Best VoIP Providers and Phones
A VoIP phone takes analog audio signals and converts them into digital ones, enabling voice and video communication through the internet.
As well as replacing the need for traditional phone lines, VoIP offers clearer call quality, and much cheaper (or even free) phone calls – even over a long distance or internationally.
VoIP offers computer software, smartphone apps, and (sometimes) dedicated VoIP phones in place of conventional telephone systems. This makes VoIP systems an ideal choice for business owners who are looking to cut call costs, make international calls more easily, or reduce the space and time needed to install landlines.
But what kinds of VoIP phones are out there? And which UK VoIP phone services provider should you choose for your business?
In this article, we’ll cover:
VoIP Providers: At-a-glance comparison
Whether you’re searching for providers that offer the best support, pricing, scalability, or more, we’ve profiled some of the top VoIP providers in the UK to help you choose. We take a look at their different offerings, highlighting the features, prices, and pros and cons of each.
|Provider||Best for||Price range|
|Datatel Networks||Support||Prices available on request|
|Gradwell Communications||Affordability||From £12 per user per month|
|Lily Communications||Ease of use||Prices available on request|
|Mitel Networks||Modernity||Prices available on request|
|8×8 Solutions||Scalability||Prices available on request|
To find out more, simply complete the form at the top of the page to compare quotes for telephone systems.
Tips for choosing the best VoIP provider for you
Our five top tips will help you find the best VoIP provider in the UK that matches your business’ needs:
- Support – what type of support is available, and how can you access it? For example, is assistance available 24/7? Is there any time difference to take into account?
- Range – how many products and services does the provider offer? Can it accommodate your business’ needs, both now and how you imagine your business to develop over time?
- Knowledge – how easy are the providers’ products to use? What level of technical know-how is required for setup, training and use?
- Price – does the provider offer products that suit your budget? At what level do they market their offering, e.g. budget, standard or premium?
- Reputation – is the provider reputable? Is it an established brand in the industry?
The best VoIP providers: A deep dive
1. Datatel Networks
Datatel Networks provides VoIP software called Horizon, and provides some of the best VoIP phones from manufacturers like Yealink, Cisco and Polycom.
That being said, the software portal is also accessible from mobile devices.
Using Datatel Networks’ Horizon system, you can:
- Use auto attendant to set up call routing
- Add personalised hold music
- Record calls for quality and auditing purposes
- Partake in conference calls
- Set up voicemail-to-email services, so you never miss a message
- Set up mobile twinning or ‘follow me’ capabilities, so you can continue making VoIP calls on your mobile
- Set up disaster recovery
- Enable remote working and hot desking
- Run a cohesive communications system across multiple offices (if you have them)
Along with the above, this VoIP phone system comes with CRM (customer relationship management) integration, enabling you to collate data from your customers, and keep them engaged and buying from you.
This system also enables automated call fraud protection, so you can feel safe in accepting and following up on the calls you receive.
Datatel Networks charges for phone calls with a fixed monthly charge – however, it does ask that you get in touch with the company in order to receive a custom quote based on your business’ needs.
Why Datatel Networks is best for support
Datatel offers three levels of customer care – Standard, Prompt or Total – depending on your subscription level. Each of these provides support, maintenance, and repairs to a high standard, with rigid timeframes set for the length of time responses should take.
Each service level provides fast responses to fault reports – even Standard Care promises to respond to reports by the end of the next working day. Meanwhile, the Total Care support line, which is open 24/7, promises that engineers will respond to urgent fault reports within just four hours.
Moreover, Datatel says its customers are always kept abreast of the progress of their fault reports, with regular updates.
Phone call charges on a monthly basis, with prices available on request.
2. Gradwell Communications
Gradwell Communications, also known as Gradwell, provides award-winning VoIP services to businesses of all sizes.
