Vonage Review

Have you been considering Vonage as your VoIP provider? There are plenty of great options on the market. But when it comes to an affordable and flexible voice over internet protocol or VoIP calling system you can rely on, Vonage stacks up as a top contender in the field—especially as a global calling solution. With plenty of features and payment options, Vonage molds to your business’s needs while providing you with quality calling solutions.

Here’s a closer look at what it offers, how it stacks up, and any pros and cons worth considering before making any real decisions.

Vonage Pros and Cons

As a cloud communications platform, Vonage offers plenty of solutions for video conferencing, call centers, video calls, or personal calling plans. With over 50 calling features, there are some pros and cons to consider if you’re a business owner in need of an array of calling solutions.

It’s always a good idea to walk through any calling solution software’s strengths and weaknesses since your business’s needs will be different according to the industry you operate in and your team’s size and overall business goals and budget.

Pros

Social platform reach: With Vonage, you can reach your customers through Viber, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more for a more convenient and intimate experience with your customers.

APIs for enterprise: Once upon a time, Vonage didn’t offer reliable enterprise solutions. But that changed once it acquired Nexmo. Now you can add communications functionality into your business globally, no matter your team’s size.

Ecommerce features: Vonage allows you to embed custom messaging, fraud detection, and voice verification, among other APIs, to ensure a better customer shopping experience. You can also interact with customers in real-time as they shop through messaging and chat features.

99.9 percent uptime: Vonage’s average uptime over a six month period is pretty close to 100 percent. This adds to its reliability factor regardless of the call solution you’re implementing.

Dropped connection solutions: If you happen to make a call and your internet connection drops, Vonage has a fail-safe feature that reroutes your call so that you don’t lose connection with your customers.

Month-to-month contracts: When you sign up for a Vonage business calling plan, you aren’t locked into costly and lengthy contracts. You can go with a month-to-month plan that allows you to make changes if you aren’t satisfied with the service.

Call without desk phones: You don’t need a desk phone when you sign up with Vonage to make calls. You can seamlessly make calls through your laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone with its online portal.

Enables remote work: With Vonage, your team no longer has to work from one central location. They can take work home and stay connected through desktop and mobile apps.

Programmable solutions: You can develop your own calling applications with Vonage APIs with plenty of code snippets, guides, and tutorials on its site.

App integration: Easily connect and integrate with the apps your or your team are already using for enhanced productivity and flexibility.

Call routing: Vonage is set up so you can have more than one device connected to your calling dashboard. So if you can’t pick up a call or need to reroute it, you can easily do that.

Create automations: Whether you want specific calls to go to voicemail, want to play a pre-recorded message, or customize greetings, you can do that with Vonage.

Call monitoring: With Vonage, you can easily monitor team calls, advise them as they’re on a call, or reroute their call in real-time on their behalf. This is an especially useful feature for call centers.

Plenty of integrations: You can easily integrate Vonage with tools like Salesforce, HubSpot, Bullhorn, Zendesk, Soho, GSuite, and Zapier.

AI tools: If you need advanced calling features like self-service or post-call analysis, Vonage offers AI tools that go beyond the basics of call management for enterprise-level call center needs.

Small business solutions: Vonage makes it easy to set up and manage a call management system without a pricey IT team or the need to code anything. Click-to-dial and auto-dial features built into its CRM quickens the calling cycle.

Cons

Customer support: It’s been said that Vonage’s customer service isn’t always the most efficient or timely. While it does have call or chat support for troubleshooting whenever you need it, it can be time-consuming to connect to the right person.

Cost for services: Depending on the features you’re looking for, other voice over internet providers offer some of the same features Vonage does for a lot less or even free. This is where you must weigh the upsides of having a potentially more dependable calling feature you pay for versus using an alright one for free that gets the job done but lags in quality.

Phone number loss: While there are many instances when people transfer existing phone numbers to Vonage successfully without any fees, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be able to, as some numbers won’t be compatible. If it is transferable, this process can take up to 20 business days.

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How Vonage Compares to Top VoIP Phone Services

As I mentioned before, there are a ton of other voice over internet solutions out you can use just as easily. But when it comes down to it, how does Vonage really stack up?

After much research, comparison, and overall consideration, Vonage’s strengths lie in international calling features for either business or personal plans. Vonage offers an all-in-one solution that provides text messaging, voice calls, team collaboration calls, conference calls, and call center solutions for enterprise businesses that need to get a reliable handle on their calls’ quality.

Other VoIP call and video options that come close are Nextiva or RingCentral. Nextiva because of the reliable voice over internet services it provides for small and enterprise customers and its CRM features.

On the other hand, RingCentral is great if you want access to free video and team messaging solutions, and it doesn’t fall short as far as reliable calling solutions go. With it, you don’t have to invest in new calling equipment. You can use the same number and phone equipment once you’re onboarded to keep making your calls. You can see our full list of top picks here.

