Grasshopper Review – The Good and Bad

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported, which means we earn commissions from links on Crazy Egg. Commissions do not affect our editorial evaluations or opinions.

Grasshopper is a straightforward and simple virtual phone system. It’s great for solopreneurs, freelancers, local businesses, and smaller remote businesses with infrequent calling needs. We use it ourselves as a remote team and find it to be easy, cost-effective, and more than enough for irregular use.

It doesn’t have any advanced features, but it’s sufficient for very basic needs.

Grasshopper makes it easy to keep personal and business calls separate.

Grasshopper Compared to Its Closest Competitors

Grasshopper is far from being the most comprehensive communications system. It’s one of the simplest and most lightweight options on the market.

If you’re looking for something more scalable and comprehensive, Nextiva is our top choice. You’ll be able to use desk phones (you can’t with Grasshopper) and you’ll get video conferencing, team messaging, ingoing and outgoing faxing, and more robust analytics. You’ll also never outgrow Nextiva, which is something you’ll have to consider with Grasshopper. Nextiva’s more expensive, but worth it if you plan on growing or need a more traditional phone system.

Google Voice is probably the closest Grasshopper alternative. Google Voice is even cheaper, but doesn’t have customer support, doesn’t offer toll-free or vanity numbers, only lets you have one phone number, and doesn’t let you set up greetings or business hours. It’s really more for personal use.

Pricewise, OpenPhone, Dialpad, and Zoom are in the same ballpark. All three offer an unlimited domestic calling plan for $15 per user per month.

Zoom also offers an even cheaper plan with pay-as-you-go pricing if you don’t need unlimited calling. Overall, Zoom’s phone system is simple and straightforward with an unlimited international calling add-on you can’t get from Grasshopper. OpenPhone is a collaborative phone system where users can log in and out of numbers—it works best for one to five users if that’s an approach that could work well for your team. Dialpad offers the most affordable suite of voice, video, texting, and team messaging if you need internal collaboration features, too.

If you have a bit more to spend, Ooma is a decent option for physical phone systems. Its plug-and-play devices make it incredibly easy to get your whole office set up in just a few days.

Aircall and Cloudtalk are more expensive than all the others mentioned so far. But they bring call routing, queueing, recording, and other lightweight call center features to the table. They’re the most affordable places to start for small or new call centers that need tools for managing higher call volumes.

Check out our favorite virtual phone systems, VoIP providers, or call center solutions to learn more.

Grasshopper Business Phone: The Good

Seven-day free trial: Grasshopper lets you try it free for seven days. You’ll get one phone number and up to three extensions with 50 minutes of voice and 100 texts. None of the features are gated so you can try the entire platform before you buy.

You’re not charged per-user: Most phone systems charge per user. It makes sense but it also gets expensive, especially for smaller companies. Grasshopper does it differently—the top two tiers include unlimited users, which is a steal. You only have to pay for extra phone numbers or extensions if you need more than your plan allows. Users can be assigned a direct dial number or an extension that forwards to their existing phones.

Easy to use and deploy: Because everything’s softphone based, Grasshopper is incredibly easy to set up. It takes less than 15 minutes in most cases—usually less. We had no problems getting things going or adding new users as the need arose.

On top of that, its mobile and desktop apps are modern, clean, and well organized.

User-friendly mobile app: The mobile app, in particular, is intuitive while still being fully featured. It has tens of thousands of five star reviews across The App Store and Google Play that mirror our experience.

Vanity, local, and toll-free numbers: Grasshopper offers three different types of phone numbers, giving you plenty of options to get the digits you want. Most numbers are available for use instantly but a few may take up to 24 hours. Alternatively, you can keep the business number(s) you’re already using by porting it Grasshopper for free. This process can take awhile—sometimes up to two weeks—but you don’t have to do anything other than initiate the transfer and wait.

Every feature’s included in every plan: No matter how much you pay, you get access to every feature Grasshopper has to offer, including unlimited domestic calling and texting.

Number and extension forwarding: You can forward direct numbers and extensions to any existing phone number. If you do this, you won’t need to download the mobile app for incoming calls. You won’t be able to make outbound calls or send texts using the new number. But it can work well if you just need a way to accept inbound calls without giving out your personal number.

Without the mobile app, incoming calls appear to come from your new Grasshopper number so it’s easy to identify business calls. But you won’t be able to see the number or who’s calling.

Unlimited business texting: Most business phone systems limit each user to a few hundred text messages per month. Grasshopper gives you unlimited texting so you never have to worry about running out or paying per message. If you enable texting from a local number, you have to pay a one-time $19 activation fee and an ongoing $1.50 monthly fee, both of which go to The Campaign Registry. There are no registration fees for toll-free numbers, but you do still have to go through the registration process.

Automated text responses: Once you’ve registered your number, you can set up scripted text messages that automatically go out if you don’t answer a call. You’ll be able to let callers know when to expect a call back, what your business hours are, or any other info you’d like to share.

The best part is that it helps you deliver better service without having to do anything extra.

Custom schedules and business hours: No matter the plan you’re on, you’ll be able to set custom forwarding and voicemail options for holidays, after hours, and any other schedules you have. Want to send after hours calls straight to voicemail? No problem. You can even combine it with a custom greeting stating your business hours and an automated follow-up text stating when they can expect to hear from you.

Voicemail transcription: Prefer reading voicemails rather than listening? In a few clicks, you can set up automated speech-to-text transcriptions sent directly to your email (or multiple email addresses).

Online faxing: Grasshopper lets you view incoming faxes as PDFs directly in your inbox without the need for additional faxing services or a fax machine. The best part is that people can send faxes right to your business line so you don’t need a separate fax number.

