Grasshopper alternatives header

If you work at a small business or startup, you’ve probably come across Grasshopper and may even be considering it for your business phone setup. Understandable—it has a very budget-friendly price point.

But usually, as these ventures develop from the weekend side hustle to scaling business with multiple departments and employees, Grasshopper starts to show its limits.

It’s common for new businesses to outgrow Grasshopper quite quickly—but what if you want to avoid the hassle of switching phone systems?

The good news is there are lots of (just as affordable!) Grasshopper alternatives that are extremely robust and have enough features that will grow with a business over time.

If you’re looking for a professional, scalable virtual phone service for your business, then keep reading:

What is Grasshopper?

Grasshopper is a virtual phone service provider that essentially adds a business phone line and virtual phone system to personal numbers for small businesses. It’s typically an option that businesses consider if they don’t want to be tied to a traditional landline anymore.

When you sign up with Grasshopper, they’ll allow you to select your business phone number (you’ll get up to five if you’re going with their most expensive plan) from their inventory of vanity, local or toll-free numbers.

Grasshopper is a relatively popular service provider with entrepreneurs and small businesses that have very basic needs (like just getting a virtual phone number).

However, for larger teams with more complex needs (and we’re not talking about super fancy features—many of these features are basic needs that a business phone system should have), Grasshopper may not be the best option.

I’ll walk you through why in just a bit.

Why you might want a Grasshopper alternative

While Grasshopper is a great gateway into the virtual phone system world, it’s quite limited—even for small businesses. Unless you’re a startup or a company of one, you’ll likely need something more robust.

Though Grasshopper offers Wi-Fi calling, you can’t have other communication channels beyond phone calls, which means you won’t be able to have video meetings, share files, or do screen sharing.

That’s what many of the Grasshopper alternatives on this list, like Dialpad, give you—more business communications options in one platform.

And if you’re looking for advanced intelligent contact center or call center features, you’ll need a unified communications platform. For example, Dialpad’s contact center platform is fully integrated with its unified communications platform, meaning you can talk, message, and meet with teammates—and also monitor your contact center team in real time, in the same app.

How we evaluated these Grasshopper alternatives

Here’s how we evaluated the Grasshopper competitors below:

  • Range of features

  • Level of customer support

  • Plan pricing and cost-efficiency

  • Level of call quality

  • Ease of use

  • Range of integrations

Let’s take a look at each of these criteria in more detail.

Features

The first thing we looked for in all of our Grasshopper alternatives was features. When picking a virtual phone service, it’s vital to know what features you need ahead of time. That way, you’ll be ready to pick a service provider that meets both your current and future needs.

Features to consider include call forwarding options, compatible devices (can you make phone calls from any device?), call recording, texting, virtual receptionists, and analytics.

Customer support

The next thing we looked for was customer support. It’s vital to have robust customer support alongside any business service, especially one as crucial to your workflows as telephony.

We made sure that all of our Grasshopper alternatives offer a high level of customer support that lets you access help as and when you need it.

When committing to a service provider, make sure that they’re going to be easy to get hold of when any issues arise. Your provider should go the extra mile to help you out. Ideally, you’ll want to opt for an option that offers 24/7 multichannel support.

(For example, Dialpad’s tech support team offers 24/7 support for Pro and Enterprise customers and 24/5 support for Standard plan customers—and it has a detailed Help Center online that lets you find answers to common questions whenever you want.)

Cost-efficiency

Ideally, switching to a virtual phone service should help your business save money. And if you’re looking at Grasshopper, we’re going to hazard a guess that cost is a priority.

So, we looked for providers offering affordable and flexible pricing plans and packages with all the essential features in place.

👉 Dialpad tip: Check that platforms aren’t charging you for services that most communications platforms offer for free as standard—such as set-up and activation (Grasshopper charges for both of these essentials!), and even post-purchase items like software updates.

When picking your service, it’s essential to establish whether you need a pay-per-minute or unlimited plan. This will depend on the call volumes you’ll be expecting in your business. For fast-scaling organizations, unlimited plans are always best.

It’s also worth noting that many virtual phone service providers will offer a free trial period so that you can “try before you buy.” Taking up these options is a great way to get a feel for the platform you’re potentially thinking of investing in. You’ll be able to see if the solution is a good fit for you before placing any money down—zero risk involved.

Call quality

A good VoIP provider should provide you and your team with HD call quality and reliability.

With Dialpad, for instance, you’ll be able to access HD calling capabilities from any device, and it’s easy to check your in-app audio settings to ensure that your call quality is always up to scratch. All you have to do is navigate to the Device Settings icon in Dialpad, after which a quick access display of your microphone, speaker/headset, and camera will appear.

microphone settings in dialpad app

Ease of use

Next, we looked for ease of use. (Because who wants to be pulling their hair out trying to leave a voicemail?)

