The 7 Best VoIP Service Providers of 2020

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More and more small businesses are ditching landlines for voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phones to save money and take advantage of new collaborative communication tools.

Studies show that small businesses that switch to VoIP save up to 40% on local calls and as much as 90% on international calls. Additionally, due to many automation features like voice transcription, call routing, and digital receptionists, companies have seen a 20% rise in productivity by using VoIP, also known as IP telephony.

We researched the best VoIP service providers for small businesses based on cost, quality, available calling minutes, automations, audio and video conferencing features, integrations with third-party software, and more. Read on to see our top picks.

The 7 Best VoIP Service Providers

Best Overall: RingCentral

RingCentral

RingCentral

RingCentral began providing small business phone service in 1999 and has become a well-established VoIP and video conferencing provider in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. We chose it as the best overall VoIP service because it offers a generous set of features, unlimited domestic calling, and easy-to-use app, all for a reasonable price.

All of RingCentral’s monthly service plans give you unlimited calls to the U.S. and Canada and unlimited business SMS and team messaging, plus call forwarding, call routing, voice-to-text, and much more. This provider offers full-service coverage in over 40 countries and inbound virtual numbers in 100+ countries. RingCentral focuses on bundling everything your business needs into a convenient, scalable package that will save you money, making it a great choice for small businesses.

RingCentral's one-click HD video conferencing, file sharing, and task management help teams work together anywhere and on any device. All but the most basic plan allow unlimited video meetings with between 100 and 200 participants and a duration of up to 24 hours, as well as integrations with Office 365, G Suite, Slack, and popular contact relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce and Zendesk.

RingCentral offers phone support during standard work hours and ticket service. All but the Essentials plan offers 24/7 online chat and phone support.

RingCentral Pricing

The monthly prices below are for an annual contract. RingCentral also offers month-to-month pricing for a slightly higher rate, and customers who pay by the month can cancel anytime without penalty. RingCentral comes with a 15-day free trial.

Essentials Plan:

  • $19.99 per user per month
  • 100 toll-free minutes
  • Unlimited calls (U.S. & Canada)
  • Unlimited business SMS
  • Voicemail-to-text
  • Team messaging
  • Call log reports

Standard Plan:

  • $24.99 per user per month
  • 1,000 toll-free minutes
  • All Essentials Plan features
  • Video meetings (100 participants)
  • Unlimited audio conferencing
  • Call recording
  • Multi-level auto attendant
  • Integrations
  • 24/7 support

Premium Plan:

  • $34.99 per user per month
  • 2,500 toll-free minutes
  • All Standard Plan features
  • Video meetings (200 participants)

Ultimate Plan:

  • $49.99 per user per month
  • 10,000 toll-free minutes
  • All Premium Plan features
  • Video meetings (200 participants)

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Nextiva

Nextiva

Nextiva

Nextiva has been a VoIP provider since 2008 and was named the Best Business Phone Service of 2020 by U.S. News & World Report. We chose it as our runner-up since it offers benefits similar to RingCentral, including a few features that add a more professional phone presence, but at a slightly higher price.

Like RingCentral, all of Nextiva’s plans give you unlimited calls to the U.S. and Canada plus voice-to-text and call forwarding and routing. All but the lowest-cost plan include unlimited business SMS, team messaging, and call recording, as well as integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, and other software.

Though not as robust as RingCentral, Nextiva provides HD video conferencing with task management and team calendars for unlimited teams and guest users. Nextiva’s Professional and Enterprise plans include voice greetings recorded by professional voiceover artists, which add an extra touch of professionalism to any business.

Nextiva Pricing

All of Nextiva’s plans come with 24/7 email, chat, and phone support, and a 30-day free trial.

