Internet Phone Service for Business: The Definitive Guide (2023)
A lot of people think that the phone, fax, and email are about all they need to conduct business. But with a reliable internet phone service, you can do so much more! If you are still relying on landlines or even mobile phones for your business needs, it is time to look into VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol).
Not only is it cheaper than traditional methods – in some cases saving up to 90% – but an internet phone can be used anywhere there is an internet connection. And because this type of service uses data instead of voice minutes, you will never have to worry about running out.
Therefore, we made a list of the best Internet Phone Service Providers available on the market for small businesses and a thorough guide on Internet Phone Service. Without further ado, let’s get started!
What is an Internet Phone Service?
An Internet telephone service is a type of phone service that uses a DSL modem, a cable, computer, or an app to connect to the internet rather than a traditional landline. To set up your internet connection, your provider may install a small device, called a telephony adapter, connected to your modem.
The adapter converts your voice to data signals for transmission over the internet. An internet phone service also uses Voice-over IP (VoIP) technology, which converts your calls into a series of digital signals.
For the receiver to understand your voice, the signals are transmitted over the internet and changed back into audio. However, for this technology to provide crisp and clear conversations, it relies heavily on stable and strong internet connections.
Before, when the internet was less reliable and offered lower bandwidth, some of the converted audio would get lost during transmission or would be delayed. The order of the audio signals could also be disrupted, leading to an interrupted conversation.
Yet, with advancements in internet connections and VoIP technology, these early difficulties have now been overcome. Today’s internet phone service provides voice quality similar to “CD-quality”.
Moreover, before the introduction of LTE and 4G technology, most mobile phones were using a system similar to the old POTS (plain old telephone service) that employed analog signal transmissions over copper wires.
Nowadays, almost all mobile phones can make calls via VoIP, meaning that when you are on the phone, you are most likely using an internet phone service. For international and long-distance calls, the advantage of internet phone service is even greater.
People and businesses opt for VoIP because the phone calls do not require long-distance extra charges. Moreover, with internet access, you do not need long copper wires for working at home or telecommuting to the office.
To be able to use VoIP, you will need a VoIP calling app or a SIP desk phone to which an IP address was assigned. Calls can thus be made from your network and unlike landlines, VoIP provides high-definition (HD) phone calls.
What is an Internet Phone Call?
Similar to internet phone service, an internet phone call is when you are using a phone service to make a call over the internet. Internet call, also known as VoIP calls, allows you to call other people, including your clients, via your computer, smartphone, or phone connected to the adapter.
The calls between computers are often referred to as PC to PC calls or phone to PC calls. Moreover, as mentioned above, with the internet phone service, you can make long-distance calls that can be cheaper or even free compared to a calling card.
Several VoIP providers also offer unlimited long-distance calling in a metered plan or a monthly subscription plan. To stand out from the competition, some providers like Ooma, Vonage, and MagicJack Concierge, offer free or low international rates.
If you are interested in international calling, check with your provider the types of international calling rates you will get. Some providers offer lowered international rates or monthly plans that englobe several countries, including the US and Canada.
However, some home phone and broadband providers include VoIP tools in their monthly plans. Generally, Internet phone service is available from the phone line numbers with the Fiber-to-the-Premises FTTP providers or part of most business broadband or phone plans.
How Does an Internet Phone Work?
An internet phone takes your analog voice signals and converts them into digital signals. The digital signals are then transmitted as data over the internet. Using an internet phone is useful and cheaper than normal phone lines.
Depending on your setup and internet phone service provider, you can have unlimited call times across several countries. From our list below, Ooma offers unlimited calling across the US, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Moreover, your VoIP system will differ according to your monthly plans and what services you choose, for example:
- VoIP adapter and landline phones: you can use a special adapter to make VoIP calls from a normal old landline phone. The adapters are usually plugged into either your router or a phone socket. Vonage and MagicJack Concierge offer adapters that you can plug to your computer, wifi modem, or traditional landline.
- VoIP phone from your computer: there are several desktop apps and cloud-hosted VoIP plans that allow you to make regular calls on your computer. Some internet phone service providers also offer video and audio conference tools that are in-built in their system. You can connect your local phone number to your VoIP account on your computer. However, the syncing process may take up to four weeks to be completed. RingCentral and Grasshopper are ideal if you are interested in video conference tools and connecting your local number to the VoIP system for your computer.
