Last edited on July 6, 2021
Google Voice is Google's Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offering typically used by small businesses because of its no-frills, easy-to-use platform. However, Google Voice lacks the advanced features, integrations, and support other VoIP systems have. For a business with growth aspirations, Google Voice may not be the right solution.
To help you make the best buying decision for your business’ VoIP needs, we dissected Google Voice as a product and provided insight into some of its reviews to shed light on why Nextiva is its top alternative. Tap on a section below to skip ahead:
- How Google Voice works
- Pros of Google Voice
- Cons of Google Voice
- The top Google Voice alternative
- Why businesses choose Nextiva
What is Google Voice?
Google Voice is a VoIP phone solution offered by Google. It allows users to place and receive phone calls using their internet connection. On top of calls, users can also text one another domestically and internationally. Users in the United States have the most access to all features, including free calling from the US to any country; free calling from Canada to the United States; and unlimited SMS messages in the US.
On top of these US-centric features, all users are able to integrate other G-suite offerings with Google Voice, such as Google Calendar and Google Meet.
How does Google Voice work?
Google Voice uses Voice over IP technology, which simply means that users can make phone calls over the internet.
So long as you have an internet connection, you can make local and international calls just the same as you would using a standard telephone. Any internet-connected device can use Google Voice, including desktop computers, laptops, and cell phones.
Pros of Google Voice
Google Voice offers its business phone service at a fairly inexpensive price. At three different pricing tiers, Google Voice offers different levels of functionality for different types of users.
- Starter: $10 per month, per user
- Standard: $20 per month, per user
- Premier: $30 per month, per user
The Starter version has a limit of 10 total users and provides the following:
- Free calling to the U.S. from any country
- Free calling to Canada from the U.S.
- Unlimited SMS in the U.S.
- Google Fi compatible
- Voicemail transcription
- Google Calendar integration
- Google Meet Integration
- Mobile apps: Android & iOS
- Web Application
- Service Level Agreement (SLA)
- Usage and activity reporting
- Call forwarding
The Standard version has no user limit and includes the following additional features:
- Multi-level auto attendant
- Ring Groups
- Desk phone support
- eDiscovery for calls, voicemail, and SMS records
The Premier version also has no user limit, but also offers unlimited international location call access (based on a list of approved locations) as well as the following additional features:
- Advanced reporting (using BigQuery)
- Data regions (coming soon)
One of the most commonly liked features of Google Voice is the ability to separate your personal lines from your business lines – a basic feature of Voice over IP apps. One user noted on G2:
“All business calls are routed through that number. Keeps my personal and business life separate. Plus there are a lot of features my cell doesn’t have.”
Beyond this, Google Voice customers enjoy the ability to integrate the system with other Google-powered apps. Need to schedule a meeting with somebody you just got off of a call with? No problem – you can easily do so via Google Calendar through the Google Voice app. If your business runs on Google's line of products, Google Voice could be the option for you.
Cons of Google Voice
Google Voice once offered a free version of its VoIP service, but it no longer does. The cheapest per-month option for Google Voice is the Starter pricing package at $10 per month. While affordable, Google eliminated an option some users would have turned to before diving into a buying decision.
That said, Google Voice is a decent option for businesses that are just starting out because it has basic functionalities to get by with. But for more advanced needs, businesses may find that Google Voice won’t be the one-size-fits-all solution they were hoping for.
Limited integrations are also one of the main cons of Google Voice, as it only integrates with other Google products. The one exception is that Google Voice integrates with Polycom® devices as well. Being tied to Google-branded products may not be a desirable nor feasible option for many companies, especially those with non-Google CRM, helpdesk, and other software needed to be integrated with a VoIP phone system.
Lastly, Google Voice is quite limited when it comes to features and functionality. One user noted on G2:
“If it's all you can afford, I think it is a good option. However, I've recently seen many other apps that do the same thing in a better way that I may consider changing soon.”
Veronna C, Managing Partner / Creative Director
Along with affordability comes a bare-bones VoIP solution that may work for some teams, but those looking for advanced features will feel limited.
Why Nextiva is the top Google Voice alternative
Nextiva is a business phone system powered by VoIP. It connects businesses to their customers and prospects through internet-connected phone calls, text messaging, and video and voice conferencing.
Over 80,000 companies use Nextiva as their VoIP phone system of choice, and for good reason. With more than 40+ features in one easy-to-use business phone app, Nextiva makes communication seamless, streamlined, and hassle-free.
