Whether you have a rapidly growing team or a team of one, there comes a time when switching to a professional phone system is a must.

While not every virtual phone system is as feature-rich as the next, the most effective ones use your internet connection to do far more than call and text clients. Here are the top 10 best virtual phone services for small business communication that fit the bill and how to choose the right one for your team.

Best virtual phone services for small business: Compare the top 10

Virtual phone services — also known as softphone or VoIP phone services — offer a wide selection of features that go well beyond what traditional systems support. While opting for a virtual option is usually the best choice, different VoIP phone providers can suit different needs. Read on to compare 10 virtual phone services compatible with small businesses’ needs.

1. OpenPhone

Best virtual phone services: OpenPhone

If you’re looking for a VoIP system that can scale as your small business grows, OpenPhone is the right choice. OpenPhone is the #1 business phone solution as voted on G2. This business phone system streamlines your communication, so your team can save time, shorten response times, and focus on improving the customer experience.

With OpenPhone, you can set up text message auto-replies and an automated phone menu that lets clients route their own calls — no need for a receptionist to do all the work. You can also integrate with tools like Slack, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Zapier, so all your business apps work together to help your business thrive.

You can add unlimited users to your account. When you hire a new team member, you can add them to your account with a quick email invite and a small monthly fee (plans start at just $13 per user per month). Once they accept, they’ll instantly get access to a free US, Canadian, or toll-free number, or a shared phone number used by multiple members of your team.

Need a new phone number but don’t have new team members? No problem. You can get additional phone numbers for $5 per month, so you can easily enter new markets or differentiate calls by customer needs (like sales or customer support).

Key features

Pricing

  • Standard: $10 per user per month
  • Premium: $20 per user per month
  • Enterprise: Contact for custom pricing

2. Dialpad

Best virtual phone services: Dialpad

Dialpad is a business VoIP service that supports a number of smart features powered by AI. The most unique of these is live speech coaching, which tells your team members if you’re speaking too quickly, too much, or with too many filler words. Dialpad’s AI system can also automate post-call summaries and voicemail transcriptions.

But while strong AI features are available with every plan, other essential features require upgrades. With a basic plan, you can’t access integrations with popular business apps like Slack or Zapier or have more than one number if you’re working solo. You can’t even text internationally unless you upgrade. Plus, toll-free numbers start at an additional $15 per month, while porting in more than one existing number requires a fee.

If you need any of the features mentioned above you must subscribe for a minimum of three users per month ($25 per user per month — or $75 per month) on their higher tier-plan. Their base plan also can only have three users max, giving you little flexibility.  

Key features

  • Free unlimited calls and texts in the US and Canada
  • Free video conferencing, up to 10 participants and 45 minutes
  • Shared phone numbers
  • Live speech coaching
  • Voicemail transcriptions
  • Business app integrations (Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams come standard)

Pricing

  • Standard: $15 per user per month
  • Pro: $25 per user per month
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

3. Phone.com

Best virtual phone services: Phone.com

Phone.com is a virtual phone service that supports secure, HIPAA-compliant voice and video calls. But while Phone.com may have the ultimate phone provider URL, it definitely isn’t the best of the best for all small businesses. You’ll need to upgrade to get many of the features businesses need, including unlimited minutes and voicemail transcriptions.

Unfortunately, upgrades still won’t get you everything you need. Important calling features like call recording and shared phone numbers require add-on costs that’ll push your monthly cost up at least $5 per month each — which means you might as well choose a VoIP provider that’s a better fit.

Key features

  • 500 free minutes for phone calls per month with basic plan
  • 1,000 free text message segments (up to 160 characters) per month
  • Free video conferencing, up to 10 participants with basic plan
  • Call forwarding

Pricing

  • Basic Users: $11.99 per user per month
  • Plus Users: $15.99 per user per month
  • Pro Users: $23.99 per user per month

4. Grasshopper

Best virtual phone services: Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a small business phone system designed with startups and solopreneurs in mind. What makes this platform stand out is the fact that it includes 100% of its features, like call forwarding and custom greetings, with every plan. However, this also means you’ll have to pay a premium for a basic plan, even if you don’t need advanced features like virtual fax. Plus, the number of users each plan supports is pretty limited. Even with an upgrade, Grasshopper is only recommended for one to three employees. 

As one of the oldest virtual phone providers on the market, many former customers choose to go with other solutions due to the outdated user interface. Keep in mind you’ll also miss out on integrations, shared numbers, call recording, and more if you choose Grasshopper.

Key features

  • Free unlimited calls and texts in Canada and the US (except Alaska and Hawaii)
  • Voicemail transcriptions
  • Custom greetings
  • Call forwarding

Pricing

  • Solo: $26 per month (one phone number and three extensions)
  • Partner: $44 per month (three phone numbers and six extensions)
  • Small Business: $80 per month (five phone numbers and unlimited extensions)

5. Ooma

Best virtual phone services: Ooma

Ooma is a well-known VoIP service provider that offers over 50 features standard with every plan, including an automated virtual receptionist, ring groups, virtual fax, hold music, and call transfers. It’s also one of a few virtual phone services that offers free calls to Mexico as a standard feature.

