Selecting a business VoIP provider is a daunting task that can seem overwhelming considering the extensive amount of features and pricing. In this installment of our “Head to Head” comparison series, we see how Fonality, with its award-winning, breakthrough GUI, the Fonality HUD, stacks up against RingCentral, which broke barriers for business VoIP. Both Fonality and RingCentral have won “Product of the Year” award from Internet Telephone Magazine—RingCentral in 2009, and Fonality in 2011. These two companies can both be considered champions.

Features/Services Compared Fonality Ringcentral
Monthly Cost of Cheapest Service $29.99 $19.99
Amount of Lines Per Pricing Tiers 5-10, 11-25, 26-50, 50-100, 101-249, 250-500, 510+ 1, 2-19, 20-99, 100+
Monthly Price per Extension, Unlimited U.S. & Canada Plans $30 base, $2 per virtual extension 1 User: $34.99
2-19 Users: $29.00
20-99 Users: $21.99
100+ Users:$19.99
Free Mobile App Compatibility iOS, Android iOS, Android, BlackBerry
Tech Support Hours & Location 8AM-5PM CST M-F
24/7 Critical Emergencies
Online Troubleshooting Options
US Based
US and Outsourced Centers
Fax Options/Prices Paperless fax, $10/monthly DID or Toll Free number $0.07/page

$35 optional number porting fee

-Fax 500, $7.99/month: 500 Pages, $0.59 add’l pages.
-Fax 1000, $19.99/month: 1000 pages, $0.59 add’l pages.
-Fax 2500, $49.99/month: 2500 pages, $.0.39 add’l pages. Send faxes by email or PC
-Fax ProUnlimited, $39.00/month, unlimited faxes
-Other options: Add’l fax numbers $4.99/month. Vanity number $30 fee
Conference Bridge/Virtual Conference $15/ virtual room Free
Call Group/Simultaneous Ring Free Free
On-Hold Music Two playlists, plus option of uploading MP3 Available With Upgrade to PBX
Toll-Free Number $5 + $0.029/minute 1000 toll-free minutes included
Voicemail Transcription n/a n/a
Switchboard Software for Live Receptionist Free n/a
Suggested Phone Model PolyCom IP 331 PolyCom IP 335
Cost of Number Porting Free Free
Cloud Integration Free Free
Awards (Past 2 years) 2011 Product of the year by Internet Telephony Magazine 2012 TopTenReviews Gold Award
Virtual Extensions $2 each Professional: 5 extensions, Business Plus: 10 extensions, Business Power: 20 extensions, Business Premium: 100 extensions
Option to have greetings recorded by professional voice actors Yes Yes
Setup Fee Free Free
Contract 1 yr None
Money Back Guarantee 30 Day Money-Back No-risk 30 day trial for up to 20 users. 20+ user plans offer up to four user refunds
More Details Get Quote Get Quote

Partial list of included features offered by both companies: • Auto Receptionist • Barge • Call Queues • Call Recording • Call Rules • Call Waiting • Caller ID Features • Cloud Integration • Detail • Find Me/Follow Me • Number Porting • Online Call Logs • Skill-Based Routing • Web Portal/HUD • Whisper

The first place to look at what audience a VoIP provider seeks to attract is the small details, things like Fax options and Toll-Free costs. In this case, Fonality only offers paperless faxes. RingCentral offers both physical and virtual fax options, and includes a virtual fax as part of its mobile app. If you are willing to pass on the bulky machinery, the RingCentral app lets you receive, read, and forward faxes. So far, they do not have the ability to take a fax using a camera. The more you rely on the fax, the better off you are with RingCentral. A thousand toll-free minutes on Fonality would cost you $29, but are included with the RingCentral Office Plan. Note, also, that Fonality does not support the BlackBerry platform, but has a dozen pictures of Apple iOS intergrated products sprinkled throughout its web page.

In terms of the base price, the difference is pretty minimal. I’m willing to bet that if you brought a hundred users to the Fonality sales team, they’d make you a deal that is comparable if not better to RingCentral’s biggest plans. Fonality’s virtual extensions are $2 each, and RingCentral’s are $2.99 each, so that might be something to consider as well

Before I weigh in too heavily, it’s worth pointing out that our review covered the middle-of-the-road service plans from each company. Fonality and RingCentral both offer PBX and UCC platforms to take your business to the next level. It’s a close call, but in this case, I’m going to say that newer is not always better. RingCentral and Fonality both have had their breakthroughs, and will continue to innovate in the coming years.  My suggestion to determine which of the two is right for you is to take a look around your own office. If your office has a lot of open space, a modern art sculpture by the front desk, and has Ikea furniture, you’re going to have a lot more fun with the Fonality HUD. If your office has a lot of cubicles and traditional offices, RingCentral is probably the better choice.