Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services allow users to place telephone calls over the internet rather than through traditional analog or cellular phone networks. VoIP has grown in popularity in recent years due to the potential savings and the greater convenience it offers compared to normal phone services.
Below, you’ll find a guide reviewing the top seven cheap VoIP phone service providers. We’ve compared pros and cons along with key features and important service details. If you’re looking for a new phone network provider, check out our article on cheap cell phone plans before you make your decision.
Our Top Picks for the Best Cheap VoIP Phone Service Providers
The 7 Best Cheap VoIP Phone Service Providers Reviews
Why we chose it: Google Voice sets the standard for free VoIP phone service. Individuals residing in the contiguous U.S. with a valid U.S. phone number can get free unlimited calls and texts through Google Voice.
- Free personal phone service
- Easy to use and set up
- Range of integrations with other Google products and cloud services
- Can route calls to more than one device simultaneously
- Paid business plans
- Vanity and toll-free numbers not available
- Only connects with other Google apps
- 160-character text message limit
Google Voice comes with an impressive suite of free features including integrations with other G-Suite applications like Google Calendar and Gmail. Users can automatically forward text messages and phone call notifications via email.
While Google doesn’t charge for domestic calls, international calling will cost you — but not much. Google Voice’s Premier subscription lets callers make international phone calls to certain countries for just one cent per minute.
Individuals can claim one free personal plan but business plans cost between $10 to $30 per month. Business plans come in three tiers (Starter, Standard and Premium) and give users access to additional features. The Starter plan allows for 10 users and locations while the Standard and Premier plans let business owners use their service from unlimited locations and with an unlimited number of users. The Starter and Standard plans, however, limit users to domestic locations.
Why we chose it: Grasshopper provides both an easy setup process and 24/7 customer support to make it our top pick for overall user-friendliness. Grasshopper offers some of the best cheap VoIP business phone services out there that come equipped with advanced features like call forwarding, call reports, custom greetings, virtual fax and multiple extensions.
- Affordable pricing options
- Broad range of features standard across different plans
- Seven-day free trial
- 24/7 U.S.-based customer support
- Not suitable for larger businesses
- Lacks CRM integration capabilities
- No video call functionality
Grasshopper offers an array of premium add-on features like live virtual receptionists, call blasting and an answering machine message recorded by a professional voice actor. However, there is no call recording feature available.
Although Grasshopper doesn’t offer a free plan, you can try it at no cost with its seven-day free trial. Grasshopper’s personal VoIP phone service plan starts at just $26 a month when paid annually, and its small business VoIP phone service costs $80 a month.
The solo plan comes with one phone number and three extensions and the small business plan allows users to claim up to five phone numbers and an unlimited number of extensions. Plan holders can select from local, toll-free and vanity telephone numbers. Grasshopper also lets users port their existing phone numbers into their new VoIP service.
Even though the service works well for individuals and small businesses, it might not be a good choice for an enterprise-level business. Grasshopper also treats Alaska and Hawaii as offshore locations, meaning users in those locations will have to pay international rates when making calls.
Why we chose it: For small teams in need of VoIP service, Ooma offers both a free plan for solopreneurs and a feature-rich Pro Plus plan.
- Offers a free plan
- Advanced call blocking
- 24/7 customer support for Ooma office subscribers
- Limited third-party integrations
- International numbers not available
- No AI functionality
Ooma’s Pro and Pro Plus plans both allow users to port in existing phone numbers, block calls, forward calls, transcribe voicemails, send and receive SMS and conduct video meetings with video extensions. All Ooma plans also come with unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada.
Users can place calls through Ooma’s smartphone apps, but can also purchase the Ooma Connect Base Station, which transforms your landline or cell phone into a VoIP phone. The company also sells other hardware systems that adapt your non-VoIP phone service lines into a VoIP network.
An important feature of business VoIP is the system’s integration with diverse productivity applications. Ooma offers third-party integrations for Salesforce, Amazon Alexa, Google Workspace and Microsoft Dynamics 365. It also syncs with Google and Microsoft programs to export contacts.
