How you plan to use your VoIP will inform what kinds of features you need. If you just want a straight-up replacement for your old phone system (just with better sound quality), you may not need much more than call waiting and hold music. If, on the other hand, you want to wow your customers with your fancy phone system, you might want features like a virtual receptionist or custom greetings.
Not all VoIP providers offer the same features. Even providers that do have the same features may charge differently for them. So as you evaluate providers and plans, look to see if the features you want are included―or how much they’ll cost you if they’re not.
Number of users
As with any phone system, you need to consider how many people will actively use your VoIP system. Keep in mind that most VoIP providers charge per user per month, so the number of users you have will play a key role in how much you’ll pay.
Plus, the number of users you have will affect everything from the number of minutes you need (more on that in a second) to the number of lines your system can juggle at once to the number of voice mailboxes you want. And depending on how your users work together, you may also want to look for features like calling groups to make sure phone calls go to the right people.
Many VoIP providers let you make both phone and video calls―but the features for each will vary. So if you plan to make lots of video calls, you might want to look for a provider that offers HD video conferencing. But if you’re mostly making voice calls to other countries, you’ll want a provider that offers free international calling.
Likewise, think about the number and length of the calls you plan to make. Do you spend all day on the phone? Then you might want a provider who offers unlimited calling. Do you make only a short call or two each day? Then you can probably get away with a cheaper plan that has limited minutes.
The right VoIP provider for your business will depend on your unique needs and usage. All of the providers on this list have a lot to offer, so choose the one that best fits your business’s situation.