Are you on the hunt for a modern phone system or solution for your home or workplace to replace the archaic wired phone lines? At that, a cost-effective one? Well, Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP for short) is the best modern and commonly used communication system which capitalizes on the power and speed of the internet as well as software integration to send data.
VoIP is a key part of any Business Telephone System. While the traditional telephone lines are still very much popular and stand as a competition to VoIP communication system, many homes, businesses, and individuals are going wireless. Likewise, people are getting enlightened about the numerous edges VoIP has over landlines and are looking to adopt the technology.
How VoIP works? Information sent (voices, text and videos) are encoded into digital signals and transmitted over the internet and subsequently decided into their original forms on the receivers end. Unlike cellular phones and landlines, VoIP reduces cost, eliminates the need for complex hardware, and has more useful features.
VoIP Services are, however, rendered by quite a number of providers. Hence, choosing the best one for use in the home, for your start-up, or small business can be stressful and confusing.
This is why we have identified some of the top players (read: service providers) in the VoIP ecosystem to help you find what’s right for you.
Best VoIP Phone Services Providers
Vonage is one of the oldest and pioneering providers of VoIP solutions for households and businesses. While it functions quite similar to how traditional wired landline phone system works, Vonage services are accompanied by advanced features like visual voicemail, three-way calling, caller ID, call return, Do-not-disturb mode, and a wide menu of modern, business-class phone and call management service features.
Vonage comes with a ‘Vonage Box’ which upon installation works with traditional landline telephone handsets, and mobile apps integration which allow users to make/receive calls with their Vonage number. Vonage offers a variety of plans (personal, residential, and corporate) to choose from with price starting from as low as $9.99 monthly (on annual contract).
RingCentral is another leading provider of VoIP services. The company provides cloud-based voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system that supports personal phones and IP desktop phones. With over 50 features some of which include call forwarding and recording, video conferencing support for up to 75 users, 10,000 minutes of toll-free minutes, voicemail-to-text, internet faxing etc.
RingCentral’s VoIP service is best for small and big businesses and comes with variety of plan with the least starting at $19.99/month.
One of the highlightfeaturese of Omaa’s VoIP service is its encrypted crystal clear HD calls at extremely cheap cost; a one-time fee which allows for unlimited calls (in the United States). Ooma has a $90 router which comes with regular phone features, and other advanced features like support for smart home gadgets like Amazon Echo, smartphone app through which users can receive calls, and advanced voice compression to decrease bandwidth usage.
Lingo is another VoIP service provider they renders phone and communication solutions to homes and business. It is similar to Ooma in that it has affordable plans, comes with smartphone support, and works perfectly with landlines. On Lingo, users can get as much as 500 international minutes for as low $10 in a month.
Owned and operated by Microsoft, Skype is one of the most popular VoIP provider used by many individuals, homes, and businesses. Although it doesn’t offer many complex VoIP features like the above providers, many of the basic one it does offer comes at no price — Skype-to-Skype voice calling, video calling, instant messaging, group or team chats and messaging, and video conferencing.
Calls to local and international numbers, however,r come at a (cheap) price and varies according to region. Skype is available on mobile app (Windows, iOS, Android), desktop app (Windows, Linux, Mac OS), web, consoles like Xbox, and even comes built-in some smart TVs.
While some of the above-mentioned VoIP service providers don’t come with any investment in hardware (i.e Skype), they are best for use in the home as an alternative to landlines (Vonage, too). However, if you are more focused on finding an effective VoIP system for your business, RingCentral is the best bet as it comes with top-of-the-line voice and video communication solutions. Skype is good for business use too.
Other notable mentions include 1-VoIP, Voipo, Jive, DialPad, Phone.com, and Google Hangouts.