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Ooma Office VoIP service review
6:11 pm | November 15, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phone & Communications Pro | Comments: Off

Ooma Office VoIP for businesses was designed for smaller companies with just a few employees, meaning the software is extremely easy to use, which might help in the ranking of the best VoIP services

On the other hand, Ooma Office doesn’t have all of the advanced features you might expect as your business scales up. So, it may not be the best VoIP service if you plan to grow your operations and expand your staff pool.

One thing we're keenly aware of at TechRadar is that every business has very specific – and often quite different – needs, and so making broad-based recommendations for software is very hard. In that spirit, we recommend checking out some of Roma's rivals, like GoTo Connect, 8x8, and Zoom, to make sure you're getting the best. 

In our Ooma Office review, we’ll cover everything you need to know to decide if this VoIP service is right for your business. Let's dive in. 

Ooma Office pricing October 2022

(Image credit: Ooma)

Ooma Office VoIP: Plans and pricing

Ooma Office starts at $19.95 per user per month, and offers a wide variety of VoIP features, including call routing, digital voicemail, and multi-device ringing. However, the basic plan doesn’t include the Ooma Office desktop app, call recording, or voicemail transcription.

For those features, you’ll need the Ooma Office Pro plan, which costs $24.95 per user per month and adds video conferencing via the desktop app and enhanced robocall blocking, as well as Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 integrations. For a lot more features and not a lot more money, we think this mid-tier plan represents the best value for money.

Sitting at the top is Pro Plus, which costs $29.95 per user per month. While it’s refreshing to see a fairly small price gap between Ooma’s cheapest and most expensive plans (compared with other VoIP rivals where you can expect to pay double for the most expensive), it’s not the most feature-filled option out there. 

The highlights of Pro Plus include call queuing, support for hot desking, and salesforce integration.

For those features, you’ll need the Ooma Office Pro plan, which costs $24.95 per user per month. This plan also adds video conferencing via the desktop app and enhanced robocall blocking.

We recommend checking out the Ooma pricing page to see the specific features your organisation might need, and which plan they belong to. 

Ooma Office features October 2022

(Image credit: Ooma)

Ooma Office VoIP: Features

All users get access to the Ooma Office phone service through an Ooma-enabled desktop phone. You can also place and receive calls using your smartphone with the Ooma Office mobile app. The service also supports SMS text messages.

One of the key features within Ooma Office is the ability to create ring groups. These come in handy if you have multiple employees who could answer a specific call. For example, your sales team and your customer service team could each have their own ring group.

When someone calls a number associated with a ring group, all phones in the group can ring simultaneously, so that anyone can answer right away. Alternatively, you can set up the ring group so that one phone rings first, and then the call switches to ringing another phone if no one picks up. This sort of customization on a relatively cheap service for small businesses is pretty noteworthy. 

Ooma Office’s virtual receptionist dovetails nicely with ring groups. With the virtual receptionist, you can play a recorded message for customers when they call your business and present options for different extensions to dial. 

The virtual receptionist enables customers to dial a specific extension if they’re familiar with your company and want to bypass a ring group. Helpfully, you can have different messages play depending on whether a call comes in during or after business hours.

Unfortunately, some features that many small businesses would consider essential are restricted to Pro users. For instance, you cannot place calls from your computer without the desktop app, which is only available with a Pro subscription. 

You also need a Pro subscription to record calls or to read transcripts of your voicemail messages. Maybe more fortunately, as we’ve already touched upon, is the fact that upgrading between the three tiers of subscription only costs an additional $5 each, which is respectably low.

Ooma Office falls severely short of the mark when it comes to reporting and integration. This VoIP service doesn’t have a dedicated administration dashboard, and there is no way to track call volume or duration. In fact, you can’t easily see how many calls have been placed to a specific employee or ring group. For a small business or a startup, this might not be a key priority, but as things start to grow, gathering analytics will prove to be vital.

In previous versions of this review, we complained about the lack of third-party integrations. This time around, Ooma has fixed this issue with the introduction of Office 365 and Google integrations for Pro, and salesforce integration for Pro Plus, but this still leaves Ooma behind some key rivals offering way more in terms of additional tools.

Ooma Office review

(Image credit: Ooma Office)

Ooma Office VoIP: User interface

The thing we liked best about Ooma Office is that it’s incredibly easy to use. You can configure your account settings online, and it only takes a few minutes to add all of your business's users and extensions. Setting up more complex options like ring groups and the virtual receptionist is fast and easy, too.

We found that most settings within Ooma Office could be customized. For example, when setting up ring groups, you can choose how long one phone should ring before the call moves on to the next extension in the group. You can also create an unlimited number of custom recordings for the virtual receptionist. 

Ooma Office Pro users will be very happy with the desktop app, which supports a centralized company directory, and can launch an audio or video conference with coworkers in just a few clicks. There’s also an option to host a company-wide speed dial, although this gets less useful as the number of people in your company grows.

Ooma Office review

(Image credit: Ooma Office)

Ooma Office VoIP: Support

Ooma offers 24/7 support for business users by phone, email, and live chat.

The company also has a very thorough online support center, where you’ll find detailed tutorials for how to set up your phone network, as well as videos walking you through how to use key features like ring groups and the virtual receptionist.

Ooma Office review

(Image credit: Ooma Office)

Ooma Office VoIP: Security

All calls between two devices using Ooma Office are fully encrypted, and the service also encrypts video calls.

Still, we think Ooma Office could do more to keep your account and communications secure. The platform doesn’t offer two-factor authentication, so there’s very little to protect your phone network if your password is stolen. 

In addition, you can password-protect video meetings, but you cannot lock a meeting room so that new users can’t enter without being approved first.

As more and more VoIP companies venture into the video conferencing market, Ooma seems a little left behind in this respect.

Ooma Office VoIP: The competition

At $24.95 per user per month, Ooma Office Pro isn’t particularly cheap or expensive, and because of that, there is a lot of competition. We think there are many more robust VoIP services for small businesses for a similar price.

For example, the Nextiva Essential package for SMB teams of 5-19 is much less at $21.95 per user per month (when paid annually). Of course, it comes with less service features than the Nextiva Professional package which is $25.95 per user per month on an annual basis.

But price isn't everything. Another competitor known for their quality service is, GoTo Connect, which also costs a smidge more at $27 per user per month if you have at least five users.

GoTo Connect offers call recording, video conferencing, an incredibly flexible call routing system, and integrations for enterprise-scale software like Salesforce. In addition, administrators can access detailed reports about the call volume your business is getting and where those calls are coming from.

We also recommend checking out RingCentral, Zoom, 8x8, Aircall, Vonage, and some of our other picks for the best VoIP services


(Image credit: Ooma)

Ooma Office VoIP: Final verdict

Ooma Office is a straightforward VoIP service that can be good for small businesses with just a handful of employees. It offers a virtual receptionist for incoming calls, supports video conferencing, and is very easy to use. 

However, given that Ooma Office isn’t a budget VoIP service, we were disappointed with what it doesn’t offer. The administrative and reporting tools are minimal, and integrations with popular office applications are far from extensive, too.

Overall, we think that competing VoIP services offer more value for growing small businesses than Ooma Office.

Aircall VoIP review
7:25 pm | November 9, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phone & Communications Pro | Comments: Off

One of the best VoIP services to consider for ease of us is Aircall's VoIP offering: presented as a slick and simple approach to managing business calls and your overall VoIP business phone system. 

Although designed for customer management teams, the software can be used by a variety of professionals looking to start conversations anywhere in the world, from small businesses to larger enterprises.

There are, of course, a huge array of VoIP options available in 2024, from the likes of Zoom to RingCentral to 8x8, and all of them have their own pros and cons. Some are ideally suited to sole traders, for example, while others can seamlessly handle calls with over 200 participants. 

It's worth checking out each individual service to make the right decision, especially as your needs are unlike to be exactly identical to another business's. 

In this Aircall review, we investigate how this valuable cloud-based call center software could suit your particular business needs, and compare it to available VoIP alternatives.

Aircall pricing October 2022

(Image credit: Aircall)

Aircall VoIP: Plans and pricing

Aircall offers three tiers of subscription for organizations: Essentials, Professional, and Custom. Let's run through each. 

The basic Essentials plan is filled with features, like access to over 100 integrations (which is usually the reserve of more expensive plans) and unlimited domestic calls. There’s also support for call queuing,  ring groups, extensions, and recording. This package does have a lot to offer for SMBs, however larger companies may struggle with its three-team limit, plus the lack of more premium features. While it’s great for smaller companies, it’s not cheap, at $40 per user per month.

