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What is a VoIP Provider? [Popular Providers + How to Choose the Best One]

What Is Voip Provider
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VoIP service providers can offer flexible, scalable, and cost-effective telephony solutions that are a tempting alternative to traditional options. Businesses and individuals can benefit from advanced capabilities, cross-device compatibility, and a phone number not tied to a device or location. Let’s have a closer look at VoIP providers.

What Is a VoIP Provider?

A Voice Over Internet Provider or VoIP provider is an organization that offers tools and services for users to adopt VoIP platforms. A VoIP provider typically offers a complete package but may also only provide its underlying infrastructure.

Do all VoIP Providers offer the same services?

Not every VoIP provider has the same offering; the only similarity is that they use the same core technology. Some providers offer customizable softphones ready to equip your business with a mobile and desktop softphone app so employees can work remotely, while traveling, or when at the office. Others may have basic features or lack call quality.

Additionally, you’ll need a provider that offers SIP trunking for PSTN connectivity to enable true business calling, including making and receiving external calls. Otherwise, VoIP platforms may be limiting for some users.

Finding the right VoIP provider for your specific needs is crucial, as not all providers are the same. You need the right blend of capabilities, features, and pricing. So, let’s dive deeper into what a VoIP provider is and how you can navigate all the options to find the right one for you.

Are the Cheapest VoIP Service Providers Worth It?

Finding the cheapest VoIP provider isn’t as simple as it might seem. You need to compare the complete platform, such as the inclusion of SIP trunking and softphones, to compare equivalent services.

Once you find comparable providers, you’ll need to understand their pricing structure to figure out which one is the cheapest. This can also be a challenge, as billing plans aren’t universally the same. Pricing plans can be per-user or per-usage, often a mix of both, while also offering varying rates for each user or each minute.

Essentially, focusing on the cheapest option isn’t usually the best way to find the right choice for you. Instead, focus on the best VoIP companies that offer your needed capabilities at a price that works for your budget.

How Does a VoIP Provider Compare to a Landline or Conventional Phone System?

Conventional telecom systems for businesses handled most of the hardware internally, using a telecommunications provider to make and receive external calls. Hard phones were found on every desk, and companies required specialized IT teams to keep everything running.

Conversely, a VoIP provider manages all or most of the infrastructure, with the business only requiring a reliable Internet connection. Hard phones can still be used if preferred or replaced with softphones that work on desktops and mobile devices.

What about from the user’s perspective?

People calling your business won’t be able to tell if you’re using VoIP or a conventional system. Internal employees may need some softphone training, but otherwise, the same features and utility of conventional phone systems are still available.

What is a VoIP Number?

A VoIP number is the same as a traditional telephone number in appearance—it will either have a local area code or be a toll-free number. When you call them, people will see a typical number, and they’ll call you just like any other number.

So, is there a difference? A VoIP number is assigned to a specific user, whereas a traditional number is assigned to a specific device, a smartphone or landline.

This added utility allows users to switch between devices and locations while still using the same phone number. For example, a VoIP user can answer a phone call on a desktop or mobile device, depending on the softphone.

Who Needs a VoIP Provider?

Anyone using the phone frequently can benefit from switching to a VoIP provider. Some providers cater to specific types of users by providing different pricing plans, feature offerings, and overall utility. We’ll break down the three categories of those needing a VoIP provider.


Individuals or families might opt for a VoIP platform to reduce the cost of international or local calls compared to landlines. VoIP’s added flexibility is also appealing for those who travel, as VoIP numbers can be used across different operating systems.

Additionally, freelancers can use VoIP services to manage client calls and gain all the typical business features other organizations benefit from, such as voicemail to email, custom caller IDs, and the ability to use the same number across devices.

Businesses of All Sizes

Businesses often require advanced features beyond a consumer-focused VoIP solution. VoIP providers for business users typically offer more robust and customizable capabilities, allowing businesses to build the right plan for their needs.

Choosing a business-focused VoIP provider allows for necessary business features, such as:

  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.
  • Integration with popular softwares.
  • Warm transferring.

You’ll also want to keep in mind cross-platform compatibility so employees can use mobile devices or PCs as necessary. Does the potential provider offer a mobile softphone and desktop app?


