1. Business Ideas
  2. Business Plans
  3. Startup Basics
  4. Startup Funding
  5. Franchising
  6. Success Stories
  7. Entrepreneurs
  1. Sales & Marketing
  2. Finances
  3. Your Team
  4. Technology
  5. Social Media
  6. Security
  1. Get the Job
  2. Get Ahead
  3. Office Life
  4. Work-Life Balance
  5. Home Office
  1. Leadership
  2. Women in Business
  3. Managing
  4. Strategy
  5. Personal Growth
  1. HR Solutions
  2. Financial Solutions
  3. Marketing Solutions
  4. Security Solutions
  5. Retail Solutions
  6. SMB Solutions

Best Business Phone Systems 2018

Chad Brooks
August 16, 2018

Choosing a business phone system can be tricky. We researched and analyzed dozens of providers to help you find the right one for you. We've listed our recommendations below, but if you want to learn more about business phone systems, see what experts advise in our guide to choosing a business phone system.

Best Picks

Below are reviews of our best picks for business phone systems, along with why we chose each one.

Best for Small Businesses

Cloud System
8x8
Cloud System
Read Review

Best for Very Small Businesses

On-Premise System
Ooma
On-Premise System
Read Review

Best Business Phone Service

Cloud System
RingCentral
Cloud System
Read Review

Best Virtual Phone System

On-Premise/Cloud System
Grasshopper
On-Premise/Cloud System
Read Review

Best for Call Centers

Cloud System
Mitel
Cloud System
Read Review

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.

Best for Small Businesses

8x8

Best for Small Businesses

Summary

8x8 offers everything a small business needs in a phone system. The service is a cloud-hosted VoIP unified communications system that doesn't require expensive PBX hardware or a trained IT staff to set up or maintain. All it needs is high-speed internet access and IP phones.

The service is among the most reliable we found and comes with a complete host of calling, collaboration, and mobile features and tools. Additionally, the customer support was among the best we encountered.
Read our full review of 8x8
Best for Very Small Businesses

Ooma

Best for Very Small Businesses

Summary

Ooma Office is designed specifically for very small businesses. The system can be set up in minutes, requires no special wiring, and is compatible with both analog and IP phones. It includes a variety of convenient features for small offices, such as an auto receptionist, ring groups and voicemail to email.
Read our full review of Ooma
Best Business Phone Service

RingCentral

Best Business Phone Service

Summary

RingCentral Office is a cloud-based VoIP unified communications system that is easy to install and use. It's packed with features and tools businesses can benefit from. Some of the more valuable features are auto attendants, multilevel interactive voice response, voicemail to email, and video and audio conferencing.

The system also offers a mobile and desktop app that allows users to make and receive calls from their cell phones and computers. The service is also extremely reliable, with a 99.999 percent uptime.
Read our full review of RingCentral
Best Virtual Phone System

Grasshopper

Best Virtual Phone System

Summary

Grasshopper is specifically designed for businesses with on-the-go employees. The service connects business phone lines to remote workers on their mobile and home phones. The service includes a number of valuable features, including an automated attendant and conference calling. It also features a sophisticated mobile app that allows employees to make and receive calls on their business lines.
Read our full review of Grasshopper
Best for Call Centers

Mitel

Best for Call Centers

Summary

Mitel's phone system has all the tools and features a business needs to run a professional call center. The system offers flexible hosting options – on-premises or cloud-based – and service plans.

The call center services, which are tacked on to Mitel's regular business phone system, include a variety of call queue options, integrations with numerous CRM solutions and call recording. It also offers several valuable supervisor tools, including the ability to listen in on agent calls.
Read our full review of Mitel

Our Methodology

To help you find the right Business Phone Systems, we researched and analyzed dozens of options. Here is a roundup of our 2018 best picks for Business Phone Systems and an explanation of how we chose them.

Locating the Best Services

To determine the best business phone systems, we started by listing all of the vendors that have good reputations online (i.e., services that other websites favorably and consistently reviewed). Next, we interviewed small business owners to learn which systems they use and like. If it was a new system not on our list, we then added those companies to our preliminary list.

Choosing the Best Services

We ultimately settled on the following 25 phone systems to consider as best picks: 8x8, AT&T, Avaya, Booth, Cisco, Comcast, Dialpad, Digium, ESI, eVoice, FluentStream, FreedomVoice, Grasshopper, Jive, Mitel, NetFortris, Nextiva, OnSIP, Ooma Office, Phone.com, RingByName, RingCentral, Skype, Toshiba and Vonage. (See our full list of business phone systems and their websites below.)

Researching Each Service

Next, we researched each provider by investigating its services, watching tutorials and how-to videos, and reading user comments. We also contacted each company's customer service department, posing as business owners to gauge the support each provider offers. Finally, we considered the pricing that was viewable on these services' websites or what was quoted to us during customer service calls. Our process involved putting ourselves in the mindset of a small business owner and gathering the data that would be readily available to such an individual. We performed all of our research by visiting company websites, making calls to customer service departments and interviewing real users. We analyzed each system based on the following factors: Deployment options; Level of service; Reliability; Customer service; Calling features; Collaboration tools; Mobility options; Cost; Better Business Bureau accreditation, ratings and complaints

Full List
Best Picks

Full List of Business Phone Systems

Here is a full list of business phone system providers and a summary of what each company claims to offer. This list also includes our picks for best services.

