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RingCentral Review

Best Business Phone Service

A Business News Daily Review

Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

Knowing the important role business phone systems play in an organization's ability to communicate, finding a solution that is reliable and easy to use, and has all of the features and tools your business needs is critical. After conducting extensive research and analysis, we recommend RingCentral as our 2019 pick for the best business phone service. 

RingCentral Office is a robust cloud-hosted VoIP unified communication system that combines voice calling, messaging and online meetings. It requires no equipment to install, is easy to use, and offers all of the calling, collaboration and mobile features businesses of all sizes will value. These include automated attendants, voicemail-to-email, ring groups, conference calling that can support hundreds of participants at a time, instant messaging and online meetings that allow screen sharing. 

When searching for unified communication, businesses should also look for a service that's available in multiple service plans that give you the flexibility to pick and choose what you want your business phone system to include. This flexibility in service plans allows businesses to choose a phone system that best fits their needs and budget. 

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. 

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RingCentral offers four different service plans. They all vary by price and included features and tools. The four service plans range from $30 to $60 per user, per month. 

Businesses also want a solution that not only serves their needs today but future needs as well. It should be able to grow with you. If you want to add new lines, it should be easy to do so. If you have a need for a contact center, it should also offer those services. 

With RingCentral, adding new users to the system is a simple process. In addition, the company offers other services, such as a virtual system and contact center solutions.

Reliability is also critical. When using a cloud-hosted system, it is imperative to find a solution that has a high uptime. 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 percent 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 

To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology, as well as a comprehensive list of business phone systems, on our best picks page

 

RingCentral Office is available in four different service plans that vary in features and price. 

  • Essentials: The Essentials plan is only available for businesses with fewer than 10 employees. The plan is $29.99 per user, per month. It includes 100 toll-free minutes, unlimited calling, video meetings for up to four people at a time, visual voicemail and voicemail to email. This plan also features file sharing, instant messaging, chat rooms and integrations with Microsoft, Google, Box, and Okta.

  • Standard: The Standard plan is $34.99 per user, per month. It includes everything in the Essentials plan, as well as 1,000 toll-free minutes, a multilevel auto-attendant, call logs and online faxing.

  • Premium: The Premium plan is $44.99 per user. It includes everything in the Standard plan, plus 2,500 toll-free minutes, video meetings for up to 100 people, automatic call recording, multisite support, custom app development and deployment, single sign-on, and integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, and Desk.com.

  • Ultimate: The most expensive plan is the Ultimate package, which is $59.99 per user per month. This includes everything in the Premium plan, plus voicemail transcription to text, video meetings for up to 200 people and 10,000 toll-free minutes. 

RingCentral offers a 33 percent discount for users who pay on an annual basis instead of monthly. Customized pricing is available for businesses with more than 100 employees. 

RingCentral Office is a cloud-hosted VoIP phone system that is easy to implement and use. 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 over 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 into RingCentral. If you go this route, you will receive a temporary number while the transfer process takes place. RingCentral estimates that the porting process takes two to four weeks to complete. 

Since the system is cloud-based, you need no special equipment or wiring to get it up and running. 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 from an outside vendor. If you buy them directly 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. 

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 also log in from their computers and smartphones to manage their own individual settings and use their softphone. 

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

Among RingCentral's calling features are call forwarding, call recording, call screening, call logs, message alerts and answering rules. Other popular tools are auto receptionists, multilevel IVRs, hold music, voicemail, voicemail to email and visual voicemail. 

The system offers a number of tools that make working with others easier, such as video and audio conferencing. The conference bridge allows employees to host their own conference calls with up to 1,000 participants at any time. The conference bridge is a reservationless service, which means employees can hold calls without any advanced notice. Video conferencing allows users to host their own online meetings. The number of included participants depends on the service plan being used. The system also includes a presence tool that quickly shows employees which of their peers are busy and which are free. 

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. 

Users also have access to a softphone, which allows them to make and receive calls directly from their computers. 

Overall, we were pretty pleased with the customer service we received from RingCentral. 

We called the company numerous times posing as a new business owner interested in virtual phone systems. While most of our interactions were positive, our initial call left a lot to be desired and gave us a poor first impression. We've been pleased, however, to see that the service has improved since our first contact with the company. While the phone support has improved, the live chat support still needs improvement. 

RingCentral offers phone support to all users 24/7. In addition to the personal help, the RingCentral website is filled with valuable resources, including demos, webinars, videos and training guides. 

One issue that gives us a slight concern is the number of complaints filed against the company with the Better Business Bureau. As of February 2019, 206 complaints against the company had been closed over the past three years. Despite the complaints, RingCentral is an accredited member of the BBB and has an A+ rating. 

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.

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer with more than 20 years of media experience. A graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff as a senior writer. Currently, Chad covers a wide range of B2B products and services, including business phone systems, time and attendance systems, payroll services, and conference call services. Before joining Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago. Chad's first book, "How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business," was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.