This post has been migrated and imported into different systems over the years, I have not had a chance to format this post manually so it may be hard to read but I have left it here as a reference.
I have used many virtual phone services like RingCentral or Grasshopper in the past and they do the job for a pretty decent price. However I recently switched to something which I found to be much easier, cheaper and better. It was sitting right in front of me, I even knew about it, but when I think of a virtual phone system I don’t think of this service.
Since I made the switch I can call any phone or mobile in the US, Puerto Rico and Guam for $6.99/Month, unlimited minutes. I can make these phone calls via my computer, my smartphone, an IP phone or pretty much any other phone if I want to. Oh and did I mention that I am doing all of this from Sweden, on the other side of the atlantic, where my company is currently located?
This service is of course Skype and you can see their plans here. Most readers will probably already be using Skype or have heard of it before but have never thought about using it for a business phone system. Skype can do pretty much everything that the other virtual phone service providers do. You have call waiting, forwarding, voicemail and much more. Skype will even integrate with an SIP-enabled PBX or Gateway which is great for larger companies, see Skype Connect for more information on this.
From personal experience I can say that RingCentral works well for a small business. However I find it troublesome to use. For example, if I want to make a phone call from my ring central app it will first call me from my own number which will then add the person I am trying to call to that phone call. When I use Skype I can dial the person directly instead.
Grasshopper seems good at first but if you are an international client like me you may have trouble signing up. It seems like it is targeted towards US clients at the moment. The support is good though and I finally got an account going. However there did not seem to be a way to make a call from a computer and their app did not work on my iPhone. To begin with I had to switch to the US store since it is not available in Sweden. Once downloaded it asked me to type in my current phones number, which is Swedish, to verify the phone I was currently using. Since my phone had a Swedish phone number I was unable to type it in and the app was unusable. If Grasshopper could improve on these flaws I would be happy to give them another go.
But give Skype a go. It is cheap and very easy to use. I can even get a dedicated phone number for China when I want to start doing business over there.
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