OnSIP

OnSIP is a cloud-hosted VoIP phone system that can be configured in hundreds of different ways. The system requires no equipment to install and allows you to choose the type of service – a la carte, pay as you go or unlimited – that best suits your business's needs.

Dialpad

Dialpad offers voice calling, video conferencing and text messaging. This flexibility helps small businesses connect with clients in a plethora of ways that works best both for customers and for businesses. This VoIP service offers cost-effective plans and an easy-to-use mobile app.

Mitel

Mitel's phone system can be hosted several different ways, is available in multiple service plans and includes all the features businesses expect in a contact center solution.

RingCentral

RingCentral is one of the best virtual phone systems. It's easy to use and affordable, with a ton of valuable features. The system is ideal for businesses with a remote workforce, or for very small businesses that want employees to use their mobile devices as their main phones.

FreedomVoice

FreedomVoice is one of the best phone systems for very small businesses. It offers both virtual services and cloud-based phone systems designed especially for companies with just a handful of employees.

Grasshopper

Grasshopper is a virtual phone system that gives small businesses an easy way to provide employees the phone system tools they need without installing any equipment or phones. The service works in tandem with mobile and home phones, offers many important features, and includes unlimited minutes. The service is available in three different service plans that vary in price, phone numbers and extensions.

Ooma

Ooma Office is an affordable on-premises VoIP phone system that is ideally suited for very small businesses. It might not have all of the features other systems offer, but it does have the ones very small businesses will find most valuable.

FluentStream

FluentStream is a cloud-hosted VoIP phone system. It doesn't require any special hardware or wiring and is managed via online portal. Businesses can choose from three different service plans, which vary from 41 to 104 features.

Skype

Skype is an excellent phone system for solo entrepreneurs needing something basic and affordable that allows them to make and receive calls and conduct video chats.

Phone.com

Phone.com is a competitively priced, cloud-based business VoIP system with more than 40 features. The system requires no hardware or maintenance, and its setup is almost instantaneous. Phone.com provides free adapters so you can use your own phones or gives you the option of leasing IP phones.

Jive

Jive is cloud-based VoIP phone system with an array of powerful features and a simple setup for a fair price. The system helps unify your employees to each other and to clients. The service efficiently supports both voice and video calls, integrates well with existing CRM systems, and offers contact center services.

RingByName

RingByName is a cloud-based VoIP business phone system that doesn't require any special hardware or wiring. The system allows unlimited calling, and while it doesn't include all of the tools some of its competitors do, it does offer a host of valuable calling and mobile features.

Cisco

Cisco's phone systems are best for enterprises because they are available as on-premises or cloud-hosted solutions and can support thousands of employees. All of Cisco's unified communication systems can be configured with the calling, mobility and collaboration features you want.

Nextiva

Nextiva is a cloud-based VoIP system that can spread across several offices and stores yet still be managed from one central platform. The phone system is extremely reliable, offers multiple service plans and includes top-notch customer support. Nextiva also has a wealth of valuable calling, collaboration, and mobile features and tools.

Avaya

Avaya is a top on-premises phone system. It offers businesses several different platforms that can be customized for your organization's needs. The systems can serve thousands of employees and offer all the features businesses would want in a phone system.

8x8

8x8 is one of the best phone systems for small businesses. It is easily managed via an online portal, doesn't require a trained IT staff to keep it up and running, and it's available in several service plans that fit a variety of budgets.

Windstream

Windstream offers hosted phone lines for small businesses and sells Polycom IP phones.

Comcast Business

Comcast offers multiple business phone services for companies of all sizes. Available as on-premises or cloud-based service, these solutions can grow with your business. You can choose a solution for small businesses of up to 20 employees, or for midsize businesses of up to 1,000 employees. You can also select packages that are meant to work with an IT department for PRI or SIP trunks.

eVoice

eVoice is a solid option for businesses looking for a virtual phone service. It is available in multiple service plans, at varying price points, which all include several valuable features.

Vonage

Vonage offers cloud-hosted VoIP phone systems for businesses of all sizes. Vonage Business Cloud is designed for smaller businesses, while Vonage Enterprise is for midsize and large businesses. Both options are full of valuable calling, collaboration and mobile tools. Vonage takes a number of steps to ensure reliable service and offers top-notch customer support.

Digium Switchvox

Switchvox by Digium is a VoIP business phone system that can be hosted in the cloud or on premises. The system is designed for businesses with at least five users. Both options include more than 80 calling, collaboration, contact center and mobile features.

Zadarma

Zadarma is a cloud-based VoIP business phone system that offers a wide range of features, including IVR, call transfers, call recording, voicemail, automated attendants, music on hold and call analytics. Since no custom hardware is required, you can have the system set up in minutes. Zadarma also offers user the ability to obtain virtual numbers in 80 different countries.

Gabbit

A phone service provider that tailors to small businesses. Gabbit tries to offer lower prices than competitors to provide the most appealing option to small business owners.

VoiceOnyx

Business phone system only available to businesses in Florida.

ring-u

Ring-u attempts to help small businesses in need of a phone system by offering affordable options. A simple setup process is another one of ring-u's strengths.

VOIPstudio

VoIPstudio is a cloud-based business phone system that offers a host of features, including unlimited calling, number portability, virtual numbers, hold music, conference calling, follow me, extension dialing, voicemail, ring groups, call queues and call barging. VoIPstudio also integrates with Salesforce, Oracle Sales Cloud and Microsoft Dynamics CRM software.

Want to learn more?

Want to learn more about choosing the best business phone system? Check out our full coverage here:

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.

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 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. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.