Next up, Professional add things like call monitoring and whispering, more detailed analytics, and Salesforce integration, which are ideal for larger companies with sales in mind. Companies with more than 15 employees also get a dedicated account manager and personalized onboarding sessions that sets this above many of its rivals. It’s almost double the price, though, at $70 per user per month, which is especially expensive. 

Finally, if your business wants to tailor its plan to specific needs, you can speak to Aircall about their Custom plan, which can include as much or as little as required.

As ever, there are savings to be had for annual payments, bringing the monthly equivalent costs down to $30 and $50 for Essentials and Professional, respectively, marking savings of between 25% and 29% – not too bad. 

Aircall features October 2022

(Image credit: Aircall)

Aircall VoIP: Features

Aircall offers an extremely flexible phone management system. 

Calls can be made from both desktop and mobile devices, allowing work to be done both on an in-office basis and on the go – ideal for teams operating remotely.

There is also the option of voicemail personalization, which lets users pre-record messages to greet callers when they are unavailable. This is a great option for those looking to improve customer experience, as generic hold music is rarely welcomed. 

The downside to Aircall is that although the software includes a conferencing option, it's limited to five people and doesn’t include video options. However, this won’t be an issue for those who are operating traditional call centers and wouldn’t prioritize video calling options. Most other VoIP platforms also have video conferencing suites, though, which makes Aircall look a little expensive by comparison.

These core features can also be connected to the business tools you use to operate effectively, with the option of integrating 100+ compatible cloud-based technologies. You might use these integrations for CRM, for transcribing voice calls, or for automatically sending satisfaction surveys to gather feedback on your team’s performance.

Aircall GIF demonstrating how the service works for business

(Image credit: Aircall)

Building a network of shared contacts is also a simple process: users can sync Aircall with Google Apps, Pipedrive, and similar apps, importing data such as contact details for customers.

Users of Aircall can distribute calls by forwarding them to more suitable team members and adding briefs and comments to give the assignee more context. This assignment option is useful as it saves time spent chasing the most appropriate team member to handle the case. 

If the selected team member is unavailable, Aircall chooses the next available team member or adds the call to a queue. This also benefits callers who might previously have spent a long time on hold, improving their relationship with the company.

With Aircall, you can access real-time metrics and track how your organization is doing. Tracking includes call volume, missed call rates, and wait times, with all data stored in one place. This makes reporting on performance accurate and straightforward. It also enables team managers to identify the success rates of new workflows and make changes depending on the results.

Aircall VoIP: User interface

Aircall interface

(Image credit: Aircall)

Everything in Aircall is accessible from its sleek dashboard, including contact lists and the dialer app itself (where all calls are made). Other features, including support, can be found by using the Quick Search option within the dashboard. 

The initial setup of Aircall is quick. Users first need to download the app onto their computer before logging in and getting started with making calls. Users can then configure settings and call preferences, build their team, and edit their account settings from the dashboard.

Calls, assignments, and requests can also be managed using Aircall’s Android and iOS apps. Usability-wise, both the app and the desktop layout are minimalistic, reducing distraction and confusion.

Aircall VoIP: Support

Aircall review

(Image credit: Aircall)

Aircall provides an extensive knowledge base for all users, along with resources and materials to help users better understand how the software works in practice, and offers onboarding guides so that each new team member can easily get started. 

Live chat support is available on the Aircall website for users of all tiers, as well as on user dashboards. The website also has a chatbot, so responses are near-instant.

Every tier gets phone and email support, but it’s only larger organizations on Professional or Custom plans that get the most personalized approach. Not many other companies offer something like this.

Aircall security

(Image credit: Aircall)

Aircall VoIP: Security

Aircall takes security seriously. 

All customer data is encrypted, protected, and stored in data centers. The company follows recommendations from security frameworks including SOC2 and PCI/DSS. Aircall doesn’t store passwords or customers’ credit card information.

Data protection

Aircall also operates a vendor management program that is designed to protect sensitive information and complies with all relevant laws. The VoIP provider evaluates all new vendors to ensure they meet internal security and privacy standards. 

Integration security

For many  VoIP services, having a large number of integrations with third-party services is essential. For Aircall, this means having partnerships with big-name CRM players like Salesforce and HubSpot, as well as integrations with smaller players like transcription platform Jiminny and recruitment service Bullhorn. 

While the larger players are likely to already be adhering to the highest security standards, smaller third-party services are more of an unknown quantity. That’s why it’s reassuring that Aircall vets all its integrations before approval. 

Given that the number of cyberattacks targeting VoIP platforms have risen significantly recently as more companies resort to Internet-based communications following the boom of the hybrid working routine, Aircall’s security standards should provide businesses with a little more peace of mind.

Furthermore, Aircall regularly performs penetration testing and operates a generous bug bounty program to ensure that any vulnerabilities that are present are discovered and patched before the bad actors become aware of them.

Security expertise

In addition, Aircall runs a blog examining certain issues related to VoIP technology - including existing security issues. The company walks through some of the main attack vectors, including vishing, DDoS attacks, eavesdropping and phreaking. 

As well as cyberattacks, VoIP users will also be keen to ensure that they select a reliable VoIP service. Again, Aircall scores highly here, regularly backing up customer data and using AWS as a hosting provider to ensure a resilient service.

Aircall review

(Image credit: Aircall)

Aircall VoIP: The competition

There is a growing marketplace for internet-based communication platforms, so if Aircall isn’t right for you, there are others to consider. RingCentral, for example, costs a similar amount per month but has the added benefit of video call support.

DialPad offers a longer trial for new users, giving them more time to experiment with the software, while GoToConnect has an equally impressive list of features as Aircall. However, both fail to offer the extensive integrations available with Aircall, making it a more customizable option.

Elsewhere, Zoom, 8x8, Vonage, and Ooma all have compelling offerings. 

Aircall logo and GIF

(Image credit: Aircall)

Aircall VoIP: Final verdict

Aircall helps users personalize workflows, learn how they work best, and drive productivity within teams. While Aircall may be one of the more expensive VoIPs, it could make a huge difference for SMBs requiring a flexible and powerful approach to CRM.

We came away very impressed with the overall package, the array of help and support (across all tiers), and the general ease-of-use. 

Microsoft Teams Phone review
7:22 pm | August 25, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phone & Communications Pro | Comments: Off

If your business relies on receiving incoming customer phone calls or maintaining team communication between different locations, then ensuring that you have a reliable phone infrastructure in place is imperative. 

As many businesses make the switchover from private branch exchange (PBX) to voice over internet protocol (VoIP), it can often seem like a daunting prospect to migrate an entire business’s telephony system.

Right now, there are a huge array of VoIP services for businesses of all sizes, from sole traders to multi-hundred-employee operations. 

Today, we're looking at Microsoft Teams Phone, taking you through the functionality and features of Microsoft’s IP telephony offering to see if it is one of the best VoIP services for your business. 

This isn’t a review of the entire Teams platform – we have a dedicated Teams review for the video conferencing side of things, as well as reviews of Microsoft 365, Microsoft Word, and its other apps. 

One thing we need to stress before we begin: the VoIP market has a lot of different options, from the likes of GoTo Connect to RingCentral to Zoom, and we recommend taking the time to check out each one, their pros and cons, before making a choice. 

Let's dive in. 

Microsoft Teams Phone

(Image credit: Microsoft Teams Phone)

Microsoft Teams Phone: Plans and pricing

To use Microsoft Teams as a phone system, your business needs to have one of the three Office 365 enterprise plans (named E1, E3, and E5)

With E1 ($10/month per user) and E3 ($23/month per user), businesses will need to purchase additional licenses to use Teams as a phone system, however for users of the E5 plan, this is all included in the cost of $38/month per user. 

Microsoft Teams Phone pricing October 2022

(Image credit: Microsoft)

While these prices seem pretty high (after all, they have increased by $2-3 in the past few months), all users get access to Office apps in the browser and on mobile, with E3 and E5 plans bringing desktop apps to the party, too. 

Then there’s the access to Outlook, the Teams video conferencing suite, at least 1TB of OneDrive storage, and a lot more that would take an entire dedicated webpage to explain. Ultimately, this means that if you’re prepared to rely on the entire Microsoft ecosystem, there are huge savings to be had,

A domestic calling plan consisting of 3,000 domestic minutes is $12/month per user. Meanwhile, a combined calling plan of 3,000 domestic minutes and 600 international minutes costs $24/month per user. Each user must have a call plan, although unused minutes can be pooled if there are differing levels of usage between colleagues.

If your business has several meeting rooms with conference phones, then these will require a separate license of $15/month per device.

Microsoft Teams Phone System review

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Teams Phone: Features

Microsoft Teams Phone enables businesses to access features such as call queues, call forwarding, voicemail, transferring, auto attendants that can be configured for office hours, out of office hours and holidays, call parking, call blocking, group call pickups, and call delegation.

