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RingCentral Review

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
  • RingCentral Office is a complete cloud-hosted unified communications system that offers several calling, collaboration, and mobile features and tools.
  • RingCentral is available in four service plans that range from $20 to $60 per user, per month.
  • RingCentral has a 99.999% uptime, which means service is only down for a handful of minutes each year.
  • This article is for small business owners who want to learn more about RingCentral, our choice as the best business phone service.

RingCentral Office is a robust, cloud-hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) unified communication system that has everything – unlimited calling, video conferencing, and messaging in one platform – that small businesses want in a phone solution. When you factor in ease of use, its reliability, and complete package of features and tools, you will be hard-pressed to find a more complete business phone system. What also makes RingCentral appealing is that it is offered in four different packages, giving most businesses an opportunity to take advantage of the system regardless of their budget. Because of all of this and more, RingCentral is our 2020 pick for the best business phone service. 

RingCentral

RingCentral

Best Business Phone Systems of 2020

The Verdict

RingCentral is our choice as the best business phone service because of its reliability; easy-to-use platform; multiple price points; and robust set of calling, collaboration, and mobile features and tools.

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Editor's note: Looking for information on business phone systems? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need. 

 

 

Pricing

What makes RingCentral appealing is that businesses have four different RingCentral plans to choose from, varying in price and included features.

While most business phone system providers offer multiple plans, the breadth of options RingCentral offers is a nice bonus. This allows businesses to ensure they aren't paying for features they don't need. It also allows businesses with varying budgets to take advantage of RingCentral's outstanding platform.

Below is a breakdown of each of the RingCentral plans for businesses with up to 99 employees.

Essentials

  • Number of supported users:Up to 20
  • Cost:$29.99 per user, per month
  • Toll-free minutes:100
  • RingCentral features:Essentials includes unlimited calling, unlimited business text messaging, visual voicemail and voicemail-to-email. This plan also features document sharing, team messaging, call log repots, and mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Standard

  • Number of supported users:Unlimited
  • Cost:$34.99 per user, per month
  • Toll-free minutes:1,000
  • RingCentral features:RingCentral's Standard plan includes everything in the Essentials plan plus unlimited audio conferencing; video conferencing with up to 100 attendees; online faxing; a multilevel auto attendant; and integrations with Office 365, G Suite, and Slack. This plan also provides 24/7 customer support.

Premium

  • Number of supported users:Unlimited
  • Cost:$44.99 per user, per month
  • Toll-free minutes:2,500
  • RingCentral features:Premium includes everything in the Standard plan in addition to the ability to host video meetings for up to 200 people; automatic call recording; multisite support; custom app development and deployment; single sign-on; real-time analytics; advanced call handling; hot desking; and integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, and Canvas.

Ultimate

  • Number of supported users:Unlimited
  • Cost:$59.99 per user, per month
  • Toll-free minutes:10,000
  • RingCentral features:The Ultimate plan includes everything in the Premium plan plus unlimited storage, device status reports and device status alters.

Prices for businesses with more than 100 employees drop $2 to $7 per user. In addition, you can save up to 33% on any RingCentral plan by paying for a year of service in advance. 

Key takeaway: RingCentral offers four different service plans. Plans vary by price and included features and tools. Plan costs range from $20 to $60 per user, per month. 

RingCentral Features

Part of what makes RingCentral stand out from its peers is its wide selection of features and tools. The platform offers all the calling, collaboration and mobile features that businesses of all sizes value.

This system offers unlimited calling, HD voice, call recording, call queues, user, groups, call whisper and barge, multilevel auto attendants, and call log reports.

Part of RingCentral's appeal is its collaboration features, which is what makes this a true unified communication system. You can host audio conference calls with up to 1,000 participants and host video conferences that allow for screen sharing with up to 200 attendees. Text messaging and team messaging are also included in the platform.

The RingCentral mobile app is available on iOS and Android devices. With the app, users can make and receive calls from their business lines, send and receive faxes and texts, set up and join conference calls, and check their voicemail. The app also allows users to change their system settings and receive notifications. 

If your business needs contact center services, RingCentral offers that too. Features for those inbound and outbound services include IVRs, omnichannel capabilities, outbound dialing, performance management, and analytics.

Key takeaway: Businesses will also be impressed with all of the calling, collaboration and mobile features RingCentral includes. The combination of features makes it a true unified communications system. Overall, the service offers more than 50 features.

RingCentral Pros

Ease of use is a huge plus of RingCentral Office. Since it is hosted in the cloud, there is no equipment to install, and the system can be completely controlled from an online portal that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.