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Vonage Hardware Requirements

As you use Vonage, you’ll likely need to invest in equipment depending on your business’s size and needs.

First, you’ll want to ensure you’re using a compatible certified router, which currently includes Linksys and Netgear models you can verify on its site. Otherwise, you might experience problems with call audio and dropped calls.

Vonage offers certified IP phones and accessories that come in handy if, for example, you handle high volumes of incoming calls and need calling equipment that is compatible with its system.

For equipment to be compatible with Vonage, it needs to be SIP (Session Initiated Protocol) capable. If you’re unsure about your equipment’s compatibility, a Vonage technician can walk you through the process.

This is an extra cost to consider and make space for in your budget when you’re signing up for Vonage since it doesn’t include equipment cost in its plans.

Vonage Pricing

For the sake of simplicity, here are how Vonage’s pricing plans work for a smaller team of 20:

Mobile – $ 14.99 per month per line plus taxes and fees

  • Unlimited calls
  • Unlimited SMS
  • Access to the Vonage App Center
  • Unlimited team messaging

Premium – $ 24.99 per month per line plus taxes and fees

  • Unlimited video for up to 100
  • Multi-level auto attendant
  • CRM integration
  • IP desk phone capability

Advanced – $ 34.99 per month per line plus taxes and fees

  • 15 hours of on-demand call recording
  • Call group
  • Visual voicemail
  • White-glove set-up

Prices for plans at Vonage differ depending on the number of employees. The good news is all plans come with unlimited phone calls and SMS.

Any calling plans for 100 employees or more will require you to contact the sales team for a more personalized package.

Vonage Setup

To start using Vonage once you’ve signed up to one of its business plans, you’ll have to sign in first to set up features, manage user permissions and roles, and manage all your extensions.

Vonage offers interactive guides through its Learning Center once you’re signed in to help you make the setup process easier. Not only that, Vonage offers customer training sessions that cover features, equipment, and user accounts.

Once you’ve added your information, you can get started immediately. Or, you can also schedule a service delay of up to 45 days, so it’s there ready to be used whenever you need it.

Vonage Features

Vonage offers an exhaustive list of features—over 50 of them. Not all of them will apply to your business, but it’s good to know they’re available as your business grows.

Here’s a quick list of some of its more popular features:

  • Vonage Extensions
  • Boomerang
  • Selective Call Block
  • Vonage Voicemail Plus
  • Enhanced Call Forwarding
  • SimulRing
  • Add-on Calling Features

Vonage Offerings

What solutions does Vonage offer? This depends on if you’re looking for home or business call plans. Since we’re focusing on business solutions for this review, they fall into three general categories. Here’s a closer look at each.

Communications APIs

Vonage APIs allow you to integrate effective calling solutions for startups and enterprises that are looking to scale. Vonage’s communications APIs include video, in-app voice, SMS, sip trunking, email, dispatch, and more.

You can easily verify user accounts as well as prevent fraud with its safe two-step authentication feature. It also allows you to create sub-accounts to configure the reporting and billing of different projects.

Unified Communications

Vonage’s unified communications offerings include solutions that let business work from anywhere with more than 50 features to choose from. Some of the features include paperless fax, call monitoring, virtual receptionist, click-to-dial, call flips, and local or geographic numbers.

Vonage’s unified communications make it easy to collaborate with colleagues no matter where you are with tools available for desktop or mobile, meeting scheduling functions, as well as the ability to easily record and share meetings.

Contact Centers

Vonage offers cloud contact center software to create a better overall sales experience. It brings easy to manage omnichannel features that include voice, digital channels, and even video.

Powerful routing features allow you to use customer details so you can reroute them to the best agent equipped to help them with their specific needs. You can auto-log calls and recordings and use its click-to-dial or auto-dial tools within its CRM.

Ai powered features allow you to collect post-call analysis, enable self-service tools, and leverage dynamic routing.

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Summary

When you take a broad look at Vonage and all it has to offer, the question isn’t “will they cover all the call features I need?” The question becomes, “will I be satisfied with its level of service once it’s integrated into my business?”

Why? Vonage is a comprehensive all-in-one voice over internet service provider that provides tools for its users from onboarding to equipment and beyond.

This makes it a solid option for small businesses counting on growth who need a reliable VoIP to help them get there—whether they work with at-home employees or otherwise. Yet, it doesn’t leave out the more complex needs of enterprise customers who need features like AI and advanced automations to successfully take care of their various types of call needs both within the organization and customer-facing.

If you’re ready to take the plunge, check out its plans and get started with Vonage here.

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Grasshopper Review

With over 135,000 users, Grasshopper is one of the most trusted phone service providers for small businesses on the market. Grasshopper stacks up well against the other products on our list of best phone services, as it offers more customer support and no restrictions—making it an excellent choice for small businesses.

Priding itself on separating personal work from business work at a low cost, Grasshopper is the best phone service provider for small business owners and solo entrepreneurs.

With multiple product offerings that help users improve their phone service, the system can transform your business and increase clientele by providing a more professional phone service with custom greetings and extensions.