One of Microsoft Teams’ core features is Presence, which shows an individual user’s real-time availability, letting coworkers have a quick visual indicator before parking and transferring calls through to colleagues. 

One feature that the system is lacking is functionality for complex calling requirements, such as those that may be required by a call center. It's not possible to set up more complex hunter groups or ring settings further than the three default call distribution configurations. 

There is no native call recording functionality, and while there are workarounds available, there are no third-party apps currently available to do this. 

For businesses that use a customer relationship management (CRM) system, there is currently no integration between the phone system and any CRM platforms. This means that it is unable to automatically log incoming or outgoing calls on any platform, including Microsoft’s own CRM software, Dynamics. 

While there is reporting available within Microsoft 365, this is mostly focused on call quality and allowing businesses to troubleshoot any issues with devices on the system. Users are unable to drill down into many granular details that are used as key performance indicators, for example, ring times.

Microsoft Teams Phone System review

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Teams Phone: User interface

The Microsoft Teams interface is available on all platforms and is incredibly easy to navigate, particularly for businesses that already use Teams as standard. 

For those who are new to Teams, a degree of planning is required to ensure that new users can get off to a good start. Auditing your company’s staff and the various departments, roles, and teams before installation will allow for ease when setting up user groups. (For example, by sorting individual sales employees into a group, an administrator will be able to set up a telephone hunter group to ring all sales lines if a sales agent’s phone isn’t picked up within a certain amount of rings.)

While there are apps for Microsoft Teams on iOS and Android, if call forwarding is enabled on the system there are no requirements for users to download the Microsoft Teams app to their phone. If you prefer to work from a mobile phone, you’ll be pleased to know that the company is committed to making this easier. 

As well as the ability to transfer calls between devices (the same principle as Handoff for macOS and iOS), there’s a CarPlay app for Teams which extends to the VoIP offering.

The system uses Microsoft’s Global Delivery Network, allowing for it to be rolled out to a business of any size, with the ability to scale up to with minimal disruption. Additionally, as Microsoft updates its features regularly, users will always have access to the latest version and releases without any additional upgrade costs.

Microsoft Teams Phone System review

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Teams Phone: Support

The Microsoft 365 website has a feature-rich help and support section that contains videos, blogs, and documents to help users make the most of the platform.

Unfortunately, Microsoft does not have 24/7 live support. For any problems that arise, a ticket needs to be logged, and contact times can take up to a few hours. 

The quality of the support can vary as well, with some issues being fixed quickly, while others may take multiple tickets to be resolved.

Given that Microsoft is such a large company in most aspects of home and business technology today, we would like to see some class-leading support on offer here.

Microsoft Teams Phone System review

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Teams Phone: Security

If your business uses the E3 and E5 plans, additional security features come as a standard, including Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics, which incorporates advanced security, compliance, and analytical capabilities.

All data that is stored by Microsoft is SSL encrypted both at rest and in transit, and any audio and video that operates through Teams are run through SRTP. 

There have been concerns over the security of Microsoft Teams after a number of vulnerabilities were discovered during 2020, however Microsoft does release fixes regularly and it’s not alone in facing security mishaps – this is fairly common as technology advances. 

What’s important is that there have been no major disasters. Also, Microsoft security can be complicated, with many different licenses and add-ons required to ensure compliance in some industries.

Microsoft Teams Phone: The competition

There are many alternatives to Microsoft Teams Phone on the market, offering cloud-based VoIP systems that are worth considering. 

RingCentral MVP is equal in price per user and has much stronger call center features: automatic call recording, CRM integration for major platforms such as Zendesk and Salesforce, and 24/7 live support. In addition, RingCentral can integrate with Microsoft Teams. 

Another option is GoTo Connect, which offers similar features to Microsoft Teams Phone but has a much more simplified, per user pricing structure. Along with cost, Connect has much of the same functionality as Microsoft Teams, but includes SMS services and geolocation forwarding, and can also be integrated with Teams. 

We'd also recommend checking out 8x8, Zoom, Aircall, Vonage, and our other picks for the best VoIP services

Microsoft Teams Phone

(Image credit: Microsoft Teams Phone)

Microsoft Teams Phone: Final verdict

For those who already use Microsoft Teams, the ease of moving over to the VoIP offering is a big plus, and it’s also ideal for businesses that are looking to scale up in the future, as purchasing additional user licenses can be completed in minutes.  

The system does come with its flaws, though, and is not a good fit for businesses that require more complex phone configurations. In addition, the cost of purchasing the licenses and call plans can quickly add up if your business has heavy telephone usage, or if you want to use different solutions for other aspects of your business operations which means paying for multiple subscriptions. 

The lack of 24/7 support from Microsoft is also a concern when it comes to troubleshooting and potential downtime. Businesses that want 24/7 support with the system can however get this through a third-party supplier.

Finally, unlike some of its rivals, Microsoft is an incredibly well-established company, and so if you go to the effort of setting up Teams Phone – and buying into the Microsoft ecosystem more generally – the service won't disappear one fine day. 

8×8 Virtual Office Pro VoIP service review
6:42 pm | July 25, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phone & Communications Pro | Comments: Off

Read our review of the latest all-in-one communications platform from 8x8: the 8x8 X Series. The name Virtual Office Pro has been retired by 8x8. 

With 128 patents under its belt and over 40,000 customers, 8x8 is a force to be reckoned with in the cloud-based communications department. 

Please note

This is our all-in-one roundup looking at the 8x8 Virtual Office Pro VoIP service. On this page, after our brief intro, you’ll find 

(a) an overview of the available pricing plans 

(b) a detailed breakdown of the key features users can expect

(c) a look at how the 8x8 Virtual Office Pro VoIP service compares against the competition

(d) we examine 8x8's security credentials

You can jump to the review section that interests you most by clicking on the links in the bar at the top of this page, but bear in mind that this article is really designed to be read all the way through, as businesses will benefit from assessing the service in its entirety before deciding if it meets their needs. 

What started out as a small-time seller of semiconductors has slowly but surely evolved into a sweltering behemoth in the Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, market.

Nowadays, 8x8 offers products that appeal not only to small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs), but it’s also branched out to more mainstream enterprise companies and call centers. 

8x8 Virtual Office Pro in particular leans more toward mid-sized business customers. It once existed as an add-on for the three base editions of Virtual Office, including the $25 (£19.26) per user per month X2 Edition, the $35 (£26.96) per user per month X5 Edition and the $55 (£42.37) per user per month X8 Edition. 

That said, a customer service agent confirmed to us in an online sales chat that Virtual Office Pro is now considered a legacy product unavailable to new customers. Its unique features – call recording, web conferencing and internet fax – are now folded into the X5 Edition and X8 Edition of the service. So with that, let’s take a look at the distinctions among this trio of Virtual Office packages.

Pricing plans


Even at the baseline price of $25 (£19.26) a month for each user, you can expect a lot of meat from the 8x8 Virtual Office X2 Edition plan. For one, every user gets their own phone line, complete with their own exclusive phone number and a virtual extension for receiving rerouted calls. On top of that, they get unlimited calling to 14 countries including Canada, Australia, the UK, and the United States.

Unlimited internet fax, which was originally found only in the Virtual Office Pro add-on, now comes with the Virtual Office X2 Edition as well. You can also count on an auto-attendant, voicemail and integration with the Salesforce, ZenDesk and Netsuite CRM services. There’s some integration with Microsoft Outlook, too, though it’s mostly limited to pinging people with alert emails and scheduling meetings. Purchasing the Virtual Office X2 Edition gives you 1GB of media storage.  

Next up is the $35 (£26.96) 8x8 Virtual Office X5 Edition, which packs everything you’ll find in the X2 Edition but then ups the ante with Virtual Office Pro’s call recording, and an operator switchboard. Instead of unlimited calling to 14 countries, the count is more than doubled up to 32. Therefore, if you need to make frequent calls to China, Denmark or South Korea, you’ll probably want to opt for at least the X5 Edition. Media storage is bumped up to 5GB. 

Key features


Lastly, the 8x8 Virtual Office X8 Edition introduces a host of additional features absent from the other service packs. It’s $55 (£42.37) per user per month, but it justifies its loftier price tag with call quality reporting and analytics, an analytics supervisor and a wealth of contact center trappings. You get inbound contact center support, outbound contact center support, 2,000 contact center minutes, 3 months of contact center recording storage, contact center IVR and contact center recording and analytics.

Along with all of that, 8x8 Virtual Office X8 Edition takes unlimited calling up to 47 countries, a list which comprises all 32 of the countries you get with the X5 Edition plus India, Japan, South Africa and a few others. Also, the media storage bounces up to 10GB with the X8 Edition plan. All three of these Virtual Office Editions are compatible with a standard (but optional) desk phone, the Virtual Office desktop application and the Virtual Office web browser client, so you don’t have to worry about a lack of flexibility when it comes to the hardware you’re using. 