So, what features make a telephony system user-friendly? Well, aside from an intuitive user interface, we focused on two main things: implementation and reliability.

First, we looked for telephony providers with quick and straightforward implementation processes, and filtered out the phone systems that have unnecessarily complicated setup processes.

Second, we prioritized solutions that take reliability seriously so that you’ll have as little downtime and disruption as possible. (Dialpad, for example, offers a 100% uptime Service Level Agreement / SLA for Enterprise customers.)

Integration

Another key consideration for most businesses is integrations. For example, if you’re using Google Calendar or Salesforce, you’ll want to be able to use your virtual phone service with the business apps and software you’re already using.

All of the unified communications platforms and VoIP service providers in this list offer a wide range of accompanying integrations so that you can unify your business communications with your other essential business processes.

The top 10 Grasshopper alternatives that are robust, yet affordable

1. Dialpad: A truly unified communications platform that comes with unlimited minutes

Live Call on dialpad talk

Dialpad is a leading cloud-based unified communications platform that brings together calling, messaging, and meetings in one intuitive app that’s easy to deploy—and manage.

You can start a video meeting, make a phone call, send an SMS or instant message, and more, all from the same app (or web browser—no downloads needed—if you want):

dialpad meetings in app

It’s not just a business phone system—although it has all of the phone features (and incredible call quality) you’d need, from a number porting service, to call forwarding, call routing, and more:

other routing options in dialpad contact center

With a global voice network and unique split cloud architecture, Dialpad is designed specifically for HD, crystal clear voice calls—from pretty much anywhere in the world. (Seriously. Ask us about it.)

But beyond all of this, Dialpad’s real “secret sauce” is its proprietary AI (code name: Voice Intelligence) technology, which not only transcribes business calls—in real time—but also does a lot of other cool things, which I’ll get into in just a second.

Voice Intelligence (Vi)

Dialpad’s Vi technology turns every conversation into something you can learn from so that your business can continue to learn, grow, and improve every single day.

I mentioned that Vi can transcribe calls in real time:

real time transcription in dialpad

But it can also pick up on action items that are spoken on a call—and if you have Dialpad’s Contact Center product, you’ll even be able to use Vi to pick up on keywords and phrases that you’re interested in.

For example, if you wanted to see how frequently Competitor X comes up on sales calls, you can create a Custom Moment that tracks that competitor’s name:

creating a custom moment in dialpad contact center

And not only that, you can also create Real-time Assist (RTA) cards with notes about that competitor, which will then pop up automatically on an agent or reps’ screen—when that competitor’s name is spoken!

real time assist card in Dialpad

Keep your business phone number

Dialpad’s number porting service lets you keep any existing phone numbers and it also has all the basic business phone features you need, from call transferring to call forwarding and more:

adding a call forwarding number to dialpad

Desktop and mobile softphone app

Dialpad works on any device. And if you or your clients don’t want to download the softphone app, it works on web browsers too (without losing out on any functionality).

A range of integrations

Dialpad integrates with a vast range of business apps and software. Just visit the app marketplace and sync with your tried and tested favorites:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software like Kustomer, HubSpot, and Salesforce—yes, that RTA card I mentioned above will pop up in Salesforce, no tab-switching needed!
    rta card in salesforce
  • Productivity software like Microsoft 365, and Google Workspace

  • Customer service software like Intercom, HappyFox, and Zendesk
  • Sales engagement tools like Mixmax, Wingman, and Outreach:
  • And many, many more…

A fully integrated contact center platform

If you do have a contact center or customer support team, Dialpad is designed to help managers and supervisors coach their agents—at scale—with the RTA cards and Vi features I mentioned above.

The best thing is that it’s all one experience. One login, one account, one user interface. (Many “unified” communications platforms don’t have this because the providers are reselling or whitelabelling other companies’ software.)

Plus there’s a live sentiment analysis feature, which lets managers scan all active calls at a glance and see if any calls are going south:

sentiment analysis using dialpad's voice intelligence

Plans and pricing:

Dialpad plans start at $15 per user per month (billed annually) for the Dialpad Standard plan. Dialpad’s Pro plan is $25 per user per month (billed annually), and Enterprise plans are priced on an individual basis.

