October 15, 2018

Keypad Virtual Phone System vs. RingCentral Pro: Business Phone Service Comparison

As the world becomes more technology-based, you need a phone system that can keep up with the pace of your business. We're all more mobile than ever, so, most likely, a cloud phone system will best serve your needs. Preferably one with the right set of features at the right price. Discover how Keypad and RingCentral Professional compare when it comes to plans, pricing, and features.*

Getting started: setup fees and trial periods

Keypad

  • No setup or activation fees
  • No contracts
  • 14-day money-back guarantee
  • 1000 minutes
  • 250 messages
  • Extra add-ons are covered by the 14-day money-back guarantee

RingCentral Pro

  • No setup or activation fees
  • No contracts required, optional annual contract
  • 7-day free trial
  • 30 minutes
  • All RingCentral Professional standard features are available

Discussion: You can try out either Keypad or RingCentral Pro without making any commitments; you can essentially get started risk-free with either. Note that during Keypad's 14-day money-back guarantee period, the minutes and messages allotted for one month are fully available to use and any extra features added on can be refunded within the first 14 days.

If you're taking RingCentral Pro for a test drive, you'll want to watch your talk time and any time spent checking messages by phone or logging in to your account by phone because you're limited to 30 free minutes within the 7-day trial period. Another distinction is that your first 14 days with Keypad are not free, but they are refundable; whereas, RingCentral Pro's 30 minutes are free of charge.

So, assuming you're not purchasing any hardware (like VOIP desk phones), just cancel your subscription on time (within 14 days for Keypad, and 7 days for RingCentral), and you won't be on the hook for trying out either phone service. If you like what you see, you can pay on a monthly basis and cancel at any time, no long-term contract required, with either service provider, but Keypad gives you straightforward pricing.

There's a catch if you want better pricing with RingCentral, which brings us to...

Monthly plans

Keypad

  • $25 per month, plus taxes and fees
  • 1,000 minutes (3¢ per additional minute)
  • 250 SMS messages (2¢ per additional message)
  • One phone number
  • Unlimited destination numbers (a.k.a. extensions)
  • One user

RingCentral Pro

  • $25.99 per month if you're paying on a monthly basis, or $15.99 per month if you prepay for a year, plus taxes and fees
  • 500 minutes (3.9¢ per additional minute)
  • SMS not included in Pro plan
  • One phone number (inbound calls only)
  • 2 extensions
  • nIternet fax
  • One user

Discussion: Let's take a look at the plans offered. At first glance, RingCentral Pro looks like a comparative bargain at $15.99 per month, but the catch is that you pay in advance for 12 months to get that lower rate. Which is to say, you're in a long-term contract after all and must spend upwards of $200 up front (with taxes and fees) for RingCentral Pro. Keypad offers simple monthly pricing, and at $25 per month before taxes and fees, it's a very affordable rate for small businesses (or large ones!) and costs less than RingCentral Pro's month-to-month rate of $25.99 before taxes and fees.

A couple other differences worth noting: Keypad's plan includes twice as many minutes (1,000 minutes versus 500 minutes). Ringcentral Pro's overage costs 30% more per minute (3.9¢ versus 3¢ per additional minute). Keypad includes 250 text messages per month. Text messaging is not part of RingCentral's Pro plan, and it cannot be purchased as a stand-alone add-on. Keypad offers unlimited destination numbers where RingCentral Pro offers 2 extensions. RingCentral Pro includes internet fax; Keypad's plan does not, though you can add it as a feature.

At this stage of our comparison, if we're looking strictly at the standard plans and not considering additional features, then the trade-off between the two seems to come down to text messaging versus fax. Depending on whether you're more likely to use text messaging or fax in your business communications, you might go with Keypad if you'd rather have text messaging, and Ringcentral Pro if you'd rather have fax.

Consider the size of your team too. If you have three or more employees, Keypad's unlimited destination numbers makes more sense. But if you're a team of two or three with no plans to expand, and you use fax more than text messaging (or don't mind using your personal cell phone number for texting business contacts), then RingCentral Pro might make more sense.

But let's take a closer look at some other features first.

Features

Both Keypad and RingCentral Pro offer a similar set of major features:

  • Inbound call routing
  • Toll-free or local numbers available
  • Port your existing phone number
  • Voicemail to email
  • Call routing, screening and forwarding
  • Online dashboard to view call history and reports
  • iPhone app
  • Call recording
  • Support VOIP desk phones and SIP softphones
  • Seamless integration with Smith.ai's virtual receptionists

Let's explore places where there are key differences.

Making calls: A key difference is RingCentral Pro only supports inbound calls. Can your business afford to wait for clients to call in on their own? Probably not. Do you reach out to your clients? Probably yes. Do you want to call clients from your personal cell phone number? Maybe your level of professionalism and your own feelings about privacy say no. For outbound calls using your RingCentral number, you'd have to upgrade to RingCentral Office Standard for $49.99/month, month-to-month ($34.99/month when prepaid annually). Outbound calling from your Keypad number is included in the price of $25/month. That's half the cost. If you call out, Keypad is the better choice.

Additional extensions and numbers: RingCentral Pro comes with 2 extensions, and additional virtual extensions are $2.99/month and additional toll-free or local numbers are $4.99/month. Keypad comes with unlimited destination numbers, and additional toll-free*** or local numbers are $5/month. Combine Keypad's unlimited greetings and unlimited destination numbers for advanced call routing, and your phone system can grow with your business, without growing your phone bill.

