Is it time to trade in your company’s traditional analog phone system for a cloud-based alternative? Cloud phone services, aka Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems, are becoming an increasingly popular choice for many businesses today.

Join us for an introduction to cloud phone systems, how they work, and the benefits they bring to the table. Once we’ve covered the basics, we’ll go on to explore the best cloud phone services of 2024 and how to find the right choice for your business.

What Is a Cloud Phone System?

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A cloud phone system is simply a business phone network that operates over the internet instead of traditional phone lines. You may also hear it referred to as a cloud or virtual PBX (Private Branch eXchange).

Much like a traditional PBX, a cloud PBX can keep a business connected by providing an easy solution for managing both internal and external calls. The main difference is that while traditional business phones require on-site (and often pricey) hardware, cloud-based systems are routed through an off-site provider’s servers.

How Do Cloud-Based Phones Work?

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From a user’s standpoint, using a cloud phone tends to feel just like using a traditional phone. You simply dial the number you want to reach, wait for the recipient to answer, and have a conversation as usual.

The real difference between traditional business phones and cloud phones happens behind the scenes. A traditional PBX connects callers by relaying their voices over traditional analog phone lines.

When you place a call on a cloud phone, your voice is transmitted as a digital data packet instead. If the person you’re calling is using a traditional phone, your voice will automatically be converted back to voice as it’s delivered.

As complex as this all may sound, the whole process happens in a fraction of a second. The difference between traditional and cloud phones is less in the caller's experience and more in the infrastructure.

Benefits of Cloud-Based Phone Systems

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It’s important to understand that cloud-based phone systems require reliable, high-speed internet service. But if your company already has a great Wi-Fi network, then opting for a cloud phone network can come with plenty of benefits.

Here are some of the benefits of choosing a cloud phone system over a traditional business phone network.

  • Affordability. Cloud-based phones can be more cost-effective than traditional networks.
  • Scalability. Cloud phone systems are very easy to scale, as they don’t rely on physical hardware to add or remove lines. Maintenance is also handled by the off-site provider, resulting in fewer interruptions.
  • Features. Cloud phones offer all the benefits of traditional business lines and more. Many offer features such as video calling and conferencing, call recording and analytics, and CRM integration.
  • Physical flexibility. Cloud phones are great for remote or hybrid teams, as they offer the same functionality from anywhere with an internet connection.

Top 10 Cloud Phone Services

Now that we’ve covered how cloud phones work and what they have to offer, let’s take a closer look at top service providers.

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1. KrispCall

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When it comes to international connectivity at an affordable rate, KrispCall is king. The cloud phone provider offers service to over 100 countries and can even hook you up with a local virtual phone number to use in any of them.

The feature-rich service offers three different plans to choose from, all of which include essentials like voicemail, call analytics, and SMS capabilities. Make or answer calls from your smartphone, browser, or even a landline.

KrispCall currently connects with systems like HubSpot and PipeDrive, with plans to release more integrations soon. While its one-time set-up and campaign fees can be a little confusing to navigate, KrispCall’s wide range of features makes it well worth exploring.

2. Nextiva

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If you’re in search of the best cloud phone systems for sales and marketing teams, then be sure to check out Nextiva. The Arizona-based provider offers three different service suites, each of which comes with its own unique set of cutting-edge features.

No matter which plan you choose, your teams will enjoy perks like Microsoft & Google integration, desktop and mobile apps, conversational analytics, and inbound workflows. The Professional and Enterprise plans come with additional benefits such as a call flow builder, CRM integration, and video meetings.

Nextiva also offers omni-channel branding support options, from social listening and AI-powered chatbots to customer journey orchestration. While it’s not the cheapest option, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for an all-in-one connectivity solution.

3. Intermedia Unite

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Looking for a great way to keep your team connected? Intermedia Unite comes with plenty of productivity tools, such as HD voice calls, video conferencing, team chat, and file sharing.

In addition to mobile and desktop apps, Intermedia Unite offers features like paging & intercom capabilities, voicemail transcription, and even meeting notes. The auto attendant feature makes it easy for customers to route their calls to the right team members, while real-time analytics enable actionable insights.

Choose from either the Pro or Enterprise plans depending on your team’s size and needs. At the moment, Intermedia Unite is even offering a free deskphone or headset to new customers.

4. RingCentral

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There are plenty of reasons that RingCentral is largely considered one of the best cloud phone systems in the business. With plans ranging from $20-$35/month per user, RingCentral’s solutions offer plenty of value for companies of all sizes.

Even the most basic service option comes with features like unlimited domestic calls, visual voicemail, and AI meeting transcriptions. If you’re looking for the best value, however, we’d recommend springing for an Advanced subscription option, which only costs $5 extra.

