Softphone Apps for Business – Everything You Need To Know

Our in-depth research has put the best softphone apps for businesses to the test, and reveals the 8×8 Work app is the top option that you can currently download to boost the communication game of your business. However, in a market ripe with choice, choosing a softphone app and VoIP provider that suits your business can be daunting.

With an abundance of innovative products springing up from left to right, we know that choosing a softphone that's intuitive and feels right for your business is no easy job. Even if it feels like a fairly new concept, you've probably already run into similar products in your personal life, thanks to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. We get there is a lot of jargon and terms floating around so, before delving into the best options on the market and, with our extensive knowledge on the subject, we’ll walk you through a quick softphones crash course.

Keep in mind that owning a VoIP system shouldn’t be a pocket-stretching investment. To help you navigate through the menu of choices, we review the five best softphone apps, comparing them against the factors that matter most to businesses. This will ensure you can be confident you’re investing in the best solution for you. For even more personalised help, try our free quote-finding tool to get bespoke quotes from the top phone systems for businesses.

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What Is The Best Softphone App For Business?

8×8

Best Overall Softphone App For Business

8x8 logo
8x8
4.7
Pricing $15 140 per user, per month
Quick overview

Chosen by over 2.5 million users, 8x8 has a proven track record of success – according to Forrester Consulting, clients that opted for 8x8 reported a 158% growth in ROI! Known for its customisable drag-and-drop dashboards and intelligent coaching and collaboration tools, 8x8 offers a wide menu of subscription options that will allow you to gradually – or rapidly – scale up your business.

8x8’s business phone system comes with a very sophisticated softphone app – 8x8 Work– meaning your business has access to a host of advanced features on your chosen devices. The 8x8 Work softphone app allows you to collaborate via conferences and web meetings, connect clients and stakeholders from a central phone system, and view all of your communication data on one interface. Integrated with 8x8’s VoIP system, you’ll also be able to access features like ring groups and call queue, offered at almost all subscription levels. This means you’ll easily be able to deal with a large number of incoming callers. What’s more, with Web Conferencing and internal live chat integrations of a wide range of platforms, including Telegram and Slack, your employees will be able to work remotely, giving you more flexibility and slash office costs.

Strengths

Boasts some of the most generous customer service in the VoIP-verse

Unlimited inbound and outbound minutes to 48 countries

Offers real-time dashboard and wide range of seamless integrations

Weaknesses

Niftiest features only available at the most exclusive subscriptions

Free trial is limited to features offered at Express subscription

Unclear if their Customer Success Managers (onboarding support) come at an additional charge

Pricing
PlanStarting price (per user, per month)
Express $15
X2 $24
X4 $44
X6 $85
X7 $110
X8 $140

What is 8×8's softphone compatible with?

Software

  • Windows
  • iOS
  • Android

Integrations

  • CRM*: Salesforce, Copper, Freshdesk, Hubspot, MS Dynamics, Pipedrive, Zendesk, Zoho, 1CRM, Bullhorn, Copper, Sugar
  • Helpdesk*: Salesforce, Hubspot, Freshdesk, Zendesk
  • Web Conferencing*: Teams
  • External Live Chat*: Fleep, Gitter, GroupMe, IRC, Mattermost, Rocket.chat, Slack, Telegram, Webex, Yammer
  • Internal Live Chat*: Slack, Telegram, Webex, Yammer
  • Analytics: not offered
  • API*: offered
  • Email: Outlook
  • Workspace: Google Workspace, Microsoft 365
  • SSO: offered

* Not offered for Express subscribers 

How does 8×8 compare to other softphone providers?

Awarded a 4.7/5 by our independent researchers, who’ve put 8×8’s call centre features, pricing, and customer support to the test, we believe it stands out due to its flexibility of choice. Whether your business needs a comprehensive, savvy system or you just want the essentials, 8×8 can tick off the boxes on your softphone system checklist.

Although we’ve given 8×8 a 2.5/5 in pricing, placing it far behind GoToConnect’s 4.3/5 in this category, you can consider the extra money you’re putting down as a worthy investment. Nevertheless, we have awarded 8×8 a stellar 5/5 for its generous customer support, which is only rivalled by RingCentral’s equalising score.