Grasshopper Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High mobile functionality
  • Affordable at $ 26 per month
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Unlimited calls

Cons

  • Voicemail transcription issues
  • Fewer app integrations
  • No video conferencing capabilities
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How Grasshopper Compares to Top Virtual Phone System Software Providers

Compared to the top five other best cloud-based phone systems, Grasshopper comes in at number three, because it offers unique features for small teams at an affordable price.

Grasshopper takes this position in our top list because most of the other phone systems offer better packages for office settings and are a tad cheaper. However, this doesn’t mean that your business won’t benefit from Grasshopper. With a focus on small businesses or solo side businesses, Grasshopper is the easiest way to find a unique variation of phone numbers and make unlimited calls, unlike our top picks for phone service providers.

In terms of our top picks, we think Nextiva and RingCentral are excellent alternate options. Nextiva is the best enterprise-level phone system that offers supportive features and hardware for your business space, whereas RingCentral is the most popular with more than 350,000 users with specifically designed plans for small businesses.

Grasshopper’s Remote Access

In the past year, working remotely has seen a shift and increase due to the pandemic. Now, it’s crucial for all business models to include remote tools that are reliable for teams to work from home, in a more virtual space. Fortunately, if you’re looking for a phone service provider that offers extensive remote access, Grasshopper is an excellent option.

Grasshopper offers comprehensive mobile and desktop apps that seamlessly sync up to your phone service system. The mobile app is easy to use and displays all your business calls and text messages in one place. The great thing about this mobile app is that your personal calls and texts stay completely separate from your business ones, while still being on one phone. It’s a lot more convenient for small business owners or solo entrepreneurs to operate with the least amount of tools and equipment to avoid overworking and stress.

The desktop app is just as helpful, with an intuitive interface—so even the least experienced user can find their way around. The app lets you use your internet connection to make and receive VoIP calls and text messages. So, you really can do business anywhere under any internet connection, whether that be at a library or local cafe.

What makes this app even more efficient is that you can also view your voicemails and call history, so you can continue to respond to clients and follow-up on missed calls efficiently and professionally.

With such supportive remote access for small teams, you can experience the freedom and flexibility of working anywhere without the stress of being unorganized. Compared to other phone service providers, we think Grasshopper has the most simple remote tools that will suit most business owners.

There are no additional costs to download both apps, but to install the desktop app, you will need:

  • 64-bit macOS 10.9 or later
  • 64-bit Windows 7 or later
  • Minimum 4GB RAM

Grasshopper’s Audio and Video Connection Quality

Having high-quality audio and video connection is certainly one of the most significant roles of a phone service provider. Luckily, Grasshopper’s audio connection quality is impressive, and they offer a few alternative options for users having trouble with poor connection or weak signal. In terms of video connection, Grasshopper currently does not offer video conferencing–one of its few major weaknesses compared with other cloud-based phone service providers.

As stated above, Grasshopper lets you make business calls using VoIP and WiFi. Straight away, it’s quite substantial that Grasshopper offers two ways to make calls, where users can utilize either option if one of them happens to drop out. The difference between these options is that VoIP is commonly used to make calls through an internet connection, whereas users will use WiFi calls through any WiFi network.

But what happens if your internet or WiFi connection is weak? Well, Grasshopper has a solution for that. While using the mobile app, if Grasshopper identifies any weak signals, it will automatically transfer your inbound or outbound call to its normal calling network. There’s no notification or interruption when this happens so call quality will remain at its highest. Subsequent calls will revert to an available WiFi network once your signal strengthens.

However, if you do experience poor phone quality, the Grasshopper team over on the support forum has an in-depth guide on how to troubleshoot both the mobile and desktop applications with ease. This just goes to show how much Grasshopper cares about the user’s experience.

As for video connection, since Grasshopper is yet to offer this service, we think RingCentral or Vonage are great alternative options for anyone looking for video conferencing. RingCentral offers a service called Glip, which uses carrier-grade infrastructure to operate high-quality video calls for up to 100 people. On the other hand, Vonage offers a video call feature that’s similar to Zoom, with a highly intuitive interface.

Grasshopper’s SMS and MMS Texting

Being able to connect with and keep in touch with your clients is paramount for success. And most business owners don’t want to rely on just phone communication. So, many phone service providers will offer either SMS text messaging and MMS texting, or a mix of both or none—however, Grasshopper offers both that are easy-to-use channels, which will make communication better.

Unlike other phone service providers we reviewed, Grasshopper offers unlimited texts for no additional cost, which is an enormous benefit for small businesses on a budget. To make it even better, business texting is free for all virtual phone numbers when you sign up for a seven-day free trial—which is an excellent option for beginners who are looking for a phone service provider as a starter.

The most beneficial feature of Grasshopper’s SMS texting tool is called the instant response. If you miss a call, the instant response feature will automatically send an SMS message to your new client, letting them know you’re unavailable. The caller can even write back with their details and let you know why they’re calling.

