Our series on identity theft protection apps will evaluate the features, pricing options, competition, and also the overall value of using each app. However, these are not full hands-on reviews since evaluating identity theft protection apps is almost impossible. It would require several months of testing, purposefully hacking accounts to see if the protection app works, handing over personally identifiable information, performing multiple credit checks, and risking exposure of the reviewer’s personally identifiable information.
From a firm you presumably already know, ADT Identity Protection is an intriguing service. ADT as a company already defends consumers from genuine thieves attempting to break into your home and steal your possessions as a reputable name in home security, with their alarm systems, video cameras, and motion detectors. You might just be more inclined to trust ADT to protect your personal information because of its well-established reputation and credibility.
In order to safeguard your credit card information, banking information, credit history, and other sensitive information, ADT Identity Protection offers a very well-established feature set. The monitoring and theft detection are well worth the fair price, despite some minor niggles along the way, for example, the fact that you can only access your credit score only once a year.
ADT Identity Protection: Plans and pricing
When you subscribe, the price is a fair $9.99 per month, and you might be wondering if there is a catch. That is $20 less than the premium plans, such as Norton LifeLock, and around half the price of some other comparable programs. It's also important to note that ADT only provides the single tier of plan, and neither a free tier nor a free trial are offered. This simplified pricing structure is easier to deal with, but consumers looking for more plan options should look elsewhere.
ADT Identity Protection: Reimbursement
Identity theft protection insurance with ADT Identity Protection is included for up to $1 million. This can cover the cost of recovering your identity as well as any direct losses due to theft. According to ADT, recovering from identity theft takes an average of 104 hours per victim.
Additional services include Dark Web to identify your personal information for sale or use in fraud, monitoring for a change of address, and public record monitoring to see if your identity is used for criminal activity. These services are in addition to monthly credit score assessments and daily credit monitoring for changes to credit information and any new account openings.
You don't need to sign any long-term contracts or become an ADT home security subscriber in order to use ADT Identity Protection. This contrasts with Complete ID, one of our other top selections for inexpensive IT theft protection, which costs $8.99/month, but requires a Costco membership. It may take weeks or even months for ADT's subscription to become fully active, which is a warning that likely applies to every other identity theft protection program. This could imply that you are paying your membership dues while you are waiting patiently to become fully enrolled.
It reads this way: “Credit score tracking and non-credit monitoring require an additional enrollment and services aren't available until you are fully enrolled.” While no one wants to pay for a service they are not receiving, ADT at least makes this clear before signing up for the service. This could be an indicator of their truthfulness in their other disclosures.
ADT Identity Protection: Interface
ADT Identity Protection's user interface is rather standard, with a predominantly white background and tabs along the left to access the key features. It won't win any awards for being particularly creative. Despite this, it doesn't appear overly antiquated or like a tax program. It's interesting that the app doesn't quite resemble the home security interface you may be accustomed to. The ADT emblem is a well-known blue color that you may have noticed in the yards of people who utilize the home security system. The interface's primary goal is to make it simple for you to locate functions. However, without the status updates and wizards that make Norton LifeLock a little bit more user-friendly ADT appears a little too simple for our taste.
ADT Identity Protection: Features
ADT Identity Protection has you covered for the essential security measures for preventing identity theft. There are all the standard solutions for fraud detection and credit monitoring. Along with some of the most popular "extras" for examining and keeping track of your passport and other forms of identification, you'll find all the entry-level features for spotting activity on a bank account or credit card. Nothing groundbreaking here, but for $9.99 a month, it's unquestionably a solid starting point.
Only one annual report is available, although many of the best identity theft prevention programs, like Equifax Complete, offer a monthly credit score update. At this pricing point, ADT Identity Protection does offer $1 million in theft protection insurance, which is unique. Other applications frequently have lower prices but only provide $100,000 to $500,000 in identity theft insurance.
ADT Identity Protection: The competition
Although it isn't the most complete tool in this category, ADT Identity Protection isn't at the bottom of the list of identity protection apps either.
IdentityForce and Norton LifeLock provide more functionality and a better user experience in our opinion. But there is much to be said for picking a value play offering that focuses on the essentials. If you are experiencing identity theft issues and are unsure of who to contact, ADT is a reputable security provider with the staff and financial capacity to assist you. In fact, according to ADT, you can reach a fraud resolution specialist with just one call. While it's debatable that Experian and Equifax have better apps with more features, both have had well-publicized data breaches, and their premium plans—which include credit scores and insurance—are significantly more expensive.
ADT Identity Protection: Final verdict
This means that signing up for ADT Identity Protection and getting the best identity theft protection available is not a foregone conclusion. It may meet your needs if it provides the essentials from a reliable source at a reasonable price.
It's crucial to note that signing up for ADT Identity Protection has no obligations that we are aware of, and you can cancel at any moment without having to pay for the home security services. Personal identity protection may serve as a lead generator for home security goods, but since these services are all stand-alone, you don't have to fall for the trap or feel compelled to utilize ADT.
Wix is an Israeli company best known for developing a website builder. The main Wix platform allows anyone to create a personal or business website without having deep programming knowledge. It’s a drag-and-drop builder that a technical layman can understand. You can use it to build portfolio websites, school websites, membership websites, online stores, etc.
Wix got into point-of-sale systems much later than many competitors. The company unveiled its point-of-sale system in 2021 by partnering with Stripe, a payments processor, and HP, a hardware manufacturer. Businesses can use the solution to charge customers’ cards and collect payments with ease. However, it’s only available in the U.S. and Canada currently.
The main fees to consider in any point-of-sale system are hardware fees, software fees, and payment processing fees.
Hardware fees are what you’ll pay upfront for the hardware required to process payments. A full suite of POS hardware includes a card reader or payment terminal, tablet, charging dock, barcode scanner, receipt printer, and cash drawer. Some of these items aren’t compulsory, e.g., the cash drawer and charging dock, but they make it easier to process payments.
The good thing about choosing Wix is that the company offers bundles of hardware made by HP and Stripe, including
The Complete Retail POS Package: This includes a 14-inch HP tablet for customer display, a cash drawer, a barcode scanner, a receipt printer, and a Stripe card reader and charging dock. The bundle costs $850, which is cheaper than ordering the items individually.
Your Retail Essentials: This includes the HP tablet and Stripe card reader and charging dock. It costs $630.
A Stripe Card Reader + Dock for $98.
You can also order a cash drawer individually for $78, USB Terminal Scanner for $95, and a Terminal Receipt Printer for $130, all made by HP.
Unlike many other platforms, Wix does not charge additional monthly fees for its point-of-sale software. However, you will need to subscribe to a Wix Premium account to receive payments, and you can choose from one of three plans;
- Business Basic for $17 per month
- Business Unlimited for $26 per month
- Business VIP for $35 per month
You’ll also pay a fee on every in-person transaction facilitated by Wix; 2.6% + 0 USD for American users and 2.7% + 0 CAD for Canadian users. Canadian businesses can also use Interac e-Transfer to accept payments and pay a flat 0.15 CAD per transaction.
Wix POS: Features
A good thing about Wix is that it offers a hardware bundle, so users don’t need to stress about choosing the necessary hardware to receive payments. The hardware bundle includes
Stripe Card Reader M2
The Reader M2 is a card reader made by Stripe, a popular payments processing company. This card reader is compact and easy to handle. You can use it to charge customers' cards with ease; they can either insert, swipe, or authorize their cards to authorize the payment.
This card reader works with all major credit cards and comes with end-to-end encryption to protect customer information. It's battery-powered, and a full charge can last you a whole business day.
Wix offers a 14-inch display tablet made by HP, a well-known computing manufacturer. This tablet is where you'll display information about purchases to the customer. You can select the items they want to buy and automatically calculate the price. Then, customers can confirm the price and pay easily through their cards.
Wix also offers a barcode scanner built by HP. This scanner translates barcodes into numbers and letters, so you can use the scanner to retrieve the prices of items automatically. This process is far easier than typing into the software to detect the price of an item.
Wix offers its own payment processing solution aptly called Wix Payments. This solution is what lets you collect money from customers’ cards and send it to your own account. It works with all major debit and credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, Discover, etc. You can also integrate Klarna, a “buy now, pay later” app, to let customers split their purchases into multiple payments (but you receive the total amount upfront).
Of course, Wix takes a fee for using its payment processing solution.
Wix POS: Interface and use
If there’s something that Wix is very good at, it’s user-friendliness. The original Wix platform was built to enable non-technical people to create websites, and user-friendliness wasn’t negotiable. Wix’s point-of-sale software has an intuitive and visually appealing interface that you’ll likely find enjoyable.
Wix POS: Support
Wix offers direct customer care through email, live chat, and telephone. You can log into your account and file a complaint, and support personnel will get back to you through email or telephone. Live chat is available in some regions and in many languages including English, French, Dutch, Italian, Hebrew, etc.
