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Full Phone System Routing with Unlimited Nationwide Calling Looking for a service that provides the functionality of a business grade Virtual PBX service along with actual phone lines for your home or office? Simply your communications with RingCentral Office and connect all of your communication under one solution. Get each phone line for as little as $24.99 per month per user. No risk 30-day trials are available.

Virtual Phone Systems
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Services

  • Reviewed Plan
  • Monthly Fee
  • Annual Payment Discount
  • Included Minutes
  • Activation Fee
  • Free Trial
  • Extensions
  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail by Email
  • Internet Fax
  • Conference Calls
  • Set Answering Rules
  • Auto Attendant
  • International Numbers
  • Overage Minutes
  • Sign Up Now!

Phone.com

visit website
  • Shared Minutes
  • $9.99
  • N/A
  • 300
  • Free
  • 30 days
  • Unlimited
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • $0.05
  • sign up now

Virtual PBX

visit website
  • Startup
  • $19.99
  • $9.99/month
  • 300
  • Free
  • 30 days
  • Unlimited
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • $0.05
  • sign up now

RingCentral

visit website
  • Pro
  • $19.99
  • $9.99/month
  • 300
  • Free
  • 7 days
  • 2
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • No
  • $0.05
  • sign up now

eVoice

visit website
  • 300 Minutes
  • $12.99
  • N/A
  • 300
  • Free
  • 30 days
  • 2
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Canada only
  • $0.04
  • sign up now

Virtual Call System

visit website
  • Starter
  • $9.75
  • N/A
  • 100
  • Free
  • 30 days
  • 5
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • No
  • $0.06
  • sign up now

Grasshopper

visit website
  • (OR) Pay As You Grow
  • $12.00
  • N/A
  • 0
  • Free
  • No, but
  • Unlimited
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Receive Only
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • $0.06
  • sign up now

Halloo

visit website
  • Office Startup
  • $14.95
  • $9.95/month
  • 300
  • Free
  • No, but
  • 100
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Receive Only
  • $4.95/month
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • No
  • $0.07
  • sign up now

Services

  • Reviewed Plan
  • Monthly Fee
  • Annual Payment Discount
  • Included Minutes
  • Activation Fee
  • Free Trial
  • Extensions
  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail by Email
  • Internet Fax
  • Conference Calls
  • Set Answering Rules
  • Auto Attendant
  • International Numbers
  • Overage Minutes
  • Sign Up Now!

Phone.com

visit website
  • Shared Minutes
  • $9.99
  • N/A
  • 300
  • Free
  • 30 days
  • Unlimited
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • $0.05
  • sign up now

Virtual PBX

visit website
  • Startup
  • $19.99
  • $9.99/month
  • 300
  • Free
  • 30 days
  • Unlimited
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • $0.05
  • sign up now

RingCentral

visit website
  • Pro
  • $19.99
  • $9.99/month
  • 300
  • Free
  • 7 days
  • 2
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • No
  • $0.05
  • sign up now

eVoice

visit website
  • 300 Minutes
  • $12.99
  • N/A
  • 300
  • Free
  • 30 days
  • 2
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Canada only
  • $0.04
  • sign up now

Virtual Call System

visit website
  • Starter
  • $9.75
  • N/A
  • 100
  • Free
  • 30 days
  • 5
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • No
  • $0.06
  • sign up now

Grasshopper

visit website
  • (OR) Pay As You Grow
  • $12.00
  • N/A
  • 0
  • Free
  • No, but
  • Unlimited
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Receive Only
  • Yes
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • $0.06
  • sign up now

Halloo

visit website
  • Office Startup
  • $14.95
  • $9.95/month
  • 300
  • Free
  • No, but
  • 100
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Receive Only
  • $4.95/month
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • No
  • $0.07
  • sign up now

Note: The pricing and plans on our site aren't available everywhere. Please use our 'sign up now' links to get the special pricing.

 

What is a Virtual PBX?

Virtual PBX services, also known as virtual phone systems or virtual phone services, allow their users to receive and manage calls through one main phone number and, unlike traditional PBX services, there is no need to pay for any additional hardware. A virtual PBX service provides its customers with an online interface accessible through any Internet browser, which allows the customer to decide how to set for manage incoming calls. For example, a menu can be set up so that incoming callers will be instantly redirected to it and can listen to a dial-by-name directory. In addition, virtual PBX services are very flexible, and it is easy to upgrade from a basic service to mid-level or corporate level services.

