Are you wondering who wins in a head-to-head of Vonage vs RingCentral? Then this is the blog for you. We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing the right cloud communications platform for your business with an in-depth comparison of these two top business phone services.
When it comes to cloud communications, there are so many options for small businesses today. It’s never been easier to get your whole team set up to communicate and collaborate… but it’s also never been more challenging to choose the right platform:
- You need a service that’s easy for folks of all technical backgrounds to use.
- You need a service that fits seamlessly into your existing processes to assist, not disrupt, them.
- And as a small business, you need a service that gives you the most bang for your buck.
But how do you know what you’re really getting? How do you wade through all the product descriptions and customer reviews and sales pitches to find which cloud communications platform is best for you and your team?
Starting here is a great first step! We’ve done the legwork on two feature-rich, affordable UCaaS platforms.
Today we’ll compare Vonage and RingCentral using six criteria that are important to small businesses:
- Business phone quality and features
- Video meeting quality and features
- Team messaging quality and features
- Integrations with other apps
- Technical support
✅ Empower your business with messaging, video meetings, and calls from anywhere, on any device with RingCentral MVP™. Get the free RingCentral MVP datasheet.
Both Vonage and RingCentral are cloud-based phone systems equipped with businesses in mind. That means whether you’re at your desk or on the go, you have your business phone within reach.
A business phone can make a real difference when it comes to leveling up the professionalism of your brand. With both of these phone services, you’ll get standard features like:
- Business phone numbers in multiple countries
- Call managing and routing via interactive voice response (IVR) and automatic call distribution (ACD)
- Call forward and transfer
- Virtual receptionist
- Custom greetings
- Mobile app to answer calls on your device (and switch between devices)
- Local number porting
- Back-end analytics and controls for managers
- Usage reports
Both platforms also tout 99.999% uptime SLA.
While RingCentral and Vonage offer similar reliability and core telephony, there are some features that Vonage only offers “a la carte” that RingCentral includes in their base prices. These could include call recording, toll-free phone numbers, and voicemail-to-text. If there are certain features that are important to your business, be sure to ask for them by name to make sure they’re covered in your plan.
Also, while all RingCentral plans include HD audio, Vonage offers something called “HD Voice,” which seems to be an add-on that increases call quality for all their business plans. There are several levels of this feature available, but like the other a la carte offerings, the pricing isn’t called out on the website.
Both RingCentral and Vonage offer video conferencing capabilities within the same interface as their phone system and offer core video meeting features:
- Share your screen
- Start meetings with one click
- Join meetings via browser: no-download option for guests
- Text chat during video meetings
- Record meetings for later
Now that we know how these platforms are similar, let’s break down how they’re different when it comes to video conferencing.
RingCentral offers HD-quality conferencing in meetings, both audio and video. That means you’ll always look and sound your best during important conversations:
Currently, Vonage does not offer HD for their video meetings as a standard feature. And unlike their HD Voice feature, it doesn’t seem to be something you can upgrade to, at this time.
Video meeting capacity
While you might not need hundreds of seats in a video conference today, the sky’s the limit for your business. That’s why it’s important to think about scalability when choosing a communications platform. A service that grows with you means less hassle down the road.
As of the writing of this post, RingCentral offers up to 200 participants for video meetings at their higher pricing tier, while Vonage tops out at 100.
On-the-go meeting features
In the world of work from anywhere, it’s critical to give your team the tools to hop on a call in a variety of ways. While Vonage and RingCentral both allow you to join video meetings via their app or a desktop browser, RingCentral has an innovative edge when it comes to convenience.
One of the coolest features RingCentral offers is the ability to switch between devices during a video conference. Picture it: you join a team meeting on your laptop, but you need to get on the road for a sales call. Simply open the mobile app and switch with a click. Sync to your car’s Bluetooth like a regular phone call, and you’re in business without missing a beat:
Whether it’s for fun, professionalism, or privacy, virtual backgrounds have become a must-have for video conferencing. RingCentral’s virtual backgrounds feature offers a safe and delightful working environment with blurring, pre-selected background images, and even the ability to upload custom images as your background:
As of this writing, Vonage doesn’t offer virtual backgrounds as a standard feature with their video conferencing. But if you’re tech savvy, there might be third-party integrations that make this possible. If this is an important feature to you, RingCentral might be your best bet at this time.
