Best VoIP Providers
- Top Rated VoIP Providers include: Google Voice, UberConference, Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager), NICE inContact CXone, Viber, Jabber, Genesys PureConnect, and 8x8.
- Other VoIP Providers on the TrustMap include: RingCentral, Skype for Business, MiCloud Connect, Fuze, NetFortris (formerly Fonality), Avaya Aura Platform, and IBM Sametime.
- A complete list of VoIP Providers is available here.
TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on satisfaction ratings and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 10 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap, and those above the median line are considered Top Rated.
VoIP Providers Overview
What is VoIP Technology?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It is technology for delivering voice and other forms of communication over an Internet Protocol or IP. VoIP providers offer communications services that the business world relies on for collaboration. Typically, phone, video conferencing, and live chat are conducted on the VoIP platform, without assistance from the public switched telephone network (PSTN). There are also hybrid solutions that combine VoIP with PSTN.
VoIP presents the underlying technology for Unified Communications Platforms.
Benefits of IP Telephony
Compared to regular telephone networks, IP telephony aims to be:
Equally or more reliable
VoIP Providers vs. Unified Communications as a Service
Some VoIP providers are geared for SMBs who want a business phone with advanced telephony-type features and maybe some conferencing capability or minutes.
More sophisticated providers offer a highly scalable, end-to-end unified communications platform designed for larger enterprises. These UCaaS vendors tend to offer more reach and flexibility compared to point tools for collaboration, live chat, and web conferencing. They also aim to encompass all communication within the enterprise and across its boundaries, including integrated contact center functionality.
The top vendors offer both a unified communications platform as well as a low-cost VoIP solution.
VoIP Provider's Features & Capabilities
VoIP Providers generally support the following functions:
Multi-level Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Directory of employee names
VoIP System Collaboration:
Mobile app for iOS
Mobile app for Android
Integration with contact & customer information systems (e.g. CRM, Outlook, etc)
Ring group (splitting calls or rotating them within a group of employees)
Additional Factors to Consider
Security: Authorization, Authentication, Transport Layer Security (TLS), Media encryption (SRTP)
IP networks can be vulnerable. So, various methods of providing communication privacy and security should be considered. Vendors may vary in how they attempt to secure communications.
Business Phones & other Hardware Components
Vendors must offer hardware to support their platforms' capabilities, such as phones, headsets, servers, and other infrastructural devices. Subtle differences between these devices may contribute to very similar and relatively equal software platforms being perceived very differently in terms of quality or fit. Therefore, these subtleties should not be discounted.
Call & Communications Analytics
A great deal of data is transmitted through these systems. So, some software provides analytics to evaluate agent, channel, and call performance. These analytics can be used to seek out inefficiencies or anomalies, endpoint status, and more. Integration with VoIP analytics platforms might help monitor system performance.
Field, Telework & Telecommute
One potential benefit of VoIP and virtual offices is the ability to interact with personnel (or support personnel as they interact with customers) as though they were in the office. This includes dashboard interfaces, a reliable connection, quality streaming, and security protocols and methods (e.g. Virtual Private Network / VPN). Products may vary in their ability to function outside the boundaries of the enterprise.
VoIP providers often charge on a per month, per user basis. Prices generally start at around $20 per month, per user, and wll increase from there with more advanced features.
Another factor to consider in the cost structure is the hardware. Many providers offer hardware rental as part of their service, at additional cost.
Rated PCMag's Editors' Choice for Business VoIP 2016, NetFortris (formerly Fonality) is a leading business phone system provider that bundles its unified communications software for a complete business communications solution. NetFortris says it is known for:Innovating with Heads Up Display (HUD)...
Skype for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync), is an IP PBX for messaging and web conferencing.
Genesys PureConnect is a contact center platform for multichannel interactions, offered with a choice of deployment models – as a cloud-based service, on-premise, or a managed service. This solution includes IP telephony that extends scalable, application-rich IP PBX and messaging functionality...
MiCloud Connect (formerly ShoreTel) is a business communications solution that combines a distributed communications platform, intuitive user applications, IP phones, and an easy-to-use management system that integrates with leading business information systems. Voice Switches are purpose-built...
Cisco Jabber is a collaboration platform built on interactivity, with instant messaging and voice / VOIP and video telephony. Jabber is available both as a browser-based solution and through mobile applications. Cisco acquired Jabber in 2008 and has supported it since.
Fuze Voice is a global, cloud-based unified communications platform that is designed to empower productivity and deliver insights across the enterprise by enabling simplified business voice communications, flexible video conferencing and always-on collaboration. The vendor’s value proposition is...
RingCentral, from the company of the same name headquartered in Belmont, California, is a cloud-based VoIP option.
Skype (the personal edition) is a popular, free web or video conferencing / VOIP option which Microsoft suggests may be adequate for very small businesses of less than twenty employees.
UberConference is a conference call platform with document management capability along with integrated third-party applications such as Google Drive, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Evernote, and Googel Hangouts.
Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager) is a unified call control center supporting enterprise collaboration functions across the spectrum of telephony, video & web conferencing, and messaging.
NICE inContact offers a complete cloud contact center solution in the NICE inContact CXone platform (formerly inContact Cloud Contact Center), designed to help organizations around the world improve their customer experience with a unified suite of omnichannel routing, workforce optimization,...
8x8, headquartered in San Jose, California, offers Virtual Office, upgradeable to Virtual Office Pro, a business phone / VoIP service, that (should the Pro upgrade be desired) contains unfied communications type features (integrated conferencing, SMS, etc.), but targeted at SMBs or smaller...
IBM Sametime (formerly IBM Lotus Sametime) is a unified communications / VoIP platform.
Jive Hosted VoIP is a telephony and VoIP software solution with many integrated features for small businesses and SMBs, from Jive Communications headquartered in Orem, Utah.
Asterisk, from Digium headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, is a business phone / unified communications offering.
Grasshopper is a telephony system that allows companies to use a 1-800 or local number for their business, record a main custom greeting, add departments and employees, and dispatch calls to cell phones.
FreeConferenceCall.com is a high-definition audio conferencing solution with features such as customizable greetings and hold music, one-click web controls, transcribed keywords, and integrations with Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar.