3 Best VoIP Phone Services for 2021 (Residential & Business)


Don’t have time to read? My top pick for the all-around best VoIP phone service is Nextiva.

Grasshopper and RingCentral are the top runner ups.

Already know the basics about business VoIP phone services? Skip right to the review

To create awesome customer experiences and collaborate with remote teams, you’ll need the best VoIP phone services.

The result? Increases in conversions far higher than expected.

It’s as easy as setting up a sales line for a prospective customer to call. The soon-to-be lead calls, a sales representative’s phone rings, they answer the call, give the caller the info they need, and voila! You’ve just got a new lead.

In just a few minutes – maybe even seconds – a potential lead turns into a potential returning customer.

That’s a lot tougher to do when the caller is being redirected to and from employees.

From personal experiences, that potential lead may just hang up if they hear too much classical music on hold.

Using the right VoIP service, you’ll be able to help your customers get what they want ASAP and automate that process. It’s a win-win situation. Faster service, faster leads.

What’s more, the VoIP phone services I’ve included are the top options with regards to setting up, managing, using, and support.

So how do you choose the best service for you or your business?

In this review and guide, I’ll go over the top VoIP services, the different types of VoIP providers, how to choose a VoIP service, and related FAQ.

Let’s get into it.

The Top 3 Companies for VoIP Phone Services in 2021

  • Nextiva – Best VoIP for remote teams & multi-location businesses
  • RingCentral – Best VoIP for startups & scaling
  • Grasshopper – Best VoIP service for frequent mobile use
  • 8×8 – Best affordable VoIP phone service

#1  Nextiva Review

Best VoIP service for remote & multi-location teams & businesses

Remote teams face unique challenges. And they need a VoIP provider equipped with the tools and features required to conquer those challenges.

Nextiva is “made for business owners, not IT wizards” and built with remote teams of all sizes in mind. They offer solutions for small businesses, midsize businesses, and large enterprise companies alike. 

Plus, their in-house customer service team is ready to help every step of the way. 

Nextiva includes a wide variety of VoIP features, including:

  • Android and iOS applications
  • Unlimited text messaging
  • Customizable hold music
  • Multi-level auto attendant
  • Unlimited calls in the US and Canada
  • Free local OR toll-free number
  • Video and audio meetings
  • Internet faxing

Furthermore, you can make and receive business phone calls straight from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. This service completely replaces an in-office phone system, empowering your remote team to stay connected. 

Alternatively, you can use it in conjunction with your current phone system. So, it’s also a great fit for call centers and non-remote teams, as well. 

Nextiva offers simple and affordable pricing. Their plans include:

  1. Essential — $18.95 per user per month
  2. Professional — $22.95 per user per month
  3. Enterprise — $32.95 per line per month
  4. Ultimate — $57.95 per line per month

Nextiva boasts an “ultra-high uptime of 99.999%,” with around-the-clock network monitoring and zero outages in 2019. With relatively reliable service, various essential features, and reasonable prices, their service is among the best.

#2 – RingCentral Review — Best for Fast-growth Businesses

RingCentral is an excellent option for fast-growth businesses. They’re the world’s #1 business communications platform with plans and features for business communications as well as customer support. 

Plus, RingCentral offers discounts depending on the size of your team. So, as your team grows (regardless of how fast), your phone service affordably scales to match your needs. 

They promise 99.99% uptime, and they maintain countless global data centers. This means you get excellent coverage and phone quality wherever you are on the globe. 

Furthermore, installation and setup are a breeze, thanks to RingCentral’s step-by-step installation and intuitive admin panel. 

You can set up new users from the admin panel, monitor service quality, and view your analytics all in one centralized place. Plus, you can even access it on the go. 

Their services include features like:

  • Unlimited calls in the US and Canada
  • Voicemail to text
  • Team messaging
  • Document sharing
  • Unlimited text messaging
  • Unlimited faxing and conferencing
  • Call recording
  • Developer platform
  • Custom integrations

RingCentral’s most affordable plan starts at $19.99 per user per month, making them a top contender for affordability. 

Their paid plans include:

  1. Essentials — $19.99 per user per month
  2. Standard — $24.99 per user per month
  3. Premium — $34.99 per user per month
  4. Ultimate — $49.99 per user per month

While their basic plans are suitable for smaller teams, their Premium and Ultimate plans allow teams to create custom-fit solutions, regardless of how fast they grow. 

#3 – Grasshopper Review — Best for Mobile Teams

If your team works in the field, works from home, or works from anywhere in the world, Grasshopper is a smart choice. 

It’s a mobile (or desktop) app that adds a business line and an integrated phone system to your employee’s phones. So, they don’t need to carry around two phones or be present in the office to message customers and accept business calls. 

Plus, you can access and manage your entire phone system with mobile and desktop apps anywhere with an internet connection. 

The best part is that Grasshopper integrates seamlessly with the phones you already have. 

There’s no need to buy any fancy equipment or go through the hassle of messy and time-consuming installations. It’s as easy as picking a number and a plan, downloading the app, and configuring your settings. 

Plus, with Grasshopper, you get access to intuitive, yet powerful, features like:

  • Business text messaging
  • Call forwarding
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Phone extensions
  • Online faxing
  • Custom greetings
  • Instant responses
  • Ruby Receptionist

And while Grasshopper doesn’t automatically enable VoIP calling, you can quickly turn it on for free using the mobile app if you have poor cell service or prefer internet calling instead. 