- Using a smartphone: VoIP systems are now available in apps. They provide similar or nearly all VoIP features that you get on a desktop app or cloud-based VoIP system. CloudTalk and RingCentral have the best mobile apps with a clean interface and an extensive range of VoIP features.
To have a functioning internet phone, there is exact equipment that you will need, depending on the VoIP approach you are using. Yet, across all methods, you will need a broadband internet connection.
A fiber-optic connection is preferred since it is more reliable and faster than other cable internet connections.
- For landline phones with VoIP adapters, a VoIP adapter and a compatible phone are required. If you are plugging the adapter into a router, you will need a compatible router too. Fortunately, most adapters come with the standard phone and router socket.
- For desktop apps and cloud-based VoIP systems, a good laptop or computer with an internet connection is required. You will also need the right software and an optional set of headphones, speakers, and microphones for better sound quality.
- For VoIP apps, you will need a smartphone connected to wifi and the VoIP app that you have chosen must be installed.
Some internet phone service providers may require other specific equipment. But don’t worry, they will give you everything your business will need to get started. Most VoIP providers often assist you during the setup process to ensure that you can have a smooth start.
Why Use Internet Phone Services?
There are several reasons why internet phone services are useful. Below is a list of some of the reasons that are applicable to you and your business.
1. Lower Costs
For every small business, you will want to consider cost-saving opportunities. With VoIP services, you are guaranteed unlimited calling in some countries and free to low international call rates.
On average, a traditional landline phone system (POTS) costs a business $50/line/month. The rate usually includes local and domestic calls only. In comparison, some VoIP plans are available for less than $25. Check out RingCentral, CloudTalk, and Grasshopper for some affordable VoIP plans.
2. Clearer Voice Quality
One of the main reasons for using VoIP is the clear and crisp sound quality during inbound calls. Moreover, with a reliable internet connection, there will be no latency issues, call dropouts, or lagging.
Some business internet phone services also provide in-built video and audio conferencing tools with audio enhancers. For additional measures, you can also use noise-canceling microphones and audio compressions with VoIP phones to achieve superior audio quality.
3. Increased Accessibility
With cloud-based VoIP services, you can make calls anywhere, provided that you have an internet connection. The accessibility is perfect for the new trend of working from home in most companies. Your employees can access their VoIP accounts via online portals.
Additionally, if you are not able to answer a call, your calls are instantly directed to another employee or to a voicemail which is then emailed to you. With mobile apps, you can also convert your business phone into your softphone.
4. Supports Muti-tasking
Most internet phone service plans provide other features along with traditional phone call tools. You can send documents, videos, and text messages for internal communication in your company.
Some VoIP providers also offer powerful Artificial Intelligence features that analyze the performance of your employees during phone calls with your clients. You can also record phone calls for training and quality inspections in some VoIP subscription plans.
5. Advanced Features
You can also benefit from advanced features like call transferring and auto attendant tools. Customizable features like on-hold and transfer music are also available for a more professional experience for your clients.
The virtual receptionist or auto-attendant tool can direct your clients to the appropriate department or employee. You can also establish ring groups that will call an entire department sequentially or simultaneously, to ensure that incoming calls are never unanswered.
Pros and Cons of Internet Calling
Like any other product, internet calling has both pros and cons that should be considered before you subscribe to a VoIP provider. Hopefully, the following pros and cons will give you deeper insight into whether internet phone services are ideal for your company.
1. Traditional Fax And Phone Support
When choosing a VoIP system, some systems include online fax services. These features connect your extension to a fax number, thus you and your employees can connect a fax machine to your VoIP number.
Check your fax machine manual to ensure that you are making the adjustments needed for reliable fax service. Moreover, you can connect your local phone number to your VoIP system. While this process may be longer, you are assured that your clients can still access you with your local phone number.
With traditional landlines, you would usually have to continuously add new lines as your business grows. However, with VoIP systems, you do not have to buy additional equipment or hardware.
All you need to do is update your monthly plan and add extensions or lines to your VoIP system. Additionally, some VoIP providers decrease the monthly costs for each line when you add more users to the plan.
3. Convenient Conferences
Since most internet phone services now have in-built video conferencing tools, you can set conference calls with your clients and employees for more efficiency. Besides, some providers allow you to share your screen, and even two or more people can share their screen at the same time.
Your teams can also maintain good communications even if they are working remotely from home. Internal communication is key for the smooth running of your business and to provide premium services to your clients.