Users should have little trouble getting accustomed to Ooma’s simple interface system. The service even provides a virtual secretary system to assist with mundane tasks, leaving you and your team to focus on higher value-added work.
Many online reviews have praised Ooma for ease of use, while others have expressed some confusion at how to manage advanced options like the virtual secretary. Luckily, subscribers to one of the three Ooma office plans can access round-the-clock customer support, and at-home users can reach a customer support agent from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT on weekends.
Why we chose it: Vonage consistently shows favorable levels of customer satisfaction across several online review platforms. Users mention Vonage’s high-quality voice-calling, and its many integrations and add-ons as standout features.
- 14-day free trial
- Many third-party integration options
- Well-designed mobile app
- Team messaging features available on all plans
- Expensive list of add-on features
- Poor scalability for larger organizations
Vonage also excels at third-party integrations. It can incorporate the following systems, making Vonage a versatile service that can adapt to different organizations:
- Microsoft Dynamics
- Google Workspace
Aside from integration features, teams can communicate through group messaging functions and Vonage Meetings, even sharing files and sending messages from their own smartphones. Video call hosts have access to whiteboard functions during video calls. One drawback is that conference calls can only host 25 individuals and audio conferences are capped at 150, making Vonage a potentially poor choice for larger organizations.
While Vonage doesn’t offer a free plan, you can try their service with a 14-day free trial. Plans are priced competitively within industry standards. However, many add-on features such as toll-free numbers and call recording must be purchased separately, creating the potential for costs to add up.
Why we chose it: RingCentral comes with a greater variety of advanced features — such as an AI-powered transcription tool, call analysis, and call-handling features like whisper and barge — than other VoIP service providers we reviewed.
- Wide selection of advanced features for call handling and analysis
- High-quality video-call feature
- Seven-day free trial
- Complex business functions supported
- Customer service complaints on review websites
- Poor scalability for larger organizations
- Difficult-to-navigate software
Aside from the advanced features mentioned, RingCentral offers the usual features associated with a suitable VoIP service: third-party integrations (such as Google Workplace, Slack and Microsoft 365) and video-conferencing features (that can accommodate up to 100 users for a full 24 hours per meeting).
RingCentral offers a seven-day free trial and complete refunds on all cancellations made within 30 days of signing up. While the higher pricing tiers are more expensive than most of the other options on our list, RingCentral’s array of add-on features such as unlimited storage and device status alerts may justify the added cost for some users.
Unfortunately, multiple users have complained about being signed up for auto-renewal. Other reviews mentioned lackluster customer service. The software can also be tedious to configure and many find it difficult to use compared to some of the other options on our list.
Why we chose it: Users who sign up for 8×8’s global dial plan receive unlimited calling to 48 international locations at no extra charge, making it an excellent budget choice for businesses with international operations. The company has an active presence in a number of countries and regions around the world, and it complies with privacy laws like GDPR and HIPAA.
- Rated highly for usability
- Feature-rich virtual meetings
- Front desk receptionist feature
- 30-day free trial
- Certain user settings can only be changed in the bulk edit setting
- Customer support only available for more expensive plans
- Lack of reporting features for business plans
While 8×8 targets small businesses, its scalable software can also be used by enterprise-level organizations. Although 8×8 only offers a free trial for its most basic plan, prospective customers can request a demo to get a better understanding of how it works before subscribing. Service starts at just $15 a month.
Like many of the VoIP systems on our list, 8×8 comes equipped with many features such as automated attendants, directory assistance, music holds and extension dialing. One unique feature is 8×8’s all-in-one customer support software that allows companies to manage all of their support functions from a central location.
Positive customer feedback from popular review websites notes the broad range of available features. However, others experienced voice delays and poor customer service.
Why we chose it: From sophisticated transcription technology to enhanced third-party integrations, Dialpad functions as an all-in-one business communications center with advanced AI tools. With AI-powered voice recognition software, Dialpad can execute a number of advanced tasks — such as providing automatic voice call transcription — that other VoIP providers cannot.
