The technology behind the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has been around since the '90s but it took more than a decade for it to be widely used by the corporate world. In the middle of the 2000s, VoIP technology finally became mainstream, and more people started to adopt it.
The main reason why people, especially companies, prefer VoIP over the conventional telephone is because of the much lower cost. But nowadays, more VoIP companies began to offer various features on top of the affordable pricing plan to get ahead of their competitors.
So, as a customer, which VoIP company should you choose? This is the list of the best VoIP services that you can get right now.
- Reliability. The most important thing that you should know from a VoIP company is how reliable their services truly are. When it comes to reliability, there are many things that you could look into, from the features of the VoIP services itself to the quality of its customer service, and to other things that important for your particular situation. But one of the most important things that you should know is their uptime number. Since VoIP is based on the same network as your regular internet, they might be some downtime happening. Which means there might be a time where you couldn't use their service. You should look for a company that has at least 99% uptime. Anything less than that is simply unacceptable.
- The balance between price and features. The next thing you should know is the balance between the features that you'd get and how much do you pay for it. We're not looking for the most inexpensive ones nor do we look for a high-price solution. What you need is a delicate balance between affordability and functionality.
- Ease of use. Lots of people seem to underestimate this category. The most advanced feature in the world doesn't mean anything if most people couldn't easily use it. Especially with a service like VoIP where many people in your company would regularly use it, ease-of-use becomes that much more important. Ideally, every member of your team should be able to use it within hours, if not minutes, after they are first introduced to it. The longer it takes for somebody to learn how to use the service, the longer they are being kept away from the actual business activities.
- Mobile apps and third-party integration. As more people starting to work remotely, either from home, another part of the world, or simply on the move, the availability of a dedicated mobile app becomes a very convenient thing to have. The same thing could be said for third-party integration to services like cloud storage, online documents editor, etc. You could view this category as something like a complementary feature. The VoIP service that you chose doesn't have to have this feature, but it would be great if they do.
- Excellent support. There will come a time when you encounter a problem that no amount of Google search could help you. At such time, it is imperative to have great and timely support from the VoIP company support team. They should be easy to contact and there also have to be multiple ways to reach them.
- RingCentral. RingCentral is a one-stop solution for all of your communication needs. Not only that they deliver a great VoIP experience, but you could also send texts, fax, and even video call and video conference with RingCentral. With an excellent mobile app and affordable price, RingCentral is the best option for all sizes of companies.
- Nextiva. Nextiva has lots of similar features with RingCentral but while RingCentral is a one-for-all solution, Nextiva is geared more toward small businesses and companies that have multiple offices, which translate into lots of remote workers. Nextiva is also very easy to use and they have one of the best support teams in the industry.
- Jive. Jive has tons of features for all kinds of company sizes and it also works great for small-to-mid-size-business (SMB) that would like to scale up and take their business to a global stage. Jive is a bit expensive but considering what they have to offer, I think the price is quite fair. Unfortunately, they decide to lock some of the advanced features like video conference behind an additional paywall.
- 8x8. Not only 8x8 is one of the feature-rich companies in this list, but they also manage to optimize their service for a streamlined team workflow. This makes 8x8 one of the best services to use if you have lots of people working for you. Unfortunately, what started as an affordable cost could easily grow expensive over time.
- Phone.com. Phone.Com was designed to cater to the communication needs of small to mid-size businesses. Phone.com was created in such a way so that a small-business owner could operate all of their business communication activity through its mobile app. Unfortunately, Phone.com doesn't have as much feature as RingCentral or Nextiva, but as an SMB owner, you don't need all of that fancy features anyway.
- Ooma. Ooma is one of the VoIP services in this list that still require a physical phone to use what they have to offer. That being said, once everything is properly set up, Ooma is reliable and rich with useful features, like call blocking both for individual numbers or community blocking. Unfortunately, if you don't have a phone based on certain specs, the start-up cost could be rather high.
- Ringbyname. From text-to-speech to salesforce integration, Ringbyname has as many features as those of bigger companies while still managing to offer a slightly cheaper price. Unfortunately, there are times when it feels like those features are not as optimized as similar features from its competitors.
- OnSIP. With more than 100,000 satisfied customers, OnSIP has consistently performed well above its customer's expectations. With extremely useful features, like call recording, call forwarding, etc, Onsip gives the ultimate freedom and flexibility to its customers. Although they lack some key features like texting, Onsip still provides a very great service overall.
- Axvoice. Although Axvoice is one of the less-known VoIP services in this list, it still delivers reliable features and excellent customer service for a very affordable price. Admittedly, they are not as well-equipped as other companies in this list, but their easy-to-use and straightforward approach more than compensate for that.
- Vonage. Just like Axvoice, Vonage prides itself on their reliable core features and easy-to-use services. As for the price, Vonage is cheaper than the conventional phone network, but somehow still slightly more expensive than its competitors. That being said, if amazing and easy-to-set-up phone service is all that you need, then Vonage is the one for you.
All of the companies in this list are great options for all of your VoIP needs. But as you can see, all of them have their pros and cons and for the most part, they cater to some specific customers.
The only thing that you need to do now is simply finding the one that best describes the needs and unique conditions of your business.
From a small, one-person company to a giant corporation with offices all around the world, you'd find the right solution for your communication problems in one of these companies.