Call routing, screening and forwarding: Both systems offer the ability to log in online and set up complex call routing so you can forward calls according to the day of the week, the time of the day, who's calling (block some callers and allow others), etc., and adjust settings like the number of rings, sequential or simultaneous rings, routing to voicemail or vacation greetings, and more. This level of granularity makes both potentially powerful phone systems — if you can figure out how to use them. Only Keypad offers a visual call routing editor to simplify and minimize your setup time. Our users have reported creating in less than 5 minutes in Keypad's visual call routing editor what they abandoned trying to set up in RingCentral's hopelessly nested menus. For a small business with little to no time to devote to untangling the nuances of a business phone system, consider Keypad the simpler choice.

RingCentral Pro offers a couple nice-to-have features, a dial-by-name directory, an Auto-Receptionist that can ask callers to state their name and hold, and hold messages/music, but the plan limits call forwarding to only 10 numbers. Keypad does not restrict the number of destination numbers; you can forward to unlimited phone numbers. If forwarding your calls is a have-to-have features, again, Keypad beats out RingCentral Pro.

Text messaging: Some of us don't want to share our personal cell phone number with our business contacts, whether it's a matter of privacy or work/life balance, yet text messaging is becoming more and more the preferred way clients want to communicate. And for some types of communication, text messaging really is the most efficient way, like questions that require a simple yes or no reply. At Keypad, we get that modern business life means moving at the speed of SMS. Our plan includes 250 SMS messages, and additional messages are 2¢ each. RingCentral's Pro plan simply doesn't offer text messaging, and you can't add it as a stand-alone option. If you want business SMS with RingCentral, you're looking at upgrading to RingCentral Office Standard for $49.99/month, month-to-month ($34.99/month when prepaid annually). In other words, business SMS will cost you $24.99 more per month with RingCentral compared to Keypad. That's double the cost.

Paperless Fax: RingCentral Pro's plan comes with online fax included. Keypad's plan has the option to add online fax for $10 per month. Let's say you need both fax and business number text messaging. Sign up for Keypad plus fax add-on, and $35 a month covers both. You'd have to spend $14.99 more per month to get both with RingCentral Office Standard.

Call recording: RingCentral Pro includes call recording (not available as automatic call recording). On Keypad, call recording is available as an add-on feature for $10 per month. If call recording is necessary for your business, we concede, with RingCentral Pro, it comes included. Please be aware of your responsibility to stay in compliance with call recording laws. Jus' sayin'.

Features only available with Keypad: Keypad offers these additional features that aren't available on RingCentral Pro:

  • Spam filtering
  • Voicemail transcription ($5/month)
  • Live US-based support
  • In-depth call analytics

Discussion: When it comes down to essential functions, RingCentral Pro can supply the features of a basic business cloud phone system, but Keypad gives you several key features above and beyond what RingCentral Pro offers. Outbound calling, call forwarding to unlimited destination numbers, a visual call routing editor, and 250 text messages are all included in Keypad's $25/month plan. If paying month-to-month, RingCentral Pro would cost 99¢ more for half as many minutes and without these features.

With Keypad, you can choose to add online fax and call recording for $10/month each. Both are included in RingCentral Pro. If you don't need text messaging from your business number but do need online fax and call recording, this is one case where RingCentral Pro could be the better option. But as soon as you need text messaging, Keypad becomes the clear winner: adding both features to your Keypad plans brings your monthly total to $45, still 5 bucks shy of RingCentral Office Standard.

Summary

You need a business phone solution that's powerful, flexible, and delivers great value. A cloud-based virtual system is the obvious place to start. The choice between cloud phone systems comes down to the features that meet your needs at a price that fits your budget. Keypad and RingCentral Pro can both get you there, but consider the advantages you get with Keypad:

  • Longer and more robust trial period
  • Lower base price when paying month-to-month
  • 500 more minutes per month included
  • Lower overage pricing
  • Text messaging with 250 messages included
  • Outbound calling
  • Unlimited call forwarding
  • Easy to use visual call routing editor
  • Advanced call analytics

One thing to note, RingCentral's website leads with a seemingly low monthly price because they showcase their annual lump-sum price divided into 12 months. Scroll down to the fine print to see the real month-to-month pricing — if you don't want pre-pay for a year before you've had a chance to really test drive their service. You’ll be locked into a one-year commitment if you want their best pricing.

Keypad, on the other hand, prides itself on simple and straightforward monthly pricing. Enjoy all the great features included in the base price of $25/month, and pick and choose only the additional features you need, when you need them, to keep your costs low and pay as you go. No contract, really.

For a small business poised for growth in the modern economy, Keypad is an advanced and affordable business phone solution with valuable features included in a low monthly rate.

Get started with Keypad now, risk-free

Sign up for Keypad today! It's just $25/month, and totally risk-free with our 14-day money-back guarantee.

(Want to keep your existing phone and fax numbers? Sign up, pick a temporary number, and then follow the porting directions here.)

Questions?

If you have questions about Keypad's features and compatibility with your business, our support team would be happy to assist and advise you. Contact us Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST at (650) 727-6484 or keypad@smith.ai.

*RingCentral features and pricing reflect information available on their website as of October 14, 2018.

***Toll-free calls count as two minutes for each minute of usage

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