Jump to ↓

Our Verdict: RingEX by RingCentral and Grasshopper both offer users a professional business phone system with basic call handling functionality, however, I found significant differences in nearly every area of research. I preferred RingCentral overall due to its advanced security, thorough analytics, and wide variety of features and integrations.

Both platforms offer basic voice and text functionality, but I was disappointed with Grasshopper’s lack of UCaaS tools. RingEX includes a robust video conferencing platform with whiteboards, screen sharing, video recording, and live transcription.

Grasshopper does stand out in its pricing, however, which starts at only $14 per month with no per-user fees. As this is significantly less than RingCentral’s most economical plan, Grasshopper is a good choice for startups and entrepreneurs that need a reliable business phone line on a tight budget.

Although pricey, RingCentral saves large enterprises money in the long run by helping them address pain points with deep business analytics, reducing on-call times with multi-level IVR tools, and connecting remote teams via video conferencing and team messaging tools.

 

How We Compared Grasshopper and RingCentral

We used the below criteria to compare Grasshopper vs. RingCentral:

  • Phone System Features: We determined which provider offers the most useful set of call management features like call routing, visual voicemail, and call recording
  • Auto Attendant: We tested IVR systems from both providers and evaluated them for customizability, advanced features, and ease of use
  • Analytics: We evaluated the reporting capabilities of each provider to determine which had better real-time and historical reporting, customizable and pre-made templates, and which KPIs are monitored
  • Integrations: We looked at the availability and depth of third-party integrations for both providers to determine which platform offered a wider selection and a more active developer community
  • Messaging: We tested the texting functionality of the two platforms
  • Call Quality: We researched Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and current user reviews to determine which platform had the highest call quality ratings
  • Security: We evaluated the security of both solutions from a protocol and feature standpoint to see which provider offers the most data protection, access controls, and third-party security certifications
  • Hardware: We looked at the hardware compatibility of both providers to see which offered more options for analog desk phones, speakers, headsets, and other VoIP hardware and equipment
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: We downloaded and tested both mobile apps to see which offered the most robust experience on smartphones and other mobile devices
  • Ease of Use: We looked at the onboarding process and intuitiveness of both platforms to determine which one was easier to use
  • Customer Support: We evaluated knowledge bases, available support channels, and hours for both providers, along with overall user satisfaction
  • Price and Value: We compared bundled plans, add-on options, and hidden fees from both providers to determine overall value

 

Grasshopper vs. RingCentral: At A Glance

Although RingCentral easily beats Grasshopper when it comes to security, hardware compatibility, and integrations, I did find Grasshopper to have more attentive live customer phone support. Grasshopper has more affordable rates, but RingCentral has far more features–including AI-powered tools like live transcription, automated summaries, and business insights. RingCentral offers superior call quality and reliability since Grasshopper lacks an uptime guarantee. On the other hand, Grasshopper has a more straightforward interface that smaller companies may prefer.

Grasshopper RingCentral
Pricing $14-$55 (flat monthly rates) $20-$35 per user/mo. annually
Top Features
  • Call forwarding
  • Virtual fax
  • Instant response
  • Video meetings
  • Team messaging
  • Real-time analytics
  • Hot desking
Call Quality Depends on your existing phone network QoS-enabled routers prioritize voice traffic to ensure high call quality
Support Knowledge base and live phone support Live chat, community, social media, or online support case
Integrations Limited selection that includes Zapier, Google Voice, and LiveChat Large selection including Salesforce, Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc.
Uptime Depends on your network 99.999% uptime guarantee
Security Not HIPAA compliant Advanced security features such as SSO, E2EE, and HIPAA compliance
Supported Hardware Not compatible with deskphones, works with any internet-enabled device such as smartphones Compatible with many popular brands and models of IP phones such as Poly, Cisco, Yealink, etc.