1. Reliable Internet Connection
While VoIP calls are ideal for good sound quality, they are always dependent on your internet connection. Depending on your location, you may be subjected to good or bad internet and this is a factor that you cannot control.
Moreover, for mobile VoIP systems, your phone should always be connected to a wifi or mobile data. To prepare for unanswered calls due to bad internet, you can set up a voicemail that is directly connected to your emails.
2. Continuous Power Supply
Along with a constant internet connection, you also need a continuous power supply to run the VoIP service. This includes electricity for your internet connection, computers, and mobile phones. If there is a power cut, you will not have access to internet phone services.
Sometimes your calls may experience some lagging. Some data signals can be disorganized or lost during low transmission of VoIP calls over the internet. Low transmissions generally result from poor cabling or poor internet connection.
Best Internet Phone Service for Small Businesses
Best internet phone service provider for advanced VoIP features at reasonable prices
Ringcentral combines both excellent business internet phone services with reasonable monthly plans. The company upgraded its services by adding robust collaboration features, app integrations, and new artificial intelligence.
The internet phone service is an all-rounded Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) provider that stands out from its competitors. RingCentral has an online collaboration software called RingCentral Video that is available for all plans.
RingCentral Video is the primary platform for video conferencing and team messaging features to boost internal and external communications among the company. While RingCentral offers free access to RingCentral Video, you can also choose the paid version at $11.99/user/month.
The paid version of RingCentral Video offers call-out tools, cloud-based recording, and advanced calling and user management features. Along with the powerful phone services, RingCentral offers a strong set of administrative tools, including service-level agreements (SLAs) for reliable connectivity.
With the new AI, you can analyze your conversations for both audio and video calls to obtain deeper insight into your employees’ emotional sentiment and speech patterns. The internet phone provider is also planning on adding real-time transcription and machine learning tools in the future.
RingCentral also provides a softphone that supports both Apple macOS and Microsoft Windows operating systems. The softphone is ideal for people working from home who do not have access to their office SIP phone.
Additionally, the video conferencing tool includes closed caption features based on the voice transcription technology of your company. The desktop app also provides a share screen tool in one-on-one or team conversations.
With the internet phone provider, you get a wide range of desktop VoIP phones from services like Yealink, Cisco, and Polycom. RingCentral also has a team of experts to help you optimize your business’s internet connection but at an extra cost.
Moreover, RingCentral measures the mean opinion scores (MOS) of your network connections to improve your call quality. The internet phone provider can also dedicate circuits to its data center for crystal clear calls if you do not have enough connection stability or bandwidth.
The business phone provider stands out from its competitors by integrating some local phone services or PBS systems into its services. It allows you to transfer your local phone number to RingCentral to merge both VoIP and local numbers on the same line.
With its competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) feature, RingCentral can turn off any spam calls that are on your line. You can access the CLEC service in every major business industry your enterprise may be found.
The desktop app provides a clean interface and direct access to all features, including basic telephony tools and collaboration tools. The selection of collaboration tools contains file sharing, task tracking, event management, and note-taking.
You can also order a dedicated mobile app for iOS or Android. The mobile app has a sleek interface and contains almost all the features of desktop software. You can even switch your call between a mobile device and your desktop without any disconnection.
Moreover, RingCentral has several integrations with Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. Through the integrations, you can edit or add contact information on the desktop or mobile app. All your information, including calendar events, emails, and task management tools, can be synced with RingCentral Office.
However, for bigger businesses that require several lines for each employee, there is an extra cost for each extension. Yet, each extension can be assigned in multiple groups, such as call queues, support calls, inbound sales, or voicemails.
RingCentral provides four tiers of monthly or annual subscription plans. Along with the four sets of plans, the business telephone service also provides additional support to expand the VoIP system. RingCentral offers a free trial limited to five users and two desktop phones.
The lowest plan, Essentials, accommodates 20 users at $19.99/month. You get basic features, including unlimited calls within US/CA, unlimited business SMS, team messaging, and document sharing.
The Standard subscription is at $24.99/month. It provides unlimited users and popular integrations like Microsoft 365, Google Workplace, and Slack.
The Premium level provides more advanced features at $34.99/month. You obtain additional call handling tools, multi-level auto-attendant, call recording, and automatic reporting. This tier also offers a more extensive selection of app integrations and some identity management tools.
Lastly, the Ultimate tier, costing $49.99/month, includes all tools from the Premium level, along with unlimited storage for recorded video conferences and web meetings. With this level, you also get better device management tools.