Virtual PBX services have many useful features including:

  • Call redirects from your office phone line to mobile phones, other office phones, home phones, and even faxes
  • Online voicemail
  • Online call logs
  • Dial-by-name directories

Overall, virtual PBX services allow small businesses to be more organized, have greater control over their call flow, and present a more professional image to customers while, at the same time, reducing costs.

How Do I Choose a Virtual PBX?

There are a few points to consider when choosing a virtual PBX provider. First, you want to make sure the plan you choose meets what we define as the "market standard." If they offer a free trial, there's a couple of things to keep in mind before signing up, such as the billing procedure. The virtual PBX feature breakdown is a glossary of all the terms you might come across when shopping. You can also hover over the words underlined in green in our grids to learn more about that particular term. Finally, it is important to sign-up for a plan that will provide a sufficient amount of minutes for your needs. The number of included minutes in our grids is listed on a monthly basis.

 


Market Standard Before the Free Trial Virtual PBX Features How many minutes?

Hosted PBX Market Standard:

After reviewing a wide variety of virtual PBX service plans and providers, PBXCompare.com has come up with what we consider to be the "market standard" in virtual PBX services.

Basic

 

Mid-Level

 

Corporate

• 30-Day Free Trial   • 30-Day Free Trial   • 30-Day Free Trial
• $9.99 per month   • $29.99 per month   • $99.99 per month
• No Activation Fee   • No Activation Fee   • No Activation Fee
• 5 Extensions   • 10 Extensions   • 100 Extensions
• The Ability to Add Any Number of    Extensions for $4.99 per    extension per Month   • The Ability to Add Any Number of    Extensions for $4.99 Per    extension per Month   • The Ability to Add Any Number of    Extensions for $2.99 Per    extension per Month
• 100 Inbound Minutes Included   • 1000 Inbound Minutes Included   • 2500 Inbound Minutes Included
• 6 Cents Per Additional Minute Rate   • 5 Cents Per Additional Minute Rate   • 4 Cents Per Additional Minute Rate
• Free Number With Plan (Which   Included Local, 800, 866, 877, and   888 Numbers)   • Free Number With Plan (Which   Included Local, 800, 866, 877, and   888 Numbers)   • Free Number With Plan (Which   Included Local, 800, 866, 877, and   888 Numbers)
• Call Forwarding   • Call Forwarding   • Call Forwarding
• Call Holding   • Call Holding   • Call Holding
• Call Transfer   • Call Transfer   • Call Transfer
• Call Screening   • Call Screening   • Call Screening
• Follow Me   • Follow Me   • Follow Me
• Voicemail   • Voicemail   • Voicemail
• Voicemail to Email   • Voicemail to Email   • Voicemail to Email
• Message Alerts   • Message Alerts   • Message Alerts
• Dial by Name Directory   • Dial by Name Directory   • Dial by Name Directory
• Web Management   • Web Management   • Web Management

What should I check before I sign up for a Free Trial?

There are several things you should look for when signing up for a free trial:

Look at how long the free trial lasts: The typical length of most free trials is 30 days.

Look at how the billing will be handled for the trial period: Free trials can end up not being completely free, as virtual PBX services will usually bill you if you use more than an allotted number of minutes. In addition, if you do not cancel the service before the trial period is over you will begin to get billed for the service. This makes it important to keep track of the number of minutes you use and the number of days you have been using the free trial.

Virtual PBX Feature Breakdown:

Web Management:
Control every aspect of the virtual PBX service, from setting up extensions to listening to messages, by logging into an online interface. This is an extremely crucial feature and is what makes virtual PBX services convenient, easy to maintain, and easily accessible.

Call Forwarding: Forward inbound calls to another number
Instead of someone having to answer the call and then transfer the caller to the desired number, the call is directly transferred to a specified number.

Call Screening: Put callers on hold in order to transfer a call
All virtual PBX services give the user the ability to set up music to play while the customer is on hold.

Call Screening:
Most virtual PBX services with this feature will give you the option to take the call, transfer it to voicemail, block the call, or to transfer the call to another number.

Call Transferring: Reroute a call to another phone
With most hosted PBX systems you can transfer calls to any phone, not just other phones in your system.

Dial By Name Directory:
Let callers find the number they want by spelling the name of the person they are trying to reach on a touch-tone keypad.

Follow Me/Find Me:
Designate a series of phone numbers (i.e. office phone, cell phone, car phone, home phone, etc) and the system will sequentially try each number until the user is reached. The virtual PBX service will forward the call to voicemail if the call is not answered at any of the designated numbers.