One nice aspect of RingCentral that isn't offered by all business phone system providers is the help you receive getting the service up and running. RingCentral provides new customers with an implementation specialist who helps determine exactly how many phones you will need and helps you choose new numbers, or transfer numbers you currently have.

With RingCentral, you can select local, toll-free and vanity numbers. If you are an established business, you can port your number over from your previous phone system to RingCentral. If you go this route, you will receive a temporary number while the transfer takes place. RingCentral estimates that the porting process takes two to four weeks to complete. 

The system runs on the same internet connection your company already uses. RingCentral recommends businesses use a high-speed DSL, cable or fiber-optic connection for the phone system. There should be dedicated upload and download bandwidth of at least 90 Kbps for each voice line. 

One piece of hardware you will need is phones. You can purchase IP phones directly from RingCentral or an outside vendor. If you buy them from RingCentral, they are preconfigured and ready to use as soon as you receive them. All you need to do is plug them into your network to start making and receiving calls. If you buy phones from an outside vendor, you will need to work with the RingCentral tech team to configure them. RingCentral also offers the option to rent phones for a monthly fee.

Part of what makes the phone system so easy to use is that administrators control the entire system via an online portal. Within the portal, you add and change users, assign phones, and manage extensions and groups.

Administrators aren't the only ones who can access the system online. Employees can log in from their computers and smartphones to manage their settings, and use their softphone, which allows them to make and receive calls directly from their computers. 

The system's reliability is another benefit of RingCentral. RingCentral employs both a distributed, redundant network to route calls around broken links and redundant data centers to safeguard service during any outages. It has 17 data centers around the world. Should one need maintenance or shut down for another reason, data instantly and seamlessly transfers to one of the other centers. 

RingCentral employs a seven-layer security process that monitors every aspect of the system. The layers are the physical, infrastructure, host, data, application, business processes and enterprise level of each client's organization. The systemwide security includes transmission security to prevent the interception of communications, firewalls and session border controls, multiple authentication levels, intrusion detection systems, fraud analytics, vulnerability scans, and usage throttling. 

All of this contributes to RingCentral's 99.999% uptime. This means service is down for only a couple of minutes each year. RingCentral's uptime is among the highest for all cloud-hosted VoIP business phone systems. 

Key takeaway: RingCentral doesn't require any special equipment to be installed; it is managed from an online portal, and the service is extremely reliable, as it boasts a 99.999% uptime.

RingCentral Cons

There is a lot to like about RingCentral, but there are some potential downsides, depending on your needs. One is that if you choose the Essential plan, you don't have access to any of the audio or video conferencing tools. If you need these, you will be forced to spend more on one of the advanced service plans.

The other downside with the Essentials plan is that you don't get 24/7 customer support. Not being able to get someone on the phone when you need help after hours could be a turn-off for some.

Another issue that gives us a slight concern is the number of complaints filed against the company with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As of July 2020, 301 complaints against the company had been closed over the past three years. That is more than many of the other phone system providers we examined. Despite the complaints, RingCentral is an accredited member of the BBB and has an A+ rating.

Key takeaway: The Essentials plan doesn't include any conferencing tools and doesn't provide customers with 24/7 customer support.

Customer Service 

Overall, we were pretty pleased with the customer service we received from RingCentral. We have contacted the company numerous times, posing as a new business owner interested in business phone systems. While we did have one interaction that was less than desirable, the majority of our calls have been positive. The representatives didn't leave us waiting on hold for long periods of time and did a solid job of giving us detailed answers to our questions.

We also tested the company's live chat service option. We were immediately connected to a representative who answered all of our questions. In addition, unlike what other companies did, we weren't pressured to speak with a sales representative over the phone. 

RingCentral offers phone support to all but Essential plan users 24/7. In addition to the personal help, RingCentral's website features demos, webinars, videos and training guides.

Key takeaways: You can contact RingCentral's customer support team by phone and live chat. Additionally, the company's website has several training materials that provide helpful tips on using the phone system.

Ready to choose a business phone system? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Editor's note: Looking for information on business phone systems? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need.

 

Image Credit: Ridofranz / Getty Images
RingCentral

RingCentral

Best Business Phone Systems of 2020

The Verdict

RingCentral is our choice as the best business phone service because of its reliability; easy-to-use platform; multiple price points; and robust set of calling, collaboration, and mobile features and tools.

Visit Site
Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks,
Business News Daily Writer
See Chad Brooks's Profile
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor who has spent more than 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014.