Overall, the best value and the most similar product to the now-defunct Virtual Office Pro is the 8x8 Virtual Office X5 Edition. At $35 (£26.96), it costs more than the $24.99 (£19.26) RingCentral (For Business) Standard plan, but it’s also more comparable to RingCentral’s $34.99 (£26.97) Premium plan since they both offer call recording and CRM integration. 

One advantage of RingCentral (For Office) Premium over 8x8 Virtual Office X5 Edition is the integration it has with Microsoft, Google, Box and Okta products. RingCentral also promises 24/7 customer support. In many ways, the services are similar, which makes sense considering how closely they’re priced. If you go for the 8x8 Virtual Office X8 Edition, you’re obviously signing up for the contact center aspects that don’t show up in RingCentral’s plans. 


8x8 VoIP security

(Image credit: 8x8)

The adoption of more digital services has brought untold efficiency benefits to businesses in all industries - with VoIP solutions playing a key role in this. It has, unfortunately, also introduced additional vulnerabilities into the corporate environment that cyberattackers are all too willing to take advantage of. If this gives business leaders pause for thought, the good news is that many VoIP providers are shoring up their defenses to remain one step ahead of the attackers. This is certainly the case with 8x8’s VoIP offering. 

The company proudly shares its long list of security credentials, which include being compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Federal Information Security Management Act, and the EU-US Privacy Shield framework. In addition to these credentials, 8x8 is also independently audited each year. 

With more individuals working from home than ever before, VoIP solutions like 8x8 are not only being used to transmit audio signals. For example, 8x8 also supports video conferencing tools and office messaging apps. Again, 8x8 scores well here in terms of keeping customer data secure. Its VoIP platform has been developed with a security-first mindset, which means that 8x8 constantly scans its own infrastructure for emerging vulnerabilities before resolving them as quickly as possible. 

Furthermore, it’s not just n terms of security that 8x8 impresses. Its VoIP platform also takes business continuity extremely seriously. Its communication solutions are available through any browser, calls can be forwarded to other websites, and IP phones can be moved anywhere as long as there is a working internet connection nearby. A mobile app provides additional reliability benefits. So if users are looking for a VoIP platform is that is both secure and reliable, the 8x8 Virtual Office Pro VoIP service ticks all the boxes. 

Overall verdict

Ultimately, if you’re deciding on a new VoIP service for your business, the best product depends on your needs. The good news is that 8x8 Virtual Office has a lot of things going for it. It’s as easy to set up as hooking up the phones to an internet connection, and there are three different methods to use the service if the classic desk phone isn’t your style. Although newcomers can no longer subscribe to 8x8 Virtual Office Pro, its functionality lives on in the form of the X5 Edition. 

If you’re in the market for a new VoIP service with par-for-the-course pricing and a multitude of compelling features, 8x8 Virtual Office is worth a look.

GoTo Connect VoIP review
12:07 pm | June 24, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phone & Communications Pro | Comments: Off

If you are searching for the best VoIP service for your business then it’s worth taking a look at GoTo Connect, the successor to the popular Jive VoIP platform.

GoTo Connect offers inexpensive pricing for small and medium-sized businesses, compatibility with an enormous range of devices, and plenty of advanced features to manage and route your calls. 

On top of that, the package includes the GoTo Meeting video conferencing software, so you can host video meetings with up to 250 participants (on the most expensive plan), a real bonus over some of its rivals. 

The ultimate goal of GoTo Connect is to have everything in one place, which functions both to cut costs (since everything is integrated) and make your work life easier. As always, it's worth considering rivals like Zoom and RingCentral in detail before making a decision. 

In our GoTo Connect review, we’ll cover everything you need to know to decide if this VoIP service is the best choice for your business.


(Image credit: GoToConnect)

GoTo Connect: Plans and Pricing

GoTo Connect recently expanded its tiers, going from three (Basic, Standard, and Premium) to four, based on specific usage: Phone System, Customer Engagement, Complete CX, and Contact Center. 

Unfortunately, the actual pricing details are now hidden from public view, and so you'll need to get in touch with GoTo Connect for the specifics based on the size of your organisation. 

(For reference, the old plans were priced at £10 per user per month for Basic, £21 for Standard, and £44 for Premium. We'd assume the new prices are somewhat similar, but it's worth checking with GoTo Connect based on the number of seats.) 

As we'll get into in more detail below, each of the four packages is well-featured and includes some things that rivals have in higher plans. For example, the Phone System plan supports unlimited users from the off, and up to 250 participants in video meetings, both of which are pretty generous. 

We recommend checking out GoTo Connect's pricing website to look at specific features and check those against your needs. 

GoToConnect compatibility screenshot

(Image credit: GoToConnect)

GoTo Connect: Features

GoTo Connect supports over 180 different models of desktop phones and conference room speaker systems, and you can also use the GoTo Connect desktop and mobile apps to place calls directly from your computer or smartphone. Notably, the service also offers support for SMS messages in the US and Canada.

The GoTo Connect software includes essential features like caller ID, call forwarding, and call recording. However, this platform doesn’t come with its own storage space for your recorded calls. You’ll need to purchase and connect a third-party cloud storage service.

GoTo Connect also has several different modes for supervisors to monitor calls. For example, you can use Spy Mode to monitor an existing conversation without being heard, or use Whisper Mode to be heard only by your employee and not the other caller. Both of these are reserved for higher tiers.

Another plus, particularly for call centers and sales departments, is that GoTo Connect offers very detailed call reporting. Administrators can see how many calls are coming in to each user or extension, how long those calls last, and even what locations they’re coming from. 

GoTo also provides a complete activity log that catalogs every call placed over your network, so you can export the data and run your own analyses as needed.

While GoTo Connect is primarily a VoIP service, it also gives you access to the GoTo Meeting video conferencing platform. It's worth keeping in mind that this is nothing new in its segment, with most other providers opening up video capabilities.

GoTo Meeting is itself quite comprehensive, offering features like screen sharing, a virtual whiteboard that enables participants to collaboratively draw on presentations, and in-meeting chat.

GoToConnect visual editor screenshot

(Image credit: GoToConnect)

GoTo Connect: User interface

We found GoTo Connect’s web-based dashboard to be fairly straightforward. If you use phone hardware sold by GoTo, the software will automatically recognize your devices and all you need to do is associate them with a phone number or extension. 

When using your own hardware, the process is largely the same, except that you’ll need to install the GoTo Connect software on your devices before setting phone numbers. Everything basic was easy in our testing. 

Setting up some of GoTo Connect’s more advanced features did involve a little more work. For example, connecting a cloud storage space to hold call recordings wasn’t straightforward. GoTo Connect offers instructions if you’re using Amazon S3, but not for popular cloud platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox.

One of the things we liked best about using GoTo Connect was its advanced call routing interface. 

The software includes a visual editor to help create a schematic for how calls should be passed through your network based on what number was dialed, where the call originated from, the time of day, and how long the phone has been ringing, among others. 

The editor enables you to drag and drop individual users and extensions around your schematic, so it’s easy to modify the routing plan at any time. You can also copy and alter an existing routing plan, which is helpful for creating alternative call plans for occasions like holidays.

GoToConnect support October 2022

(Image credit: GoToConnect)

GoTo Connect: Support

GoTo Connect offers support via phone and email during weekday business hours. 

On top, GoTo also plays a big role in helping you set up your phone system, offering a short training session and consultation after your hardware arrives. While this is not a particularly common offering, it does help GoTo stand out, especially if this is your first time using VoIP as a business.

GoTo Connect’s online support center is incredibly comprehensive, if a little bit confusing. There are articles and user guides that answer virtually every question you could think of. However, there are few screenshots or videos, and many steps require you to first visit another how-to article. 

It’s easy to get lost, so using the documentation center requires some patience.

GoToConnect review

(Image credit: GoToConnect)

GoTo Connect: Security

GoTo Connect encrypts all communications by default, regardless of whether you’re communicating via VoIP or video call. For both audio and video conferences, you also have the option to lock your meetings, which keeps new participants in a waiting room until approved. 

In terms of account security, two-factor authentication (2FA) helps protect somewhat against password leaks, and there are other industry-standard features. GoTo also has a useful Trust & Security Center

GoTo Connect: The competition

GoTo Connect’s primary competitor is RingCentral, which similarly bundles VoIP and business messaging with a video conferencing platform. For most businesses, RingCentral will be more expensive. 