 

RingCentral vs. Grasshopper: Feature Comparison

RingCentral and Grasshopper differ in several key areas, and I wanted to dive deeper into exactly what each provider has to offer when it comes to the most common business phone system functions.  Here is a quick overview of what I found:

  • Phone System Features: While Grasshopper offers unlimited toll-free calling and better value for small teams, it can't compete with RIngCentral's advanced call management features.
  • Messaging: RingCentral limits user texts but offers a more robust messaging platform with MMS capability and international texting support, while Grasshopper includes unlimited texting, canned responses, and a user-friendly interface.
  • Analytics and Reporting: RingCentral’s analytics are superior with real-time reporting, deep business insights, and a large template library, but Grasshopper provides detailed call reports that are more suitable for small teams.
  • Auto Attendant: Grasshopper includes a basic yet effective auto attendant with call forwarding, business hours, and custom greetings while RingCentral’s IVR system allows for more complex call flows and includes a dial-by-name directory and graphical editor.
  • Integrations: RingCentral has one of the largest integration ecosystems in the VoIP space while Grasshopper only offers a few integrations

 

Phone System Features

Grasshopper Voicemaill Transcription

Grasshopper and RingCentral both include unlimited VoIP calling in the US and Canada on all plans. RingCentral provides one local or toll-free number per user, while Grasshopper users can share one phone number or get up to 5 business phone numbers with the Small Business Plan. Only RingCentral offers international calling which is billed per minute based on the country.

Both RingCentral and Grasshopper offer mobile and desktop apps for any iOS or Android mobile device (cell phone, tablet, laptop, etc.). Both providers also include basic call management features like Caller ID, call screening, spam blocking, call transfers, voicemail transcription, and call forwarding. However, RingCentral offers more advanced capabilities that Grasshopper doesn’t provide, including call queuing, hot desking, real-time call monitoring, and custom call routing.

Therefore, I recommend RingCentral for businesses that want to leverage advanced call management features to decrease customer wait times, increase FCR, and evenly distribute incoming calls among available agents. Grasshopper is ideal for teams that need unlimited toll-free minutes and only basic call management tools.

Winner: RingCentral - With a plethora of advanced call management features, RingCentral is the clear winner here

 

Messaging

RingCentral team collaboration

Both RingCentral and Grasshopper offer unlimited SMS texting with group text functionality on all plans. RingCentral also includes team messaging and file sharing for all users, and gives Ultra Plan users unlimited storage.

I found the texting functionality on both platforms to be intuitive, both on the desktop and mobile apps. However, RingCentral offered more flexibility, with the ability to send image attachments and design heavy text to any number, while Grasshopper restricts MMS messages from and to local numbers only.

Additionally, Grasshopper does not offer a team messaging feature, and users must pay an initial setup fee of $19 to register with TCR plus a $2 monthly fee to remain in compliance. RingCentral includes a limited allotment of SMS messages per user that varies by pricing tier with no carrier fees.

I was impressed with Grasshopper’s “Instant Response” feature, which allows users to send an automatic text to incoming callers when no one can answer.

Winner: Draw - RingCentral has greater flexibility and a robust team messaging platform, but comes at a higher price, while Grasshopper offers a basic yet effective, affordable texting solution

 

Analytics and Reporting

ringcentral MVP analytics

 

I found Grasshopper's platform more user-friendly, while RingCentral’s is more feature-rich. Grasshopper includes reporting in all plans and users can choose from three report types-usage, activity, and details. The usage report includes all of the essential phone metrics such as average handle time (AHT) and minutes used.

RingCentral offers a more robust analytics and reporting dashboard with calendar and data filtering, preset KPIs, trend graphs, and up to 12 months of storage.

Although it has a steeper learning curve, I was more impressed with RingCentral’s platform as it offers real-time interactive reports to all users, a long list of predefined reporting templates, QoS reports, and customizable alerts. Additionally, RingCentral users can add on real-time call queue management and live KPIs.

Winner: RingCentral - RingCentral offers superior analytics with real-time reporting, customizable templates and alerts, and advanced business analytics

 

Auto Attendant

Grasshopper’s auto attendant is simple and straightforwardm while RingCentral’s multi-level IVR is more customizable. RingCentral allows for up to 250 voice menus and includes a dial-by-name directory and graphical editor.