This feature can potentially eliminate the risk of losing future clients by responding promptly and professionally and will save you time while you’re busy. You can also use this feature to your full advantage and create a text that provides new callers with information about your business.

Grasshopper also offers MMS for picture and video messaging, however, it is currently not possible from toll-free numbers and is only available for local numbers. Group texts are also possible from local numbers. International SMS and MMS are only available between the United States and Canada, so Grasshopper may not be ideal for remote teams working internationally.

Grasshopper’s Responsive Customer Support

Prioritized support is so important for phone service providers because no calls mean no profits or new clients. If your phone lines go down because of technical issues, it’s crucial for a support team to immediately jump in and help. This is where Grasshopper shines because it happens to have the best responsive customer support of all the service providers on our top list.

Grasshopper offers 24/7 US-based live customer support in every plan, which is a great option for a distributed company, working remotely all over the United States. What’s so great about Grasshopper’s support is that it’s also responsive and active on its social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This means you can contact the support team on these platforms for a quicker response, rather than through an email query.

Not only does it offer 24/7 live chat and telephone support, but Grasshopper also has an updated and relevant support forum that has frequently asked questions, knowledge-based topics, case studies, and a ‘how-to’ section. This support forum is a great way for users to save time instead of waiting on a phone call or waiting a couple of business days for an email about an issue you can solve by reading through its helpful forum.

Grasshopper’s Product Offerings

Grasshopper offers a few products that relate to phone services, which give a variety of options for different user needs. Here is an in-depth look at the different products Grasshopper offers for phone services:

Vanity Numbers

If you want to make your business number more memorable, Grasshopper offers local and toll-free vanity numbers at no additional cost. You have the freedom to choose up to seven letters or numbers that relate to your specific business niche with the number lookup tool. It’s important to note that some numbers may already be taken, and according to Grasshopper, it suggests opting for a shorter term to return a match.

Creating a custom phone number is a great way for people to easily remember your number in advertising, which might generate more leads and increase your clientele. Apart from seeming more identifiable, using a vanity number will make your small business look larger and more established. It’s also a great option to address what your company offers while aiming for consistency across your business cards and website.

Grasshopper lets you make business calls and texts with your US-based toll-free vanity number. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support text messaging for toll-free or local vanity numbers in Canada or internationally—so you may be better off choosing a provider like Phone.com in that regard.

The good news is that Grasshopper allows you to port your existing vanity phone number for free, so you don’t have to lose the number you love. The transfer process is straightforward because Grasshopper does all the nitty-gritty behind the scenes once you sign up, and it will confirm with you once the transfer has gone through.

Toll-Free Numbers

If vanity numbers aren’t for you, you can still maintain your professional appearance by choosing a toll-free number instead. Grasshopper lets you specify digits or select a number at random using its lookup tool. All the toll-free prefixes are assigned by an entity known as ‘Responsible Organization’ and include the numbers 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, and 833.

The major benefit of a toll-free number is the fact that it is free for the caller, even if you happen to call from a long distance in the same country. Grasshopper makes sure that you aren’t charged for these calls, however, charges will apply if you call an international toll-free number, even when it costs nothing to receive an international call.

Just like Grasshopper’s vanity numbers, you can send unlimited texts and calls with your toll-free number. Some other benefits of using a toll-free number include:

  • Customized business greeting
  • Be available to your clients everywhere with a national presence
  • Professional image
  • Better for customer service

Again, there are no additional charges to add a toll-free number to your plan with unlimited calls and texts—and porting your number is also available.

Ruby Virtual Receptionists

As a unique function, Grasshopper introduces the new Ruby virtual receptionists add-on that can help improve your business while you’re busy. Ruby will help small business owners look more professional, as a US-based receptionist or an auto-attendant system answer all your calls by greeting new callers with a personalized message based on your instructions and needs.

With Ruby, you can boost business by operating during extended business hours. You can also save a lot of time and money by trying to find and pay for a full-time hire that suits your every need. Speaking of saving time, Ruby is a great opportunity to take up more work and focus less on daily administrative tasks.

Another significant thing about the Ruby service is that the receptionist can transfer calls to your mobile or home phone—under any number you wish. Additional fees may apply for phone lines outside of North America, however, Grasshopper recommends to provide multiple phone numbers, so there are a variety of ways to reach you.

There are three Ruby pricing plans that are 35% off under Grasshopper, these include:

  • Starter: $ 130 per month with 50 receptionist minutes
  • Grow: $ 195 per month with 100 receptionist minutes
  • Elevate: $ 370 per month with 200 receptionist minutes

These prices may seem a little expensive, but if you are a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, sometimes a little help is all you need—and we think it is worth the price to boost your business and save you time.