Essential Plan:

  • $34.95 per user per month
  • 1,000 toll-free minutes
  • Unlimited calls (U.S. & Canada)
  • Free local and toll-free number
  • Unlimited audio conference calls (4 participants)
  • Mobile app calling
  • Outlook and Google integrations
  • Voicemail to text and email

Professional Plan:

  • $37.95 per user per month
  • 2,500 toll-free minutes
  • All Essential Plan features
  • Unlimited business SMS
  • Unlimited video conferencing
  • Screen sharing
  • Team messaging

Enterprise Plan:

  • $44.95 per user per month
  • 10,000 toll-free minutes
  • All Professional Plan features
  • Team messaging
  • Integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, and more
  • Voice analytics
  • Call recording
  • Integrations with HubSpot, ServiceNow, and others
  • Voicemail transcription

Best Value: Ooma

Ooma

Ooma

Ooma was developed in 2004 as a "VoIP in a box" device which used peer-to-peer technology to let users make phone calls over other Ooma users' landline services. In 2015, it was named one of the fastest-growing private companies by Silicon Valley Business Journal. We chose Ooma as the best value since it offers no-frills business VoIP services with a simple, streamlined pricing structure.

All of Ooma’s plans come with standard VoIP features including unlimited domestic calls, SMS messaging, voicemail, call forwarding, call blocking, and more. Call recording and voicemail transcription are available in the Pro plan, and the company even offers a virtual receptionist, hold music, and virtual fax.

Ooma is more limited than our top two selections. For instance, it only offers 500 toll-free minutes, though you can purchase additional minutes (+1,000 for $15 per month or +2,500 for $30 per month). Audio conferencing is limited to 10 participants, which can be upgraded for an additional cost, and the platform has no video conferencing available. In addition, Ooma only offers integrations with a few popular CRM platforms.

Despite these limitations, Ooma is still a great provider for small businesses looking for easy-to-use VoIP with few bells and whistles, streamlined service offerings, and competitive monthly pricing.

Ooma Pricing

Ooma plans are pay-as-you-go with no monthly contracts and you can cancel anytime. Each plan also comes with 24/7 live chat support and phone support during business hours seven days a week. 

Office Plan:

  • $19.95 per user per month
  • 500 toll-free minutes
  • Mobile app
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Hold music
  • Call log
  • Call forwarding
  • Virtual extensions
  • Multi-device ring
  • SMS messaging

Pro Plan:

  • $24.95 per user per month
  • 500 toll-free minutes
  • All Office Plan features
  • Call recording
  • Voicemail transcription

Best for Growing Businesses: Vonage

Vonage

Vonage

Founded in 2001 as a residential internet phone provider, Vonage has grown to become one of the most well-known business VoIP services. We chose it as the best for growing businesses because it offers a competitive suite of features with add-on services to help businesses build the system they need.

All of Vonage’s service packages include unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada, unlimited SMS texts, voicemail-to-email transcription, and team chat. All but the lowest-level plan come with standard video conferencing for up to 100 people, a virtual receptionist (auto-attendant), and app integrations (Salesforce, G Suite, Office 365, SugarCRM, Zoho, and more). Vonage’s top-tier service adds on-demand call recording, visual voicemail, and onboarding support. 

Vonage provides many add-on services allowing businesses to customize their VoIP system as they need. These include:

  • Local phone number: $9.99 per month
  • Toll-free phone number (unlimited minutes): $39.99 per month
  • Toll-free electronic fax number: $14.99 per month
  • Automatic call recording: $49.99 per month
  • Audio conferencing (up to 30 people): $14.99 per month plus $0.03 per minute

Vonage Pricing

All Vonage plans are pay-as-you-go and come with a 14-day free trial, 24/7 customer support, and the option to cancel anytime with no fees or penalty.

Mobile Plan:

  • $19.99 per user per month
  • Unlimited calling and SMS
  • Mobile and desktop apps
  • Team messaging
  • Voicemail to email

Premium Plan:

  • $29.99 per user per month
  • All Mobile Plan features
  • Video conferencing
  • Integrations

Advanced Plan:

  • $39.99 per user per month
  • All Premium Plan features
  • Call recording on-demand
  • Call group
  • Visual voicemail
  • Onboarding support

Best for Solopreneurs: Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Grasshopper was founded by two entrepreneurs in 2003 to provide other entrepreneurs with an easy, low-cost way to separate their business and personal phone numbers. In 2018, the company was acquired by join.me. We chose Grasshopper as the best for solopreneurs because it offers easy-to-use virtual phone service with flat-rate monthly pricing for a smaller, defined number of users.

