The Best Cloud Phone Systems for UK Businesses for 2024

Smartphone with apps

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The best cloud-based phone system in the UK is 8×8. It offers users industry-leading features and scalable plans, making it an ideal choice for businesses of all sizes. However, 8×8's impressive bouquet of features means it will cost you more. If you're after a budget-friendly option, we recommend RingCentral, which takes second place in our research and user testing.

As of September 2023, BT stopped selling broadband or PSTN systems in line with the UK-wide ‘switch-off' scheduled for 2025. This means it's now crucial for businesses to switch to a cloud-based phone system.

In this article, we'll provide a breakdown of the top seven UK cloud phone system providers, including their features, pros, cons, and pricing. This will empower you to find and select the best telephone system for your needs.

If you're short on time, you can use our free comparison tool for a quick, obligation-free quote.

What are the Best 7 Cloud Phone Systems?

These are the providers we recommend based on our research. Use our comparison tool to find the best service for your business.

  1. 8×8 Best overall
  2. RingCentral  Best for customer service
  3. Vonage Best for small businesses
  4. GoToConnect Best for international calls
  5. bOnline Best for desk phone compatibility
  6. Dialpad Best for conversational AI
  7. Google Voice  Best for security

What Is a Cloud Phone System?

A cloud phone system is a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system that allows you to make and receive calls via the internet. A cloud-based phone system doesn't rely on traditional phone lines or physical hardware, which means you'll also have access to the system on a laptop, desktop, or smartphone.

This system converts analogue signals into data packets that are transmitted via the internet. Once a call has been placed, a VoIP provider routes the call appropriately. We prefer cloud phone systems to traditional phone lines because they're affordable, reliable, and flexible.

With the big switch-off looming, we recommend that you make the move before your business's phone line is affected. The big switch-off will happen by December 2025 and will affect businesses that use the PSTN network. By this date, you'll need to have the infrastructure in place to support newer technologies, such as VoIP. 

How Can I Switch Cloud Phone System Providers?

When switching from one cloud phone system to another, assess the limitations of your current provider looking at call volume, number of users, features, and cost.

  1. Compare providers using our free quote comparison tool. Once you've completed the form, you'll be contacted directly. You'll be able to ask questions about the products and receive transparent information about the provider before you switch.
  2. Once you've chosen the provider, we encourage you to install the free trial or demo to test call quality, reliability, and features.
  3. Before the switch, backup important data from your current provider.
  4. If you're switching from one cloud-based system to another, you might not have to change your hardware. Ensure you confirm this with your new provider for a smooth transition.
  5. When transitioning from a traditional landline, tell your provider about the hardware you have and ask what hardware is needed. When making the switch to a cloud phone system, you might need less hardware, but you'll need a strong internet connection and devices. The devices include laptops, desktop computers, or smartphones.
  6. To keep your current phone numbers, these need to ported to a new provider. This process can take a little time, so it's important to plan ahead.

Typically, a new cloud phone provider completes the switch within one working day. So, it's best to try and schedule this on your least busy day to prevent any major interruptions.

Top 7 Best Cloud-Based Phone Systems

Our research team rated and tested 11 different phone systems, highlighting the best seven providers on the market:

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

8×8

RingCentral

Vonage

GoToConnect

bOnline

Dialpad

Google Voice

4.7
4.5
4.4
4.2
3.9
3.8
3.0
Best For

Overall cloud phone system

Best For

Customer service teams

Best For

Small businesses

Best For

International calls

Best For

Desk phone compatibility

Best For

Conversational AI

Best For

Security

Pricing

Bespoke

Pricing

£12.99-£24.99

Pricing

£10-25

Pricing

£10 – £21

Pricing

£7 – £15.50

Pricing

£12 – bespoke

Pricing

$10 USD -bespoke

Domestic minutes

Unlimited

Domestic minutes

Up to 2,000 inbound and 4,000 inclusive outbound minutes

Domestic minutes

Unlimited inclusive and outbound minutes to domestic landlines

Domestic minutes

Unlimited inclusive inbound and outbound minutes

Domestic minutes

100 – unlimited outbound (depending on pricing plan), unlimited inbound

Domestic minutes

Unlimited inclusive  inbound and outbound domestic minutes

Domestic minutes

Unlimited inclusive inbound domestic minutes

International minutes

Unlimited to up to 48 countries

International minutes

N/A

International minutes

N/A

International minutes

Free international calling to 50+ countries

International minutes

Not included

International minutes

N/A

International minutes

Free calls to US from any country and free calls to Canada from US

Inbound Communication Features
  • Localised + Toll Free Numbers
  • Virtual Receptionist
  • Voicemail
Inbound Communication Features
  • Virtual Receptionist
  • Voicemail to Text
  • Localised + Toll Free Number
  •  