Wix POS: The competition
Lightspeed and Shopify POS are two main competitors to Wix’s point-of-sale solution. Both of them offer more features than Wix and are more suitable solutions for large-volume retailers. Wix is a smarter choice for smaller retailers because it’s more affordable, but it has limited features outside of processing payments, unlike Lightspeed and Shopify.
Wix POS: Final verdict
Wix is an okay point-of-sale solution. It does one job and does it well; processing payments. But, if you’re the type that needs many complementary features such as inventory management and customer loyalty tools, then you’ll be best served by other point-of-sale software.
Using a password manager is critical if you want to protect your important information and ensure that you’re covered if you forget one of those all-important codes. If you’re on the hunt for thebest password manager,1Password is worth consideration.
This app has a top-notch business pedigree, with companies like IBM, GitLab, and Slack trusting the software to keep passwords secure and consistent. With customers like that, it’s undeniably a top option for your family or organization.
We’ve evaluated 1Password’s family and business plans to see if this app is worth using – or if you should seek out a competitor instead. And if you want to explore those alternatives, take a look at our roundup of thebest business password managers.
1Password: Plans and pricing
1Password’s subscription model is divided into personal and business options. Under the personal umbrella, you’ll find individual and family packages – the former costs $2.99 / £3 / AUD$5 per month when billed annually, while the latter costs $4.99 / £5 / AUD$7.50 per month and accepts five family members. You can also add additional members to the Family plan for a small fee ($1 per month).
Multiple platforms are supported, including macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux. These packages support unlimited passwords and 1 GB of document storage. You can also restore deleted passwords up to 365 days later, and it has 2FA for security. Upgrading to the family package adds management features, account recovery, and guest accounts.
The lack of a free option may be disappointing to some prospective customers, but free plans are typically limited in what they can offer. Many rival companies go down the route of limiting the number of active devices (usually to one), so in reality, unless you can make do with those limits, you’ll end up paying for the features you want anyway.
Head over to the business section and you’ll find the Teams Starter Pack, which costs $19.95 / £20 / AUD$30 per month and includes support for 10 users. Each user gets 1 GB of document storage and unlimited shared vaults for secure document sharing. Team admins can manage permissions for each individual. Note the distinct lack of per-user pricing at this level, you’ll have to fork out for the maximum of ten users regardless of your team’s size.
The business plan costs $7.99 / £8 / AUD$12 per month. It has VIP support, 5 GB of storage per user, custom security controls, and other advanced features. Large businesses can also get a custom quote for an Enterprise subscription, including a dedicated account manager, setup training, and an onboarding engineer.
You can start using 1Password after taking a few quick steps to create your account. These include setting a master password, which secures all of your information. 1Password doesn’t require credit card information during setup, so you can sign up without taking on any risk.
The setup process includes an option to create and download an emergency kit – a PDF with all the information needed to recover your account if you get locked out.
After creating an account, you can start adding items and vaults. Changes are automatically synced across all devices, so you can use 1Password seamlessly on all your devices, including your computer, tablet, and phone.
1Password: Interface and performance
1Password provides convenient access on virtually all devices. Along with mobile apps for iOS and Android, the platform also provides desktop apps for macOS, Windows, and Linux, plus a command-line tool and extensions for popular browsers includingChrome,Edge, Firefox, Brave, and Safari. There are also some more quirky options, like Apple Watch support.
It’s a very intuitive app. On the left-hand side, there’s a navigation column that allows users to access their private or shared vaults, tutorials, and their popular passwords. Here you’ll also find the Watchtower, which keeps track of security breaches and lets you know if your details have been compromised. In the main window, you can see all your passwords, messages or alerts, and the search box – which is extremely fast.
Adding new passwords is simple and comprehensive. You’re able to choose from more than two dozen security categories – from straightforward login and credit card details to medical records and passports – and each category collects different kinds of relevant information. It makes creating passwords easier – and speeds up categorization, too.
This is a highly responsive app, too, with changes on one device showing up on other devices almost instantaneously. We’re really fond of the small highlights than run across the top of the UI and throughout the experience, such as Wi-Fi passwords, medical records, identity information, and payment details.
Logging in online is a little more of a task than it is with other password managers. You still use your master password to get in, but you also need to authorize it by copying and pasting a so-called secret key to verify it’s you. We feel this could be handled a little easier, even if by manner of notification to the apps that are already signed in. Dashlane does something similar, and emails a one-time code to the account holder too, just for that extra layer of protection.
Passkeys are coming and upcoming versions of iOS and Android in 2023 are planning to make them even more accessible, but 1Password refuses to let the new passwordless login method take away from its business. Instead, like many of its popular rivals, it has been quick to confirm passkey compatibility.
Set up an iOS or Android passkey and you’ll be locked into that platform, unless you’re willing to go through and change every passkey you have. Should you work across multiple operating systems (not to mention desktop OSs), a password manager bridges that gap. So while Apple and Google are key to making passkeys available, password managers like 1Password are crucial in making sure they work fluidly.
1Password says it’s going “all-in on passkeys” and support is coming as soon as summer 2023, but it’s more likely that snippets of features will be added over time as companies begin to collaborate. There’s also an early access program for those who are really keen.
1Password uses a wide range of tools to keep your information as secure as possible. Accounts are locked by a master password, which is never shared with 1Password or any third parties. Beyond that, you’ve got your Emergency Kit, which includes a secure key you’ll need to use when logging in.
1Password provides two-factor authentication with Authy andMicrosoft Authenticator, and it comes with security breath alerts, protection against keyloggers, and AES 256-bit encryption. Your passwords are also protected with Secure Remote Password (SRP), which adds another layer of credential authentication.
With 1Password, you’ll have access to 24/7 support via email. The website states that Business users get VIP support, but it doesn’t explain the difference between regular and VIP—just that help is available “whenever you need it.” As mentioned above, Enterprise subscriptions come with a dedicated account manager and onboard engineer.
The 1Password site also provides helpful articles covering a variety of support topics. These are a great place to start if you run into technical issues or want to learn more about the service’s features. Users can also access security white papers if they’d like a deeper dive into how the service works.
1Password: The competition
Lastpass, one of the most popular password managers, comes with some notable pros and cons compared to 1Password. Unlike 1Password, Lastpass offers a surprisingly robust free plan that enables users to store and share passwords across all their devices.
Furthermore, Lastpass Emergency makes it easy to configure a digital will that automatically transfers your information in case of an emergency or death. The only way to set this process up on 1Password is to pay for a family or team plan and create multiple admins or organizers. That said, Lastpass and 1Password come with many of the same features, and their pricing is mostly similar aside from the Lastpass free plan.
If you’re after more than a password manager, Dashlane and Proton Pass are among the handful that offer VPN connections for certain plans, all in a bid to keep your identity protected.
1Password: Final verdict
1Password offers everything individuals and businesses need to store and share passwords and other sensitive pieces of information. The spread of pricing options means it’s a low-cost way to keep your data safe.
In addition to mobile apps, the service is also compatible with macOS, Windows, and Linux along with several browsers. Its flexibility, affordability, and ease of use make it a great option for companies and home users.
Toast has an interesting history. It was founded in 2012 initially as a consumer app for mobile payments, discounts, product promotions, etc. However, the team later pivoted to building a point-of-sale system for restaurants. The POS system saw huge success and was adopted by thousands of restaurants across the U.S. Later on, Toast added complementary software to help restaurateurs run their operations in addition to collecting payments.
Toast raised hundreds of millions of dollars as a private company before a successful public listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021. The money helped the company expand across the United States and a few European countries. Though designed for restaurants, Toast’s POS system is also used by other hospitality providers such as hotels and lounges.
Toast POS: Plans and pricing
The first cost to note is the upfront price of the point-of-sale hardware. Toast offers its own hardware to customers; you can choose the Flex, Go, Tap, or Kiosk. There’s no fixed price because the hardware comes in different forms and versions. For example, there are different Flex terminals for the restaurateur, customer, and kitchen, and you’ll need three of them to run a full-fledged operation. Generally, the hardware you’ll need to get starts from $899 and about $499 for installation, which is costly.
After buying the hardware, you’ll also need to pay a recurring subscription fee to use Toast’s software. You can choose from these plans;
Starter Kit: This is a free package that gives you access to the point-of-sale software package for a single location.
Point of Sale: $69 per month. You can run Toast’s POS system at multiple locations if you choose this package, and it also includes custom hardware configuration.
Essentials: $165 per month. This gives you access to complimentary software tools like online ordering and delivery management.
Custom: There’s no standard pricing for this plan (you have to contact Toast’s sales team for a quote). With this plan, you can go as far as managing your payroll right from Toast's platform. It also includes integrations with over 100 restaurant tools.
Transaction fees are charged separately and depend on if you pay for your hardware upfront or use a monthly plan. If it's a monthly payment plan, the fee is 2.99% + 15 cents for every card payment. If you pay upfront, it comes down to 2.4% + 15 cents.