All of Grasshopper’s plans include the same standard VoIP features, including unlimited domestic calling, unlimited SMS texting, call forwarding and transfers, voicemail transcription, virtual fax, and call reporting.

Because it’s primarily a virtual phone system, Grasshopper doesn’t offer any audio or video conferencing or integrations with other software. However, Grasshopper’s sister company, join.me, lets you easily integrate its conferencing features with Grasshopper for an additional fee.

Grasshopper Pricing

Grasshopper offers monthly pay-as-you-go pricing based on the total number of users, a free seven-day trial, and 24/7 phone support.  

Solopreneur Plan:

  • $26 per month
  • 1 user
  • Mobile and desktop apps
  • Unlimited domestic calling
  • Toll-free numbers
  • Business texting
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Extensions
  • Auto text response
  • Call transfers
  • Reporting

Partnership Plan:

  • $46 per month
  • 3 users
  • All Solopreneur Plan features

Small Team Plan:

  • $70 per month
  • 6 users
  • All Partnership Plan features

Best for International Calls: 8x8

8x8

8x8 

Founded in 1987 as a producer of computer chips, 8x8 launched its first videophone software in 2003 and now serves over one million businesses. We chose it as the best for international calls because it offers unlimited international calling for up to 47 countries depending on the service package you choose.

All 8x8 plans include unlimited domestic calling, SMS texting, team messaging, call forwarding and routing, voicemail transcription, call recording, and integration with many third-party apps (Salesforce, Zendesk, G Suite, Slack, Office 365, and others). 8x8 also offers unlimited HD audio and video conferencing with no time limits for up to 50 attendees and includes screen sharing, chat, calendar sync, and cloud recording.

8x8’s most impressive feature is international calling to 14 countries on its most basic plan and 47 countries on its other two plans. While calling rates vary, 8x8 claims that it can save customers 50% to 90% on international calls.

8x8 Pricing

All of 8x8’s service packages come with a 30-day free trial plus 24/7 online support and phone and chat support during business hours six days a week.

Express Plan:

  • $12 per user per month
  • Unlimited calling zone (U.S. and Canada)
  • Auto attendant
  • Call handling
  • Mobile and desktop apps
  • Team messaging and business SMS
  • HD audio and video meetings
  • G Suite & Office 365 integrations
  • Voicemail transcription
  • CRM integration
  • Call recording

X2 Plan:

  • $25 per user per month
  • Unlimited calling zone (14 countries)
  • All Express Plan features

X4 Plan:

  • $45 per user per month
  • Unlimited calling zone (47 countries)
  • All X2 Plan features
  • Operator switchboard
  • Analytics and call-quality reporting

X6 Plan:

  • $115 per user per month
  • Unlimited calling zone (47 countries)
  • All X4 Plan features
  • Skills-based routing
  • Interactive voice response (IVR)
  • Contact center reporting and analytics

Best for Podcasts: RingCentral Glip

RingCentral Glip

RingCentral Glip 

Advertised as a collaborative team messaging app, Glip was acquired by RingCentral in 2015. While not a VoIP provider per se, we chose Glip as the best for podcasts because it offers free messaging, group video chat, and task management at a better price and with more features than Skype, a platform commonly used for podcasts.

Glip’s free and paid plans both offer unlimited chat for unlimited users, as well as unlimited storage, filing sharing, calendar integrations, task management, and integrations with third-party apps (Salesforce, Dropbox, Trello, Zendesk, and more).

