VoIP stands for ‘Voice Over Internet Protocol’. VoIP transmission was invented in 1973. It was a result of an experimental network being prepared. Although this tech was invented quite early, it wasn’t until 1995 that the first  Internet Phone Software – Vocaltec, had appeared.

Voice over internet protocol(VoIP) also known as IP telephony is a transmission network that uses the internet to place & receive calls rather than using the traditional telephone systems. The voice communications take place over the internet using VoIP phone numbers/virtual phone numbers.  Some VoIP phone number services allow you to call anyone with a mobile number, while others may only allow you to contact a person using the same service.

How does VoIP work?

For VoIP to work properly, you would need a good speed internet connection, which can be through cable modems or wireless transmission networks such as WiFi. Your voice is converted into a digital signal that travels over the internet. This conversion is done by the VoIP service itself. Using a VoIP phone number you can very easily make calls through computers, laptops, tablets & smartphones. The virtual phone systems used these days are highly diversified & are capable of doing much more than a traditional PBX system.

Features of  VoIP Phone Systems

A great example to understand how virtual phone systems are better than traditional phone systems is by using the comparison between a smartphone & a traditional phone. Just as a smartphone is capable of doing much more than just calling, a VoIP service is far superior to a private branch exchange(PBX) telephone system in terms of the features it offers. Below are some of the basic or most useful features that you will find in many VoIP services :

  • Multiple device compatibility such as computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones & traditional telephone systems using an adapter.
  • Cheaper than traditional phone systems for businesses
  • Much easier to maintain
  • Data recording, tracking & analysis tools are available through cloud computing
  • Conference calling
  • Call forwarding
  • Conference bridging
  • Call blocking
  • Call waiting
  • Call transferring
  • Auto attendant for calls
  • Audio-visual/video calling
  • Voicemails can be sent as emails with an attached audio file
  • Voicemails can also be sent as texts

Virtual Phone Systems are relatively new, even though the technology was invented roughly 30 years ago. Adopting this method of telephony across the world in many businesses took place only in the last decade or so. This occurred due to the digital revolution that has taken place in the 21st century. A majority of the population around the world now has easy & cheaper access to the internet & VoIP compatible devices. This has given many organizations an opportunity to setup companies that provide VoIP phone number.

5 of the Best VoIP Phone System Providers in 2019 :

Over the years many competitors have emerged within the VoIP service industry. Needless to say, the race to become the best virtual phone numbers or systems provider continues. Among the fierce competition, stand 5 VoIP phone system providers that have made their presence known to the world with their great services :

  1. RingCentral
  2. Nextiva
  3. CallHippo
  4. 8×8
  5. Jive

1) RingCentral

RingCentral is one of the best virtual phone number providers around the world. Their relentless passion to innovate has made them what many would say,  the number 1 cloud communications provider worldwide, and they don’t plan on stopping there. They possess very cost-effective, flexible cloud communications and collaboration solutions.

The company started in San Mateo, California where it has been in the small business telephone game since 1999. Since its humble beginnings, the company is relatively well established at present with networks spread across parts of the US, Europe & Asia. The VoIP service provided by RingCentral is feature rich including free toll-free minutes. This service is not the most inexpensive, but it is reliable.

Strengths :

  • Feature rich software
  • Generous toll-free minutes

Weaknesses :

  • Costly rates for some
  • Outsourced customer service

2) Nextiva

Nextiva is a VoIP phone system provider based in Scottsdale, Arizona. As a business, you need to cut costs for the services that you use. Nextiva provides a great balance between features & their product prices. They also provide a well structured online management platform to handle employees and operations across different locales easily.

Strengths :

  • Budget-friendly rates to help small businesses
  • Multi-locale scalability

Weaknesses :

  • Confusing pricing
  • Expensive international calling

3) CallHippo

CallHippo is based in Newark, Delaware. It is one of the best upcoming VoIP phone system providers in the industry. The company has made a name for itself with their great quality cloud computing system which allows clients to track, record & analyse their operations using tools that are built-in to the management software. They have further used the power of trend and made their service available on Android & iOS through the google play store & App Store respectively. CallHippo has grown in the market well and has turned up to be the best virtual phone number provider.

Strengths :

  • Cloud computing system
  • Innovative products

Weaknesses :

  • Relatively less known in the industry
  • Lower reach against major competitors

4) 8×8

Launched in the year 2002, based in San-Jose, 8×8 is one of the earliest VoIP service providers to exist. Currently, it is serving many businesses around the world. The key reason for 8×8’s success is its simplicity; having only three plans which are loaded with useful features.

Strengths :

  • Crowdsourced customer service
  • Simplicity of available plans

Weaknesses :

  • Limited mobile access
  • Closed API

5) Jive

Do not be fooled by the name, Jive might relate to being loose & dancing carefree, but when it comes down to business; this VoIP service provider is no joke. The organization has built a positive reputation & image for itself since its launch in 2006 in Orem, Utah. Jive began when six software entrepreneurs got fed up with the expensive and overly complicated phone system. They made a decision to create their own Hosted VoIP solution. With their system in the Cloud—and grounded by grit—Jive created an affordable, innovative, and secure Unified Communication (UC) solution for businesses around the world.

Strengths :

  • Feature parity
  • Sliding-scale pricing

Weaknesses :

  • Expensive international calling
  • Limited video conferencing

All the above businesses have grown with time but CallHippo stands out with it 3 minute sign up time for your virtual phone system providing their clients the best quality at an affordable cost.