Toast POS: Features
Various hardware options that Toast offers include
Flex is a full-service payment terminal that includes a 14-inch screen, 16GB flash memory, and WiFi & Bluetooth connectivity. The screen is spill-proof, which is much needed in a restaurant where there's a high risk of food and beverage spills. It helps you organize and manage your orders with ease.
You can’t use this screen alone to run your restaurant. You’ll also need to buy separate hardware to accept payments from customers’ cards, which we’ll mention below. Note that Flex isn’t the only terminal you can choose, but it’s the best to use.
Toast Tap is a compact device that allows you to charge customers. Your customers can swipe, insert, or tap their cards to pay seamlessly. It accepts payments from all major debit and credit cards or payment apps such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
You can place this device on your counter or mount it to the side of the Flex terminal for easy use.
Go is handheld POS hardware that’s easy to carry around. You can use this to charge customers at their tables instead of them walking to the counter to pay. Just like Toast tap, this device supports swiping, tapping, or insertion for card payments.
Toast offers a software solution to let you accept payments from customers. Without this software, then the hardware you bought is futile. The pricing is simple; 2.99% + 15 cents if you are on a monthly hardware payment plan or 2.4% + 15 cents if you pay for your hardware upfront.
Toast does not let customers use any other payment processor except its own. This is a slight disadvantage because there are many rival processors that charge lower transaction fees.
Toast POS: Interface and use
Toast’s point-of-sale software comes with an intuitive interface that you’d likely find easy to navigate. The company’s designers and developers put a lot of noticeable effort into building a modern interface that makes navigation as easy as possible. You’d often find Toast customers praising the user-friendly interface in reviews.
Toast POS: Support
Toast offers direct customer support via email, live chat, and telephone. The company has a dedicated support email that you can message at any time and expect a response within 24 hours. Likewise, you can get connected with live support agents on the website or dial the telephone support line mentioned on the website. There's also a support portal that includes answers to frequently asked questions, user guides, and articles concerning all aspects of using Toast.
Toast POS: The competition
Lightspeed and Clover are two popular competitors to Toast’s point-of-sale system. Unlike Toast, Lightspeed does not have its own special hardware; you can choose from one of several generic options. The company focuses on the software part, with fees of 2.6% + 10¢ for every successful card transaction.
Clover has expensive hardware just like Toast, and you can either pay upfront or sign a monthly payment plan. Its transaction fees go as low as 2.3% + $0.10 depending on the plan you choose.
Toast POS: Final verdict
Toast is a very good point-of-sale system for restaurateurs and hospitality service providers. It offers features that’ll make it easy to accept payments from customers and run your business seamlessly. The disadvantage is that it’s a pretty expensive solution to adopt, both in the cost of hardware, transaction fees, and recurring subscription.
Wellfound, previously known as AngelList, has been around since 2010, so it’s one of the newer names on the scene when it comes to the big job sites. It’s also one of the most interesting job-hunting projects around, because it’s one of the few job sites that’s dedicated to the startup scene.
It makes perfect sense for a job site to focus on startups. There have never been so many nimble, successful and fast-growing tech firms, and there have never been more people who want to work at them – and all of those people will be perfectly versed at finding jobs online.
Wellfound’s mission is to make startup hiring fairer and more equitable. That’s refreshing, because too often the startup scene relies on nepotism and networking rather than talent and experience.
At the time of writing there are more than 130,000 jobs on the site, and those positions are obviously found in startup companies and tech firms – and the firm’s database includes big companies like Revolut, Mozilla and Squarespace.
That’s no surprise considering Wellfound's focus on these markets, and it does mean that Wellfound has a great database of relevant jobs at top-notch companies. Negatively, though, this site doesn’t have the millions of job openings listed by some rivals, like LinkedIn Jobs or Monster, and it’s not much good if you don’t want to work in a tech company or at a startup.
There are other areas where Wellfound makes up for its lack of a huge jobs database. The site places a big emphasis on transparency, which means that job listings have salaries and equity options displayed up-front. That’s not the only helpful information you’ll see on job listings, either: Wellfound displays how much investment a company has raised, information about the company culture, the size of the company and the markets where it operates. Work from home options are shown if applicable, and the site lists if companies are willing to sponsor visas.
Job listings have tags that show if companies are hiring, if they’ve been recently funded and if they share any investors with other big-name startups. Other tags illustrate if a company is highly rated by the site’s users, or if it has good scores for leadership and work/life balance. The transparency continues elsewhere – you can see profiles of staff members and see who’ll read your application if you apply.
It’s possible to use your Wellfound profile as your resume, and there are sections to add your relevant history, skills and education. You can also list your website and social profiles. You can list what roles you’re interested in, add a small biography and indicate if you’re currently open to job offers.
Elsewhere, many of the profile options are unsurprisingly startup-focused. There are questions about VISA sponsorship and the size of companies you’d like to consider, and you can link your GitHub profile. The Culture section of your profile allows users to set out their ideal workplace, which is handy for finding an environment where you’re more likely to be happy.
Wellfound also has other handy features and innovative additions on the rest of its site. You can specify if you’re looking for full-time work, contract positions, or an internship, and there’s an extensive quiz where you can match your preferred work environment and career goals to suitable workplaces. There are also skills assessments, like on most other job sites.
There’s a lot to like about Wellfound, but in other areas the site is potentially divisive. It has a straightforward interface that presents job openings like search results, but those results are a bit busy and filled with potentially unhelpful information like news articles.
It doesn’t have as many features as LinkedIn Jobs and Glassdoor – you won’t find learning resources, interview prep modules or proper social networking here. And, of course, Wellfound's focus on startups means that it doesn’t have the breadth of opportunities you’ll find on mainstream sites.
Wellfound: Final verdict
Wellfound has thought of everything when it comes to startup recruitment. That makes it the best tool available if you want to work in the startup scene, and especially if you want a position at a tech company. If that sounds like you, then this should be your first port of call.
It’s undoubtedly excellent for startups, and it’s got some good features – but if you want a broader look at the job market, you’d be better off looking elsewhere.
Freshdesk is a customer support platform from Freshworks. This CRM offers a helpdesk, messaging center, and call center all in one. In our Freshdesk review, we help you decide if this is the best CRM software for your business.
Freshdesk is designed specifically for customer engagement, and is one of a series of Freshworks CRMs with different focuses – including Freshmarketer for marketing, Freshsales for sales management, and Freshservice for IT support.
If you're looking for an all-in-one CRM that combines sales and marketing, we recommend Freshsales Suite.
Freshdesk review: Snapshot
Freshdesk is a capable CRM that enables your business to offer outstanding customer support. The platform helps you manage email ticketing, live chat support, and a call center, and it’s much simpler to use than competing CRMs like Zendesk.
It offers a number of useful tools for team collaboration, including shared inboxes and tools for automating the organization of incoming requests. The software also includes highly advanced reporting features, although using them involves a steep learning curve.
Freshdesk is one of the more expensive support center platforms we have reviewed, so it may not be suitable for businesses on a tight budget. However, if you can handle the software’s cost, it’s one of the top CRM platforms for customer support.
Read on for the full review.
5 reasons why small businesses need a CRM
Freshdesk: Key features
Freshdesk is split into three modules: Support Center, Messaging, and Contact Center.
The Support Center module handles customer support tickets. You can set up ticketing across multiple platforms, including your website, an app, social media, and more. New tickets can go not only to an individual but also to shared inboxes to enable collaboration. Teams can share tickets with other teams, as well as split up tasks to speed up answering complex requests.
Messaging, formerly known as Freshchat, is Freshdesk’s chatbot service. You can deploy automated chatbots across your website, mobile app, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Apple Messages. As for support tickets, incoming messages can be directed to a shared inbox to promote collaboration within support teams.
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Contact Center, formerly called Freshcaller, is a voice-over-IP (VoIP) service that lets your business answer incoming phone calls from customers. It supports agents in more than 90 countries and lets you bring your own carrier if you already have one. Contact Center automatically records and transcribes calls, and agents can even switch a phone call to live chat.
Freshdesk tracks all support interactions between your company and your customers, giving you detailed insights into everything that’s happened on a customer’s account in the past. For any contact, you can see current tickets, archived tickets, agent notes, transcripts of past chat and phone conversations, and more.
You can also tag and segment contacts to organize your database, and offer priority support to some customers.
Freshdesk: What’s new?
Since we last reviewed Freshdesk, the platform has added a few important features. First, teams can now share ownership of tickets with other teams or with third parties outside your company. That opens more opportunities for collaboration.
Freshdesk also added more functionality for scheduling agents, including tracking vacation time. That way, the software can automatically route tickets and messages to agents who are working when a new request comes in.
In addition, Freshdesk introduced a quality coach tool. This enables you to create scorecards for your agents’ interactions with customers. You can also quickly analyze scorecards to find your top support agents.