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Summary

Overall, Grasshopper is an excellent phone service provider for small business owners. It’s affordable starting at $ 26 per month, and it offers reasonable products at no additional cost like vanity and toll-free numbers. It also offers a great mobile and desktop app for remote teams and high-quality VoIP and WiFi calls. With unlimited texts, calls, and 24/7 live support, anyone using Grasshopper is sure to improve and transform their business and call system.

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Ooma Review

Communication is vital when it comes to your business. That means you need a VoIP phone system that serves you well.

Ooma offers plenty of basic domestic and international calling features, plus more advanced ones to help your business thrive, like video calling and analytics.

But the system isn’t perfect. That’s why we’re here to compare it to some other VoIP systems to help you make your final decision on whether Ooma is the one for you. We consider Ooma a solid option for most businesses. Check out what it has to offer and see if yours is one of them.

Ooma Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great call quality
  • User-friendly
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Desktop and mobile apps
  • Advanced calling features with the basic package

Cons

  • High initial cost
  • Pricey international calling
  • No video conferencing with Office package
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How Ooma Compares to Top VoIP Phone Services

Ooma consistently makes the top lists when it comes to VoIP phone services. PCMag rated it the #1 business phone system for its reliability.

Ooma offers a lot of advanced features, even with its standard packages. However, certain ones, like video conferencing, are only available with the Office Pro package. That puts it a step below other communication systems, like Vonage, which offers video capabilities with their more basic packages.

Ooma stands out above the rest for its call quality with crystal clear sound that goes beyond other highly rated systems.

For what you get, Ooma is priced comparably to Vonage. However, others, like magicJack, are much less expensive for similar features. Ooma also doesn’t have an annual payment discount like many other companies do.

Ooma’s international calling can get pricey. If you do a lot of international calling, you might want to look into magicJack, which gives you free credits for international magicJack users. However, Ooma’s portability rivals other systems with its desktop and mobile apps that provide you with access on the go.

Ooma Call Quality

Call quality is one of the most important features when it comes to getting phone service. Without good call quality, you can’t offer optimal customer service. You want your customers to know you’re listening to their questions and concerns and are giving them the best information possible.

Ooma is praised for its superior high-definition call quality both domestically and internationally. It has better call quality ratings than most of the top-performing VoIP systems out there, including Vonage, magicJack, and RingCentral.

Ooma is also known for its excellent service with close to 100% uptime. With that, it rivals other top brands, like Nextiva.

Its system works well on both its desktop and mobile apps. You can even transfer your existing phone number or choose a new one in your area code. No matter how you use Ooma, it maintains consistently optimal call quality.

Ooma Pricing

Ooma has fair prices for their service and features, but they’re not the best you can find. Ooma comes in three packages:

  • Ooma Office: $ 19.95 per user per month
  • Ooma Office Pro: $ 24.95 per user per month
  • Ooma Enterprise: $ 27.99 per user per month

You get a pretty good deal with Ooma Office, with 35 call features for your business. However, it also leaves off some features that most companies offer with more basic packages. When you’re paying per user, you want to get as many features as possible in the cheapest package.

Without these features, you might find that your company has more restricted communication. You also only get the following features when you upgrade to Office Pro:

  • Desktop app
  • Enhanced call blocking
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Call recording

Once you get to Ooma Enterprise, you can use its analytics features, along with customizable call flows and APIs with only a small price jump.

However, if you’re looking to get more features at a better price, try Vonage Premium. They have many of the same offerings as Ooma but for a lower price, including video conferencing. You might also consider magicJack, which starts at $ 39 per year.

Ooma Mobile and Remote Features

With so many people working from home, remote features and mobile apps for VoIP systems have become vital in running a business. Without this feature, you leave out a significant portion of your demographic. It also makes it more difficult for your team members to do their jobs and connect with customers.

Ooma gives you mobile features using data or Wi-Fi to support remote workers alongside in-office teams. Remote employees can also use the desktop app to make calls from their computers.

You can forward calls and voicemails to mobile devices, making it easy to transfer calls on the go and doesn’t restrict any employee to one location. Plus, with virtual extension, multi-ring, and 2-phone-in-1, you can separate your business and personal numbers.

The mobile app isn’t unique to Ooma by itself, but it’s a feature that you’ll need to grow your business and keep it flexible. Ooma’s remote features give you everything you need to do that.

Ooma Basic Calling Features

While Ooma doesn’t offer as much in the way of advanced features to regular Office users, it has several basic features that make it a worthy choice for large and small businesses. It comes with features like:

  • Virtual receptionist
  • Mobile app
  • Call log
  • Call transfer
  • Multi-device ring
  • Call forwarding during outages
  • SMS messaging
  • Intercom

That’s a lot more features than Vonage’s lowest-priced package. While Vonage is the closest comparable VoIP service to Ooma, its Premium package gives you some of what you’re missing from Ooma’s Office package while leaving out others. For example, Vonage doesn’t come with a virtual receptionist. Whether you prefer Ooma, Vonage, or another service depends on which features you’ll use most for your business.

Ooma Customer Support

Ooma offers 24/7 customer support for all its packages, which doesn’t come with every VoIP service out there. Many services only offer priority support with more expensive packages.