Internet Fax:
Send and receive faxes via email (works like eFax).

Message Alerts:
Get a text or email notification from the virtual PBX service letting you know that you have received a new fax or voicemail message.

Voicemail Service:
Get voicemail messages via an electronic mail box with storage space that can be accessed via phone, email (voicemail to email), or online. Some of the less-robust systems do not provide the user with access to online voicemail.

Voicemail to Email:
Receive voicemails in WAV format via email by designating one or several email accounts to receive the file. This is an almost universal feature that is almost always included with a virtual PBX service.

Virtual PBX and Hosted PBX Services

How many included minutes do I need?

When looking at the different plans available, try to purchase a plan that has enough minutes for the typical amount of time that you would use your phones for inbound calls. Similar to what you would expect from a cell phone service plan, the easiest way to increase your monthly bill is through overage charges. You should look at the average length of your calls, as well as the number of calls you receive within a month, in order to get a good idea of the average number of minutes you use per month. With a good estimate in mind, it will be easier to pick the plan and service that will best meet your needs.

Outside of looking at the number of minutes you have used on your phone bill, it might be hard to figure out how many minutes you use in a month. A simple way to look at phone usage is to think about your daily phone usage multiplied by 22 days, which is the average number of business days in a month.

Why use a virtual PBX service?

Lower Cost: When comparing the cost of a virtual PBX service to a traditional PBX system that requires you buy hardware, it is easy to see which one is cheaper. The initial cost of a typical online hosted PBX service is around $30. There is no hardware that needs to be purchased and you can use any phone, including cell phones, to receive calls through the system. You should expect to spend several thousand dollars on a traditional phone system before you plug in the first phone line. The hardware required includes a central system and specific phones that work with the system you selected. In addition, a traditional PBX system will need to be physically installed and set up which will add extra costs.

No Maintenance: Virtual PBX services have a distinct advantage over that of standard PBX systems in that there is never any need for the user to do maintenance on equipment or update the service they have. When using a virtual PBX service, you can leave it to your service provider to update their system and keep it running. In addition, you have the freedom to add and remove extensions with just a few clicks, allowing you to make sure your virtual PBX service stays scaled to the size of your business. If you use a standard PBX system, you get a piece of hardware that will require maintenance and will only provide a set selection of features. Also, because the service is dependent on a piece of hardware you have to deal with the limits of that hardware. To expand the capabilities of a standard PBX service you will have to physically add hardware or expansions to the hardware you currently own.

Easier Management: Managing an online hosted PBX service is relatively simple since service providers give you access to a web management feature. Using the web management feature you can completely control every aspect of your virtual PBX system from any computer with an internet connection. The web management tool is fairly intuitive, depending on the service provider, making it easy to change phone numbers associated with extension, allowing you to access voicemail, change voice prompts, and also change any other characteristic of the online PBX system. Managing a standard PBX service usually requires an IT professional, as the PBX system does not have an easily accessible and easily understood interface.

Greater Versatility: A virtual PBX service allows the user to choose the number of extensions they want along with the features they want. By looking over the various service providers, you can find a plan which fits your business and one that will grow with your business. A standard PBX system gives the user some of the same freedom since they can compare different providers and their hardware. Yet, once you choose a specific piece of hardware, you are stuck with its capabilities. In order to get new features or expand your PBX system, you will have to purchase additional hardware or buy new hardware.

Sophisticated Tracking and Reporting: Keeping track of ingoing and outgoing calls is easy with a virtual PBX service web management account. Online hosted PBX services give you access to online call reports that are always up to date. By logging into your web management account you can instantly view the number of calls made or received, who the calls were made by or who took the calls, when each call started, and when each call ended. Keeping track of ingoing and outgoing faxes is just a simple. All of your internet faxes are tracked by your virtual PBX service. Using the web management account you can log in and see if your fax went through, who it went to, and how long it took to send. With online hosted PBX services you never have to worry about whether a fax went through or who just called you, because you can easily check for this information online with your web management account.

Why Use PBXCompare.com?

This site was created to help make it easier to choose a virtual PBX service provider. We found that a lot of companies with virtual PBX services present the same information in very different ways or leave out information crucial to the prospective buyer. The lack of consistent and comparable information can make it hard to get a good idea of what an individual service is like, as well as making it more difficult to compare multiple services. We have taken the time to get all the information you would need to make an "apples to apples" comparison of the different virtual PBX services. We are determined to help you by providing an unbiased resource that presents the information you need in an easy-to-understand format.