Inbound Communication Features
  • Voicemail
  • Spam Prevention
  • Localised + Toll Free Numbers
Inbound Communication Features
  • Voicemail
  • Virtual Receptionist
  • Spam Prevention
Inbound Communication Features
  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail to Text
  • Customisable Hold Music
Inbound Communication Features
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Voicemail to text
  • Spam prevention
  • Ring groups
Inbound Communication Features
  • Voicemail
  • Spam Prevention
  • Voicemail to text
Outbound Communication Features
  • Call Conferencing up to 500 per meeting
  • Call Forwarding
  • Team Messaging
Outbound Communication Features
  • SMS
  • Call Forwarding
  • Set Caller ID
Outbound Communication Features
  • External Video Calling
  • Custom Call Lists
  • Set Caller ID
  •  

Outbound Communication Features
  • Set Caller ID
  • Call Conferencing
  • External Video Calling
  •  

Outbound Communication Features
  • Set Caller ID
  • Call Forwarding
  • Call Flip
  •  

Outbound Communication Features
  • External video calling
  • Set caller ID
  • Custom call lists
  • SMS/Chat
Outbound Communication Features
  • Custom call lists
  • External video calling

Prices accurate as of December 2023

Why You Can Trust Expert Market for Phone System Advice

At Expert Market, we are dedicated to helping our readers make informed purchases that can help their businesses thrive. Our publishing team is completely separate from our sales team, so our research-backed opinions are independent of financial persuasion.

We've conducted an unbiased, user-led product testing process to evaluate the best cloud phone systems on the market. Refer to our methodology section for a detailed breakdown of how we arrived at our top five cloud phone systems for UK businesses.

8×8 Best Overall Cloud Phone System

8x8 logo
8x8
4.7
Pricing Bespoke
Quick overview

Founded in 1987, 8x8 is one of the biggest providers of cloud-based communication solutions, with over one million users worldwide. It’s been available in the UK since 2009.

Over the years, 8x8 has made several strategic acquisitions to expand its portfolio. In 2018, it acquired the open-source technology Jitsi, enhancing its ability to offer versatile communication capabilities. In 2020, 8x8 acquired callstats.io, a Finnish startup that provides SaaS call quality monitoring for popular communications apps.

Strengths

Topnotch customer support

Amazing security features

Easy to scale

Weaknesses

Mediocre consumer review score

Premium pricing

With an impressive overall score of 4.7/5 in our in-depth research, 8×8 sits at the top of this list because it offers a generous range of integrations, including CRM, Helpdesk, web conferencing, and external live chat. This means you can easily integrate 8×8 with your pre-existing software infrastructure, allowing you to bring all of your business tools under one umbrella and create a great customer experience strategy.

8×8 now incorporates AI-assisted features, such as the Intelligent Customer Assistant (launched in April) and the Supervisor Workspace (launched in May). The former allows businesses to automate self-service experiences across channels; the latter acts as an interface that combines analytics, performance management, and team admin capabilities for contact centre leaders.

It also is compatible with a broad range of third-party desktop phones, including Polycom, Cisco, Panasonic, and Yealink, ensuring that it is simple to set up. 8×8 also offers onboarding support with its Customer Success Managers, helping new employees adapt to the communication system used by your business.

However, access to these features does come at a cost, seeing it score a low 2.5/5 in this category in our research. Before it stopped advertising its prices in June 2023, 8×8's pricing ranged from £10-135 still an expensive option when compared with other providers. To find out how much the service will cost your business, you will need to contact the provider directly and request a quote. For cheaper options, we'd recommend bOnline or Dialpad.

In the UK, 8×8 has office locations in London and Aylesbury. Customers have access to a UK-based account manager, granting users an easily accessible communication channel.

