Google Voice is a popular Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. Because it’s a free product and easy to use, many small businesses and startups use the service as their business phone through their mobile phones. Google Voice even has a dedicated mobile app and can work on desktop devices. But choosing a Google Voice alternative could be the key step in taking your business communications to the next level. However in this article we are going to see the best google voice alternative.
After all, Google Voice isn’t a product meant for business use. Even Google’s support team says it:
“GV (Google Voice) is a consumer-targeted offering that is great for personal, non-business use. It does not have any direct technical support, and it does have occasional outages and hard-to-diagnose bugs.” – From the Google Voice Help Forum
What You Should Know About Google Voice
When you’re just launching a small business or a startup, it might make sense to use Google Voice because it’s free and your expenses are likely tight. As your business grows, you might notice some limitations to the free and even some paid tiers of Voice, including:
- No customer support from Google
- No toll-free numbers or vanity numbers
- No signups outside of the U.S.
- No auto-attendant or IVR features
- No ability to share a business phone number with your team
- No call recording for Google Workspace accounts
- Poor call quality
Ideally, you want a phone system that can grow as your business grows. For business owners, you want a business phone service that enables you to stop using your personal phone number for work-related phone calls or text messages.
However if you search for a Google Voice alternative, you’ll see that other VoIP services offer far more advanced functionality. Even searches on Reddit and Quora show results for many different Google Voice alternatives.
So, if you’re looking for a Google Voice alternative, you’re not the only one.
How does Google Voice work?
Mostly like VoIP services, Google Voice uses an internet connection (Wi-Fi or data plan) to make phone calls and send text messages. No desk phones or landlines are required. As long as you have an internet connection and an internet-enabled device (cellphone, laptop, computer, or another mobile device), you can use Google Voice. Google Voice allows you to make free calls just by signing up with an email address.
Moreover, it can be used for both personal and professional aspects — even though it is built specifically for personal communications.
Is Google Voice Being Discontinued?
Google is a company known for canceling services even if they have a sizable user base. There’s even a website dedicated to the hundreds of services the company has killed off over years behind. Even Google Hangouts, a messaging service that many teams use, is set to shut down in favor of other team services.
Further more, while Google continues to support Google Voice, they’re also investing heavily in a new phone service called Google Fi.
Google Fi is a paid phone plan with many of the same characteristics as Google Voice. Because of their similarities, there are many people who think Google will reduce its support for Google Voice in the coming months. While Google hasn’t officially commented on the future of Google Voice, note that there is a concern of it being canceled.
Google Voice Alternatives
While there are some advantages to using Google Voice for your business, there are options available that offer affordable pricing and provide the advanced features that business phone systems need.
Due to its lack of features around call handling, call forwarding and routing, virtual number sharing, and more, Google Voice isn’t a sustainable phone option — especially if your business is growing. These nine VoIP providers can help you access the business phone features your team needs.
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For small businesses and startups, a service like OpenPhone is a highly rated alternative with thousands of happy users. And it’s even one of the most affordable alternative on this list!
OpenPhone is a phone solution that your sales, operations, and customer support teams — among others — can easily use to manage inbound calls and SMS messages together. Using the platform, multiple members of your team can access a shared business phone number and collaborate on conversations. And when teammates are using different numbers, calls can be routed or forwarded to the right person with just a few taps.
If you want to create a call center for your business or a dedicated customer service line, OpenPhone gives you the capability, which Google Voice lacks. And when a customer calls, the platform even functions as a lightweight CRM, providing information about the client — though you also can connect with HubSpot for even better context.
OpenPhone also supports Canadian calling and offers local Canadian phone numbers (in addition to U.S. local numbers and toll-free numbers), allowing you to easily operate in or expand your business to Canada.
The following features are included also:
- U.S. and international calling — with unlimited calling and text messaging in the U.S. and Canada
- Voicemail transcription
- Auto-attendant (IVR)
- Crystal-clear audio quality
- Can set business hours
- Multiple phone numbers tied to one account
- Works on iPhones, Android phones, desktops, and web browsers
- Dedicated customer support
OpenPhone Pricing Plans
OpenPhone offers transparent pricing and some of the best rates in the game for must-have business phone features.
