Compare Features of the Best Business VoIP Providers in 2018

Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) systems can help cut your telecommunications costs, making a major difference in your overhead. Not all VoIP services are the same though, so let’s see how they stack up head-to-head.

Provider
Plan Pricing (Per User)
Various
Various
Various
Various
Various

Platforms

Use via computer
Use via cellphones
Use via phones

Other Features

Minutes per Line
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
30 days
30 days
30 days
30 days
Min. Contract Length
3 Months
None
Customer Service Hours
24/7 for 2 or more users
Mon - Fri 6am - 5pm (PST)
Mon - Sun: 6am - 5pm
Call Hold
Call Forwarding
Call Logs
Call Transfer
Call Waiting
Caller-ID
Custom Tagging / Answering Rules
Dial-by-name Directory
Local Number Portability
Music on Hold
Automatic Callback
Auto-Attendant (Virtual Receptionist)
Call Blocking
Call Conferencing
Multiple Devices on One Extension
Online Backup and Storage
Priority Alert
Privacy
Push to Talk
Seven-Digit Dialing
Unified Inbox
Outbound Call Control
Outlook Integration
Remote Office (Work from Anywhere)
Video on Hold
Virtual Extensions
Call Recording (on-demand)
Group Intercom
Call Queuing (ACD)
Call Groups
Switchboard Software
Internet Fax
Toll Free Number
Virtual Mailbox
Professional Greeting
iOS App Support
Android App Support
Salesforce Integration

Advertising Disclosure

This site is a free online resource that strives to offer helpful content and comparison features to its visitors. Please be advised that the operator of this site accepts advertising compensation from companies that appear on the site, and such compensation impacts the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented, and in some cases may also impact the rating that is assigned to them. To the extent that ratings appear on this site, such rating is determined by our subjective opinion and based on a methodology that aggregates our analysis of brand market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, compensation paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement. Except as expressly set forth in our Terms of Use, all representations and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including pricing, which appears on this site is subject to change at any time.

GOT IT

Important Business VoIP Features 

Businesses of all types have already seen how VoIP systems can help them facilitate networking and conferencing, save money, and improve their ability to communicate from a variety of locations that aren’t limited to a central landline. Let’s take a look at some of the top features offered on VoIP platforms, to help you decide what you need.

  • Call Routing (Also Known as Call Forwarding)

With most VoIP service, calls are routed over the data network instead of over a physical phone line. The calls are then routed through you’re your mobile device or computer and can be put through a physical handset that can be accessed in or off site.

  • Voicemail Transcription and Call Recording

Voicemail transcription and call recording features are efficient and easy ways to keep tabs on company communication. Call recording allows you to automatically keep a running record of all of your incoming and outgoing calls while with voicemail transcription your company messages are compiled and recorded. Some companies also have a voicemail to email feature which can transcribe your voicemails and send them to you by email.

  • Call Logs

With VoIP call logs, details of every call is automatically logged by the software, including the number, date, length of call, and more. This feature can be used to help you get an easily organized overview of your phone calls.

  • Some of the Basics - Call Transfer, Holding, Waiting, Caller ID, Call Blocking

Call transfer allows you to transfer incoming calls to company extensions, either with an announcement to the recipient, or “blind” where it goes straight to their extension. With the call holding feature, you should be able to easily press a button on the system dashboard and have the current call put on hold, seamlessly. With call waiting you can see if someone is trying to call you while you are on a call, and with caller ID you can see who’s trying to reach you. With call blocking, you can make sure not to receive repeat calls from a specific number. These are standard features on most landline phones today, and the same principles apply with VoIP.

  • Custom Tagging/Answering Rules

Custom tagging lets you put a unique, customizable call tag on any number as a way of distinguishing calls. This helps you make sure that you answer calls in the appropriate manner and with the required urgency and formality.  With answering rules, you can determine how calls from specific numbers are received, allowing you to ensure that important clients or close family members are forwarded directly to a number where they will be answered promptly, including a personal cell phone.

  • Dial by Name Directory

With this feature, people calling your company can easily search for the right employee by name, instead of having to know the correct extension number. It is heavily customizable and can reroute to personal numbers.

  • Local Number Portability (LNP)

With this feature you can reassign your number to another carrier if you decide to change service providers. This gives you freedom to shop around and not be stuck with one company.

  • Automatic Callback

Automatic callback allows a caller to establish a return call when a desired extension that is currently busy, frees up.

  • Auto Attendant Virtual Receptionist

This is the gateway of sorts for your company’s telecommunications. It allows incoming callers to be routed to the extensions they need - or to voicemails - without an actual human receptionist present.

  • Call Conferencing

This feature allows you to hold conference calls with multiple phone lines and extensions located around the world, seamlessly and instantly. It’s becoming an essential tool for managing businesses with multiple offices or senior staff who are out in the field and not able to physically attend meetings.

  • Multiple Devices on One Extension

You want to access your company’s calls not only on your desktop computer, but also on your mobile devices, and to allow multiple users to have access. This is a very important tool for increasing efficiency.

  • Online Backup and Storage

Your data is important, and with this feature, all of your call data is backed up on a secure outside server.

  • Priority Alert

Not all calls are created equal. With priority alert, you can set a distinct alert, ring, or notice for different calls that are more important or need particular attention.

  • Push to Talk

Similar to a walkie talkie, this feature allows you to press a button with a device from voice transmission to reception.

  • 7-Digit Dialing

Save yourself some hassle with 7-digit dialing, which allows you to designate area codes for extensions, so that dialing them doesn’t require punching in an area code.