Glip’s best feature, however, is video conferencing. While their Free plan offers only 500 video minutes total, the Standard plan offers 1,000 video minutes per month. Glip’s all-in-one HD video conferencing lets you switch easily from chat to video, share and collaborate files and documents, and assign tasks.

RingCentral Glip Pricing

Glip offers only two plans, one free and one paid. Both have the same suite of features except for the number of included video minutes. Glip users talk to RingCentral for phone support during standard work hours and ticket service plus 24/7 live customer support for Glip’s paid plan.

Free Plan:

  • FREE
  • Shared video (500 minutes total)
  • Unlimited chat
  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited guest users
  • Unlimited integrations
  • Unlimited teams

Standard Plan:

  • $5 per user per month
  • Shared video (1,000 minutes per ​user per month)
  • All Free Plan features

What Are VoIP Service Providers?

A VoIP phone service allows you to make outgoing and receive incoming business calls over the internet. No separate phone line is required. Although you can buy traditional desk phones made to work with VoIP service, all of the providers we reviewed offer both desktop and mobile apps to make calling fast, easy, and convenient.

How Can a VoIP Service Provider Help a Small Business?

More than just a phone, VoIP services include business text messaging, call forwarding and routing, digital receptionist (auto-attendant), electronic fax, audio and video conferencing, and team messaging.

Many also offer integrations with third-party software like email providers, CRM and project management platforms, and more. As an all-in-one tool, VoIP service providers can unify your internal and external communication tools, saving both time and money.

What Is the Cost of VoIP Services?

The providers we reviewed offer plans starting at around $20 per user per month, with the highest-level plans priced around $100. These include unlimited domestic calls and SMS texting and between 100 to 10,000 toll-free minutes. Higher-priced plans include more robust audio and video conferencing, automation features, and integrations with third-party apps.

Is VoIP a Better Value Compared to Landlines?

Setup costs for a traditional business phone system start at hundreds if not thousands of dollars, while VoIP setup costs can be as low as $0. Businesses that switch to VoIP service typically save 50% on telecom costs. Because the typical employee uses 400 minutes per month, pay-as-you-go VoIP plans based on minutes are a much more affordable option than most business landlines.

In addition to saving money on phone services, businesses can save money with other communication tools bundled into their VoIP software, including team messaging, business SMS texting, and audio and video conferencing.

The following shows a sample cost comparison between VoIP and a business landline. Pricing is per user per month:

VoIP

  • For 1–5 users ($39.00)
  • For 6–9 users ($29.99)
  • For 10–20 users ($24.99)
  • For 20+ users ($19.99)
  • Setup fee (None)
  • Domestic call rates (Unlimited)
  • International call rates (From $0.01/minute depending on destination)

Landline

  • For 1–9 users ($82.90)*
  • For 10+ users ($82.90)**
  • Setup fee ($70)
  • Domestic call rates (Unlimited)
  • International call rates (From $0.05/minute depending on destination)

* Quote was obtained from a Verizon customer service representative on June 20, 2017, based on a service address in New York, NY

** Pricing for accounts with more than 10 users is available by consultation and quote. The above should only be considered an estimate 

Are There Concerns With Using VoIP Services?

Although VoIP phones are internet-based and potentially vulnerable to cyber attacks and hacking, the level of encryption used by VoIP providers goes a long way to making their services tight and secure. Ensuring that the internet network at the office also has appropriate security measures in place adds an extra layer of security.

Another risk of using a VoIP system is that a call can be dropped if a business's internet connection goes down. However, most providers offer call continuity and system redundancy features that will forward a call to a mobile device if an interruption is detected.

How We Chose the Best VoIP Services

To choose the best VoIP service providers, we looked for companies that offered plans and pricing suited to small businesses, call routing and recording automations to help save time, additional communication features like team messaging, audio and video conferencing, and integrations with third-party software.

Providers that stood out were the ones that offered unlimited domestic calling, generous toll-free minutes (minimum of 500), autoresponders and call routing HD audio and video conferencing, and integrations with third-party software to improve sales and marketing efforts.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
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