Freshdesk offers four Support Desk plans, which don’t include Messaging and Call Center, and three Omnichannel plans, which do. You can try out any plan for 21 days before committing to a subscription. Freshdesk lets you pay monthly or annually, and annual subscribers save 17%.
We tested out Freshdesk to see how easy the platform is to use, and how it handles reporting. The reporting test is particularly important, because if the data Freshdesk collects isn’t helping your company improve customer service, then the software isn’t doing its job.
How easy is it to use Freshdesk?
We were impressed with how simple it felt to use Freshdesk, especially given the breadth of tools included in the platform. The Support Desk, Messaging, and Contact Center modules are neatly organized into a left-hand menu along with your contact database, reporting center, and administrative settings.
A right-hand sidebar displays customization options as you navigate through Freshdesk, so you don’t have to deal with pop-ups or buried pages.
When you first log into Freshdesk, an overview dashboard gives agents a clear look at everything that’s on their plates. There’s a summary of new, unresolved, and due today tickets, plus a to-do list based on what tasks you or team members have been assigned. The dashboard also shows the results of customer satisfaction surveys, which helps agents keep track of how they’re doing.
We especially liked the layout of Freshdesk’s Support Center, which is set up like an email inbox. A tag makes it easy to identify new support tickets, and every ticket can be assigned a priority level. Plus, you can filter all tickets in your inbox based on what agent or team they’re assigned to, what priority level they have, or when the next response is due.
How good is Freshdesk’s reporting?
Freshdesk offers built-in reports and analysis tools to help you constantly improve the quality of your customer service. We thought the platform did a great job with its pre-made reports, which offer customizable charts for support ticket load, agent and team productivity, and customer satisfaction surveys. You can filter these reports by agent, team, or support type, and it’s simple to export them to a PDF.
If you want more detailed analytics, Freshdesk gets a lot more complicated quickly. The platform’s custom report builder lets you drag and drop analysis widgets onto a page to create your own dashboards. There are some templates to get you started, but for the most part, you’ll add blank charts and tables, and then select what data to display. You can also add images and text boxes, customize the fonts and colors for each graph, and more.
The flexibility this offers is hard to beat, especially if you want to create a professional-looking report for a big meeting. However, the learning curve is quite steep when building your first few reports, and it takes a lot of time to work through all the customization options.
Alternatives to Freshdesk
Freshdesk isn’t the only CRM focused on helping you offer exceptional customer support. Zendesk and LiveAgent are two competing software platforms that give you tools for ticketing, live chat, and phone support.
We found Zendesk to be extremely versatile. It offers more than 1,000 apps and integrations, and includes automation features at a cheaper price point than Freshdesk. Plus, it has an internal help desk, which is a great tool for larger companies.
The downside to Zendesk is that it’s not as user-friendly as Freshdesk. For small companies that want to get a support center up and running quickly, that could be an important reason to choose the latter.
LiveAgent is more affordable than Freshdesk, but we found that this platform doesn’t offer nearly the same depth of features. Ticketing takes a backseat to live chat support within the platform, which means that there are fewer reporting options and automations for ticketing. It also doesn’t offer phone support at all.
So, LiveAgent can be a good option if you primarily want to set up chat support, but it’s not as powerful as Freshdesk for creating a complete support center.
Freshdesk: Final verdict
Freshdesk is high-quality CRM software that can help your company set up a comprehensive customer support center. It supports email ticketing, live chat, and phone support, and works across all the channels your company operates on. Plus, Freshdesk includes automations and chatbots with its higher-tier plans.
Despite the large number of tools and features that Freshdesk brings to the table, we found the software to be surprisingly easy to use. It’s well organized, and makes it easy to start answering tickets and chats right away. The only area where we found friction was in the advanced reporting tools, which are so advanced that they can be difficult to master.
The only real downside to Freshdesk is its cost. Features like workflow automation are pricey, and you’ll need an expensive Omnichannel subscription if you want to add live chat or phone capabilities to your support center. Zendesk offers a similar set of features at a significantly lower price, but it’s not as easy to use. So if your company has a large enough budget, we’d recommend sticking with Freshdesk.
Freshsales is a sales customer relationship management (CRM) software from Freshworks that helps sales teams streamline their processes, close deals faster, and gain greater insight into their customers.
Before we start, it’s worth noting that Freshsales is designed specifically for the needs of sales teams, and is one of a series of Freshworks CRMs with different focuses – including Freshmarketer for marketing, Freshservice for IT support, and Freshdesk for customer engagement.
In this Freshsales review, we'll evaluate its pros and cons, and see how it compares to the best CRM software out there. If you're looking for an all-in-one CRM that combines sales and marketing, we recommend Freshsales Suite instead.
Freshsales deal for TechRadar Pro readers
Get Freshworks CRM solutions from $15 per user/mo Freshsales is just one of a suite of CRM solutions offered by Freshworks, which combine phone, email, and messaging. Each solution is intuitive, user-friendly interface and boasts strong sales features; all reasons why our editors recommend Freshworks for small businesses. View Deal
It’s ideal for ambitious sales teams in small and medium-sized businesses looking to reach their prospects more strategically. Freshsales’ intuitive, customizable interface makes it a good choice for those new to CRM software and means that it doesn’t require extensive team training to set up.
Built-in phone and email capabilities enable you to communicate directly with contacts from the CRM, while the mobile app allows you to capture data on the go.
Freshsales does require an upgrade to access its lead generation tools, and the range of third-party integrations is limited. If you’re looking for a CRM with more integrations available, Insightly may be a better choice.
Overall, Freshsales is an affordable and comprehensive CRM that offers all of the standard functionality you need to drive your sales team forwards.
Read on for the full review.
5 reasons why small businesses need a CRM
Freshsales: Key features
Freshsales is an affordable CRM that makes contact management simple. With its beginner-friendly interface and powerful AI system, it makes for a great starter CRM for small businesses, though it also boasts enough advanced features to appeal to small- and mid-sized enterprises.
To start with, we were impressed by Freshsales' level of customization. Every aspect of the interface, including the main navigation menu, can be customized to your needs. You have the option to choose from hundreds of different currencies and over 10 languages, as well as create custom fields, modules, sales activities, and more. So, the software can be molded to suit the needs of virtually any business.
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Freshsales offers comprehensive contact and account management tools. You can view an activity timeline of a contact's engagement with your brand, enabling you to target them more strategically with sales calls and follow-ups. The AI-powered contact scoring system prioritizes top leads based on a prospect's engagement, helping you close deals faster.
Freshsales also offers you tools you need to communicate with contacts, with in-built phone and email functionality and a mobile app. You can even set up live chat on your website schedule, and join Zoom meetings from the CRM software.
In addition, Freshsales enables you to automatically assign leads to sales reps based on specific criteria, as well as customize appointments, alerts, reminders, and activities to keep your team organized. Automated workflows help cut down on the manual work involved in nurturing leads, and streamline sales processes so that you can focus on closing deals.
Additional integrations with third-party project management apps are also available, though the range of integrations offered is quite limited.
Freshsales features: What’s new?
Freshworks is continuously improving the features of the Freshsales software. Since 2019, the company has added the option to customize your main navigation sidebar, with custom fields and improved workflow automation so that you can now automate an action based on a defined trigger.
Freshworks has also added the capability to group users into ‘teams’ to improve collaboration and introduced weighted sales pipelines. These display a sales forecast that’s weighted by the likelihood that deals will close.
The company has also added new features to the Freshsales app, helping sales reps close deals on the go. You can now record voice notes on the app and attach them to a record, make calls directly from the app, and check in at your location on the app.
Freshsales offers four pricing plans, including an Enterprise plan that offers advanced AI features, more storage data, and a higher limit for the number of sales teams, workflows and sequences you can create. Plans are billed monthly or annually, with discounts for annual billing, and the cost scales with the number of end-user licenses you need.
Freshsales is notable for offering a free plan, which many of its competitors, such as Salesforce, do not. The free plan offers a basic level of contact management, but it doesn’t include access to reporting - an important feature for any CRM.
In order to better review Freshsales' CRM offering, we ran through a series of its main features and tools, testing them and establishing how each can be used.
How does Freshsales' contact management work?
Contact and account management is a key area where Freshsales excels.
The CRM enables you to see a comprehensive timeline of a prospect's engagements with your brand through website, email, and other channels, helping you gain greater visibility into your customers and build relationships in more strategic ways.
The AI-driven contact scoring system ranks prospects based on their engagement, helping you prioritize the leads most likely to convert. Freshsales also offers a host of workflow management features, enabling you to set up tasks, appointments, activities, reminders, and alerts for your whole team to help you stay on track.
This feature is particularly useful for sales teams collaborating across different geographies and time zones.
In addition to contact management, Freshsales offers several methods for communicating with prospects.
There’s a built-in phone with call recording as well as an email client integration that enables you to email contacts in bulk. Freshsales also includes email templates so you can launch basic campaigns without ever leaving the CRM.