It comes with access to a huge library of over 300 different integrations, from CRMs like HubSpot and Salesforce to productivity suites like Asana and Trello. Whether you’re looking for a reliable business phone network or an omnichannel sales and branding solution, RingCentral makes it easy to customize your own solution.

5. Grasshopper

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If you’re searching for a great cloud phone for solopreneurs or small business owners, then Grasshopper is a great place to start. Grasshopper offers three different plans based on the number of extensions or separate business numbers you’re interested in.

Each is incredibly affordable, with the solo plan starting at just $14/month. While the highest tier runs for $55/month, it offers an unlimited number of users, which makes it a great value for small business owners.

Grasshopper is best for anyone looking for a simple solution that includes features like mobile and desktop apps, voicemail, and virtual fax. It’s also a great option if you’re interested in using your smartphone to answer calls from separate business and personal numbers.

6. 8x8

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If you’re looking for flexibility and customer-centric features, then 8x8 is worth exploring. The customer engagement platform offers five different subscription options, though it’s not incredibly transparent about the pricing of any of them.

While the company’s website invites you to contact sales for a quote, Forbes recently published a breakdown that should give you an idea of its pricing. That said, each of the plans offer a wide range of features.

The most basic X2 subscription includes all-in-one voice, video, and chat, as well as unlimited voice calling to 14 different countries. Higher tiers offer voice calls to as many as 48 different countries, as well as features like front desk/receptionist service, analytics, and omnichannel support.

7. Vonage

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One of the perks of Vonage is that it offers industry-specific compliance solutions for customers in fields such as healthcare or finance. However, the communications provider offers plenty of features designed to make it a solid choice for any business.

With plans starting as low as $14/month, you can choose from mobile-only subscriptions or those that also work on VIoP desk phones. Vonage’s three core plans cover all the essentials, such as unlimited domestic calls, voicemail, and text.

But you can also create a highly customized experience with over 40 apps and optional add-on features. While this can be a handy option if you’re looking for a customizable experience, it also has the potential to significantly raise your monthly rates. For this reason, we’d suggest checking out the add-ons beforehand to avoid any unwelcome surprises.

8. Zoom Phone

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When it comes to the best budget-friendly cloud phone systems, Zoom Phone is a strong contender. While the most basic plan starts at $10/month, it operates on a metered basis and includes additional fees for outbound calls.

We’d recommend opting for the $15/month plan, which includes unlimited domestic calls to the U.S. and Canada and metered international calls. If you do tend to do a great deal of international business, you can also tack on unlimited calls to over 15 countries for an additional $10/month.

No matter which plan you choose, you can either port in your existing phone number or purchase a new one. While Zoom Phone doesn’t offer as many fancy features as some competitors, it’s a solid choice for any business looking for a reliable provider that offers all the essentials.

9. GoTo Connect

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Next up, we’ve got GoTo Connect, a provider that offers a little bit of everything. With four different subscriptions to choose from, GoTo Connect can connect you with as many customer-centric features as you choose.

The most basic tier supports unlimited users and comes with everything you need to keep your team connected through voice, chat, and video meetings. As you move up through the higher tiers, you’ll be presented with options like AI-powered SMS campaigns, social media integration, and analytics & monitoring tools.

The biggest drawback of GoTo Connect is that the provider’s website doesn’t give any indications of plan pricing, so you’ll need to reach out to sales for a quote. But the number of features offered in each plan may make it worth reaching out to find out more.

10. Ooma

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Part of what makes Ooma unique is that it offers cloud-based phone solutions for both business and residential customers. Ooma has more plan offerings than any other provider on our list, with pricing tiers designed for teams of different sizes.

The most basic starts at $20/user per month and comes with an impressive range of call management features. It includes perks like a virtual receptionist, voicemail, intercom, mobile app, and more.

You can even make unlimited calls in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, all without the need to ever sign a contract. Higher tiers include even more features, from analytics to CRM integration.


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How to choose the best cloud phone service

Choosing the best cloud phone service for your business will ultimately come down to your company's unique needs. Ideally, essential features will be automatically included in the price of the service you choose. But don’t forget to factor in any add-on services you may be interested in.

It’s also a good idea to take advantage of any free trials offered by providers you are considering so that you can test the call quality of each firsthand. Last but not least, check to see whether each provider’s service offers integration with your CRM or any other software solutions you’re already using.

How much does a cloud phone system cost?

Cloud phone pricing can vary depending on the provider, number of users, and even contract length. Typically, cloud phone providers charge a base rate of anywhere from $10 - $40 per user, but prices can vary based on the number of features.


If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to traditional business phone networks, then a cloud phone system may be the way to go. Not only are internet-based phone networks easier and more cost-effective, but they also offer far more advanced features.

The added bonus is that there are now plenty of different providers on the market, making it easy to find the best choice for your company’s unique needs. We hope this collection has helped answer your questions about the best cloud phone systems out there and wish you luck finding the right choice for your company.

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