Our side-by-side VoIP comparison chart makes it easy to compare the best virtual phone system providers of 2020 with each other. If you’re interested to learn more about a particular VoIP service, then click through to the full review for more details about the company.
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You’ve come to the right place to decide which virtual phone system provider you should get. Once you know which features you’re looking for, how many phone numbers and devices you want to use and which budget you have, you can use our comparison table to make a list of providers that could be perfect for your professional or personal phone needs. The top 5 providers listed in this comparison were reviewed and rated by our site’s visitors, and are ranked and curated by our virtual phone systems experts.
Virtual Phone Systems Buying Guide
As many businesses and households have broadband internet installed already, moving over to a virtual phone system is starting to make more and more sense to a growing number of people and businesses. However, choosing the right virtual phone system is vital to ensure that the best service is obtained for the best price. The process of choosing a virtual phone system provider might seem intimating, which is why we’ve created this five-step buying guide to help you in making this decision as easy and time efficient as possible.
1. Determine Your Needs and Wishes
Virtual phone systems are good for both businesses and homes, and many internet phone companies will offer packages that are tailored for different sized companies and households. However, it may be better to determine your phone needs first, as virtual phone systems have many features that can be useful or not depending on your wishes and demands.
For example, there are a lot of features included in virtual phone systems packages that come at no extra cost, such as:
- Call Forwarding: A very useful feature where calls are automatically forwarded to another phone number when you are out of the office for a long period of time.
- Caller ID: Identifies the number of the caller, which can be useful for identifying callers before answering.
- Voicemail: Functions like an answering machine where callers can leave messages if the call isn't answered. Some providers even transcribe voicemail messages and email them to you so you can have a peek at what’s waiting on your answering machine.
- Fax: Some virtual phone systems can also be used to send and receive faxes online without even needing a faxing machine.
- Call Blocking: Adding phone numbers to the blocked list will ensure that calls from this number are blocked and will never be received. This is useful for blacklisting call center numbers and spam numbers.
However, there are a number of extra features that will cost extra or make a particular provider more costly, and it's important to determine whether or not these features are needed or not. Some additional features can include:
- Customized Hold Music: As the name states, this allows you to personalize your hold music, such as specialized messages about the company or better hold music.
- Find Me/Follow Me: Allows for users to receive calls on different phones. This is ideal for someone who often works away from the desk who cannot pick up the work phone, or for residential users who want to make sure all incoming calls get answered. The different phones linked to the system will each ring sequentially until one is answered.
- Outlook Integration: Introduces the ability to send calls from Outlook.
- Conferencing: This is most likely the most useful extra paid feature, as it allows for the ability to videoconference and make large scale phone calls including multiple people.
2. Find and Compare Your Matches
Browse through our website for either home or business providers, and explore which providers appear to be the most suitable for your phone needs. Our comparison chart at the top of this page will help you find providers that offer the features you’re looking for, and will give you a preview of the pricing options available as well. Other details such as the customer service options and user ratings will already help you in making a selection of four providers that you can research further by reading reviews.
3. Read (Customer) Reviews
Of course, simply looking at the websites of service providers and comparing their features can provide a skewed picture, and it's very important to also check customer reviews. This should reveal any issues with customer service or poor service delivery and can give a good idea of which service providers to avoid. There’s no better way to find out whether a virtual phone system provider truly succeeds in providing quality 24/7 US-based customer service than by reading reviews by users who have dealt with the customer support team themselves. Their ratings will give you a good idea of the overall performance of a service provider and aid you in drilling your list of favored providers down to two or so.
4. Sign Up for a Trial
Now you’re probably left with one or two virtual phone system providers that got you interested. If the company offers a free trial account option, or features a risk-free money back guarantee, then it might be the time to sign up for one of these. A trial will typically give you access to all features, and will allow you to transfer your existing number to the provider or gives you the chance to pick your own phone number.
5. Make Your Pick, Don’t Forget Coupons!
After your test run(s), you’ll certainly have a good idea of which service you want to be your new phone partner. Before you make your final decision and sign up with your new provider, make sure to check our coupons section to make sure that you don’t miss out on a great deal or offer for the provider you’re signing up with.