Gradwell provides three set VoIP packages, each of which comes with a free Yealink T19 VoIP phone per user. Each package also enables 16 handy features, including hunt groups, voicemail-to-email services, and queue capabilities.
The Gradwell VoIP package that’s right for you will depend on the size of your business, and the amount of phone calls you or your team will need to make:
- The Standard VoIP package. At £12 per user per month, this package is designed for sole traders, or small businesses that are just starting out. It comes with 500 landline minutes.
- The Plus VoIP package. At £16 per user per month, this package comes with everything a larger business – with multiple sites – will need to make VoIP calls. The plan includes 1,000 landline or mobile minutes.
- The Professional VoIP package. At £20 per user per month, this professional plan is designed for even larger businesses with multiple locations. It comes with 3,000 landline minutes and 1,000 mobile minutes.
The above packages are available on 24-month contracts. However, Gradwell also offers a bespoke plan called the ‘Enterprise’ VoIP package, which can be built to your business’ requirements on flexible contract terms.
For additional costs, you can choose from a range of bolt-ons to add to your Gradwell VoIP package. These include:
- Keeping your existing phone number instead of gaining a new one
- Call forwarding capabilities
- Call recording capabilities
- The ability to call international numbers at no additional charge
- Choosing a memorable phone number for your business
- Voicemail-to-text and voicemail-to-email services
- Fax-to-email and email-to-fax services
- Having your business’ number listed on the BT directory enquiries service
Why Gradwell Communications is best for affordability
With a focus on keeping costs low and providing its customers with excellent return on investment, Gradwell provides per-second billing (as opposed to per-minute billing) for both local and international calls.
This means that Gradwell’s call charges are as accurate as possible, and customers don’t end up paying for time that they haven’t used.
Gradwell offers a range of VoIP packages, starting at £12 per user per month.
3. Lily Communications
Supplying over 2,500 businesses across the UK, Lily Communications offers an award-winning VoIP communications system called Lily Horizon. As you might have guessed, this operates with the same Horizon software as Datatel Networks.
A complete VoIP phone system designed specifically for small businesses, the Lily Horizon package comes with easy-to-use VoIP software, accessible through a simple web portal. The package also provides:
- Management for both inbound and outbound calls
- Access to 24/7 support
- Mobile phone integration
…and plenty more!
Like many VoIP phone systems, Lily Horizon is fully hosted, meaning that it’s hosted in the cloud rather than in your business’ premises. This means you won’t lose any important settings or data should something happen to your computer hardware.
Why Lily Communications is best for ease of use
With one simple, comprehensive web portal, the Lily Horizon package makes it easy for you to manage your VoIP call settings and view performance and customer data on one easy-to-use platform.
Contact Lily Communications to request pricing information.
4. Mitel Networks
Often referred to as Mitel, Mitel Networks offers a number of VoIP communication systems for business operations.
For small businesses in particular, Mitel recommends its MiCloud Office system. Eschewing the traditional nine-to-five office setting, MiCloud Office was designed with today’s more mobile, flexible workforce in mind, and is – as Mitel says – primarily “millennial-focused”.
Designed for use through smartphone apps and PC softphones (rather than with hardware-based VoIP phones), MiCloud Office comes with a dazzling variety of features, including:
- Unlimited local and long-distance calling
- Call transfers, forwarding, recording, parking, and holding (with hold music)
- Caller ID for both inbound and outbound calls
- Business SMS
- Chats and group chats
- Real-time reporting and call analytics
- Conference bridge call-ins and outs
- A user portal
- Voicemail-to-email services
Impressively, MiCloud Office also enables integration with CRM (customer relationship management) apps, which can help you keep your regular customers happy, engaged, and buying from your business.
If you’d rather use a physical phone than a softphone, MiCloud Office also comes with ATA (analogue telephone adapter) compatibility, enabling you to easily convert your existing conventional phones into VoIP phones to be used with the MiCloud software.
