Do you have friends or family who live outside of the country? Are you planning a business trip abroad? Then, using a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service may be what you need.
It’s what it sounds like: the technology lets people voice call via broadband internet - eg. IP - connections instead of needing traditional (or analog) phone lines.
Our Top Picks of Best VoIP Providers (UK) 🌎
We’ve crunched some of the internet’s mission-critical data to speedily bring you this guide - but overall it will come down to your awareness of which of these top-performing VoIP providers best applies to you. First -
How the leading VoIP providers work at a glance:
- Some VoIP services may only allow you to call other people using the same service.
- 📞 Others may allow you to call anyone who has a telephone number - including local, long distance, mobile, and international numbers.
- Also, some VoIP services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone.
- ☎️ Other services allow you to use a traditional phone connected to a VoIP adapter.
1. 4Com Review – Best VoIP Provider Overall
4Com began operations in 2001 when it was founded by John Kunasch and Donald L. Brown, who were veterans of the telecom industry.
The company was initially based in Kankakee, Illinois, founded on the principles of providing quality services at affordable prices. In fact, the company's tagline was "Quality at Affordable Rates."
With over 15 years under its belt, the company became a great success in the VoIP market. However, it was not without its growing pains. In fact, in 2014, the company filed for bankruptcy. The team behind 4Com quickly got things back on track and were able to pay off debt in just a few months with the help of a corporate investor.
How It Works
4Com uses VoIP technology, which isn’t all-to dissimilar to how virtual private servers work, to allow businesses to communicate with customers and employees on a 24/7 basis. These calls are made via a digital network, which allows the call to be routed through a server and end with a series of tones.
This means that the calls made using 4Com’s services don’t require a phone line or a dedicated IP address. As such, the calls are completely secure and private and don’t require the use of public phone lines. However, as businesses often need to make emergency calls, 4Com also offers an “Emergency Call Service'' that allows users to place a patchy or unscheduled call.
All calls made using 4Com’s VoIP service are charged at a flat rate of £0.0050 per minute. However, there are different fees that apply depending on the destination and the duration of the call.
What Are Its Main Features?
- ☑️ Fully managed service: No need for any technical know-how or phone equipment. All you need is a computer or an Internet-enabled device to make and receive calls.
- ☑️ Call forwarding: Forward all your calls to another number. - Online/desktop attendant: Use an online/desktop attendant to answer your calls, schedule appointments, and send messages.
- ☑️ 3-way call: Create a three-way call where one person speaks and the other listens to their conversation.
- ☑️ Call recording: Record all your calls and play them back at any time.
- ☑️ Number portability: Transfer or change your phone number at any time.
- ☑️ Cost per click: Purchase a click to place a call or send a message to the recipient.
2. Lily Comms Review – Best for Cost
Lily Comms is a low-cost, no-nonsense VoIP service provider.
It is perhaps the cheapest provider on our list but that does not mean it is necessarily a bad company.
Although its pricing may seem cheap, most of these services are bundled together in order to offer an appealing and inexpensive plan. For example, you will get cheap international calls and 20MB of cloud space with every plan.
You can sign up right away without paying anything upfront. If you want to learn more about this provider, keep reading our detailed review below. Read on for information about pricing, features, supported devices, customer support and more.
Lily Comms has been around since 2016 and is based in India. The company was founded by Apurva Acharya who, at the time, was studying at Columbia University. After graduation, he worked at Wall Street, but his passion for telecommunications led him to India.
Here, he started Lily Comms with a few friends based in Noida and Delhi. The idea was to create a low-cost, reliable and affordable VoIP service for all Indians. The service launched in 2016 and quickly gained popularity. In 2018, Lily Comms was acquired by Nubank, making it one of the most popular and reliable VoIP services in India.
How It Works
Lily Comms offers both residential and business VoIP plans. You can choose to either get 100MB of cloud storage free with your plan or opt for a paid plan with 500MB of cloud storage. You can also get 20 free international calls with every plan.