RingCentral's plans start at $19.99 per user per month (annually), but you’ll need to upgrade to a $24.99 per user per month plan if you want more than 20 users, video conferencing, or integrations with Google Workspace and Microsoft Office 365.

However, RingCentral’s call routing features aren’t as advanced as what GoTo Connect offers. For most businesses, we think GoTo Connect offers better value and a more flexible VoIP service.

It's also worth checking out Vonage, Aircall, Zoom, and 8x8


(Image credit: GoTo)

GoTo Connect: Final verdict

GoTo Connect is a very capable VoIP service that bundles phone, SMS messaging, and video conferencing. The service offers a simple, user-based pricing structure and is compatible with over 180 hardware devices so you can likely continue using your current VoIP-enabled phones. 

We especially like GoTo Connect’s call routing, monitoring, and reporting features. These give you an impressive amount of control over your phone network and are very easy to use. 

Overall, GoTo Connect is a competitively priced and well-featured service that's well worth checking out to get the best VoIP service in 2024. 

Further reading

Vonage for Home review
12:15 pm | June 23, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phone & Communications Pro | Comments: Off

Despite its name, Vonage for Home should not be discounted by businesses that are looking for the best VoIP services, especially those on a tighter budget. 

While Vonage does offer its own enterprise VoIP solution via Vonage Business Cloud, the offering is better suited to larger businesses, the kind that will make the most of its collaboration and CRM integrations. 

Vonage for Home, on the other hand, is a wonderfully affordable and time-tested option from Vonage that represents a fantastic VoIP option for SMBs or sole traders. 

The service comes complete with great international calling rates, online tracking, easy transportability, anonymous call blocking, and excellent call quality. In short, everything you'll get from more expensive options. 

There are numerous advanced calling features included at no extra cost, and Vonage Extensions, a free mobile app, means you can take your Vonage calling plan with you wherever you go.

Although many businesses have recently been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, communication tools like VoIP telephony and video conferencing platforms have proven their worth. 

For smaller firms, in particular, VoIP solutions have helped employees remain connected with colleagues and customers even when they’ve not been able to visit the workplace. 

Alternatively, for SMBs that are have always worked from a home office environment, VoIP tools have long been associated with reliability. And that’s certainly what’s on offer with Vonage for Home.


(Image credit: Vonage)

Vonage for Home: Plans and pricing

Vonage for Home offers numerous different pricing plans, depending on a company’s home market. 

Vonage North America offers unlimited nationwide calling (as well as unlimited calls to Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico) for $9.99 per month for the first six months. This plan also comes with a free phone adapter, free shipping, and free activation. 

UK customers have the option of two different plans: Talk UK 1,000 and Premium Mobile 1,000, which cost £10.25 and £13.25 per month, respectively. The latter plan comes with reduced calling rates and free international calls to five countries.

Vonage also offers its customers a number of different international plans, which could be worth exploring for SMBs that conduct a lot of business overseas. 

The most extensive of these is the Vonage World plan, which comes with all the standard VoIP features, plus unlimited international calling to landlines in more than 60 countries and mobile phones in 10 countries. The regular price is $27.99 per month, but customers will only be charged $9.99 per month for the first six months when they sign a 12-month agreement.

Vonage for Home also offers several add-on features for an extra free, including the ability to use a virtual number. Many SMBs like to use a virtual number when contacting customers for the local area code, which helps give businesses a local feel. Virtual numbers cost between $5 and $10 per number. 

Businesses can also add a dedicated fax line for an additional $9.99 per month, additional calling lines for $9.99 for the first three months (although prices do increase after this), and toll-free 1-800 numbers for $4.99 per month. 

In addition, businesses can purchase a Vonage softphone, accessible from their computer, for an extra $9.99 a month. This comes with 500 minutes per month. 

For SMBs that are still relying on old-fashioned landline phones, switching to Vonage for Home could result in some significant savings. Plus, because extra features can be added quickly if required, this is a VoIP service that provides the kind of flexible pricing that small businesses often prefer. 

So... a lot of different options, and it's worth checking out the Vonage's pricing website to see the exact features and what's right for your business. 

Vonage for Home Key Features

(Image credit: Vonage for Home)

Vonage for Home: Basic features

Just because Vonage for Home sounds geared towards residential use, doesn’t mean that SMB users have to miss out on any of the essential features you expect to be included with a B2B VoIP solution. 

Some of the most popular features on offer here are VoiceMail Plus, which lets users receive their voicemail messages by phone, email, or via an online account, and Caller Display, which reveals the number of the incoming caller.

Other widely-used features are Call Divert, which lets users divert incoming calls to another number, and International Call Barring, which prevents users from making international calls. 

Altogether, these features give SMB owners more control over their telephony network. Whether they are sole traders or have a handful of employees, being able to see who is calling and transfer calls appropriately is a great way of ensuring that important conversations aren’t missed. 

Other call management features include an anonymous caller block, the option of keeping your own number private when making a call, and a do not disturb option that diverts all incoming calls to voicemail. 

Another feature that small businesses will be thankful for is SimulRing, which lets multiple lines ring at once when an incoming call is received. When expecting important calls, this can be a great way of ensuring that customers aren’t neglected. When SimulRing is employed, the caller is much more likely to get through, with the first recipient to answer, taking the call.


(Image credit: Vonage)

Vonage for Home: Advanced features

Vonage for Home also offers several advanced features that SMBs may want to consider, includeing three-way calling, particularly useful with more firms adopting hybrid working policies. In-person meetings may become less and less common in the workplaces of the future, increasing the importance of having different conferencing call options. 

There are also other features that will give SMBs more autonomy regarding how they receive their calls. Call Hunt lets incoming calls be distributed to multiple lines on your account, Ring Lists allow you to control how an incoming call is routed, and there’s also the option of adding a dedicated fax line. 

For small businesses that simply need a reliable VoIP offering that comes with all the standard features that you’d expect, then Vonage for Home ticks all the boxes. While Vonage may not have fancy integrations with CRM platforms like those that are on offer with the Vonage Business Cloud platform, for many SMBs that is unlikely to be an issue. 

Vonage for Home Installation

(Image credit: Vonage for Home)

Vonage for Home: Installation and Setup

Many smaller companies might not have access to IT teams or large numbers of technical staff to help with the installation of new workplace digital tools. As such, ease-of-use is one of the most important goals for any VoIP solution – and one that Vonage for Home undoubtedly meets. 

Getting started with Vonage for Home is straightforward. 

First users should activate their Vonage account before setting up their Vonage Box. However, there’s no need to worry about either of these steps. No engineer visits are required and there are no installation costs to contend with. In fact, individuals can even keep their existing phone numbers. Setup is as simple as plugging your Vonage Box into your home router, and then connecting your home/business phone to your Vonage Box. Any mobile device can connect to the Vonage service remotely over a Wi-Fi connection. 

With the installation complete, SMBs can start making calls straight away, whether that’s from a mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop, office, or home phone. Like other VoIP services, Vonage works by sending audio data over an internet connection. Unlike with traditional phone systems, this means that calls are significantly cheaper (particularly international calls). It also allows businesses to access the kinds of advanced features that simply wouldn’t be possible with a traditional landline. 

Vonage for Home Pricing Plans

(Image credit: Vonage for Home)

With modern workplace trends meaning that employees are less and less likely to be sat at the same desk from nine until five every day between Monday and Friday, the added mobility provided by VoIP solutions like Vonage for Home is essential. SMBs can’t afford to neglect potential customers because their employees are based in a variety of locations.

With Vonage for Home the ability to answer calls to a work number from a variety of devices means that the number of missed calls will be significantly reduced. 

Another factor making Vonage for Home easy to use is the addition of the Vonage Extensions mobile app. This allows businesses to use their landline plan on their smartphone, meaning they can make calls remotely as long as they are connected to either an LTE  mobile data plan or a Wi-Fi connection. 

Having this added flexibility means that small businesses and their employees can enjoy the added freedom of working wherever they like, without the worry of missing an important phone call. 

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Vonage for Home: The competition

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Vonage for Home: Final verdict

Don’t let the name fool you, Vonage for Home is a great VoIP option for small businesses. With its affordable rates, simple installation, and impressive list of features, SMBs will find a VoIP platform that ticks all the boxes. The inclusion of the free mobile app, Vonage Extensions, is also a nice bonus, allowing firms to take calls on the go, wherever they are. 

Dialpad VoIP services review
6:24 pm | March 10, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phone & Communications Pro | Comments: Off

San Francisco-based Dialpad is one of the world’s best VoIP services, but the company faces some stiff competition in the light of more businesses committing to Internet-based communication platforms. 

If you're shopping around for a VoIP business phone system it's worth considering, could Dialpad's VoIP services be right for your team? The answer to the question will depend on the size of your business, your calling needs, whether you care about AI features, and so much more. 

