3CX is the Best Free Call Center Software (+ A Runner Up)

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There’s no shortage of companies claiming to provide the best free contact software out there. But most providers fall short, giving you free plans with little functionality, all in a plot to upsell you into their higher-priced tier later. 

3CX is different. Not only does it give you a full suite of call center features, but it also does so for free. And its free plan is very transparent: $0 forever for up to 10 users.

Prefer open source software? VICIdial is another solid choice.

When it comes to free call center software, you can’t go wrong with either of those options. But whenever you’re ready for a more comprehensive solution, Nextiva’s Cloud Contact Center solution is the best paid option. 

Best Free Call Center Software: 3CX

As far as free call center software goes, it’s hard to beat 3CX. While some of its features might seem basic if you’ve used a paid or premium call center software, it still gives small teams everything they need for a functioning call center operation. 

And even though it’s free, 3CX comes with a comprehensive set of features that puts it well above the other free options out there.

Here are a few standout features:

  • Call routing: 3CX simplifies complex scheduling needs by giving you free holiday and business hours call routing. This feature ensures that no call goes unanswered, even on the holidays. It works by redirecting to available agents based on predefined schedules.
  • Engagement beyond calls: With free live chat capabilities and WhatsApp integration, 3CX lets you respond to inbound messages from customers in their preferred channels. 
  • Comprehensive communication suite: From video conferencing to team messaging, 3CX supports internal and external communications. The video conferencing alone is a huge cost saver, as you can create, schedule, and join meetings for as long as you want (no need to pay for special video conferencing software). Plus, their next-gen cloud based phone system supports up to three desk phones, ensuring your team has the necessary hardware for high-quality calls.

That’s just the start. Here’s a few more reasons why 3CX is our top choice:

Ease of Use

One of 3CX’s most significant advantages is its user-friendly design. It’s straightforward to set up, learn, and navigate, minimizing the learning curve and maximizing productivity from the get-go.

In fact, there are really only three steps to get completely set up: 

  1. Sign up for free and install the software

Sign up and install the software here.

  1. Choose Your Own SIP Trunk and Number

For making calls to external lines and having a dedicated number for customer inquiries, a SIP trunk is essential. With 3CX, you’re in complete control over this aspect. 

Instead of tying you down with bundled numbers that come with hidden fees or rigid long-term contracts, 3CX gives you the freedom to select your preferred VoIP provider from an extensive list of options across the USA, UK, Australia, and beyond. 

  1. Community support

3CX has a great support community. You can use it to seek advice or share opinions. 3CX is very easy to set up, but the support community is also there if you need additional help. 


The Click2Call feature is worth highlighting, as it can save you time and reduce administrative tasks for you and your team. 

It works exactly how it sounds: calls are enabled simply by clicking directly from your website or CRM software. No more manually inputting or copying and pasting numbers. 

This feature can even eliminate the clutter of traditional desk phones or expensive hardware. Instead, you can call in a single click right from your desktop or mobile device. 


WhatsApp for teams? 3CX has that down, too. It even includes message templates so you can save time and avoid repetitive typing. 

Plus, with auto team assignment, text messages flow to a queue, spreading the workload evenly across your team.

Texts and Facebook Messenger messages can also be brought into the queue as well, and all of this messaging is organized in one place, so you’re not constantly flipping between apps.

Free Forever

Unlike other free options, 3CX is very clear about the terms of its free plan: it’s $0 forever for up to 10 users, period. All of the features above come included on the free plan, so 3CX stands unmatched in affordability for small businesses. 

You can learn more about their free plan here. And if you decide you want to upgrade down the road, you can check out their paid plans. (Though we recommend Nextiva’s Cloud Contact Center solution when you’re ready to opt for a paid option—more on that below.)

Free Call Center Software Runner-Up: VICIdial

VICIdial takes the runner-up spot as another great free call center software option. It’s well known for its open-source flexibility and extensive feature set. 

It caters to call centers looking for a scalable solution without the limitations often imposed by proprietary software. That’s because unlike many other call center solutions, VICIdial allows for an unlimited number of users and phone numbers. If your business is rapidly growing, this could make it a solid choice.

VICIdial gives you customizable scripts and forms, along with various CRM integrations. If you already have some requirements and operations in place, VICIdial can be tailored to meet them. 

The platform also offers skills-based call routing, which can improve your customer service by connecting callers to the best-fit agent. 

With an agent screen available in 16 different languages, VICIdial is a global solution, great for diverse teams and customer bases. Again, if you already have a large operation or are planning on growing into one, this is a nice feature to have. 

This all sounds great. So, why the runner up status?

Remember how we mentioned the transparency of 3CX’s pricing? That’s not exactly the case with VICIdial.  There are a few hidden costs that emerge if you do some research. For example, while the software itself is free, there are expenses related to server provisioning, hosting, maintenance, and support services.

Its analytics and reporting capabilities also might not meet the needs of more data-driven operations, and the user interface is outdated and clunky:

A screenshot of the various features included in the VICIdial dashboard

In short, we recommend this one only if you’re dead set on an open source alternative. Otherwise, most businesses are better off going with 3CX.

Discover more about VICIdial.

The Best Call Center Software to Upgrade to When You Can Pay

3CX is great, but the 10 users that their free plan limits you to will only get you so far. When you can afford it, we recommend Nextiva’s Cloud Contact Center solution as the best paid call center software. 

A screenshot of Nextiva software, a woman talking on a phone through the digital service

Aside from just supporting more users, Nextiva offers a suite of advanced features that make it well worth the investment, including:

  • Comprehensive functionality: Nextiva’s Cloud Contact Center goes beyond basic call handling, offering a robust platform for inbound, outbound, or blended calls. Its software enables agent desktop access via a web browser, providing a seamless experience for both agents and customers.
  • Data Security and Call Recording: With Nextiva, data security is paramount. The platform provides secure record-keeping of inbound and outbound calls and IVR responses. Plus, the entire Nextiva network meets and exceeds security standards set by the ISO/IEC 27001 certification. This functionality is crucial for compliance and quality assurance purposes.
  • 24/7 Support: The community support at 3CX is solid, but there’s nothing like paid, direct support from the software provider. Nextiva understands the importance of continuous operations in call center environments, and they offer round-the-clock support to address any issues promptly.

The other reason we like Nextiva is due to its scalability and customization. As your call center grows, Nextiva grows with you. 

With higher priced plans, you’ll get access to additional features like workforce optimization tools, the ability to support customers via digital channels, and workflow optimization.

Its pricing is also structured to cater to a wide range of call center sizes and needs, from the Core plan suitable for small operations to the Ultimate plan designed for larger call centers. 

The one downside? They don’t list prices directly on their website. So you’ll need to contact Nextiva directly for pricing.

Final Thoughts

You can get a lot of mileage out of free software solutions for your call center. Especially if you opt for 3CX or its open-source runner-up, VICIdial. 

But while these are a solid foundation, you’ll likely want extra users and functionality eventually. That’s where Nextiva’s Cloud Contact Center comes in. As operations expand and demands increase, its feature-rich offering will help you scale efficiently while keeping customers happy. 

By choosing the best call center software for your business, your call center can continue to grow while you stay within your budget.

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