Straightforward reporting: All of Grasshopper’s pre-built reports are easy to understand at a glance. You won’t have to do a ton of digging or get a degree in data science to know what’s going on with your system. There are three different types of reports to choose from—usage, detail, or activity. Usage shows the number of minutes your team has used and the average length of your calls. Detailed reports let you view a list of interactions within a given time frame. And activity reports show high-level information about faxes, calls, and voicemails. Overall, Grasshopper’s reporting features are very basic but super easy to use.

Helpful add-ons for small businesses: Add-ons are a common theme among business phone systems. Some of them are actually useful and others are more about making the company more money. Grasshopper’s add-ons are definitely the former.

You can order professional greetings in English or Spanish, set up simultaneous ringing on up to 15 lines, or supplement your team with live answering services through Ruby (at get 35% off).  

It can grow alongside you: Up until recently, you couldn’t purchase additional phone numbers or add extensions to Grasshopper plans. Once you reached the top plan, there wasn’t any more room to grow. Today, you get four phone numbers on the top tier, but you can purchase as many additional lines as you need. You also get unlimited extensions and full control over how they work, so the system can grow on pace with your business.

Grasshopper Virtual Phone System: The Bad

International calls are charged per-minute: Other systems offer unlimited international options or discounted minute bundles, but you’ll have to pay for international calls per minute with Grasshopper. This is fine for low volume, but can get very expensive if you do it a lot.

Desk phones aren’t an option: Everything on Grasshopper is based on softphone functionality so you can only use it via the mobile or desktop apps. Alternatively, you can forward numbers and extensions to an existing phone number without using either of the apps. The systems very mobile, but you won’t be able to use it with standard desk phones.

Inbound faxing only: Grasshopper lets you receive faxes to your business number and delivers them as PDFs to your inbox, but you can’t send outbound faxes.

No video conferencing or team messaging: Most VoIP phone systems include both of these capabilities as standard. You’ll have to use something else, like Zoom or Slack, if your team needs an easy way to collaborate with each other.

It’s missing routing and recording capabilities: While you can set up basic holiday and business hour routing options and leverage extensions to route callers to the right people, you won’t get IVR, ACD, or a custom call flow builder like you’ll find with more comprehensive solutions. However, Grasshopper isn’t really targeting businesses that need those kinds of advanced capabilities, so we can’t fault them too much for not including them.

Call recording, on the other hand, is something you might need but won’t be able to get from Grasshopper. Many phone systems include this as a standard feature, so it’s definitely a bummer.

Potential bugs during app updates: If you check out mobile app reviews, you’ll see a lot of folks having issues right after major updates. It can be frustrating to experience problems, but the team’s quick to action—many reviews are updated to say the problem has been fixed within a few days. This isn’t a problem specific to Grasshopper. Bugs and issues after updates happen all the time with every type of software.

Reporting is very basic: Compared to more comprehensive phone systems, Grasshopper’s reporting options are limited. You won’t get interactive dashboards you can dig into or endless amounts of data you can visualize in different ways.

They’re standard, text-based reports with basic information about your system. There are no speech analytics, real-time data, or anything beyond basic statics.

You might outgrow it: Because Grasshopper isn’t a full phone system with desk phone functionality and a range of advanced features, there’s a possibility you’ll need to switch to something more powerful in the future. As long as it offers what you need now and for the foreseeable future, you shouldn’t let this hold you back, though.

Grasshopper Plans and Pricing

Every Grasshopper plan includes every feature—the only difference between tiers is the number of users, phone numbers, and extensions you can have. The entry-level plan is a great choice for freelancers and solopreneurs. It includes one user, one phone number, and one extension.

At $14 per month, it’s one of the cheaper phone systems we’ve seen with unlimited calling and texting. Zoom’s pay-as-you-go plan is a few dollars cheaper, but you have to pay per minute on top of that.

Dialpad’s phone system starts at $15 per month and includes video conferencing + team messaging. If you need both of those, you probably have a team so Grasshopper’s entry-level plan wouldn’t work for you anyway.  Dialpad provides more functionality per dollar but it’s far more complex. It’s also not built for solo users or with the elegant simplicity Grasshopper brings to the table, so there will be a ton of features you probably don’t need.

Grasshopper’s middle and top tier are where it gets really affordable compared to other options.

Since you don’t have to pay per user, you can have dozens of people sharing extensions and a single phone number for just $25 per month. You can also add additional extensions for $3 per month or additional phone numbers for $9 per month if you need to. For $55 per month, you’ll get unlimited extensions and four numbers with the option to purchase additional numbers if needed.

Each person on your team can have their own extension at no extra charge.

With something like RingCentral or Nextiva, you’ll pay around $20 per user per month. A team of 20 can use Grasshopper’s $55 per month plan, but would end up paying around $400 per month with Nextiva or RingCentral.

If you go with Grasshopper and decide to register local numbers for texting, you’ll also have to pay a one-time $19 registration fee per number plus $1.50 per month per line for compliance purposes. This isn’t something unique to Grasshopper—many companies charge these fees (or include them in their pricing structure) to keep everyone in compliance.

Get started with a free seven-day trial to see if it’s right for you!

Cait is a banjo player, snowboarder, climber, cat mom, and (former) engineer who lives in Olympia, WA. She's been a professional writer for more than five years, specializing in B2B software with a technical yet empathetic approach that puts data and hands-on experience at the heart of every review.

Make your website better. Instantly.

Over 300,000 websites use Crazy Egg to improve what's working, fix what isn't and test new ideas.

Free 30-day Trial