You can look at that in two ways. First, you get better customer service with the basic Office package. But if you get Office Pro or Enterprise, the bump in price doesn’t include a bump to the front of the line if something goes wrong. In other words, no priority support. You wait just as long as someone who bought the cheapest package.

If priority customer support is important to you, try RingCentral. They earned the #1 spot for customer support, so you’ll know you’re getting the best care.

Ooma International Calls

International calling features should expand your company’s reach and let you collaborate with international businesses, suppliers, and customers. Not having this feature can limit your business’s growth.

Ooma does have international calling, but it’s more expensive than options like RingCentral. However, Ooma comes with international numbers and serves global companies as well as US-based ones, earning them a reputation for worldwide service.

Ooma offers almost the exact same international calling features as Vonage. Both allow outgoing calls to 60 countries on landlines and 10 countries for mobile numbers.

Though Ooma has a more expensive international calling service than magicJack, magicJack has its own limiting feature. The company only allows you to call other international magicJack users, limiting the number of businesses you can reach across the world. But if you need a cheaper option with unlimited international calling, you’ll find it with magicJack, as long as you don’t mind its restrictions.

Ooma Ring Groups

Ring groups ensure that someone is available for every caller. Ooma’s ring group feature means that when someone calls your business, the call goes to multiple lines until someone answers it. That can mean a group of customer service or sales representatives, as well as several people within a particular department.

The call might ring on multiple phones at once. Alternatively, it may ring on one phone, and if the first person doesn’t answer, the call will go through every phone in that specific ring group until someone picks up.

Ring groups lower the risk of customer calls going unanswered or going to voicemail. They also help you create a better overall customer experience when customers feel that someone is always available to help them.

Ooma Video Conferencing

We’ve already talked a little about Ooma’s video conferencing feature in that it only exists for Office Pro and Enterprise packages. But if you get Pro or higher, you get a high-quality system with an intuitive interface.

Video conferencing with Ooma gives you a click-to-join meeting system along with more advanced features, including:

  • Password protected meetings
  • Chat features
  • Mute options

It lets two or more people share their screens at the same time, making collaboration and visualization easier for team projects.

You can have up to 25 participants on video conference meetings. You can also create recurring meetings and view and search for your sessions on the platform all in one place. The features Ooma offers with its video conferencing make it worth springing for the Office Pro package.

Ooma Call Recording

Call recording features work well if you need to take notes to remind yourself of what was said during customer conversations. They also allow you to check the accuracy of the information and analyze conversations after they happen.

This feature comes with Ooma Office Pro. It puts your recordings in call logs to keep them all organized and saved in one convenient location, so you have access whenever you need them. The system is set up so you can listen and delete the recordings when you no longer need them.

Call recording is a must for communication systems. It means you don’t miss a beat, never have inaccurate information, and you can always reference customer and business calls at any time.

VoIP Phone Systems

VoIP phone systems come with more features and versatility than your typical handset. They’re also more cost-effective and function better for your business because they store everything in one place.

Ooma’s VoIP communication service can make calls from Android and iOS, so you’re not tied to your desk. It works well if you’re a small business that needs a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) cloud-based system.

It’s also great for businesses that need to modernize and use better technology to meet customer needs. In other words, if you want to scale your business, you need a VoIP system.

Ooma’s VoIP service allows you to do work remotely. It offers features like:

  • Voice calling
  • Chat
  • Video
  • Fax

Ooma’s VoIP system has the features you need to meet customer expectations and keep your team running efficiently. Plus, with its mobile tools, you can connect your phone system to your mobile device and have access from your computer with the desktop app.

Hosted PBX Solutions

With this cloud-based system, you can add and remove lines as your business grows. That way, you don’t have to worry about clunky systems or spending extra time to make your system’s capability match your business’s size.

Ooma’s PBX solutions offer a quick and easy setup that Ooma helps you with, so you get everything up and running fast. Once it’s all in place, you’ve got a low maintenance system, and Ooma takes care of most of it for you.

PBX solutions work best for enterprise businesses. You get email, a mobile fax app, and a desktop app, along with all the usual features you would expect from your communication service. The UCaaS platform keeps your team cohesive.

With unlimited extensions, you don’t have to worry about your business getting too big for your phone system. You also enjoy free upgrades with no extra costs and no interruptions to your business operations. Ooma’s PBX solutions allow for efficient global communications, no matter who you need to reach.

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Summary

Among the top-rated business phone systems available, Ooma gives you a versatile interface to make customer service operations simple for your team. With over 35 features in the Office package, it’s not hard to find everything you need with this system.

Office Pro and Enterprise only sweeten the deal with more advanced features. However, if you prioritize features like video conferencing, check other companies for cheaper packages that include it.

That said, Ooma has reasonable pricing, excellent call quality, and plenty of mobile and desktop features that allow you to call domestically and internationally. The company has solutions for both small businesses and large enterprises. No matter where you do business, Ooma can help you improve the way you communicate.