🏎💨 Test-drive RingCentral with a live demo.
While we’ve all learned that video conferencing is crucial to business in a remote world, you’d be surprised just how helpful team messaging can be, too. A central hub for folks to check in on projects and share ideas could cut down on those mile-long email chains and keep everyone on the same page.
Having your team messaging on the same platform as your video and phone service means less toggling between apps, which can be a real time suck. RingCentral and Vonage are both solid choices when it comes to this kind of integrated messaging. Both platforms offer the ability to create unlimited chats between individuals or groups (both private and public) and file sharing. You can also hop on a quick video call with your teams or individuals with just one click.
RingCentral takes the cake when it comes to extra features in team messaging. Beyond the standard file-sharing feature offered by both platforms, RingCentral allows real-time collaboration via file annotation. You can also pin important shared files, links, and even comments for later so they’re easy to find. Plus, you can create events for different groups and assign tasks that team members can check off as they go:
RingCentral and Vonage both tout the ability to make their platforms your own. They accomplish this through an array of direct third-party app integrations as well as an open developers platform for creating custom solutions and APIs. These integrations can be used to streamline processes across message, video, and phone.
It’s a close one, but it comes down to the quantity of integration-friendly apps each service offers. As of this writing, RingCentral offers hundreds of integrations with other business apps, both out of the box and customizable.
Here’s how RingCentral integrates with Salesforce, one of the most popular CRMs:
Vonage still offers a large selection—over 20 and counting—but depending on your business needs, you might need RingCentral’s wider range of out-of-the-box integrations… especially if you don’t have a developer in-house to create the custom integrations on Vonage’s API platform.
RingCentral and Vonage are both friends to small businesses. They understand that when the budget is tight, you probably don’t have an in-house tech wiz to oversee software issues. Both platforms offer live and online technical support to their customers, but it’s the availability of real people that differs.
RingCentral really sings when it comes to helping small businesses adopt the app and get the most bang for their buck. They’ve even created a white-glove onboarding experience called the RingCentral Advantage especially for small businesses. You’ll get 24/7 live support, training with real humans, and access to loads of helpful online resources to make sure you’re using RingCentral to its full potential.
Plus, these services don’t go away after a certain number of months, so you can get expert advice anytime. Access to tech wizards like this is included in your monthly subscription, which could save you around $400 an hour in outside tech support costs.
While Vonage does offer their own form of “white glove setup,” it’s currently only available at the highest pricing tier.
We know price is a huge tipping point for businesses on a budget, and that tends to be the case for a lot of small businesses. Luckily, both RingCentral and Vonage can give your business the professional polish you need for a good price. Both platforms have different subscription levels so you can choose the one that’s the best fit for your budget.
Of the two, RingCentral is the only platform to offer a 100% free option: RingCentral Video Pro. While this doesn’t include a business phone service, it could be a nice stepping stone to full cloud adoption without costing anything. You’ll get high-def video meetings and team messaging, totally free of charge:
This incremental approach could work really well for you if your office needs to improve internal communication and take a little time to adapt to new technology. This isn’t a free trial, so there’s no rush.
On the surface, Vonage seems like a really affordable choice for a small business, and the basic package sure gets the job done. However, you might find yourself needing services that are only offered as “add-ons,” like toll-free phone numbers, call recording, and voicemail transcripts. Even getting high-def voice quality could cost you more. This kind of a la carte pricing could really add up and have you spending more than you originally budgeted.
Vonage vs RingCentral: Who’s really best for small businesses?
Because every business is unique, there’s no hard and fast rule about which unified communications platform will be best for all small businesses. Are we biased in thinking RingCentral is tops? Maybe a little. But as we said, there are several other powerful options available for you to try before you decide, and Vonage is one of them.
Whatever path you take, here’s our final piece of advice: take your time as you shop. Beyond reading exceptionally well-written blog posts like this one, be sure to ask lots of questions and take products for a demo or free trial if possible. Make sure you know what you and your team need most in a service, and go with the product that makes the most sense for you.
Originally published Mar 31, 2021, updated Dec 07, 2021