For small to medium enterprises, the Standard plan offers tools and app integrations needed. Yet, for more advanced features, the Premium plan may be attractive with its multi-site admin and management tool for “working at home” employees.
- Network structures in the US, Asia, and Europe
- Advanced features for VoIP and collaboration
- AI analytics
- Extensive selection of app integration
- 24/7 customer support
- Still developing AI
- Limited customization
- Extra charges for additional support
Ideal internet phone service provider for automated call distribution
CloudTalk is a business internet phone service that offers advanced calling features to boost your enterprise’s communication system. With its cloud-based call center management software, you can streamline communication between your clients and team members.
Most businesses use CloudTalk to filter their customer calls via its automated call distribution tool. Also, you can directly integrate the VoIP service with 25+ CRM software for smooth communication with your clients.
The business internet provider supports integrations including Shopify, LiveAgent, and BigCommerce. The call center solution offers both web and mobile apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux.
CloudTalk is ideal for call centers, online stores, and small businesses due to its call tracking software. Following the VoIP call center system, CloudTalk handles high traffic of online customer calls. You can customize inbound calls, voicemails, personalized messages, and greetings.
Moreover, the internet telephone phone service automatically records all your calls for quality assurance. If you are getting calls outside of business hours, you can re-route the internet phone calls or provide a personalized announcement.
With the intelligent call routing tool, you are guaranteed little to no mistakes when routing calls. The automated call distribution feature runs queued calls and sends them to the desired team based on the client’s pre-selected data.
If you have VIP clients, CloudTalk provides a VIP queue for faster and better service. Also, the business phone service offers key insights on your call statistics to maintain the quality and performance of your call services.
CloudTalk provides a report stating an overview of each employee’s statistics. You can easily identify the top performers through call monitoring and agent reporting. You also get call scripting and call recording tools to ensure standard services across all your employees.
For business VoIP features, voice recognition and SIP trunking are provided to facilitate communication among your team members and clients. Moreover, you can rest assured that your calls are secured and private with CloudTalk’s end-to-end encryption technology.
CloudTalk has a 24/7 customer support team that is accessible through live chats or phone calls. If you also need a small training on how to use CloudTalk, they offer an extensive database with FAQs and webinars that you can attend.
CloudTalk offers three set plans for both annual and monthly subscriptions and a custom plan. If you want to test out CloudTalk’s features, you can try their free trial for 14 days. The free trial is applicable for all three plans.
The lowest tier, the Starter plan, is at $20 per user/month. In the plan, you get unlimited inbound and intracompany calls, the mobile app, unlimited call queues, automated call distribution, and international numbers.
For small to medium businesses, the Essential plan is perfect for you. The subscription provides all starter tools, and advanced analytics features, smart queueing, and workflow automation. You can access the plan at $25 per user/month.
The premium tier, called Expert plan offers powerful features, including salesforce integration, smart dialer, wallboards, and unlimited concurrent calls. The plan is available at $40 per user/month.
For bigger businesses that have higher demands, you can contact CloudTalk to obtain a custom plan. The additional features include custom onboarding, unlimited outbound calls, and enterprise-level security.
- Advanced call center tools
- Intelligent call routing
- Free trial
- Call monitoring and quality statistics
- VIP service
- Customizable tools
- Limited autodialer functions
- Limited call recording tools
- Occasional downtime
Best internet phone service provider for budget-friendly plans and VoIP plans
Grasshopper is the ideal virtual phone system for small businesses with tight budgets. The internet phone provider provides VoIP systems that connect all remote workers under the same umbrella.
Whether you are working at home or on-premise, Grasshopper provides online phone access with unlimited minutes. With its cloud-based system, you do not need any equipment or desk phones.
Moreover, when your customer calls, the internet call is directed to an automated attendant that then redirects the call to the appropriate employee. You can also add extensions for each employee for faster internal communication.
You can choose the order of the extensions to be rung or the waiting time before moving the call to another employee. Moreover, you can choose how to handle the calls, including answering, voicemails or hear the phone number and name of the caller first.
Along with employee extensions, you can add department extensions, like customer service or sales. Then, you can set the numbers of your employees to ring. Grasshopper operates the system via an online portal.
Each of your employees has access to the portal following a call-forwarding tree system. This system is very useful, particularly for remote workers to answer calls in an orderly manner. Grasshopper also provides valuable features including hold music, name directory, voicemail transcription, and online faxing.