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Nextiva Review

Nextiva is a cloud-based virtual phone number provider and team collaboration tool that offers high-quality service and excellent technical support.

Easy to use but powerful enough to accomplish any task you throw at it, Nextiva doesn’t fall short and compares well against the competition. Above all, the communication features of Nextiva will likely satisfy the vast majority of its customers at prices that most will find acceptable.

Nextiva Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Unlimited calling
  • Stable service
  • Easy to use
  • Helpful staff

Cons

  • Mobile app bugs
  • No free trials
  • Toll-free numbers
  • Call routing functionality
  • Cloud-based calling
  • Starts at $ 18.95 monthly

Sign up today

How Nextiva Compares to Top Virtual Phone Number Companies

Nextiva is up against some top competitors in the space, but it does well to meet them in terms of quality, features, and customer service. There are a few areas where its competitors offer more, but this is few and far between.

Nextiva focuses specifically on being a top communication tool for multi-location businesses. It combines useful features with competitive pricing, excellent customer service, and the management of multiple devices.

Other top alternatives such as RingCentral offer powerful video conferencing, file sharing, and a respectable setup process. RingCentral also offers toll-free numbers, vanity numbers, and all the prefixes except 833. Meanwhile, Ooma includes key features such as a virtual receptionist, enhanced call blocking, a mobile app, conference calling, virtual faxing, and call recording.

All of these are good choices, but this review will primarily focus on Nextiva.

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Nextiva Toll-free Numbers

Nextiva offers toll-free numbers, including the prefixes 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, and 833. The benefits of using a toll-free number are numerous.

For example, when a customer notices a company is using a toll-free number, they are more likely to trust the business as a result. Toll-free numbers can also allow businesses to track advertising and measure incoming calls from different marketing campaigns.

Nextiva is also keenly aware that establishing a national presence is a central part of most businesses. This is complemented by vanity numbers, such as 1-800-CONTACTS, which help a business number be both memorable and professional. There are so many benefits to toll-free numbers, so I’m pleased to see that Nextiva offers them.

It’s also worth mentioning that toll-free numbers are exempt from calling restrictions, and auto-attendants can provide a menu of options for callers to reach, for example, the right department. I’ll focus more on that in the next section. The bottom line here is that toll-free numbers are useful business tools, although this is a standard feature overall for most virtual phone number providers.

Nextiva Extensions and Routing

Nextiva provides its customers with call routing functionality. This includes the ability to direct inbound calls to any person or department given a defined set of rules. Of course, this makes it useful for businesses with multiple departments who need the customer sent to the right place. Routing also allows companies to manage long wait times, scale their call centers, and provide a route to the customer service team if something needs extra attention.

This capability includes the option of announcing business times to customers. For example, special holidays where you can keep people up to date on limited opening times.

Nextiva offers two primary versions of call routing. The first is a basic setup that allows companies to use an auto attendant to customize greetings and business hours. The other is more advanced call routing, which is suitable for call centers. This involves deciding where calls go through priority-based or skill-based rules.

Both are good options and shouldn’t prove challenging to set up.

I think having two setups focused on basic and advanced call routing works well here. If all you need is something simple, you can opt for the first, but the advanced option is available for more specific needs. This is all good to see, but again, it’s not something that other providers don’t offer in the vast majority of cases.

Nextiva Setup Process

A good setup process, one without unnecessary problems and hassle, is what every business wants unless they have a lot of time on their hands. I also think a personal service here, so with dedicated team members standing by, adds that extra touch and helps customers feel like they’re being supported along the way.

I’m pleased to say that Nextiva’s setup process is quick to set up, and it’s simple overall. In fact, Nextiva breaks the setup down into four steps and claims you can get up and running within hours.

Of course, a lot of this setup process depends on whether you need VoIP Phones installed on-site or would just prefer a cloud-based option. These days, most companies will opt for the cloud-based route, as they will generally save both time and money and have everything they need from that alone.

I found setting up the desktop app to be straightforward, and most will spend their time here unless on the go with the mobile app. Live support is available too, which is always convenient.

It’s fair to say that most providers offer a quick and easy setup—how much you value guided support, however, will be something to consider here. Some will welcome it, while others will like to get stuck in and set up things independently. Nextiva’s team is ready to help and can answer any pressing questions, and the setup is simple, so this is a great result.

Nextiva Video Meetings

Video conferencing functionality is more important than ever, and while not all virtual phone number providers offer it, I think those that do should be worthy of your consideration. The good news for Nextiva and its customers is that they provide video meeting performance that rivals the best.

With Nextiva, you get access to HD video and audio meetings, live streaming, and webinar support. You can even schedule and host meetings, set a date, and invite everyone into that call with one click.

File sharing is another little extra here that is always good to see, and while for some it may not be essential, for others, it could prove vital. With this, you can share new ideas and pitch in one workspace, and screen sharing is also included so you can run through tasks together. The focus here is team collaboration, and it offers everything you need to do that successfully. I think this is a useful suite of video tools.

