The Internet has revolutionized telecommunications over time by making Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) available. Mobile devices have gone even further and played a huge part in transforming the telecom market. At this point, there are several options available. So to help you decide, I have put together a list of 5 of the best business VoIP providers available today.
What is a VoIP Service?
VoIP is referring to an Internet phone service that allows you to make and receive calls from your computer and/or mobile device. These services are very cost-effective. For that reason, it makes them a fantastic call management solution for businesses of all sizes.
This is a method of digitizing voice signals, and then turning around and sending the digital voice information over an IP network. To do this, software called “codec” is used. This software encodes the analog voice information.
When the digital signal has to be changed back to analog, another codec does the job and makes it understandable.
The best VoIP service providers help you efficiently manage all your business calls, while at the same time helping to build a stronger relation with your customers as well as help improve sales.
SIP: A Quick Look
Before we get into our list and talk a little more about how important VoIP is, let’s touch on what SIP is for a second. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), is a text-based protocol similar to HTML. Why is it important in this situation?
SIP is the most commonly used standard for setting up and controlling phone calls in most VoIP systems you come across. You will most likely see references to SIP when reading, exploring, or talking about the different business VoIP providers that are available right now.
The reason SIP has become so popular its because it is very deep and flexible. It was purpose-built to engage in multimedia. This means that it can handle not only audio but also video and text.
When performing a VoIP calls, SIP can set up calls using several IP-related protocols. Some of these including the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP), the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and the User Datagram Protocol (UDP), among others.
How Important is VoIP?
This question can be answered in two parts. In the current climate we live in, there are more and more people starting to work from home. Businesses know that keeping their communications organized and centralized can be tricky. So right away they have to find a solid VoIP phone service that can help with this.
This is where some of the best VoIP for small business solutions shine. If you have a solid starting point and know where to look, then finding a VoIP service that works for you will not be overly difficult.
The best system adds other functionality as well. These added team collaboration features can go a long way as it relates to keeping your business running smoothly and all remote workers on the same page.
Still, the pandemic we have experienced for much of this year won’t last forever. This begs the question, will business VoIP providers still be as important when this current situation passes?
The short answer, yes. These same businesses will still need to provide voice communications services for employees at their desks. So while employee location changes, the structure of what is needed and being provided does not.
When everyone is back in the office, business VoIP providers still supply many excellent features to a business. These include:
- Support for Call Centers
- Customer Service
- Sales Support
- Video Conferencing
- Conference Calling
- Mobile Communications
- Wireless Handsets
- Text Messaging
And that’s not all. The very best business VoIP providers should also provide more advanced functionality through software. Things like shared meetings, voicemail to email transcription, and call recording should all be part of the package you select.
Best Business VoIP Providers
Nextiva is widely considered to be the best business VoIP providers available on the market. Their call management system is packed with features like unlimited calling, unlimited text messaging, unlimited faxing, call queuing, instant conference calls, and much more.
Nextiva truly is a complete and unified system for communication when we talk about voice, video, text, mobile app, and web collaboration. Other features of interest include an auto-attendant feature.
This built-in feature will automatically greet your callers and help them choose the person or department they’re trying to reach. So, it is somewhat of a built-in answering machine when needed, or as part of the system itself.
Some of the biggest brands in the world trust Nextiva to run their entire line of communication. For that reason, as well as all the built-in functionality, I think that Nextiva is the best, or at one of the best, business VoIP providers out there today.
- User-friendly admin panel
- Easily manage calls, voicemails, SMS
- Very affordable for a business service
- Excellent customer service
- Onboarding assistance
- Auto-attendant feature
- No outages in over 3-years
- Excellent for remote teams
- Unlimited calls, texts, and faxing
- Free HD phones
- Mobile and desktop app
- Essential: $19.95 per month, per user
- Professional: $20.95 per month, per user
- Enterprise: $27.95 per month, per user
Another one of the best business VoIP providers out there is RingCentral. They set the standard when it comes to mid-sized businesses and up. They are a full-service cloud solution that comes integrated with everything imaginable.
RingCentral will provide you with everything you need and more to properly run your business phone system. Their comprehensive range of features also includes the ability to add customizations and fully integrate into other applications using APIs.
They have several different plans available for use. Pricing varies based on users and options selected. Matter of fact, RingCentral has a lot of wide-ranging prices depending on many factors.
You also can get additional numbers when needed for a low add-on price. These numbers can allow for toll-free, local, international, and vanity numbers as required.
All plans come with unlimited audio and video conferencing. However, video conferencing is limited to four participants at a time. It’s at this level that the multi-level attendant becomes available, along with unlimited internet fax.
So you can see, there are a lot of different options and prices available.
