Cloud Hosted PBX

The Best Cloud Hosted PBX Providers of 2018

Hosted PBX solutions include a wealth of business communication and collaboration options that will transform your business phone system and the way you operate. Our comparison chart below breakdown award-winning hosted PBX providers, their pricing, all available virtual PBX features, as well as user reviews.

Provider
Rank
Nextiva
#1
Vonage Business
#2
RingCentral
#3
8×8 Inc.
#4
MegaPath
#5
Jive Communications
#6
User Reviews
4.5
3.8
3.9
3.7
4.0
4.4
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Provider Info
HeadquartersScottsdale, AZAtlanta, GABelmont, CASan Jose, CAPleasanton, CAOrem, UT
Year Founded200620002003198719962006
Service AvailabilityUnited StatesUSA & CanadaWorldwideWorldwideUnited StatesUnited States, Canada
Types of Service OfferedBusiness Phone Service, Hosted PBX, SIP Trunking, Call CenterBusiness VoIP, Hosted PBX, Residential VoIP, SIP Trunking, Call Center Software, Web Conferencing, APIsBusiness VoIP, Hosted PBX, Web Conferencing, Team Collaboration, Unified Communication, Paperless FaxBusiness VoIP, Unified Communications, Hosted PBX, Virtual Call CenterInternet Access, Hosted PBX, Unified Communications, SIP Trunks, PRI & Analog Lines, Network & Security, Cloud IT ServicesBusiness VoIP, Hosted PBX, Cloud Communication
Popular Service PlanOffice Pro PlusUnlimited ExtensionsOffice PremiumVirtual Office Pro$29.95 includes unlimited national calling and UCHosted IP
Money Back GuaranteeCancel Anytime for a Full RefundCancel Anytime, No Fees.30 days free trial. Cancel anytime.30 Days30 days (and no contract promo offer)Cancel Anytime, Fees May Apply
Free Trial30 DaysNot Offered30 DaysContact rep for more details30 day sat guarantee (and no contract promo offer)Not Offered
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Hosted PBX Provider Services & Pricing Overview
Monthly Cost of Cheapest Service$19.95$19.9919.99$19.99$19.95$19.95
Amount of Lines Per Price Tier1-4 Lines: $34.95/mo/user
5-20 Lines: $29.95/mo/user
21-100+: $19.95/mo/user
New customer promo - Unlimited Users $19.99/mo/extension1 Line: $34.99/mo/user
2-19 Lines: $24.99/mo/user
20-99 Lines: $21.99/mo/user
100+ Lines: $19.99/mo/user
No user minimumNo user minimum. Flat price any size1-4 Lines: $29.95/mo/user
5-9 Lines: $25.95/mo/user
10-24 Lines: $23.95/mo/user
25-49 Lines: $21.95/mo/user
50+ Lines: $19.95/mo/user
Month to Month Option
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Available as promo for new customers only
Yes
Metered PlansStarts as $8.95 100 Minutes$14.99/mo + $0.03/min
No
Yes, ask Sales Rep for current pricingYes, Ask rep for current pricing
No
Customizable Plans
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Setup FeeFreeFreeFreeActivation fees may applyFreeFree
Number Porting FeeFreeFreeFreeFreeFreeFree
Mobile App
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Desktop App
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Works with 3rd party Softphones
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Toll Free Numbers
Yes
Number Provided Free (Incoming calls are $0.02/min)
Yes
$39.99/mo, No per minute charges
Yes
$5/mo (2500 Mins Included, Add
Yes
Yes
Yes
$1.75/mo (Incoming calls are $0.019/min)
Local Numbers
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
BYOD Option
Yes
Works with most IP Phones
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
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Hosted PBX Providers - Compare All Available Features
Advanced Call Forwarding
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Anonymous Call Rejection
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Auto Attendant
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
1 included, $9.95 each additional
Yes
Busy Lamp Field
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Business SMS
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Call Queuing
Yes
$14.95/mo/user
Yes
$14.99/mo plus $0.03/min
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Call Me Now
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Call Notifications
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Call Parking
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Call Recording
Yes
$5.95/mo/user
Yes
$4.99/mo for 15 hours recording time
Yes
Yes
Yes
$9.95 per month
Yes
*Free to all new customers
Call Return
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Call Waiting
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Caller ID
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Conference Calls
Yes
$19.95/mo/user
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Dial-by-name Directory
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Do Not Disturb
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
E911
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Find Me/Follow Me
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Group Paging
Yes
Yes
$4.99/mo per group
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Hunt Group
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
1 included, $4.95 each additional
Yes
IVR
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Mobile/Deskphone Sync
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
On-Hold Music
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Paperless Faxing
Yes
Starts at $4.95/mo/500 pages
Yes
$4.95/mo Unlimited Virtual Fax
Yes
Starts at $7.99/mo/500 Pages
Yes
Yes
Yes
Free V-Fax Only
Privacy Options
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Push To Talk
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Selective Call Acceptance
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Selective Call Rejection
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Shared Call Appearance
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Simultaneous Ring
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Switchboard Software for Live Receptionist
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Three-way Calling
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Unlimited Extensions
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
Video Conferencing
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Virtual Extensions
Yes
$4.95/mo/ext
Yes
$14.99/mo/ext
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Voicemail Transcriptions
Yes
Yes
$4.99/mo/ext
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
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Network
Number of Server Locations8N/A
No
1557
Fully Redundant Network
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Service Level Agreement
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Uptime Guarantee
Yes
Varies
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
When over a MegaPath QoS enabled circuit
Yes
99.99%
Realtime System Status Monitoring
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
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Integration
Box
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Dropbox
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Google Apps
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
NetSuite
No
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Office 365
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Oracle
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Outlook
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Quickbooks
No
No
No
No
No
No
SalesForce
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
SugarCRM
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Zendesk
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
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Support
Hours
Yes
US & Global, Mon-Fri 5am-6pm, Sat-Sun 6am-6pm, MST
Yes
24/7
Yes
24/7
Yes
24/7
Yes
24/7
Yes
24/7
Email Support
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Instant Chat
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
FAQs Section
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Video Tutorials
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
E-Guides
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Online Ticket Submissions
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
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How to choose cloud hosted PBX service provider?