However, compared to a more traditional VoIP phone system, Grasshopper does not provide an extensive range of tools, such as integrations and call recording. It can be a downside for growing small businesses.
Grasshopper also has a mobile app for both iOS and Android phones that connect to the web system. Your employees can receive or make calls from their extensions, check their voicemails, set faxes, and change their call-forwarding options.
In contrast, Grasshopper also has a desktop app that requires downloading and installing on the work computer. The desktop app includes a softphone where you can receive and make business calls or text messages.
Similar to RingCentral, you can connect your local number to your business line with Grasshopper. The number-porting process for a local number generally takes 7-10 business days to sync the numbers together.
Additionally, Grasshopper has an in-built conference calling service with its phone system. You can schedule conference calls with up to 10 people for no extra cost. If you choose the small business plan, you can have unlimited callers during your video conference.
Lastly, Grasshopper offers 24/7 customer support via live chats or phone calls. You can also ask for a dedicated phone call after filling out an online form on their website. For beginners, the business internet phone provider has a comprehensive user guide available on their site.
Grasshopper provides three plans billed monthly or annually based on the number of phone numbers and extensions you need. You can enjoy a 10% discount on annual subscriptions and a free trial of 7 days without any commitment.
All plans include the following features:
- Mobile and desktop apps
- VoIP and wifi calling
- Virtual fax
- Simultaneous call handling
- Instant response
- Call transfers
- Custom greetings
- Incoming call control
The Solo plan is targeted at start-up businesses that do not require numerous extensions or phone numbers. At $26/month, you get one phone number and three extensions. In contrast, the Partner plan, at $49/month, offers three phone numbers and six extensions.
As the name suggests, the Small Business plan is ideal for small enterprises. Priced at $89/month, you get five phone numbers and unlimited extensions. The plan offers more flexibility in call routing tools.
- Affordable plans
- Variety of extensions
- Customized call order and waiting times
- In-built video conference tool
- Not suitable for scalable small businesses
- Basic VoIP features
Best internet phone service provider for an easy setup process
Ooma is a well-known business internet phone provider among small businesses due to its easy setup and advanced VoIP features. The internet phone service offers 35+ features that are curated for small businesses for seamless collaboration.
With its video conferencing via Ooma Meetings, you are guaranteed a smooth video conference without any lagging or bugging due to your internet connection. Moreover, Ooma stands out from the competition by allowing two or more people to share their screen simultaneously.
However, Ooma Meetings only supports up to 25 participants in one video conference, which is not as advanced as other internet phone services. But, you can easily view, schedule, or edit your meetings through the Ooma Meetings Dashboard.
Regarding incoming calls from your clients, you can set up a virtual receptionist with Ooma to direct the calls to appropriate departments or employees. You can customize the virtual receptionist to provide a personalized message, different languages, route calls to extensions or ring groups, and create modes for business and after hours.
Ooma also provides a feature called the multi-device ring option. With this feature, you can sync multiple devices to ring at the same time when a client is calling you. The devices that you can connect to your account are an analog phone, an external device (mobile phone), or an IP phone.
If you need to record your calls for performance and quality review, Ooma has the perfect call recording feature for you. Whether it is to train your staff or note-taking accuracy for a client, the persistent call recording tool records all calls automatically.
You can also set up the on-demand recording tool that records your call only when you need it. Check out your local laws regarding recording phone calls as some states require you to inform your clients that their calls will be recorded.
One of the most versatile features for Ooma is the ring groups feature. During an incoming call, every employee in your ring group will receive the call either at the same time or sequentially. It ensures that no calls go unanswered.
Ooma also offers a hold music feature that makes waiting times more enjoyable. Along with the on-hold music, you can also set up transfer music to ensure that your clients are not waiting in silence when being transferred to another department.
With the faxing online feature, you can receive and send faxes from anywhere without a traditional fax machine. The virtual fax tool has its own number for direct access and is linked to each user’s extension. The tool is included in each monthly package without additional cost.
Ooma has affordable calling costs, with unlimited calling in the US, Mexico, Canada,.and Puerto Rico, along with low international rates. You also get a free number transfer and a free toll-free number that offers 500 minutes of inbound calls each month.
If you are concerned about robocalls that can waste precious time, Ooma has an enhanced call blocking feature that stops all robocalls from reaching your company. The tool screens your incoming calls against its dynamic database containing more than two million known and verified robocall numbers.
