Grasshopper VS Ringcentral: Which VOIP Provider Is Best For My Business?

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I recommend several voip business phone services here on Clever Leverage, (specifically for 800 numbers and call tracking) and I know sometimes it can be hard to tell which solution is going to be the best for your business right off the bat. In this article, I hope to clear that up and make it super simple to decide which provider is best for you using a few simple criteria that I’ve laid out below. I’ll also include a brief summary of the difference between Grasshopper’s virtual phone forwarding system, and RingCentral’s expandable Voip business phone services. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to easily decide which phone service provider is best for your needs.

Summary:

  • Grasshopper – the better choice for people looking for an affordable virtual phone system solution for small business. (Grasshopper is perfect for service based businesses, traveling consultants, etc… where you want to add a business line to your cell phone.
    • Grasshopper helps you do 3 things:
      • Helps you sound more professional
      • Let’s you run your business from anywhere
      • Separates you personal and work life while only having to carry one device
  • RingCentral – great choice for small businesses looking for a cheap VoIP business phone solution that’s expandable to multiple offices and locations.
    • RingCentral Office phone system let’s you:
      • Add hardwired office desk phones to your virtual phone system
      • Supports multiple locations if your business grows to that point
      • Allow you to lease office phone hardware so you don’t have to buy an entire phone system outright
  • Phone.com – even though this is a Grasshopper and Ring Central comparison, Phone.com is a great option that’s a bit of a blend between the two… Robust just like RingCentral for expantion, but nice and lightweight if you just want to use the smartphone app to get your business started. (more affordable too!)

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Which Phone Plan Is Better? Grasshopper Compared To RingCentral

So out of all the questions I get on phone services, the big ones are which is the cheapest, who has the best features for the money, and which provider is the easiest to use and setup. I’ll address each major point in the sub sections below, but I can tell you that call quality is good on just about all of them these days. When voice over ip phone systems first came out way back when, the internet itself wasn’t as established as it is today. It was very common to get diminished call quality on a voip line compared to a landline… But nowadays, you can hardly tell the difference unless we’re talking about long international calls where their internet infrastructure isn’t as strong as it is here in the states.

The Difference Between A Phone Forwarding Service & A VoIP Business Phone System

The major difference between Grasshopper and RingCentral, is that Grasshopper is primarily a phone forwarding service for service based businesses and traveling entrepreneurs. What I mean by that is, if you want to have a retail location like a restaurant or a storefront with hard-wired office phones, Grasshopper is not setup for that.

However, RingCentral starts out like Grasshopper if you want to use it as a forwarding service, but can expand to support hardware you add to the system. In addition to that, you can add a softphone application to any computer and take and make calls right from your PC from anywhere you like. This is mostly overkill for the average small business, and most people never use these features.

If you are looking for a robust voip business phone system I recommend Phone.com since it’s a little cheaper.


Price: which is cheaper (but might be deceiving!)

On the surface, RingCentral might appear cheaper of the two when taking into account all of the features and minutes with each plan. Neither have an unlimited minutes plan, but both let you upgrade to thousands of minutes for cheap and most small businesses will never blow through all of those.

For the average small business, Grasshopper is going to be cheaper starting at $12/mo, compared to RingCentral’s base plan of $24/mo.  For service based business and traveling entrepreneurs, you’ll love Grasshopper.  For businesses with retail locations or multiple offices that want to connect their office desk phones and even sync multiple locations together, RingCentral’s Office Plan or Phone.com would be better options.


Future Expandability

Most people don’t know what a softphone app is, and when you’d use it.  It’s fairly simple the way I’m going to explain it, and is essentially just an app you run on your computer that taps into your business phone line or system. When you want to make calls or answer your business line whenever you’re away (or have a secretary working remotely or something) you simply open the application during normal business hours, and use a usb headset to talk just like you would on any landline or cell phone.

