Comparison

Keypad Virtual Phone System vs. Sideline: Business Phone Service Comparison

As of February 8, 2020, we are no longer accepting new Keypad accounts. Please stay tuned for updates on alternative solutions.

When looking for new business phone service, you’ll always encounter VoIP solutions that typically cater to major enterprises with a lot of fancy features, or just the opposite, all the hype and no delivery. VOIP services are great if you want to take advantage of everything those services have to offer, or simply settle for a less expensive solution, however; for smaller businesses, it’s just not sensible to pay for a lot of solutions you simply won’t use or risk your business reputation to save a few dollars on the cost of a professional brand for your company.

Throughout the following, we’ll compare two solutions designed for practicality: Keypad from Smith.ai and Sideline.

Setup fees and trial periods

Keypad

  • Free setup
  • No contract or cancellation penalties
  • 14-day money-back guarantee

Sideline

  • Free setup
  • No contract or cancellation penalties
  • Free 30-day trial

Discussion: The service from Keypad and Sideline have a couple overlapping features yet, there are quite a few significant differences in terms of service, features and add-ons. Keypad offers calling, messaging, call routing, unlimited extensions, integration with Smith.ai virtual receptionists as well as with your individual CRM, not to mention, many other features and all at a low rate. Sideline’s main selling point is that it acts a second number for your smartphone (iOs or Android) via and app that mostly uses your cellular data and network, this still means you still have to answer these calls yourself, right from your cellular phone, unless you have it forwarded to another number where a live person can answer it.

Monthly Plans

Keypad

  • $25 per month for 1,000 minutes, 250 text messages, 1 local or toll-free number, with unlimited extensions and auto-attendant greetings
Sideline
  • Individual plan for a sole user runs $9.99 a month
  • Only extra costs relate to international calling which can be added for $14.99 a month per user

Add-ons

Keypad:
  • Extra numbers: $5/number/month
  • Voicemail transcription: $5/month for 100 minutes. 5¢ per additional minute
  • Call recording: $10/month for 1,000 minutes. 1¢ per additional minute
  • Online fax: $10/month for 1 fax number and 200 pages. 5¢ per additional page
Sideline:
  • Business Texting - Included with subscription at request
  • Auto Reply - included with subscription at request
  • Team Number - $99/year

Discussion: Getting started with Keypad is simple – you’ll create an account with a valid email and choose a number , or designate your existing number if porting from an existing provider. You will then be prompted to select your permanent number where you can choose a desired area code or, opt for a toll-free number. At $25 a month, you get 1000 minutes, 250 SMS messages, and your selected phone number. You may also add other features such as add call recording for an additional $10 a month and/or voicemail transcription for an extra $5 per month. You can easily utilize the services of a full team of virtual receptionists starting at $70 a month to free up your time with qualification, intake or payment collection.

Sideline works by using a mobile app on your cell phone, so you will begin by providing your mobile number, which will send you to your respective mobile app store where you’ll install Sideline. After running through setup and choosing your phone number, you’re ready to go. However, if you’re selecting the Enterprise solution (which can manage up to 200 users) you’ll need to do some extra configuration in the web portal, and pay an additional price.

Features

Both Keypad and Sideline offer the following features:

  • Voice calling
  • SMS messaging
  • Number porting

Unique features to Keypad include:

  • Voicemail and transcription capabilities
  • Call recording
  • Call forwarding
  • Number porting
  • Dashboard & detailed analytics
  • Easily configure complete call paths
  • Integration with Smith.ai virtual receptionists
  • Adaptive routing based on time, day of the week, or a custom schedule
  • Call blasting
  • Spam filtering for unwanted calls
  • VIP lists
  • Performance metrics and an intuitive dashboard
  • Optional faxing package

DiscussionKeypad is a full-fledged, standalone service that doesn’t require cellular data or networks to function. For $25 a month, you get 1000 minutes which is just under 17 hours of talk time a month. You also gain the ability to send 250 texts from your Keypad line to engage your customers quickly and either send or request information.  The Smith.ai Virtual Receptionist Add on service, starting at $70 a month for 10 calls and 1 live transfer number, takes the burden of performing intakes or answering FAQs off your plate so you can focus on the task at hand.

While Sideline might require a mobile line, this is great for unlimited plans. You can essentially use the second line indefinitely without having to worry about overage charges, unless they are from your cellular provider. The core features are incredibly limited however, this is an inexpensive way to keep you, your partners, or employee’s personal numbers private, without paying the expense for a VoIP-type service with features you might not need.

Summary

Keypad is a turnkey phone solution for businesses looking to get more done while spending less time on the phone. Service is highly competitive at just $25 a month plus, it seamlessly assimilates with Smith.ai and our other integrations.

While Sideline doesn’t offer near the number of useful features as Keypad, it is an inexpensive way to get a second number you can truly use as much as you need, for the low price of just $9.99 a month, and add additional enterprise features for another $9.99 per month. If you are primarily calling and texting as a way to communicate with your vendors and customers, this is one of the least expensive ways to accomplish just that.

Get started with Keypad now, risk-free

Sign up for Keypad today! It's only $25/month, and completely 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 5am – 6pm PT at (650) 727-6484 or keypad@smith.ai.

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