Small business owners looking for a business phone system are flocking to GrassHopper. With their snappy customer support and reliable phone system, it’s hard to find a reason not to like GrassHopper. However, it’s not the only virtual phone service out there. What are the best GrassHopper alternatives?
That’s what we’re going to examine today. Our goal is to find companies that provide a similar service compared to GrassHopper. In order to do that, let’s take a closer look at what GrassHopper offers and what makes them unique among VoIP services. We’ll then contrast a few options for you to consider.
Grasshopper Alternatives for Your Business Phone Service in 2021
What Is GrassHopper?
GrassHopper is a VoIP phone service. It enables you to make call using VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol. Instead of using a phone line, your call is transmitted over the internet to the recipient’s device. VoIP lets you make phone calls from any device, not just an actual phone. GrassHopper turns your mobile phone, laptop, tablet, or desktop PC into a VoIP phone.
Like other virtual phone systems, you’ll get unlimited calling and a virtual phone number so that anyone can call you. Other standard calling features like call forwarding and toll free numbers are included. Quality customer support is also a staple of any good phone system, and GrassHopper is no exception to this rule.
With a service like GrassHopper, you can essentially replace your current business phone system with a more advanced, more efficient virtual phone. But what does GrassHopper do differently? How do they stand out from the competition, especially now that there are so many virtual phone services to choose from?
What Makes GrassHopper Unique?
Finding GrassHopper alternatives is tricky. See, GrassHopper focuses heavily on small businesses, perhaps more than any other provider we’ve come across. In particular, GrassHopper targets solopreneurs and startups. If that sounds like you, it’s harder to find an alternative to GrassHopper because they really have crafted a service that caters to your specific needs.
But that doesn’t mean that GrassHopper alternatives don’t exist! On the contrary, there’s always someone else out there that can provide the same level of service. So, why would you choose GrassHopper over another service? One reason is that they have several unique features that other services don’t have or charge extra for. For example, voicemail transcription and simultaneous call handling are included in every plan, even the most basic one.
GrassHopper also prides itself on its straightforward pricing and easy-to-use app. Small business owners don’t want to waste time trying to configure a confusing app, and it’s nice to just get clear pricing information upfront instead of having to haggle. Those are areas where GrassHopper stands out. Their partnerships with other companies also enrich the features they offer. Overall, they’re a great option. So, how can we find GrassHopper alternatives?
Small Business Phone System Features
We need to define the terms of our search. Before we can hunt for a GrassHopper alternative, we need to know what we’re looking for. To that end, here is a simple list of must-have features. If a company can’t give us these basic business phone system services, then we’re not going to consider them in this review. These are the bare essentials that every small business should have.
Desktop and Mobile App
One of the biggest benefits of a virtual phone system is that you can take it anywhere. You don’t need to be tied to that little phone jack in the wall. Instead, you make and receive calls from your phone or your computer. To do that, you need a reliable desktop and mobile app.
This feature is extremely useful for small business owners because you’re probably spending most of your time at your desk doing business and managing your operations. Being able to simply click your mouse and take a call speeds up your workflow. Similarly, having your business phone number with you at all times on your mobile phone makes you feel like an omnipotent being.
GrassHopper’s apps are renowned for their snappy responsiveness and ease of use. With a clean interface and menus that don’t leave you scratching your head, there’s a lot to love. All of the GrassHopper alternatives we’ve considered today have both mobile and desktop applications so that you can call whenever, wherever.
Nobody wants to keep track of their minutes. Unlimited calling is a must, and it’s generally the default for most VoIP solutions. Every service will give you unlimited incoming calls, but some will quietly put a limit on outgoing calls. Cheaper services don’t want you to host a call center on your phone number.
That’s not the case with GrassHopper or any of the other companies we’re looking at today. In fact, these services actively encourage you to use their phone system as a call center! They have useful call management features to give your small business the phone presence of a proper enterprise.
What kind of features are we talking about? Let’s take a look.
Call Management Features
Traditional phones have little in the way of call management. If you’re lucky, your desk phone might be able to field calls from several lines and give you a blinking light when you have a call on another line. Perhaps you can transfer a call to a colleague or put someone on hold. This is the best it gets with phone lines.
A virtual phone, on the other hand, opens up so many more possibilities. Since these calls are sent through the internet, it’s possible to manage them with an app that runs on servers in the cloud. That’s exactly how GrassHopper and these alternatives manage call forwarding, call recording, and much more.
Virtual Phone Numbers
VoIP providers let you choose from a variety of phone numbers, including vanity numbers that you design yourself, toll-free numbers, and standard business phone numbers. Adding new numbers is as easy as logging into your account and clicking the mouse a few times.
Rest assured that all of our GrassHopper alternatives have these options too.
How Much Does GrassHopper Cost Per Month?
GrassHopper’s base plan costs $26 per month when you pay for the whole year at once. With it, you’ll get one phone number. However, you will get three extensions that you can customize, so your callers can direct their call to different individuals in your organization. Or you can pretend you have employees and use a different voice whenever someone uses an extension.