This is a great feature that’s usually hardly used by most, though it’s a nice option if you happen to be a consultant or works a traveling business. Both Ring Central and Phone.com come standard with this, but Grasshopper does not support these phone system extensions.


Which One I Recommend And Why

For most small businesses, especially those that are just getting started and are looking for a cost effective business phone solutions, Grasshopper is the cheapest option.  Second to that, I recommend Phone.com for anyone who is looking to get started on the cheap, but expand into a fully featured business phone system in the near future. Both of these recommendations are no contract, so if you want to switch later on down the road and save yourself some money, it’s fairly easy to do whenever you want. I like RingCentral too, but Phone.com does basically the same thing for a little less money on their base plans. For most people, that’s the better fit.


The Biggest Differentiating Factor That Will Help You Decide Which Service To Go With: How You Plan To Use It

To expand on the above point, when trying to decide between RingCentral VS Grasshopper’s phone services…both are good service providers, but each excel at different solutions. It today’s business world, a lot of business owners don’t even have business landlines anymore. They just use their cell phones for everything. Great, but sometimes it would be nice to be able to differentiate personal and business life, without carrying a separate device. (who wants to lug around two cell phones anymore!) This is where the added flexibility of VOIP comes in, and the features will make your life MUCH much easier…

Grasshopper Is The Best Choice IF:

Grasshopper is best for small business owners on the go, such as tradesman, contractors, plumbers, sales staff, and anyone who is most likely to be out in the field working out of the office, or someone who travels for work and mostly works from their cell phone. The other thing Grasshopper is awesome for that hardly anyone talks about, is it’s the cheapest way to add a toll free 800 number to your cell phone, and is the best alternative to Google voice since they don’t offer toll free numbers.

Related Reading: Grasshopper Phone System Reviews

RingCentral Is The Best Choice IF:

Ringcentral on the other hand, is slightly higher priced than Grasshopper, but has all the same features and a whole lot more. Ringcentral is the most flexible business phone solution out there. With their smartphone app, you can connect any cell phone and make business calls and texts, but they also have a free softphone application whereby you can take and make calls from any laptop or desktop computer as well. This comes in handy if you sometimes work in the office, but also travel 50% of the time as well.


Conclusion: Which Option Should You Choose?

If you’re never in the office, and mostly work remotely and travel, Grasshopper is the best choice for you. If you just started your business, and may want an office phone AND also be able to use your cell, Ringcentral or Phone.com have great options on leasing cheap VOIP phone hardware, and they’ll roll it into your monthly plan for a low cost total. (to see what I mean, click here go to Ring Central, click on Products > Phones & Headsets, and see the updated VOIP cordless telephones for $10 – $20 bucks a month… which is a HUGE savings over spending thousands on a traditional business phone system. You can compare Phone.com’s phone hardware here to see if they have any better specials deals or coupons this month)


Update- Grasshopper Versus RingCentral For Toll Free 1-800 Numbers & Custom Vanity Numbers

What about toll free 1-800 numbers and custom vanity numbers?  I’ve been getting a lot more questions about whether or not one provider is better when searching for vanity or toll free 800 numbers. The answer is yes and no. Each provider has their own pool of available 800 numbers that they pull from, although some do share the same pool (much like an unregistered domain name if you know what I mean).

Here’s what I would do if you’re looking for an 800 number or vanity line and can’t find an available one you like. Check out this post I did here, and my list of 800 providers I recommend and use myself to client call tracking. Remember that my recommendations for comparing Grasshopper VS RingCentral VS Phone.com and others is taking into account what most small business owners will be doing with their phone system. On the call tracking guides you see elsewhere on the blog, I’m specifically talking about specialty needs like call tracking analytics, cheap numbers that will never be hooked up to a cell phone, need office phone hardware, or stuck without phone adapters.


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Join the conversation on Matt's case studies at CleverLeverage.com as he discovers and tests new ways to earn more income, learn alternative investment strategies to net >10%, maintain good health, and turn passions into online businesses.

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