Investing in a good VoIP service can be a great move for your business – your customers will get better service and your customer service agents will do their jobs more efficiently.
Depending on the plan you choose, a good business phone system that uses an Internet connection to make calls can significantly cut your costs.
But, with so many options to choose from, how do you know you made the right choice? There are tens of VoIP providers out there, each with several pricing plans. In those pricing plans, you’ll find different features, so the “Standard” plans from two different providers might even cost the same amount of money but offer different features.
To help you make your choice, we listed some of the most popular VoIP systems and compared their pricing plans and features, side-by-side.
How does VoIP work?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, which means that VoIP tools deliver voice and other communication over the Internet. It’s also known as Internet telephony or IP telephony. Skype is a typical example of a VoIP service and one of the most famous such technologies.
You can have a VoIP tool both for private and business purposes. Since the industry has grown quite a lot in the past decade, there are now many VoIP providers who tailor their offers to suit small and large businesses. The reason why companies find VoIP so appealing is the fact that you can now get features like call forwarding, virtual receptionists, and hold music even if you run a small family business.
Most VoIP tools can be used without an additional device – all you need to do is purchase the service and run it in your browser or install it on your employees’ desktops, and you’re good to go. In some cases, you might need a modem, which is a small device that takes a little time to set up.
How much does VoIP cost?
Since they don’t use complex infrastructure and they aren’t monopolized by big phone companies, VoIP tools can cost a lot less than landlines.
Another factor that contributes to their low cost of service is scalability. Most VoIP providers charge on a per-user, per-month basis, which means you only pay for the extensions you use. As your business keeps growing, you can add new extensions and increase cost, making sure you’re never overpaying for your service.
VoIP pricing depends on your number of extensions and features you need, so let’s get into it and see how different providers created their pricing plans!
We’ll start with an easy one – RingBlaze. What makes it unique on this list is the fact that there is only one pricing plan. You have to make only one choice: whether you’d like to pay annually or monthly. If you choose to pay annually, the price is $15 per user per month, and if you pay monthly it’s $19 per user per month.
As you’re about to see later in the article, these are pretty competitive prices.
Everything is included in this price: unlimited free calling in the US and Canada, a free local number, a desktop app, and a lot of advanced features that other providers might only offer in their more expensive plans. You can also get an international number from 22 countries and all your customers can call you for free – from anywhere in the world.
The first of the advanced features is the Dashboard for team collaboration. Many companies have entire teams dedicated to customer service. These teams often work in shifts and have to fill in for each other, which can sometimes lead to a sub-par experience for your customers and a frustrating day at work for your agents.
The Collaboration Dashboard helps your team manage their workload more efficiently and keep track of calls. You can assign calls so everyone is aware of their responsibilities at all times. You can also record those calls and leave comments on them so that, no matter who is picking up the shift, they can see previous interactions with a customer and easily get up to speed.
This pricing plan also includes a “call us now” button that you can incorporate into your website and allow customers to quickly get in touch with you from their smartphones.
Founded in 2003, Grasshopper is one of the most familiar names in the VoIP industry. Its core target groups are small businesses and entrepreneurs, so its features and pricing plans are created to cater to these two groups.
Like RingBlaze, Grasshopper has a unique pricing model on this list. While other providers charge on a per-user, per-month basis, Grasshopper charges you a set price per month, regardless of how many extensions you need. But, here’s the catch: each plan has a maximum amount of extensions you can get, which means that you need to upgrade to the next plan if you want more extensions.
Grasshopper has three plans:
- Solo: $29 per month, maximum of three extensions;
- Partner: $49 per month, maximum 6 extensions;
- Business: $89 per month, unlimited extensions
All plans have unlimited minutes and SMS in the US and Canada. This is one of the Grasshopper’s biggest downsides: its service is currently unavailable outside of these two countries. This means that you can’t use Grasshopper if you run an international team or if you need to use the service from a different country for any other reason. Their website does mention that it will be available in other countries soon, so that’s worth noting.
If that’s a dealbreaker and you need a tool that supports international numbers, you can check out some of our Grasshopper alternatives.
When it comes to features, offers a basic set of options like business texting, voicemail transcription, and call forwarding. You can purchase some of the more advanced features separately, like Voice Studio (professionally recorded greetings) and Ruby Receptionists (live US-based receptionists).
Grasshopper offers a solid service for solo entrepreneurs at affordable prices but it doesn’t offer too many advanced features that your business might need.
8×8 started way back in 1987, as Integrated Information Technology, a chip designing company. In the 1990s, the company changed its name to 8×8 and started creating technologies for video conferencing. Since then, 8×8 has made several acquisitions in the cloud services and call center markets. One of the biggest ones was the acquisition of Jitsi, an open-source team chat app previously owned by Atlassian.