While Freshsales does offer some lead generation tools, these are only available with costly upgrades. For example, a feature that populates records with publicly listed information about contacts is only available on the Enterprise plan, even though this is a standard feature on Insightly’s CRM software.
How does Freshsales' workflow automation work?
Freshsales improves the efficiency of sales reps by automating time-consuming tasks, freeing them up to close more deals.
You can set up rules that will automatically assign leads to sales reps according to criteria like region, language, area of expertise, and more.
You can also design sales sequences that automate repetitive and manual tasks such as following up with leads, sending welcome emails, or sending contract renewal reminders.
Once you've set the conditional actions and triggers, these sequences run in the background. As a result, it takes minimal ongoing effort to keep contacts engaged with your company.
To expand existing functionality, Freshsales also offers integrations with project management apps including Zapier, QuickBooks, and Xero, among others. Freshsales has announced plans to add more integrations in the future.
However, it currently falls short on integrations when compared to Insightly, which boasts a library of more than 500 business apps.
What is Freshsales' Freddy AI?
Freddy AI is Freshsales' advanced AI system that operates behind the scenes, learning from historical data to deliver personalized insights, predictions, and recommendations.
This AI ensures that sales reps are making educated decisions based on existing data and helps them decide how to move a lead further down the path to conversion.
Freddy AI also helps forecast sales by predicting how likely deals are to go through and displaying a sales pipeline that’s weighted by deal likelihood. Deal likelihood and weighted forecasts are visible on a single dashboard, giving managers a better overview of how the whole sales team is performing and what kind of numbers they can expect to achieve.
The full functionality of Freddy AI is only available with an Enterprise plan.
How does Freshsales' mobile app work?
Alongside the online software, Freshsales offers a mobile app that enables you to stay connected to the CRM while on the go.
Whether you're traveling for work or meeting a prospect for lunch, the app enables you to access data about your contact from anywhere. You can even download and store information for offline access.
The app offers an impressive level of functionality. You can record voice notes, send emails, make calls, book Ubers, and even scan documents using your phone’s camera. You can also attach tasks, notes, and activities to contact records, which makes it easy to keep your database up to date.
Finally, the app enables you to check in to a location to let others in your team know where you are.
Alternatives to Freshsales
Freshsales with a Basic plan is an affordable CRM solution with all of the features that a small business sales team might need. You get contact management tools, predictive contact scoring, 20 workflow automations, deal management tools, visual sales pipelines, and more.
In comparison, its competitor Insightly offers fewer workflow automations with its basic plan. However, it does automatically import publicly available data about contacts, a feature that Freshsales only offers with its Enterprise plan.
HubSpot, another Freshsales competitor, is more limited with its basic plan than Freshsales. You’ll need to upgrade to access the same level of functionality that Freshsales offers, though the price quoted does cover two paid users rather than one.
When comparing more advanced plans, it’s clear that HubSpot is better suited for large enterprises and the price reflects that.
While Freshsales offers a maximum of 10 deal pipelines, 100 automated workflows, 25 sales sequences per user, and 100GB of storage per user with its Enterprise plan, HubSpot offers up to 100 deal pipelines and 1,000 workflows.
Is Freshsales right for your business?
Freshsales is well-suited for small- to medium-sized businesses looking for an affordable CRM that covers all the essentials that sales teams need, plus includes some advanced features like workflow automation and AI insights.
For those working collaboratively on the go, the Freshsales app offers live data-syncing and note-taking options.
Freshsales’ phone and email integrations are also valuable tools that enable you to reach out to contacts without ever leaving the CRM, while also ensuring that all of your communication records are in one place.
While Freshsales offers a free plan with basic contact and account management functionality, the free plan does not include reports, which hampers its usefulness. Freshsales also does not offer lead generation tools on its Basic plan, requiring you to upgrade to access these features.
While Freshsales offers good native integrations with other Freshworks apps, its range of third-party integrations is limited. If the integrations you’re looking for aren’t available for Freshsales, it may not be the right CRM for your business.
Zettle is a Swedish payment technology. It was founded in 2010 as iZettle by two entrepreneurs; Jacob de Geer and Magnus Nilsson. The company launched its app and a chip card reader in 2011 to enable businesses to do payment processing simply and easily. The original name, "iZettle", comes from the expression of "settling a debt".
iZettle launched to fanfare in 2011 and its chip card reader was adopted by many European businesses. It grew rapidly and added many POS products and services over the years, including a mobile app, QR code payments, point-of-sale, small business loans, etc.
In 2018, PayPal, the American fintech giant, acquired iZettle for $2.2 billion. In February 2021, the company changed its formal name to "Zettle By PayPal".
The first thing to consider for any point-of-sale system is the hardware cost. Zettle offers two main hardware; Terminal and Card Reader. The Terminal is an all-in-one system that lets you manage your inventory, charge customers' cards, and print their receipts. It costs $199 one-time or $239 if you want the version with an in-built scanner.
The Card Reader is significantly cheaper, as it’s a less sophisticated device. You need to connect it to your mobile device to start selling, unlike the Terminal which needs no external hardware. Zettle offers the first card reader for $29 and every additional card reader for $79. You can also buy a charging dock for the device for $49; this dock locks the card reader into place and charges it all day long even as you use it to collect payments.
Zettle also takes a commission on every transaction facilitated by its software. The company charges 2.29% + $0.09 for every in-person card transaction. If you enter the card details manually, the fee rises to 3.49% + $0.09. QR code transactions cost 2.29% + $0.09.
Zettle also offers hardware bundles that provide all you need to accept payments. They include:
Store Kit Mini: This bundle includes a card reader, a charging dock, a stand, and an optional iPad. It costs $249 normally or an extra $459 if you include the iPad.
Store Kit Standard: This bundle includes a card reader, charging dock, device stand, smart printer, and thermal rolls for the smart printer. It costs $499 normally or an extra $459 if you include the iPad.
Store Kit Plus: This includes everything in the Standard bundle plus a barcode scanner. It costs $699 normally or an extra $459 with the iPad.
Store Kit Portable: This bundle includes a card reader, portable printer, and thermal rolls for the portable printer. It costs $339.
Zettle POS: Features
Zettle offers hardware that makes it easy to accept payments from customers and run your business, including:
Zettle Terminal: This is a handheld device that point-of-sale and payments. You can use the POS software to manage your inventory and automatically calculate the price when a customer orders multiple items. Customers can pay by swiping, tapping, or inserting their cards. The money will be collated at the end of each business day and wired to your bank account in 2 to 3 days.
Zettle Reader 2: This is the card reader that Zettle offers. Customers can pay you by swiping, tapping, or inserting their cards just as they’d do with the terminal. But, this device does not come with its built-in POS software. Instead, you’ll download the Zettle mobile app and link it with the card reader to manage your payments.
Barcode Scanner: You can add products to your product library and scan them directly with the barcode scanner when it's time for payment. This way, you'll get the accurate prices of each item and sum them up for customers to pay. Note that this barcode scanner only works with the Zettle iOS mobile app and not the Android app.
The PayPal Zettle mobile app makes it easy to accept payments and run your business. You can easily add products, set prices, and check stock levels from one app. When it's time to pay, just select the products the customer has chosen, and the total price will be calculated automatically. Then, the customer will pay with their card, and you'll confirm the payment in the app.
You can also track business metrics with the Zettle mobile app. For instance, you can identify the best-selling products in your store, manage staff schedules, and monitor sales activities.
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Zettle has the kind of interface you’d expect in a modern app. It’s intuitive, minimal, and uncluttered, which makes the platform easy to navigate. If you check through customer reviews, user-friendliness is a common highlight that you’d see.
Zettle POS: Support
Zettle offers many support resources at your disposal. If you’re having an issue with the platform, you can visit the official help center which contains a collection of guides, user manuals, and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). If you’re not satisfied, then you can contact PayPal’s support staff directly via live chat or telephone. There’s also an online community where you can ask other experienced users for help.
Zettle POS: The competition
Stripe and Wix POS are good point-of-sale alternatives to Zettle. Both of them offer a very user-friendly interface, with features that make it easy to accept payments and run your business. Zettle charges higher fees than Wix but lower fees than Stripe.
Zettle POS: Final Verdict
Zettle is a suitable point-of-sale system for businesses across Europe and the U.S. It makes collecting payments from customers as seamless as possible and provides other features to help you run your business. We’d recommend this point-of-sale system to every interested business.
Apptivo is cloud-based software consisting of a series of apps designed to help businesses thrive, including a customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
With its intuitive interface and scalable functionality, Apptivo is a good option for small- to medium-sized businesses looking to grow, with enough advanced features to appeal to larger enterprises. In this Apptivo review, we evaluate how this CRM compares with some of the best CRM software on the market.
