Google Voice marked a milestone in business phone service when it launched over a decade ago. But times have changed.
While Google Voice still offers flexible VoIP service for small businesses, its development and features have stagnated recently.
At first, Google Voice checks all the boxes: it lets you make free calls, works with Gmail, and gives you one number for calling and texting. However, its features and capabilities can start to feel limited if you’re using it as a business phone system.
For businesses seeking alternatives, a host of new and improved cloud-based phone systems have sprung up.
These VoIP phone services give you more advanced call routing, better call quality, more integrations, and other features that Google Voice just doesn’t offer.
In this article, we’ll discuss some top Google Voice alternatives and what sets them apart to help you find the right fit.
Why Businesses Use Google Voice?
Google Voice is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service that provides users with a dedicated Google Voice number for local and international voice calls, texts, and voicemails.
Though Google Voice has limited capabilities compared to other VoIP solutions, its features are straightforward and useful. This includes voicemail transcription, call blocking, and call screening.
Many businesses choose Google Voice because of the following key benefits:
Google Voice offers a free plan for personal use and affordable business plans starting at just $10 per month. This makes it one of the most budget-friendly solutions on the market, cheaper than traditional landlines.
For US and Canada-based businesses, Google Voice also provides unlimited domestic calls, significantly reducing long-distance charges.
🤝 Convenience and flexibility
Google Voice gives each user a single phone number accessible across devices, using a web browser on your computer or laptop or a mobile app on your iOS or Android phone. This streamlines communication and ensures employees can be reached anytime, anywhere.
With Google Voice, teams are no longer tied to their desks and can conveniently take calls remotely over WiFi. This flexibility is invaluable for remote employees and distributed teams.
✅ Seamless integration with Google Workspace
Many businesses already use Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Meet, and other Google apps.
Google Voice integrates seamlessly into Google Workspace, unifying communication and collaboration under one platform. This enhances efficiency, eases use, and simplifies the tech stack.
However, for businesses needing more advanced VoIP phone service, Google Voice has its limitations.
Let’s explore why Google Voice falls short for some use cases.
Reasons to Look for a Google Voice Alternative
Growing businesses often outgrow Google Voice’s capabilities and require a more robust VoIP phone service provider. Here are some of the key limitations:
Google Voice provides only basic features that can feel restrictive as a business scales. For example, it has limited international calling support, which can be problematic for global companies.
It’s also only available in select countries outside the US and Canada, lacking the geographical coverage needed for worldwide teams.
Other missing features include toll-free numbers, vanity numbers, call analytics, and more.
You can’t port existing toll-free numbers into Google Voice.
Limited customer support
According to some G2 reviews, Google Voice offers very minimal customer service for free personal plans. Even documentation is often outdated, making issues difficult to resolve. This lack of support can leave businesses frustrated.
Not ideal for high call volumes
Google Voice struggles with high call volumes, with even individual users reporting disabled accounts due to excessive usage. For busy enterprises, Google Voice may simply not be robust enough.
No integrations with other platforms
Google Voice only seamlessly integrates with Google Workspace itself. It doesn’t integrate with third-party software tools or platforms.
While competing VoIP solutions focus on custom integrations, Google Voice does not.
For businesses needing more advanced features, strong customer support, high call capacity, and integration with existing systems, Google Voice alternatives are worth considering instead.
6 Best Google Voice Alternatives
Top Google Voice alternatives compared:
|HD calling, conference calls, call forwarding, IVR, call logs, analytics, third-party & API integrations
|Enterprises needing reliability, customization
|Vanity numbers, extensions, auto attendant
|Essential features at low cost
|Ring groups, virtual receptionist, call recording
|Easy to use with competitive pricing
|Video meetings, webinars, messaging, file sharing
|Video communications and real-time collaboration
|Video/audio calls, file sharing, instant messaging
|Affordable global communication
|WiFi calling, unlimited text, custom numbers, auto-replies
|Reliable call quality without constant internet availability
Nextiva is a leading cloud communications platform that outperforms Google Voice with more advanced capabilities for businesses. It provides excellent reliability, scalability, security, and support.
Key reasons to choose Nextiva over Google Voice:
- Richer Features: Nextiva offers a robust suite of phone, video, collaboration, and CRM tools in one solution. This includes voicemail transcription, automated workflows, call monitoring and recording, integrations, and more missing from Google Voice.
- Scalability: It easily accommodates both growing small businesses and large enterprises. Teams can start small and add users and features as needed.
- Reliability & Security: Nextiva delivers 99.999% uptime using carrier-grade infrastructure and security.
- Top-Tier Support: Offers 24/7 amazing service and customer support via phone, email, and chat.
Plans start at $18.95 per user/month. Tiers are available for small to large teams, with advanced functionality like unlimited video conferences, call recording, and compliance features added in higher tiers.
Bottom Line: Nextiva excels for any sized business needing a secure, scalable communications system with enterprise-level capabilities and support.
Grasshopper is a VoIP provider that offers essential business phone features like extensions for incoming calls, supervised call transfers, call routing, voicemail transcriptions, customizable voicemail greetings, text messaging, and fax capabilities.
It stands out for its ease of use, quick setup, and budget-friendly VoIP calling tailored to small teams.