This really is a “build to your liking” system. Their main pull is the APIs, as this allows for scaling and customization to any level you need.
- Outstanding VoIP service
- Very user friendly
- Wide range of price plans
- Easy to set up
- Services are very scalable
- Add features as business grows
- Unlimited calls, faxing, SMS, conferencing
- More than 100 premium features already included
*Pricing tiers will vary based on users (1-1000). The more users, the cheaper the monthly price.
- Essentials: $29.99 per month, per user
- Standard: $34.99 per month, per user
- Premium: $44.99 per month, per user
- Ultimate: $59.99 per month, per user
Dialpad is only a few years old. However, in that time, they have been able to climb the ladder into the world of VoIP and have started to get noticed. The company is more well-known for its video and audio-conferencing software.
However, they released Dialpad Talk as a VoIP system and it took off from there.
They have single sign-on options and a 14-day free trial. They are priced excellent for small business use.
This is what separates them from other business VoIP providers out there. They are much more affordable and accessible to the small business owner than some other providers.
This VoIP service comes with many features and they are all very high-quality. You will get toll free numbers, unlimited calling in the United States and Canada, call forwarding, call controls, HD video calling, call waiting, voicemail greeting, unlimited SMS, MMS, and group texting in the United States and Canada.
As you can see, while a lot smaller and more affordable, Dialpad still brings a ton of options and features. This is definitely on business VoIP provider to put at the top of your list and take a look at for your small business.
- Excellent small business pricing
- Single sign-on
- 14-day free trial
- Very good customer support
- International numbers
- Zendesk, Salesforce, and Slack integrations
- HD video calling
- Unlimited SMS, MMS, group texting
- Standard: $15.00 per month, per user if billed annually, $20.00 per month, per user if billed monthly
- Pro: $25.00 per month, per user if billed annually, $30.00 per month, per user if billed monthly
- Enterprise: They request you contact them directly for this level of pricing
4. 8×8 X Series
8×8 X Series is a very affordable, yet very powerful, business VoIP provider. They provide several very solid cloud communications and customer engagement solutions, including voice, contact center, video, mobile, and unified communications.
These services are good for small, medium, and enterprise businesses.
There is a basic plan, which offers some solid services. However, there is also the X Series X2 plan. For a very affordable price, you can get several excellent features and benefits. These include unlimited calling within 14 countries, phone number, extension dialing, voicemail, and an auto-attendant.
However, that’s not all, as the list of features continues with built-in services that include click to dial, music on hold, call recording, call queues, both mobile and desktop apps, team messaging, and unlimited internet faxing.
Add that to that the fact that you can have 100 participants and tons of analytic essentials.
The system also integrates with G Suite, Office 365, Outlook, NetSuite, Salesforce, and ZenDesk. So you should have no trouble connecting your entire network.
Give 8×8 X Series a try. It may be exactly what you have been looking for.
- Competitive pricing
- Tons of features
- Easy to use interface
- Simple setup
- Music on hold
- Tons of integrations including G Suite, Office 365, Outlook, NetSuite, Salesforce, and ZenDesk.
- 8×8 Express: $12.00 per month, per user
- X2: $25.00 per month, per user
- X6: $115.00 per month, per user
5. Mitel MiCloud Connect
Rounding out our list of the top 5 business VoIP providers out there right now is Mitel MiCloud Connect. They offer you a unified communication solution that is very intuitive, easy to use, and pretty affordable. It has a main focus of VoIP products for the enterprise market.
There are several packages to choose from, which makes building your plan and choosing pricing pretty easy. They all come with a lot of the standard features and built-in functions that you would expect from all business VoIP providers.
On top of all that, they also offer you the ability to link your cell number to your work extension. They offer customizable hold music, as well as voicemails that can be transcribed and emailed to you on the fly.
Auto-attendant, call rerouting, call forwarding, call holding, and call parking are all also built-in. Mitel is available for use on your browser, on your desktop, or through your mobile devices.
- Competitive pricing
- CRM integration
- Easy to use
- Tons of call options
- Available on browser, desktop, and mobile
- Hybrid solutions
- Award-winning customer support
- Unlimited calling, faxing, and conferencing
- Essentials: $20.99 per month, per user
- Premier: $26.59 per month, per user
- Elite: $38.49 per month, per user
So, what is the very best VoIP service out there? Well, a lot of choices are made on a personal level. I can only give you the information. My suggestion is to study all of them and dig in. This way, you can make an educated decision on which one may work best for your business.
That being said, all of the selections above are excellent business VoIP providers that all have a solid reputation. You will be able to find one that is right for you.
Good luck on your journey. I hope this list helps you some and gives you a good place to start looking.