For private numbers, you can either automatically block the calls or send them straight to your voicemail. There is also a block list of up to 1,000 numbers that allows you to review all numbers you have blocked. However, these blocking features are only available with the premium plan.
Ooma provides a desktop and mobile app where you can conveniently communicate with your employees or clients on your computer or mobile phone. Your extension and ring groups will be automatically linked to your devices.
If you are not interested in any hardware, you can subscribe to the mobile app at $19.95/user/month. The app provides nearly all features as the Ooma Office option except virtual faxing, call blocking, call recording, and hold music.
Ooma provides 24/7 customer service available via live chats or phone calls. The website also has an extensive database that contains manuals, feature overviews, internet speed tests, and forums for beginners.
Ooma provides two monthly plans, namely Ooma Office ($19.95/user/month) and Ooma Office Pro ($24.95/user/month). Both plans contain over 35 features, including:
- Virtual receptionist
- Ring groups
- On-hold and transfer music
- Virtual fax
- Multi-device ring
- Mobile app
There are several differences in features between Ooma Office and Ooma Office Pro. the Pro version offers video conferencing, desktop app, call recording, enhanced call blocking, and voicemail transcriptions as additional features.
- Virtual receptionist
- Affordable prices
- Ring groups
- Multi-device rings
- Virtual extensions
- Video conferencing only available in the Pro version
- Only two monthly plans
- Not suitable for scalable small businesses
Ideal business internet phone provider for CRM integration
With Nextiva, you obtain every call, mobile, and collaboration tool needed for a small business to work smoothly. Each plan includes unlimited long-distance and local calling, unlimited online faxing, and HD video and voice calls.
You also obtain multilevel automated attendants, receive voicemails via email and text messages, and customizable on-hold music. When upgrading to premium plans, you can get team messaging, screen sharing, voice analytics, and unlimited video calling.
Moreover, the business internet phone service stands out from the competition with its caller AI feature. The system uses artificial intelligence to provide instant information on the client you are speaking to, including their personal data and experience score.
Nextiva has an in-built video conference tool in its phone system. The conference bridge feature allows your employees to hold their own conference calls without extra costs. The number of participants allowed on each call will depend on your monthly plan.
Known for its CRM solution, the internet phone service provides valuable sales and service tools and features. With Nextiva, you can store an unlimited number of contacts and accounts of your customers. The system also provides a single unified view for each client and their overall experience.
Some CRM features also include workflow automation, contact management tools, account alerts, email case routing, and sales and custom reports. You can customize CRM features like product catalogs and Kanban sales pipelines. Both CRM and phone services make Nextiva the perfect platform for a unified communication system.
Since Nextiva is a cloud-hosted VoIP phone service, you do not have to install any hardware or equipment. All you need are IP phones and a high-speed internet connection. The business internet phone provider also handles all upgrades and maintenance of the system for you.
Your entire phone system is configured and run on the online portal. Through the online portal, you can add your employees, record automated greetings, assign user IDs and phone numbers, create call-queue routes, and dedicate features for each employee.
With Nextiva, your workers can also log on to their account online and change the settings to their preferences. Internal communication among colleagues is also feasible via video conferences with screen share tools and online chats.
If you already have an established local phone number, you can connect all local and toll-free numbers to your Nextiva account. The process can take up to four weeks. However, you will be charged an additional fee after signing up for the service.
Another major plus is that Nextiva has a reported uptime of 99.99%, meaning that the system is very reliable and always available online. Moreover, Nextiva also monitors each data center with biometric checkpoints and calls encryption 24/7/365 to ensure that your business information is safe.
However, the business internet phone service has a major drawback. The Essential Plan, the lowest tier, does not offer video or audio conferences. The Professional Plan, an upgraded version of the Essential package, only supports up to 40 participants in conference calls. Therefore, the plans are not ideal for small businesses with tight budgets.
Regarding customer support, Nextiva provides excellent services that are reflected in the high customer satisfaction reports. You can access their customer support team via live chats, phone calls, and emails. Their website also offers helpful support resources as manuals and guides.
Nextiva provides four service plans that you can choose according to your company’s demands. The price of each plan will vary depending on your contract, 12-,24-, or 36-month contracts, and the number of users needed. Also, all plans offer unlimited calling, local and toll-free numbers, and team messaging.
The Essential plan, ranging from $17.95 to $30.95/user/month, offers basic features. These include auto-attendant, voicemail-to-email notifications, integrations with Google Contacts and Microsoft Outlook, and unlimited online faxing.