Apptivo review: Snapshot
Apptivo offers a scalable CRM platform that will grow with your business, enabling you to build a CRM solution that suits your specific business needs. Apptivo’s unique app structure is its key strength, as it gives the platform a level of customization and scalability that makes it relevant to SMBs as well as enterprises.
Whether you’re looking for a feature-rich CRM with project management tools, a marketing suite, or finance tools, Apptivo’s apps can cover it. Compared to competitors Insightly and Zoho, Apptivo also works out as more cost-effective, although its free starter plan is weaker than those of other offerings. It also boasts excellent customer service
With all of the essential CRM features you might need on a daily basis at a low price, Apptivo is certainly worth considering if you’re in the market for a versatile CRM platform to help your sales team thrive.
Read on for the full review.
Apptivo: Key features
Apptivo boasts an easy-to-use, intuitive interface that makes it an attractive CRM solution, giving you the option to customize the main navigation menu and page layouts to your liking. The CRM has a unique structure, consisting of a series of apps that bundle together related tools, with more expensive price plans giving you access to a larger number of apps.
The apps cover everything from lead management to project management to invoicing. Apptivo's starter plan gives you access to eight CRM apps, while the enterprise plan offers access to 65 apps that go beyond standard CRM functionality to include marketing, HR, finance, and supply chain features.
The main benefit of Apptivo's unique app structure is that it makes the CRM incredibly customizable and scalable for growing companies, especially those looking to coordinate different areas of the business through one system. However, the sheer breadth of customization on offer may also be overwhelming for some, as the initial setup can be challenging and time-consuming.
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Alongside the Apptivo apps, there are over 40 integrations with third-party apps available, including Google Workspace, Office 365, and Slack. The Google account integration is particularly useful, as it enables automatic syncing of contacts, tasks, calendar appointments, and documents between the two systems.
Despite this, the range of Apptivo's third-party integrations is lacking in comparison to competitors such as Insightly, which offers over 250 third-party integrations.
In terms of CRM functionality, Apptivo offers a robust CRM platform with advanced functionality in lead and opportunity management. The system supports multiple sales pipelines, custom reports and dashboards, automated workflows, product catalogs, mass emailing, and more.
There are also various ways to capture new leads, from inputting them into the system manually to bulk importing contacts. You can also embed a lead capture form on your website or automatically create leads when people email to a specific object.
Another key advantage of Apptivo is its mobile app, which enables you to manage your contacts, opportunities, tasks, and projects from your phone.
Apptivo: What’s new?
Apptivo releases new updates on a weekly basis, publishing detailed explanations of these updates in regular blog posts. Most of these changes involve small improvements to Apptivo apps, offering additional customization options and useful new features.
One of the recent features that has been added is a de-duplication function that prevents you from importing duplicate records. There's also a new automated schedule report feature that enables you to automatically send scheduled reports to recipients via email.
As well as adding new features, Apptivo is continuing to grow its range of third-party integrations and extend the functionality of existing integrations. In a recent update, Apptivo announced an extension to its Quickbooks online integration to enable enhanced syncing.
Apptivo offers a free starter plan, and four paid price plans ranging from Lite (the basic plan) to Enterprise (most advanced). Plans can be billed monthly or annually, with a 20% saving on annual billing. All prices shown in the table below are per user.
Compared to key competitors such as Insightly and Zoho, Apptivo is a very cost-effective CRM solution, representing excellent value for money. However, you should be aware that the free starter plan is very limited, and does not include most essential CRM features. For a fully functional CRM, we recommend choosing a paid plan.
To effectively evaluate Apptivo against its competitors, we tested some of the CRM’s key features and selling points from the perspective of a new user. An intuitive interface and responsive customer support can make a big difference when you’re considering which CRM is right for your business.
Is Apptivo easy to use?
Apptivo offers a relatively user-friendly experience, with most features categorized under two main navigation menus. Although it may take some time for beginners to learn where everything is, when you’re familiar with the interface it’s generally pleasant and easy to use.
Once logged in, you start off on your agenda page, which works similarly to an Outlook calendar and shows you all of your upcoming tasks and appointments. You can switch between different views to see only upcoming tasks or only overdue tasks.
Along the side navigation are several project management tabs to help you manage your workload, such as tasks, emails, notes, follow-ups, work queue, and news feed. The top navigation is where all of your apps are organized into their relevant functions: CRM, marketing, financials, etc. This menu will look different depending on which apps you’ve installed. Here, you can delve into the CRM functions and add new records with relative ease.
While some functions, such as reports and dashboards, may be a little harder to find, the great thing about Apptivo is that the interface is very customizable. Although this process of customizing apps and layout may be initially challenging, it does reap rewards later on, as it means being able to personalize this CRM to suit your needs.
Apptivo’s web-based CRM system also boasts fast page-load speeds. When tested on Google PageSpeed Insights, it achieved a score of 91 out of 100 for desktop, which is considered excellent. This test was conducted on a MacBook Air with a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor and an internet speed of 33Mbps.
Apptivo: Customer service
As well as a comprehensive knowledge base, Apptivo offers 24/7 customer support on all paid plans through email and live chat. In addition, it offers live phone support on weekdays.
To test the responsiveness of Apptivo's customer support, we engaged with the live chat, asking a few simple questions about the interface. We received instant replies from a knowledgeable and friendly support rep, who gave clear answers and directed us to further resources on the knowledge hub.
Overall, Apptivo offers an excellent level of customer support.
Apptivo’s paid plans prove tough to beat in terms of value for money. While competitor Insightly offers fantastic project management tools and an impressive range of third-party integrations, it comes at a steep price, with fewer CRM features on the basic plan.
That said, Apptivo boasts superior opportunity and pipeline management, and is well known for its exceptional reporting. This makes it great for larger pipelines, where advanced analytics can bring good insights.
Zoho CRM is another close competitor, and is a match for Apptivo in terms of customizability. However, it offers fewer project management tools in comparison to both Insightly and Apptivo, and is more expensive than the latter.
Where Zoho stands out from Apptivo is its starter plan. While Apptivo’s free offering is limited to lead and contact management, Zoho offers these features plus deal management, workflows, reporting, and more.
Apptivo: Final verdict
Overall, Apptivo is a strong contender in the CRM market, both for SMBs and enterprises. Compared to its competition, it’s highly cost-effective and offers a comprehensive set of advanced features for its price, including mass emailing, workflow automation, multiple sales pipelines, and custom dashboards.
It also offers a great user experience, with an intuitive and customizable interface, although the initial setup may be challenging due to the breadth of customization options.
Apptivo’s unique app structure makes the platform scalable and customizable for larger organizations, enabling you to build a CRM that suits your business needs exactly. Project management tools, invoicing features, and marketing functions can all be added with an Apptivo app.
Though it would be nice to see Apptivo offer more third-party integrations, it seems that the company is very proactive about updates, and these are likely in the works.
Finally, compared to many of its competitors, Apptivo offers some of the best customer support we’ve encountered, with a live chat option that enables you to speak to a support rep 24/7.
For all of these reasons, we recommend Apptivo as a versatile all-in-one CRM solution that will grow with your business and foster collaboration to close deals more effectively.
Namecheap is best known as a popular domain registrar, where you find and buy whatever dot-com or other name you'd like to use for your website. According to Domainstate, it handles more than 12 million domains: only GoDaddy has more.
But there's much more to Namecheap than domains. The company has a wide range of web hosting products, covering everyone from bargain-hunting first-timers to demanding business users.
Recent additions include Namecheap's own CDN (content delivery network), a technology which accelerates your website speeds for visitors all around the world. The company even has a budget VPN to keep you safe on public Wi-Fi, and allow you to access regional content from other countries.
Namecheap's range starts with low cost and easy-to-use shared hosting, a perfect choice for first-timers and less demanding websites.
WordPress hosting comes optimized for WordPress, adding valuable site management features and delivering extra speed.
VPS and dedicated hosting gives you maximum performance. It's also more complex to manage, and normally a lot more expensive, making these a better choice for business users. But Namecheap does have some low-priced options which make the technology available to everyone (more on that below).
Next, we'll look at each type of hosting in turn, and find out more about what they offer, and which hosting type is best for various common uses.
Namecheap shared hosting
Opting for a shared hosting plan means your site will be hosted on a single server along with many others. That's great for speed, as the server costs are shared across multiple accounts. It hurts speed, because you're also sharing the server's CPU, RAM and network connection, but decent shared hosting plans can still often manage tens of thousands of visits a month.
Namecheap's shared hosting range looks, well, seriously cheap, with headline prices starting at just $1.88 a month over two years ($4.48 on renewal).
A good set of core features includes a free domain, free migration, a bundled website builder, unlimited bandwidth and a minimum of twice-weekly backups. Softaculous is on hand to speedily install WordPress and 150+ other apps, and cPanel has all the power you'll need to manage your web space.
Even the cheapest plan supports hosting three websites, too (the others allow unlimited sites). Most providers only allow a single site on their starter shared plan.