Alongside MiCloud Office, you might also choose to purchase MiTeam – a smartphone platform designed to help remote team members collaborate, communicate, and view data in one place. This could be a great solution for you if your team is made up of freelancers, or staff who work from home.
Mitel Networks doesn’t provide a standardised pricing structure, and instead asks that you get in touch with the company to request a custom quote.
Why Mitel Networks is best for modernity
The UK workforce is enamoured with flexible working. More and more employees are either choosing to work from home, or vetoing traditional nine-to-five hours to work at times that suit them best (think parents with school runs and childcare to worry about).
With this in mind, MiCloud Office and MiTeam’s focus on mobile productivity is a forward-thinking one, enabling a modern, flexible approach to business.
Plus, with today’s smartphones becoming as clever and powerful as computers, the appeal of using them for work – instead of cumbersome desktops and laptops – is only going to get stronger.
Mitel offers custom quotes.
5. 8×8 Solutions
A leading provider of cloud communications and customer engagement technology, 8×8 serves businesses of all sizes – but has a special focus on setting small businesses up with VoIP systems.
8×8’s primary VoIP product is the X Series cloud-based solution: a full software system which not only incorporates VoIP voice calls, but also video chats, meeting dial-ins, and collaboration tools.
While X Series comes in four different plans, features from each can be mixed and matched to create the most useful package for you:
- X2: The basic, essential integrated communications package, including unlimited calling in 14 countries
- X3: Includes X2 features, plus operator switchboard, additional storage, and unlimited calling to 32 countries
- X5: All the features of the previous X series, plus tools designed to boost your business’ speed and efficiency
- X6: Offering contact centre capabilities, plus tools designed to improve the experience your customers have while communicating with you
Due to the customisable nature of 8×8’s X Series plans, the company does not present one-size-fits-all pricing, and instead asks that potential customers get in touch to discuss their needs and request a bespoke quote.
As well as X Series, 8×8 also provides a cloud-based virtual office system, so small businesses who don’t yet have a long-term, dedicated premises can keep in seamless contact with customers from any location.
NB: 8×8’s VoIP packages don’t come with any hardware, including desktop VoIP phones. These can, however, be bought separately from 8×8.
Why 8×8 is best for scalability
8×8 shows a particular dedication to scaling with your business. The company makes it easy for you to buy additional hardware-based VoIP phones as your team grows – if you choose to use VoIP phones instead of softphones, that is – and make changes to your package as needed.
Bespoke quotes are available from 8×8.
VoIP phones: At-a-glance comparison
With such an array of VoIP phones in the UK, how do you choose the best for your business? Here, we profile some of the top phones, including which are best for certain features and functions.
We offer a guide to the key elements of each phone, as well as what type of businesses its suited to, and how much you might expect to pay.
|Phone||Best for||Price range|
|Cisco 7940G||High call volumes||From £25|
|Avaya 1608||Manageable features||From £100|
|Bria 5||Software-only VoIP services||From $49.99|
|Grandstream DECT IP Phone||Cordless phones||From £40|
For more information, fill in the form at the top of the page to compare quotes for telephone systems.
Tips for choosing the best VoIP phone for you
As your phones are likely to play a key part in your business’ communications on a daily basis, it’s worth considering which factors are key for you when choosing a device. This could include:
- Call volume – how many calls does your business make and receive each day? For example, a recruitment company is likely to need phones that can facilitate a high volume of calls.
- Flexibility – does your business require only set, standard features, or are you looking for phones that can provide custom functions?
- Phone types – will you need the physical phones themselves, or is a softphone application more suitable to your business’ operations?
- Movement – if you plan to use the phones on-the-go, such as with a headset on a sales floor, consider the merits of a cordless phone versus a corded one
The best VoIP phones: A deep dive
In this section, we take a closer look into some of the best VoIP phones out there.