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and many businesses around the world use the tech to replace transitional calls. There are a lot of services on the market and so we recommend spending some time checking out both Dialpad and its competition. 

Every business needs something specific, and VoIP offerings can range from fairly cheap for small businesses to feature-heavy behemoths that cost a pretty penny. Many services offer a free trial, which might be the perfect way to read test without having to commit to a subscription. 

In TechRadar's Dialpad review, we take a close look at every aspect of this company, including its customer service, plans and pricing, main features, and more, to help you decide whether it's the best VoIP service available for your business.

Dialpad pricing October 2022

(Image credit: Dialpad)

Dialpad VoIP: Plans and pricing

Dialpad has a wide range of services available that get bundled together in three different tiers, including video conferencing tools. Every plan gets unlimited calling (within your country, the US, and Canada), unlimited SMS and MMS messaging, and unlimited video calling, so things look pretty promising from the get-go.

The Standard plan costs $23 per user per month (or the equivalent of $15 when paid annually), and leverages some pretty smart AI for things like real-time call and voicemail transcription and even automated post-call summaries. In terms of third-party integrations, Google Workspace is as far as it goes.

If you’re looking to integrate with other apps like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zendesk, and HubSpot, the Pro tier may sound more attractive, and supports up to 10 office locations and gets the important addition of 24/7 support. Expect to pay $35 per user per month (or $25 per month paid annually).

The top-end Enterprise plans take things to the limit with unlimited office support, a claimed 100% uptime, and single sign-on (SSO) with tools like Okta. Pricing for this plan is not disclosed publicly and you'll have to speak to Dialpad directly. 

Regardless of plan, video calling is restricted to 10 participants (Nextiva can host up to 250 members), but each meeting can last up to five hours (compared with Nextiva’s 45-minute limit). This is where the separate ‘Meetings’ plans come in.

The 14-day free trial is an industry standard. While we prefer trials that last a month (or 30 days), two weeks should still be enough time for a dedicated IT team to try things out. 

Dialpad VoIP: Features


(Image credit: Dialpad)

Dialpad provides an excellent VoIP for business service, backed by numerous advanced features. Let's dive in. 

Based on machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), Dialpad’s built-in voice intelligence features are excellent. They are designed to provide automatic call notes and transcripts, assist customer service agents in real time, and more. 

Dialpad isn’t the only company to offer AI assistance, though, so if this is important to you, it may be worth considering other offerings like RingCentral, which has recently announced a bundle of AI updates.

To go above and beyond standard VoIP voice calling, Dialpad includes impressive audio and video conference calling features, such as screen sharing, conference on-hold music, and various user controls. 

If it’s just something you may need occasionally, the included capabilities should be fine. A pair of video conferencing-specific plans do exist if you need to branch out – one free, and another for $20 per user per month ($15 annually). 

If it’s primarily the phoning functions that interest you, it’s refreshing to see that every single plan gets call forwarding, three-way calling, and recording functionalities. Hold queues are also standard on all but the cheapest plan.

Finally, Dialpad enables virtual faxing directly from your desktop dashboard. You will have to purchase a fax add-on for this, but this shouldn’t be too expensive – although the price will vary depending on what plan you’re using.

Dialpad features October 2022

(Image credit: Dialpad)

Get a Dialpad VoIP free trial

To start a free trial with Dialpad, simply work through a short sign-up process. Here, you can choose a phone number, select the plan you want to use after the free trial has finished, and confirm personal details.

Download the desktop app on Windows or macOS, and mobile apps on Android or iOS, and log in to your account to get started.

Dialpad's web based team dashboard

(Image credit: Dialpad)

Dialpad VoIP: User interface

We trialled the Dialpad VoIP Windows desktop and web apps, and came away very impressed with the service. 

For starters, the web app is simple and intuitive, if a little basic, and lets you make calls, send messages, listen to voicemail and recorded calls, and manage your contacts. 

The Windows app is similar, but with even more features, meaning that the old enterprise adage that having a desktop app holds true as the dedicated desktop clients will almost always provide the best experience. 

And finally, the web dashboard lets you view analytics, manage the program’s settings, and set up your business phone system with many more features included.

Dialpad help center October 2022

(Image credit: Dialpad)

Dialpad VoIP: Support

When you’re setting up your Dialpad account, there’s every chance that you will run into some sort of problems or need advice on something. If so, you can speak with the customer service team via phone, live chat, or online ticket submission. There’s also an online forum where you can ask questions and browse previous conversations. 

On top of this, Dialpad has a comprehensive Help Center containing hundreds of articles, guides, video tutorials, and other self-help resources. Use the search bar at the top of the screen to find relevant information or simply browse by category. 

Pro and Enterprise plans get 24/7 support, but the standard 24/5 support on Standard plans should be adequate for smaller companies that are unlikely to run into issues on the weekend.

Dialpad security and compliance October 2022

(Image credit: Dialpad)

Dialpad VoIP: Security

It’s always nice to see transparency and openness surrounding a company’s security measures, and Dialpad excels here. It provides clear information about the tools it uses to ensure your personal information and any sensitive data is kept safe at all times, and it does this well. 

At the simple end of the spectrum, it includes tools to enable you to define clear user permissions and access controls, manage which users have access to which integrations and features, and ensure things are being run the way they should be. 

In addition, all communications are fully encrypted using TLS (Transport Layer Security) technology and AES 256-bit security. And what’s more, all data is encrypted while at rest, greatly reducing the risk of hacks or data breaches. 

All things considered, Dialpad’s security features are excellent.

Dialpad VoIP: The competition

Dialpad provides excellent business VoIP service across the board, but there are plenty of other providers worth considering. 

For example, the 8x8 X Series is an excellent option for those on a tight budget. It’s similarly priced at $15 per user per month, and all plans are fairly well equipped including the most basic.

Another decent option is Aircall, which focuses on providing high-quality VoIP services coupled with a whole host of CRM integrations, all in a neat and easy-to-use package. It is a little more expensive, but it still offers a lot to like. 

We recommend checking out GoTo Connect, RingCentral, Zoom, and Nextiva, to make sure your business gets the right fit. 


(Image credit: Dialpad)

Dialpad VoIP: Final verdict

Dialpad impressed as soon as we landed on its website for the first time, and nothing changed during our review. 

The VoIP service's features are excellent, and are backed by powerful security integrations, plus there are versatile subscription options for businesses of all shapes and sizes, from one-man-bands to enterprises. 

What’s more, its prices are quite competitive, and most plans come with a 14-day free trial. Ultimately, we’d recommend signing up for the trial and testing the platform if you’re looking for a reliable, feature-rich VoIP service provider. 

8×8 X Series review
10:42 am | February 18, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phone & Communications Pro | Comments: Off

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional phone lines, letting users to make voice calls over an internet connection. 

Since you don’t need the cable infrastructure, it’s easier to set up and can be more cost-effective to run. In 2024, it's well worth finding the best VoIP service for your business, no matter the scale. 

Due to the large number of providers out there, working out which VoIP provider is the right one can be difficult. 8x8 is a popular provider that offers several different All-in-One Communications plans under the banner 8x8 X Series. (The service was formerly known as Virtual Office Pro.) 

In this 8x8 All-in-One Communications review, we assess the pricing, features, interface, support, and security offered by this VoIP service.

Every company has its own needs – sometimes very specific needs – and so we recommend checking out our reviews of RingCentral, GoToConnect, Zoom, Aircall, and the best VoIP services to make the absolute right decision. 


(Image credit: 8x8)

8x8 X Series: Plans and Pricing

We have to be upfront here: assessing the pricing for 8x8 is difficult as the new tiers are available only upon request. What we do know is how much these plans, or at least similar plans, cost prior to this update, as detailed in previous reviews. 

Starting off, 8x8 offers five tiers: X2, X4, X6, X7, and X8. As you can imagine, each of these adds on something to the prior tiers, from X2 to X8, and many of these upgrades are applicable to larger organisations. 

In past reviews, the price of the X2 plan was $28/user/month, the X4 was $57/user/month, the X6 was $112/user/month, the X7 was $131/user/month, and the X8 was $170/user/month. While 8x8 is unlikely to have changed these levels too drastically, it's worth checking with them based on your specific needs. 

Some of the core considerations will be whether your business needs to make international calls, whether you need video conferencing, internet fax, and so on. We'll get into the features in more detail below. 

As with most companies on our radar – but not all – there are savings to be had if you’re willing to pay for one year upfront. The exact saving depends on which plan you’re considering and where you are in the world, but they’re mostly somewhere between 14% and 24%, which is can be a nice discount. 


(Image credit: 8x8)

8x8 X Series: Features

The call options offered by 8x8 are more than just the standard VoIP calls. 