Why is Grasshopper better than Google Voice?
Compared to Google Voice, Grasshopper is more optimized for professional use cases with additional capabilities like vanity, local numbers, toll-free numbers, call management features, auto attendants, and more robust administrative controls.
While Google Voice offers the basics, Grasshopper better supports customized business phone solutions.
Pricing: Starts at $14 per user per month based on number of extensions needed.
Best for: Startups, solopreneurs, and teams that want an affordable, feature-rich virtual phone system that’s simple to manage.
Ooma Office is a VoIP business phone service with over 50 business communication features for call routing, voicemail, analytics, integrations, and more.
It stands out for competitive pricing while delivering enterprise-grade capabilities that enhance productivity for growing teams.
Why is Ooma better than Google Voice?
Ooma provides significantly more robust options for advanced call flows, real-time monitoring, and integrations with top business apps. Ooma also offers more personalized onboarding and US-based customer support not provided by Google.
Pricing: Plans start at $19.95 per user monthly with tiered features and support based on business size and complexity needs.
Best for: Solopreneurs to mid-market companies that want productivity-enhancing phone tools without high costs or complexity.
4. Zoom Phone
Zoom catapulted in popularity as the video conferencing platform of choice during the pandemic. But it also offers fully integrated voice, chat, and webinar capabilities for convenient collaboration.
Why is Zoom Phone better than Google Voice?
Unlike Google Voice, Zoom Phone provides enterprise-grade reliability, security, and support options tailored for business use cases where real-time interaction at scale is critical. Zoom phone also enables video and content sharing for more impactful virtual meetings.
Pricing: Plans start at $149 annually for comprehensive video capabilities, management controls, transcription tools, and more.
Best for: Organizations conducting regular video conferences, training, and events.
Skype is a globally recognized platform for free voice and video calls along with group messaging and file sharing. It offers basic unified communications tailored to casual users and small teams.
Skype can be easily installed on cell phones, computers, laptops, and tablets.
Why is Skype better than Google Voice?
Skype enables group video conferences for up to 100 people simultaneously. Skype also makes it easy to connect with contacts overseas on a freemium model, while Google Voice lacks free international calling options.
Pricing: While Skype has free personal use options, paid plans start at $2.99 per month for voice-over-IP calling and other premium business features.
Best for: Solopreneurs, small teams, and international collaborators who appreciate low-cost video meetings.
Sideline augments existing mobile plans by providing additional phone numbers to segment professional and personal calls. This “second line” also enables productivity features like auto-replies when on another call.
Why is Sideline better than Google Voice?
Unlike Google Voice’s web-based system, Sideline uses carrier networks like Verizon and AT&T to deliver reliability. This means connectivity even in areas with no wireless internet access.
Sideline also enables WiFi calling, conference lines, shared inboxes, and SMS alerts that Google Voice lacks.
Pricing: Plans with unlimited domestic talk and text start at $14.49 per additional number per month.
Best for: Field teams, remote workers, and entrepreneurs needing an extra business line with robust call control.
How To Choose a Google Voice Alternative
Here are some tips for choosing the best Google Voice alternative:
- Consider your usage needs. Do you need just basic calling and texting? Voicemail transcription? Video calling? Identify the VoIP features that are most important to you so you can narrow down services.
- Look at pricing and fees. Many services have free basic plans and then charge for more advanced features. Calculate total costs based on your anticipated usage. Services like Skype and Sideline tend to offer competitive pricing.
- Check carrier and device compatibility. You’ll want to pick a service that works seamlessly with both your mobile carrier and the devices you plan to use it on. This usually includes compatibility information on the service provider’s website.
- Assess call quality and reliability. Check reviews and tests of the voice call quality for services you’re considering. Also, research the uptime and reliability. You want a provider like Nextiva whose network can deliver consistently good call connectivity.
- Consider number choices and porting. If you want to keep your existing number, check if the service allows number porting from your carrier. Also, see what new number choices they offer in your area code if signing up for a new number.
- Check out customer support options. Do they offer 24/7 customer service or online support via chat or email tickets only? Make sure they provide multiple contact methods that work for your needs.
Make the Switch From Google Voice to Nextiva
While Google Voice works for basic calling and texting needs, its features come up short for many business users. If you find yourself needing more advanced telephony solutions, it may be time to upgrade to Nextiva.
Key communication features like auto attendants, call queues, IVR, call recording, voicemail transcription, online faxing, SMS, MMS, and video conferencing make it a top choice for enterprise functionality.
In addition to enterprise-grade call quality, reliability, and features, Nextiva also appeals to small business owners through solutions intentionally designed for that segment. These include budget-friendly pricing plans, streamlined feature sets, and self-service management portals.
Some key things you’ll like about Nextiva:
- Dedicated account management and 24/7 exceptional customer support. Nextiva’s technical and customer service teams truly understand the needs of growing businesses.
- Tighter integration options with popular CRM, helpdesk, collaboration, and productivity tools. Nextiva plays well with solutions you may already use like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Microsoft Office 365.
- Easy number porting. Nextiva also makes it easy to port your existing phone number and get set up on its VoIP platform. The intuitive interface means less training time to get users up to speed.