Best cloud phone system and PBX of 2024

The best cloud phone systems make it simple and easy to set up and manage a fully-featured software PBX system, for a fraction of the cost of a hardware platform.

Best cloud phone system and PBX of 2024: quick menu

Even small businesses can now have the software equivalent of a hardware-based PBX phone system, traditionally used by big enterprises, but for only a fraction of the cost.

Even better, modern cloud-based phone systems work not just with the office phone system but also with employee smartphones. On top of all this, because they run VoIPcalls through software, they can offer not only a cheaper general phone service but also deliver a rich range of additional features, such as software integrations and analytics, helping with KPI's for productivity

The result is that a small business now have access to cloud-based phone services that can provide a wide range of advanced features, from Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) - for managing calls, messaging, and video conferencing - to cloud-based Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) services, all running on the same platform.

Overall, the digital transformation of the telecoms industry has vastly improved the range and accessibility of phone services for business. 

Below we'll feature the best cloud phone systems currently available.

We've also featured the best VoIP service for home.

Reader Offer: Save up to 33% on annual plans

Reader Offer: Save up to 33% on annual plans
RingCentral MVP is a strong cloud-based solution for organizing all business communications, from voice calls to team chat. It has a wide range of software integration and strong security.

Preferred partner (What does this mean?) 

Reader Offer: Free quote

Reader Offer: Free quote
GoToConnect combines flexible VoIP and messaging with GoToMeeting video conferencing software. It offers excellent call routing control and reporting features and enables the use of over 180 hardware calling devices.

Preferred partner (What does this mean?)

Reader Offer: Free quote

Reader Offer: Free quote
Aircall's customizability and ease of use make it a worthy solution for consideration. The integrations also make it ideal for call centers and other departments looking to improve their communications. 

Preferred partner (What does this mean?)

The best cloud phone system and PBX of 2024 in full:

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Best for medium sized businesses

(Image credit: Nextiva)
An affordable modern phone system service

Reasons to buy

All plans come with 24/7 live support
A nice range of features and services
Flexible pricing

Nextiva is a phone system service with various options and products, but perhaps the most important tool for you is the VoIP-based hosted PBX solution that helps move your business phone service to the cloud.

The cloud pricing differs from the usual one, as in this case there are only two plans, Professional and Enterprise. The professional plan gives you unlimited calling within the US and Canada. In addition to that, you also get a free local and toll-free number, a top-rated mobile app, video and audio meetings, and team collaboration. The pricing changes depending on the number of users and the length of your subscription. 

The Enterprise plan gives you everything in the previous one with some additional goodies. These include business integrations, real-time voice analytics, and call recording.

The service does have more features than listed in their plans, such as online faxing for instance. Also, worth mentioning is that both plans come with 24/7 live customer support.

Read our full Nextiva review.

Best overall

(Image credit: RingCentral)
The best cloud phone system

Reasons to buy

Collaboration platform
Unlimited calling
Comprehensive features
Advanced options

RingCentral provides a cloud-based communications and collaboration platform for businesses of all sizes. The solution includes all PBX administration functions, Android and iOS apps and unlimited calling.

There is a comprehensive set of features included as standard, including call logging, monitoring, recording, and online faxing. It also offers HD voice and audio conferencing through mobile devices, as well as team collaboration through screen sharing and HD video for both tasks as well as video conferencing.

There are also options for expanding more advanced features such as UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS to cover all aspects of communications. There's also a developer platform available to ensure that your service offers all of the features and connections you might ever imagine you need. And yet, all of these are available at a price affordable for small businesses.

RingCentral offers several pricing tiers. All plans include unlimited phone calls, unlimited business SMS and mobile apps. They also offer unlimited video and audio meetings with screen sharing on both the desktop and mobile apps. However, the number of screen-sharing users is limited by the package you choose.

For enterprise business, subscribers can request a demo and a quote by filling out a form on the website.

Read our full RingCentral review.

Best budget

(Image credit: 8x8)
The transformative cloud phone system

Reasons to buy

Mobile apps
Good customer support
Accessible pricing

8x8 offers a feature-packed bundle that means even with the most basic plan, you still have a comprehensive set of services as you'd expect with a full-blown business PBX system.

There's a comprehensive range of features in the starter 8x8 Express plan, which offers basic functionality for small businesses and start-ups, including all aspects of call handling, auto-attendant, as well as audio and video conferencing with screen sharing supported. Team messaging and SMS is also included, as is voicemail services which includes voicemail transcriptions. Integrations include Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.

The X2 plan adds Single Sign On (SSO), along with integrations for Okta, call recordings, and unlimited fax. After that, the X Series X4 plan adds an operator switchboard, analytics, and call quality reporting, as well as extending unlimited calling from 14 to 47 countries. There are more advanced X6 and X8 plans aimed at enterprise use.

Read our full 8x8 X Series review.

Best all-rounder

(Image credit: GoToConnect)
The best accessible VoIP provider

Reasons to buy

End-to-end encryption
Same features for each tier
CRM integration

GoToConnect represents the merger of LogMeIn's Jive VoIP platform and their GoTo conferencing platform into a single service offering that provides a comprehensive range of options.

General features include custom call routing, team-based call distribution, as well as time-based and geolocation routing to ensure that calls are picked up fast. Screen sharing and personal meeting rooms are a standard part of the package, and users can easily join in with a single click rather than wait around or have to generate a PIN.

What's even better is that rather than have differently priced plan levels with an increasing range of unlocked features, GoToConnect has a single pricing system based on the number of users. This could be especially welcome to small and medium-sized businesses who can enjoy all of the same features as an enterprise would, but without having to pay extra for the privilege.