What's new for 8x8? November 2023

  • Integration with Microsoft Teams allows agents to take calls without leaving the Teams app.

RingCentral Best Cloud Phone System for Customer Service Teams

RingCentral logo
RingCentral
4.5
Pricing £12.99-24.99
Quick overview

With its innovative collaboration solutions, RingCentral empowers businesses to connect, seamlessly with their customers, teams, and partners. Founded in 1999, RingCentral has established itself as a trusted partner for businesses of all sizes, offering reliable, user-friendly, and flexible communication solutions.

In 2021, RingCentral was announced as Mitel's exclusive unified communications partner, providing its cloud-based software to Mitel's customer base of over 35 million users.

Strengths

Excellent customer support

Highly scalable

Heaps of useful features

Weaknesses

Mediocre consumer review score

Prices are a touch on the expensive side

Pricing
PlanStarting price (per user, per month) (billed annually)
Essentials £12.99
Standard £14.99
Premium £19.99
Ultimate £24.99

Prices accurate as of December 2023

RingCentral is our top cloud phone system for customer service teams because it is comprehensive and offers enterprise-level features at affordable prices.

RingCentral's most popular plan, Premium, comes with 2,000 free minutes per person, video meetings for up to 200 participants, advanced call features, such as ‘whisper' and ‘barge'; and multi-site management, so you can use the system seamlessly across different business locations.

RingCentral can be integrated with over 250 apps, so it's possible that it will work alongside the systems your team already uses. Plus, in 2023, the providers started allowing UK customers to view their domestic rate card in the ‘Calling Rates' section under ‘Billing' of their account. Thanks to all of these great assets, RingCentral scores a 4.3/5 for features and external connections.

However, with a low pricing score of 2.3/5, we do think RingCentral has room for improvement. If you are looking for a budget option, RingCentral is not a good option and we'd rather recommend Vonage, bOnline, or GoTo Connect, all of which score above a 4/5 for price in our research.

RingCentral has an office in London, which can make it easier for customers to access support from an account manager or sales rep as they'll be in the same time zone.

What's new for RingCentral? November 2023

  • You no longer need to make a ‘test' call to check the audio quality of your calls.
  • With RingCentral's integration with Microsoft Teams, you can easily manage call queues, and share voicemail transcriptions and call recordings directly from Teams without leaving the app.

Vonage Best Cloud Phone System for Small Businesses

Vonage logo
Vonage
4.4
Pricing £10-25
Quick overview

Vonage is a trusted partner for businesses looking for user-friendly and innovative communication solutions. Founded in 1998 as Min-X, its original goal was to provide residential VoIP (voice over internet protocol) phone services. Now, it has expanded its cloud-based services to include virtual phone systems for businesses, and one of the best communications APIs.

In July 2022, Vonage was acquired by multinational telecommunications company Ericsson, which employs around 100,000 people. It’s headquartered in Holmdel Township, New Jersey.

Strengths

Heaps of useful features

Highly scalable

Great value for money

Weaknesses

Limited security options

Missing some important outbound communication features

Pricing
PlanStarting price (per user, per month)
Express £10
Core £15
Pro £20
Max £25

Prices accurate as of December 2023

Boasting a set of great features like dynamic call routing and post-call analysis, Vonage’s addition of AI to its Professional subscription plan makes it our top phone system for small businesses.

It gives you the flexibility you need to keep customers happy and scale up your operation. Its provision of tools, metrics, and data gives you a 360-degree view of the interactions between your customers and agents. This will enable you to turn insights into actionable items that heighten your return on investment (ROI). Vonage Professional offers a wide range of customer support features and low monthly costs are 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 because it’s compatible with systems like Hubspot, Salesforce, Zendesk, Slack, and Office 365. This allows you to unify all your business communications in one spot, giving your agents all the necessary tools to provide the best customer service possible. Thanks to all of these great assets, Vonage scores a 4.4/5 overall in our research, as well as a strong 4/5 for features.

However, during our testing, Vonage only scores 3/5 for security features in our research. This is because Vonage doesn't come equipped with multi-factor authentication or password rules. For robust security measures, we'd recommend 8×8 or Google Voice instead.