A cloud hosted PBX broadens business communication systems and brings separate business phone systems under one umbrella, which can be accessed in multiple locations via the internet. This type of service allows online client communication for call centers to make safe and fast phone calls at a lower price and helps significantly with business support.

Understanding the history of PBX systems:

PBX stands for Private Branch Exchange and back in the old days, companies around the world used to have PBX equipment right on their premises. This meant having their own in-house telephone system rooted in their compound.

This technology enabled communication between the public telephone network and internal office phone network. In the modern day, a virtual PBX phone system is used to make phone calls instead of the traditional PBX phone system.

With the older system, the person in charge could manually connect to the network and configure the telephone network to give access to other users. This system worked well during the older days but as technology has changed, the old PBX technology has become outdated and worn out.

The manual way of doing things seemed to be time consuming especially for large companies with a huge number of employees. As new technologies emerged, the older PBX could not keep up with the increased need for customer service and the growing workload. As the internet took off in the 90s it became clear that a new remote telephone system would be required. This is when cloud hosted PBX providers came into existence.

What is cloud hosted PBX and how does it work?

Cloud hosted PBX is also known as cloud telephony. It is a telephone service hosted on the internet and can be accessed remotely to provide communication to internal employees and the public. This type of service allows businesses more freedom in term of free space, hardware, software and time management.

A hosted PBX system is hosted over the internet. It is not a physical system that can be installed on the company’s premises. It is provided as a service and can be accessed over the internet while agents make phone calls online.