The X Series enables high-definition audio and video conferencing with up to 100 participants, and there are multiple moderation controls available, including host delegation and participant lobbies. 

8x8 has also added the ability to record the audio, video, and chat, to be published to the cloud for those who missed the meeting.

A large amount of cloud analytics data is efficiently collected on 8x8's single platform, enabling easy access and analysis. The dashboards are updated in real time and can be customized to your liking. 

With detailed data like speech analyses of every call, you can identify employee and customer trends and interpret them to solve problems and increase efficiency.

8x8 X Series 2

(Image credit: 8&8 Inc)

Besides making calls from 8x8’s own app, you can integrate the service into other apps and software that your employees may already use, such as Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, Google Workspace, and Slack. This makes your processes more efficient and reduces the time that employees need to spend learning new software.

Larger companies will value the extra features that come with the higher-level X tiers, like hot desking, wider call handling capabilities, and 30-day UC meeting and call storage.

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8x8 X Series: User interface

8x8 X Series 3

(Image credit: 8&8 Inc)

The setup process for 8x8 X Series is simple. It only takes a few minutes to provide the basic information about your business needed to get going, and you can then access the web dashboard, as well as the mobile and desktop apps.

All the interfaces are well designed for efficient use. The main app for employees is called Work and has a simple layout that makes it easy to navigate. It functions as a central hub from which you can access voice calls, video calls, text messaging, meetings, and more.

The browser-based dashboards for supervisor use are more complex but have a wide range of functions, including analytics and switchboard control.

8x8 X Series: Support

8x8 X Series 4

(Image credit: 8&8 Inc)

If you run into problems when setting up or running your 8x8 X Series system, there are various support options available. You’re first sent to an AI assistant, which will direct you to articles on the knowledge base relevant to your question. 

If these don’t help, you can contact technical support via text chat, ticket, or phone. However, the live assisted support is only available to those on the X2 plan or above, not 8x8 Express. The quality of tech support does seem to be variable - many customers have complained that communication has been poor, or that problems have been passed on from phone call to email. There are plenty of positive reviews to counter this, though, so it’s likely that 8x8 is no different to other companies. 

8x8 X Series: Security

When you’re running a business that handles financial information or other confidential customer data, it’s crucial to know that your systems are secure. 8x8 excels in this respect, as it has multiple security measures in place, and it’s open and transparent regarding them.

Communications are fully encrypted using Transport Layer Security and Secure Real-time Transport Protocol, so you can be sure messages and calls aren’t being intercepted. Secure coding practices are used to ensure that the technology is safe. Fraud detection tools are also built into the system.

We like additional steps that end users can take to protect their own data, and 8x8 delivers in this respect, too, with two-factor authentication (2FA).

8x8 X Series 5

(Image credit: 8&8 Inc)

8x8 X Series: The competition

One popular choice is Dialpad, which has prices beginning at $15 per user per month when paid annually. It has an impressive range of features and like 8x8, has comprehensive security and decent video conferencing performance.

Another option is RingCentral MVP (formerly known as RingCentral Office). This is more expensive, starting at $19.99 per user per month, but it comes with a suite of advanced features and integrations with numerous CRM programs and other software, including some pretty impactful AI-driven features like call monitoring.

8x8 X Series: Final verdict

There’s not much to fault with the 8x8 X Series. The app combines multiple methods of communication into one efficient workspace, and there are multiple useful features, such as analytics, integration with other software, and video conferencing. Also, the security is among the best on the market.

One downside is that the quality of tech support seems to be a little sub-standard. However, the pricing is quite good, with plenty of features packed into one of the most affordable VoIP packages that you’ll find.

While the basic 8x8 Express plan includes all main features, the increased support options and international calling make the X2 plan the most likely choice for most small and medium businesses. If you’re looking for a comprehensive and reliable VoIP provider, we recommend signing up for a trial with 8x8.

Nextiva VoIP service review
10:23 pm | February 17, 2021

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phone & Communications Pro | Comments: Off

If you’re struggling to balance your communications with clients and team members, finding the best Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service could help streamline all your messages through a single cloud-based app. Pretty nifty. 

VoIP provider Nextiva, used by more than 100,000 businesses, markets itself as being built for “non-technical business owners, not IT wizards.” For smaller teams, that might be music to your ears.

In our review, we examine the various plans available, their features, the software’s usability, and how it compares to its competitors. Overall, we were happy with Nextiva, and think the plans work especially well for smaller businesses.

Of course, as with everything in business, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we do recommend checking out TechRadar's extensive coverage of the VoIP market and competitors like RingCentral, 8x8, and GoTo Connect, all of which excel in their own specific way. 

Every business is different, even in very subtle ways, and there is no cost to checking the pricing and feature lists for every VoIP service out there. 

Let's dive into our Nextiva VoIP review. 

Nextiva VoIP: Plans and pricing

Nextiva VoIP pricing October 2022

(Image credit: Nextiva)

If you decide to purchase VoIP software through Nextiva, you can choose between three plan types: Essential, Professional, and Enterprise.

All plans get voicemail transcription, unlimited internet fax, and video calls up to 45 minutes each as part of the package. Opt for Essential and you’ll get 1,500 toll-free minutes for $17.95-$30.95 per user per month, depending on how many employees you have in your organization and whether you’re willing to commit to an annual subscription to keep the prices down.

Mid-tier Professional members get up to 3,000 minutes for $21.95-$35.95/user/month, while the range-topping Enterprise plan brings 12,500 minutes with it for the price of $31.95-$45.95 per user per month.

Exact pricing is based on whether you have 1-4, 5-19, 20-99, or more than 100 employees. Savings for annual payments are between 17% and 28%.

There’s a 14-day free trial available, which is pretty average, but nothing special. If you’re unsure whether a VoIP service is the right solution for your business, there are companies out there that offer free trials at least twice as long as this.

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Nextiva VoIP: Features

Nextiva VoIP features October 2022

(Image credit: Nextiva)

If you choose Nextiva, you can make unlimited calls to any phone in the US or Canada. Its real-time presence feature also allows you to see which of your contacts is currently available, while the call queue allows you to handle calls during busy times.

Nextiva claims its calls are of HD quality to eliminate static, though this is fairly common by today’s standards.

Previously, Nextiva offered different levels of video conferencing depending on the plan, but this has changed and every plan comes with video call support for up to 250 participants, with a time limit of 45 minutes. Like most video conferencing solutions, Nextiva allows you to share screens and files during your conferences. You can also use Nextiva’s video function to livestream virtual events and webinars

If you receive a voicemail, the message will be delivered directly to your email’s inbox, and the software also gives you the ability to record your outgoing voicemail message. Some plans add SMS notifications, too.

If you choose Nextiva, you can send and receive an unlimited number of text messages with your customers, which can enable you to perform tasks such as delivering updates and scheduling appointments.

If you’re chairing a meeting, this feature will allow you to set up a dedicated line for this event. As well as setting these meetings up, you can moderate your conferences and record them in HD. 

The software also allows you to send and receive unlimited faxes as you would with email. You’ll receive a text alert whenever a new fax arrives.

If you choose one of the more expensive Enterprise or Ultimate packages, you can also benefit from voice analytics. Voicemail transcription, standard on all paid plans, allow you to keep comprehensive written records of your calls which can be handy for keeping records without the need for large audio files.

The company’s Sales Pipeline CRM allows you to create and manage contacts and accounts, as well as seeing a consolidated view of all your conversations with the client.

Should you choose the Ultimate plan, you’ll benefit from automated surveys and analytics related to your customers’ journeys through the sales process, which can provide invaluable insights into your users’ behavior.

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Nextiva VoIP: User interface

Nextiva review

(Image credit: Nextiva)

When we signed up for a free trial with Nextiva, we found the process extremely straightforward and were able to gain access to its services without any difficulties.

Although the design of the system’s dashboard is not especially dynamic and its graphics perhaps feel a little dated, the system has clearly been designed with usability and functionality in mind. By dividing its tools on the basis of communication, sales, and service, the company allows you to find the features you need as soon as you log in.

You’ll also benefit from various integrations with the software, which vary according to the plan you choose. We really value the Google Contacts and Microsoft Outlook integration that’s standard on all plans, because being able to maintain one central database rather than having multiple digital phone books helps avoid mistakes. 

There are plenty of other integrations reserved for mid-spec and/or high-spec plans, like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Netsuite, just to name a few.

According to the company’s website, its systems experience an uptime of 99.99%. It’s also one of the most widely adoptable platforms, with apps for Windows and Mac, as well as iOS and Android. That’s on top of the (watered down) browser web app.

