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The Best Twilio Alternatives to Try in 2021

Communication is an integral part of everyone’s day-to-day lives, both personal and business. Even if it weren’t for COVID-19, many companies of all sizes have started prioritizing it, which was quickly met by a lot of developers that started creating inexpensive and scalable phone communication software, meaning that today there are countless choices available on the market. 

One of the most popular phone communication software is Twilio. Twilio was founded back in 2008 and today they offer an easy-to-use solution bundled with a suite of enterprise services, making it an excellent choice for companies looking to improve their phone system. 

However, just because Twilio is one of the most popular options, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right one for you. In this post, we’ll take a look at why you should or shouldn’t use Twilio, as well as the three best Twilio alternatives.

What is Twilio and how does Twilio work?

Twilio allows you to make, receive, and monitor calls that are completely hosted in the cloud. The calls are made using Twilio’s Voice API, which is supported by a worldwide community of developers.

Twilio dashboard
Twilio dashboard

Twilio is not a standalone VoIP app. Instead, they provide their users with a scalable API for making, managing, and routing calls in the browser, an app, or the phone.

How much does Twilio cost?

Twilio’s phone calling service is available for a variety of markets, industries and needs. Their rates range and video calls start at $1 for local numbers, $0.0085 per minute for receiving and $0.013 per minute for making calls. 

When it comes to toll-free numbers, the cost of a number is $2 per month, while the calls are $0.0022 per minute for receiving and $0.013 per minute for placing calls. Conference calls are $0.0018 per minute for a participant and $0.0025 per minute of recording.

Why you might be looking for an alternative to Twilio

Since Twilio is an API first and that it does not have a direct user interface, it is hard to recommend it to someone looking for a quick solution for their phone system needs. The documentation that the Twilio team provides is complicated, requiring a person or even an entire team to study it and implement it. Also, many people online say that Twilio is missing a proper customer support system.

When you combine the complexity of installing such a system while no one is there to actively support you, the reason why people are looking for Twilio alternatives is obvious, especially when most are looking for a set-it-and-forget-it solution.

If this is you and you are looking for a simple solution, make sure you stick around as we’ll explore the top three Twilio alternatives. While you may consider a free Twilio alternative, remember that you get what you pay for.

RingBlaze

Our take on a phone service — RingBlaze is one of the best Twilio alternatives available right now. With RingBlaze, you get a system designed to make all your phone communication more efficient. No matter if you are running an SMB, agency, or real estate firm, we will provide you with excellent features and support you in all your communication efforts. 

RingBlaze dashboard
RingBlaze dashboard

RingBlaze’s features

RingBlaze’s features are designed to help you focus on what is important — running your business, instead of always having to worry about whether or not the software is working. Some of the standout features of RingBlaze include:

  • Shared dashboard – The dashboard keeps all your calls in a single place, allowing you or your team instant access to them no matter the location. With it, RingBlaze ensures everyone is on the same page. Unlike other competitors that charge a premium for this feature, RingBlaze offers all plans 
  • Assign, forward, and record calls – With RingBlaze, any of your calls can be assigned, making it easy for everyone to know their responsibilities while at the same time ensuring no call gets lost. If a person answering the call is not the one that the caller is looking for, the call can be easily forwarded. Your calls can also be recorded and played back, allowing you to use them for training or other purposes.
  • Text comments – Sometimes, resolving an issue takes multiple calls and people working in different shifts. To ensure that no message gets lost and that your customers get the best possible help, RingBlaze helps you see the customer’s history and take on someone else’s call, all without skipping a beat. Also, each conversation can have notes about your customers, which can help you make a more meaningful connection.
  • Unlimited phone numbers from 22 countries – RingBlaze’s unlimited VoIP phone number feature reduces the call termination cost as you can receive calls from all over the world as if they were made to the same office phone. This feature can also be helpful if a local presence is required in your industry.
  • Free toll-free calls – If you use RingBlaze, all your customers, regardless of their location, can call your toll-free phone number entirely for free, allowing you to provide all of them with phone support or answer their queries. When comparing Twilio vs RingBlaze, this is one of the features that make RingBlaze a better choice.

How much does RingBlaze cost?

RingBlaze is more affordable than Twilio and any other similar software on the market. While other competitors force you to do math by comparing different features and prices, RingBlaze is available in a simple plan, which can be paid monthly or annually. 

