To select the best VoIP provider, look for a business VoIP software that meets the following criteria:
Ensure that your choice offers unlimited calling to the countries you call most often.
While most VoIP providers support unlimited calling within the United States and Canada, some providers also support unlimited calling to Mexico and dozens of other countries. Consider the areas you call most, compare each VoIP provider’s fees, and ensure that the provider offers unlimited calling to mobile numbers–not just VoIP and landline numbers–in the countries you plan to call.
Metered calling: Teams with especially low call volumes, such as 5 to 6 calls per day, may find the best value in a metered plan, which charges by the minute. Not all providers offer metered plans, but many do.
Available Phone Numbers
Choose a VoIP provider that offers the phone numbers you want in your desired area codes.
Specifically, look for a provider that meets your needs in these areas:
- Phone number types: Make sure that your VoIP phone system includes not only local numbers, but toll-free numbers and vanity numbers as well
- Phone number availability: Most VoIP providers offer local virtual phone numbers based throughout the US, and some offer global numbers. Search your prospective provider’s catalog of available phone numbers, to ensure they have plenty in your desired area code.
- International business numbers: If you want to establish a local business presence outside of your primary location, make sure you select a provider that offers business phone numbers around the world
Sufficient Features and Channels
As outlined above, a business VoIP phone system offers much more than calling: advanced plans also include routing, queuing, analytics, collaboration tools, and communication channels.
Determine which features and channels your company prioritizes most, then compare each provider’s pricing plans. Aim to find a plan that offers all the features you want, with minimal extras.
Ease of Use
Before choosing a provider, evaluate each VoIP phone system’s overall intuitiveness and ease of use. The best way to get a feel for ease-of-use is to watch YouTube tutorials and take advantage of free trials.
- App dashboard: The user dashboard and interface should feel spacious and intuitive, but also make it easy to access important features. The left-hand menu should be easy to navigate.
- Call management: Agents should be able to monitor their queues, view caller profiles, and access live call controls with ease
- Notifications: Users should be able to easily view and organize new tasks as they come in, including queries from customers and internal communication items
Most VoIP phone systems support integrations that unify functionality with popular third-party software tools.
In particular, look for the following business VoIP integrations:
- CRM systems: Salesforce, HubSpot, SugarCRM, and more
- Communication platforms: Asana, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace
- Call center software: Five9, Talkdesk, Genesys
- Workflow software: ServiceNow, Zendesk, Zoho
VoIP generally provides clearer audio than landline, but VoIP call quality varies based on several factors: your location, the devices you use, and your provider’s supported codecs.
VoIP codecs are the part of VoIP software that compress audio data for transmission. Older codecs like G.711 and G.729 compress a limited range of frequencies, therefore limiting call quality. More recent codecs like Opus and G.722 transmit a wider frequency range with lower bandwidth demands, thus supporting clearer call quality.
Before choosing a VoIP provider, research each option’s codecs by searching “[provider name] codec”. Prioritize providers that support the Opus codec, which is the highest-quality codec on the market today.
VoIP uptime refers to the percentage of time that your VoIP service provider is functional and working. VoIP is generally equally reliable to PSTN landline, with most providers guaranteeing over 99% uptime across all plans. However, some VoIP providers offer 99.999% uptime on their higher-tier plans, for guaranteed connectivity year round. Before deciding on a VoIP provider, inquire about each plan’s uptime and decide if 99.999% uptime is worth the cost of upgrading to a higher-tier plan.
In our experience, we havenot noticed a major difference between the 99% uptime of lower-tier plans and the 99.999% of higher-tier plans. We don’t recommend upgrading to a higher-tier pricing plan for the uptime increase, unless your company deals with highly critical data that cannot withstand a few hours of downtime per year.