15 Best Cloud Based Phone Systems (2024 Review)

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We’ve looked at dozens of cloud-based phone systems and call center solutions over the years–Nextiva is our top pick because of its affordability, speedy set up, and comprehensive feature set. 

From the most basic of systems for new businesses to a complete contact center platform, it’s versatile enough to match the needs of just about everyone. 

But there are dozens of other options out there. 

To help you out, we narrowed it down to our top two or three picks for different situations, depending on what you need. 

The Top Cloud Based Phone Systems: Our Top Picks

Our Cloud Phone Systems Review Process

We set out to review all the cloud based phone systems out there–we looked at 26 in total.

Our research team analyzed 682 real user reviews of these systems and 4,340 review snippets that highlight how people are using cloud-based phone systems to address their needs.

We narrowed down the most common use cases and scenarios and ultimately determined how each provider fits the mold for those specific needs. 

The team also looked closely at factors like ease of implementation, user experience, collaboration tools, call quality, service reliability, customer support, price, and other key evaluation criteria. While similar guides exist on the web, we’re confident that nobody’s research is as comprehensive as ours, and our top recommendations reflect this. 

Nextiva: The Best Cloud Based Phone System For Most Businesses

Nextiva logo

Nextiva is an all-in-one solution for internal and external communication.

Whether you’re seeking a call center solution, a cloud phone system for remote or hybrid work, a team collaboration tool, or a combination of all three, Nextiva provides everything you need under one roof.

Its call quality and reliability are unmatched. Plus, Nextiva’s cloud phone system offers excellent features to support a wide range of communications.

You’ll be able to take advantage of team messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, unlimited faxing, and texting within a single platform, in addition to Nextiva’s VoIP phone capabilities.

The system doesn’t require any complicated hardware because it’s hosted in the cloud, so it’s easy to onboard new users without any technical assistance.

In addition to computer-based softphones, Nextiva is available on iOS and Android so you can install the app on personal devices, too. A new employee working from home can be set up in minutes and easily switch between supported devices no matter where they are.

Nextiva’s call center solution comes with advanced IVR and conversational artificial intelligence, which means customers can be routed to the appropriate agent by simply stating their reasons for calling.

You’ll also benefit from perks like call forwarding, caller ID, live call monitoring, and powerful analytics. 

Overall, Nextiva is the perfect middle ground between Ooma and RingCentral—two of its closest competitors in this space. Ooma is a bit too simple, and RingCentral is too advanced for what most businesses need. But Nextiva fills this gap perfectly, blending the best of both worlds. It’s easy to set up and use, like Ooma (without sacrificing features), and offers powerful capabilities like RingCentral (without the overwhelming power). 

Check out our complete Nextiva review to learn more.

RingCentral: Better Coverage for Global Businesses

RingCentral logo

RingCentral is one of the most advanced cloud-based phone systems on the market.

It’s also a solid choice for scaling businesses that need phone support on a global level. You can use it to buy additional phone numbers in over 100 countries to give you a local presence there, regardless of your actual location. 

You can add on RingCentral’s Global MVP plan to any MVP Standard, Premium, or Ultimate subscription—connecting internal teams and customers in 46 countries with a seamless communications experience for every office. 

But for the average US-based business, Nextiva is equally powerful without the added complexities that come with RingCentral. Comparing the base cloud-phone plans side-by-side, Nextiva is a better value, is easier to deploy, and more user-friendly. 

RingCentral is more high-volume enterprise and call-center-focused. Although Nextiva’s contact center plans are just as good and the better choice in most scenarios, RingCentral has the edge for international use at scale. 

Our full RingCentral review breaks down its offerings in greater detail.

Ooma: Easy DIY Setup, Limited Growth Opportunities

Ooma logo

For small businesses that prefer desk phones over softphones, Ooma is the clear choice. The easy DIY setup ensures you’re up and running in under 20 minutes.

It’s also an affordable phone platform that won’t break the bank.

