Compare Small Business Virtual PBX Plans

For Office/Home Entrepreneurs (1-4 Phone Users) – 9 Plans Were Found!

Plan: Essentials and Standard

By: RingCentral Phone Systems
Approximate Price: $19.99 - $24.99

Plan rating:
5/5

Pros:

  • Internet Fax
  • Dedicated fax number
  • Dial-by name directory
  • Phone & web support

Cons:

  • No International call plans
  • No refund on cancelling annual pre-paid service for months unused

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: unlimited
  • Toll Free Minutes: Essentials – 100; Standard – 1,000; Premium – 2,500; Ultimate – 10,000
  • Pay as You Go Options: N/A
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre-paid or Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: No risk 30 day trial for up to 4 users
  • Phones Supported: All VoIP phones, BYOD
  • Phones Supplied: If required, RingCentral can supply Cisco, Polycom and Yealink handsets
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone, PC and Tablets
  • Conferencing Calling: N/A
  • Fax: Send and receive Internet Fax
  • Installation Fees: none
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: None on month-to-month, no refund on annual pre-paid service
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: planning, designing and project management
  • Installation Consultation Service: implementation project management, ongoing support, and consulting
  • Support Service: US based
  • Support Options: Email, phone, live-chat
  • Support Hours: 24×7 – Office subscribers with 2 or more users. Otherwise 13×5 support

Service Plan Review

RingCentral has replaced its former SMB offering called Professional with Cloud Phone, which is another cloud based virtual telephone service designed for start-ups’, entrepreneurs, and business people who are on the move. The new Cloud Phone service plans deliver a variety of solution for Soho and small businesses that are heavily reliant on their mobile phones for business. As a result, Cloud Phone delivers both an inbound call answering service as well as outbound call functions. Because RingCentral Cloud Phone is now both an inbound and outbound service it offers all of the VoIP features that it’s larger IP/PBX enterprise services offer. Consequently, Cloud Phone is a fully functional and feature rich virtual PBX. However, if all you require as a SOHO or SMB is a reliable inbound answering and call transfer service then Cloud Phones extensive feature set may be more than what you are looking for.

Just like other virtual telephone services Cloud Phone provides a virtual business number for customers for inbound calling. The virtual business number can be local, toll free or you can port an existing business number over to RingCentral. The auto-attendant will answer any incoming calls 24/7, which ensures you never miss a call. Further, there is a customised greeting and configurable menu options. This allows calls to be answered and forwarded appropriately and even redirected to a mobile or to any phone of your choosing. If you should be unavailable, then RingCentral will automatically divert the call through to voice-mail.

RingCentral Cloud Phone is designed to be a feature rich, virtual telephone system, for businesses of all sizes. Unlike its competitors in the SoHo and SMB market it does not lack out-going calling capabilities. If your chief concern is receiving and making business calls, or even faxes when you are out and about working from a mobile telephone then this service works great.

Summary: Ring Central Cloud Phone is a feature rich virtual phone service for small businesses and home office businesses but can scale to much larger organisations.

Plans: Solo and Partner

By: Grasshopper Phone Systems
Approximate Price: $29.00 - $49.00

Plan rating:
5/5

Pros:

  • Auto-Attendant answering service
  • Call transfer to Mobile Phone
  • Send receive Fax
  • Unlimited extensions
  • Reliability using PSTN

Cons:

  • No dial tone, so no real outbound service
  • Difficult to make outbound calls using
  • Mobile app with business caller ID

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: Solo and Partner – unlimited minutes
  • Toll Free Minutes: Solo and Partner – unlimited minutes
  • Pay as You Go Options: N/A
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre-paid or Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: 30 day trial with money back guarantee
  • Phones Supported: All telephones (PSTN based)
  • Phones Supplied: N/A
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone
  • Conferencing Calling: 3-way calling
  • Fax: Receive Internet Fax
  • Installation Fees: none
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: None, 30 days cancellation period
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: N/A
  • Installation Consultation Service: N/A
  • Support Service: US based Live
  • Support Options: Email, phone, live-chat
  • Support Hours: 24×7

