VoIP is an acronym that stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol. VoIP services allow for phone calls to be made over broadband internet connections rather than traditional telephone lines. Today, internet speeds have reached a point where phone calls made through the web have superior sound quality to traditional phone lines. VoIP also allows for additional features such as automatic call recording or more intuitive voicemail. While sharing similarities with other internet-based conferencing tools like Skype or Whatsapp, VoIP services don’t require both parties to have the same software. They operate as a telephone line. That means, while enjoying all the benefits of the service, one party still can dial any other ordinary phone line. Whether for personal or commercial use, it’s important to weigh specific needs against what various providers offer. With all the companies out there though, it’s an interesting thought experiment to ask: “Who are the best VOIP providers out there today?”
Answer: Depending on a User’s Needs, The Best VoIP Providers Today Are Vonage, Ooma Telo, RingCentral and Intermedia Unite
For residential users, Vonage provides especially great value. They offer a $14.99 monthly plan for unlimited calls in North America, but for just five dollars more the deal expands to worldwide calls. This is especially great for those who have family overseas and don’t want to be bothered coordinating with other apps. At lower levels, they don’t offer some of the flashy features business-oriented services do, but that helps keep customers from paying for anything they don’t need.
Ooma Telo takes a different approach to VoIP. Month-to-month use is practically free, customers only have to pay local taxes and fees to use the service. All that is required is a one-time purchase of the Ooma Telo hardware, priced at around $100. The unit plugs directly into broadband adaptors and then works like a standard landline. They also offer 4G equipment that allows use of the service without broadband access. It only requires a $12 monthly cellular access fee. These features make Ooma Telo a great choice for less tech-savvy consumers who still want the advantages of VoIP.
RingCentral is one of the most popular VoIP companies running and with good reason. Their $19.99 per month Essentials plan is easy to use and allows unlimited calls to the US and Canada. For larger businesses, their MVP tier has ranked highly for several years. It includes advanced AI features and video conference closed captioning utilizing their own transcription technology. It also comes with access to their online collaboration software, Glip.
For businesses, Intermedia Unite packs an impressive slate of features at affordable rates. Their packages bundle in cloud storage for all users, allowing for easier file sharing. They’ve emphasized integration with third-party software. That means users should have no issue communicating with parties using Slack, Google G Suite, Microsoft Teams, and many more. Intermedia Unite might be excessive for residential use, but for businesses, it provides award-winning value.
Of course, these are just a small number of VoIP service providers. The internet of course has a lot of resources that can provide more information. Some other great resources to learn more include:
- PCMag - PCMag is one of the top websites today in covering technology and software. This article compiles their top ranked residential VoIP companies, and explains all of the factors that went into their reviews and choices.
- TechRadar - TechRadar is a British publication that prides itself as a one-stop source for all tech-buying needs. In this particular article they run down their top VoIP services, targeting the needs of businesses.
- VoIPReview.org - This blog covers all things VoIP. It features news and reviews of companies and services, but contributors also write about the various advancements and benefits of VoIP. This article walks readers through the factors they should consider when choosing their own VoIP provider.