Vonage has two London offices. While it doesn't have 24/7 customer support, you can get in touch with someone during business hours.

You might like to know:

Unfortunately, we can't show the cost of CX Express, CX Elevate, or Vonage Contact Centre cost. This is because Vonage doesn't share this information. You'll need to contact the provider directly for a personalised quote.

GoToConnect Best Cloud Phone System for International Calls

GoTo logo
GoToConnect
4.2
Pricing £10-21
Quick overview

GoTo offers a range of cloud-based products – including GoToConnect, its VoIP system – designed to help businesses work and collaborate more efficiently and securely from anywhere. Founded in 2003 and based in Boston, Massachusetts, GoTo was formerly known as LogMeIn Inc. before its rebranding in 2022.

With tens of millions of users, over $1.3 billion in annual revenue, and a global workforce of more than 3,500 employees, GoTo is one of the largest SaaS companies in the world.

Strengths

Very easy to scale

Glowing reputation among users

Offers fantastic value for money

Weaknesses

No 24/7 user support channels

Limited integrations

Lacks some management and collaboration features such as call transcripts, task management, and the ability to create and track your own SLAs

Pricing
PlanStarting price (per user, per month)
Basic £10.00
Standard £21.00

Prices accurate as of December 2023

GoToConnect offers value for your money, costing £10 per user, per month, has the richest offering of international calls, and promises seamless onboarding that ensures your softphone cloud system is live within a day.

User will be gives free international calling to over 50 countries, making GoToConnect a great choice for businesses with an international clientele or are looking at expanding abroad. This rich call offering and its low price earns it a 4.5/5 for price in our research

Regardless of which subscription you choose, GoToConnect gives you access to all the inbound communication features you might need, including ring groups and call queue. These features let you take on increasingly more calls, which is a great asset for scalability. Thanks to this, GoToConnect earns a 4.4/5 for scalability in our research.

However, we found that GoToConnect falls short when it comes to external connections. Scoring a 2.6/5 in this category in our research, you won't have access to external live chat, analytics, or workspace integrations. We wouldn't recommend this provider for businesses that already have a well-established and broad software infrastructure with lots of moving parts. If this is something you need, we recommend RingCentral or 8×8.

What's new for GoToConnect? November 2023

  • It's now possible to quickly find contacts using the search bar, which is always at the top of the app.
  • You can also customize keyboard shortcuts to make the app more efficient.

bOnline Best for Desk Phone Compatibility

bOnline logo
bOnline
3.9
Pricing £7-15.50
Quick overview

bOnline is one of the most awarded VoIP providers in the UK, specialising in providing digital communication solutions for growing businesses. With a mission to end unfair industry practices, bOnline provides affordable and flexible services, including a price match guarantee and five-star customer support.

Recognised as the Best VoIP for SMEs in 2021 by Business Elite Awards, bOnline has gained the loyalty of over 50,000 customers. Founded in 2011, bOnline is headquartered in London and is dedicated to providing tailored solutions to help growing businesses succeed in today's competitive market.

Strengths

Low upfront monthly costs

Stellar customer score average

Impressive range of positive customer reviews

Weaknesses

Limited ready-made integrations

Lacks security features

Limited customer support

Pricing
PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Starter £7
Unlimited calling £13.95
Unlimited calling + phone £15.50

Prices accurate as of December 2023

bOnline promises a two-minute setup from scratch, which makes it a great option for your business if you’re looking for a provider that’s a master key when it comes to adapting to your desk phones.

Panasonic, Yealink, Polycom, Aastra, Alcatel, AudioCodes, Htek – they can all become part of your bOnline unified communications phone system. bOnline also has a great customer score, earning an average 4.5/5 from user reviews on platforms like Trustpilot and Capterra. This is an added reassurance to know that other bOnline users have had positive experiences.

However, we found that bOnline has poor security features, scoring 1/5 in this category in our research. bOnline doesn’t offer multi-factor authentication or compliance certifications. If security is your priority, we’d recommend going for Google Voice or 8×8 instead.

bOnline's headquarters are based in London, so you can access local support when needed.

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Dialpad Best Cloud Phone System for Conversational AI

Dialpad Talk
3.8
Pricing £12–bespoke
Quick overview

Dialpad creates revolutionary collaboration tools fuelled by advanced communications AI. Its mission? To completely transform how the world works together.