GrassHopper offers more expensive plans which give you more phone numbers and extensions. Other than that, there’s no difference in terms of features from one plan to the next. So, as we compare GrassHopper alternatives, we’re going to be focusing on plans with similar pricing and features to determine which has the better value. It wouldn’t be fair to pit another company’s barebones option against GrassHopper.
Companies We Have Not Compared to GrassHopper
Before we dive into the best GrassHopper alternatives, we should mention there are a few services we discarded from this comparison. Mitel is one such company, and this is mainly due to the fact that they are not very transparent about their pricing and tend to focus more on enterprise customers. Similarly, VirtualPBX is mostly focused on medium-sized businesses, so we left them off.
We’ve also left off a bunch of VoIP providers that lack quality apps. Many of these promise extremely affordable calling, with plans under $10 per month. However, they force you to use a web browser or only have an app for mobile devices. They also lack many of the features that small businesses need.
What Are the Best GrassHopper Alternatives?
Let’s get started with the comparison. Seven services enter the ring; only one can leave with the title of Best GrassHopper Alternative. So, who will win the battle? Let’s find out.
First up is Phone.com. Can we just appreciate what a great domain that is? The plan we’re looking at is their Plus plan, which is $19.99 per user per month. You’ll get one phone number at this rate and unlimited everything else.
Phone.com has plenty of calling features and does a good job delivering its service through its apps. Like GrassHopper, you can be up and running in minutes. Their call forwarding features are equally impressive, with the ability to set schedules to determine who gets calls at what time of day. While voicemail transcription isn’t included in the Plus plan, they at least give you voicemail to email.
Advantages Over GrassHopper
Phone.com has a couple of features that GrassHopper does not, and these might be dealbreakers depending on how your business works. In particular, Phone.com offers video conferencing with up to 25 participants in its Plus plan. Since GrassHopper has no video conferencing at all, this is a big one.
Of course, you can always use a free video service like Google Meet if you’d rather not pay for a second service. But it’s nice to see it included with your phone system.
Another bonus is that Phone.com offers e911 service, which is important if you intend to ditch your phone line completely. Overall, we think Phone.com is a solid contender, especially if you need video conferencing.
Ooma Office enters the ring wearing the belt for best customer service. Indeed, they’ve been consistently rated as one of the best phone services, and not just by reviewers like us but also by customers themselves! Ooma Office is a great option for anyone who runs a small business from home or has a small office that could use a proper desk phone.
You’ll actually get a VoIP phone that you can use with your Ooma Office plan, which is useful if you have an office that regularly gets visitors. There’s something professional looking about having a proper phone on the desk, even in 2021. We’re looking at the Pro plan here, which comes in at $24.95 per month per user. Ooma’s cheaper basic plan does not include a desktop app, which was one of our criteria from the start.
Compared to GrassHopper, Ooma lacks a couple of features that we care about. For instance, you can’t get a vanity number (although you can choose a toll-free number) or use call routing unless you splurge for the Enterprise plan, which requires a contract. Nevertheless, Ooma does bring a few things to the table that GrassHopper does not.
Advantages Over GrassHopper
Like Phone.com, Ooma offers video conferencing in addition to unlimited calling. Another aspect that we like about Ooma is their advanced call blocking. They have an excellent spam filter and they give you tools to customize it. You can block numbers by area code or manually add a number so your in-laws can stop bugging you while you’re at work.
Oh yeah, and you get that desk phone we mentioned. That might not matter to many people, but for some office settings, it really can be helpful. Plus, it allows you to hang up on someone by slamming the phone, which is a dying art that really does need to be brought back to life.
While having great customer support is appreciated, in a perfect world you wouldn’t need it if the service worked as advertised. If you absolutely need a physical phone, we’d say Ooma is the best GrassHopper alternative for small businesses. But if that’s not high on your priority list, keep reading.
You’ve heard us sing praises for RingCentral before on VoIPVirtual. It’s hard not to like a company that does it all. RingCentral is dedicated to delivering high quality phone calls every single time, and they do so with your choice of toll free and local numbers. You get the reliability of a powerful cloud-based system, and there’s no limit to the number of users you can add to your service, which is great for businesses on the rise.
However, compared to GrassHopper, things are a bit odd. See, RingCentral is priced per user per month, but their prices for a single user are significantly higher than their regular rates. The basic plan costs a whopping $29.99 for a single user and offers less than GrassHopper does overall. If you have between two and 20 users, then you pay $19.99 per month, or $24.99 for the standard plan which actually compares well to GrassHopper in terms of features.
But then you’re paying between $40 and $50 a month, which could get you a better plan at GrassHopper and, arguably, a better deal. Take a look at where RingCentral excels and ask yourself if those features are enough to convince you to choose RingCentral.
Advantages Over GrassHopper
If RingCentral can’t beat GrassHopper in price, then it’d better have some significant advantages. There are a few. For one, RingCentral is almost impossible to beat when it comes to international calls. You can get international numbers in seconds, and when you use your international numbers to make calls within the same country, you’ll get unlimited calling as well. If your business has a significant presence in another country besides the United States, consider RingCentral.