After all these acquisitions, 8×8 is now considered a unified communications solution, with features like video conferencing, team chat, and contact center capabilities.
8×8 has a wide range of pricing plans. If you go without the Contact Center option, you have three plans to choose from: the 8×8 Express ($12 per user, per month), X2 ($24 per user, per month), and X4 ($44 per user, per month). The Express plan is labeled as a perfect solution for “small offices and home-based businesses”. In this plan, you get all the basic VoIP features you can expect: unlimited calling and SMS (only in the US and Canada), call forwarding, and music on hold, among others.
Like Grasshopper, 8×8 doesn’t offer international calling in its basic plan. If you want this feature, you’ll have to upgrade to X2 which supports international calling to 14 countries, or X4 which supports 47 countries. X2 also offers other advanced features like video conferencing with up to 100 participants and call queues.
If you want true call center functionalities, you can choose between three plans: X6 ($112 per user, per month), X7 ($131 per user, per month), and X8 ($170 per user, per month). These plans are aimed at large enterprises, as they have a hefty price tag and features like advanced reporting and skills-based routing.
RingCentral is one of the most famous cloud-based business phone systems. Much like 8×8, RingCentral also upgraded its offer through a series of high-profile acquisitions in the past five years. The most notable acquisition happened in 2015 when RingCentral acquired the team chat app Glip and added collaboration functionalities to the platform.
Like many others on this list, RingCentral stimulates yearly payments by offering discounts. They have four pricing plans: Essentials ($19.99), Standard ($24.99), Premium ($34.99), and Ultimate ($49.99). These prices are on a per-user, per-month basis, and they refer to yearly payments. If you choose to pay monthly, they increase by up to 33%, so the Essentials plan would cost you $30 per user, per month.
The Premium plan is highlighted as “most popular” on their website and it offers impressive features like unlimited audio conferencing, integrations with popular apps, an auto-attendant, and call recording. However, this plan can end up costing you up to $44.99 per user, so you might be inclined to check out the Essentials plan.
The Essentials plan covers all the basics: unlimited calling and business SMS in the US and Canada, call log reports, and mobile apps for iOS and Android. It also adds some handy features like team messaging and file sharing. It lacks 24/7 support, call recording, and an auto-attendant.
It’s also important to mention that you can add international numbers to any plan, at a price starting at $5.99 per user, per month.
Check out the RingCentral alternatives if you’re looking for a more suitable tool.
Dialpad is another early pioneer of VoIP technology: it was founded in 1999 by Craig Walker, the creator of Yahoo! Voice and Google Voice. The service is currently used by many big-name companies like Uber and Motorola Solutions.
When it comes to pricing, Dialpad has a standard approach: three plans and discount prices for yearly subscriptions. Pricing starts at $15 per user for the Standard plan, then you have the Pro plan at $25, and the Enterprise plan for which there is no price on the website – you need to contact the Sales team to get an offer.
The key difference between the Standard and the Pro plan is the absence of international numbers and SMS in the Standard plan, which can be a problem if you have a global team. The Pro plan also gives you useful Salesforce integration and 24/7 support. The Enterprise plan adds a lot more integrations and a Service Level Agreement to make the partnership more official and define additional terms.
Ooma Office pricing
A familiar name in the VoIP industry, Ooma is known for Ooma Telo – a VoIP solution aimed at the residential sector. In 2013, Ooma released the Office service which targets small businesses. To use Ooma, you sometimes need a small hardware device installed in your office or home.
Ooma splits its pricing plans into two key categories: Office and Enterprise. In the Office category, you have Ooma Office ($19.95 user/month) and Ooma Office Pro ($24.95 user/month). The two Enterprise plans are Ooma Enterprise ($34.99 user/month) and Call Center ($74.99).
The most affordable, Ooma Office plan already comes with some impressive features. You get the Virtual Receptionist, multi-device ring, music on hold, and ring groups. The ring groups are highlighted on the website as a versatile feature that allows you to select teams of employees that are in charge of handling specific calls. That way, your sales agents can receive sales calls, customer support agents support calls, etc.
The one important feature that this plan doesn’t have is the desktop app. Features like voicemail transcription and call recording are expected to be missing in the most affordable plan, but a desktop app could be crucial for effectively running a call service. To get this feature, you’ll have to upgrade to Ooma Office Pro.
You can check out our Ooma alternatives if you need a desktop app for an affordable price.
Conclusion: best low rate VoIP provider
After considering all these VoIP providers and their pricing plans, we believe that RingBlaze offers the best value for money.
While other providers only pack the most basic features in their cheapest plans, RingBlaze has all the features available right away. Some of those features are pretty advanced like the “call us now” button and the team collaboration dashboard.
More importantly, RingBlaze only has one pricing plan, and it’s a very competitive one as well.
If you like these features at these prices, sign up for RingBlaze now – it will only take a few minutes!