- AI voice recognition software on all plans
- CRM integrations available
- 14-day free trial
- Video conferences limited to ten users and 45 minutes at lower plan levels
- Customer complaints note poor customer service
- Enterprise customers must call to receive a quote
Dialpad’s AI-powered voice functions use machine learning to improve its features over time. It also can identify action items in the transcripts and create and send conversation summaries to the speakers afterward. Dialpad’s AI can identify trigger words which it can then use to assist the speaker through real-time information gathering or through post-call coaching.
In general, customers reported reliable system service and ease of use. However, several reviewers noted that they occasionally missed calls when the service failed to ring and that customer service representatives weren’t always helpful.
While Dialpad offers several price levels suited for individuals and small businesses, enterprise-level businesses must get in touch with a service representative to receive a personalized quote.
Other cheap VoIP phone service providers we considered
Why it didn’t make the cut: 1-VoIP Residential is affordable and offers basic functionality but its available features are lacking when compared to other providers. However, it might still make a solid VoIP residential phone service.
- Numerous customer reviews mention stellar customer service
- Affordable pricing options
- Strong spam call filters
- Simple and straightforward to use
- Limited functionality due to few added features
- No video-conferencing option
Why it didn’t make the cut: Nextiva offers a broad range of features through a well-integrated platform. However, the higher plan tiers can get costly, making it a poor choice if you are looking for cheap VoIP phone service.
- 24/7 customer service support
- Excellent tools for group collaboration
- Seven-day free trial
- Strong cybersecurity protocols
- High-cost plan options
- Excellent tools for group collaboration
Lower-tier plans don’t come equipped with SMS messaging and video conferencing
- Video conference tops out at 250 participants
Why it didn’t make the cut: AXvoice offers users a varied set of features at an affordable price. However, it lacks other common features like video calling or its own softphone app.
- 24/7 customer support
- 15-day money-back guarantee
- Most plans come with free equipment
- More than 30 additional features
- No free trial
- No video calling feature
- Requires third-party softphone apps
Cheap VoIP Phone Service Providers Guide
In this guide, we look at a few common questions regarding VoIP phone service, its main benefits and drawbacks, and why you might choose one over a traditional phone service provider
What is a VoIP phone service?
VoIP phone service allows individuals to place phone calls over the internet. By contrast, traditional phone services transmit calls over cellular networks or via telephone lines. VoIP services have existed since the 1990s, but they became more widely used in the 2000s when technology improved and consumer PCs were more widespread. An early VoIP service you might be familiar with is Skype, which dominated the VoIP industry in the mid-2000s.
With the advent of smartphones and tablets in the 2010s, VoIP experienced rapid year-on-year growth as customers abandoned more expensive landline and cellular options for the savings offered by VoIP phone services.
Add-on features like video-calling, SMS and third-party software integrations are now standard and the use of newer AI technology is creating smarter services with functions like automatic voice transcriptions.
In addition to individual use, businesses have also adopted VoIP to take advantage of the considerable savings the service brings.
How does VoIP phone service work?
Unlike traditional phone lines that use copper wires to transmit sound waves over long distances, VoIP encodes sound into digital signals that are sent as information packets over the internet. Once they reach their destination, the information packets reassemble and the computer on the other end decodes the information to produce a recognizable sound.
VoIP phone calls can be conducted on a number of internet-capable devices including smartphones, tablets, desktops and laptops. Users can access VoIP software through apps or via the web. Some VoIP service providers sell or rent devices that can turn traditional household phones into VoIP-enabled devices. However, smartphones are still the most popular devices for VoIP users.
The benefits of VoIP phone services
VoIP has a number of advantages over traditional phone lines. Perhaps that’s why 31% of businesses have switched to VoIP in recent years. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of VoIP phone services over traditional phone systems.
VoIP users can make a call from any device with internet connectivity. Rather than having a single, specialized tool for making calls — like a phone — you can access your VoIP service from your laptop, smartphone or tablet. You don’t need to worry about poor cellular service or staying within reach of a landline. With VoIP, you can make calls anywhere, so long as you have a strong internet connection.