RingCentral

Best for scalability

RingCentral logo
RingCentral
4.7
Pricing $19.99 - 49.99
Quick overview

Trusted by industry giants like Costa Express, and Mobica, RingCentral has carved itself a reputable spot as a leading VoIP softphone provider. With nearly 20 years in the cloud telephone services sector, RingCentral is a robust choice for businesses thanks to its rich menu of management features, integrability, and onboarding support.

RingCentral is a big player in the VoIP world, so you can expect big things from its softphone app, too. From HD VoIP calling to setting up online meetings, the RingCentral app puts your business in your pocket. With personalised, data-backed routing you’ll be able to deepen relationships with your customers. What’s more, with RingCentral’s reports and intuitive dashboards, you’ll gain valuable insight that will guide business-critical decisions. Whether you’re after basic business call features or advanced call handling, RingCentral’s four tier pricing system means you’ll only ever pay for what you need.

Strengths

Tightly integrated IVR system and automatic call distribution (ACD), allowing you to leverage customer data

Offers skill-based routing

Rich menu of management features

Weaknesses

Integrability with most software requires Premium or Ultimate subscriptions

Onboarding support only available at Standard subscription and above

Pricing
PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Essentials $19.99
Standard $27.99
Premium $34.99
Ultimate $49.99

What is RingCentral's softphone compatible with?

Software

  • Windows
  • iOS
  • Android

Integrations

  • CRM*: 96+ apps, including Salesforce, Hubspot, Zendesk, and Bullhorn
  • Helpdesk*: Salesforce, Zendesk, Freshdesk, Hubspot
  • Web Conferencing*: Microsoft Teams
  • External Live Chat*: WhatsApp, Facebook, Apple Business Chat, Google Business Messages
  • Internal Live Chat*: Slack, Hangouts Chat, Engage Digital
  • Analytics*: 57+ apps, including Salesforce, Cloze, and New Relic
  • API*: offered
  • Email*: Outlook and Gmail
  • Workspace*: Google Workspace and Microsoft 365
  • SSO*: offered

* Only offered at more exclusive subscription plans

How does RingCentral compare to other softphone providers?

Factoring in price, integrability, features, and customer support, our in-depth research sees RingCentral achieve an excellent 4.7/5 for its value as a softphone system for businesses. While some of the most valuable features are only available on the more luxurious subscription plans, RingCentral’s skill-based call routing and intuitive dashboards will make the right matches between your employees and customers. Overall, this will help make your customer service memorable for all the right reasons.

What’s even more impressive is that, compared to competitors like Vonage and GoToConnect, RingCentral races ahead for customer service features in our research, scoring a 5/5. So, you can be confident you’ll have a whole dashboard of nifty features to power your unified communications.

Did You Know?

90% of IT leaders have ceased purchasing on-premise communication tools. What does this tell us? The future of unified communications is no longer landlines, but VoIP.

Vonage

Best for Mac and iOS users

Vonage logo
Vonage
4.5
Pricing $19.99 - 39.99
Quick overview

Offering dynamic call routing and post-call analysis, Vonage is known for its innovative adoption of AI in its softphone system. Its provision of tools, metrics, and data give you a 360-degree view of the interactions between your employees and customers, enabling you to turn insights into actions that heighten your ROI. It’s a great choice for Mac and iOS users as it only requires iOS 12 or later, and was awarded a 4.7/5 on the App Store, averaged from 12.4K ratings. This means you won’t need to install more recent system updates to access Vonage. Overall, it can support more users than competitors such as 8x8 and RingCentral.

Vonage’s business cloud app exists alongside a sophisticated VoIP system. Offering rich customer support features and low monthly costs, Vonage embodies a recipe for scaling up your operation. Although these come at an additional cost, Vonage also lets you tap into its wide set of ready-made integrations as it’s compatible with Hubspot, Salesforce, Zendesk, Slack, and Office 365. This allows you to unify all your communications into one spot.

Strengths

Customisable dashboards and wallboards give you real-time visibility of KPI progress

Displays a local number when reaching out to customers, boosting response rate

Solid customer support service

Weaknesses

Security is not as robust as other softphone systems

Most useful features for training and management only available at professional and ultimate subscriptions

Pricing
PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Mobile $19.99
Premium $29.99
Advanced $39.99

What is Vonage's softphone compatible with?

