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The Best Business VoIP Phone Systems for 2022

By
Chad Brooks
,
business.com Staff
| Updated
Sep 16, 2022

Our team of experts has compared the best VoIP services for 2022. See up-to-date comparisons, reviews and costs for the top rated services.
Best VoIP Business Phone System for Video Conferencing
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Our team of experts has compared the best VoIP services for 2022. See up-to-date comparisons, reviews and costs for the top rated services.
 

The explosion of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in the phone service industry has changed the landscape for businesses. Being able to access robust phone systems with hundreds of tools and features for a fraction of the cost of a traditional landline phone system continues to drive the demand for VoIP phone systems in 2019.

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Instead of using copper wiring to make and receive calls, VoIP systems tap into the same internet connection your business is using to get online. Using this type of connection has opened the door to a number of added features that many businesses find valuable, such as the ability to make calls from your computer. 

However, as the number of businesses using VoIP phone systems has grown, so too has the number of phone system providers offering them.  With hundreds of VoIP phone system providers operating in 2019, choosing the right one for your business can be an arduous task.  

Besides features, tools, price and mobile accessibility, you need to take various other factors into account when looking for a business VoIP phone system. We want to help you narrow down your choices. 

In addition to spotlighting some of the most important tools to look for and sharing advice on getting a VoIP business system that fits into your budget, this guide offers our recommendations on the business VoIP phone systems for various needs. 8×8, RingCentral, Ooma Office, Jive and Dialpad are the systems we think are best for different types of businesses. You can read more about each and the types of organizations we think they are best for below.   

If none of our recommendations work for you, scroll down even farther to see of a comprehensive list of VoIP phone systems for businesses. 

What to Expect

Each year, VoIP business phone system providers look for new ways to enhance the services they offer. Look for additional attention to be paid to artificial intelligence and voice analytics. 

While businesses with call centers have long used these types of tools to analyze how their call center agents are operating, we expect an increase in the number of VoIP phone system providers looking to find ways to work these tools into their core offerings for all businesses.

One example of a company already taking these steps is RingCentral. In the fourth quarter of last year, the VoIP phone system provider announced new partnerships with three companies to provide artificial intelligence enabled voice analytics. One of these partnerships is with Velvetech. The company is developing a custom, real-time transcription solution with machine learning capabilities in order to discover insights that help improve the performance of sales teams.

Another trend that took hold last year that we expect to continue is increased emphasis on unified communications. Instead of building phone systems wherein the basic function is to make and receive calls, many VoIP phone system providers have focused their attention on incorporating other communication elements into their platforms. This includes options for instant messaging and video conferencing.

With a growing number of businesses now looking for unified communications features, we expect more VoIP phone system providers to continue adding these tools to their platforms. 

On example of this move toward more unified communications is what Vonage is doing with social messaging. In the fourth quarter of last year, Vonage unveiled a new integration with Facebook Messenger. This allows customers to reply to messages sent in Messenger through all applications of their Vonage service. We see this trend of adding new communication options to the business phone system platform to continue. 

Pricing

The cost structure for a business VoIP phone system differs based on whether you have a cloud-based or on-premises system.

Cloud-based systems have monthly fees, but little to no upfront costs. Conversely, on-premises systems have large upfront capital expenditures with small monthly fees.

The exact prices for each type of system vary based on how many lines you need and how many features you want access to. Cloud-based phone systems can run anywhere from $10 to $75 per user, per month. Your per user cost typically decreases with the more users you have.

Besides user costs, some providers also charge extra fees for things like additional toll-free numbers, international numbers and vanity numbers. However, since most cloud-based systems are plug-and-play ready, there usually aren’t any major installation charges involved.

With on-premises systems, most of your expenses are paid upfront. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars per user. The price will depend on how many users you have and how many features are included.

There are also some significant installation costs to consider with on-premises systems. Since these systems will be housed within your business, they need to be professionally installed, which, at a minimum, will cost a few thousand dollars. There are also smaller monthly fees with on-premises systems for SIP trunking, or PRI circuits, which brings a dial tone into the system.

The other expense you need to consider with a business VoIP system, regardless of whether you have a cloud-based or on-premises system, is the cost of IP phones. There are a wide variety of handset phones on the market and wide range of price points. Phones can run as cheap as $50 each to more than $400 each.

Negotiation

While many VoIP phone system providers have set pricing, there are a few steps you can take to get the best deal:

  • See if the provider offers discounts for agreeing to a long-term contract or paying for an entire year in advance.
  • Check if it would give you a lower price to start if you plan on adding more lines in the future.
  • Ask if it would be willing to match a competitor’s cheaper price.
  • See if it would be willing to give you phones for free if you commit to a long-term contract.