The downside is that Ooma’s features aren’t great unless you upgrade. You can’t even access a desktop app with a basic plan, which means you have to do everything from Ooma’s mobile app. Call recording and voicemail transcriptions are also only available with more expensive options.

Even if you do upgrade, you won’t get any Slack or Zapier integrations. The only integrations you’ll get are with Google and Office 365.

Key features

  • Free unlimited calls in the US, Canada, and Mexico
  • Call transfers
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Virtual fax

Pricing

  • Ooma Office Essentials: $19.95 per user per month
  • Ooma Office Pro: $24.95 per user per month
  • Ooma Office Pro Plus: $29.95 per user per month

6. Vonage

Best virtual phone services: Vonage

Vonage is a legacy business phone service that’s been around since the late ’90s. Its unified communications system gives you access to a number of standard features, including caller ID, hold music, and unlimited team messaging. But if you’re looking to avoid fees and upgrades, Vonage probably isn’t for you. For example, you’ll need a top-tier plan to access call recording on-demand. If you want call recording automatically enabled for every conversation, you need to pay $49.99 per month.

Vonage doesn’t offer the most small business-friendly pricing either. You have to have more users to access lower rates, while entrepreneurs working solo must pay the highest monthly rates to use Vonage.

Key features

  • Free unlimited team messaging
  • Call recording (upgrade required)
  • Auto-attendant (upgrade required)
  • CRM integration (upgrade required)

Pricing

  • Mobile: Starts at $14.99 per line per month
  • Premium: Starts at $24.99 per line per month
  • Advanced: Starts at $34.99 per line per month

7. Nextiva

Nextiva

Nextiva is one of the best virtual phone services for enterprises, but it also offers quality options for small business owners. It supports voice and video calls with every plan — though if you want basic SMS or MMS texting capabilities, you’ll need to upgrade. You’ll miss out on key business phone features, like voicemail transcriptions or call recording, if you don’t upgrade all the way to the Enterprise plan.

Like Vonage, Nextiva charges smaller teams more than any other businesses.

Key features

  • Free unlimited video calls and voice calls in the US and Canada
  • Auto-attendant
  • Virtual fax
  • Business app integrations (Google Contacts and Outlook come standard)

Pricing

  • Essential: Starts at $17.95 per user per month
  • Professional: Starts at $21.95 per user per month
  • Enterprise: Starts at $31.95 per user per month

8. RingCentral

RingCentral

RingCentral is another legacy phone system that’s been around for almost as long as Vonage. While many of its clients are enterprises that take advantage of its top-tier plans, RingCentral does offer a solid basic plan that’s accessible to small businesses if you’re mainly looking for a platform that consolidates your calls, texts, and team messaging. Unfortunately, this plan is only available for up to 20 users — and if you want any more advanced call features, you’ll likely need to upgrade.

This VoIP system’s best features — like automatic call recording, video meetings, and integrations with Slack, Salesforce, and other popular apps — are all locked behind higher tiers.

Key features

  • Free unlimited calls in the US and Canada
  • One free US, Canadian, or toll-free number per user
  • Voicemail transcriptions
  • Business app integrations (requires upgrade)

Pricing

  • Essentials: $19.99 per user per month (max 20 users)
  • Standard: $27.99 per user per month
  • Premium: $34.99 per user per month
  • Ultimate: $49.99 per user per month

9. Google Voice

Google Voice

With so many people and companies using the Google ecosystem daily, it makes sense that Google Voice for Google Workspace is often listed as one of the best virtual phone services for small businesses. With a business plan, you can get a clean VoIP platform that’s equipped with call forwarding, Google Meet and Google Calendar integrations, and voicemail transcriptions. The biggest tool that’s missing is a desktop app.

Upgrades don’t give you access to much more. However, you’ll need to upgrade if you want to get a multi-level auto-attendant, or access to ring groups (though truly shared phone numbers aren’t available at all).

Key features

  • Free unlimited calls to the US, or to Canada from the US
  • Free unlimited texts in the US
  • Voicemail transcriptions
  • Call forwarding

Pricing

Every Google Voice plan also requires a Google Workspace subscription, which starts at $6 per user per month.

  • Starter: $10 per user per month
  • Standard: $20 per user per month
  • Premier: $30 per user per month

10. CallHippo

CallHippo

CallHippo is a VoIP provider with patent-pending technology that works behind the scenes to improve your business call quality. This virtual phone service offers two business phone systems with different features: an office phone system and a call center solution.

Most small businesses can utilize CallHippo’s office phone system, which supports IVR and ring groups for streamlining your calls — though you’ll need to pay extra for call recording and other helpful features. It doesn’t support texts.

