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The best VoIP phone systems for your small business

4-minute read

Best VoIP phones for small businesses
Rosanna Parrish

Rosanna Parrish

27 June 2023

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Staying connected at work is one of the most important aspects of any business. Poor communication between colleagues (and clients) contribute to mistakes and missed deliveries.

Whether you prefer to stay in touch over email, IM, or texting – sometimes when you really need to get a hold of someone, a phone call is the best option. Keep reading to learn more about the best VoIP phone systems available for your business.

Looking to find out more about video conferencing platforms instead? We have a guide for that too.

What is a VoIP phone?

To know what a VoIP phone is, you need to know what it stands for: Voice over Internet Protocol. So, simply put, a VoIP phone call is just an audio or video call made over the internet. It can also be known as an internet call or a wi-fi call.

As we rely more and more on mobile phones and internet data, traditional landlines are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. This has helped boost VoIP phone systems in popularity, as you can purchase a VoIP phone system alongside your broadband or internet rather than setting up a separate landline for phone calls.

What is a VoIP mobile phone? VoIP hardware vs VoIP software

VoIP is available in either hardware or software forms – and which form you choose will depend on your company setup.

VoIP software is as simple as downloading an app onto your phone, tablet, or computer. This can be free or subscription-based – more on this later.

Some systems use VoIP hardware, which is a specially designed device (usually a phone) designed to make VoIP calls on.

How to set up a VoIP phone at home or work?

To set up and use a VoIP phone system in your business, you’ll need either a VoIP hardware phone (or VoIP adaptor) or, if you plan on using VoIP software, a:

  • device to use the app on
  • broadband or data connection

Advantages of using a VoIP phone

If you choose to use a VoIP phone system rather than a traditional landline, some benefits include:

  • cheaper costs – particularly if you frequently dial international numbers
  • better sound quality (dependent on your internet connection)

Disadvantages of using a VoIP phone

Of course, there are disadvantages to choosing a VoIP phone system over a landline, such as:

  • worse sound quality (dependent on your internet connection)
  • inability to make calls if your internet goes down
  • inability to make calls if you your VoIP provider goes down

Best VoIP providers in the UK – choosing your VoIP phone system

Once you’ve decided that a VoIP phone is right for you, it’s time to choose a VoIP phone system. Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the best UK VoIP providers for your small business.

8x8

8x8 is a US-based company offering worldwide VoIP services – perfect whether you do business locally or internationally. You can choose from two packages/price tiers, allowing you to pay for just what your business needs. You can choose to pay monthly or save by choosing an annual subscription.

8x8 pros

  • unlimited users (but you’ll pay for each user)
  • works across mobile, desktop, and web app
  • encryption for added security
  • 24/7 customer support

8x8 cons

  • more expensive the more employees you have
  • subscription price is software only, so you’ll have to purchase any VoIP hardware you need
  • slow technical support (according to customer reviews)

Vonage

Vonage claims to be ‘reinventing communications all over again’, making it the perfect choice of VoIP provider for an innovative company. Originally focusing on families and small businesses, Vonage now supports companies of all sizes.

Vonage pros

  • great value for money – the website even breaks the price down by each message or minute of a call
  • rated excellent by customers on Trustpilot
  • offers a spam prevention feature
  • available on desktop and mobile

Vonage cons

  • less software integration than some competitors
  • weaker security features – doesn’t offer multi-factor authentication or password rules

RingCentral

RingCentral has a page on their website specifically about their small business services, making it a great option to grow your business with. You can choose a basic video calling package or their ‘MVP’ option to get messaging, video, and phone calls. There’s also a specialist contact centre option which may suit your business.

You can choose to pay monthly or annually and can even start with a free trial.

RingCentral pros

  • app integration, including Salesforce and Microsoft 365
  • works with a wide range of VoIP phone hardware
  • works on phone and desktop
  • choose from multiple product tiers to match your business needs

RingCentral cons

  • poor customer support (according to Trustpilor reviews)
  • the cheapest option only includes 100 inclusive minutes for each user

bOnline

bOnline, based in the UK, claims to be the country’s top phone for growing businesses, with a focus on freelancers and small businesses. Not only do bOnline offer business VoIP phone systems, but also provide broadband and fibre internet and web design services.

Choose from three product tiers with a free trial before you buy.

bOnline pros

  • rated ‘excellent’ from customer reviews on Trustpilot
  • money-saving bundle option if you buy your VoIP phone plan alongside your broadband
  • one of the cheapest unlimited calling option plans available
  • mobile and desktop computer apps

bOnline cons

  • weaker security features, such as no multi-factor authentication
  • not ideal for customer outreach – custom call lists and auto dialer are unavailable

GoTo

GoTo is another VoIP phone aimed at small to medium businesses. It offers a basic and standard package which are billed monthly for each user. The former is a much more simple VoIP system whilst the latter is a more integrated phone, chat, and video conferencing system.

GoTo pros

  • a range of add-ons, including a GoTo hardware phone
  • basic plan includes spam prevention
  • good value for money
  • phone, desktop, and web browser app

GoTo cons

  • less app integration opportunities than other providers
  • no cloud storage
  • no 24/7 customer support

Is VoIP right for my business?

No matter which VoIP provider you choose to go with, it’s important to think about your company setup. Things to consider include the amount of people you employ, the devices you use (and whether they’re company or personal property), and whether you prioritise phone calls or texting.

If you don’t make a lot of company calls, WhatsApp for business’s encrypted messages could be a good alternative.

Another alternative is a virtual landline. This has less features than a VoIP system and is a more affordable professional business number that can be diverted to your mobile.

Have you made the switch from landline to a VoIP phone provider? Let us know how it's going in the comments below.

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Rosanna Parrish

Written by

Rosanna Parrish

​​Rosanna Parrish is a Copywriter at Simply Business, specialising in legal and HR content. Trained at London College of Communication, she has been creating content professionally for eight years at publications across the UK and Spain. Starting her career in health insurance, she also worked in education marketing before returning to the insurance world. Rosanna also writes about wellbeing in the workplace. She lives by the sea and does her best writing in coffee shops.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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