Many basic VoIP services cost nothing. Even the more expensive business plans often cost a fraction of what equivalent landline or cellular service would cost. Since VoIP uses the internet to send information, providers do not need to maintain costlier landline or cellular infrastructure such as cell towers and extensive electrical connections.
Traditional landline phones tether us to our offices and homes. In comparison, you can access your VoIP service anywhere you carry a device and wherever you can access the internet.
The drawbacks of VoIP phone services
While VoIP phone service offers some tremendous advantages over traditional phone lines, it also comes with certain drawbacks.
Fully dependent on an internet connection
VoIP’s internet dependency is a double-edged sword. While it allows for cheaper and, in many cases, more convenient service, it is also not plausible in certain situations. For example, when you travel to an area with poor or nonexistent internet service you will not be able to make or receive phone calls.
Even in areas with steady internet service, slow connections and overburdened broadband can impact the quality of your VoIP service. In some cases, calls may be dropped or interrupted. In a business context, this lost time and lack of communication can cost your company money.
Latency refers to the delay between when you speak and when the person on the other end of the call can hear you. Anyone familiar with slow-loading webpages or YouTube videos that take forever to play has experienced latency. In the context of a VoIP phone call, it simply describes a lag in service.
VoIP functions by sending data packets — or compressed digital files containing audio — via broadband networks. When the data packets arrive at the destination they reform and deliver the audio information to the end user. Long distances and weak connections can disrupt this process, causing latency.
Depending on the severity, call latency may be just an annoyance or it may make communication impossible. To ensure your business doesn’t experience latency, it’s important to maintain access to a high-speed internet network.
Lack of emergency tracking
As soon as you make a call to an emergency service number like 911, the operator gains access to your precise geographic location.
Unfortunately, because VoIP calls travel through the internet, emergency service responders cannot easily pinpoint the location of a caller. The consequences of this can be severe.
Best Cheap VoIP Phone Service Providers FAQ
VoIP service works by transmitting sounds over the internet in real time, essentially functioning as an internet telephone. Although there is no specific device that functions solely as a VoIP phone, you can access VoIP programs on various internet-enabled devices such as smartphones, laptops, desktops or tablets. You can also purchase or rent devices that transform a traditional landline phone into a VoIP phone.
What is the cheapest VoIP phone service?
Google Voice provides individuals living in the U.S. with a free VoIP phone number for personal use. Google Voice also offers business plans starting at $10 a month. Business plan subscribers gain access to additional features such as automated attendants, voicemail transcription and call transfer features.
Are there free VoIP phone subscription plans?
Yes. However, many free VoIP phone subscriptions operate on a basic model in which users only get access to a limited number of features unless they upgrade to a paid plan. Google Voice consistently tops the charts for free VoIP subscription plans. Not only do Google Voice users get access to a free U.S. local phone number, but they also receive unlimited calling, texting and a voice message system. Only users in the contiguous U.S. can currently apply for a free, personal Google Voice number, but you can make free calls to Alaska and Hawaii.
Is VoIP better than traditional landlines?
These integrations can assist with scheduling, CRM, collaboration and much more. In this way, VoIP service is a vital component within a software ecosystem that ties multiple business practices together to enhance overall efficiency.
How We Chose the Best Cheap VoIP Phone Service Providers
When selecting the top VoIP services for our list, we assessed each according to the following four criteria.
We chose VoIP services that provide a full range of features at affordable prices. We weighed all of the pricing tiers available rather than just looking at the cheapest or most expensive options and compared services offered at each pricing level.
Ease of use
We looked at each service’s user experience design and favored VoIP systems with intuitive interfaces and easy-to-navigate features over more complex and difficult-to-understand ones.
Range of features
We looked at the amount and types of features each provider offers. These include common options such as text, call screening, caller ID, hold music, do not disturb and voicemail, but also less common yet still useful features like virtual secretaries, automated attendants and online fax services.
When analyzing customer support, we looked at what VoIP providers claimed to provide and compared it to customer reviews taken from popular online review websites like Trustpilot, Yelp and the Better Business Bureau. We chose providers that had generally favorable customer service reviews.