The Cisco 7940G was designed to handle a high volume of calls. It offers superb sound quality, plus high-quality, hands-free speakerphone capability, a built-in headset jack, a large pixel-based display, and access to at least two telephone lines.
With the range of features included and the low price combined, this is an excellent option for modern businesses.
Who is the Cisco 7940G best for?
The Cisco 7940G is best for business users with high call volumes.
Prices for the Cisco 7940G start from £25.
Avaya’s 1608 deskphone combines the traditional features of VoIP phone systems with additional functionality. It's part of Avaya’s 1600 series, which is aimed at the budget-conscious buyer.
It features easy-to-use and familiar functions, such as fixed keys for transferring, holding, or muting calls. Plus, the Avaya 1608 offers eight manageable feature buttons and an integrated headset jack, allowing hands-free calling and communication.
Who is the Avaya 1608 best for?
The phone is best for business users wanting a simple VoIP phone with some manageable elements.
The Avaya 1608 can be bought from approximately £100.
Available for Windows and Mac, and across multiple platforms (desktop, mobile, tablet), the Bria 5 is a softphone application.
Its features include HD voice and 1080p video calling, as well as the ability to instant message and share files within Bria.
Bria 5 offers standard telephony features, including speakerphone, three-way calls, forwarding, and hold. Plus, it’s possible to hide your ID for calling, as well as be alerted to missed calls using the indicator.
Who is the Bria 5 phone best for?
As Bria 5 is a softphone application, it’s ideal for businesses that don’t want or need a physical phone.
The Bria 5 softphone application is available to buy from $49.99.
Grandstream DECT IP Phone
Designed to be used away from desks, up to five of these affordable cordless phones can be linked to a single DECT hub (the DP 750).
Each handset can support up to 10 SIP accounts. The Grandstream DP720 DECT phone has a 300-metre outdoor range, and a 50-metre indoor range. This is an excellent choice for any modern business in need of a quality communications system.
Who are Grandstream DECT IP Phones best for?
These phones are best for businesses wanting cordless VoIP phones.
The Grandstream DP720 DECT IP Phone is available from around £40.
Benefits of VoIP for small businesses
PC-based VoIP uses a software application on your PC to organise calls and pipe your voice across the internet. The major features of this kind of service typically include:
- The ability to view whether your contacts are online
- Text messaging and file exchange systems
- The ability to quickly and freely set up teleconferences
- Low or free subscription rates, and the ability to talk to other users free of charge
- Some providers are currently offering or trialling video services
Calls to conventional telephones attract charges, although these are considerably lower than those of normal providers – especially for international calls.
The main advantage of VoIP is the low start-up cost. If you already have a relatively new PC and a broadband internet connection, chances are you already have the required equipment.
The VoIP application or program is free, and if you have several people with similar setups whom you call regularly, the savings could really rack up.
Next steps: Compare VoIP providers and phones
At this stage, you’ve learned more about VoIP phone systems, and gained insight into the different products and providers available.
We’ve profiled the pros and cons, features, and prices that you can expect from a range of phones and providers, including the best products and VoIP UK providers. Plus, we’ve offered tips on how to choose the ones that are most suited to your business’ needs, and what the potential benefits could be.
For more information related to your business specifically, simply fill in the form at the top of the page to compare quotes for telephone systems now – it’s easy, free, and quick.
VoIP: The FAQs
1. How do VoIP phone systems work?
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones send voices as data through an internet connection.
This is either through hardware and a connection to a VoIP server, or using software that’s installed onto your computer or as an app on your smartphone.
Our ‘what is VoIP?’ page has more detailed information on how the systems work.
2. What are UK VoIP numbers?
It’s possible to have a dedicated virtual phone number for your VoIP service. Although not linked to a particular device, a VoIP number could be used and called in the same way as a regular UK phone number.
There are a range of different types of phone numbers to choose from, although 056 numbers are used specifically for internet-based telephone communications.
Learn more with our guide to business phone numbers.