Ooma supports video calling, call recording, text messaging, and a desktop app when you pay for the mid-tier plan or higher. However, standard video conferencing features, like screen sharing and team messaging, are not available.

It also includes unlimited faxing on every plan. As such, you get a ton of collaboration features.

While Ooma does have more than 50 standard features with every plan, it’s a very basic cloud phone system. That’s fine you just need the ability to make and receive calls, but the system won’t scale with your business.

If you start with Ooma in-office and want to continue deploying new remote users or open a call center with an entirely new department, things will start to get messy. 

Nextiva has the edge over Ooma for practically every use case. With that said, it makes sense to use Ooma if you have a small office that just needs a cloud phone system that’s compatible with your existing IP phones.

If you know those needs are never going to change, Ooma gets the job done just fine. 

See our full breakdown of Ooma here.

Basic Cloud Phone Systems for Small Businesses that Want to Stay Small

Nextiva is still our top recommendation even if you want to stay small–it’s entry-level plan is affordable and the entire system is easy to use. It has the edge over all three of the phone systems below.

But we still wanted to show you all of your options so you can make that decision for yourself.–Great for Infrequent Calling Needs logo is an affordable option for smaller teams with infrequent calling needs.

The entry-level plan comes with 500 pooled minutes and 1,000 pooled texts every month, which is more than enough for smaller teams who rarely pick up the phone.

One unique standout of is the ability to mix and match plans for each user. You can pick and choose which users need unlimited calling without having to pay the higher price for everyone. This ensures stays affordable, even if you have managers who lean harder on your phone system than the rest. even offers video conferencing for between 10 and 100 participants on select plans, as well as traditional conference calling.

1-VoIP–Good if You Need Desk Phones

1-VoIP logo

If you prefer using desk phones instead of softphones, 1-VoIP is a solid alternative that blends the lightweight with the office space-minded Ooma.

Like, 1-VoIP is ideal for infrequent calling.

You can use 1-VoIP’s SIP trunk bundle or business VoIP and pay just $0.02 per minute. Do some quick math to see the price of your internal communication costs using this number—it may work out that 1-VoIP’s pay-per-use model is more affordable for you.

They also offer conference calling and texting with the softphone application. Fax-to-email capabilities can be added for $4.95 per month.

eVoice–Real-Life Receptionists + A Phone System

eVoice logo

eVoice is perfect for both small businesses that want a receptionist without having to hire one in-house.

It’s a simple and cost-effective way to add professionalism to your company and take work off your plate without breaking the bank. 

The cool part about eVoice is that their receptionists do more than just answer the phone—they can even help with administrative tasks. You can find a specialized receptionist trained for industries like healthcare, legal services, and real estate. 

In terms of value, eVoice starts at just $14 per month, which is incredibly affordable for a cloud solution. With that said, extra features and services, including a live receptionist, cost extra.

Virtual Phone Number Providers (Great For Solopreneurs & Business Owners)

Virtual phone numbers make it easy to add a second line to your existing phone—so you can easily separate personal calls and business calls. No matter which provider you choose, it takes just a few minutes to sign up, pick your number, and get started.

Grasshopper is what we use–it has a clean interface and is dead simple.

The entry-level plan supports one user with a single line. But every other plan can accommodate unlimited users, and the rate is just based on how many numbers and extensions you need. Check out our Grasshopper review to learn more about our experience with it. 

If you have multiple users sharing a single phone number, TalkRoute‘s productivity and collaboration features will help streamline the process.

OpenPhone makes it easy for a single user to set up multiple lines for sales, support, marketing, and more. But all of those lines can be routed directly to your phone. This gives the perception of working with a larger company, even if it’s just you.

Check out our favorite virtual phone number companies if you want to see more options.

Cloud Based Phone Systems With Unlimited International Calling

For infrequent international calling, just about every provider charges small per-minute fees. Something like Nextiva is completely fine if it’s not all the time.

