Best App Picks
7  min read

Communicate Anytime, Anywhere: Virtual Phone Systems In 2024

Abhishek Agrawal
By Abhishek A Agrawal
December 15, 2023
Table of Contents

    Whether you run a small startup or manage a booming business, the demand for hybrid workspaces (both home and in-office) continues to grow in 2024. As a result, you’ll likely need a VoIP phone service to enable effective customer and team messaging.

    In this guide, we’ve looked into some of the most popular business VoIP providers and evaluated their services based on their value to modern workplaces. Namely, we evaluated key features, pricing structure, and cost versus a traditional phone system provider or conventional corporate solutions like a PBX (Private Branch Exchange).

    RELATED: Top Texting Apps: Send SMS Messages From Anywhere

    What Is A Virtual Phone System

    A virtual phone system or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a communications service that manages your business calls through an internet connection. 

    Users can receive incoming calls or make outgoing calls on desk phones, mobile phones, or even tablets with the requisite mobile apps. This makes it a more flexible option to traditional analog phone systems – perfect for folks working from home.

    How Does A Virtual Phone System Work

    A cloud-based phone system does everything a regular phone provider can (and more) but through the internet. In a nutshell, this is achieved through packet-switching technology, which digitizes analog voice data (as with traditional phones) and routes it into your mobile apps, cell phones, or desk phones. 

    Without getting too technical, VoIP systems take this converted digital voice data and split it into “packets” before giving it a destination (your personal phone, office phone, etc.). Afterward, it sends these packets to your business’ internet router, which then attempts to find the shortest route to its destination. 

    IP phones then process the packet data in the correct order (as indicated by the destination information), which results in clear inbound calls – no matter the distance.

    What Makes A Great Virtual Phone System

    Investing in a VoIP provider costs money, which means you want to choose the best one for your needs. Here’s what to watch out for when considering virtual phone services for your business.

    • Ease of installation: Integrating VoIP into your operation is a formidable task. We recommend asking your virtual phone system provider if they have installation services. Trust us, sidestepping the hassle is more than worth the installation fee. 
    • Customer service: When your VoIP calls randomly disconnect during online meetings, it can hamper productivity – in these cases, you’ll want a service provider that’s easy to contact. A company with an experienced and responsive customer support team makes all the difference.
    • Basic features: Do you want unlimited extensions, a virtual receptionist, and instant messaging support? Virtual phone services offer a wide range of features for business communications, so you may want to mix and match a few standard components for your specific needs.
    • Pricing options: Your plan may have “unlimited calling”, but at what cost? We recommend weighing the prices of your existing business phone services versus the VoIP service provider you’re interested in.

    What Are The Benefits Of Using Virtual Phone Systems

    For some, ditching the traditional landline phone for a software-based solution may feel like a complicated solution to a simple problem, but it can be worth it. Here are some reasons to switch to a VoIP provider for your business phone calls.

    • Flexible communication tools: Because all inbound and outbound calls are managed through your wireless router, you can receive and make them from almost any device or account. This works incredibly well for remote employees.
    • Higher-quality calls: Whether your team manages local or international calls, using IP phones gives top-notch quality. That means calls from customers are clear and can be recorded, forwarded, and stored easily.
    • Cheaper than a business phone service provider: In contrast to a regular business phone service provider, additional features like international calling and audio conferencing don’t require any additional fees. That makes it cheaper in the long run.

    8 Million+ Ready Automations
    For 750+ Apps

    Our Top Picks For The Best Virtual Phone Systems for 2024


    Despite being one of the more expensive options on this list, Aircall is exceedingly simple to set up. In addition, it has a long list of sales-oriented features, which can be an excellent tool for larger teams trying to move a product. Aircall is also compatible with Integrately, which unlocks a wide range of additional functions. 


    • Very easy to get started
    • Efficient call-switching 
    • Real-time metrics for calls


    • Relatively expensive


    Aircall costs $30/month for three users.


    Formerly known as Jive Connections, GoToConnect has a robust feature set that includes an interactive digital receptionist, call recording, screening, and detail reporting, as well as team-oriented functions like a digital whiteboard during video meetings. All of these make it perfect for larger teams with more varied needs. 


    • Can handle video meetings and audio conferencing
    • Includes automation options like call screening and forwarding based on user-set rules


    • Mobile app can be unreliable


    GoToConnect starts at $22/month.


    Does your business involve taking lots of information-rich calls? If so, then Dialpad may be the perfect solution for your needs. Unlike other virtual phone systems, Dialpad has an AI-powered voice transcription service which makes note-taking a breeze.