Dialpad’s all-in-one workspace empowers teams of any size to seamlessly communicate with customers and colleagues through calling, messaging, and video conferencing, all while utilising cutting-edge AI technology to streamline productivity. It was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

The other great thing about Dialpad is its robust customer support. Scoring a 4.5/5 in this category in our research, Dialpad gives you access to a user forum, a knowledge base, live chat, phoneline, 24/7 live support, and 100% uptime guarantee.

However, Dialpad underperforms in the external connections arena. Scoring a below-average 2.4/5 for external connections, Dialpad doesn't offer email, analytics, external live chat, or web conferencing. If this is a top-priority in your VoIP wishlist, we'd recommend looking at 8x8 or RingCentral instead.

Strengths

Great value for money

Impressive list of features

Stellar customer reviews

Weaknesses

Limited ready-made integrations

Not very scalable

Pricing
PackagePrice (per user, per month) (billed annually)
Standard £12
Pro £20
Enterprise Bespoke

Prices accurate as of December 2023

Dialpad is known for its innovative use of conversational AI. Known as Dialpad AI, this function accurately transcribes your phone calls in real time, and flags whether or not the conversation features happy or frustrated customers. It automates post-call summaries and allows you to create notes with tips and advice that appear on the screen when certain keywords or phrases are spoken during a call. You can also choose to turn off this feature for confidential conversations. This functionality earns Dialpad a 4.2/5 for features in our research.

The provider also offers users robust customer support. Scoring a 4.5/5 in this category in our research, Dialpad gives you access to a user forum, a knowledge base, live chat, a phone line, 24/7 live support, and a 100% uptime guarantee.

However, Dialpad underperforms when it comes to external connections. Scoring 2.4/5 for external connections, Dialpad doesn't offer email, analytics, external live chat, or web conferencing. If this is a necessity, we'd recommend looking at 8×8 or RingCentral instead.

Dialpad has an office in London, providing customers with local support from an account manager or sales rep.

What's new for Dialpad? November 2023

  • Dialpad has recently launched Custom AI Playbooks, which maintains adherence to sales methodologies with automatic suggestions for phrases and actions during a call. If the suggestion is not completed, the managers can be notified. The feature is customisable to meet the requirements of different teams and their protocols.
  • You can now receive read receipts for SMS messages to confirm the successful delivery of the message.
  • Dialpad has also introduced Custom Customer Context, which provides a CRM-style overview of customer information during active calls. This feature reduces redundant and repetitive communication with the agents to enhance the customer experience.

Google Voice Best Cloud Phone for Security

google voice
Google Voice
3
Pricing $10 USD - bespoke
Quick overview

Launched in the US in 2009, Google’s reliable cloud-based communication solution, Google Voice, offers a range of features, such as call screening, voicemail transcription, and call forwarding. It’s popular for its flexible price plans and seamless integration with other Google products.

Google Voice's free consumer version is limited to the US, while in the UK, only the paid business version is accessible through G-Suite, Google's productivity and collaboration software.

Strengths

Excellent customer reviews

Tight security features

Weaknesses

Not the best value for money

Limited ready-made integrations

Not easily scalable

Pricing
PlanPrice (per user, per month)
Starter $10 USD
Standard $16 USD
Plus $24 USD
Enterprise Bespoke

Prices available in USD only, accurate as of December 2023

With lots of sensitive information travelling back and forth between clients, employees, and managers, having a unified communications system that protects your operation from prying eyes is essential. Google Voice received a perfect 5/5 for security in our research, which means its a great cloud phone system to adopt if data privacy is a top concern.

Regardless of the subscription you purchase, you are promised a wealth of compliance certifications, multi-factor authentication, password rules, TLS/SRTP encryption, and user permissions. Google Voice also has a solid 4.4/5 customer score, which shows it has received mostly positive reviews from clients.

The downside of being a Google Voice customer is that you have limited access to important features, which is why it scores 2.6/5 for features in our research. For instance, you can only use analytics and reporting management features, and you miss out on virtually all inbound communication features. Therefore, if you’re looking for a highly functional solution, we’d recommend going for 8×8 or RingCentral.

