A mere three or four decades ago, we had but one way to make a call: pick up the phone. Today, technology has evolved so much so that the regular old telephone is becoming one of the least common ways to make or take a call.
Think about it—the smartphones we carry in our pockets offer more than just the phone (which, by the way, is an “app” on the device already). You can video call, call via Facebook messenger, use FaceTime, and so much more. These services are plentiful and although we may have never dreamed them up before, they’re all possible thanks to one simple technology: VoIP.
Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, uses data lines to turn communication into “packets” of information that are sent over the network to the other end of the connection. Some IP networks are directly connected to a service provider while others go through the Internet service provider. What matters is that there is a certain Quality of Service (QoS) required to ensure the best quality of communications for your audience.
There are several benefits to VoIP and as it continues to become a more common method of communication. SMBs and other businesses are finding monthly plans that are a lot more affordable than they might anticipate. In this guide specifically, we’ll take a look at 10 of the best VoIP systems that will cost you less than $25 per month.
As a bonus, we’ll also take a minute to look at the benefits of Voice over Internet Protocol plans, both in general and as compared to traditional phone services. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a better idea of the options and a better idea of what’s in it for your business. (spoiler alert: plenty!)
There is a lot that your business can gain from upgrading to a VoIP service from traditional phone networks. The benefits are seemingly endless and a simple Internet search will point out the best reasons to switch now. When considering VoIP for your business, look at benefits like:
These are just a few of the biggest perks to keep in mind. Now, let’s look at how you can get all that for less than $25 per month with the best VoIP systems below.
GoToConnect is one of the leading VoIP providers on the market today, offering a basic plan that slides right under the bar for our budget-friendly VoIP review. This service allows you to keep your current numbers, choose phones that work for your needs, and even add video conferencing, online faxing, and more.
With GoToConnect, VoIP users will have an entire virtual cloud suite of tools to make and take calls from anywhere, anytime. The platform adjusts bandwidth automatically and you can have up to 250 participants in each meeting. You can also upgrade for advanced analytics and other customization features.
Check out highlights like:
Phone.com is another affordable VoIP service. This platform can support hardware, but it’s geared toward softphone use (virtual calling with no traditional handset). For brands that need affordable mobility and customization, this VoIP service could prove to do the trick.
Phone.com offers basic access for less than $15 per month, but minutes are limited and you won’t have access to as many features as you might find with other platforms on this list. It also doesn’t offer compatibility with IP desk phones and it may lack customization in some areas.
Check out key features like:
Dialpad is another affordable solution for VoIP when you want custom mobility solutions or integrations. It offers AI-based voice intelligence that collects actionable content from calls, along with syncing with platforms like G Suite and Outlook. The customer service functions are impressive, but the limited reporting may leave something to be desired for certain users.
You will have to pay for certain add-ons and upgrades, but if you just need a basic call center tool that gets the job done, Dialpad will get you started with VoIP quite easily. Video conferencing for groups will cost extra, but the affordable pricing is worth it.
Plus, key features include:
8x8 offers several iterations, but its Express solution is great for SMBs that are just starting and looking for a way to use VoIP. There are tons of great standard features even in the basic plan and it offers a simple setup for mobile and desktop use. You can import contacts and enjoy your selection of pricing plans. This platform makes several of the “best” lists for VoIP service, and for good reason.
You can choose the plan that suits your needs, customize features, and so much more. There are integrations available and security features are integrated for the ultimate peace of mind. Annual plans at higher levels can also get discounts for annual subscriptions, and they offer premium features, as well.
Plus, you’ll enjoy features like:
With Google Voice, G Suite power users can add VoIP without having to outsource yet another platform or service. It’s easy to sign up, sign in, and use on any computer, Android phone, iPhone, or other devices. Solopreneurs specifically will benefit from using Google Voice as their VoIP provider since it incurs no additional charges, and it is free for a single user.
Google Voice can be used just like a standard phone line, for all types of business calls. You can be assigned a number to mask your actual phone number and make Voice calls from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device with ease. And of course, it all integrates seamlessly with Google and other G Suite partners.
Highlights of this VoIP platform include:
At 800.com, anyone can sign up for a toll-free business number to start taking VoIP calls immediately. The site even lets you choose and search for available numbers of your own. For organizations that need a low-cost way to do VoIP, this is it. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and so much more.
800.com includes custom call routing for more than 60 countries and every plan includes voicemail transcription. Annual plans are available to discount the service, but even the monthly rate of $23 to start isn’t bad at all. Plus, you can upgrade to a higher plan for multiple numbers or more minutes.
Highlights of this platform include:
Vonage is one of the original VoIP service providers and remains popular because they continue to deliver exceptional service and an array of plans to suit various needs. The platform makes integration easy with its App center, and there are business phone numbers available for more than 50 countries. There are plenty of add-ons and you can customize plans to suit your needs, too.
It's kind of difficult to learn a lot about these plans online. However, demos are available to allow you to speak with someone about customizing a solution for your business VoIP needs. Plus, the plans are some of the most affordable that you’ll find and instead of paying for minutes, every plan includes unlimited calls and messages.
Key features include:
Ooma offers a unique approach to VoIP, including a basic personal plan that’s free when you buy the device for basic use. Of course, this is only good for one user and has limited features, but we were pleased to discover that even the Ooma Office plan, the highest offering, has all the unlimited features you’d want for less than $25 per month, allowing it to deliver everything that you need without breaking the bank.
Ooma offers unlimited texting and calling with its premium plan and can even connect to smart devices like Google Nest and Amazon Echo, for those who work at home. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans and for those who want a free trial, the basic personal plan includes 60 days of the Premier package so that you can try before you commit.
Plus, highlights include:
RingCentral used to be the leader in Internet faxing. Now, they’re one of the leading choices for VoIP because they have been doing Internet phone business for so long. There’s an auto attendant and the platform offers plenty of training for new businesses that are trying to learn the ropes. While this one barely skirts under the budget for $25 or less plans, it’s worth mentioning because it’s worth the money regardless.
RingCentral includes AI and intelligent call routing, along with a full-service PBX that gives you the VoIP that you need. This platform is best for those who have a little more to invest because the higher plans offer better packages for the money, but it’s still great for anyone who needs a dedicated VoIP platform.
Check out features like:
Of course, Microsoft has another offering for Microsoft 365 users. Companies that have 300 or fewer employees and use Microsoft Teams can benefit from using Business Voice to add the capability of VoIP to their existing communications. Microsoft 365 Business Voice starts affordably and offers everything from basic access to enterprise-level plans with discounted pricing for those who pay for annual subscriptions on auto-renewal.
This VoIP platform offers a cloud-based phone system with auto attendants, call transfer and forwarding services, and the ability to call from mobile, the web, desktop apps, and even desk phones. Plus, Microsoft offers 24/7/365 customer support for all of it. The only downfall is that this is an add-on that can’t be used on its own, but for companies looking for an easier VoIP integration with 300 or fewer employees, it could be the ideal solution.
At Smith.ai, we know you have a lot on your agenda, and that’s before you add in all the phone calls and other communications coming your way. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it all (and you certainly can’t, either). Hire the dedicated virtual receptionists at Smith.ai to handle the calls and chats, and you’ll find more free time to spend with your clients and taking care of your business.
We’ll even help you create the perfect plan to manage it all. We can customize a strategy that includes everything from phone calls and chats to lead intake, scheduling, and even things like payment collection and more.
To learn more, schedule your consultation to find out how the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can further enhance your new communications solutions. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 727-6484.