The telecommunication industry has undergone significant transformation over the years, and VoIP stands at the forefront of this evolution. VoIP was initially designed to reduce call costs over long distances. Its ability to drive the sending and receiving of calls worldwide has made it a mainstream communication technology for most small businesses.
Do you need to make cheap online calls and simplify your business communication? Do you need an all-in-one video conferencing, chat, and SMS service provider? Then, you need a reliable VoIP service. This guide will provide everything you need to know about VoIP and choosing the best VoIP service for your business.
Defining VoIP Services
Before we get to the list of the best VoIP services of 2023, it’s best to get acquainted with the basics of VoIP and how they work.
What are VoIP services?
Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) services are a communication technology that uses an internet connection to enable voice calls. VoIP allows anyone to use a computer, smartphone, and WebRTC-enabled browsers to make calls and transit information. You can also make video calls, send instant messages, and talk with VoIP for more robust communication.
A VoIP phone system collects voice data and converts it into packets ready for transmission. It is then decoded by the recipient's Phone as voice data that can be understood.
A VoIP service offers extensive phone services to small businesses in a way that a landline cannot. Modern VoIP systems integrate with CRM systems so business workflows can run smoothly. This flexibility promotes unified communication, seamless customer experience, and cost-effectiveness. Additionally, top VoIP providers offer advanced features like mobile apps, AI-powered transcription, and security add-ons.
What Do You Need to Incorporate VoIP Phone Services?
A VoIP phone system consists of different components that make voice calls possible. To integrate a VoIP phone service for your business, you need an excellent internet connection, a VoIP subscription, a computer, headsets, and desk phones. Depending on your business needs, you must select the ideal VoIP from what's available.
There are device-based VoIP, on-premise PBX, and cloud-based VOIP for small businesses. If your business is kicking off, you may want to settle for free or cheap VoIP service providers. Before discussing the best VoIP services, let's briefly discuss these types.
- Device-based VoIP lets devices connect to your standard phone set to enable calls. Some top device-based VoIP providers offer a variety of phones, such as analog phones, digital phones, conference phones, and cordless IP phones. Ooma is a prime example of a device-based VoIP service.
- On-premise PBX: PBX, short for private branch exchange, is a confidential telephone service used within a company for user communication. With the PBX, you host a dedicated VoIP server in your office. That means you'll need to budget for maintenance, repairs, and system upgrade.
- Cloud-based PBX: This is the opposite of an on-premise PBX. Here, a third-party VoIP service provider manages system maintenance and upgrades. Cloud-based PBX deploys software solutions that don't require you to purchase hardware. Your team can place and receive calls via the app on their desktop or mobile device. Among all VoIP types, cloud-based PBX is the most affordable solution for small businesses.
Before choosing a VoIP phone provider, you must know hardware requirements, setup fees, and monthly costs. Selecting a virtual phone solution helps you avoid the cost of extraneous materials while outsourcing maintenance and upgrade of systems.
Importance of Choosing the Right VoIP Service Provider
VoIP technology uses existing IP data networks to make voice and other media files transferable. Now that virtual phone system solutions are commonplace, it takes more work to locate the one that suits your business needs. To ensure performance, accuracy, and security, it is imperative to select the right VoIP provider for your business.
Although VoIP services run on similar technology, the interface, structure, and offerings may vary from provider to provider. Regardless, the right VoIP phone system for small business have these following qualities:
- Ease of use
- User mobility
- Deep Integration with other business apps
- High call quality and video integration
While system uptime is a function of your internet connection, your VoIP must sustain the ability to forward calls and guarantee HD call quality at all times. When employees can contact one another or speak to clients from any location without restraint, it's a good sign that you've found the right VoIP for your business.
Best VoIP Services to Try:
There are lots of VoIP providers competing for the average business owner's attention. Therefore, selecting a premium VoIP should be based on your business needs and budget.
Let's check out the top 10 VoIP providers for small businesses:
RingCentral offers an extensive suite of VoIP tools for small businesses and large enterprises. The platform integrates Phone, instant messaging, and video conferencing in one offering. With RingCentral, you can record unlimited calls, accurate call logs, call forwarding, and video meetings. This VoIP solution lets employees improve on-premise communication through internal messaging and document sharing.
- Integrations for Slack, Microsoft 365, and other third-party apps
- AI-powered transcription
- Unlimited calls within the U.S. and Canada
- Toll-free numbers
- Extra cost for international calls
- Tedious configuration
Cost: Starting at $19.99 per user each month
LimePhone is an excellent VoIP software that enables HD quality calls for business meetings. You can conference, send instant messages, and share files within teams at no cost. Set up an account and obtain your dedicated business number to start. LimePhone secures your calls with end-to-end encryption so no one can access confidential information you share via IP calls.