A VoIP reseller will typically bundle a VoIP provider’s services alongside other features and capabilities to offer more value to their customers. Choosing the right VoIP provider that makes sense for the rest of the bundle can go far in separating themselves from the competition.

For example, an ISP might offer VoIP services to their subscribers, so those signing up for Internet services can also benefit from Internet-based calling. The ISP will likely want to partner with a VoIP provider that offers a wide range of capabilities that can accommodate individual and business needs.

How to Choose the Right VoIP Provider

Voip Provider Definition What Is

How do you navigate all the different VoIP providers? Some of the top VoIP providers to explore are:

  • RingCentral
  • 8×8
  • DialPad
  • VoIP MS
  • Nextiva

We’ve put together a breakdown of these VoIP providers to help get you started. However, there are so many options well beyond our list that it can be overwhelming, so it’s valuable to have a guide to sort through them.

Let’s go through a few areas to evaluate so you can find the right provider.

Evaluating VoIP Providers

Requirements and Features

What exactly do you need from a VoIP provider? There are so many different options to explore that a good place to start is focusing on what you need. From there, you can quickly rule out some VoIP providers that don’t meet your requirements.

A few possible requirements to consider include the following:

  • Call volume and users: Understanding expected call volume and number of users is necessary to help guide your decisions and evaluate pricing structures. Many VoIP providers have usage-based billing and individual user licenses for your employees.
  • International and local calling: If you only use VoIP internally or with other VoIP users, you don’t need to worry about international calling. However, you’ll need PSTN connectivity for true business calling, which involves different usage rates by region.
  • Third-party integrations: Many platforms for business users prioritize building out integrations with common platforms, such as Salesforce. What integrations would be helpful for your business?
  • Reporting and call management tools: Many businesses have other unique requirements for any phone system, such as call queues, detailed reports, or call recording. Understand if you need these business features and make sure your next provider offers them.
  • Pricing: The right VoIP solution is one you can afford. Understanding the above requirements will help you better understand the pricing of various solutions. You can then evaluate different VoIP service providers by pricing to find the right option.


Look for reviews from previous and existing customers of any potential VoIP provider before you sign up. Knowing all the ins and outs of a service before you use it is hard, but reviews help you better understand what to expect.

Expect a few bad reviews, but if too many reviews complain about features that matter to you, it’s worth looking elsewhere.

Additionally, look for reviews other than those on the VoIP provider’s website or social media profiles. TrustPilot is a great place to explore user reviews, and you can also seek expert opinions on specific services on reputable review sites.

Call Quality

Call quality describes both the clarity of each call and may also refer to service reliability, such as dropped calls or lack thereof.

When reading reviews, look for users who discuss call quality, either praising it or criticizing it. Poor call quality with VoIP services can often be a result of an unstable Internet connection. Still, if it’s a recurring issue in reviews, it’s likely related to the VoIP provider.

If possible, sign up for a trial first to check the quality for yourself. However, this isn’t usually an option for business users, in which case it’s wise to ensure the service level agreement (SLA) includes uptime and quality terms.

Security and Compliance

Most VoIP providers will have security measures in place to protect your user account and services. However, some organizations require additional security or specific types of security protocols to meet compliance regulations.

For example, the healthcare industry was slow to adopt VoIP due to the possibility of violating HIPAA regulations. Now, the right security and reporting systems are offered by some providers that have overcome these requirements.

Be aware of your security requirements and make sure that any prospective VoIP service is able to meet them. Don’t risk a data breach or non-compliance penalty by choosing the wrong provider.

The Best VoIP Providers: A Comprehensive Breakdown

Trying to compare the best VoIP providers on the market? We’ve put together a comprehensive list by category to help you find the best ones based on your needs.

Best Cheap VoIP Provider
Google Voice
Best VoIP Provider for AI Integrations
Best Small Business VoIP Provider
Best Overall VoIP Provider
Unmatched affordabilitySupports AI integrations with all plansAll features available regardless of planUnlimited domestic calling (all plans) and international calling (select plans)
Built-in integrations with Google SuiteIncludes multilevel auto attendantUnlimited domestic calling and text messagingComes with all the popular phone features you’d expect
Unlimited domestic calling and text messagingComes with integrated text messaging24/7 support and flat rate monthly pricingNo contracts or commitments. Cancel anytime

Best Cheap VoIP Provider

Google Voice

Google Voice is an affordable option for any small businesses or individuals looking for PSTN-enabled calling.

