Home VoIP Services How to Choose a VoIP Provider in 2024 – Beginner’s Guide
Susan Laborde Tech Writer Author expertise
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VoIP providers are more like your regular network providers or cable services. They offer various kinds of VoIP phone systems to intending buyers with plans streamlined for everyone. 

It is worth noting that VoIP systems serve other communication needs asides from phone calls. Over time, big names in VoIP service have implemented features such as instant messaging, video streaming, and more. Hence, to enjoy the good impacts of technology, you have to patronize the right source. 

Also, choosing the right VoIP provider is essential for brands exploring modern communication solutions.

They do so for the satisfaction of their customers, to stay up to trends, and to build a reputation in their respective fields. 

This article discusses VoIP providers and the key factors to consider before choosing anyone.

choosing VoIP explained

Factors to Bear in Mind When Selecting a VoIP Provider

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has successfully replaced existing landlines due to some unique benefits. 

Some benefits are exclusive and more accessible depending on the chosen VoIP provider. However, with numerous options in the market, only specific factors can help you make the perfect choice.  

So, let’s quickly look into some of these critical factors:

Intent of Application

We list this point as number one because it is the most valid in your choice process. Taking the bold step to switch from your traditional phone system to a VoIP platform is unnecessary if you don’t understand your needs. 

Why do you think you need to switch? What do you plan to use the VoIP phone system for? How would it serve you? These are some questions you could ask yourself before considering other factors. 

To carefully answer these questions, you must consider the features absent in your regular phone systems. Then, read up on the benefits every VoIP platform offers. 

Is it the low cost that attracts you? The advanced technology? The ease in scalability? Or the fact VoIP providers offer services on all kinds of devices, unlike your public switched telephone network (PSTN)? 

Putting these answers in writing helps to focus your mind clearly on what you want and ensures you don’t make mistakes. 

Budget

Budgeting is essential, irrespective of any purchase you intend to make as an individual or company. So, when choosing a VoIP provider, consider your pocket size and the platform’s pricing structure. 

You can compare the costs of monthly subscriptions, setup, and additional charges against each provider you select. 

There are VoIP review sites to check comparisons and discover newer platforms to patronize for easy analysis. 

While some providers offer all-inclusive plans, others keep their add-ons aside for you to choose which you want or don’t. 

It is worth noting that price and quality are two different factors here. The lowest price may not offer the best service. So in your quest to save money, be careful not to settle for less. 

How VoIP Pricing Works?

There are two main ways VoIP providers advertise their products for interested users to pay for:

Price Per User

VoIP phone systems can cost as low as $20 to $50 monthly per user, depending on the provider. This price usually includes primary voicemail features, auto-response, caller ID upgrade, call recording, call re-routing, toll-free numbers, messaging, and group calling. Most providers could increase their charge from $50 to $100 monthly per user for more advanced features or integrations. 

Also, you will be expected to add to your usual payment plan to upgrade or enjoy the extra toll-free time. 

Price Per Installation

VoIP systems do not require copper wiring like traditional lines. Since they are connected through the internet, at most, they only need a one-time activation charge for the month. 

However, in cases where you desire to purchase an IP device, the cost of an IP phone varies depending on brand, model, and design. 

Prices could go from $50 to $150 per device or as much as $200 for higher models. Although to save costs, users can use their regular traditional devices and simply configure them for internet protocol. 

In such cases, purchasing networking equipment would be required. Do you want a reliable operating system? Buying new routers, switches, and firewalls will be extremely helpful.

Features & Perks

Different VoIP providers offer a range of features and functionalities to enhance your communication capabilities. 

Selecting a provider that aligns with your personal or business needs and provides the necessary tools for effective communication is essential. 

So, assess your specific requirements and look for providers that offer features like call forwarding, voicemail, auto-attendant, conference calling, and mobile integration. 

Primarily, there are two sets of features you should look out for. There are the standard features, which every system must have, and the advanced features comprising inclusions and upgrades. 

Standard features are the main reason people buy VoIP systems. They are the capacities of the system every user needs. 

They are responsible for many specific duties, like the call analytics function, softphone application for making calls or sending texts over Wi-Fi, call forwarding features, voicemail to text, and video conferencing.  

Advanced features are add-ons from the usual phoning functions of the VoIP platform. As technology advances, some integrations are being implemented to test how they work with phone systems.

We find some like interactive voice response (IVR) systems, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and call analytics coming in to collaborate with VoIP service providers. 

These inclusions will cost more, but they are entirely up to the user to decide what they are paying for.

Customer Service

This is another crucial part of the selection process, as most VoIP service providers may possess incredible packages with little or no customer response management. 

VoIP phone systems are indeed easy to handle and manage. But consulting customer support is a must in technical challenges beyond you. 

Efficient attention when required is one reason to watch out for service providers with quality hours of dedication to their clients.