- Integrate seamlessly with office software
- Unlimited calls and voicemails
- Compatible with iOS, Android, Linux, and Windows devices
- No overhead costs
- 7-day free trial only
Cost: Starting at $4.99 per user each month
Ooma provides advanced features for small businesses to scale performance and productivity. You'll find a virtual receptionist, mobile app, and call-blocking feature on this VoIP service. Standard functions like video conferencing, call recording, and voicemail transcription are added to these. Ooma also lets you organize business hours to streamline calls as necessary.
- Free local phone number
- Easy to use and manage
- Integration with CRM software
- Best for small IT departments
- No AI-enabled transcription
- Limited authentication options
Cost: Starting at $19.95 per user each month
4. Microsoft Teams
Teams Phone is the VoIP feature on Microsoft Teams, a robust collaboration software. Its familiar user interface makes the add-on easier to operate and is perfect for businesses not searching for a standalone VoIP option. As expected, Teams Phone integrates easily with Microsoft 365. Call quality is also high, ensuring sustainable client interaction throughout the transacting period.
- Further range of local calling plans
- Deep insights into call quality and VoIP system operations.
- Easy Integration into Microsoft Teams and Office 365
- Call hours are limited to 3,000 minutes per month.
- Some tasks require tech-savvy individuals.
Cost: Starting at $7.99 per user each month
Nextiva is a feature-rich unified communication software that lets small businesses handle calls like enterprise-level organizations. Features include auto-attendant, audio conferencing, online faxing, and third-party integrations. With Nextiva, you also get unlimited calling, SMS, and video calls. This VoIP service assembled all the necessary tools to deliver a seamless customer experience and boost results.
- Best for businesses of all sizes
- PCI and HIPAA compliant
- Integration with Google and Outlook
- Voicemail to email notifications
- Price increases with fewer users
Cost: Starting at $19.99 per user each month
Vonage is a cloud-based VoIP solution that ensures communication over video calls, audio conferencing, and group messaging. You can call international numbers on Vonage through the desktop or mobile app platform. It also lets you host large-scale business meetings, record calls, and integrate other business apps. The Vonage app allows employees to chat and make virtual calls from anywhere.
- Integrations with Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, and G-Suite
- Voice API to personalize customer service
- Business Inboxes offering SMS, MMS, and Facebook Messenger
- Mobile and desktop apps
- Extra cost for add-ons
- Importing contacts is not straightforward
Cost: Starting at $14.99 per user each month
Dialpad is a relentless VoIP service that sends new software updates every two weeks. It focuses on innovative tech to drive business communication within small teams and for entrepreneurs. If you're considering deploying softphones as your significant client, Dialpad should be your go-to vendor. There's also a new geographical call routing feature up on the platform.
- All-in-one communication hub
- AI-driven call transcription
- Ideal for softphone users
- Extra cost for video-conferencing feature
- No call quality analytics report
Cost: Starting at $14.99 per user each month
8×8 offers Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) for a seamless experience with calls and messaging. Its latest Frontdesk functionality makes it easier for small businesses to imitate a physical front desk. Although 8×8 doesn't have many advanced features, its internet-based calling feature is top-notch. You can easily set up this VoIP service for mobile and desktop devices.
- Enhanced mobile video
- Virtual Front-desk feature for receptionists
- Team messaging and unlimited video conferencing
- Real-time analytics for all interactions
- Insufficient productivity features
- Only bulk editing configurations are available
Cost: Starting at $14.99 per user each month
CallHippo is an easy-to-setup VoIP phone system that fosters customer support, offers third-party app integrations, and monitors inbound calls. On CallHippo, you can get an instant phone number to call over 190 countries. Interestingly, this business line is designed to let you know the perfect time to contact your clients in their respective countries. Advanced features on CallHippo also include real-time analytics, automated distributions, and a power dialer.
- Free trial for new users
- Integrates with popular apps or plugins
- Unlimited video conferencing
- User-friendly interface
- Add-ons available at additional costs
- Features only accessible on paid plans
Cost: Starting at $15.99 per user each month
Grasshopper is a VoIP phone system focusing on self-employed individuals and small business owners. With this service, you can add a business phone system to your number. Also, it's okay to purchase new devices to maintain business and personal communications separately. Grasshopper offers mobile and desktop apps that enable call forwarding, voicemail transcription, and business texting.
