Apples-To-Apples Comparison of Business VoIP Phone Systems
Use our price comparison tool below to:
- Get pricing based on number of users
- Find out how much you'll pay in taxes and fees for each provider (they each charge these differently)
- Compare pricing based on contract terms (annual, month-to-month, monthly with an annual contract)
- Compare pricing of different service levels and compare the features included at each level
This Business VoIP price comparison is the only one of its kind available online. In an attempt to provide transaparency, the four services below disclosed to ChooseWhat how they determine taxes and fees for their services, so we've used that information to help our entrepreneurs estimate the true cost of each system.
Get Cost Estimates (Including Fees) for Your Business From the Top 4 Services Below
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What is Business VoIP & What Makes Some "Cloud-Based"
If you are not familiar with any type of VoIP services, then you only need to learn a few simple things. When someone uses the word VoIP (voice over Internet protocol), they are generally referring to phone service that uses the Internet instead of a traditional phone line. Phones calls using VoIP are made and received in the exact same way as the traditional method- using normal looking phones and standard phone numbers. The most important thing to remember is that VoIP phone services require access to a broadband Internet Connection, but they don't need seprate phone service from your local phone company.
If you are familiar with residental VoIP services like Vonage, Ooma, Time Warner Cable's phone service or even AT&T's Uverse VoIP phone service, then you are already familiar with the basic technology. The difference is that Business VoIP services are combined with features like phone extensions, corporate voicemail, auto-attendants, and more to make them suitable for businesses.
A cloud-based Business VoIP system is a business phone system hosted by a service provider that includes a virtual number (i.e. a number that is not connected to an associated land line) and an online account dashboard, which allow you to view and / or change system settings, call logs, and messages. You can use the online dashboard to do things like:
- create "departments" like a sales department or customer service department;
- set business hours for the phone system;
- create calling rules so calls get routed to the appropriate person at the right time; and
- forward calls to your team member's mobile phones when they are out of the office.
With a cloud-based Business VoIP system, you have all of the functionality of a traditional business phone system without the hassle and costs of maintaining in-house routing hardware. Your service provider hosts and maintains all call routing settings, voicemails, and call logs online, which makes system maintenance a non-issue.
There are several reasons you should consider using a Business VoIP service:
- Professional Image – Features like Auto Attendant and customized greetings create a professional image for your business.
- Feature Rich – Get all the features of a traditional PBX system at a cheaper price.
- Affordable – There is no equipment to purchase and maintain other than phones. Most providers offer unlimited minutes.
- Scalable – There are no limitations on how many lines you may purchase.
- Portable – You can move your phone wherever you like and continue receiving service on the same phone number.
- Convenient – Check voicemails by email, the Internet, desktop phone or mobile phone.
- Unified – Use one number to reach all your office locations and employees.
- Support – Your service provider handles technical issues faster than a third-party maintenance service.
- Reliability – Many Business VoIP providers monitor customer accounts 24 hours a day and can repair trouble without the customer's knowledge, ensuring phone functionality when you need it.
Anyone who doesn’t want to invest a lot of money on a traditional business phone system but still needs sophisticated features should use Business VoIP.
Because Business VoIP services can be easily set up anywhere with an Internet connection and can automatically forward calls to existing phone lines, they are convenient for the following types of users:
- Startups or Small Businesses that want to seem bigger/more professional
- Technology Companies offering technical phone support
- Exporters or Virtual Offices who want to give the impression that they are local
- Service Companies, such as call centers
- Companies with Multiple Employees/Agents out in the field who want to be reached through one number
- Companies in Multiple States who want to control their telecommunications over one network
Based on our Business VoIP research, we created the ChooseWhat Market Standard, to which we compare the features of all the Business VoIP services we review. Below is a list of standards you should look for when choosing your Business VoIP provider.
ChooseWhat Market Standard
- Unlimited Local Number Minutes
- 30-Day Free Trial or 30-Day Moneyback Guarentee
- No Activation Fee
- Free Porting of Existing Numbers Into System
- Free Local Phone Number
- Free 855, 866, 877 or 888 Toll-Free Number
- Voicemail By Email: The ability to receive voicemails as email attachments and listen to them directly on your computer.
- Voicemail Alerts: Receive alerts through SMS or email when you get a new voicemail.
- Auto Attendant: Menus you can set up to let callers select where they want to be routed.
- Find Me/Follow Me: Allows a user to create a rule indicating a string of phone numbers to be dialed in sequential order for a determined number of rings until the call is answered or sent to voicemail.
- Send and Receive Internet Fax: Some services offer receive-only Internet fax or do not offer fax service at all.
- Conference Calling: Conference calls allow multiple extensions to participate in a call. Some companies do not bill you for conference calls. Some will give you a monthly conference minute allotment. Some will bill you depending on the number of people on the call.
- 24/7 Customer Support: Should include phone support, email support and/or live chat. Since reliable phone systems are important for many companies, good customer support is key when technical issues arise.
The ChooseWhat Check is a badge given out to select Business VoIP services based on the following criteria:
- Entry level plan ess than $35 per line per month (For 5 or more lines)
- No activation fee
- Unlimited local number minutes
- Offer VoIP phones starting at under $100
- Conference call capabilities
- Mobile app(s) available
- Internet/online fax service
- Customer Support
- 24/7 phone support
- US-based service reps
- Redundant servers (so if one server fails, another picks up the slack)