businesses
TechRadar named RingCentral the #1 VoIP service provider of 20201, and small businesses will love the reasons why.
RingCentral earned top marks for best overall quality of calls, ease of use, and our range of pricings to satisfy any budget. As a small business owner, you’ve probably learned that real value beats the cheapest price every time. RingCentral is both affordable and offers a high-quality VoIP phone system for businesses of all sizes, with toll-free minutes included at every pricing tier. Plus, the app has a clean, beautiful interface:
RingCentral is so much more than a cloud phone though. This modern system comes with over 50 robust features that let you turn any mobile device into a powerful business tool, including:
- 99.999% uptime SLA
- Full cloud PBX service in 40+ countries
- Easy-to-use desktop and mobile app
- Business numbers for desk and mobile devices: over 200 area codes available
- HD quality for voice and video
- Unlimited audio conferencing
- Up to 200 video conference participants
- Voicemail transcription for easy reading
- Business SMS and online fax
- Team messaging and collaboration: group chat, file sharing, tasks
- First-rate security across all devices
- 24/7 live support: phone, chat, email
- Deep real-time metrics for monitoring quality of service and productivity
RingCentral has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service for multiple years in a row. Learn more
The RingCentral app
The RingCentral app is designed to be easy to learn and use, and offers a place for your whole team to track projects, share files, and keep in touch via instant message, phone calls, and video meetings. Here are just a few of the features in action:
Switch to an audio or video meeting right from the RingCentral team chat
Assign tasks with deadlines and even color-coding:
Drag and drop files:
You’ll get all of these fun-to-use features—plus quality and security—for an affordable price.
RingCentral app integrations
All of these features add up to time saved on manual tasks and toggling between different apps and tools—which means more time spent on actual work that helps grow your business.
RingCentral customer engagement
And speaking of growing your business: RingCentral also offers an omnichannel contact center that can take your customer service game to the next level:
This additional service helps you handle and track all your customer interactions—phone calls, emails, text messages, even social media comments—all from one easy-to-use platform that’s built for customer service teamwork.
RingCentral customer reviews
It’s one thing to brag about our own VoIP service, but how do any of these features work in the real world? Here’s what customers are saying about RingCentral:
“I am totally satisfied with all aspects of RingCentral! – Fairly priced – 99.999% uptime – Excellent tech support. I can offer no higher recommendation. Thank you!” – William Kisse, RingCentral user
“Within the first week, we deployed to hundreds of employees. A few weeks later, thousands. The app works great for users, managers and admins. User adoption rate is impressive. I can’t say enough to promote RingCentral support and professional services. Thank you for bringing so much to a modern, easy to use interface.” – Justin Davidson, RingCentral user
“The system was built so that minor problems can be handled by the end-user, on average. When help is needed it’s available immediately by chat. Most everything is resolved on the first attempt. If not, RingCentral escalated immediately. Having the ability to expand our system and network at the touch of a keyboard is invaluable. Additionally, integrating with Salesforce was a snap. We couldn’t be happier with the choice we’ve made in this technology for our business.” – Ron Joyal, RingCentral user
“I was stressed about changing business phone plans, especially during these challenging times. The staff at RingCentral were absolutely awesome to work with. The implementation team went above and beyond to make sure everything was set up and configured properly as well as making sure that I understood the setting in the Admin console. The mobile app and softphone app work very well. I’ve tried and tested several different plans without too much success. I would highly recommend RingCentral.” – Thomas Cote, RingCentral user
If you’re interested, we’ve compiled all of our online reviews in one place for easy reading. Check out more RingCentral customer reviews.
🤯 On top of all this, RingCentral could save you up to $400 an hour in IT costs.
Explore the RingCentral Advantage for small businesses:
💰 You can also use this calculator to see roughly how much your business could save by using RingCentral to support your team’s communication with each other—and clients.
8×8 is another solid choice for small businesses in need of VoIP services, especially if you need a product that’s less expensive than Vonage. Upfront, they’re also cheaper than RingCentral; they offer competitive quotes, shorter contracts, and deep discounts for similar features.
Buyer beware: 8×8’s attractive prices can be a real study in “you get what you pay for.”