The main catch is SSL only comes free for the first year with all the shared plans. After that, it's a chargeable extra. This isn't expensive at $5.99 a year ($6.99 on renewal), but it does mean Namecheap's shared hosting isn't quite as cheap as it looks.
If that's a concern, consider Hostinger and HostGator. Both have starter prices under $3 a month, also with some compromises, but SSL comes free forever.
Namecheap WordPress hosting
WordPress is a hugely popular website creation platform, easy for beginners to use, yet powerful enough to build huge business websites and leading-edge web stores.
As we've discussed above, you can explore WordPress hosting with Namecheap's shared account. If you're building a very simple website, you're looking for a bargain, or you'd just like to learn the WordPress basics and find out what it could do, the shared hosting route makes a lot of sense.
Namecheap's EasyWP plans are fractionally more expensive, but add more resources and are specially optimized to deliver better WordPress speeds (Namecheap says they're at least three times faster than regular WordPress on its shared hosting account.)
EasyWP Starter has 10GB storage, a free CDN (Content Delivery Network) to boost performance, and supports a single site with up to 50K visitors a month. It looks cheap at $2.08 a month on the annual plan, $2.91 on renewal, although there is one catch: there's no SSL, which adds at least $0.50 a month with Namecheap's most basic certificate.
The other EasyWP plans include SSL for the lifetime of the plan (not just the first year), and add more storage and resources. The top-of-the-range EasyWP Supersonic plan can manage a mammoth 500K visitors a month, but it's still good value at $4.57 a month on the annual plan, $9.07 on renewal.
The EasyWP range could be a smart choice for WordPress newcomers with simple websites and not much cash to spend. Even the monthly billing option is great value. Sign up with EasyWP Starter, the first month is free, and you'll pay only $4.88 a month after that. That's three months to learn WordPress and test the service, all for under $10.
The plans have some weaknesses, too. They support creating only one website, and you don't get the same range of WordPress-oriented features that we see with the best competition.
If Namecheap doesn't have the power you need, take a look at A2 Hosting's Managed WordPress range. The JUMP plan is more expensive ($22.99 on the annual plan), but gets you 250GB of fast NVMe storage, free SSL, premium backups, and support for five WordPress sites, a far more capable choice for advanced users.
Elsewhere, business WordPress users should check out Bluehost's WP Pro range, which adds marketing and SEO tools to the managed WordPress hosting mix. And if you're after the maximum hardware power, InMotion Hosting has WordPress products for VPS and dedicated servers.
Namecheap VPS hosting
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is faster and more configurable than shared hosting. But it's also relatively expensive, and more complex to set up and manage, which means it's not an ideal choice for novice users with simple, low-traffic sites.
If you're an expert or have a more demanding website, though, it's a very different story. A good VPS can give you huge control over your server, and the power to handle hundreds of thousands of visits a month, sometimes for less than the cost of high-end shared hosting.
Namecheap's VPS hosting starts at $6.88 a month billed annually for a 2 CPU core, 2GB RAM, 40GB storage and 1TB bandwidth system. While that looks cheap, keep in mind that it's an unmanaged system, which means you're left to run the server yourself (add, install and update software, restore a failed server, and more.) You don't even get a control panel.
Managed VPS is easier to use, but also more expensive. The unmanaged Quasar plan is $15.88 billed monthly for a 4 core, 6GB RAM, 120GB storage and 3TB bandwidth system. Adding full server management and cPanel lifts the price to $50.76 (and you can add $1.50 a month if you need Softaculous to install WordPress or anything else).
Namecheap's top-of-the-range Magnetar VPS plan is more powerful, with 8 CPU cores, 12GB RAM, 240GB storage and 6TB bandwidth. It's $28.88 billed monthly for an unmanaged system, rising to $63.76 with the managed option.
The major advantage of Namecheap's VPS range is its price. We often recommend Hostwinds' extensive VPS range, but what do you get for $29 a month there? Two CPU cores, 6GB RAM and 100GB storage, a far less capable system.
The problem with Namecheap is it only has three VPS plans, and they're not as configurable as the best of the competition. If Namecheap's choices don't suit your needs, you'll find far more appealing deals elsewhere.
If you're on a budget, IONOS' basic VPS starts at $2 billed monthly, for instance. It's as basic as a VPS gets (1 core, 512MB RAM), but ideal as a cheap way to learn how the technology works.
At the other end of the market, Liquid Web's VPS hosting is crammed with features, with great support, and is mostly for demanding business users.
If you just need maximum choice, check out Hostwinds. It has both cheaper and more powerful plans than Namecheap, they're more configurable, and every VPS is available in Linux and Windows flavors. That's what we call comprehensive.
Namecheap dedicated hosting
Opt for shared or VPS hosting and you're forced to share your web server with others. Sign for a dedicated package, though, and it's entirely yours. RAM, CPU time, the network connection, it's all reserved for your website only, so you'll never again be slowed down by what's happening with other accounts.
Namecheap used to offer only a handful of dedicated server deals, but right now there are 44, more than many competitors. There's something for everyone, with prices starting low at under $50 billed monthly for an unmanaged 4 core, 8GB RAM system, rising to around $250 for a 16 core CPU with 128GB RAM and fast-as-it-gets 4 x 1.92TB SSD NVMe storage. All plans include free site migration and a 99.99% uptime guarantee.
As with VPS hosting, the lowest prices are for unmanaged systems (you must run the server yourself.) Choosing the Complete Management option (Namecheap maintains the server for you) with a cPanel Solo license adds around $65 to the server cost (billed monthly.) But that's still great value, especially as there's no setup fee, and you can pay significantly more elsewhere.
The main issue with Namecheap is the lack of configuration options. You can't take a base server and pay extra to add more RAM, or an extra backup drive, for instance: what you see is more or less what you'll get. There's still no Windows hosting option, and servers are only available in the Arizona data center: you can't choose the UK or Netherlands.
If you don't have any special configuration needs, and you're looking to run a high-traffic or business-critical site where speed and reliability are vital, then Namecheap's lengthy list of base servers and great value should earn it a place on your shortlist.
Also consider IONOS. It doesn't have as many server plans, but there are some very cheap managed and unmanaged deals, and other options you won't find at Namecheap (Windows hosting on some servers, storage servers with up to 48TB storage and US or Europe data centers).
Elsewhere, both A2 Hosting and InMotion Hosting have a wide range of managed and unmanaged plans, with unusually flexible billing to keep costs down (1, 3, 6 and 12 months.) And if you're looking for real power, check out Liquid Web. Its high-end servers can handle just about anything, and the company's 100% uptime and power guarantee (and excellent support) should get you an ultra-reliable service.
Does Namecheap have a website builder?
If you don't have a website yet, and WordPress looks too complicated, a website builder could be the answer. Choose a starting design from a site gallery, then add content to a page by dragging and dropping text, images, maps, contact forms and more.
Namecheap includes a free website builder with its shared hosting packages. This has 230 templates of various types (business, blogs, food, more), and a decent selection of widgets allows you to add plenty of content to your site: image galleries, maps, forms, blogs, products listings, payment buttons and more. It's not a bad product, especially for free, and provides an easy alternative to WordPress for simple site-creating tasks.
Namecheap also has a paid website builder called Visual. Answer a few questions, upload an image or two, choose a color scheme and Visual automatically creates your site. You can then replace the default text with your own, and add pre-built blocks to insert new content, such as forms and photo galleries.
Namecheap doesn't stop with the website. Bonus free tools allow you to create a logo, design business cards and more.
This isn't the most powerful of website builders (there's no web store support, for instance), but it's enough for simple personal sites, and the price is right. Visual is $3.88 billed monthly, with a free SSL certificate, 99.99% uptime, and support for creating a single site. There's a free .contact, .design or .xyz domain, too, though beware, .com, .net and other top-level domains must be purchased separately.
HostGator's Gator website builder and Hostinger's Zyro have more features, and support adding a web store. They're cheap in the first term, too (Zyro is priced from $2.99 a month), although the best deals require long-term contracts, and the prices jump on renewal.
Can I build a web store with Namecheap?
Namecheap doesn't have any specialist ecommerce products, at least yet (we suspect the new Visual website builder will add something soon), but you're free to build a web store using any of the company's shared, dedicated or VPS hosting plans.
Sign up for shared hosting, for instance, and you'll get a copy of Softaculous. It's a capable platform which can help you install OpenCart, PrestaShop, WooCommerce or other ecommerce systems. Namecheap doesn't give you any special tools or store-building support to point you in the right direction, so you'll have to learn the basics yourself, but it's not too difficult (if you know your way around WordPress, you can learn WooCommerce.)
If you're looking for something simpler, try HostGator's Gator or Hostinger's Zyro website builders. Both make it easy to create a site, and have the option to add a web store. Bluehost's WooCommerce plans are a good mid-range alternative which add a bunch of useful business-friendly marketing extras, and Wix has great templates, piles of features, and the power to build almost anything.
