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RingCentral Review

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks

RingCentral is our choice for the best business phone service because it is the complete package for unified communications. It can handle all of your communication needs, regardless of how small or large your business is. The system is extremely reliable, offers multiple price points to fit your budget, and has nearly every calling, collaboration and mobile feature businesses could want from a phone system. While several phone systems excel in some of these areas, RingCentral nails them all.

RingCentral

RingCentral

The Best Business Phone Systems of 2020

The Verdict

RingCentral is our choice for the best business phone service because of its ease of use and wide selection of features. It is also our selection for the top conference calling service within a phone system because of its support for up to 1,000 callers.

RingCentral is also our choice for the best conference calling service within a phone system because it's easy to use and allows every user to host calls with up to 1,000 participants. 

 

View all our recommendations for business phone systems and conference call services on our best picks pages.

RingCentral Pricing

RingCentral offers four service plans that vary in price and features to fit the budgets and needs of a wide range of businesses. While most systems have multiple price points, few offer as many options as RingCentral does. This flexibility gives many businesses the opportunity to use the service, regardless of their budgets. All of the plans include unlimited calls in the U.S. and Canada, unlimited business text messaging, a mobile app for iOS and Android devices, HD voice, visual voicemail, voicemail-to-email, file sharing, team messaging, and call logs.

Here is a breakdown of how each plan differs from the others:

  • The cheapest option is the Essentials plan, which is only available to businesses with 20 or fewer users. There are no audio or video meeting services in this plan. It costs $29.99 per user per month and includes 100 toll-free minutes. It's the only RingCentral plan that limits the number of employees who can use it.

  • The Standard plan is $34.99 per user per month for up to 99 users. The price drops to $32.99 for businesses with more than 100 users. It includes everything in the Essentials plan, as well as 1,000 toll-free minutes, a multilevel auto-attendant, an internet fax service, custom app development and deployment, and reports on quality of service. It also allows unlimited audio conferencing and video conferencing with up to 100 attendees, and it offers integrations with Office 365, G Suite and Slack.

  • The Premium plan is $44.99 per user per month. The price drops to $42.99 for businesses with more than 100 users. The Premium plan includes everything in the Standard plan, plus 2,500 toll-free minutes, video meetings for up to 1,200 people, automatic call recording, multisite support, hot desking, real-time analytics, single sign-on, and integrations with Salesforce and Zendesk.

  • The most expensive option is the Ultimate plan, which costs $59.99 per user per month and includes everything in the Premium plan, plus 10,000 toll-free minutes, reports and alerts on device status, and unlimited storage.

Prices drop by up to 33% per user if you pay annually instead of monthly. RingCentral does not have a free plan, but it offers all users a 30-day risk-free trial.

While each plan comes with one local or-toll-free number, there is an additional cost if you want more numbers. Toll-free numbers and local numbers are $4.99 per month, and vanity numbers are available for a one-time $30 fee. 

Businesses have the option to buy or rent desk phones from RingCentral. You can purchase desk phones for $80 to $400 each or rent them for $5 to $21 per month.

RingCentral Features

RingCentral Office is loaded with features. It has over 50 calling, collaboration, and mobile features, including caller ID control, one-touch calling, call recording, call flip, call park, call screening, intercoms, paging, call logs, message alerts, missed-call notifications, auto-attendants, multilevel IVRs, call reports, on-hold music, answering rules, extensions, and the ability to forward calls to multiple devices.

There are several voicemail options as well: traditional voicemail, voicemail-to-email, visual voicemail and voicemail transcription to text. Among the collaboration tools are audio and HD video conferencing as well as team messaging.

The RingCentral mobile app, available on iOS and Android devices, lets employees make and receive calls from their business lines on their mobile phones. The RingCentral app also lets users send and receive faxes and texts, set up and join conference calls, check voicemail, change their individual settings, and receive notifications.  

RingCentral also offers a softphone. This lets your employees make and receive calls from their computers, whether from desktops in the office or internet-connected laptops outside the office. To use the softphone, all you need to do is plug in a headset or use the computer's speakers and microphone.

For businesses that want to connect with colleagues or customers overseas, RingCentral offers a number of international calling options, including full-service coverage in 40 countries and international inbound virtual numbers in more than 100 countries. 

RingCentral Conference Calling

In addition to being the best business phone system, RingCentral tops our list of the best conference calling services within a phone system.

Each user has access to their own conference bridge. This means that each employee can host unlimited conference calls with up to 1,000 participants at a time. You don't have to worry about limiting your guest list or running out of minutes. The 1,000-caller limit is significantly higher than the thresholds of the other phone systems we reviewed. Multiple employees can host conference calls at the same time.