Standard plan features include:

  • Unlimited calling with your country, the US, and Canada

  • Unlimited SMS and MMS in the US and Canada

  • 1 local number included

  • Unlimited video meetings

  • Call controls (call forwarding, transfer, hold, mute)

  • Caller ID

  • Custom voicemail greeting

  • Voicemail transcription

  • Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 integrations

  • Custom off-hours routing

  • Desktop and mobile app that works across iOS, Android, PC, and Mac

  • Simple deployment

Pro features include all of the Standard plan features plus:

  • International calls / international number support in 50+ countries

  • CRM integrations (like Salesforce, HubSpot)

  • 24/7 phone support

  • Unlimited meetings

  • 5-hour meeting duration

  • API and webhooks for custom integrations

  • Hold queues

Enterprise features include all Pro features plus:

  • 100% uptime Service Level Agreements (SLA)

  • Unlimited office locations

  • Worldwide 24/7 phone, web, and chat support

  • Unlimited ring groups (departments)

  • Azure Integration

  • IAM/SSO Integrations (Okta, OneLogin)

  • Custom data retention policies

Try it out with a 14-day free trial to see how it can work for your business before committing!

What makes it better than Grasshopper?

If you’re looking for a versatile and scalable alternative to Grasshopper, then Dialpad is a fantastic choice.

Dialpad’s platform is born in the cloud (which means you’ll get software updates much more frequently), and is built by the team that built Google Voice, which means that like Google, it’s easy to use and intuitively designed.

If your business is growing, and you’re planning to scale up internationally, Dialpad is a great business communications platform that is designed to grow with you.

2. 8x8

8x8 is another communications provider with voice, video, and chat capabilities along with a contact center.

Like Dialpad, you get voice, video, and chat in one app, along with basic phone features like an auto-attendant, conferencing, and call routing.

Plans and pricing:

8x8 plans start at $12 per user per month for the 8x8 small business phone system. All-in-one voice, video, and chat is priced at $24 per user per month.1

8x8’s most advanced plan, including analytics for administrators and supervisors, comes in at $44 per user per month.

3. Google Voice

Google Voice is Google’s own VoIP phone service. With Google Voice, you can make and take phone calls and send text messages over the internet.

Again, like with Dialpad, there’s no cumbersome hardware required. All you’ll need is an Internet-enabled device, microphone, and speaker.

But compared to more robust business phone services, Google Voice is quite limited in features because it wasn’t designed for business use. You’ll be able to make phone calls and do call forwarding, but you won’t be able to make or take video conference calls, for example.

Plans and pricing:

Google Voice pricing plans start at $10 per user per month for the Starter plan, $16 per user per month for the Standard plan, and $24 per user per month for the Premier plan.2

As part of a Starter plan with Google Voice, you’ll get VoIP calling for up to 10 users across up to 10 domestic locations and unlimited SMS in the US. Starter plan features include voicemail transcription, call forwarding, usage and activity reporting.

In comparison, with Dialpad, you’ll get all this and more, including unlimited calling, comprehensive call controls (call forwarding, transfer, hold, and mute), custom voicemail greetings, and voicemail transcriptions. Most importantly, you’ll also be getting a best-in-market video conferencing tool that’s essential for teams that host meetings and collaborate from dispersed locations.

4. Nextiva

Nextiva is a business VoIP platform that combines calling, video, SMS, chat, customer management, and collaboration tools.

Like many UCaaS / CCaaS providers, Nextiva claims to have a “fully unified” communications platform, but also like many UCaaS and CCaaS providers (like RingCentral, for instance), Nextiva is reselling other companies’ software.

What this means is that even though, yes, you can get a package or pricing plan from Nextiva that has contact center functionality along with unified communications channels…

You’ll likely have to log in through separate accounts in different windows or tabs, and in a different user interface. It may not be dealbreaker, but it’s good to be aware of, especially if you have a large contact center team and can potentially lose out on productivity because of constant context-switching.

Plans and pricing:

Nextiva plans start at $18.95 per user per month for the Nextiva Essential package.

More advanced feature sets can be accessed with the Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate plans priced at $22.95 per user per month, $32.95 per user per month, and $57.95 per user per month, respectively.3

5. Freedom Voice

Freedom Voice is a phone system that offers cloud phones and PBX for small business owners. Like Grasshopper, the company offers a budget solution for businesses in need of a basic VoIP service—which means that it doesn’t have video conferencing or instant messaging if you need those communication channels.

One disadvantage of Freedom Voice is that unlike most business service providers, it doesn’t offer 24/7 customer support across different time zones, meaning that there won’t always be someone available to help you sort out any technical issues as and when they arise.

Plans and pricing:

Freedom Voice plans start at $9.95 per user per month.4

6. Fuze

Fuze is yet another cloud communication and collaboration platform that combines calling, team meetings, and cloud contact center functionalities.

Compared to Grasshopper, Fuze offers a much more advanced range of calling and video conferencing features capable of scaling to meet global calling, collaboration, and contact center business needs.