Software

  • iOS
  • Windows

Integrations

  • CRM*: Bullhorn, Hubspot, Office 365, Salesforce, Sugar CRM, Zendesk, Clio, Microsoft Dynamics, and Zoho
  • Helpdesk*: Hubspot, Office 365, Salesforce, Sugar CRM, Zendesk, Microsoft Dynamics
  • Web Conferencing*: only compatible with Unytalk
  • External Live Chat*: only compatible with Unytalk
  • Internal Live Chat: Slack
  • Analytics: not offered
  • API: offered
  • Email: not offered
  • Workspace: Office 365 and G Suite
  • SSO: Offered

*Only offered at additional cost

How does Vonage compare to other softphone providers?

Backed by our thorough research, which considered inbound and outbound communication features, price, customer support, and the integrability of softphone systems for businesses, we gave Vonage a 4.5/5. Although you’ll need to make more of an investment to access the features that make Vonage a top-notch phone system, its price tag is still lower than RingCentral’s.

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GoToConnect

Best for cheapest international calls

GoTo logo
GoToConnect
4.3
Pricing $24 - 39
Quick overview

Promising a seamless onboarding process where you can get your softphone cloud system working within a day, GoToConnect is a safe option if you’re looking to get value for your money. According to our research, it also has the richest offering of international calls, giving you access to free international calling to over 50 countries. This makes GoToConnect a fantastic option for businesses that are looking to cater to –or maintain– an international clientele.

Featuring a streamlined admin portal, you can easily configure call flows with a drag-and-drop dial plan editor, and comb through call analytics to identify which team or agent needs improvement. For just $24.00 per user, per month, you’ll be able to wield all the inbound communication features you might need as a business, including call queue and ring groups – an offer that no other provider offers at a more competitive price point.

Strengths

Onboarding support is available across all subscription models

Free international calling to 50+ countries, and unlimited domestic inbound and outbound minutes

Weaknesses

Analytics and workspace integrations unavailable

Limited number of compatible platforms for external connections compared to other providers

Not the most comprehensive customer support

Video meetings can only show up to 25 HD video feeds

Pricing
PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Basic $24
Standard $29
Premium $39

What is GoToConnect's softphone compatible with?

Software

  • Windows
  • iOS
  • Android

Integrations

  • CRM: Salesforce and Zoho
  • Helpdesk: Salesforce, Zendesk, Zoho Desk
  • Web Conferencing: MS Teams
  • External Live Chat: not offered
  • Internal Live Chat: Slack and Hipchat
  • Analytics: not offered
  • API: offered
  • Email: Outlook
  • Workspace: not offered
  • SSO: offered

How does GoToConnect compare to other softphone providers?

After combing through all the information available on GoToConnect, our researchers have given it a 4.2/5. Although its customer support lags a bit behind RingCentral, 8×8, and Vonage, the features you can access for what you pay at each subscription level give you greater value for your money than its competitors – with the added perk of having free international calls.

Ooma

Best For Value

Ooma logo
Ooma
4.3
Pricing $19.95 - 29.95 per user, per month
Quick overview

Offering one of the cheapest price points of all the providers we look at here, it’s pretty obvious why we think Ooma  is the best VoIP provider for its price. Although it is quite limited in terms of external connections and security (we gave it a 2.7/5 and 1/5, respectively), it’s a good option if you’re simply not in a position to invest a bunch of cash in a VoIP system. What we do like about Ooma is that its system is incredibly easy to set up. Ooma can supply dedicated desk phones that work out of the box, and they can be configured in less than 15 minutes.

Strengths

Roster of features specifically tailored toward small businesses that work remotely or from the office

Not tied to a contract - can use the system for as long as needed and can be easily cancelled on demand

Competitive pricing that won't break the bank

Weaknesses

Only comes with 35+ features, less than others on this list

Scores 1/5 for security in our research

Very limited offering of external connections

Pricing
PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Ooma Office $19.95
Ooma Office Pro $24.95
Ooma Office Pro Plus $29.95

What is Ooma's softphone compatible with?

Software

  • Windows
  • iOS
  • Android

Integrations

  • CRM: Salesforce, MS Dynamics, and Zendesk*
  • Helpdesk: Salesforce, MS Dynamics, and Zendesk*
  • Web Conferencing: MS Teams
  • External Live Chat: not offered
  • Internal Live Chat: not offered
  • Analytics: not offered
  • API: offered*
  • Email: Gmail and Outlook*
  • Workspace: Google Workspace and Microsoft 365*
  • SSO: not offered

**only available for Ooma Office Pro or above

How does Ooma compare to other softphone providers?

