VoIP, which is short for Voice Over the Internet Protocol, has brought a lot of new, appealing features to the table, compared to regular telephony. Landlines are becoming more and more obsolete as VoIP takes over the world, both in the business setting and the individual one.
VoIP uses the internet for making and receiving calls, which cuts your expenses considerably. Conventional telephony is expensive and requires special setup. Landlines are expensive to maintain and long-distance calls are usually very costly.
VoIP technology takes the analog signal and converts it to digital packets of data that are encrypted and then sent over the internet to their recipient. Those packets of data can consist of video, audio, images.
With VoIP you get rid of all these problems. You don’t need special hardware and you can set up your VoIP system yourself. You can choose between using a VoIP phone or a softphone. The latter is just a software you have to install on your device in order to be able to make/receive VoIP calls, without requiring any additional equipment. Some examples of popular softphones are WhatsApp, Skype, Viber and so on, and you’ve been probably using them for years now without connecting the dots.
VoIP telephony is much more versatile than regular telephony. VoIP services nowadays come loaded with useful features such as video conferencing, online faxing, voicemail, music on hold, caller ID, call forward and many more.
You can make a VoIP phone from your computer, laptop or your mobile device, no matter where you are located in the world. All you need is a reliable internet connection and a subscription to a VoIP service.
There are a lot of reputable VoIP service providers in the industry: Nextiva, AXVoice, OnSIP, Ooma are just a few of them. But the number one VoIP service in our lineup is RingCentral. We had several reasons for it. RingCentral is very rich in features, offers a plethora of integrations, international numbers in more than 70 countries and much more.
RingCentral is one of the best VoIP service providers in the industry and has plans for both small businesses and enterprises. This company has been on the market for more than 15 years and although it is based in California, it has offices in many other places in the world: China, Russia, Singapore and others. In addition to VoIP services, RingCentral also offers internet faxing.
There are Enterprise plans and Small Business plans offered. The Enterprise offer is customizable and you have to contact the RingCentral sales team to get the best personalized offer for your needs. We are going to focus on the Small Business plans below.
There are 4 plans: Essentials, Standard, Premium, Ultimate.
Essentials: This plan starts from $19.99 per month per user.
It includes 100 toll-free minutes per month and voicemail to text.
Standard is the next option and it is priced at $24.99 per month per user. It comes with 1,000 toll-free minutes per month and unlimited internet fax.
Premium is priced at $34.99 per month per user. It comes with 2,500 toll-free minutes per month and automatic call recording.
The priciest option is Ultimate, which is $49.99 per month per user and includes 10,000 toll-free minutes per month.
All these plans include a free trial and unlimited calls within the US and Canada.
There is a rich set of features included with RingCentral and you can find pretty much anything you can look for in a VoIP service:
- Local numbers/toll-free numbers/vanity numbers
- Call screening
- Call forwarding
- Visual voicemail
- Shared lines
- Answering rules
- Automatic call recording
- Music on hold
- Number porting
- Call logs
- Audio conferencing
- Video conferencing
- International calling
- International inbound numbers in more than 70 countries
- Business SMS and MMS
- Message alerts
- Team collaboration
- Performance reports
- Plenty of integrations such as: Salesforce, Microsoft Office, Box, Dropbox, Oracle, Google Cloud, MailChimp, ZohoCRM, Zendesk and more