While using both RingCentral and Grasshopper, I was able to easily create custom greetings for inbound calls, define call forwarding rules, and designate custom business hours.

With RingCentral’s platform, however, I was able to create structured, multilayer call menus with submenus and maximum call wait times. RingCentral also allows for more complex routing, letting users create a call group and assign it to a specific queue. Users can also add up to 8-digit extensions with site codes and assign specific phone numbers to receive faxes or texts.

Winner: Draw - The best service will depend on whether your company requires multi-level auto attendant functionality

 

Integrations

Both providers allow users to create custom integrations using APIs and SDKs, but RingCentral had far more “out-of-the-box” options.

Grasshopper does not directly integrate with platforms, but call tracking can be integrated with marketing and CRM software. Conversely RingCentral has one of the most vast integration ecosystems in the market.

RingCentral offers over 300 third-party integrations from productivity tools to EHRs to CRMs such as Salesforce, Microsoft, and Google, Zendesk, Skype, etc.

Winner: RingCentral - RingCentral offers far more options when it comes to integrations

 

Grasshopper vs. RingCentral: Pricing and Plans

RingCentral and Grasshopper have very different pricing structures. RingCentral is more traditional, offering three bundled plans with more advanced features included in the higher pricing tiers. All Grasshopper plans include the same features, but higher pricing tiers include more phone lines and user extensions. Grasshopper also offers a 7-day free trial while RingCentral only offers free demos.

 

RingCentral Pricing

RingCentral offers three different pricing plans with annual discounts.

  • Core Plan ($20-$30 per user/month): Includes unlimited calling (domestic) via VoIP service, business SMS, IVR, video conferencing for up to 100 participants, and team messaging with limited storage
  • Advanced Plan ($25-$35 per user/month): Adds unlimited internet fax, multi-site administration, and auto call recording
  • Ultra Plan ($35-$45 per user month): Adds unlimited storage for files and recordings, up to 200 video participants, and up to 10,000 toll-free minutes

 

Grasshopper Pricing

Grasshopper offers 4 pricing plans with flat monthly fees.

  • True Solo Plan ($14 per month, 1 user, 1 phone number, 1 extension): Includes business texting, call forwarding, custom greetings, and basic reporting
  • Solo Plus ($25 per month, unlimited users, 1 phone number, 3 extensions)
  • Small Business ($55 per month, unlimited users, 4 phone numbers, unlimited extensions)

 

Grasshopper vs. RingCentral: Pros and Cons

Grasshopper is one of the most affordable and user-friendly phone systems with its low flat monthly rates and 24/7 live customer support. However, it offers fewer customizations than competitors and doesn’t include collaboration tools like video conferencing and whiteboard.

RingCentral comes with advanced call management tools, 300+ integrations, and AI-powered features like automated call and meeting summaries. However, RingCentral is an expensive platform with inconsistent customer service and a major learning curve. Here are some of the pros and cons of each provider:

 

Grasshopper Pros

  • Custom numbers: Grasshopper offers vanity numbers, toll-free, and local numbers to let businesses build their brand, appear more established, and create a local presence
  • Reliability: With multiple backup servers across different geographic locations, Grasshopper has enough redundancy in its system to guarantee 99.999% uptime
  • Robust Mobile app: The Grasshopper app (available on iOS, Android, and Mac or Windows desktop computers) offers full SMS and voice calling capabilities, including call/SMS history, virtual faxing, and voicemail transcriptions

Grasshopper Cons

  • Lack of video conferencing: Grasshopper does not offer as many communication channels as other providers and lacks a native video conferencing platform
  • Limited features: Grasshopper lacks advanced features like visual IVR, call whisper, real-time analytics, and skills-based routing
  • Security: Grasshopper lacks essential security features like Single Sign On and HIPAA compliance

 

RingCentral Pros

  • Video conferencing: In addition to standard functionality like whiteboarding, screen sharing, and file sharing, RingCentral web conferencing allows users to switch between devices mid-meeting
  • Analytics: The RingCentral Analytics Portal provides real-time and historical data on every agent, client, or department
  • Team Collaboration: RingCentral enables admins to create chat channels for specific departments or projects to streamline workflow and segment teams

RingCentral Cons

  • Customer service: Some users complain RingCentral’s live customer support is difficult to reach
  • Price: RingCentral is expensive compared to competitors, with many advanced features blocked behind premium licenses
  • Learning curve: With dozens of features and customizable options, RingCentral’s platform takes time to learn and requires managers to extensively train employees

 

Which Should You Choose: Grasshopper or RingCentral?