Service Plan Review

Grasshopper virtual phone service has two entry-level products, the entry level service plans are Solo and Partner which are designed for entrepreneurs and very small businesses. Solo, as the name suggests targets the Single Owner Home Office (SOHO) business or entrepreneur and so it provides just one virtual business number and 3 extensions and is charged at $29 per month. However if you need more than that you may need to move up to the Partner plan, which, on the other hand is targeted at the small medium business with several employees and so it comes with 3 virtual business numbers and 6 extensions. Partner costs $49 per month. Both service plans offer unlimited minutes. However, what we have to remember here is that this is an inbound focused virtual telephone service, so these minutes are for received calls, not calls you are going to be initiating.

Grasshopper provides a great inbound virtual telephone answering and forwarding service. What this means is it auto answers any incoming calls to the Grasshopper business number and then provides an answering and forwarding service, which enables businesses to operate using any type of phone, including their mobile phones. This delivers mobility and continuity to the business as you can how always be reached whether you are at home, in the office or out and about.

The major differentiator between Grasshopper and most of their competitors is that Grasshopper utilizes the standard PSTN telephone network to transfer calls. This might explain why its call per minute charge is higher than most of its competitors but it also means that Grasshopper is very reliable, has high voice quality and will not suffer from internet reliability issues.

Grasshopper is an inbound call answering service, and works by using an auto-attendant to answer incoming calls with a professional customized greeting and a menu of configurable options – such as press 1 for Sales, 2 for Support, 3 for Billing. The menu can be made up of departments or extensions dependent on the organization, and each can be redirected to a different phone. A handy thing is any number of real phones can be linked to the virtual extension number, which can ring in sequence or simultaneously. Therefore, you could have your mobile as the first number and the house phone as the second, this way you can ensure you will not miss an important call.

Summary: Grasshopper is a feature rich virtual phone service for small home businesses that enables you to run a business from a mobile phone.

Plan: Base

By: Phone.com VoIP Business Phone Service
Approximate Price: $12.99 per user per month ($9.99 if paid annually in advance)

Plan Rating:
4.5/5

Pros:

  • Low price on service and International calling
  • Many free features
  • Mobile app
  • Make outbound calls from mobile using business caller ID

Cons:

  • CRM integration is a premier feature
  • Voicemail transcription is extra
  • Low number of minutes
  • No refund on cancelling an annual contract

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: Base = 300; Plus -500; Pro – 1,000
  • Toll Free Minutes: included in the free minutes for each plan
  • Pay as You Go Options: N/A
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre- paid, Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: Free 30 day trial money back guarantee
  • Phones Supported: All VoIP phones, BYOD
  • Phones Supplied: Phone.com can supply Cisco, Polycom and Yealink handsets and Analogue adapters
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone, PC and Tablets
  • Conferencing Calling: Up to 500 participants
  • Fax: Send and receive Internet Fax
  • Installation Fees: None
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: None on month-to-month, no refund on annual pre-paid service
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: N/A
  • Installation Consultation Service: N/A
  • Support Service: US based
  • Support Service: US Support Options: Email, phone, online forms
  • Support Hours: 24×7

Service Plan Review

Phone.com’s is designed for small business and for easy use with the SOHO and SMB markets in mind. As a result the product is designed from the ground up to be easy to administer and configure through an internet accessible portal. Ease of administration is a critical feature with SMB virtual telephone systems as it allows both administrators and even the users to configure their phone extensions remotely from any internet enabled device.

Phone.com does not sacrifice quality for simplicity as it is built upon high definition VoIP and boast over 40 advanced VoIP features that are available on all their plans. Phone.com also offers alternative communications such as SMS and chat via the Chat Calls and Business messaging SMS features. There are also notable collaboration tools such as group messaging where you can initiate and moderate a group chat over SMS using the mobile app. Another communication media is Fax and that can be sent to voicemail for viewing, and printing or forwarded to email if preferred, either way faxes are now easily processed within Phone.com.