You can use your account to make calls to any mobile or landline number, both within India and to any number outside the country.
Calls to mobile and landline numbers within the country can be made using cheap local rates, while calls to international numbers cost more. For example, calls to mobile numbers can be as low as 1p/minute while calls to landlines cost up to 11p/minute.
You can also make calls across LTE and 3G/2G networks without any issues. Calls can be made using an app or by using the website’s interface.
There are no recurring payments with the company’s VoIP plans. You only have to pay for the voice minutes you use. There are no long-term contracts or other commitments when signing up for the service.
Once you have signed up, you will be able to keep the account for as long as you want. The minimum contract term is one month. In case you want to cancel your subscription before the end of the month, there is a 15% cancellation fee.
What Are Its Main Features?
- ☑️ Free international calling: You can make free international calls to 10 countries. The service supports more than 40 languages, so you can easily make calls to any country in the world.
- ☑️ Free cloud storage: Get 500MB of cloud storage with every plan. You can use this storage to store files or videos.
- ☑️ Cheap calls: You can make cheap calls to mobile and landline numbers in India and to international numbers.
- ☑️ Many features: The service has many additional features that you can enjoy when you sign up for a plan.
- ☑️ Accounts with other apps: You can link your Lily Comms account to several other services and apps to make them easier to use
3. Vonage Review – Best for Reputability
Vonage has been around for decades, and it’s grown to be one of the world’s most recognizable telecommunication brands.
It is well known for offering quality phone services at low prices with friendly customer service.
Vonage services are available in many countries, allowing you to make cheap international calls.
Vonage was started in 1995 as a division of WorldCom. The company was later sold to Symantec. In 2010, it was acquired by private equity firm, Audax Group, which renamed the company Vonage Holdings. The company was then bought by ACM Equity Partners in 2014, who renamed it Vonage. The telephone service began in 1995 when WorldCom decided to enter the telecommunications business.
The company formed a division called Vonage under WorldCom’s Advanced Telecommunications Group (ATG) division. The division was focused on making VOIP - or Voice over Internet Protocol - calls. By the year 2000, Vonage had launched its first product, Vonage Virtual Private Network (VPN) Service, which is notable even though it does not rank as one of our best VPNs.
How It Works
Vonage offers phone plans that provide a service called “iMo”. The iMo service enables you to “immerse yourself” in the sound of your phone calls by providing the best quality of sound. If you are making a call on your Vonage phone, the call is encrypted and transmitted to Vonage’s servers. The Vonage servers then route the call to the recipient’s phone, which then receives an encrypted sound.
What’s more, it’s free! Vonage offers a variety of phone plans and options. Plans are available at different price points, and they provide different number of minutes and connection speeds. To choose the right plan, you have to consider your calling needs and requirements. For example, if you are a heavy user, then you can opt for a higher-priced plan with higher monthly rates and high connection speeds.
On the other hand, if you have a business that relies heavily on phone communication, then you can opt for a cheaper plan with less calling minutes and low connection speeds.
Vonage may sound like a really good deal, but it’s important to know the fees that you’ll be charged. Vonage currently has tiered pricing for all of its plans. For example, the basic plan starts at £16 per month with 500 minutes of calling.
The next plan is the £24.65 per month plan with 1000 minutes of calling. The £32 per month plan is the most expensive with 5000 minutes of calling. Once you select the plan that you want, it’s important to keep in mind the fees that you’ll be charged.
If you were to select the basic plan for around £16 per month, then you’ll be charged an additional £1.60 per month for the gateway fee. Similarly, if you were to select the most expensive plan, you’ll be paying £16 per month plus around £4 per month surcharge for the gateway fee. It’s important to know these fees. Otherwise, you’ll be paying more than you need to.
What Are Its Main Features?