Google Voice has an office in London, which can be helpful when reaching out to a sales rep as they'll typically be within the same time zone.

How to find the right cloud phone system for your business?

If your business uses the phone for casual customer engagement, then a cheaper system with basic functions will fit the best. But if your have a customer service department or a call centre, then you'll need an advanced, comprehensive system that can be customised to the needs of your business.

Here are the best ways to find the right cloud phone system:

  • Contact your current VoIP provider (if applicable) Contact your current provider to see if you can upgrade to a better system. Your provider may have added new products or features that weren't available when you first signed up.
  • Contact a new provider If any of the providers on this page meets your requirements, contact them to see if you're a good fit. You don't need to contact them directly, you can check out their website and other reviews.
  • Get recommendations Ask other business leaders in your industry what system they use and if they would recommend it. This is one of the best ways to find out what systems are or aren't working for your industry.
  • Use our quote tool – Use our free quote comparison tool to be matched up with the right providers. Give us a few details about your business and we'll link you to a provider that is suited to your needs. You'll then be contacted by the trusted supplier to provide you with obligation-free quotes.

How Do Cloud-Based Phones Work?

Cloud-based phones use cloud servers to make and receive calls as well as other phone features, like voicemail. Cloud-based phone calls are converted into data packets and transmitted over the internet. This makes cloud-based phone calls cost-effective and fast, which is why they're a popular choice with businesses.

Cloud Phones vs. Traditional Phones

Cloud phones use the internet instead of physical phone lines to make and receive calls. Cloud phones also don't need a hardware infrastructure, which means you can just download the software onto devices like a desktop computer or laptop to make and receive calls as long as you have an internet connection.

Cloud-based phone systems are typically much cheaper than traditional phones. It's also much easier to scale your business up or down with a cloud phone system as the provider can quickly install or uninstall virtual phone lines.

Can I Use My Own Devices With a Cloud Phone System?

Yes, cloud phone systems offer you the flexibility to use your own devices rather than being limited to proprietary phones. There are several ways you can use your own devices with the system:

  1. Softphones: Cloud phone providers offer desktop and mobile apps that can transform your computer or smartphone into a virtual phone. This will allow you to use all of the phone system's features.
  2. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device): Many providers allow you to connect your own desktop IP phones or conference room phones to the cloud system. However, they must be compatible with the system.
  3. VoIP adapters: You can connect traditional analogue phones, fax machines, and other devices to the cloud phone system using VoIP adapters or IP gateways.
  4. Mobile integration: Your mobile phone can often be integrated with the cloud PBX to make and receive calls through the system.
  5. VPN phones: Some providers support the connection of remote phones via an on-site VPN router or IP PBX gateway for full integration.
  6. Limited integration: Options like call forwarding to mobile phones or sending incoming calls to user-defined numbers.

Each provider's capabilities may vary, but most allow you to use your own devices in some form. However, it's worth noting that native IP phones (offered by the provider) usually offer tighter integration and access to advanced features.

Cloud Phone Systems and Integrations: What to Look Out For?

Here are some of the most common and desirable integrations to look for when evaluating a UK cloud phone system:

  • CRM Integration: Tight integration with popular CRMs like Salesforce, Zoho, and Microsoft Dynamics to enable features like click-to-call, call logging, and customer data pop-ups.
  • Accounting Software: Integrations with Sage, Xero, and QuickBooks to synchronize contacts, capture call logs, and associate calls to clients/projects.
  • Email Integration: Connecting with email platforms like Gmail and Outlook to enable calling from within your email.
  • Internal and External Live Chat: Connecting with messaging platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams helps maintain communication among your team.
  • Calendar Integration: Syncing calendars to display busy or available statuses, schedule calls, and set reminders.
  • Web Conferencing: Integration with web conferencing allows you to seamlessly initiate and join virtual meetings.

It's important to check that the cloud phone provider you select can integrate with the software you already use. Cross-check the included third-party integrations of the provider with your existing software for a smooth transition.

How We Test VoIP Phone Systems and Services for Businesses

We tested 10 market-leading VoIP products and services, evaluating them in terms of functionality, usability, cost, security options, and more so we can make the most useful recommendations to UK businesses.