Another point to mention is that Nextiva’s video calls don’t feature time limits or restrictions in any form. Some providers here can limit the number of calls, and they usually base this on minutes in set bundles. Unlimited conference calling is part of almost all of Nextiva’s packages, so once you sign up with them, you don’t have to fear running out of minutes during a crucial call. This functionality is built on the same technology as VoIP phones, but it’s all cloud-based, which has the edge. This is one of the more impressive parts of the Nextiva offering overall.

Nextiva Analytics

It’s fair to say that reliable analytics can change the entire way a company operates. If you know what customers want, then you can deliver that to them more efficiently. Nextiva shines on this front with analytics that turns your data into actionable information.

This information is the key to getting ahead of the competition, and Nextiva handily provides it within the dashboard that controls everything else. The data can be displayed through a series of graphs and can be filtered down to specific locations and users.

Even better is that you can create custom reports that only focus on the areas you need. If you need more, then the ‘sentiment analysis’ scans communications for words that indicate a positive or negative experience for customers. Those that are negative can be flagged as such, and a customer support team can jump in to work out why. This is an excellent way of staying on top of any emerging problems in a systematic and organized approach.

Additional features of Nextiva’s analytics include access to call recordings directly from data reports, and you can listen, rate, and share your recordings with teammates. It feels fast and easy to use and is built for both now and the future. For those with a particular dislike of spreadsheets in general, Nextiva provides users with a compelling alternative.

Nextiva Mobile App

With the continued growth of mobile traffic, it’s always good to see mobile apps being offered as standard. What separates these apps comes down to the user interface, how easy they are to use, and how quickly they load.

Nextiva’s mobile app gives you the ability to keep business going wherever you are, and that’s something that only adds to a powerful suite of tools. Feature-wise I can’t fault it either, with conference calls, chat, video, and sharing capability all there and ready to go.

There were, however, occasional bugs that lessened some of the enjoyment I had while using the app. Specifically, the screen can freeze up and can be slow to load. The user interface could also be clearer and a bit snappier. The app can suffer under the demanding load of video calls and team collaboration too. It’s easy to see why—these are resource-intensive tasks that are better suited to a stable desktop setup.

What’s here is good, but I think some updates and refinement are needed to unleash the full potential.

The mobile app does extend the scope and capability of Nextiva’s service, and when it works, it’s great, but as a still-evolving area, it will need updates over time to make the experience a bit smoother for users.

Nextiva Automation

Nextiva’s automation features are noteworthy. From automated welcome messages to surveys and more, it’s clear these are areas where you can save time and improve efficiency. I was particularly impressed with its ability to detect subjects related to a conversation and make real-time suggestions if the agent at the other end is stuck. It’s fair to say that some customers will prefer the human touch, but these are useful extras to have.

On top of that, you’ll also have access to automated friendly reminders, emails that effectively write themselves, to a degree, and an intelligence system that helps shape customer journeys and can see where things may have gone wrong. When automation works, it’s beneficial indeed, so it’s good to see Nextiva offer it.

How vital automation is to you will vary based on specific needs, but what’s on offer here is more than worthy of consideration.

Nextiva Collaboration

I’ve talked about some of the collaboration features that Nextiva’s service provides, such as screen sharing, voice, and video calls. That said, it’s important to get across how unified the collaboration is in its shared workspace environment. For example, its communication tool, called Cospace, enables everyone in a company to stay tightly connected as they work on tasks and collaboration throughout the day.

We also have access to group chats like private workspaces for teams to share messages and updates, files, and more. It’s not just a team that can communicate on the platform though, Cospace can send an invitation to anyone to join in.

The nifty part is that they won’t need to download additional software to get started—follow the link and become part of the coworking environment. This is a hassle-free solution to collaboration that impresses from the off.

Tracking and scheduling meetings and tasks are streamlined, too, and these come with notifications to keep team members up to date. Reminders and due dates can be created, along with to-do lists and more. The amount of communication features bundled together in one app is convenient, and it shows a serious commitment to collaboration from Nextiva. A business that needs this level of teamwork will undoubtedly be well-served.

  • Toll-free numbers
  • Call routing functionality
  • Cloud-based calling
  • Starts at $ 18.95 monthly

Sign up today

Summary

The intersection of product offerings and services are inevitable when you talk about the top competitors in any given space. The same is true with virtual phone number providers. We see a general overlap in terms of toll-free numbers, call routing, and the setup process. There is some minor difference here, but not enough to be decisive. Nextiva impresses in all of these, though, and that’s notable in itself.

Where I do think there is a difference is in the analytics, the collaboration, and the robust automation features which stand out against the competition. If these are essential features for your business, you can have some confidence that you won’t be disappointed opting for Nextiva. It’s a great virtual phone number provider overall, and starting at $ 18.95 monthly, its prices won’t break the bank.

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