The standard plan, although it costs more, does include video conferencing. It also includes an auto attendant, but we think GrassHopper does a better job there. The biggest advantage that RingCentral has compared to GrassHopper is its app.
Regardless of your plan or the number of users, if you sign up for RingCentral you’ll have access to their app. And you can invite anyone to participate for free! Your clients and employees can all use the app to send messages and you can even make group chats. While free users don’t get a phone number and can’t start a voice or video call, they can still participate if you call them through the app.
If Vegas were making odds on who would win this competition, it’s safe to say Nextiva would be a frontrunner. After all, any company that’s good enough for Taco Bell should be good enough for you. They are definitely one of the best alternatives to GrassHopper, and while they have plenty of services for large companies, they’re flexible enough to take care of small businesses too.
We’re looking at the Professional plan, which costs $27.95 per month for a single user, a far cry from RingCentral’s expensive prices and just a couple of bucks more compared to GrassHopper. As always, you get unlimited phone calls in the United States and Canada, although you can get international numbers with Nextiva. You get both a toll free number and a regular business number, and a whopping 3,000 toll free minutes for your clients.
You’ll get 24/7 customer support, and even professional installation support so if you’re not sure how to set up the app someone will help walk you through it. So, is Nextiva the best alternative to GrassHopper?
Advantages Over GrassHopper
Nextiva has a few things that set them apart compared to GrassHopper. For one, they have integrations with other software that can make doing business easier. For instance, you can connect with G Suite and instantly have all your Google contacts synced with Nextiva. They also integrate with Salesforce and other CRM tools. Video conferencing is included, as well as unlimited internet fax if you’re into that sort of thing (GrassHopper can only receive faxes).
Nextiva’s app works very much like RingCentral’s, but it also gives you some project and task management features that can help you organize your business. There’s hold music and voicemail to text, as well as a comprehensive auto attendant, so you’ll never miss a call and your customers will feel welcomed right away.
Overall, we think Nextiva offers quite a bit of bang for the buck. While it is a bit more expensive than GrassHopper, the additional features make it worth it. Heck, they even include a free professionally recorded greeting with the Professional plan, while GrassHopper charges extra for that.
Dialpad was created by several developers who worked on Google Voice. They wanted to take it to the next level, while Google wasn’t interested. So, the end result is that they went their separate ways and created Dialpad to give users powerful features at an affordable price.
At $25 per month when you pay the whole year upfront, the Pro plan has a lot to offer at a relatively low cost. While you only get one local number, that number can be located in one of over 50 countries. Their app is easy to use as it follows many of the principles that make G Suite and other Google products so effective.
Advantages Over GrassHopper
By far, Dialpad’s biggest advantage is the sheer quantity of integrations with other apps. You can integrate with just about everything, including social media platforms to make it easier for people to get in touch with your company. Calls run on a cloud-based network that also provides valuable analytics. Features like these tend to be reserved for the most expensive plans from other providers, but Dialpad makes them available to Joe Anybody.
Their tools can make your customer support far better. They even have speech coaching included to help you talk to your clients better. Call recording and a smart auto-attendant are included with every plan. The only disadvantage is that extensions are locked behind the most expensive plan, but aside from that, Dialpad makes a strong case for the best GrassHopper alternative.
Vonage for Business
Vonage has been in this business for longer than just about any other company. They were one of the first companies to promote VoIP calls, although they used to target home users exclusively. Nowadays they’ve expanded into the business world with Vonage Business. You get a great phone call every time, and access to their platform for unified communications.
At $29.99, Vonage’s Premium plans aren’t the cheapest, but they do offer a lot of features, like call monitoring and video meetings, in addition to an app center that lets you install plugins to enhance your experience.
Advantages Over GrassHopper
While Vonage does have a larger bag of features, we’re not sure that many of them are going to be so useful that you absolutely have to have them. Integrations are a plus, as is the ability to make video calls.
But as we’ve seen, you can get all of those features and more at a better price by opting for Nextiva or Dialpad, so we think Vonage has a lot of work to do before we can crown it as the best of our many GrassHopper alternatives.
We would be remiss if we didn’t go over this provider. 8×8 Express gives you a ton of features, including all of the basics we expect from a GrassHopper alternative. But where it truly shines is in the pricing department. Unbelievably, 8×8 Express is the cheapest option on our list by a country mile.
Advantages Over GrassHopper
We’ll cut to the chase: Money. 8×8 Express is just $12 per month per user. That makes it one of the cheapest plans for a full-featured system that we’ve ever seen! You could have two phone numbers for your company and still end up paying less than you would pay for GrassHopper. That low cost makes it hard to compete against 8×8.
VoIPVirtual’s Verdict: The Best GrassHopper Alternative
So, what’s the best GrassHopper alternative? That depends on what you’re looking for. By far, the best deal out of the bunch is 8×8 Express. If you want to spend as little as possible but still have a proper business phone setup, 8×8 is the champ.
If you need more advanced features or need to communicate with a team, we’d say Nextiva takes the cake. While it is slightly more expensive, you’ll get two phone numbers and plenty of collaboration tools, along with software integrations. You can run your entire business out of Nextiva’s app, and we think you ought to give it a look for your small business.