Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) also known as IP telephony, Internet telephony or Broadband telephony is the technology which powers phone calls over an internet connection unlike traditional phone systems which use cellular technology. VoIP calling can be accessed through laptops, desktop PC’s and mobile phones with a fast internet connection.
VoIP systems offer flexibility and lots of features traditional phone systems do not offer. VoIP services are provided by VoIP Providers, there are quite a number of them, this is a list of the top ten best VoIP service providers based on expert reviews, the list is arranged in no particular order.
- Microsoft Skype
VoIP is a reliable and cheaper alternative to cellular phone systems and is especially good for small businesses as it is cloud based and requires no special hardware thereby reducing costs. VoIP phone calls are made by encoding voice into digital signals and transmitting over the internet and then decoding back to voice at the receiver’s end.
To determine which VoIP service is best for you, find out what additional services you require such as video conferencing, conference calling, cheap call rates and more and compare each provider to see which fits your specifications and budget best. Features of a good VoIP service provider include:
- Call Recording
- Conference Calling
- Ease of Setup
- Good Customer Support
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Virtual Call Queuing
- Virtual Receptionist
- VoIP Mobile Apps
RingCentral has been consistently ranked top among the best VoiP providers globally, it offers its VoIP phone services to small businesses, medium and large enterprises. Ring Central provides reliable VoiP network coverage and more than fifty features including the ability to customize your phone system, a money back guarantee and no compulsory long term contract.
Ring Central’s pricing starts at $24.99 monthly.
Jive is easy to set up and provides users a wide range of features for enterprise VoIP needs
Jive is a cloud based phone system service with many top companies on their client list. Jive provides VoIP solutions to growing businesses and public institutions with flexible, scalable and affordable VoIP plans. Jive is easy to set up and provides users a wide range of features for enterprise VoIP needs
Jive offers a Hosted PBX which provides PBX call routing, other features include conference calling, internet faxx, broadband internet, automatic call distribution and more. Jive is suitable for all types of small businesses as well as medium and large scale enterprises.
Jive Hosted VoIP pricing starts at $19.95 monthly.
8×8 is a top rated VoIP phone service worldwide, some of its features include ring groups, custom greeting, call routing, call monitoring, virtual receptionist, voicemail to email transcription, CRM, Google and Outlook integration, Analytics and much more.
8×8 also allows users add extra phone lines, toll free numbers and virtual fax numbers at an extra cost. 8×8 offers a 30 day money back guarantee and a service level assurance that users get almost 100% uptime.
8×8 provides support 24/7 through email, telephone and live chat channels, it also offers a knowledgebase with tutorials and user guides for users.
8×8 pricing starts at $24.99 monthly.
Nextiva offers VoIP services for small businesses; it provides VoIP hardware, VoIP phone systems, Cloud PBX, Internet Faxing and Hosted Call Center solutions.
Nextiva offers features such as advanced call routing, conference calling, mobile integration, caller ID and much more.
It offers two call center solutions namely Nextiva Call Center Pro and Call Center Enterprise built on a single hosted platform suitable for inbound and outbound call centers.
Vonage is one of the most popular VoIP phone service providers worldwide and also one of the best, it currently has over 2 million subscribers and offers lots of features. Its features include cheap international call rates, E-911, additional phone lines for low price and user friendly interface.
Vonage offers a 14 day money back guarantee and phone number portability. Vonage’s VoIP pricing starts at $19.99 per month.
Dialpad is one of the best VoIP services in the market, it provides voice calling, texting and video calling services. Dialpad boasts of over 48,000 customers including Uber, Motorola Solutions, Netflix, Stripe, Quora and more.
Dialpad allows users collaborate with features such as screen, document and video chat sharing, it also offers iPhone & Android mobile apps and integrates with top CRM apps. One downside is that it doesn’t provide call monitoring.
Dialpad caters to small businesses as well as large enterprises.
Phone.com is a top cloud based phone service provider for small businesses, the company boasts of over 25,000 customers in the US and provides Android and iPhone apps which allow business owners buy and use multiple phone numbers on one phone and more.
Phone.com provides comprehensive analysis and reporting tools and boasts of the likes of ESPN, MouseFlow and more as clients. Phone.com offers 24/7 US based support, cheap prices, toll free local numbers, unlimited voicemails, free dedicated conference call rooms, hold music, call forwarding and much more.
Ooma provides top of the line VoIP solutions to companies around the world, it is one of the cheapest VoIP providers with its one time fee for unlimited calls at no extra cost. Ooma provides standard features such as HD calling, number porting and more.
RingByName is a reliable VoIP service provider with lots of useful features such as advanced call routing, unlimited domestic calling, flexible plans and reliable coverage. RingByName is specifically made for small businesses
RingByName however does not offer Call Monitoring features which most other VoIP providers offer. Call analytics and customer relationship management tools are also available with the service.
10. Microsoft Skype
Skype is the most popular free VoIP service provider and boasts of millions of users all over the world. Skype offers a full suite of communications services namely instant messaging, group chats, voice calling, video calling and video conferencing.
Skype does not offer as many VoIP calling features as the other VoIP providers mentioned above but is a good option for basic VoIP calls, it provides voicemail, callerID, call forwarding & call waiting services. Skype provides cheap local and international calls and unlimited call minutes. Skype calls can be made with the Skype mobile app, desktop app and web app.