 

RingCentral is Best For

  • Companies that need high levels of security: RingCentral offers 99.999% uptime SLA and 7 layers of enterprise-grade security, making it one of the most secure communication platforms in the market
  • Businesses that require niche integrations: Teams using Google Drive, Dropbox, or Slack will generally have a more convenient experience on RingCentral thanks to its high-level support for third-party integrations. On the flip side, you can save money on third-party tools thanks to the video conferencing capabilities at RingCentral
  • Companies investing in new hardware: Companies replacing their old equipment with newer desk phones stand to gain from the discounted first-party hardware that RingCentral can bundle in

RingCentral is Not Right For

  • Solopreneurs and startups: RingCentral is expensive and most of its advanced features will not be necessary for smaller teams
  • Businesses that need a “voice only” solution: RingCentral does not offer a voice-only plan and includes video meetings and team messaging for all users
  • Companies with a low call volume: While RingCentral includes many features that are made to reduce hold times, they are unnecessary for businesses with lower call volumes

 

Grasshopper is Best For

  • Solopreneurs needing a minimalist VoIP platform: Companies needing the bare minimum to migrate from PSTN to VoIP should be satisfied with Grasshopper. It’s a solid, affordable solution that lets you run calls through the internet to optimize workspace efficiency
  • Partnerships that need an affordable phone system: With its flat monthly pricing model and low prices, Grasshopper is one of the most affordable VoIP systems in the space
  • Entrepreneurs planning to scale: Grasshopper’s lean business model makes it cheaper to scale up–ideal for companies currently in the lean startup phase but expecting rapid future growth

Grasshopper is Not Right For

  • Large enterprises: Grasshopper does not offer the features that larger businesses will need like call monitoring and real-time analytics
  • Financial or Healthcare industries: Grasshopper is not HIPAA compliant and does not offer advanced security features such as SSO and E2EE
  • Companies that need team collaboration tools: Grasshopper does not include any native video conferencing, team messaging, or whiteboard features

 

Is There A Clear Winner?

RingCentral is a superior solution in nearly every category: security, reliability, features, analytics, etc. Grasshopper, however, is a solid business phone system, and it far surpasses RingCentral in the pricing category.

The right solution for your team really depends on whether you need a full-service UCaaS solution like RingCentral, or a simple professional voice solution with routing and voicemail, like Grasshopper.

 

Alternatives to Grasshopper and RingCentral

If you are still not sure, the below business VoIP providers and UCaaS platforms are the most popular alternatives to Grasshopper and RingCentral

Provider Pricing Main Features Best For
Nextiva $17.95-$37.95/user/mo.
  • Video conferencing
  • Call recording
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Multi-level auto attendant
SMBs that need an all-in-one communication solution
GoTo Connect $24-$29/user/mo.
  • Video meetings
  • Smart call routing
  • Customized dial plans
  • Ring groups
Enterprises that need to host large video meetings with over 100 participants and prefer a Zoom alternative
Vonage $13.99-$27.99
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Analytics and reporting
  • SMS/MMS
  • SSO
Small businesses that need a flexible and customized solution
8x8 Contact 8x8
  • Hot desking
  • Team messaging
  • Single Sign On
  • Supervisor analytics
Large businesses and global enterprises
Ooma $19.95-$29.95/user/mo.
  • Video conferencing
  • Desktop app
  • Enhanced call blocking
  • Mobile app
Small hybrid and remote teams with more basic business needs