A critical step when signing any contract, regardless of whether the company is willing to negotiate price with you, is to closely read the entire contract before agreeing to anything. You need to make sure the terms of the contract are exactly what you were expecting and don’t include any hidden fees or price increases. Be sure to get specific costs of tax and any surcharges. Many businesses are shocked to see their first bills after signing up for a VoIP service because they weren’t anticipating ancillary fees like taxes and surcharges.

It is also imperative that you fully understand the phone system provider’s cancellation policy. You need to know how much advance notice is necessary to cancel and whether there are any fees for it. Make sure you have answers to these questions before signing any contract for VoIP phone service.

Reviews

Zoom: Best for Business Phone System Video Conferencing

Grasshopper: Best Virtual VoIP Business Phone System

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Nextiva: Best VoiP Phone System for Multiple Locations

pro
Nextiva provides user-friendly business intelligence forecasting tools.
pro
Subscriptions include toll-free numbers and minutes.
con
The Essential plan lacks SMS and MMS messaging and unlimited audio conferencing.

Nextiva Office is a cloud-based VoIP phone system whose service can be spread throughout multiple offices or stores. This setup is ideal for businesses with multiple locations, because all you need to get the system up and running is to plug the IP phones into an Ethernet port at each location. The system then automatically syncs all of the locations and allows them to be managed from the same online platform.

Within the online portal, administrators can add employees into the system, assign phone numbers and user IDs, record automated greetings, create call queue routes and priorities, and designate which features each employee can access.

Nextiva offers a vast array of features and tools, including unlimited local and long-distance calling, unlimited online faxing, an automated attendant, music on hold, conference calling, HD call connections, and the option to receive voicemails via email and text messages.

Nextiva’s mobile app, available on iOS and Android devices, allows users to make and receive phone calls on their business lines, make video calls, instant-message with co-workers, and update call settings.

Nextiva Office is available in three service plans, which vary in prices based on the number of employees using the system and whether or not a long-term contract is signed. Besides its traditional phone system, Nextiva also offers call center services, a virtual-only system, online fax service, cloud storage and PBX SIP trunking.

Read Nextiva Review

RingCentral: Best VoiP Business Phone Service

pro
RingCentral offers Team Huddle, a chat-enabled persistent video space.
pro
Employees can assign and prioritize activities with the task management tools.
con
The Essentials plan doesn't include faxing or audio and video conferencing.

RingCentral Office is one of the best business phone services because of its wealth of features, ease of use and multiple price points. The VoIP service is hosted in the cloud and requires no special equipment or wiring to install. All businesses need is the required bandwidth to support their call volume and a router that prioritizes their voice traffic.

Once the service has been activated and IP phones are plugged into Ethernet ports, your business can start making and receiving calls. The entire system is controlled via an online portal, from which administrators can assign employees phone numbers and extensions, configure the auto-receptionist, and set up answering rules.

RingCentral Office has an extensive set of features and tools. Some of the most valuable are voicemail, voicemail-to-email, call recording, call screening, on-hold music, missed call and message alerts, online faxing, and the ability to host video and online meetings. The service also integrates with some popular programs many businesses are already using, such as Google Apps for Work, Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce.

Available on iOS and Android devices, the RingCentral mobile app lets users make and receive calls from their business lines, send and receive online faxes, and participate in conference calls.

RingCentral provides customer support by phone 24/7. Its website is also filled with user guides, FAQs, webinars and how-to videos.

Read RingCentral Review

Dialpad: Best VoIP Phone System for Use Without Desk Phones

pro
AI-powered tools summarize meetings and generate action items.
pro
All Dialpad subscriptions include a multilevel auto-attendant and call recording.
con
Dialpad only offers four- or five-digit employee extensions on the Enterprise plan, which has a 100-user minimum.
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Dialpad was built with the desktop and mobile app in mind, not the desk phone. The system’s desktop app and iOS/Android mobile apps are some of the best-designed business VoIP applications, making Dialpad an excellent option for businesses that don’t have or want office phones.

This cloud-based system that allows employees to work from anywhere. With the apps, employees can make and receive calls, video chat, and send instant messages to co-workers. Other features Dialpad offers include three-way calling, reply by text, visual voicemail, do not disturb, online faxing, call recording, call screening and simultaneous ringing.

Dialpad also fully integrates with Google’s G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, Okta and LinkedIn. The integrations allow your contacts to automatically transfer into the system, so you don’t have to toggle back and forth between Dialpad and your other programs when working.

The system also allows for excellent collaboration among employees. Dialpad includes screen and document sharing, group messaging, and video and audio conferencing.

To help you gain insight into your business and calling statistics, Dialpad gives you access to analytics that show employee engagement, voice and message numbers, and calling trends.

Dialpad is offered for free to businesses with less than five employees.

