The listings featured on this site are from companies from which this site receives compensation. This influences where, how and in what order such listings appear on this site.
Advertising Disclosure

Best Cloud-Based (Virtual PBX) Phone Systems For Business in 2023

Daniel Blechynden
Cloud-Based ( Virtual PBX ) Phone Systems
Cloud-based VoIP systems make it easy for businesses to connect phone systems to the internet.

Traditionally, when a business wanted to create a phone system including an automated answering message and routing tree, they would have to deploy a private branch exchange (PBX) system. This was usually a physical server at the business’s base, with space, noise, hassle, and equipment to maintain and troubleshoot.

These days, companies don’t need to even deploy a true phone system to take advantage of amazing phone connectivity or advanced features that Voice over IP (VoIP) provides. Cloud-based VoIP systems bring all the benefits of the best VoIP systems, but are hosted entirely in the cloud—on someone else’s infrastructure. 

So which system is best for your needs? We've tried and tested the best ones to help you find the perfect one for you.

Our Top 10 Virtual PBX (Cloud-Based) Phone Systems in 2023

RingCentral: Best for large teams and call volumes 

Ooma: Best for no-frills setups

Grasshopper: Best for competitive rates

GoToConnect: Best for unlimited international calls

Vonage: Best for scalability

A Closer Look at Our Top 10 Virtual PBX Phone Systems: Quick Reviews

1. RingCentral

RingCentral

Pros

  • Reliable connections built on global infrastructure

  • End-to-end encryption on every call

  • Sophisticated integrations

Cons

  • Limited basic plan

  • Fee charged for fax to email

Packages
Standard
Premium
Ultimate

Pricing

$19.99 - $34.99

$29.99 - $44.99

$39.99 - $59.99


RingCentral is a large VoIP provider that works with clients across a range of types and sizes. It offers a highly flexible range of packages—from an Essentials package offering the absolute basics, to a standard package designed for growing SMBs, to Premium and Ultimate packages stacked with features. The Essentials and Standard plans include dedicated iOS and Android apps, unlimited video conferencing with screen sharing for up to 4 users, and integration with Microsoft and Google. 

If what you’re looking for is a no-frills virtual PBX that does the job, look no further than these packages. The price structure also favors growing businesses, with different prices for businesses with 2-99 employees, 100-999 employees, and 1,000+ users. Once you’re a RingCentral customer, it’s really simple to switch between RingCentral’s virtual cloud VoIP packages according to your immediate needs.

Read the full RingCentral review

RingCentral is an option worth considering for businesses of all shapes and sizes who need advanced VoIP solutions. Visit Site

2. Ooma

Ooma

Pros

  • Unlimited number of users

  • Contract-free service

  • Affordable plans

Cons

  • Possible disconnections

  • Few software integrations

Packages
Ooma Office
Ooma Office Pro
Enterprise
Cost

$19.95/month

$24.95/month
Request custom quote

Ooma provides a range of VoIP services for small business and enterprise. Its Ooma Office phone system results in an average 50% saving versus using traditional telephony—and includes more than 35 features. 

These include a desktop app so that users can access the tool, and make calls, from their desktop, mobile apps, SMS messaging, and a virtual receptionist which automates the routing of internal calls. 

Users can also avail of automatic call recording; ring groups to allow callers to easily reach specific departments within the business; and features to make the calling experience more enjoyable for users including hold and transfer music.

There’s unlimited calling in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico plus low international rates and free number transfer.

Read the full Ooma review

Ooma is a feature-rich VoIP system for businesses of all sizes. Visit Site

3. Grasshopper

Grasshopper

Pros

  • Great app interface

  • 99.999% uptime

  • Easy phone forwarding system

Cons

  • Few integrations

  • $500 deposit for international calls

Packages
Solo
Partner
Small Business
Cost
$29/month
$49/month
$89/month

Grasshopper is a cloud VoIP provider that allows users to keep their personal and business calls separate. 

Features include:

  • Call blasting: Inbound calls can be dialed on up to 15 lines simultaneously in order to reduce waiting times for customers.
  • Voice studio: Grasshopper works with a team of experienced voice actors who can create polished and professional greetings for phone systems. Want your small business to get that large business look and feel? Tapping into Grasshopper’s talent pool is an easy way to do that.
  • Ruby Receptionists: Grasshopper also maintains a network of live US-based receptionists waiting to handle calls and route them through your VoIP system. New uses even get a 35% discount on this service that is sure to wow your customers.