The monthly plan starts at $19 per user per month, while the price for the annual plan is reduced by 20% and it costs $15 per user per month when billed annually.

It includes all the standout features we mentioned plus high-definition voice calls, unlimited minutes to US and Canada, a free US/Canada local number, call history for up to 90 days, call recording, a custom voicemail greeting, call forwarding, call transfer, and so much more. The excellent features are what makes RingBlaze an excellent alternative to Twilio’s API.

RingCentral

Over the years, RingCentral has been crowned as one of the top VoIP providers for many different types of businesses. The company was founded in 2003 as a business phone service. 

RingCentral dashboard
RingCentral dashboard

RingCentral’s features

These days, RingCentral is software whose goal is to help small, medium, and enterprise companies. They offer phone support for many countries, including the USA and Canada, France, Australia, Germany and others. RingCentral also offers SMS features, call management, internet fax and other features allowing customers to contact businesses.  

This Twilio alternative can be integrated with Slack, Zoho, Salesforce, Zendesk and other similar apps which can be great if you want to integrate your work apps with RingCentral.

How much does RingCentral cost?

RingCentral has a complex pricing structure similar to Twilio. However, the basic package starts at $19.99 per user per month. The actual price you pay will depend on the features you choose, how many users will use RingCental and which payment structure — monthly or annually — you end up choosing. 

The most popular RingCentral plan right now is called Premium and it starts at $34.99 per user per month, when paid annually.

Plivo

Plivo is one of the alternatives to Twilio that most closely resembles it. It allows you to make, take and control all your phone calls. This platform offers voice and text functionalities with the goal to improve the communication between a business and its customers.

Plivo dashboard
Plivo dashboard

Plivo’s features

The two standout features of Plivo include call functionality and the call center solution:

  • Call functionality – Plivo comes bundled with a conference app allowing you to make conference calls. Basically, you only have to assign a number to the application, making it easy to call and connect that number to a conference call. When someone wants to join the conference call you just made, they need to dial the number assigned to the call
  • Call center solution – Plivo can be used as a call center solution by integrating it into an existing phone system or call center software. With Plivo, you can receive and make calls. The call center solution can save various information such as billing, call recording and call logs, helping you keep track of all your calls. However, Plivo has to be integrated with an existing system, it doesn’t work on its own, just like Twilio.

How much does Plivo cost?

Plivo provides a pay-as-you-go pricing scheme. Making a call starts at $0.0120 per minute, while receiving a call starts at $0.0085 per minute. 

A local phone number starts at $0.80 per month, a toll-free number starts at $1.00 per month, and a short code starts at $500 per month. When comparing Twilio vs Plivo, they both offer similar prices.

What is the best Twilio alternative?

Twilio is a great solution for someone with a dedicated IT team and enough time and manpower to set up everything. For everyone else, finding an alternative is most likely the right answer.

When it comes to the best Twilio alternative, all three solutions – RingBlaze, RingCentral and Plivo offer great features for different use cases.

If you are looking for a phone system for an SMB, agency, or real estate firm, RingBlaze should be your first choice, as it can provide you with the best support in all your phone communication efforts. RingCentral is a great solution for those looking for many integrations and SMS support. Plivo is the closest alternative to Twilio, but it’s a bit more simple to install and use.

Questions you might have before selecting a Twilio alternative

Is there a free alternative to Twilio?

Yes, there are free or freemium Twilio alternatives, such as Wazo, XiVO, Releans and Zujo Now. However, if you want any of the great phone system solutions, you’ll have to pay for them.

Who is Twilio’s biggest competitor?

Vonage, Bandwidth, Telnyx and Podium are some of the biggest competitors and alternatives to Twilio. They are all great apps in their own domain, but RingBlaze, RingCentral and Plivo are much better solutions.

Does Amazon own Twilio?

No, Amazon doesn’t own Twilio, but it has invested in the platform. The deal made between the two companies allows software developers that are using AWS to access Twilio’s real-time messaging service and notifications. Twilio is also built on AWS, it uses its infrastructure and is integrated into many Amazon services.

How good is Twilio?

Twilio is a great app that can help you do wonders but it also requires a lot of manpower and effort to set up correctly. You would also need someone to service it constantly which is hard for small and medium businesses. That is one of the main reasons why we are recommending Twilio alternatives instead.

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