- Standard: $10 per user per month for shared phone numbers, auto-attendant, unlimited calls and texts in the U.S. and Canada, and even more robust features
- Premium: $25 per user per month adds call transferring, CRM integrations, analytics, and more advanced features
- Enterprise: Custom-fit solutions with custom-fit pricing
How To Switch and Port Your Number from Google Voice
Want to switch from Google Voice to OpenPhone? Here’s how easy it is:
- Create an OpenPhone account.
- Unlock your Google Voice number. (Note: Google charges a one-time $3 fee to transfer your number away from Google Voice.)
- Submit this 1-minute porting request form.
Nextiva is a VoIP phone service that supports calls in the United States and Canada. Though it does offer a number of business communication features that Google Voice does not, such as auto-attendant and customer support, it may not be the perfect fit for small businesses and startups.
Nextiva Pricing Plans
Nextiva isn’t super transparent about pricing. Upon jumping on their pricing page, you may be impressed by a low $18.95 per user per month rate. But when you want to pay monthly (instead of committing to an annual plan) and let them know you have a small team, your starting prices are bumped up significantly.
- Essential: $30.95 per user per month for auto-attendant and unlimited voice and video calls
- Professional: $35.95 per user per month for CRM integrations and unlimited SMS (finally)
- Enterprise: $45.95 per user per month for call recording and call analytics
- Ultimate: $75.95 per user per month for more customer analytics, customer surveys, and more not-so-ultimate features
However, while it’s a comprehensive service, Nextiva’s lowest rates are unavailable for small businesses that need them most, and getting great support is not guaranteed.
Telzio’s cloud-based phone solution offers local phone numbers in about 50 countries and enables you to bring unlimited users on board. But while it is built for business use, it’s not built for companies that take a high volume of calls. In addition to this, it requires you to pay for 100% of the platform’s features — even the ones you don’t need.
Telzio Pricing Plans
Telzio sets their monthly pricing based on the amount of call minutes and text messages you want per month, so there are no traditional pricing tiers. Its lowest price is $50 per month, which includes 1,000 minutes per month (no rollover). To add 1,000 text messages, you’ll need to bump your payment up to $77 per month.
This Google Voice alternative offers features like call recording, call analytics, toll-free numbers, and Zapier and Stripe integrations.
Telzio is an all-in-one solution in terms of call center features, but it’s still not refined enough to justify the cost — especially if you need to make a lot of calls or send a lot of text messages.
Ooma is a Google Voice alternative that supports calls in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico — though it only offers phone numbers that are local to the U.S. It’s available as a mobile app or as a desk phone service with all plans. However, Ooma lacks truly advanced features, even with its upgraded plan.
Ooma Pricing Plans
Ooma offers two pricing plans that are fairly affordable, though you will be missing out on more robust features, like integrations and analytics.
- Office: $19.95 per user per month for one toll-free number, auto-attendant, call forwarding, and SMS messages
- Office Pro: $24.95 per user per month for call recording, voicemail transcriptions, video conferencing, and a desktop app
Ooma isn’t anything fancy. Though affordable, you can get even much more for nearly half the price with VoIP services just like OpenPhone.
Ringblaze is an affordable Google Voice alternative that’s optimized for sales and support teams. But its pricing reflects its simplicity. Ringblaze is solely focused on helping you collaborate on calls — and doesn’t even offer text messaging. You’ll also have to stick to your desktop, as Ringblaze doesn’t offer a mobile app.
Ringblaze Pricing Plans
Ringblaze only offers one plan, which costs $19 per user per month. You’ll be able to share phone numbers, record calls, and get unlimited minutes to the U.S. and Canada. However, keep in mind that calls on toll-free numbers and internal calls (between team members) require per-minute payments.
Ringblaze can help you build an effective call center, but without a mobile app or SMS, it can hinder your ability to give your customers a five-star experience.
Mainly want to focus on SMS after switching from Google Voice? Sideline is a business text messaging service that lets you create a separate work number or share a number with your team. However, you may find that features are pretty limited unless you make a big upgrade — and Sideline only works on devices.
You can make calls through your Sideline phone number too, buy when Wi-Fi isn’t available or is spotty, you’ll have to use your own carrier minutes.
Sideline Pricing Plans
When you compare Sideline’s three pricing plans back to back, you may realize that you need to have a Pro plan to really get the features you need for business text messaging. This makes it a pretty pricey service, especially when you still need your own phone plan to use call features. Plus, the Pro plan is only available on iOS.