Quick highlights:

  • 14-day free trial
  • Includes video calling
  • $10 to $30 per user, per month

Unmatched Affordability

It’s hard to compete with Google’s ultra-low $10 per user pricing for a capable VoIP solution. This makes it a great option for smaller businesses looking to make phone calls from any desktop or mobile device.

Integrates with Google Solutions

Google Voice is directly integrated with Google’s other solutions, making it easy for any businesses using Google Suite to integrate it with other apps they use.

Unlimited Domestic Calling and Text Messaging

Google Voice also comes with unlimited domestic calling and text messaging, making this solution even more valuable.

Best VoIP Provider for AI Integrations


Dialpad is a powerful VoIP provider with plans for businesses of all sizes. Even better, they are also one of the early VoIP providers to include powerful AI capabilities with their solution.

Quick highlights:

  • 14-day free trial
  • Includes video calling
  • $10 to $35 per user, per month

AI Integrations with All Plans

Dialpad is an early adopter when it comes to adding AI-powered features to their solutions. All plans come with automated call summaries, call transcripts for audio, video calls & voicemails, and AI-powered analytics.

Multilevel Auto Attendants

Dialpad also provides multilevel auto attendants with all plans, allowing callers to automatically reach the right people without needing to involve an operator or receptionist.

Integrated Text Messaging

Like most VoIP providers, DialPad also includes integrated text messaging, adding yet another channel of communications to this solution’s capabilities.

Best Small Business VoIP Provider


Grasshopper is the ideal choice for very small businesses looking for a VoIP provider that offers predictable, flat-rate monthly pricing for its service.

Quick highlights:

  • 7-day free trial
  • Doesn’t include video conferencing
  • $14 to $55 per month

Access All Features

Grasshopper doesn’t limit features behind different plans or tiers. All plans get access to the platform’s features, including texting, call forwarding, auto attendant, virtual fax, and visual voicemail. However, the platform does limit the number of extensions and phone numbers you can use.

Unlimited Domestic Calling & Text Messaging

If you need to make local calls or send text messages — Grasshopper is the right choice. Their service includes unlimited domestic calling and text messaging. International calls are available as well, but will incur international calling rates.

24/7 Customer Support

Despite its low price, Grasshopper provides high-quality, 24/7 customer support, so you’ll always have the help you need if an issue arises.

Best Overall VoIP Provider


8×8 is a recognized name in the VoIP provider space. They remain our top pick due to how well-rounded their solution is for both smaller businesses and larger enterprises.

Quick highlights:

  • 30-day free trial
  • Includes video calling
  • $28 to $57 per user, per month

Unlimited Domestic & International Calling

All 8×8 plans come with unlimited domestic calling. However, select plans also include unlimited international calling, making this a great option for larger businesses with global calling needs.

Loaded with Popular Features

While you may need to choose a higher tier plan to unlock everything, 8×8’s solutions come loaded with features. 8×8 includes everything from auto attendants, built-in SMS, advanced call center capabilities to everyday phone features you’d expect from a VoIP provider.

No Contracts or Commitments

8×8 makes it easy for customers to try and explore their VoIP solutions by eliminating vendor lock. 8×8 customers can cancel at any time.

Pairing the Best VoIP Providers with an Industry-Leading Softphone

Businesses and individuals might benefit from migrating to a VoIP provider rather than remaining on legacy landlines and mobile plans. Adopting VoIP services can allow businesses to cut costs while also benefiting from advanced capabilities.

The best VoIP provider for you will vary from other businesses and individuals. Understanding your requirements, budget, and other specific needs is crucial before you sign up with a service provider.

Acrobits is a leading provider of customizable softphones powered by a high-uptime infrastructure. Are you ready to explore VoIP? Book a demo of Acrobits softphone today and evaluate if we’re the right fit for your needs.

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