- ☑️ Free International Long Distance Calling: Not all telecommunication providers offer free international long distance calling. The calling feature helps you save a lot of money. You can make as many international calls as you want as long as the calls don’t go through your local phone.
- ☑️ Voicemail: You can set up your voice mail account with Vonage. You can view your voicemail and listen to the messages by calling your Vonage phone number. You’ll be prompted to enter your password to listen to your voicemail.
- ☑️ Three-Way Calling: With three-way calling, you can dial another number and have the recipient dial back to your number.
- ☑️ Call Forwarding: You can set up call forwarding on your Vonage phone. When you call another number, the call will be forwarded to your phone number or vice versa. You can set call forwarding to be automatically enabled or disabled.
- ☑️ Speed Test: You can use the speed test to check your internet connection. The test will help you determine the download and upload speeds while you are on the internet.
- ☑️ Remote Access: You can use Vonage to remotely access your device. This can be useful if your device is locked or you want to check your device when you don’t have an internet connection.
- ☑️ Home Phone Security: Vonage provides you with a number of features to help protect your home phone security. For example, the voicemail transcription feature will allow you to hear each voicemail message as soon as it is left in your voicemail.
4. Berry Review – Best for Device Compatibility
If you're looking for a reliable, affordable and user-friendly voip provider, then look no further than Berry.
The company (NASDAQ: BRY) provides excellent value through its competitive rates, customer service and reliability. It's easy to sign up with them as well.
Berry is one of the UK’s leading providers of telephone and video on demand (VoD) services. This means that you can use it for both landline and mobile plans. It also offers Internet calling by virtue of its Voice over IP product.
How It Works
Berry offers both landline and mobile telephony services. It also offers a variety of broadband and internet packages. You can choose between a number of different packages, depending on your needs and preferences.
All of Berry’s services are available through its website, app or over the phone. You can also use it on your computer or device. You can choose between a range of calling and messaging plans. The basic plans are available at low prices and are ideal for non-business and domestic use.
You can also choose from more expensive plans, if you need extra features and services. For example, you can get a plan with better value minutes. All of Berry’s services are available online or over the phone.
There are no set-up fees, or monthly rental charges. You simply pay for what you use. If you make long-distance calls, you’ll be charged at standard international rates. For example, if you call the US, you’ll be charged at around £1 per minute. However, if you call the UK, you’ll be charged at around £1.04 per minute. If you want to send and receive emails, you can get a £2.50 monthly allowance.
If you send and receive more than this, you’ll be charged at £1 per email, per 200 emails. Berry’s cheapest monthly rate is £4.95 for a bundle of 300 minutes and 300 texts. This includes 100 minutes to the US and 100 minutes to the UK.
The most expensive rate is £29.95 per month for a 1,000-minute bundle, with an unlimited quota. This is a good option if you want to make a lot of calls, either internationally or domestically.
What Are Its Main Features?
- ☑️ Low call rates: At the low end, you can get a 300-minute bundle to the US and UK for only £4.95 per month. Alternatively, you can get a 1000-minute bundle with unlimited calling and texts to the UK.
- ☑️ Unlimited call minutes and texts: For those who want to make lots of local and/or international calls with their new phone service, Berry offers an unlimited amount of call time, as well as unlimited texts.
- ☑️ Email storage and forwarding: You can get 500MB of storage for your emails and you can forward your emails to any email address. This is a good option if your email provider charges you for every email you send.
- ☑️ Device setup and provisioning: You can get your new phone number setup within 24 hours, either through the website or app.
5. RingCentral Review – Best for Unlimited Calls
The RingCentral VoIP service is available only in the UK, but it’s a great service.
With this provider, you get a lot of features at an affordable price. If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to Google Hangouts and Microsoft Skype, then RingCentral VoIP is worth your time. Let’s take a look at all the details.
RingCentral was founded in 2008, and they’ve been around since the start of the VOIP era. They’ve been one of the biggest competitors in the VOIP market, and they’ve added a ton of features over the years. Over time, they’ve proven to be an incredibly reliable and competitive service. They now offer a range of plans, which are all suited to different needs. The average cost for a customer is about £1.50 per minute.