Overall, CallHippo’s office phone system is a pretty pricey solution, given its minimal features. You’ll end up paying at least $30 per user per month — and far more if you have more than 10 team members.

CallHippo’s call center solution is a more affordable alternative that’s built for bulk calling. This solution supports shared phone numbers and SMS. But while the monthly per-user pricing is lower, it may end up costing more since you’ll have to pay for every call and text after your plan’s allotted minutes and texts (if any are included). You can use call recording for an additional charge per minute with the basic plan, but it’s a free feature on higher-tier plans.

Key features

  • Free unlimited calls (office phone system only)
  • Auto-attendant (IVR)
  • Ring groups (with office phone system) or shared numbers (with call center solution)
  • Business app integrations (includes Slack, Zapier, Zoho CRM, and more)

Pricing

Office phone system

  • Starter: $30 per user per month
  • Professional: $38 per user per month
  • Ultimate: $42 per user per month

Call center solution

  • Bronze: $16 per user per month
  • Silver: $24 per user per month
  • Platinum: $40 per user per month
  • Enterprise: $48 per user per month

How much does a virtual phone line cost?

The cost of virtual phone lines varies between platforms, though most VoIP providers charge a monthly per-user fee. This fee is usually under $30, though the most cost-effective options are as low as $10 per user per month.

7 things to consider when selecting a virtual phone service

If you want to choose the best virtual phone service, ask yourself these seven questions to help you make a choice you won’t regret.

How easy is the system to set up and use?

One of the biggest perks of choosing a virtual phone service is the ease of setup, especially compared to landlines and other desk phones. Signing up should take a matter of minutes, and using your business phone number should feel as simple as using your mobile phone’s built-in phone and messaging apps — or, perhaps, even more intuitive.
If you need to call in an IT pro just to get your virtual phone system ready, there are better options out there

What types of virtual numbers do you need?

Most virtual phone number providers allow users to choose their own area codes, but some offer fewer area code options than others. If you want to build trust with local clients, choose a provider that offers local numbers for the countries or areas you serve. For example, you can choose phone numbers with most US and Canadian area codes with OpenPhone.
Alternatively, getting a toll-free phone number can be a great way to build trust with clients across 20 participating North American countries (including the US and Canada). Toll-free numbers allow current and potential clients to call your business for free.

What hardware do you prefer to utilize?

The best virtual phone service for your small business should be compatible with the devices you use. Choosing a provider that works with your smartphone, laptop, and tablet is a great way to give yourself some flexibility. Some VoIP systems also work with desk phones. However, most small businesses don’t need to pay upfront for a landline. 

What integrations are available?

One of the best ways to streamline your communications is by connecting your favorite apps to your virtual phone system. Think about the software you use from day to day, like CRMs and email providers, and find a platform that can integrate with as many of those apps as possible.

Do you need shared access to any numbers?

If you want your team members to share numbers — which allows them to help each other answer incoming calls and texts — choose a system that lets you assign multiple users to any number. Screenshot of a chatbox
The best shared virtual phone number providers also offer collaborative features, like the ability to share notes about clients or see when their peers are typing.

How can a specific solution save you time?

Many of the best virtual phone services have automation capabilities, along with other features that can streamline your small business communication processes. For example, OpenPhone offers phone menu and texting automations, as well as text message templates that help you speed up your responses.

What support is available?

Most small businesses don’t have full-blown IT teams ready for emergencies. When you need help with your virtual phone system, a provider like OpenPhone — which offers support and an extensive Help Center — can be your best friend.

Are virtual phone numbers safe?

Virtual phone numbers are as secure as the provider you choose. If you want to enhance your VoIP security, choose a provider that takes measures to keep your calls and texts safe — and take extra precautions like using encrypted WiFi to add another layer of protection. OpenPhone will help you out by encrypting and backing up your data.

Learn more about our security protocols

How to get a virtual phone number

Getting a virtual phone number only takes a few steps. It’s a lot like signing up for a social media account or shopping at your favorite online store. With OpenPhone, all you need to do is:

  1. Sign up for an account with OpenPhone.
  2. Select the US, Canadian, or toll-free area code you want to use during the signup process.
  3. Verify your account with an existing phone number and a credit card.

Get the best virtual phone service with OpenPhone

OpenPhone desktop and mobile app

Ready to get the best business calling and texting experience possible? Switching to a virtual phone service is the first step — and signing up for OpenPhone is the best decision you can make. 

OpenPhone is a VoIP system that scales with your team, so your small business can get the support it needs to flourish. It also offers plenty of automations and integrations that can help you streamline every inbound call or text and support more clients with ease as your team grows. Try out OpenPhone yourself for free for seven days by signing up for a free trial.

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Author

Emily is a freelance business and marketing writer based in the desert, though her writing is anything but dry. Her passion is writing compelling, human-friendly content that helps growing businesses perform better.

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