In its infancy, there were only a few providers and household names in the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) industry. VoIP was introduced in 1995 with a company called VocalTec and their product InternetPhone. It allowed simple communication from one user to another using an internet connection. However, as the technology grew and became more widely availalbe, the industry began to skyrocket very quickly. In addition to the increase in VoIP providers, a majority of VoIP technologies, tools, and applications have also grown alongside and in conjunction with VoIP. And it continues to expand at a rapid rate.
The early 2000's were strong years for VoIP because of a few major reasons:
- High speed Internet was much more commonplace
- VoIP accessibility increased with switching software add-ons
- VoIP communications were regulated by the government
- Skype entered the computer voice calling market
- Vonage started its popular advertising campaign.
Vonage: A Primer for VoIP Advocacy
In the beginning, Vonage pumped millions of dollars into a brilliant advertising campaign – and it worked. Thousands of people switched to Vonage from their old school, Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) phone service providers.
Unfortunately for those users, Vonage wasn't prepared for the early onslaught of customers. By tracking back through early reviews of Vonage's service, most them detail long waits on the phone with customer service, excessive cancellation fees, and an overall bad experience. However,
One of the main reasons that Vonage continues to grown is that they're an affordable provider, especially for useres who are simply looking to try out a VoIP service for their business or residential needs (the catchy advertising doesn't hurt their position, either). Vonage World is only $14.99 for the first three months, and then $25 a month after that. It's not a bad deal – but there are other deals out there. You also don't have to deal with Vonage's customer service reps, frequently ripped on our website. That's something to be said.
Residential Competitors to Vonage
We've got a few details on some VoIP providers in serious competition to Vonage below. Residential first, then business.
Vonage Competitor: ITP: Internet Telephone People
ITP Residential Premium Unlimited: 2 months free through VoipReview.org. $19.99 a month afterward ($16.58 a month for 1 year). No disconnect fee.
Unlimited calls. Free Phone Adapter and Router.
ITP also offers a global unlimited plan that costs the same amount as Vonage but offers more than 60 countries of calling.
Vonage Competitor: VoIPo
VoIPo Home: Prepay $149 for 2 years of service ($6.21/month for 2 years); otherwise $15.00/month.
Get unlimited calling to the U.S. and Canada. 60 included minutes of international calling a month. 40+ included features. All backed by a 30 day money-back guarantee.
ITP also offers customers the ability to transfer your existing number (details apply) or get a new number from over 7,000 different areas.
Through their residential VoIP offering, VoIPo claims that customers can save up to 75% on their phone service.
Vonage Competitor: Axvoice
Axvoice Home Phone Service USA/Canada: $99.00 for 1 year of service ($8.25/month), otherwise $10.99/month for their flexible yearly plan or $14.99/month for a monthly plan.
Get unlimited outgoing and incoming calls. 30+ calling features included. Free equipment. Axvoice requres an existing high speed internet connection, a spare Ethernet port, a touchtone phone, and a major U.S./Canada credit or debit card to get started.
Business Competitors to Vonage
Vonage also offers a small business plan, too. Business plans are a little more difficult to compare, since there's a lot more variation. We'll compare the unlimited offer cost for five other VoIP providers.
Vonage Competitor: Jive
Jive Voice: As low as 19.95 per user per month. Jive helps by delivering a custom quote to your business depending on your company size, industry, and communication needs.
Jive Voice comes with over 80 included features, custom schedules, mobile options through Jive Mobile, and real-time access.
Jive is one of our favorite hosted PBX providers because they do things simply. Literally, what you see here is what you get. Plus, Jive is easy to use from any Internet-enabled device and lets you get a professional phone system for an affordable monthly per user rate.
Vonage Competitor: RingCentral
RingCentral Office: Standard plan is as low as $24.99/user/month, Premium (most popular) plan is as low as $34.99/user/month, and Enterprise plan is $44.99/user/month. (Disclaimer: prices are for 2-19 users). Pricing varies on number of users and type of payment you choose.
All RingCentral plans come with unlimited calling to the U.S. and Canada only, included toll free minutes, mobile apps, call management and phone system administration, unlimited conference calling, and more.
RingCentral is an excellent choice for a new business. New numbers are affordable ($4.99 a month) and the included toll-free minutes and free faxes are extra perks that make them a viable competitor.
Vonage Competitor: Megapath
Hosted PBX: As low as $19.95/user/month through their promotional offer. Premium Business Voice plan available for $29.95/user/month, and Enterprise Voice plan available for $39.90/user/month (which comes with unlimited global calling to 22 countries). You can also receive a custom quote from Megapath.
Receive over 50 calling features, visual voicemail, a call management web portal, BYOD apps/mobile apps, HD voice, and more. Optional hosted voice features can be added on for a fee.
Backed by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
Vonage Competitor: 8x8
Virtual Office: As low at $19.99/user/month, or upgrade to Virtual Office Pro. Options to choose various add-on extensions for your phone system: Metered Extensions, Unlimited Extensions, or Global Extensions.
8x8's communication solutions come with unlimtied calling, US-based support, mobile apps, call management features, softphone, instant messaging/chat, CRM integrations, and more.
8x8 aims to bring continuous communications to the cloud through their Virtual Office and Virtual Office Pro plans, which are more flexible and cost-effective than traditional PBX systems.
Vonage Competitor: OnSIP
OnSIP: both the Free and Pay As You Go plans are available for $0.00/user/month. The Free plan includes OnSIP and Internet calling only, and the Pay As You Go plan has external calling rates with a $49.95 features minimum. Users can also choose the Metered Plan at $8.95/user/month (5 user min.) or the Unlimited User plan at $24.95/user/month (5 user min.)
If you are a small business looking to find out if a VoIP service is right for you, OnSIP's Free and Pay As You Go plans are ideal.
Vonage Competitor: VoiPLy
Business Pro: $15.00/user/month with free 3-day shipping. Taxes not included. Service includes first and last month of service.
Service comes with unlimited U.S. calling, HD voice, free auto attendants and on hold music, U.S. based support, and 99.999% uptime.
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Not satisfied with these Voange competitors? Compare other VoIP providers we have listed on this site by visiting the link below.
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