As the provider with one of the cheapest subscription plans for small businesses, Ooma comfortably a respectable 3.5/5 in our research, placing it above 8×8 . However, keep in mind that the low upfront cost does come with some setbacks. Our research has given Ooma a 2.7/5 for external connections because it doesn’t offer a great range of software to sync with. So, if this is make or break for you, you’d be better off choosing RingCentral, which scored 4.3/5 in the same category. Ooma also isn’t great for security, scoring 1/5. Want a safety guarantee? 8×8 X2 and Google Voice are better alternatives because they both score a stellar 5/5.

Did You Know?

Global VoIP subscriptions have increased due to the number of individuals and businesses who want to reduce communication costs.

Methodology: How Did We Find The Best Softphone Apps for Business?

Our team of independent researchers has conducted an in-depth dive into eight of the most used and top-rated softphone suppliers on the market. Prioritising all the possible features that businesses might need from a VoIP phone system, we’ve narrowed it down to the top five providers based on their offering of inbound and outbound communication features, pricing, scalability, customer support, and external connections.

We’ve also aggregated customer reviews from platforms like Trustpilot and Capterra to assure you that our knowledge is not only robust on paper, but also in practice. Regardless of which choice you make to meet the demands of your business, our research-backed recommendations will match you with the most suitable players in the softphone market.

What is a Softphone App?

Despite the futuristic sound of the term, the concept of a softphone is quite a simple one. Softphones allow you to make calls over an internet connection without the need for classical deskphones or a landline, which means you can ‘install’ a phone on your desktop or mobile device. Since softphones run on computers or mobile devices, you can seamlessly integrate them with different platforms like CRM, Helpdesk, Web Conferencing, and more.

You might’ve already used something that behaves like a softphone – Zoom and Skype are some of the most popular examples. The difference is that softphones are usually integrated with sophisticated VoIP systems, so beyond just doing the standard video call, you can also take advantage of other useful features like making call transfers, holds, text to voicemail, and have a virtual receptionist. Therefore, by installing a softphone on your desktop or mobile, you can manage your business communications straight from your pocket, offering you an extra bit of flexibility.

What Are The Key Features Of A Softphone?

Softphones equip you with new and more flexible ways to manage the communications of your business. Some of the key features and aspects include:

  • Portability: remote workers and frequent travellers can now have their business smartphone with them wherever they are, giving your business an extra dose of flexibility.
  • Privacy: softphones keep your personal contact and information divorced from your work life as any calls you make from the app will show your business number, not your personal number.
  • Efficiency: user interface offers lots of shortcuts and enhancements for users such as drag-and-drop call transfers, visual voicemails, voicemail-to-email configuration and incoming call notifications.
  • Nifty key features:
    • Shared contacts: softphone apps allow users to subscribe to company lists and share their own contacts with co-workers, which saves you having to manually look up and dialling every extension.
    • Presence: indicates when teams are online, offline, busy, or in a meeting. Although it might seem insignificant, it does help with productivity
    • Connectivity: softphone apps tend to be built into the provider’s main app, which is equipped with more features like video conferencing and team messaging.
    • Easier conference calls: makes it easier to connect with colleagues and teams via conference call on their work phones. Softphones tend to have both desktop and mobile apps, which means you can flip a call between computer and cell phone mid-conversation
    • Integrations: when paired with a VoIP system provider, softphone apps allow you to manage your contacts, customise greetings, and sync your system with softwares like CRM, Helpdesk, and emails which means all of your business communications are housed underneath the same roof

How Do You Use A Softphone?

Using a softphone app is actually a lot simpler than you’d think. Firstly, you don’t need a dedicated IP phone – all you have to do is install the softphone on a device with network access and then set up the software with your personal details and a display name. This is similar to the steps you took when setting up your Zoom account during the pandemic. All you really need to get started is a computer or a mobile device to install the softphone app on, which is something that can be set up in minutes. If you’re switching from other types of communication systems, you also won’t need to purchase any specific hardware to accommodate the new system. So, overall, it’s a nice and easy process that will strengthen the communication arm of your business.

Softphone vs Hardphone: What's The Difference?