The Professional plan costs between $21.95 to $35.95/user/month. The monthly plan includes all features from the Essential package along with unlimited conference calls, video conference of up to 40 participants, and unlimited business text messaging.
The Enterprise plan prices range from $31.95 to $45.95/user/month. With this plan, you get unlimited participants in audio and video conferences, unlimited call pops, voicemail transcriptions, and voice analytics.
Finally, the Ultimate plan, ranging from $52.95 to $75.95/user/month provides both service and sales CRM solutions, automated surveys, and customer journey analytics. If you are interested in desk phones, Nextiva provides conference and desk phones at $70-$625.
- No equipment required
- Advanced AI tool
- CRM tools
- Secure phone system with encryption and biometric security
- 99.99% uptime
- Limited participants for video conferences in lower-tier plans
- Long waiting times for live chats
Popular VoIP service for virtual extensions at affordable prices
Vonage is a popular business internet phone provider for VoIP features. The system is built on its addition of mobile applications that turn your devices, including mobile phones and landlines, into virtual extensions.
With Vonage, the setting up process is very simple, you only need to plug your phone and the ethernet cable in the Vonage box. You receive the adapter with a handy setup manual both in English and Spanish.
After connecting your devices and ethernet cable to the Vonage adapter, you are ready to go. The adapter is aesthetically pleasing with its sleek and modern design. Moreover, you can bring the adapter wherever you go, provided that you have an internet connection.
The adapter comes with a one-year warranty. After setting up the adapter, you are guaranteed crystal clear calls. Along with the adapter, Vonage offers mobile apps to take advantage of its IP-based phone call features.
With the mobile app, you can make or receive inbound calls and access all call controls Unfortunately, the mobile version is only available for Android and iOS, and not Windows mobiles.
The business internet phone service offers low international call rates that allow small businesses to save money while communicating with global clients. Also, Vonage offers a Boomerang tool that facilitates better international communication.
The Boomerang tool ensures that you are always using the low international calling rates by redirecting international calls to Vonage. A boomerang call has a different ringtone to notify you of foreign numbers.
Selective call block is another new feature that Vonage provides. You can now block any unwanted calls in the extensions app. All you need to do is go to your blocked call list and add a number to the list.
If you are not interested in the adapter, you can choose the desktop and mobile app available. Along with the features from the adapter, you also get unlimited SMS and unlimited team messaging. The premium plans also include CRM integration including G-Suite, Hubspot, Office 365, and Zoho.
The web version provides a broad overview of your Vonage account and all your activities, including block calls, call waiting, and call forwarding. With the web version, you can also configure your voicemails to be automatically sent to your email or convert audio to text.
For administrators, the business internet phone system provides an administrator portal that lets you manage calling rules for your employees. You can also monitor, record, and make conference bridges with the account. However, some of the admin features come with an extra cost.
If you prefer a traditional landline, Vonage is the ideal VoIP service for you, with its 40+ features. Moreover, Vonage also provides communications APIs that are helpful in building omnichannel conversations for better customer service.
Vonage provides 24/7 customer support that is available via live chats, emails, and phone calls, similar to its competitors. You are immediately connected with an expert to answer all your queries.
Vonage offers three monthly plans with prices that vary according to the number of users. The business internet phone service supports up to 1,000 lines. Plus, you can try out Vonage Business Communications with its 14-day free trial across all plans. All the prices mentioned are for one line.
The Basic plan, at $19.99/month, offers desktop and mobile apps for remote and on-the-go workers. You also get unlimited calls, unlimited SMS, and unlimited team messaging.
The Premium plan is priced at $29.99/month. Along with desktop and mobile apps, you obtain IP desk phones with unlimited capability. The plan also includes unlimited meetings and multi-level auto attendants.
The Advanced plan costs $39.99/month and provides premium calling features such as call recording, call group, and visual voicemail. It should be noted that the call recording is on-demand and you can only record up to 15 hours of calls.
- Adapter available
- Desktop and mobile apps
- Connects virtual extensions to any device
- Low international calling rates
- Efficient 24/7 customer support
- CRM integrations only available in premium plans
- Basic plan is not advanced enough for small businesses
Best internet phone service provider for portable VoIP adapter at cheap prices
MagicJack is a cheap VoIP provider that offers a plug-and-play device that is similar to a USB drive. The company designed the device to be plugged into your wifi modem or computer. Nowadays, the MagicJack Home is the only VoIP adapter that the business internet phone service provides.