Their paid plans include:

  1. Solo — $26/month for one number and three extensions
  2. Partner — $44/month for three numbers and six extensions
  3. Small Business — $80/month for five numbers and unlimited extensions

Extensions can forward to any number you want. So, you can operate with three employees using Grasshopper’s solo plan. 

This is a breath of fresh air instead of per-user pricing with the other services on this list. 

#4 – 8×8 Review — Most affordable VoIP phone service

If you’re looking for a basic, affordable VoIP phone service, 8×8 is a smart choice. 

Their 8×8 Express Business Phone System plan starts at $12 per user per month (with a free trial). This low pricing makes it the most affordable option on this list. 

However, with that low price point comes limited features. The Express plan includes:

  • Unlimited calling in the US and Canada
  • Global and direct toll-free numbers
  • Basic auto attendant
  • Ring groups
  • Call routing
  • Business SMS

It’s a no frills plan, but the flipside is your teams can get started in minutes. Even the least tech-friendly person will be an 8×8 master within a week.

If you end up needing more advanced features and functionality, 8×8 offers two premium plans above Express. Here are all three for comparison:

  1. Express — $12/month per user
  2. X2 — $24/month per user
  3. X4 — $44/month per user

The premium plans let you make unlimited calls to more countries and come with additional features for managers and administrators.

The advantages of going with 8×8 are less clear at the premium levels than they are with the Express plan.

For those who don’t need anything fancy, 8×8 Express is going to perform really well at an unbeatable price.

What’s the best VoIP phone service for you?

With so many VoIP service providers to choose from, finding the perfect solution for your business isn’t always easy.

To make things easier, I want to share the criteria I considered when making this list and some must-haves regardless of the company you choose. 

Use these to help narrow things down as you go through the process. 

Deployment Options

Some VoIP phone services work with the hardware you already have, while others require proper installation. In some cases, you may need to buy an adapter or something else to enable the system. 

But others are as simple as a mobile app you download on your phone. 

So, carefully consider the amount of time and the level of support you have when making a decision. The simpler the system, the easier it is, and the less support you need to get things up and running. 

The Size of Your Business

Most VoIP phone service providers charge per user per month. 

And while some offer discounts if you have a large team, those prices can quickly add up and get expensive. 

So it’s essential to understand how many users you have and how to get the best deal with the features you need at a reasonable price point. 

Phone Call Capabilities

It’s important to consider the phone call capabilities you need because each provider offers different capabilities at different price points. 

Do you need automatic call rejection, call forwarding, or caller ID? What about voicemail, voicemail transcription, and hold music? 

You may also want to consider other capabilities like:

  • Call forwarding and routing
  • Automatic attendants
  • Phone number types
  • Extensions
  • Blocking and auto rejections
  • Voicemail to text
  • Call recording
  • Call history
  • Instant responding
  • Custom greetings

Make a list of everything you need so you can choose the right provider and the right plan. 

Other Forms of Communication

Most VoIP providers also offer other forms of communication like SMS messaging, document sharing, online faxing, and video conferencing. 

However, they may not all be available on basic plans. 

With that said, you may not need all of them, either. So, carefully consider the additional forms of communication you need your team to have. 

Reliability

Your internet, VoIP provider’s uptime, and power source affect the quality of your phone calls.

With reliable, high-speed internet, you probably won’t have any issues. But what happens if the power goes out? 

If you use your mobile device, you’re probably fine. 

But desk phones aren’t. However, some come with battery backups that may last up to a few hours. So, make sure this is an option if you rent or buy hardware from your VoIP service provider. 

Furthermore, some VoIP providers offer network monitoring that lets them switch to wireless backups if wired data links fail. And you should also expect nothing less than 99.99% uptime, as well. 

The Different Types of VoIP Phone Service 

Device-based

For this type of service, you need to buy an adapter from the service provider and connect it to an existing phone (or a phone they provide). 

Software-based

These services are desktop programs. Skype and Google Talk are two good examples. You have to install the program and connect to the internet to use them.

However, most providers offer cloud-hosted and software-based systems.

Cloud-hosted

Cloud-hosted VoIP, or “virtual private-branch-exchange” (PBX), services are available as well. The only hardware you need is a networking router or switch and the provider handles the rest

This includes mobile VoIP services, too. These mobile apps run on Android and Apple devices through cellular internet or a local Wi-Fi network.

All of the options on this list are a combination of cloud-hosted and software-based, with most offering both types of systems. 

Summary

My top recommendations are Nextiva, Ringcentral, and Ooma. They are affordable, reliable, and easy to set up.

However, if you’re looking for a large-scale solution, Verizon is your best bet. 

Grasshopper is a simple, yet powerful, mobile app for small teams who are frequently out of the office. 

If you’re on a tight budget, 8×8 is the cheapest VoIP phone service, starting at $12 per user per month. However, it’s features are limited. 

Regardless of the route you go, don’t forget to consider your requirements, budget, and the criteria we talked about as you go through the process of choosing the best VoIP phone service for your business.  

Have you used a VoIP service provider in the past? What was your experience like?

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