Cloud PBX service providers distribute their data centers across various locations, allowing easy access for other companies who are in need of their services. The main intent of this service is to offload the work done by companies in improving their business growth.

Handling in-house PBX meant more costs to companies since running the operations of the entire system was conducted on the business’ premises. This approach also meant having to train personnel to manage their telephone system.

New system technology is supported by IP communication, a technology that enables internet-based telephone communication. It literally enables users to make phone calls using internet data instead of using the traditional method to make phone calls.

Also, through a hosted PBX solution, companies are able to dial multiple phone numbers and also handle conference calls. This is essential for businesses which have multiple locations and a broader client base.

Hosted PBX became the automatic way of providing business communications while replacing the outdated phone system.

VoIP is also called Voice over IP in the industry. VoIP and IP communications are similar, apart from the volume of calls each one produces and their respective reliability. Businesses that choose to use a virtual PBX system enjoy higher quality calls since cloud hosted PBX delivers higher standards and unified communication.

Cloud hosted PBX functionality:

Cloud hosted PBX solutions are utilized in call center companies to make affordable phone calls over the internet. Apart from the data centers in remote locations, a team of highly skilled IT professionals are required to avail the services in case the network defaults.

Users should be able to access and communicate swiftly using any communication device, either desk phones, computers or hands-free headsets. This means instead of plugging phones into a premise socket the business can access services online using the services of an efficient hosted PBX solution.

Your service provider manages the system, provides the required software for security, ensures clear call delivery and provides all feature upgrades whenever necessary.

Cloud hosted PBX versus Premises PBX:

To get a full perspective of choosing a reliable service provider, managers need to differentiate between the old systems and the new systems. This includes relevant options available between cloud hosted PBX and premises PBX options.

The terms, cloud hosted PBX and virtual PBX are often used interchangeably in the industry. These terms refer to the same thing, which is making telephone calls on the internet.

Pros of cloud hosted PBX:

Hosted PBX is a cloud-based solution and it can be managed over the internet. This is unlike the orthodox phone system, which is managed at the physical location with the hardware being installed at the business premises.

With a cloud hosted PBX, all your services are managed for you by a dedicated service provider with a specialized skilled expert managing your account.

The hosted PBX helps reduce costs since one does not need to purchase the equipment and neither does the company need to use additional resources to manage the system.

The hosted PBX solution saves time by allowing business owners to focus all their efforts on their business operations instead of worrying about the complexities of their telecommunication system. This allows for greater business growth since more time is spent on managing business operations, acquiring leads and making sales.

Your communication network is always taken care of even if you are not operating.

The cloud hosted PBX is suitable for companies which operate in multiple areas or companies with over 50 call center agents. Since this type of PBX service makes access easier, it can be outsourced from a reliable PBX system provider, so it makes good business sense when the company has 50+ agents.

Even if your network goes down on one sever, there is a constant backup to take the place of servers on downtime. In some instances, the business will not even notice that one of the servers is not operational.

The differences between the Hosted PBX and Cloud PBX

Hosted PBX:

The hosted PBX is slightly different to the cloud PBX in that all its hardware is run from the premises. A service provider runs the necessary servers apart from the company accessing the system.

Servers are accessed by clients through a direct network connection as the service is provided via the internet.

The hosted PBX is provided per seat, meaning that the customer will only pay for the number of call center seats or agents at the business.

This ensures continuity of the service since the number of seats provided remains constant and can only be upscaled for a predefined number of employees.

Cloud PBX:

Cloud is also slightly different from hosted PBX in that it is hosted on cloud servers and there is no physical PBX or hardware storage on the premises.

Cloud PBX is accessed through direct network services over the internet, just like the hosted PBX.

Cloud PBX is a pay per usage service since in the hosted PBX, the customer pays per number of users they have. Here, the customer will pay based on how they utilize their network service.

How premises PBX differs to all PBX systems:

Premises PBX systems are also referred to as legacy systems because they have opened doors for the current cloud hosted PBX systems. These systems can be seen as the forefather of PBX technology.