Why small businesses choose Nextiva
Nextiva offers a wealth of features and functionalities that Google Voice does not. A few of the core components that make Nextiva the right choice for small and growing businesses include:
- Desktop and mobile app: The Nextiva desktop and mobile apps make it easy to work from anywhere and take and make calls on the go.
- Local and toll-free numbers: Personalize your inbound caller experience with local and toll-free business phone numbers. This is a great way to give your brand more credibility and a national presence.
- IVR and auto attendant: Route customers as efficiently as possible through your business phone menu with an auto attendant. For example, “press 1 for sales, press 2 for support,” and so on. Use Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to gather information about a caller’s inquiry before routing them to the right team member.
- Voicemail to text and voicemail to email: If you get a call and can’t or don’t want to listen to it, you have the option to read a transcription of the call in text message or email form. Convenience at its finest, especially for traveling employees.
- Integrations: All of your favorite tools can be integrated with Nextiva. From Salesforce to HubSpot and Microsoft tools, integrating with apps you use every day for business operations is a breeze.
- HD voice quality: No more worries of jumbled calls with poor audio quality. With HD voice, you’ll enjoy crisp, clear call quality so you don’t lose any vital information over voice calls and video conferences.
- Call forwarding: Instead of letting calls go to voicemail, calls can be forwarded from one number to another. No need to wait around for someone to get back to you when a call gets forwarded along to another member of the same team. You can create custom schedules for teammates based on vacations, time off, and anything else that might prevent your team from answering a call at a moment’s notice.
- Call recording: Use recorded calls for sales team training purposes and to review customer interactions. Call recording can also help mitigate any customer issues by having a record of the interactions between customers and customer service teams.
Nextiva can be used on all Android and iOS devices, tablets, desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices. It is a flexible option for all your internet-connected devices.
World-class network and physical security, compliance
Unlike the privacy concerns that come with using Google products, Nextiva is committed to security and user privacy.
As noted earlier, while Google Voice’s paid versions adhere to security regulations, its free version is not HIPAA compliant. This means that healthcare organizations and employees should not use the free version of Google Voice because it is not covered by the signed business associate agreement that the paid versions are covered by. This is potentially dangerous because patient medical information may be susceptible to outside access by hackers and other scammers.
Nextiva, on the other hand, is HIPAA compliant, PCI compliant, SOC 2 compliant, and ISO/IEC 27001 audited and certified. If security and privacy are top of mind for you and your customers, Nextiva has you covered with the highest commitment to security, keeping you and your customers’ data and information safe.
On top of this, all calls are encrypted between all endpoints to ensure calls are certified safe and impenetrable from outside forces. Nextiva also offers 24/7+365 monitoring with data centers protected by security monitoring and control at all times.
No downtime for your business
Nextiva offers users eight points of presence and carrier-grade data centers, resulting in a 99.999% uptime.
Nextiva makes sure you stay informed if ever there is a gap in service or any performance issues. Rather than wondering what’s going on, you’ll stay informed with up-to-date system status information live on the site.
On top of that, Nextiva has round-the-clock support to ensure you’ll be covered in the case of an outage or issue where support is needed. Plus, the support team can be accessed via call, email, and live chat meaning you can decide how to contact support when you need it.
Making the switch from Google Voice to Nextiva
While Google Voice may be an option for those just starting out, companies who take a customer-centric approach to business relationships and communication definitely want to make the switch to Nextiva.
If you’re looking for a business VoIP solution that provides more than two times the functionality and offerings than Google Voice, look no further than Nextiva.
Switching from Google Voice to Nextiva is a breeze with our number porting process, so you don’t have to change your beloved business phone number. With our award-winning tech support team at your disposal, switching from an existing VoIP provider to Nextiva is the easiest decision you’ll ever have to make for your business phone system.
Review our transparent pricing tiers and plans if you’re ready to make the switch today!
Google Voice has no relationship with Nextiva, Inc. and is the registered trademark of Google LLC.
Gaetano DiNardi is the Director of Demand Generation at Nextiva and has a track record of success working with brands like Major League Baseball, Pipedrive, Sales Hacker and Outreach.io. Outside of marketing, Gaetano is an accomplished music producer and songwriter - he’s worked with major artists like Fat Joe, Shaggy and loves making music to stay turbocharged. To get in touch, follow him on LinkedIn.