Both hardphones and softphones are a type of VoIP communication system that allows you to make phone calls using the internet. At first glance their features may seem similar, but their significant differences are cost, mobility, and user interface. Think of hardphones as the physical device attached to a desk, and softphones as the software application you use to make audio and video calls, like Zoom or Skype.

Hardphones look nearly identical to traditional phones, usually plugged into workstations and connected to your business’s IP network. They also tend to have built in screens for video calls and conferencing, and also come equipped with a menu of advanced VoIP features like virtual receptionist, call recording, and call forwarding. Since they already look so similar to normal phones, there’s no steep learning curve. Compared to softphones, they have a slight advantage in call quality and dependability. Since you have a dedicated device for handling calls, you don’t run the risk of system crashes from having multiple software programs like you would with softphones. Your hardphone will also be connected to an ethernet cable, meaning you can plan for downtime hours in advance, as opposed to risking a system reboot. However, hardphones tend to be more expensive than softphones.

Softphones can work on any device that’s capable of making or receiving VoIP calls, including computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, or mobile phones. As long as you have a microphone, speakers, and an internet connection, you’re ready to go. Although softphones behave like traditional hardphones and landlines, they use software to make calls, which allows you to do a bunch of other things you wouldn’t be able to do from a desk phone, like call recording, visual voicemail management, team messaging, and much more. Since they can be based on any device, softphones have the added bonus of being extremely mobile and more flexible, meaning you can pretty much manage your business straight from your pocket. What’s more, it’s much cheaper than a hardphone, so you won’t need to stretch out your wallet.

Softphone vs VoIP: What's The Difference?

A softphone turns a device into a VoIP phone – essentially, a phone that uses the internet to make calls. By itself, the features are limited and it’s probably not the only thing you want to rely on to improve the way in which you handle your customer base. However, it does empower you to nurture trust with your customers as you can make calls from the same business number from any device logged into the softphone app. This means that you won’t have to use a personal number to contact customers – with the benefit of making online video calls, forwarding calls, and making use of voicemail features.

On the other hand, a VoIP system is a full-blown communication system. Combining sophisticated desk phones with softphone applications, VoIP phone systems offer advanced call features like virtual receptionists, internal communication, and AI call menus. So if you’re looking to improve your customers experience, a VoIP system is certainly the way to go.

Expert Verdict

Even though you have a rich menu of softphone apps to choose from, our top-rated recommendation is 8×8 Work App. Our research-backed conclusion points to 8×8 as it has fantastic customer support with a 5/5 rating, has a wide range of inbound and outbound communication features, and fits in nicely with your pre-existing software infrastructure, all thanks to its offering of external connections.

We do know, however, that the coolest pack of features of 8×8 only come at the more lucrative subscription plans so, based on our research, we also highly recommend RingCentral. This provider gives you all the right building blocks to scale up your business operation. This is particularly a great solution for smaller businesses who are concerned about maturing and outgrowing old business communication systems, which is not a problem based on what RingCentral has to offer.

Whether you’re feeling ready to make a choice, or you’d still like to ask more questions to providers, you can fill in our quick secure and free comparison tool to fast-forward you into adopting your new business softphone system. Simply answer a few questions about your team’s needs, and we’ll match you up with the phone system providers you should know about. They’ll be in touch with free, bespoke, no-obligation quotes and answers to your questions.

FAQs

Can you receive calls on a softphone?
You absolutely can! As long as your softphone has an active internet connection, you should be able to make and receive calls on your business number. This makes it a flexible and cheap option to manage your business communications.
Are softphones and VoIP the same?
In a nutshell, softphones and VoIP are not the same but they do feed on each other. A softphone (app) turns a device into a VoIP phone – essentially, a phone that uses the internet to make calls. a VoIP system is a full-blown communication system that combines sophisticated desk phones with softphone applications.
Is Google Voice a softphone?
Yes, you can count Google Voice as a softphone. Google Voice provides a US phone number to Google Account users, and the app can be installed on desktop and mobile devices.

Fernanda is a Mexican-born Expert Market writer, specializing in providing in-depth insights about business software to help businesses of all shapes and sizes thrive. From VoIP systems to project management software, she’s passionate about helping businesses find the tools and methods that will help give them an edge over their competitors. Fernanda has ample journalistic experience, having written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to cryptocurrency. When she’s not stringing sentences together about business solutions, she’s probably out there somewhere preaching about the superiority of Mexican food or perfecting her meticulously curated Spotify playlists.