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VoIP Providers Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that all business phone services and each VoIP provider are the same. VoIP providers can offer a range of options and add-ons at varying prices.

You want to pick the best service for your business’s needs, so it’s important for you to do your research before you settle on a provider or calling plan.

Today, we’ll look at some of basic options provided in our own Business Phone Plans. Don’t miss the comparison chart below to see how we measure against the competition.

VoIP Providers: What to Look for in a VoIP Provider

Traffic Options from VoIP Providers

The breakdown of your calling minutes from any VoIP provider can be complex. You’ll need to be aware of local calling, toll-free calling, and a distinction known as “VoIP minutes.”

Local Minutes

Most VoIP Providers will offer you a set of basic calling minutes to continental U.S. numbers. You may receive minutes that apply to calls within the continental U.S. states and to Canada or Mexico. The exact number of minutes you receive when calling these locations can also fluctuate from one provider to the next.

What can you expect? For basic plans on many providers, it’s reasonable to see 1000 minutes of calling to continental U.S. numbers. Advanced plans begin to change those figures by adding calling to different countries and increasing your allotment of minutes.

Toll-Free Minutes

The addition of toll-free minutes comes when you want to offer your customers a free number to call. For each inbound call to your 1-800 number, you accept the charges, so these minutes are usually more expensive to provide.

You will want to consider the differentiation between plans that either group local and toll-free minutes or make a distinction between the two. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, but one could more closely meet your needs as a business.

VoIP Minutes

Providers may also allow customers to complete internal VoIP calls at no extra charge. This way, a business’s employees can call their extensions without using outbound calling minutes. These types of calls don’t reach the public telephone network, so they’re often bundled together as a separate feature.

Again, you’ll want to be aware of how these minutes interact with the Local and Toll-Free sets. Sometimes, VoIP minutes are unlimited; other times, they’re part of another grouping.

Conferencing and Call Recording

Many businesses now embrace remote work. Their connection with work-from-home or contract employees is essential, so they often look to conferencing to keep everyone in the business on the same page.

Conferencing is often found as an add-on (a feature with an added charge) from VoIP providers. Even though it’s essential to the operations of many startups and enterprises alike, conferencing may take a secondary position behind basic calling minutes and low prices.

Likewise, Call Recording is becoming a staple of operations for companies across the globe. Yet you may also find it sitting behind other “essential” features in a VoIP plan.

Stand-out companies may include conferencing and call recording in their plans, like VirtualPBX does with most plans. You just have to keep an eye out for those features while you’re considering the overall price from a VoIP provider.

VoIP Providers and Pricing Differences

While price isn’t necessarily a feature of VoIP any more than it’s a feature of any other product, this can be the most important factor in your decision when comparing VoIP providers.

Price is a direct reflection of the other features you’re offered in a business phone plan.

If you notice that your plan starts at the surprisingly low price of $5 per user, you may want to ask yourself what other features you’re not receiving. Does this cheap plan give you thousands of calling minutes and VoIP minutes at no extra cost? Or does it cut your minutes and charge you for any internal calls?

In contrast, does the upgraded plan of $30 per user give you everything you expect and more? This plan should include some extra features like conferencing and unlimited calling between plan users.

A Quick Comparison of VoIP Providers

All that left is for you to decide which plan best meets your business’s needs and capabilities. While VoIP providers vary, with VirtualPBX you can rest assured that your small business will get the customer service, reliability, and robust feature set usually reserved for the big enterprises – and without the enterprise cost. Compare our plans below to choose what fits your business best!