- Toll-free numbers available
- 24/7 live support
- Call reporting
- Transfer of current number available
- Plans are billed annually
- The added cost for advanced features
Cost: Starting at $25.99 per user each month
How to Get Started with VoIP Services
Whether setting up VoIP in the home or office, it's the most straightforward installation. A cloud phone system is your best bet to avoid hardware costs and maintenance charges.
Follow these easy steps to set up a VoIP system in your preferred location:
- Test the strength of your internet connection.
- Invest in necessary VoIP hardware.
- Find a VoIP with the features you need.
- Get a business phone number.
- Install your virtual VoIP system.
- Test your new VoIP lines.
- Train your staff to maximize all VoIP features for communication.
Benefits of VoIP services
Why choose a VoIP service over a dedicated phone line as a small business? Here are some benefits your team members will derive from VoIP services.
A VoIP system provides a centralized platform for organizing communication within the company. This system allows you to make voice calls, schedule video conferences, and send SMS to clients and employees. It will enable you to coordinate call management wherever you are.
The best VoIP services for small businesses integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) systems like Slack for easier workflows. You can also integrate with third-party apps as your business demands.
Seamless Client Interaction
The internet has made it easy to transact business from anywhere. With a VoIP service, your business can interact with clients wherever they are located. You can initiate business meetings, send documents, and stay connected to updates on business plans.
A VoIP phone service also ensures that you don't miss important calls. You can choose the first set of rings to be forwarded to your office. When you're not available to answer it, the call will be transferred to a second or third device.
One advantage of VoIP phone systems over traditional phone services is that it's affordable to use. The cost-per-call is minimal because it uses Internet Protocol to facilitate calls. You're set up to proceed if your business already has an IP connection.
More so, VoIP-enabled calls over long distances are cheaper compared to using landlines for calls. Using VoIP for business ensures you can make local and international calls at no extra cost.
VoIP services offer advanced features to scale up communication in your office activities. You can customize your approach to missed calls using the voicemail-to-text function. Other features include third-party integrations, real-time analytics, toll-free number, and simple faxing.
Another good thing about VoIP is how you can easily add or remove features. You can also send a voicemail to multiple recipients simultaneously. These features allow team members to multitask efficiently and improve workflow automation.
A broadband connection gives you access to higher call quality with VoIP. Although internet-enabled calls are susceptible to cyberattacks, an adequately configured VoIP service provides tighter security. You can prevent eavesdropping on your business calls using end-to-end encryption, two-factor authentication, and SPAM call blocking.
To ensure better security, select a VoIP service provider that offers advanced protection in addition to the basics. These features must protect your call data, logs, voicemails, and documents. They must also restrict access to authorized personnel only.
Begin Your Small Business VoIP Journey with LimePhone
LimePhone is a secure VoIP solution for video conferencing, call forwarding, and file sharing. The service deploys features that help you grow your business and maintain a unique approach to customer relations. With LimoPhone, you can reach out to employees and clients from any location without strain on the process.
When you sign up, you get a dedicated business phone to manage calls. LimePhone also fosters transparency by enabling voice and video call recordings while providing transcripts of spoken text. As a cloud-based VoIP, it directly integrates with Salesforce and other CRM software. LimoPhone is highly recommended for remote teams or employees in healthcare, education, and commerce. You can sign up at limephone.io and start using LimePhone at no cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is VoIP suitable for small businesses?
- As a small business, you should opt for a VoIP phone system that gives your business communication a more professional look. Virtual phone solutions are usually more affordable than analog phones. They also possess more advanced features.
- Which best VoIP service is the cheapest?
- The overall cost of your VoIP depends on the provider, extra features, and number of users. Service providers like Limephone and Dialpad are some of the cheapest, while Nextiva and RingCentral are expensive.
- Are VoIP and PBX the same?
- VoIP and PBX are not the same. While PBX is an older business phone system, VoIP offers modern features for inbound and outbound calls. Some companies still use on-premise PBX; however, it's highly recommended that small business owners choose VoIP services.
- Which of the best VoIP services are free?
- Finding a completely free VoIP service that meets your business needs may take work. However, a paid VoIP service like LimePhone gives you value for your money. There's also a free demo that new users can use to test the tool.
VoIP services can bring about significant change to small businesses if appropriately utilized. Out of the numerous benefits it can offer a company is the ability to make and receive calls globally and the flexibility that traditional phone systems cannot afford.
LimePhone, as one of the top VoIP services that small businesses leverage, offers easy-to-use features like video conferencing, call forwarding, and voicemail transcription.