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Nextiva VoIP: Support

Nextiva VoIP support October 2022

(Image credit: Nextiva)

If you have a question regarding your plan, you can contact Nextiva over the phone, through an online ticketing system, via email, or online chat. When we used the online chat function, we received a polite response containing all the information we needed.

We previously criticized Nextiva for its average support - there was nothing to write home about. Things have changed, and the company now gives 24/7 access to phone, email, and chat support to all paying customers. Many other companies reserve this for their highest paying customers. 

Should you have a more general query, the website has a selection of product guides and a blog, which contains articles on topics relevant to business, such as communications, customer experience, leadership, marketing, productivity, and sales. 

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Nextiva VoIP: Security

When you’re dealing with potentially sensitive business information, security and privacy can be of paramount importance. 

Nextiva’s interface gives you the option to create a whitelist of authorized IP addresses, which allows you to grant users access to your system only through trusted computers. 

Nextiva review

(Image credit: Nextiva)

You can also use your account’s centralized management system to block email addresses from accessing your services.

If you opt for a plan through Nextiva, your communications will also be encrypted via TLS and SRTP, which are both designed to protect your privacy when you’re communicating over the internet. Working in real time, this protection ensures your conversations aren’t left vulnerable to snoopers in the always-on environment of cyberspace, and you can also safeguard information such as your call history.

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Nextiva VoIP: The competition

Despite its undoubtedly impressive features, Nextiva is far from your only option if you’re considering a VoIP service for your business.

RingCentral MVP (previously RingCentral Office) is one of the most highly regarded options on the market, with prices beginning at $19.99 (usual price $29.99) per user per month for two to 20 users on an annual plan. Like Nextiva, the company offers a comprehensive range of plans depending on your organization’s needs, and many customers praise its user-friendly design and interface. Read our Nextiva vs RingCentral review

If CRM is a priority for your business, you could consider purchasing a plan through Aircall, which allows you to set up a call center within minutes and includes a wide range of help desk features.

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Nextiva VoIP: Final verdict

If you’re considering cloud-based communication for your employees and customers, Nextiva certainly has many points in its favor, including flexible pricing plans and a range of features to match many of its rivals. We also value its wide range of third-party integrations, and the fact that basic plans don’t just get the basic features - Nextiva seems pretty generous all-round

Also vital for companies running complex IT solutions is Nextiva’s 24/7 support, which represents a huge leap forward from previous years. If you’re still undecided, it might be worth signing up for the trial to see if Nextiva is the right solution for your organization.

RingCentral Phone review
5:46 pm | July 29, 2020

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Phone & Communications Pro | Comments: Off

To run business and office space in 2024, finding the best VOIP provider might not be the sexiest task, but it's certainly one of the most essential to have a smooth-running workplace where everyone can communicate easily. 

While a cloud phone system may have seemed like science fiction in the recent past, this next-generation communications tech is becoming increasingly popular. More and more businesses are recognizing the value of managed, portable phone systems, and RingCentral is one of the best providers around.

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and the tech basically does just that: transfer calls over the internet, avoiding out-dated landlines and other potential problems. As offices move towards remote working, VoIP providers have added new features into their offerings.

As we dive into our RingCentral Phone review, we put one of the industry’s best business phone services through its paces, testing the standout features of this virtual phone system to help your business make the right call.

Of course, it's also worth checking rivals products from Zoom, 8x8, and Dialpad before making any final decisions – being prepared is the key – but our testing found RingCentral offers a complete package.

RingCentral Phone

RingCentral’s plans range from basic to enterprise-level. (Image credit: RingCentral Phone)

RingCentral: Plans and Pricing

RingCentral offers three plans: Core, Advanced, and Ultra, with each then being tailored to work with anywhere between one and 100+ employees. 

Starting off, the Core plan costs $20/user/month for an annual subscription, or $30/user/month for a monthly subscription, and includes business phone or toll-free numbers, up to 100 toll-free minutes, unlimited domestic calls in the US or Canada, visual voicemail, shared lines, and much more. 

Advanced costs $25 or $35 per month per user and includes everything in Core, plus up to 1,000 toll-free minutes, enhanced business SMS for 100/user/month (up from 25 for Core), advanced call queues, up to eight-digit extensions, hot desking, breakout rooms, and many other features. 

Finally, Ultra costs $35 or $45 per month per user and includes all of the aforementioned features alongside up to 200 video call participants, unlimited file storage, custom roles, advanced analytics, workflow customisation, and more. 

It's worth checking RingCentral's detailed pricing lists to see if the feature that keeps your business running smoothly comes with Core, Advanced, or Ultra. RingCentral is also keen to encourage annual subscribers, and one-off yearly payments receive an up to 33% discount.

Adding more than 100 users gives a further discount, but that likely only equates to a few dollars saved per month. All plans also come with a 15-day free trial. We were pleased to see how easy it was to scale up too, with options to add international and toll-free numbers as needed.

RingCentral Phone

(Image credit: RingCentral Phone)

RingCentral: Features

RingCentral’s phone service is packed with features. In fact, there are over 50 in total, which is both pretty staggering and means your specific needs are likely to be met. 

Call quality is a very important consideration, and RingCentral ensures HD audio regardless of your calling location. The provider also limits the disruption of switching to a new phone service by helping keep any existing numbers. (There are also options to set up local numbers.)

We found RingCentral’s voicemail-to-email feature particularly interesting as it enables you to receive voicemails whilst out of office – a great feature for remote teams – and it's something few others offer. 

RingCentral has also put lot of consideration into incoming-call management, with call screening, call delegation, and call forwarding options available to users. In addition, the Call Flip feature helps users switch calls from a desktop to a mobile phone during a conversation.

As we alluded to above, RingCentral has not scrimped on adding features and pretty much any little thing your business might want to do will be there, from integrations into business apps to call logs to remote desktop control. 

The company has also been getting involved in the recent AI craze, adding live transcriptions, closed captioning, video summaries, note taking, translation, and a whole lot more to all three plans, to make life a little easier. 

RingCentral Phone

(Image credit: RingCentral Phone)

RingCentral: User interface

Once you sign up with RingCentral you’ll need to download the desktop app. The process is quick and easy, and the RingCentral interface is user-friendly and navigable. There are also nifty iOS and Android apps, too. 

Any RingCentral users should be aware that the app doesn’t just display the provider’s phone settings: From the admin dashboard, you can access video, messaging, and upcoming tasks. Clear icons on the left-hand side of the screen make accessing any core services easy.

The basic functionality of RingCentral’s business phone service is fairly easy to understand. A pop-up dial pad is there to make calls from a selection of numbers on a dropdown, and voicemails are easily accessible and displayed visually. That said, some advanced features are more difficult to locate. 

For example, call screening functions need to be enabled first, and you’ll only be able to confirm that you’ve enabled them when you receive a call. RingCentral offers a great deal in terms of features, but we would have preferred to see them displayed more prominently.

RingCentral Phone 4

(Image credit: RingCentral Phone)

RingCentral: Support

RingCentral has been generous here: 24/7 support is available on all three tiers, which is an improvement on previous generations that only offered such support on more expensive plans. 

RingCentral also has a dedicated support website where you can access comprehensive FAQs split up into well-defined categories, consult instructional videos, download technical information, and join its community development group.

The company has a live chat feature too, but with such a comprehensive cache of documentation, you probably won’t need it.

RingCentral Phone 5

(Image credit: RingCentral)

RingCentral: Security

Reliability and security are some of RingCentral’s key concerns. As a result, the measures in place to prevent downtime and disruption to the provider’s service have led to some standout security features.

These include end-to-end network monitoring to ensure performance and real-time analysis of network stability, disaster recovery protocols involving the migration of data to alternative data centers, and cloud-based measures for service continuation even during a period of internet outage.

(Image credit: RingCentral Phone )

RingCentral: The competition

Nextiva offers a similar service to RingCentral but at a reduced cost – its Enterprise plan is just a few dollars more than RingCentral’s Core plan and includes up to 10,000 toll-free minutes.

That said, RingCentral’s multi-tool platform, with video and messaging facilities, does give it an edge, and the provider’s Essential plan is competitively priced if you don’t need the extra functionality. But small businesses that just want a simple, cheap way to integrate their phone services might prefer Nextiva.

It's also worth checking out offerings from 8x8, Zoom, GoToConnect, Vonage, Aircall, Ooma, and more of the best VoIP services, with your specific needs in mind. Each one is slightly different, and might work well.


(Image credit: RingCentral)

RingCentral: Final verdict

RingCentral is one of the best cloud phone providers available. Clearly, the team behind the platform is well versed in the requirements of business phone users, and the wide range of features tick all the boxes.

However, RingCentral's long list of features might actually over complicate the product, and we would have preferred fewer features but in more accessible places. Of course, having 'too many features' is a small problem if you invest the time in working out how best to use them.