What Is the Best VoIP Phone Service?
First, what’s a VoIP phone service?
A VoIP (Voice over IP) phone service is a type of communications service that allows you to make and receive calls over the internet. Unlike traditional phone systems, it tends to be more flexible, scalable, and cost-effective.
There are tons of VoIP services out there. You could try a free or cheap VoIP service (and you should!)—just don’t expect it to have all the features you may want. On the other hand, you could go for a more expensive service, but make sure to choose something flexible that fits your unique needs.
Need a little help? Here are a few things to look for when you’re searching for the right internet calling tool for your business.
Hosting your business VoIP: What are your options?
Shopping for business VoIP can get confusing, with so many providers in the market. (It also doesn’t help that many tend to use a ton of jargon to explain their products.)
As if that’s not confusing enough, you still have to decide how to host your phone system before you even start looking for a service. You have three options:
How are they different from each other? Which one can get your company the fastest return on investment?
Let’s break them down.
On-premise VoIP is exactly what it sounds like: a VoIP phone system hosted in-house, or in your office.
In this setup, the private branch exchange (PBX, a physical or virtual switch mechanism that’s responsible for routing calls) and IP phones are connected to your office LAN (local area network) and can only be used on-site. You own and manage the entire infrastructure in this scenario. Yes, it’s a lot of responsibility.
Who is this for?: Large, highly established enterprises that can afford to build their own VoIP phone system and hire a team with specialized skills to manage it are more likely to choose on-premise VoIP.
Get all the features and capabilities of on-premise VoIP without having to worry about the upkeep—that’s the biggest draw of a hosted VoIP service.
In this setup, the PBX and servers are in the cloud and managed remotely by a third-party provider. You typically only need to purchase VoIP devices like IP phones, routers, and network switches (physical devices that connect computers within a network).
Hosted VoIP is so popular now that many people automatically think of it when they think of business VoIP.
Who is this for?: The flexibility, scalability, and convenience offered by hosted VoIP make it a great choice for businesses of all sizes
Are you ready to migrate to VoIP—but not willing to give up your existing phone system just yet? That’s understandable. After all, the PBX, wiring, and handsets didn’t come cheap.
Luckily for you, there’s hybrid VoIP. For this setup, you’ll need a VoIP gateway, which is a physical device that connects your traditional phone lines and handsets to your VoIP phone system.
And that’s not the only way you can use hybrid VoIP. You can also try hosting some components in-house (like the PBX) and outsourcing VoIP services (like video conferencing, voicemail, etc.) from a third-party provider.
Who is this for?: Hybrid VoIP generally appeals to companies with an existing PBX system and are looking to slowly transition to VoIP. They typically use it as a stepping stone towards getting hosted solutions.
What makes a good business VoIP phone service?
Trick question! A good VoIP phone service is one that makes the most sense for your business.
Is it able to address your needs? Are the rates reasonable for your budget? There are lots of things you need to take into account. Here are some factors you might want to consider when looking for a VoIP phone solution or service provider.
- Advanced features - What features do you need? Look at useful features like call transfer, smart routing, conference calling, online fax, and virtual extensions.
- Reliability - Service timeouts can really put a dent on productivity. There are companies (like RingCentral) that guarantee nearly 100% uptime—this means their service is down for only a few minutes tops each year.
- Excellent customer support - Issues can come up at any time of the day or night. If you want that peace of mind, make sure your provider has a team of specialists that can deliver support 24/7.
- Affordability - A service may be able to address all your business needs. But do you have enough budget for it? Make sure the costs and your resources line up.
The options can be overwhelming when you’re looking for a VoIP phone service—but if you do a few searches, you’ll find that certain names just keep coming up. Like RingCentral! (Okay, we may be a little biased, but we’ve been a long-time leader in creating an innovative all-around VoIP product and have received awards along the way—can you blame us?)
Do you already have a VoIP phone service in mind? Why not give RingCentral a try?
RingCentral Office® plans for your small business
PAY ANNUALLY AND SAVE UP TO 33%.
- Up to 20 users only
- Business phone or toll-free numbers
- Unlimited calls within the US/CA*
- Unlimited business SMS
- Team messaging
- Document sharing
- No limit on number of users
- Business phone numbers in over 100 countries
- Unlimited internet fax
- Unlimited audio conferencing
- Video meetings with up to 100 participants
- Up to 24-hour meeting duration
- Quality-of-service reports
Popular integrations including
Office 365, G Suite, Slack,
- 24/7 support
Message, Video, Phone, Open Platform
- Automatic call recording
- Single Sign-on
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- Up to 8-digit extensions with site codes
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- Video meetings with up to 200 participants
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- Popular CRM integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, and more
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Business phone or toll-free numbers
Unlimited calls within the US/CA*
Unlimited Business SMS
Visual voicemail and voicemail-to-email
Call management and phone system
- Answering rules
- Call forwarding
- Call transfer
- Call screening
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- Shared lines*
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Call log reports
Unlimited internet fax
Unlimited audio conferencing
Video meetings and participants
Premium with RingCentral Video (up to 200)
Premium with RingCentral Meetings (up to 100)
Standard with RingCentral Video (up to 100)
Standard with RingCentral Meetings (up to 4)
G Suite, Slack, and more
Multi-level auto attendant
Developer platform and custom integrations
See what our customers are saying
"We’re easily seeing a 40%-50% reduction in communications costs with RingCentral. Several years after choosing RingCentral, I am still confident and happy with that decision."
"Having calls, texts, emails, faxes, and documents all under one umbrella creates a more streamlined workflow for employees. RingCentral makes the creates a more streamlined workflow for employees. RingCentral makes the phone a powerful tool that travels with you."
"We spent a lot of time working outside of the office. 40% of our employees use the RingCentral mobile app, which gives us the ability to use our business phone number rather than our personal cell phone numbers."
"From receptionists to the executives, everyone is delighted with our new system. Migrating communications to RingCentral was the best move we have made."
"Compared to when we had multiple vendors for phone, meetings, and chats, we are saving 30% to 40%."