Grasshopper also offers: simultaneous call handling, VoIP / WiFi calling, and call transfers. It’s a mature system designed for businesses that want all of the benefits of VoIP but none of the infrastructure.

Read full Grasshopper review

Grasshopper’s mobile app lets you access work contacts easily with the sleek interface and intuitive features. Visit Site

4. GoToConnect (Jive)

GoToConnect

Pros

  • Host conference calls with up to 10 attendees

  • Integration with top business software

  • Easy to set up and migrate contacts

Cons

  • Pricey plans

  • Very limited digital fax feature

Packages
Basic
Standard
Premium

Pricing

$24/user/month

$29/user/month

$39/user/month

While most cloud-hosted VoIP providers offer different prices for different features, GoToConnect, formerly known as Jive, works in a simpler way. All packages include access to all 80+ features, and the per-user price keeps dropping as your business gets larger. This makes it a good solution for growing SMBs because you can just move over to the next pricing package once you hit a certain number of users. 

Key features include unlimited free calling to the US, Canada, and 51 other countries; an online portal to control and update your phone from any device with an internet connection; and time-based routing and custom schedules to accommodate for day/evening hours, weekends and holidays. 

Read the full GoToConnect review

GoToConnect’s all-inclusive package has many features that customers of other VoIP providers must pay for separately. Visit Site

5. Vonage

Vonage

Pros

  • Reliable solution with 99.999% uptime

  • Conferencing for up to 100 people

  • Installation and setup included

Cons

  • No free version

  • Slow support chatbot

Packages
Mobile
Premium
Advanced
Price per single user
$19.99/month
$29.99/month
$39.99/month
Price per 50 users

$14.99/month

$24.99/month

$34.99/month

Vonage Business Cloud is a flexible cloud-hosted VoIP system targeted at the needs of small and medium businesses. All packages comprise more than 40 features, including a virtual receptionist, call logs, and admin portal. All packages include a 14-day free trial period.

For an extra cost, businesses can add an array of additional features, including video conferencing for up to 100 people, call recording, and more.

All its packages include unlimited calls and SMS service throughout North America. It also offers cheap international calls and a bunch of mobile-friendly functions to support SMBs with a high number of remote employees or plans to branch out and grow abroad. Being a cloud-hosted VoIP, Vonage’s highly scalable infrastructure can support growing businesses of all sizes.

Read the full Vonage review

Vonage offers special orange-glove set up: A dedicated team who will help with on-boarding. Visit Site

What is a cloud-based VoIP phone system? 

A cloud-based voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone system is a combination of software and hardware that enables you to make audio calls over the internet rather than via a traditional phone network. Most cloud phone solutions are hosted in large, highly secure data centers, which makes them reliable and secure. 

Cloud-based VoIP solutions can be used with a range of different devices. Some can be used with traditional phones (with some sort of adapter) or specialized desk phone hardware, while others are limited to computers and mobile devices. 

Unlike traditional business private branch exchange (PBX), cloud VoIP requires very little infrastructure at your end. You won’t have to maintain your own hardware systems, which means less work for your IT team. 

It’s important to note that not all cloud phone systems are suitable replacements for business PBX. Some are more consumer-facing, with fewer business features. 

How does a cloud-based phone system work? 

In the most simple terms, cloud-based phone systems break audio data down into small packets. These data packets are transmitted via the internet before being decoded and reassembled at the receiver's end. 

In a business sense, a cloud-based PBX enables you to manage internal communications and route external communications appropriately. This is usually achieved via a centralized software interface that can be managed by your company’s IT team. 

On a more technical level, cloud-based phone systems use a variety of internet protocols and standards to ensure voice data is transmitted effectively. Many systems also come with video calling and text messaging capabilities, and you will nearly always have access to internal communications tools. 

The main thing to understand about cloud VoIP systems is that they require a strong internet connection. Without this, you will most likely experience poor-quality audio and connectivity issues. 

Virtual PBX Features

The best virtual PBX systems come with a wide range of business-specific features, including numerous call and audio management tools. Feature availability varies between providers, but we’ve listed some of the most notable below. 

Audio encryption

One of the most useful features of cloud VoIP systems is that they typically come with excellent security, including full audio encryption. This means hackers and other malicious third parties can’t steal or access your data without your permission. 

Call management features

Some of the most useful call management features are call recording and voicemail-to-email transcription. In most cases, you will also have access to things like call forwarding, conference calling, virtual receptionists, interactive voice response (IVR), and automatic call blocking. 