RingCentral's conferencing service is reservationless, which means you can begin calls instantly. While you can still schedule conferences in advance, this gives you the option to host an impromptu meeting when the need arises.

When you set up your conferencing preferences, you can select "enable join before host," which lets the call begin and continue without you or another host being present. You can also enable settings that lock the call once it has started and everyone has joined so no one else will be able to enter your call. The lecture mode lets you mute all the attendees' lines; your guests can still hear you, but no one can hear them. This is a useful feature for large meetings where there could be a lot of background noise.

You can send conference invites via Microsoft Outlook or your email provider. You simply click "invite with email," and RingCentral generates an email with the dial-in number and the participant access codes.

If you are hosting a call with participants outside the U.S., they can dial in using local numbers. RingCentral offers local numbers in more than 50 countries.

When you are hosting a call, you can record your conference free of charge and listen to it later. You can also share your recordings with anyone who was unable to attend the conference.

RingCentral makes it easy for hosts and meeting participants to join conference calls from mobile devices, typically by tapping a button or link. This saves you the hassle of entering the dial-in number and access code.

The biggest feature missing from RingCentral's conference calling service is operator-assisted calls. With this option, you'd have a representative from the service to set the call's itinerary, greet callers and take down their contact information, moderate Q&A sessions, and provide transcripts. If your company hosts large meetings that need this type of dedicated attention, you will need to find a provider that specializes in operator-assisted calling services.  

RingCentral Pros

RingCentral is a cloud-hosted system that doesn't require any special equipment or wiring. All you need is a high-speed internet connection with enough bandwidth to handle the number of calls your small business makes. RingCentral recommends that you use a high-speed DSL, cable, or fiber optic connection with dedicated upload and download bandwidth for voice of at least 90Kbps for each voice line. You don't need a dedicated IT team to maintain this system; RingCentral handles all of the maintenance and upgrades.

Part of what makes RingCentral such a solid business phone solution is its reliability. It boasts a 99.999% uptime, the highest possible for cloud-hosted phone systems. This means the service is down for just a few minutes each year.

RingCentral has numerous data centers worldwide. Should one center shut down or have a problem, clients will have no loss of service, because the data will instantly transfer to one of the other centers. Each data center is monitored 24/7 and staffed by onsite engineering specialists and security guards.

RingCentral allows number porting. This means businesses with an established phone number can transfer their number over to RingCentral after signing up for the service. When transferring your number, you'll choose a temporary number to use until the porting process is complete, which is typically in 2-4 weeks.

The system is controlled entirely from an online portal. From this portal, administrators can assign employees numbers and extensions and create ring groups. Employees can also log in to change their personal settings and make calls from their computers using a softphone.

Users are encouraged to set their mobile phone as a forwarding number. If you and your team do this, you won't miss any calls should your business lose power or its internet connection. All calls will automatically be forwarded to the appropriate staff member's mobile phone in those situations.

RingCentral Cons

One potential downside of RingCentral is that the Essentials plan doesn't include any audio or video conferencing. If those are communication tools you need, you will either have to upgrade to another service plan or go purchase separate conferencing calling and video conferencing solutions.

One area of concern is the number of complaints filed against RingCentral with the Better Business Bureau. As of July 2020, 301 complaints had been filed against the company over the past three years. That number is higher than we saw with some of RingCentral's competitors. Despite the complaints, RingCentral is accredited by the BBB and has an A+ rating on the site. Such a high rating means that the company is addressing all of these complaints. While RingCentral might not be able to provide everyone the solution they demand, it is at least attempting to resolve issues to everyone's satisfaction.

Customer Support

The customer support we've received from RingCentral has been mostly positive. During our research, we contacted the company numerous times by phone, email and live chat, posing as a business owner interested in phone service. While most of our interactions have gone well, we did have a couple of calls and chats that were less than helpful. Our most recent interactions with the company were significant improvements over our first calls and chats.

In our recent interactions with RingCentral, all of the representatives we dealt with were extremely helpful. They took our calls immediately and provided in-depth answers to all our questions. They also highlighted points we hadn't thought to ask about. By the end of our calls, we had a clear understanding of how RingCentral works, the features it offers and its price points.

The RingCentral website offers an array of valuable information, such as FAQs, videos, case studies, webinars and whitepapers. The company provides phone and chat support 24/7.

Image Credit: scyther5 / Getty Images
RingCentral

RingCentral

The Best Business Phone Systems of 2020

The Verdict

RingCentral is our choice for the best business phone service because of its ease of use and wide selection of features. It is also our selection for the top conference calling service within a phone system because of its support for up to 1,000 callers.

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks,
business.com Writer
See Chad Brooks's Profile
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has spent more than 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014.