We recently did a deep dive on 8×8, and here’s what we found. Compared with RingCentral, 8×8 falls short on live phone support availability (only certain products qualify) and number of app integrations (a couple dozen versus 200+). They still deliver good service and a user-friendly interface, and they rank well overall as a VoIP service provider.
8×8 might be the right choice if you need to get a basic VoIP service off the ground for your business at the lowest price. Just expect to pay more for additional features over time.
Fuze is a solid unified communications platform. Just like RingCentral, they offer a 99.999% uptime and one central app for all of their capabilities, which makes your life easier:
There’s a reason RingCentral is so far out in front of Fuze. If your business has distributed teams—either in different office spaces, on the road, or working from home—Fuze might not be the right platform for you.
According to recent customer reviews of Fuze, their main pitfalls are call quality, service reliability, and tech support. People have complained about the app itself freezing or seizing up and taking a long time to get started. They’ve also struggled with the mobile messaging feature crashing and slow or unavailable phone service.
As a small business, these are areas that could really cost your business valuable time and customers. And if your team works from home or on the road, issues with the app could slow down collaboration. Be sure to ask about quality of service and if these kinks have been fixed before buying.
(RingCentral, on the other hand, won PCMag’s Editors’ Choice Award because of its reliable service and easy-to-use app. Just sayin’.)
Dialpad offers some quality, low-cost options for small businesses. Customers appreciate the easy installation and ease of use, and Dialpad integrates with a few of the big-name apps: Salesforce, Zendesk, Microsoft 365, and a handful of others. Their paid plans include some of the features RingCentral offers: cloud phone, video, and text messaging capabilities, as well as internal group chat in one app.
But just like the other more cost-conscious options on this list, you might notice the difference in quality. While RingCentral guarantees just about the highest level of phone service in the industry, Dialpad customers have complained about spotty calls over Wi-Fi at times.3
Also, their video conferencing software is in flux; they recently acquired Highfive for this functionality within the app after outgrowing UberConference.4 This could mean the video portion of Dialpad improves and becomes more powerful. But there could also be some growing pains that customers feel while the companies merge, especially when it comes to tech support for the new service. Only time will tell.
Star2Star is another contender for small business VoIP, offering a 99.999% uptime SLA just like RingCentral. Customers seem happy with the ease of use and price, and Star2Star touts being affordable. However, they don’t list their plan prices on the website.
Star2Star has also come out strong on their disaster recovery capabilities: the ability to keep your business up and running no matter what happens, thanks to the cloud and constant monitoring of service:
Star2Star includes the ability for external collaboration through their messaging feature, but it’s limited to, at most, 20 outside contributors at their highest price point. This might not be the best product for your business if you’re any kind of consulting or creative team that collaborates heavily with your clients, sending drafts or other items back and forth for multiple projects at once via the messaging function.
It’s also unclear what the video conferencing capacities are at each pricing tier, so be sure to ask about this if face-to-face remote meetings are important to your business.
Learn more about video conferencing security with this free one-pager.
The thing that 3CX has going for it is probably price, so if that’s the biggest thing you’re concerned with, you can check out this option. We aren’t exaggerating; their most expensive plan at the time of this blog was under $2 per user per month. Of course, for this price, you get only basic communication tools like voicemails and faxes sent to email and team chat with status updates:
You can probably guess that with 3CX, you get what you pay for. The team collaboration features are extremely limited: no file sharing, storage, or annotation available. Also, customers complain about the poor quality of calls and the app shutting down without notice.5
This might be good in a pinch if you need something fast and cheap, but we would encourage you to keep your eyes out for a more sustainable option, so you don’t have to look for a new communication tool in the near future.
And the best alternative to Vonage is…
RingCentral is the clear industry leader and offers some serious bang for your buck, thanks to hundreds of integrations, team collaboration tools, and high-quality phone and video service. But we know every small business is different, and that’s why we pulled together this diverse set of tools for you to investigate as you weigh your options and priorities.
It’s always a good idea to take these products for a test drive with your team, so you can choose with confidence the option that makes their lives easier and increases productivity. Our biggest advice: take advantage of free trials or demos from the tools on this list, or others that you’re researching, before you buy.
Originally published Oct 19, 2020, updated Mar 03, 2021