However, a big difference between Fuze and Dialpad is that you only get unlimited internal and incoming calls—not unlimited outgoing calls, which you would get with Dialpad.5

Plans and pricing:

Fuze plans start at $15 per user per month.

7. Vonage

Vonage is a business communications platform that actually has a very residential-focused arm as well. It’s been quite popular largely due to its reliable call quality and basic features like call routing, IVR, and ACD.

Like some of the other options on this list, Vonage is a feature-rich alternative to Grasshopper and comes with more robust features. However, you’ll need to navigate multiple add-ons to really get access to the platform’s full functionality. If you’re looking for straightforward pricing and more built-in features, then something like Dialpad would be a better option.

Plans and pricing:

Vonage plans start at $19.99 per line per month for the basic plan. Premium plans cost $29.99 per line per month, and Advanced plans cost $39.99 per line per month.6

8. RingCentral

RingCentral is a business communications and contact center solution that’s been around for, well, pretty much forever. The company is public, and like Nextiva, brands itself as a UCaaS + CCaaS integrated solution with phone, messaging, and meetings features.

But as we mentioned earlier, it also doesn’t own its full platform. And other than the inconveniences of having to log into multiple accounts and tabs, this also means that when you need technical support, you’ll probably be routed to a third party (since it’s not their own product), which can be pretty challenging.

Plans and pricing:

RingCentral MVP plans start at $27.99 per user per month for RingCentral’s Standard plan. Premium plans will set you back $34.99 per user per month, and Ultimate plans come in at $49.99 per user per month.7

9. Star2Star

Star2Star is a newer company emerging in the VoIP market. Unlike many of the options on this list, Star2Star uses physical PBX devices to allow businesses to place business calls via SIP trunking.

Other than that, you do get the typical business phone features like an auto attendant and call recording. Star2Star offers a decently comprehensive communication solution that gives you more than Grasshopper’s basic functionality.

But the user interface is a bit outdated, and unlike some of the cloud providers on this list, Star2Star requires users to have equipment installed on-site, which requires regular maintenance and potential downtime if things go wrong.

(With Dialpad, there’s no hardware or maintenance involved because Dialpad functions on the devices that you and your team already own and use every day.)

Plans and pricing:

Star2Star offers a range of bundle plans on an individual quote-by-quote basis.8

These include:

The Professional Bundle - Business voice, text messaging, video meetings, and employee alerts

The Collaboration Bundle - Additional text messaging, team hubs, and video meetings

The Customer Service Bundle - Additional service insights and expanded team hub features

The Contact Center Bundle - Elevated customer experience and actionable intelligence

10. Ringblaze

Another new kid on the block is Ringblaze. Ringblaze was founded in 2019 and offers a phone system with features like call recording, call routing, and a virtual call center.

Plans and pricing:

Ringblaze plans start at $19.00 per month with the additional option of a free trial before you sign up.9

What makes it better than Grasshopper?

Perhaps the most important differentiator between Ringblaze and Grasshopper is Ringblaze’s unique pricing structure: there’s only one plan and as they say, “no surprises.”

The thing is, other than phone calls, you’re pretty limited in terms of communications options.

Compared to Dialpad, which offers plans from as little as $15 per month, Ringblaze plans start at $19—but you’ll get video conferencing, SMS and instant messaging, and many more features.

And the best Grasshopper alternative for cloud-based communications is…

Yes, we’re a bit biased, but if you really want to be fair, we’d suggest taking the free trials for these options to really get a sense of which one is the best Grasshopper alternative.

To be fair, Grasshopper is a decent option for single-person or very small teams starting out. But small businesses tend to outgrow this platform fast. Know what your business needs and try to anticipate what it may need in the near future. Unlimited extensions? Multiple office locations? Your provider should be able to provide the option to upgrade to these features.

Any good communications provider should have a free trial to let you test drive it without any commitment. Remember, the key is to look for a long-term solution that will scale with you and offers all the features and functionalities for now and the future.

Ready for a better Grasshopper alternative? Sign up for a 14-day free trial of Dialpad to try it out yourself!

Ready for a better Grasshopper alternative? Sign up for a 14-day free trial of Dialpad to try it out yourself!

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Footnotes

18x8.com/products/business-phone

2cloud.google.com/voice#pricing

3nextiva.com/nextiva-pricing.html

4freedomvoice.com/cloudnumber/plans-pricing

5fuze.com/fuze-rates

6vonage.com/unified-communications/pricing/?bypassgeoloc=true

7ringcentral.com/office/plansandpricing.html

8star2star.com/plans-and-bundles

9ringblaze.com/pricing