While some VoIP providers guarantee a 24/7 response to your queries, others can only operate during business hours based on Service Level Agreements (SLA). 

However, other forms of customer service are now in existence. There are self-service options where users can get help through FAQs, online tutorials, and how-to guides. 

There is also the alternative of a live chat with a representative to guide you effectively on all issues. 

It lies in your hands to determine which would be best for your business so you stay aware of what to expect moving forward. 

Integration Compatibility

A significant advantage of VoIP phone systems is that they are easily compatible with third-party integrations. 

Since their sole purpose is to aid communication, synchronization with every existing media is highly important.

If your organization already utilizes other business wares and systems like customer relationship management (CRM) tools or helpdesk platforms, ensure the VoIP provider can seamlessly integrate with these systems. 

Integration encourages automatic data entries and improves workflow efficiency, enhancing productivity and customer experience.

For instance, in integrating VoIP with cloud storage tools, business files, works, and licenses can be saved for future use and safekeeping. 

Also, by syncing your VoIP system with Microsoft as a general office tool, emails, texts, meetings, and calls can be linked and organized. 

Product Security

As VoIP services travel across the internet, they are prone to vulnerabilities within the system. Consequently, selecting a VoIP provider that prioritizes security measures to safeguard customer data becomes ideal.

Implementing robust encryption protocols is crucial to ensuring the confidentiality of calls. Encryption involves converting call data into coded formats that can only be read with the corresponding decryption key. 

Another critical aspect indicating strong security measures in a VoIP provider is the presence of multiple data centers in a particular location. 

Employing multiple servers within each data center establishes service redundancy, allowing a backup server to take over in case of any failures easily. 

On this note, an ideal VoIP provider should provide and promote their security measures across all available plans. 

As you move up the tiers of a provider’s package options, you can anticipate more advanced security features being offered. 

It is also essential to carefully evaluate and select a plan that provides an appropriate level of security based on the sensitivity of the data and information you will be handling. 

Top VoIP Providers in the Market

VoIP providers

Some VoIP service providers have stayed longer in the market than others, so their consistency has been adequately proven. 

Now you know what you are looking for, here are some of the best VoIP providers.

RingCentral

Listing the top 5 VoIP service providers worldwide without mentioning RingCentral is almost impossible.

They remain a leading provider with a comprehensive range of services of advanced capabilities. RingCentral’s VoIP system offers voice calling, video conferencing, team messaging, online meetings, and file-sharing services. 

Their platform integrates seamlessly with popular business applications, such as CRM and productivity tools, to facilitate efficient workflows and enhance productivity. 

One of RingCentral’s key strengths is its scalability and flexibility. RingCentral can accommodate communication needs with its cloud-based infrastructure, whether a business has a few employees or a large distributed workforce. This allows for easy deployment, centralized management, and adding or removing users as needed.

Nextiva

Nextiva is a prominent company with a comprehensive suite of VoIP services for businesses of all sizes. With a strong reputation in the industry, Nextiva stands out for its reliable and feature-rich communication solutions. 

As a significant attractive feature, Nextiva boasts of a reporting tool that surpasses expectations in VoIP systems. 

This tool equips users with business intelligence and voice analytics capabilities, empowering them to generate customized reports and dashboards. 

With options to filter data based on call topics and agents, Nextiva offers comprehensive insights for informed decision-making.

Five9

Five9’s VoIP services are designed to enhance contact center operations, providing advanced capabilities to improve customer interactions. 

Their feature set includes automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), call routing, workforce management, predictive dialer, and omnichannel support.  

One of Five9’s key strengths is its cloud-based infrastructure. By utilizing cloud storage features, businesses can enjoy the benefits of scalability, flexibility, and reliability without needing on-premises equipment. 

Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a renowned provider of VoIP services, mainly known for its virtual phone system designed to solve the needs of small enterprises and business entrepreneurs. 

With its user-friendly interface and feature-rich solutions, Grasshopper empowers firms to establish a professional communication setup. 

One of Grasshopper’s notable strengths is its focus on mobility and flexibility. Users can utilize the Grasshopper mobile app to make and receive calls using their business number, ensuring seamless communication even while on the go.   

Conclusion

Choosing the right VoIP provider is critical for individuals or businesses seeking to optimize their communication infrastructure. 

You can make a more informed choice by considering key factors such as reliability, call quality, scalability, features, pricing, integration capabilities, and customer support. 

Remember to thoroughly research and evaluate multiple providers before making a final decision. By doing so, you can ensure that you select the perfect VoIP provider. You can explore some of the providers we have outlined and others to find the service that aligns with your organization’s needs and contributes to your overall business success. 

FAQs

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Susan Laborde Tech Writer

Susan Laborde Tech Writer

Susan Laborde researches the latest technology trends in an ever-changing tech landscape to provide comparisons, guides, and reviews that are easy to understand for readers. When taking a break from being a tech word wizard, she plays games with her baby.

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