Altogether, GoToConnect advertises itself as a unified communications and collaboration platform, that will surely work well for a lot of business set ups.

Read our full GoToConnect review.

Best with CRM

(Image credit: Aircall)
VoIP call center and CRM solution

Reasons to buy

Strong focus on CRM
Easy call center setup
Lots of integrations

Aircall is another cloud-hosted phone solution, which can be set up with just a few clicks. This then provides your business with a complete communications center for calls, video, and messaging from the web, desktop, or mobile. 

Aircall also includes a wide range of CRM, helpdesk, and productivity functions, to help improve how your sales and support teams handle calls, not least in terms of transferring them as well as approaching customers. And, as expected, there's an analytics suite to help gauge efficiency and track KPIs in workflows and look for ways to improve them.

Because of this, Aircall also provides a large number of integrations, such as for SalesForce, Zendesk, Hubspot, Zoho, Freshdesk, and Slack. However, note that a minimum of three users is required to operate this service.

Overall, Aircall provides excellent functionality with a low cost cloud phone system that's easy to use and accessible for small businesses as well as enterprises.

Read our full Aircall review.

Best affordable

(Image credit: Ooma)
Best affordable cloud phone system

Reasons to buy

Easy to set up
Great value
Virtual receptionist

Reasons to avoid

Mobile apps have some flaws

Ooma Office is a cloud-based phone service that presents itself as a big business phone experience to small businesses, and is priced very well in this respect.

Ooma Office gives you all the core features you would expect, plus some more advanced functions like a virtual receptionist that allows for calls to be automatically directed to the right department.

Subscribers also benefit from hold and transfer music, and Ooma provides mobile apps for iOS and Android, so you can set up capabilities such as call forwarding, enabling calls to be sent from your desk phone to your mobile when you’re out and about. That said, some of the online feedback about the mobile apps isn’t great, so bear that in mind.

Generally speaking, though, Ooma gives you a lot of functionality for a relatively modest outlay. There’s no fuss – you get all the features with that one subscription plan – and what’s more the system is easy to set up and get going with.

Naturally, you don’t get everything compared to the feature-sets of the more costly rivals out there, and the most notable missing piece of the puzzle is a lack of CRM software integrations.

Read our full Ooma Office review.

Best with AI

(Image credit: Dialpad)
The innovative cloud phone system

Reasons to buy

Full service PBX
Soft phone apps
AI contact center

Dialpad has built its phone service for the cloud from the ground up, which means you avoid the issues that legacy providers have traditionally suffered from when trying to backward engineer their services.

Dialpad provides all the features you'd expect from a business phone system, such as voice, video, and messaging options, which can run from your existing devices using soft phone apps, and there are also options for automation, web conferencing, and an AI-powered call center platform.

Dialpad also advertises its Voice Intelligence feature, which uses AI to support human users through a combination of speech recognition, natural language processing, machine learning, and real-time coaching. This allows transcripts and analytics to be automatically for all calls, making it easier to better learn and understand your business workflows and customer experiences.

Overall, Dialpad offers a full-service cloud PBX platform for business users. Set up takes only a few minutes, and there's a 14-day free trial available.

Read our full Dialpad review.

Best for enterprises

(Image credit: Avaya)
Enterprise cloud phone system

Reasons to buy

Strong suite of features
Unified Communications
Configurable options

Avaya aims to create a truly scalable solution using whichever cloud solution you're most comfortable with. For small and medium-sized businesses that are happy to rely on third-party suppliers, Avaya can easily run through a public cloud, meaning that you receive continuous service and don't have to concern yourself with software upgrades or IT buy-ins.

Of course, Avaya is more than just calls, and as a unified communications solution it means integrating all communications channels into a single system.

While the product name may have changed, Avaya have a solid track record in their expanded VoIP and UC service provisions, and the sheer scalability of the OneCloud solution has to be attractive, especially for enterprises.

Read our full Avaya review.

Best for small business

(Image credit: Grasshopper)
An amazing range of features with excellent app integration

Reasons to buy

Excellent features
Skype integration
Mobile apps

Grasshopper offers a comprehensive cloud phone service platform for small businesses across North America.

The solution needs no hardware and is easy to setup. It is a virtual phone system. All calls are answered by an automated phone assistant, which then forwards them to the relevant person or department. Users can create a unique vanity 800 number upon registration. Grasshopper integrates with Skype, LiveChat, Google Voice, Zapier and Bitium.

Grasshopper has an app for both Android and iOS. Users will be able to receive calls through their business line from the app. The cheapest plan includes 1 number and 3 extensions. Additional plans offer additional numbers and extensions.

All plans offer business texting, online fax, call forwarding, custom greetings, Wi-Fi calls, desktop, mobile apps and unlimited minutes.

Read our full Grasshopper review.

We've also featured the best VoIP phones.

Cloud phone system FAQs

Which cloud phone system is best for you?

When deciding which of the best cloud phone systems to use, first consider what actual needs you have. For example, someone simply wanting to talk to a handful of people on a casual basis may find a cheaper option is the most cost-effective while providing all of the necessary tools that would be required. However, if you're planning to use a cloud phone system for professional or business purposes, especially with a large number of people and on a regular basis, then you will probably want to look to the higher-end options for the more advanced tools that are included.

How we tested the best cloud phone system

To test for the best cloud phone systems we searched for a range of popular options as well as took recommendations from people we know who use cloud phone systems regularly. We then tried each platform to see how user-friendly each was, as well as determine what range of tools and advanced options were available. Pricing also came into account when determining our best list.

Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar.  

Get in touch

  • You've reached the end of the page. Jump back up to the top ^
Brian Turner

Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences. His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.