Read Dialpad Review

Vonage: Best VoiP Phone System for Growing Businesses

pro
You can add call queues, ring groups and on-demand recording to any subscription for an extra fee.
pro
Vonage integrates with many third-party platforms for free, including Zoho and Zendesk.
con
The service plans don't include unlimited call recording, toll-free minutes or toll-free numbers.
visit site

Vonage is an excellent phone system for growing businesses because it can continue to suit your needs as your business expands. Whether you are starting out with just a handful of employees and growing to three times that, or if you are starting out with a few hundred and expanding to several thousand, Vonage has two different platforms that can fit your needs.

Vonage Business Cloud is designed for small businesses. The systems includes more than 50 calling, collaboration and mobile tools, including virtual receptionists, audio and video conferencing and mobile app that allows you to make and receive calls from your business line from your cell phone.

Vonage Enterprise is designed for mid-size and larger organizations. It provides businesses with access to a dedicated private network that enhances audio and video service. This platform also offers host of valuable features, including auto-attendants, contact center services and remote office capabilities.

Customer support is available by phone between 8 a.m. and midnight ET Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET on the weekends. There is also after-hours emergency support available for those with pressing issues.

Read Vonage Review

Ooma Office: Best VoIP System for Very Small Businesses

pro
Ooma's Express Setup Assistant walks your team through the straightforward process.
pro
The cloud-based platform can work with analog devices, like overhead paging systems and fax machines.
con
Ooma Office has fewer call-routing options than similar business phone systems.
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Ooma Office is a phone system designed specifically for very small businesses. Even though Ooma Office is an on-premises VoIP system, someone without IT expertise can still install it in just a few minutes.

The main piece of equipment is the base station, which is a router that prioritizes voice data to ensure reliable service. If you are using analog phones, you also need the system’s Linx devices, which wirelessly connect the phones to the base station. The base station can connect to up to four Linx devices.

If you want to connect additional analog phones, you will need an expansion base station, each of which can connect five more users. Overall, the system supports up to 20 analog phones or 200 IP phones. If you are using IP phones, you can plug them directly into an Ethernet port without using a Linx device.

While Ooma Office doesn’t have all the bells and whistles some phone systems offer, it does have many of the features and tools very small businesses find most valuable. These include unlimited local and long-distance calling, dedicated phone numbers and extensions, a virtual receptionist, voicemail, call transfers, call logs, daytime and after-hours modes, ring groups, music on hold, conference calling and online faxing.

Ooma Office has both one-time equipment fees and recurring monthly service charges. The system comes with a 30-day risk-free trial.

Ooma provides customer support by phone between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. (PT) Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PT) on the weekends. Email and live chat support is available 24/7.

Read Ooma Office Review

8x8: Best VoIP Phone System for Small Businesses

pro
You can mix and match your company's 8x8 subscriptions to account for different employee roles.
pro
8x8 supports global workforces, and X-Series plans offer unlimited international calling to 48 countries.
con
The 8x8 Express plan is limited to 10 users and doesn't include online faxing.
visit site

8×8 is a cloud-hosted VoIP phone system that’s a top option for small businesses because it is easy to use, has a wide variety of valuable features and offers excellent customer service.

Since the system is hosted in the cloud, there is no expensive equipment to install or maintain. All that’s needed is a properly configured router and enough bandwidth to handle your expected call volume.

The entire system is controlled and configured via an online portal. Administrators can assign employees telephone numbers and extensions, set up the automated attendants, and create ring groups. Among the robust features 8×8 offers are automated attendants, music on hold, call forwarding, conference calling, voicemail-to-email and the ability to host online meetings.

The 8×8 mobile app, available on iOS and Android devices, allows employees to make and receive calls from their business lines, video-chat, and check voicemail and online faxes.

8×8’s service plans differ in price based the features you want included.

Read 8x8 Review

GoTo Connect: Best VoIP System for Features and Tools

pro
Call-filtering rules let your VIP customers bypass the auto-attendant for immediate assistance.
pro
The app and web-based tools offer more than 100 voice, video and messaging features.
con
The self-service knowledge base and training guides are outdated and less effective than other business phone systems' resources.

GoToConnect powered by Jive is one of the best VoIP business phone systems because of its array of included features and tools. The unified communications system combines Jive’s phone service with GoToMeeting’s video conferencing solution.

GoToConnect’s cloud-based VoIP system, which has 11 servers to ensure top-notch reliability, has an impressive set of more than 80 features and tools. Some of the more valuable ones are auto attendants, call recording, three-way conference calling, custom on-hold music, voicemail and voicemail to email.

GoToMeeting is an online web conferencing service that includes screen sharing, call me and cloud recording. GoToMeeting is our choice as the best video conferencing service for small businesses.