How fast is Namecheap?
We measure a hosting provider's performance by signing up for a shared hosting account, installing a simple WordPress site, then putting it through a series of intensive tests.
First, we have monitoring service Uptime.com attempt to access our site every five minutes, logging the results and how long the server takes to respond each time. Namecheap scored a perfect 100% uptime, and its average response time was an acceptable 0.436 seconds (that's a very mid-range 8th fastest in our last 15 tests).
Next, we use GTmetrix to access a sample page and calculate how long it takes for the main content to load, a figure technically known as Largest Contentful Paint, or LCP. The lower the LCP, the faster your pages are likely to appear in the browser, and the happier your visitors should be.
Namecheap's LCP was a little slower than average at 0.789 seconds, ranking the company 11th in our last 15 reviews (most providers score around 0.6 to 0.8 seconds.) That's a little disappointing, but it's still an acceptable time, and way ahead of some of the budget competition (the last placed iPage scored 1.6 seconds).
One-off load times are important, but it's also important to know how a site copes when it's really busy. We used the stress-testing site k6 to unleash 20 simultaneous visitors on our test site and watch what happens.
Namecheap's results were a little below average, with the site handling an average 12 requests per second and a peak of 16.33. (Most providers averaged 14-16 requests per second and peaked at around 20.)
Our tests suggest Namecheap delivers at best lower mid-range shared hosting performance. But although it's trailing the speed leaders, Namecheap's times would be perfectly acceptable for many sites, and there's more than enough power here for many personal and small business sites.
(Keep in mind that our figures and comparisons only relate to shared hosting plans. If you're shopping for VPS, dedicated or other plans, you may see entirely different results.)
How easy is Namecheap to use?
Namecheap's account control panel looks a little cluttered at first glance, with lists, and sidebars, and menus and icons everywhere you look. But spend just a moment exploring, and it begins to make a lot more sense.
There's a list of your domains over here, for instance, hosting panels over there, and some of these pages are hugely useful. Visit your hosting plan's Manage panel, for instance, and you'll find its disk space and bandwidth allowance; server hostname, IP address and data center; cPanel Launch button and shortcuts; usage stats, auto-renewal settings, a Cancel button and more.
That's a huge improvement on many providers, where key settings and options are scattered around, and you can spend an age trying to find the features and details you need.
You'll probably spend more time managing your website rather than your hosting plan, of course, but Namecheap scores here, too. While IONOS, iPage and some other hosts try to cut corners by providing their own custom management tools, Namecheap uses industry standards such as Softaculous to install and manage WordPress, and cPanel to set up your domains, emails and just about everything else.
This is good news, for a couple of reasons. First, it's a guarantee of quality (that's how these tools got to be industry standards.) But mostly, it makes life easier for everyone. If you've ever used cPanel or Softaculous before, you'll feel at home here immediately. And even if you haven't, the time you spend learning the cPanel basics won't be wasted. If you move from Namecheap in a few years, there's a good chance your next provider will also use cPanel, and you'll already know how to do all your most important hosting tasks.
What is Namecheap's support like?
Namecheap has 24/7 support via its website, live chat and ticket (there's no telephone support).
The web knowledgebase is a vast collection of articles organized into common hosting categories: email, SSL certificates, domains, EasyWP (Namecheap's WordPress range), and more.
Choosing a section like WordPress displays articles in subsections: Getting Started (Dashboard Overview, How to create a website etc.), WordPress migration, plugins and themes (How to install a new theme), database access, domains and more.
It's both hugely comprehensive, and also surprisingly easy to use. Just scrolling down the WordPress category page reveals articles that many users will want to read: 'What's the different between managed WordPress hosting and shared hosting?', 'How to access your WordPress dashboard?', 'How to improve WordPress website security', and many more. This isn't just a place for troubleshooting specific issues; it's somewhere we might happily visit just to learn about a product.
Sometimes you need to solve an immediate problem, of course, and that's where live chat comes in. This worked well for us: chat was always available, the longest we waited for a conversation to begin was around three minutes, and the agents did a good job of identifying our issues, and clearly explaining what to do next.
Our test ticket left us waiting for a little longer, but we still had a reply in around 90 minutes. It was helpful, summarizing everything we needed to know in a single paragraph, and providing a link if we needed to know more.
The lack of any phone option might be an issue for some, but overall Namecheap's support worked well for us, especially considering the (very low) prices you're paying. If this is a key priority for you, check out the support site for yourself; you don't have to be a customer to view it, and just browsing the categories and articles will give you a good idea of how the service could work for you.
Namecheap’s hosting doesn’t quite have the power or features you’ll see with the best of the competition, but it could be a smart value choice for first-timers with relatively basic sites, or businesses who can make good use of its more powerful dedicated hosting range.
Namecheap web hosting FAQs
What payment types does Namecheap support?
Namecheap accepts payments via card, PayPal and Bitcoin.
Does Namecheap offer refunds?
Namecheap's refund policy is far more complicated than most providers, with all kinds of special clauses and exceptions. Scala Hosting describes its money-back guarantee in under 140 words; Hostwinds, under 180; Namecheap needs more than 1,500.
If we summarize that, as a general rule, Namecheap offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for most shared and VPS hosting packages, and 7 days for dedicated hosting. Add-on products and services mostly aren't covered, with a few exceptions (some domain name renewals are refundable if you make a request within five days of purchase, for instance).
Although we'd prefer a policy that's a little simpler to follow, Namecheap's 30 day refund period is standard for the industry. If you need more, HostGator offers 45 days, InMotion Hosting an exceptional 90 days on many plans.
Does Namecheap have an uptime guarantee?
Namecheap has a 99.9% uptime guarantee for its VPS and reseller accounts, and, unusually, a 100% uptime guarantee for its other shared and dedicated hosting plans.
For every hour of unscheduled maintenance or downtime you experience in a month, Namecheap will offer you a day for free, up to a maximum of one month's free hosting.
This isn't quite as good as it sounds. Other providers typically have a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which translates to an acceptable downtime of 43.83 minutes a month. Although Namecheap specifies a 100% uptime guarantee, it won't begin to pay out until your site has been down for a total of one hour: the company is allowing itself more downtime, not less.
Despite that, Namecheap's deal is still better than we see with many providers. GoDaddy has a 99.9% uptime guarantee, for instance, but if it doesn't meet that, you can only receive a maximum 5% credit for your monthly fee.
Where are Namecheap's data centers?
Web hosts run and maintain their servers in buildings called data centers. A good web host should have plenty of web hosts around the world, and allow you to choose which one will host your site. If your audience is in California, say, selecting a US data center will get you much better performance than something in Australia.
Namecheap has data centers in the USA, UK and Netherlands. There's a catch in an unusual extra $1 a month for choosing the UK or Netherlands locations for some plans (look carefully in the shopping cart when you pick a data center, to be sure you're not caught out.) But if you can live with the price, that should deliver good results for both North American and European customers.
Namecheap's locations aren't much help if you're in Asia, though, and some providers have a more global reach. For example, GoDaddy has data centers in North America, India, Singapore and Europe.
What is my Namecheap IP address?
It's sometimes useful to know the IP address of the server hosting your website. For example, this can help you point a domain you've registered elsewhere to point at your Namecheap web space. Whatever the reason you need the IP, it only takes a moment to locate. Here's what to do.
Log into your Namecheap control panel (ap.www.namecheap.com).
Click 'Hosting List' in the left-hand sidebar.
Find your plan in the Hosting Subscription list, and click its 'GO TO CPANEL' button on the right-hand side.
Look at the General Information box on the right-hand side. Your server IP is listed as the 'Shared IP Address'.
(If you don't see a General Information, find and click the Server Information link).
What are Namecheap's nameservers?
If you have a Namecheap shared hosting package (Stellar, Stellar Plus or Stellar Business), you must use the nameservers dns1.namecheaphosting.com and dns2.namecheaphosting.com.
Log into your Namecheap control panel (ap.www.namecheap.com).
Click 'Hosting List' on the left-hand side.
If you'd like a plan to expire when its subscription ends, click Auto-Renew to turn it off.
To cancel a plan right now, click the arrow to the right of the 'GO TO CPANEL' link and click Manage.
Click Cancel Service to open the cancellation page and complete its various steps. Be sure to read everything carefully, because there are important details here. You may be told if you can (or can't) get a refund, for instance, and if there's anything else you need to do to cancel the account.
Where can I find my Namecheap support PIN?
Contact Namecheap support with any account-related question and the agent will ask for a support PIN, a secret number which verifies that you're the real account owner.
If you can't remember your PIN, log into the Namecheap account panel (ap.www.namecheap.com), then hover your mouse over (or just click) your account name top-left of the screen. The Security page appears, and your support PIN is listed on the left, in the Access section.
Alternatively, to access the Security page directly, click Profile, Security in the left-hand sidebar.