- Standard: $9.99 per month for one shareable phone number (U.S. only), auto-replies, and voicemail transcriptions
- Enterprise: $9.99 per line per month for admin control, auto-attendant, and a team directory
- Pro: $29.99 per month for SMS marketing capabilities, shortcuts, and customer support
Sideline can be a solid business text messaging service under its highest-tier plan, but it’s not super scalable due to limited device compatibility and lack of calling features.
Freshcaller is a Google Voice alternative that offers toll-free numbers or local phone numbers from over 90 countries. It does include a wide range of call forwarding and routing features. However, Freshcaller has a number of hidden fees and doesn’t support text messaging or unlimited calling. Plus, customer service seems to be a huge issue.
Freshcaller Pricing Plans
Like Google Voice, Freshcaller does offer a free plan. This sounds great — except you can’t actually use any plan for free. With every plan, you need to purchase your phone number(s) and pay per minute to make and receive calls. And that’s not the end of Freshcaller’s extra fees
- Sprout: 1.3 cents per minute for custom greetings, caller ID, and customer support
- Blossom: $19 per user per month for 1,000 free incoming minutes per month, voicemail, voicemail transcriptions (with a per-minute fee), and call recording (with a per-minute fee)
- Garden: $39 per user per month for 2,000 free incoming minutes per month, IVR, call conferencing (for a per-minute fee), and call monitoring (for a per-minute fee)
- Estate: $59 per user per month for 3,000 free incoming minutes per month, holiday routing, and call barging (for a per-minute fee)
- Forest: $99 per user per month for 5,000 free incoming minutes per month and a speech-enabled auto-attendant
Freshcaller has a number of advanced call management features, but with a hoard of fees and lackluster support, it may not be worth the cost.
JustCall is a Google Voice alternative that lets you claim and share local numbers from 70 countries. Like Ringblaze, JustCall is created for support and sales teams (but with SMS and a mobile app). Unfortunately, it can be a pretty pricey solution if you’re building a call center, since no plan includes any call minutes. Lack of reliability is also a major issue users face.
JustCall Pricing Plans
JustCall offers pretty decent features with its plans, but it’s still more expensive than a number of services on this list, such as OpenPhone and Ringblaze. And its per-month pricing doesn’t even include the 1.5 cents per minute you’ll pay for most local calls — or the very expensive 10.35 cents per minute you’ll pay for Alaska calls.
- Standard: $25 per user per month for one free number, auto-attendant, and call routing and recording
- Premium: $50 per user per month for SMS bots and campaigns, post-call surveys, and help desk and CRM integrations
- Enterprise: Must contact for price and have 100 users or more for priority customer support as well as bundled calling and SMS rates
JustCall includes a fair amount of essential business phone features with its plans, but the costs can add up quickly — and basic calls may not be super reliable at all.
Grasshopper is a popular VoIP service that offers a fairly easy-to-use interface and both local and toll-free numbers. But while Grasshopper may be well-known and have enough business features to replace Google Voice, it’s not built for collaboration. There are no integrations, shared phone numbers, or call recording capabilities. Plus, pricing can be confusing too.
Grasshopper Pricing Plans
Just like Telzio, Grasshopper requires business owners to invest in 100% of its features — voicemail transcriptions, call reports, and more — no matter what plan you choose. Their three tiers simply include a different amount of phone numbers and extensions. Adding any more will cost you extra.
- Solo: $29 per month for one phone number and three extensions
- Partner: $49 per month for three phone numbers and six extensions
- Small Business: $89 per month for five phone numbers and unlimited extensions
Grasshopper is built for business, unlike Google Voice, but it can be pretty costly for any small business and doesn’t allow you to build a call center or collaborate.
Final thought on the best google voice alternatives
If you’re looking for a Google Voice alternative, look no further than OpenPhone. OpenPhone is a business phone built specifically for startups, small businesses, and individuals. Unlike Google Voice and most of its competitors, OpenPhone offers all of the key features that a business phone needs with no hidden fees and starting at just $10 per user per month. OpenPhone also has a sleek user interface and dedicated customer support to make your experience 10 times better.
Ready to make the switch? You can start calling and texting with OpenPhone today. Sign up for a free trial in under a minute.