The system integrates with many popular programs organizations may already use, such as Outlook, Salesforce and Oracle. GoToConnect also provides businesses with a wealth of analytical data about their calls, including call logs, geography-based heat maps, time-of-day histograms and user statistics.

Available for iOS and Android devices, GoToConnect’s mobile app allows users to make and receive calls from their business line, conduct conference calls, send and receive text messages, and review call histories.

GoToConnect’s pricing is tier-based. The more employees you have, the cheaper the per-user costs are. Costs range from $20 to $30 per user, per month. What’s nice about this system is that there is only one service plan, so all users have access to every feature.

Customer support is available by phone, email and live chat 24/7.

Read GoTo Connect Review

Cisco:

Avaya:

Mitel: Best VoiP Phone System for Call Centers

Mitel is the best phone system for call centers because it can be hosted several different ways, is available in multiple service plans and includes all the features businesses expect in a contact center solution.

Mitel offers cloud-hosted, on-premises and hybrid solutions. There are also multiple service plans available for both the main phone system and contact center services, which differ by price and features. Employers can mix and match service plans based on the features and tools each employee needs.

Call center features include universal queuing and enterprise resource matching; optimized call routing by service level, skills, priority, customer identity, schedules and caller location; email, fax, voicemail, SMS and web chat integration; customer callback; and automatic speech recognition.

The main phone system includes auto-attendants, music on hold, call screening, call blocking, the ability to dial by name or extension, voicemail-to-email, call blocking, hunt groups, audio conferencing, instant messaging, presence, video chat and desktop sharing.

Mitel offers round-the-clock support, and the support section on Mitel’s website features videos and training courses.

Read Mitel Review

Phone.com:

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RingByName:

OnSIP:

Comcast Business:

Digium Switchvox:

FluentStream:

Skype:

eVoice:

FreedomVoice:

Methodology

To determine the best business VoIP phone systems, we started by looking at a comprehensive list of more than 70 phone system providers. To narrow that list down, we separated all of the vendors that had a good online reputation, such as those services that were consistently ranked highly by other websites.

We also, at periodic intervals, queried business owners to see which services they use. If we got multiple business owners raving about the vendor they use, they were also added to the final list of contenders.

Finally, we visited each company’s website. If a company stood out to us, we added them to the final list. We also eliminated most companies that only served businesses in their local region.

We ultimately settled narrowed down our pool to: 8×8, Avaya, Booth, Cisco, Dialpad, Digium, ESI, EVoice, FreedomVoice, Grasshopper, Jive, Mitel, Nextiva, OnSip, Ooma Office, Phone.com, RingByName, RingCentral, and Vonage.

Next, we researched each provider by investigating its services, watching tutorials and how-to videos, and reading user comments. We also contacted each company’s customer service department and posed as business owners to gauge the type of support each provider offers its users.

In all, we analyzed each system based on the following factors:

  • Deployment options
  • Level of service
  • Reliability
  • Customer service
  • Calling features
  • Collaboration tools
  • Mobility options
  • Cost
  • Better Business Bureau accreditation, ratings and complaints

Understanding VoiP Phone Systems Infographic

Understanding VoiP Phone Systems
Credit: Grant Reinero

State of the Industry

The introduction of VoIP has given the business phone system industry a dramatic makeover in recent years. A growing number of businesses have forgone traditional landline technology in favor of VoIP systems. 

Research shows that with landline services losing 500,000 customers a month, the VoIP market is expected to grow by 10 percent every year through 2020. 

Typically operated by local phone companies, landline systems run on copper wiring, and require businesses to purchase and maintain a large amount of expensive PBX equipment.   

The move to VoIP systems can be attributed to a number of factors, including cost and convenience. VoIP systems run on the same internet connection used to get online. While you can have an on-premises VoIP system, many businesses are forgoing the upfront expenses by using a cloud-based offering. Instead of investing in expensive equipment, you pay a monthly fee for each user with cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems. 

Research has shown businesses see significant savings when moving from landline to VoIP phone systems. Research by RingByName found that companies that switch to VoIP save between 50 and 75 percent. In addition, small businesses save about 40 percent on local call costs with VoIP. 

Ease of use is another factor for why some businesses are switching to VoIP. These phone systems require no maintenance and include a wealth of valuable calling and collaboration features. Overall, VoIP systems offer upwards of 100 features and tools.

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
business.com Staff
Chad Brooks is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of media of experience. He has been with Business News Daily and business.com for the past decade, having written and edited content focused specifically on small businesses and entrepreneurship. Chad spearheads coverage of small business communication services, including business phone systems, video conferencing services and conference call solutions. His work has appeared on The Huffington Post, CNBC.com, FoxBusiness.com, Live Science, IT Tech News Daily, Tech News Daily, Security News Daily and Laptop Mag. Chad's first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014.
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