Our rigorous testing process involves us scoring and rating each provider across seven main categories of investigation and 16 subcategories. In fact, we covered 78 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting' to ensure the product's final score reflects the needs and requirements of Expert Market readers.

Our main testing categories for VoIP products and services are:

Customer Score  This is external customer opinion, covering the feedback and ratings given by customers who used a particular VoIP product.

Cost  The pricing structure of VoIP systems, such as monthly subscription fees, call rates, setup fees, hardware costs, and any additional charges for add-on features or services.

Features The functionalities and capabilities offered by the VoIP service, including basic features like call forwarding and voicemail, as well as advanced features like auto-attendant and conference calling.

External Connections The VoIP service's ability to connect and integrate with external systems or devices, such as compatibility with existing phone systems or integration with mobile devices.

Customer Support The assistance and resources provided by the VoIP service provider to customers including technical support, online resources, and access to customer support representatives.

Security Options The measures and features implemented by the VoIP service to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and protection of voice communications and data.

Scalability – The ability of the VoIP service to accommodate the growth and changing needs of an organization, such as the capacity to handle a growing number of users or support multiple locations.

Verdict

Our research shows that 8×8 is the top cloud phone system for businesses in the UK. Scoring an impressive overall 4.7/5 in our research, it has a generous range of integrations and is easily scalable. Whether you need a hyper-functional cloud phone system or you just want the bare-bone basics, 8×8 is flexible and will mould smoothly into your business's communication game plan.

However, RingCentral is a close second and does overshadow 8×8 for external connections, scoring a superior 4.3/5 in this category in our research.

If you're still not sure which system is right for you, use our free quote-finding service. Simply tell us about the needs of your business and we'll match you with the best UK cloud phone system suppliers. They'll be in touch with obligation-free quotes that are tailored to you. It's the quickest, easiest way to compare the right options for your team.

Did You Know?

VoIP makes it easy to accommodate calls anywhere, allowing companies to increase productivity by up to 20%.

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FAQs

Why is everyone switching to a cloud based phone system?
The main reasons people are switching to a cloud based phone provider are:

  • Increased scalability: As your business grows, new cloud phone ports can be easily bought and installed with zero interruption to your business' operations
  • Cost savings: Cloud based phone systems can save your business a lot of money on phone calls, especially if you make them frequently, with some even making inter-site communication entirely free
  • Easier long-distance calling: If you run a business with multiple sites or home workers who are frequently on the phone, a cloud based phone system will ensure easy communication as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection

Despite its numerous advantages, many are switching to a cloud based phone system now in time for the “The Big Switch Off” in 2025, when UK landlines will officially be phased out.

How does a cloud phone work?
Because a cloud phone system is hosted in the cloud, your data is stored securely on a server that you and your team can access via the internet.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to how a cloud phone system works:

  1. The cloud phone provider hosts the PBX software at their data centres, not on-premise.
  2. Your office phones connect to the cloud PBX over the internet, not on-site wiring.
  3. When you make a call, your phone sends the call over the internet to the cloud PBX.
  4. The cloud PBX handles call routing and features like transfers or voicemail.
  5. The call is sent to other office phones or to external numbers.
  6. VoIP technology allows voice data transmission over the internet.
  7. You manage the system via a web portal, not an on-site PBX box.
  8. Phones can connect from anywhere with internet access.
Is a cloud-based phone system VoIP?
Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is a technology that carries phone calls over the internet, rather than over traditional landlines. All cloud-based phone systems utilise VoIP tech to make calls over the internet.

That said, it's important to understand that not all VoIP systems are cloud based. Some can be hosted on your own servers, rather than in the cloud.

Learn more in our comparison of the best VoIP providers in the UK.

How much is a cloud mobile phone?
This depends on which mobile phone you want, and which cloud phone system you choose. Cloud phone system prices range from £8 per user, per month to over £100 per user, per month – but you'll need to factor in the cost of the mobile phones you choose. Alternatively, your employees can use their personal smartphones to access the business cloud phone system when they're working remotely.
Written by:
Fernanda is a Mexican-born Expert Market writer, specialising 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.
Reviewed by:
James thinks all businesses can improve if they use the right technology. At Expert Market, he utilises his 4+ years experience as a researcher to offer specialised advice on a wide range of categories from CRM to Fleet Management.