A selection of local and toll-free numbers

Another useful perk of using a VoIP system is that you can choose your own local or toll-free phone number. You can even use numbers from different geographical locations to give yourself an apparently local presence in target regions. 

Mobile and desktop apps

Most VoIP platforms come with native mobile and desktop apps designed to optimize the user experience. These usually provide access to most VoIP features, including audio calling and call management tools. 

Video conferencing

Many modern VoIP platforms include video conferencing tools. These can be particularly useful for things like internal meetings and conference calls. Businesses also use video conferencing tools for training sessions and team briefings. 

Benefits of Cloud-Hosted Phone Systems

Cloud-hosted VoIP systems have numerous benefits for businesses, such as: 

You can choose your hardware

Cloud VoIP systems can typically be used with a range of different hardware devices. At their simplest, they can be used through your laptop or desktop computer. Most platforms come with mobile apps that enable you to transform your smartphone into a VoIP softphone, and many can be used with specialized desk phone devices. 

Predictable costs

One of the key benefits of cloud VoIP services is that they come with a clear cost. There aren’t usually any setup fees, which makes hosted VoIP systems much more affordable to get started with than traditional business PBX phone systems. 

Additionally, you should only have to pay a preset monthly subscription. This enables you to budget appropriately, and ensure you’re not spending too much on business communications. 

Reliability

Since they run in the cloud, most business VoIP solutions are reliable. Most providers have multiple data centers with excellent redundancy, which means an outage at one center shouldn’t cause issues at your end. 

Extra features

Most virtual PBX systems also come with a range of extra features you wouldn’t get with a traditional system. For example, you can usually choose a toll-free business number, you will have access to numerous call management tools, and you should be able to create clear access permissions. Some programs even come with advanced features such as integrations with third-party platforms.

Mobility

One of the best things about cloud-based VoIP is that it’s almost always location-independent. This makes it an exceptional choice for businesses with remote employees or multiple offices. 

Cons of Cloud-Based Phone Systems

Cloud-based VoIP systems have a lot going for them, but there are a few potential downsides you should be aware of. 

Performance issues

If you have a strong internet connection, you shouldn’t experience any performance issues with your new business VoIP system. However, you will have problems if your internet isn’t up to standard. This can cause your VoIP software to lag, and even become unusable in some cases, which could have significant negative impacts on your business. 

You may have to upgrade your hardware

Most VoIP systems aren’t compatible with old analog hardware, which means you may have to upgrade to new desk phones if you want dedicated calling devices. This can get quite expensive, though you could always opt to use your VoIP system through existing computers or mobile devices. 

Latency and jitter

VoIP phone systems send audio data via small data packets that are converted back to audio at the receiver's end. If there are issues with this process, you may experience network latency (lag) and jitteriness, or low audio quality caused by poorly decoded data packets.

Take VoIP To The Cloud!

Selecting a cloud VoIP system for your business is a great way to take advantage of 2 innovations at once: cloud computing (no infrastructure to maintain!) and VoIP (lower priced calls and many more features versus traditional PBX solutions). Check out one of our top cloud-hosted VoIP providers to see how it can help your business.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cloud-based VoIP phone system?
-
+
A cloud-based VoIP phone system is one that enables you to make calls via the internet rather than via a traditional phone network. Cloud-based systems are much more cost-effective than traditional business PBX. What’s more, they often come with a range of extra features such as call management tools, integrations with third-party platforms, and mobile apps.
Are cloud-based phone systems reliable?
-
+
As long as you’re using a reputable provider, cloud-based phone systems are extremely reliable. Most providers use multiple data centers spread over different countries and continents, which makes the network extremely redundant. The most likely time you will have issues is if your internet connection isn’t fast enough.
What are the benefits of a cloud phone system?
-
+
Cloud phone systems are easy to use, cost-effective, and typically come with a suite of extra features. When compared to traditional business PBX, VoIP requires much less hardware, has fewer initial overheads, and can be used with a variety of different devices. It’s also location-independent, making it great for geographically dispersed teams.
How much does a cloud phone system cost?
-
+
The cheapest cloud phone systems start from less than $10 per user, per month, but you will usually have to pay at least $20 for a high-quality solution. For example, our number-one VoIP service provider, RingCentral, has plans ranging from $19.99 to $59.99 per user, per month.
Daniel Blechynden
Contributing to many popular websites, Daniel’s writing focuses on technology, science, and dependable reviews. He holds degrees in Chemistry and Marine Science from the University of Western Australia and has been a regular critic of software, web hosting, website builders, and a variety of other tech products and services for several years, leaning on his academic background for rigor in research and writing.