The premises PBX system is installed at the customer’s business location and they are also managed by the company hosting these systems. If the business chooses to have these systems supported, the business will be responsible for the entire system in their control.

With premises PBX, you will be required to make manual telephone connections.

The maintenance of this type of system is usually higher when it is managed internally, which gives the virtual PBX technology the upper hand over the premises PBX.

They cannot be accessed outside of your business and they can only be utilized from the business premises.

This new technology does not support older systems since these technologies are not compatible with one another, having been built on older standards.

The customer will not be able to save time and focus on their business priorities when using an in-house PBX, and once the system goes down the whole company can suffer from a fault on the network.

It takes longer to install the premises PBX compared to cloud hosted PBX service while it also increases the business budget as the costs increase even before the system can start producing results.

The cloud hosted PBX provides more security since the Virtual Service Providers implement extra security features and firewalls in their systems to prevent call hacking.

The importance of mobile hosted VoIP/PBX

In the current cloud hosted PBX service, mobile VoIP plays a vital role as companies are able to send voice calls as digital signals through the internet. This type of system enables customer care to make phone calls with mobile handsets instead of using their PCs. It a great feature to have this system as a service provider since the business can access VoIP over the WIFI while also enjoying high speed internet access.

The PBX features you should look for in a cloud hosted PBX Service Provider:

Any type of service provider should have certain features that the business should look for before accepting the service, and a hosted PBX is no exception. The best way forward before making a decision or signing up for any business contract, is to do some research so that comparisons can be made in respect of the different cloud hosted PBX or voice over IP companies.

This is what a hosted PBX provider should offer:

A reliable and stable network is vital in many ways. The cost of an unreliable telephone network can be detrimental and can affect the business’ growth, especially small to medium companies, which are still on their path to stock listing. This is one of the reasons a company seeking a PBX provider should invest more time in quality research before applying for a long-term contract.

Hosted PBX equipment. It is essential to focus on obtaining quality equipment from the service provider to be on par with and to meet current industry standards. This is a critical issue since companies can easily be deceived by service providers sharing dishonest information about their equipment

Maintenance and upgrades are often the first things a service provider should emphasize. As new technologies grow old, they become obsolete. The older technology servers, including VoIP/PBX technology, should regularly be updated. This will make the maintenance of such systems easier while also delivering an efficient customer service.

Customer support can make or break customer relationships. A reliable customer support is always required in any online based service. With a cloud hosted PBX service provider, 24/7 customer support is required due to the nature of the service. The support service could be of good assistance when an upgrade is required or in the instance where training for the entire system is needed.

Mobile PBX service is one of the most need services in the telecommunications industry and the service provider should, therefore, personalize their customer services. In some cases, a company might want to have listings or queues, for example. If a cloud hosted PBX provider cannot handle call forwarding then the company might fail its clients.

Trust is an essential consideration. Trust might come after a company has proven itself to its current clients in that they can really provide the required service. Trust can also come after the business has been in business for longer than its competitors. Clients often do company reviews and state their satisfaction levels where a company tends to provide a high-quality service.

The benefits of a cloud hosted PBX include:

  • Cost efficiency
  • Outsourced Maintenance
  • Scalability
  • Reliability
  • Security
  • Disaster recovery among others

This system makes it the ideal system based on its many features and in that the system is able to provide for high quality telephone calls.

Who should use the service of a virtual PBX or cloud hosted PBX system?

Businesses that can’t afford to install and run their own Hosted PBX system. These are usually start ups or small to medium sized companies, which provide services over the telephone network or call agents who sell products over the phone.

These are companies that tend to rely heavily on virtual cloud PBX providers, while larger companies still use the service but they can usually afford to set up a platform for their employees and customers. Small to medium companies are the ones that tend to request this type of service and outsourcing a hosted PBX service becomes mandatory to most of these companies who are serious about their business operations.

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