But if you need to make a high volume of international calls in select countries, it’s more affordable to go with an unmetered plan. The right one for you depends on the countries and what you’re doing.

If you want to purchase numbers in different countries to make it easier for localized customers to call you, Aircall makes it seamless.

With it, you’ll be able to route inbound calls to the correct team members based on location, time zone, or any other rules you want to set up.

Zoom’s Pro Global Select package gives you access to unlimited domestic calling in one of over 40 countries, including a local number in that country. Alternatively, you can add an unlimited international calling package to 18 countries.

GoTo Connect supports unlimited calling to the widest range of countries–52.

Check out our Zoom review or GoTo Connect review if you’re interested.

Best Cloud Based Call Center Solutions

Vonage is ideal for call centers that want customization and flexibility–it’s modular setup means you can start with a base plan and add your desired features from there.

Some of the features are 100% free, while others incur a monthly cost. If you record calls, you’ll appreciate that Vonage gives you more control than other providers. Admins can fully customize recording rules based on the company or agent’s needs. 

Vonage also maintains a wide range of security standards for PCI-DSS, GDPR, ISO 27001, HIPAA compliance, and more. If you’re interested, check out our full Vonage review to learn more.

Channels is quite the opposite–it’s designed for ecommerce websites that want to offer phone-based sales, returns, and customer support. All you have to do is add your number to your website and customers can click to call you.

It seamlessly integrates with ecommerce platforms, giving agents access to critical customer information before and during calls. This includes previous purchases, reviews, locations, and more.

If you’re looking for a unique tool that focuses on outbound call centers, CallHippo has a voice broadcasting feature that allows your agents to send automated voice messages to multiple people simultaneously. It also comes with a power dialer that automatically pulls numbers from lists associated with each campaign.

Nextiva‘s call center capabilities are just as strong as the three providers above. Check out our top call center solution recommendations to learn more about Nextiva’s call center features and our other top picks.

What Matters When Reviewing Cloud Based Phone Systems

Our researchers identified dozens of critical factors that impacted which brands they chose as our top picks. Below, you’ll find a summary of the most important.

Inbound Call Handling

From single users taking infrequent calls to full-scale contact centers managing a high volume of support inquiries, inbound call management is crucial. This helps ensure callers are routed to the right person or department without going through complex holds and transfers.

Call Center Features

Call centers handle a larger than average volume of calls.

Some centers specialize in outbound sales, some specialize in inbound support, and others are a mix of the two. Businesses in this category need to look for features to improve efficiency, train agents, and meet compliance regulations.

Easy Setup

Getting started shouldn’t be intimidating for businesses that don’t have an in-house IT team. You’ll want to get up and running as quickly as possible without having to worry about extra hardware, extensive training, or support.

The phone system should also be easy to maintain down the road.

System Mobility

Mobility gives you and your team the option to make and receive calls from anywhere—without being tied to a physical desk, office, or device. Web and mobile apps are great for hybrid and remote work environments, as you’ll have the full capabilities of the tool from any smartphone, tablet, or computer.


Bundling your cloud phone system with an all-in-one communication solution can help you save money and simplify your tech stack.

Your staff can communicate with clients, vendors, and in-house team members all from a single system. Collaboration tools typically come with features for team chat, video conferencing, file sharing, and faxing, in addition to basic cloud phone capabilities.

International Calling

If your business regularly makes outbound calls to other countries, you need an affordable international calling solution. Typically, international calls are billed per minute based on the country.

But some international plans give you unlimited minutes to a specified number of locations.

Worry-Free Reliability

Regardless of your use case, you want to make sure that you’re using a reliable phone system. Poor call quality can often be an indicator of untrustworthiness, which isn’t something you want associated with your brand.


The cost of cloud-based business phone systems varies greatly depending on the provider and service you’re considering. For example, an international calling solution to 50+ countries with a live receptionist service will cost significantly more than a bare-bones virtual phone number.

But beyond the obvious cost differences, you should look closely at any usage charges and features that may cost you extra down the road.

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