How It Works
There are two main connections you need to make with RingCentral: one with the customer and one with your team. For the customer, you need to connect with a router. So, you can either get an existing router and use that, or you can get a router that’s specifically made for VOIP.
The next thing you need to do is get a phone as an extension to your router that’s connected to the RingCentral service. Your phone doesn’t need to be a high-end phone. The phone itself doesn’t matter as long as it’s compatible with VOIP.
The last thing you need is a computer or phone app that’s compatible with the RingCentral service. For example, you can use Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari on your computer.
The monthly cost of the service is just under a tenner per user, or you can get a £246/month discount if you sign up for three years. There are also additional charges for international calls. You can get a monthly plan for as little as £2.20 and a yearly plan for as little as £9.20.
RingCentral provides unlimited domestic and international calls to 10 different countries, including the UK, Canada, and Australia. There are also a range of additional countries available on an as-needed basis. RingCentral also offers integrated call analytics and a helpline to make sure your business is running smoothly.
What Are Its Main Features?
With RingCentral, you’ll get a range of features and a customizable experience. You can connect with up to 9 devices at a time. You’ll also get video, voice, and SMS support. RingCentral supports VoIP phone calls, video calls, and audio messaging. You can connect your computer or phone to the RingCentral service and use it for your team.
These computer-based calls will work the same as your phone calls. You can also add RingCentral to your Google Voice account for unlimited call forwarding. You can also set up auto-attendants and voicemail. RingCentral also offers call forwarding, caller ID, call recording, and call waiting. And also use it for conference calls, and it’s easy to set up.
Control your meeting calls with the click of a button.
Before you select your perfect VoIP providers UK company from our above review, let’s cover more background essentials.
To Start With - What is VoIP?
For those who are new to the whole world of voice over internet protocol, you might be wondering if it has anything to do with the internet. The answer is yes, both are related.
Voice over IP is not just phone calls that are sent through the internet in “uncensored” countries, it's voice calls that use the internet to transfer the sound signal between two parties.
VoIP is basically using our existing phone lines to send and receive calls over the internet. This is a great way to stay in touch with loved ones while they are overseas, or to do business with people who live in another country.
VoIP is different from regular phone services in several ways. First, it uses your existing phone wiring rather than dedicated lines or lines in the cloud. Second, it does not use a dial tone, and so you must have an internet connection to use it. Third, the sound quality is lower than what you get from a landline phone.
How VoIP Works
In order to use VoIP, you need a domestic or international phone line and an internet connection. Calls are placed using SIP and routed over an IP network. Voice-over-IP is an electronic method of transmitting sound through computer networks. The sound is digitised and then converted into an analog wave for transmission. This process is called digitalization.
The voice is then converted back into digital format for reception by the other person’s phone. Similarly, the other person’s phone converts the analog wave back into digital format for transmission. This process is called demodulation. You can see that the VoIP system relies on computer-to-computer transmission of sound.
Why Should You Use VoIP?
☑️ Stay in touch with loved ones while they are overseas.
☑️ Protect your personal information and keep your online activities private.
☑️ Combinatively, you can use a virtual private network to connect to the internet when you’re out of the country.
Best VoIP Providers 📒 – FAQs
Types of VoIP Services
Traditional Phone Line: VoIP services make use of your existing phone lines. You just need to purchase a standard telephone that you can use with your new VoIP service.
VoIP Service as a Service: This is another type of VoIP that uses the cloud. You don’t have to own any equipment to sign up for this type of service, but the price can vary. You can pay per second, per minute, or per month, depending on which provider you choose.
Satellite Phone: This offers high-quality calls for a price. You will have to have a satellite phone system in place in order to use it. You need to be in a specific area, such as the 34th to 40th degree orbit, to use this service.