    • Can automatically transcribe calls
    • Great user interface on mobile apps


    • Video calling costs $15 more for 10+ participants


    Dialpad starts at $15/month if billed annually and $20/month if billed monthly.


    8×8 is an all-in-one communications solution for big businesses. It has advanced features that support almost every department, including the auto-attendant that helps route calls for your receptionist or administrative assistant.


    • Great video conferencing the basic plan
    • Good mobile app support


    • Lacks individual customization features


    8×8 starts at $15/month for the basic tier and $24/month for the X2 tier.


    If you’re flying solo or working with a small team on a budget, then OpenPhone is the perfect no-frills option for you. It doesn’t have the versatile feature set of more expensive alternatives, but it won’t break the bank either.


    • Cheap yet effective
    • Sends away messages to potential customers


    • Only has unlimited calls in the U.S. and Canada


    OpenPhone starts at $10/month for unlimited calling within North America and $5/month for every additional phone number.


    If you’re looking for a call-focused solution without additional video or email-based features, then Grasshopper might just be the perfect fit for your team.


    • Provides a business line and virtual phone number
    • Has lots of call automation potential


    • Lacks video or email features


    Grasshopper costs $29/month.


    Despite what its name suggests, MightyCall isn’t just about calling. It also doubles as a mini marketing suite that tracks customer data while automating basic conversations.


    • Comes with built-in CRM features
    • Can implement an auto-responder


    • Customer support can be hard to contact


    MightyCall costs $29/month.

    Google Voice

    Everyone has used a Google product of some kind, so it’s no surprise that the company has its own voice calling service. Free and paid options make it a viable contender for BOTH personal and business use.


    • Has a free personal plan
    • Can provide advanced analytics


    • Isn’t available in every country


    Personal Google Voice plans are free, while business plans are $10/month per user.


    While Freshcaller is designed for call center environments, it comes with a pretty handy suite of marketing tools that can help with customer relations no matter your industry. 


    • Delivers custom reports based on your needs
    • Excellent call routing


    • Call flows are designed specifically for call centers


    Freshcaller costs $15/month per user.


    Talkroute is a polished, well-supported virtual phone system with a limited feature set. This makes it suitable for businesses with simple communication needs.


    • Great voice quality
    • Unlimited calling within the U.S. and Canada


    • Limited feature set


    Talkroute costs $20/month.


    Looking for a comprehensive and flexible communication solution? Then look no further than RingCentral – an all-in-one solution packed with HD voice and video calling, fax, SMS, messaging, and cloud storage. It helps you improve collaboration and communication, especially among employees who work remotely or across multiple locations.


    • Needs just a few minutes for setup
    • Provision to flip calls between a desk phone, softphone, or mobile phone in a single tap.
    • Offers multilingual support for the global workforce.


    • No integrations in the Essentials plan.


    RingCentral MVP plans starts at $19.99 per user per month (when billed annually)

    What’s The Best Virtual Phone System For You

    The best virtual phone system for most people will be Aircall – it’s just a matter of whether or not you can afford it. At $30 a month for three users it’s one of the pricier phone systems, but it’s far and away the best choice. However, if you’re looking for a budget option, Google voice should have the functionality you need, provided that you live in a country where it’s available. 

    Signing up for a virtual phone system can be a life-saver when your business takes lots of calls or part of your team works remotely. With the right service provider, internal and external communications become a breeze – saving time and money in the process. 

    However, there’s always room for improvement. If you need to automate more actions not included in your service plan, check out Integrately for frictionless integrations.

    RELATED: Top 10 Best Email Clients For Windows In 2024

    FAQs about Virtual Phone Systems

    How to know if you need a virtual phone system?

    You may need a virtual phone system if you have a large, remote team that handles a large volume of incoming calls. The same is true if you run a call center or want to replace existing phone systems with a cheaper alternative.

    Can I use a VoIP system on my smartphone?

    Yes. Most VoIP systems meant for businesses have companion smartphone apps for easy access. However, be sure to check with your desired service beforehand.

    How do you set up a small business virtual phone system?

    You can set up a virtual phone system for a small business by simply logging onto your admin dashboard, designing call flows, and monitoring your team as they work. However, more advanced platforms may have more customization options available. For a more detailed answer, we recommend looking into your specific software’s documentation or tutorials.
    Abhishek Agrawal
    Author - Abhishek A Agrawal
    Abhishek is the founder of Integrately, CompanyHub, and Dreamwares. He is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. He is always looking to leverage technology for the growth of the business. He has a deep understanding of how businesses work and uses this knowledge to build products that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
    Integrate Your Apps In 1 Click With Integrately
    • #1 Highest rated Zapier alternative for non-techies
    • 8 Million+ ready automations
    • 18x-33x less expensive