The adapter comes with a USB-A port that connects to your computer. Through the adapter, you get a VoIP connection to your old phone number also. The adapter can be synced to the mobile app MagicApp so that you do not need your computer to receive calls.
With the adapter, you get call controls such as free caller ID, voicemail, call waiting, directory calling, and conference calling. You can also enjoy the free calls between MagicJack users, and free local and long-distance calls.
The mobile app allows you to call and text without using your mobile carrier. You can also sync your contact list and voicemail of your phone with the mobile app if needed. However, the free texts are limited to US numbers only.
In contrast, MagicJack has an extended service for small businesses, called MagicJack Concierge. The advanced plan is ideal if you do not want to commit to a full VoIP provider yet. With MagicJack Concierge, you get access to expert support via phone calls and discounts on any new devices from MagicJack in the future.
The major plus with MagicJack across all of its versions is the free international calls. If you do not want any hardware and free international calls, MagicApp is the ideal app for you. The mobile app offers similar features as MagicJack Home.
However, the big drawback is the lack of advanced VoIP features for call management, reports, analytics, and CRM solutions that is usually available with the full VoIP providers. Yet for its cheap annual price, MagicJack offers valuable call tools.
The MagicJack Concierge is available at $14.99/year. Alas, there are no discounts or free trials for testing the internet phone service. Compared to other VoIP features, the price is favorable if you do not need advanced call management and video conferencing features.
- Cheap VoIP services
- Easy to use and install
- Portable VoIP adapter
- Access to an expert customer team
- Lacks advanced VoIP services
- Not suitable for growing small businesses
Internet Phone Service FAQ
Now that you understood what comprises internet phone services and the best VoIP providers on the market, there may be some questions left about VoIP. Below, we gathered the three most common questions to help you decide whether VoIP systems are ideal for you.
Depending on your internet phone service provider, you will either receive an adapter, access to a cloud-based online portal, or desktop and mobile apps. Each method has its own way of installing your VoIP system.
For adapters, you will be provided with a manual that explains if you can connect your landline or wifi modem to your adapter. Vonage offers an adapter that allows you to connect your phone and ethernet cable to the adapter. After plugging the necessary cables into the device, turn it on and enjoy your VoIP system.
For cloud-based VoIP systems, you will have to configure your login details and the accounts of your employees. You can also access the administrator portal where you can manage the different features and tools that your employees will have on their accounts.
Desktop and mobile apps are the simplest versions to set up. All you need to do is download and install the apps on your devices and voila! You can enjoy VoIP calls and all additional features that come in your plan.
The price of internet phone services will vary based on several factors:
– The number of users, extensions, or lines
– The features needed
– The demands of your company
If you require more users and features, obviously your monthly subscription plan will increase. However, the price range for VoIP services can range from $20 for the basic plans to $89 for Premium plans, mostly targeted towards medium to bigger enterprises.
Moreover, the price tag will also differ according to the length of your contract. Some internet phone service providers, like Nextiva, offer contracts spanning over one to three years. The longer your contract is, the cheaper it gets.
While VoIP desk phones are helpful devices for good communication, they are not indispensable for all small businesses. If your company prefers working in an office with several departments, VoIP desk phones would be ideal for you.
Your employees can enjoy a VoIP desk phone for incoming calls from your clients, VoIP desk phones also help with internal communications among employees. All desk phones can be assigned an extension for call transfers and communications among departments.
However, if your employees are working from home, cloud-based or desktop apps are best suited for you. You can access all VoIP features on your computer, along with video conferencing, auto-attendant, and call recording.
If you are interested in VoIP desk phones, Nextiva provides conference and desk phones for $70-$625. The internet service provider also offers rental options on their desk phones.
Which Internet Phone Service Should I Choose?
You have reached the end of our guide for internet phone services. As you observed, there are several factors to consider before using VoIP for your business. However, most business internet phone services have more benefits to help you manage your calls.
For scalable businesses, RingCentral is ideal for you. Your VoIP plan can be updated as your company grows and provides a large selection of advanced features in their monthly plans. You can also enjoy its artificial intelligence that analyses the quality and performance of your calls.
For startup businesses that only need some basic VoIP call management tools and low international call rates, MagicJack Concierge can satisfy all your demands. The USB adapter can also be transported everywhere you go and enjoy VoIP calls.
If your business works with CRM solutions, Nextiva offers integrated CRM features for direct access and communication. The internet phone service provider also offers desk phones if your company needs them.