Another great feature is the conference bridge that comes with each user extension and it can support up to 500 participants. As a moderator, you have access to over 15 voice control functions such as to record or mute, unmute participants, set entry or exit chimes, or to require name announcement during the call.

The Phone.com service is separated into two service plans; Pay-Per-Minute, and an Unlimited Minutes plan.

The choice of payment plans has on the one hand a Pay-Per-Minutes Plan. With this plan Phone.com has three additional price plans:

At the entry level there is the Base plan which comes with 300 free minutes and is priced reasonably at $12.99 per user per month ($9.99 if paid annually in advance),

On the other hand with Unlimited Minute plans the costs are for Base, Plus, and Pro at $29.99, $37.99 and $59.99 respectively per user extension per month. 

Where Phone.com does excel against their competitors is with regards their service plans that offers unlimited minutes as these are actually free calling minutes, including notably toll free minutes. As a result all minutes whether inbound or outbound are included within the free minute’s allocation for each service plan.

Summary: Phone.com is a feature rich IP/PBX service with wide set of features at competitive pricing for the small home business.

Plan: Essentials

By: VirtualPBX Business Phone System
Approximate Price: $19.99/user/month

Plan rating
4.3/5

Pros:

  • Easy to set-up
  • Concierge Service
  • Enterprise features
  • Low price and minutes
  • Smartphone App
  • True Advanced Call Distribution

Cons:

  • Limited conference participants
  • Limited conference minutes
  • Support only available during business hours

Features:

  • Free Minutes Per Line: Essentials – unlimited
  • Toll Free Minutes: Essentials – 100;
  • Pay as You Go Options: 1 metered VoIP line
  • Contract Terms: Annual pre-paid or Month to Month
  • Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: Free 14 day trial money back guarantee
  • Phones Supported: All VoIP phones, BYOD
  • Phones Supplied: VirtualPBX can supply Cisco, Polycom and Yealink handsets and Analogue adapters
  • Mobile Apps & Softphones: Android, iPhone, PC and Tablets
  • Conferencing Calling: Up to 10 participants (can be expanded)
  • Fax: Send and receive Internet Fax
  • Installation Fees: None
  • Additional Fees: Local taxes
  • Cancellation Fees: None on month-to-month, billed only on months used on annual pre-paid service
  • Pre-sales Consultation Service: Concierge Service
  • Installation Consultation Service: Concierge Service
  • Support Service: US based
  • Support Options: Email, phone, online forms
  • Support Hours: Business hours only

Service Plan Review

Essentials: $19.99/user per month

  • Unlimited Local Minutes
  • 100 Toll-Free Minutes
  • Unlimited VoIP Minutes Between System Users
  • 2 Toll-Free or Local Numbers
  • 1 VoIP Device for Every User
  • Auto Attendant, Ring Groups, and Voicemail

The service works in the same way as most virtual phone systems at this level as an incoming call management and transfer service. It does this by using an auto-attendant to answer any inbound calls 24/7. The auto-attendant plays a customizable greeting and presents the caller with your customized IVR menu. This configurable menu will contain the names, departments or extension numbers of the business. Such as select 1 for Sales, 2 for Billing, 3 for Support. When the inbound caller selects an option the call is then transferred to a pre-configured user’s phone. However the user can configure several phones and associate it with an extension using the find-me follow-me configuration. By using find-me follow-me several phones can be rung simultaneously or in sequence, this is a good way to prevent missing calls if you are frequently away from your desk. For the entrepreneur this is ideal as they typically work from a mobile phone and are often out of the home office.

In addition to call answering and basic mobility, there are also audio conferencing and an email to fax service, which provides some other business functionality.

Summary: VirtualPBX is a feature rich IP/PBX service with wide set of features at competitive pricing for the small business.