  • Unified Inbox

It’s not only smart to get all your messages under one roof, it's easy too with unified inbox. This feature puts all of your voice, fax, and email messages into a single inbox, saving you time and effort.

  • Remote Office

Few businesses these days are centralized entirely in a single location. With the remote office feature, you can access the company’s VoIP service no matter where you are located, from the mobile devices of your choosing.

  • Virtual Extension

This business VoIP feature is a virtual number that forwards to another number. This virtual number typically has its own voicemail and messages that can be left if the other extensions mailbox is full or the line is busy. It also means you don't have to give a direct number to your business or employees, and you can have them routed through the virtual number.

  • Call Recording

Call recording can be set up to automatically record and backup incoming and outgoing calls.

  • Group Intercom

This feature allows you to make real-time announcements to members of your staff using a intercom setup on the VoIP phone system. You can easily customize it to separate paging groups at your discretion and determine who receives which messages.

  • Call Grouping

By using call group, you can redirect your incoming calls to different extensions all within a specific, predetermined group. This is helpful when you have a call you want to reroute and want multiple options for who can field it.

  • Switchboard Software

With switchboard software you can more efficiently process incoming and outgoing calls by making use of a comprehensive overview of your communication.

  • Internet Fax

Internet fax brings the fax machine into the present day by allowing you to send, receive and access faxes through your email. The feature converts faxes to attachments, which can be sent and accessed at any moment from anywhere.

  • Toll Free Number

With a toll free number, customers can reach you by dialing a local toll-free number from locations around the world. This makes reaching you a painless endeavor, increasing the odds that customers will reach out.

  • Virtual Mailbox

Virtual mailbox gives you the ability to set up a separate extension with a mailbox where users can leave messages, without to need to set up a separate full service line.

  • Professional Greeting

Putting a nicely recorded greeting on incoming calls and on-hold messages creates a professional and courteous way for you to establish contact with customers when they contact your company. Start things off on the right foot.

  • Customer Support and Software Integrations

Running a business VoIP may require a bit of troubleshooting, and having direct line to customer assistance can come in handy. You’ll also want to ensure that your VoIP provider can integrate with a number of effective business software programs such as Salesforce, Zendesk, Maestro, and Outlook email, in order to keep things running as smoothly as possible.

The Top 5 Providers

The top five VoIP providers we’ve reviewed are Vonage, RingCentral, 8x8, Grasshopper and Onsip.

Of these, Onsip and Jive provide the highest number of features, followed by Ooma Office, 8x8, and finally, Grasshopper.

  • Vonage has been one of the biggest VoIP providers for almost two decades now. Though originally focused on residential VoIP, Vonage provides extensive business VoIP solutions, with more features than almost any competitor. 

  • RingCentral specializes in cloud-based VoIP solutions for businesses, and have made its plans ideal for mobile devices. The company is also known for great customer service and a wide variety of features and plans that are fully scalable. 

  • 8x8 is one of the biggest VoIP providers, with a global unified cloud communications system that is easy to use and highly efficient. The plans are affordable with flexible pricing levels.

  • Grasshopper is a sort of “force multiplier,” meant to be used by small- and medium-sized business, to make them seem larger and more efficient than they are. The company offers highly affordable “pay as you grow” plans that make signing up a much more personalized and less intimidating process.

  • Onsip provides VoIP service to a number of major big name corporations like Mozilla and Tumblr, and is known for its high level of features, software integrations, and quality customer service.

Which Features Should You Look for When Shopping Around?

For a small business, using a VoIP service can be yet another way to cut expenses, and also maintain reliable lines of communication with employees, suppliers, and customers—no matter where they’re located. You want to look for a plan that is easily scalable, so that as your business grows, you can expand the service without changing providers.

Features Small Businesses Need from a VoIP Provider

  • Flexible pricing

  • Reliable customer service

  • Ease of operation and setup that doesn’t require expensive hardware purchases

  • Clear, quick connections

  • Video conferencing solutions that allow for unlimited meetings for small groups of people. (typically requires upgrading to a premium package)

  • Screen share for video conferencing

Small businesses have different needs than big enterprise operations. Chances are, a small business ​isn’t going to need video conferencing that can accommodate 100 or more participants, or limitless low-price calls anywhere on Earth, or say, a reduced rate on dozens of phone lines. What small businesses need are customizable, affordable pricing plans that provide them with a VoIP service that is easy to operate, with customer service that can help them out instantly if a problem arises.

Enterprise VoIP

With enterprise VoIP, we’re talking about VoIP solutions that are tailor-made for large organizations with major telecommunications needs. Enterprises need VoIP solutions that can be easily scaled as the company grows (or shrinks), without any of the red ​tape of the old phone services. Such companies can specifically benefit from features like video conferencing, call analytics, routing, and international call rates. Also, companies on this scale can benefit a great deal from the fact that most VoIP services offer free communication within a company’s network.

Features to Look for in Enterprise VoIP Providers

VoIP must be scalable so that it can be fit to any size business from small to large, including:

  • Flexible pricing

  • Video conferencing with screen sharing

  • Ease of operation

  • Affordable international call rates

  • Pricing plans that include free calls within network

  • High quality audio and no dropped calls

  • Simultaneous, no-delay calling between phone lines in far apart locales

The VoIP industry includes a wide variety of providers for all types of customers. VoIP initially started out as a service solely for residential customers looking to slash their phone costs. In time, VoIP providers realized how lucrative it could be to sell their services en masse to small and big companies who have far more to gain from cutting their phone costs.

Take a look at your company and its needs and decide which features are more important to you, and you should have an easy guide for which provider to take.