Grasshopper is one of the more popular VoIP service providers for small businesses. Like many other VoIP phone services, Grasshopper offers all the basic features needed for a business phone without the high price tag associated with traditional landline phone systems. However, the platform does have some limitations that Grasshopper alternatives do not.
Grasshopper has been around since 2003. Their business has managed to grow to thousands of users, but their customer base still mainly consists of small businesses that may be better off choosing a different VoIP provider. Even though Grasshopper is cheaper than landline phone systems, it’s still more costly than other VoIP services that offer the same amount (or even more) features.
Their features also don’t fully support the needs of modern small businesses and startups. For example, Grasshopper doesn’t integrate with leading services like Slack, Salesforce, HubSpot, and more. Many small businesses rely on integrations to manage their day-to-day processes, so not having them can affect how business is done.
In this post, we’ll go into the details of why Grasshopper is a good service, but why it may not meet the needs of modern businesses. We’ll also discuss Grasshopper alternatives that can give you the features you need.
Why Switch From Grasshopper?
Grasshopper is a popular choice for small businesses and startups because of word of mouth. When startup owners seek advice about phone systems, their networks often recommend Grasshopper because it’s been around so long.
However, Grasshopper isn’t meant to be used by growing startups. Grasshopper lacks the clear pricing and the key features startups need — including call recording, the ability to have shared phone numbers, and integrations with services like Slack, Gmail, and CRMs. Let’s look at why these features are crucial for your business and review Grasshopper’s prices.
Why You Need Call Recording
There are many reasons to record phone calls. You can use recorded business calls — including customer calls, sales calls, interviews, and more — with just one click when using some VoIP services. Small businesses and startups can benefit from call recording when they:
- Use recorded calls to train sales reps or customer support teams
- Record customer discovery calls to improve products, apps, or services
- Record interviews with other team leaders to use for blog or video content
- Keep records of client meetings to give updates and address any concerns if there’s miscommunication
As a small business owner, call recording for your business is vital to growth because you can use the recordings to find out what’s working and what can be improved. (Just make sure to legally record phone calls!)
Do you want to list a phone number on your website that can be picked up by anyone on your team? Do you want to set up a phone number that rings multiple people on the team? Or do you need a team member to answer calls on your behalf if you’re unavailable?
Whether it’s for sales, customer service, or operations, the ability to share a business phone number helps you shorten response times and work seamlessly with fellow team members. Some Grasshopper alternatives can help you collaborate on business communications with your team, delegate tasks, and stay up to speed easily.
On the flip side, Grasshopper requires the use of extensions. Even its second most expensive pricing plan, which includes three phone numbers and six extensions, is only recommended for businesses with three employees max.
Why Integrations Are Crucial
While Grasshopper offers a basic integration with Skype’s VoIP system for phone calls, it doesn’t offer any direct integrations with tools that many businesses use today.
For example, many small businesses and startups rely on Slack to manage their projects, get updates, manage internal communication, and more. By integrating Slack with your VoIP system, you can get text messages and voicemail transcriptions in Slack, so you don’t have to leave the platform to check your phone.
Similarly, Gmail (and Google Workspace) is a popular email hosting service for small businesses. Since you check your inbox every day, wouldn’t it be cool if you could get relevant voicemail transcripts and text messages there as well? By integrating Gmail with your VoIP service, you’ll receive voicemail transcripts and texts automatically via email. 📧
Some Grasshopper alternatives can even integrate with CRMs like HubSpot to give your team more context about your callers.
Grasshopper Pricing Is Confusing
Grasshopper currently charges $29 per month per phone number for its cheapest plan on a monthly basis. This plan offers one phone number and three extensions. If you’re a solo entrepreneur or sales rep looking to communicate with customers and prospects, you’ll be paying additional costs for features you won’t use. And when your team grows, your next option is the $49 per month plan, which offers three numbers and six extensions that you may not use.
Alternatives to Grasshopper can give you all the features you need starting at just $10 per month per user, so your virtual phone system can easily adapt to your needs.
5 Grasshopper Alternatives for Small Businesses and Startups
Many Grasshopper alternatives can offer better functionality for startups and small businesses without unnecessary costs. If you want a phone system that can best help you scale, consider these five options.
OpenPhone is a business phone built specifically for startups, small businesses, and individuals. To see how OpenPhone compares to Grasshopper, below is a table comparing OpenPhone and Grasshopper’s pricing and features:
|Price per month||$10 per user||$29 per number|
|Voicemail to text||✓||Included|
|Set business hours||✓||X|
|Additional phone numbers||$5 per number||$10 per number|
|Shared phone numbers||✓||X|
|IVR (phone menu)||✓||✓|
|CRM integration||Coming soon||X|
|iOS and Android apps||✓||✓|
In addition to these key differences that make OpenPhone an ideal Grasshopper alternative, OpenPhone offers some of the most-needed features for modern business phone systems, including:
- Dedicated customer support
- Unlimited calling and SMS
- Toll-free numbers and local numbers
- Support for U.S., Canada, and international calls
- Crystal-clear audio quality
- Mobile apps for iPhone and Android
- Browser-based and desktop apps
- Competitive pricing
- Multiple phone numbers tied to one account
- Shared phone numbers, call forwarding, and call routing
Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what businesses have to say about switching to OpenPhone:
“Grasshopper has a very antiquated interface online, and no feasible mobile option. I think there is an app, but it is more for admin than anything else. I like how well-designed the OpenPhone mobile and web apps are. You feel like you’re using a professional product made with care and attention to detail. I also love how easy it is to turn your number on and off from the app when you don’t want to receive calls. 10/10 recommend it to any entrepreneur.” — Misha Plotkine, CEO or Founder, TripElephant
“When we saw that OpenPhone had unlimited minutes vs. paying by the minute at Grasshopper, it seemed like the obvious choice. OpenPhone’s user interface and experience on both the web and the app was much more modern and intuitive, and the higher level and more personal customer support was much more in line with my expectations for this kind of company.” — John Godfrey, Creative Director, Chargefield
How To Switch and Port Your Number from Grasshopper
Want to port your number from Grasshopper to OpenPhone so you can keep the same phone number? The process is easy!
- Create an OpenPhone account.
- Fill out this 1-minute porting form.
- That’s it! We’ll take care of the rest.
Vonage‘s most basic plan — which mainly includes calling and messaging features — may not be the most feature-rich, but this Grasshopper alternative does ensure you’re not paying the price for features you won’t use. And with upgraded plans that are still significantly cheaper than Grasshopper’s higher-tier plans, you’ll get a number of unique and helpful features that Grasshopper doesn’t support. These include:
- Video conferencing
- CRM integrations
- Desk phone support
While Vonage does offer call recording, it’s only available on-demand. You’ll need to pay extra fees to use it (along with other key business phone features). And that’s on top of paying the base monthly cost of your plan, which will cost at least twice as much as OpenPhone. Here’s what you’ll end up paying with Vonage:
- Basic: $19.99 per line per month
- Premium: $29.99 per line per month
- Advanced: $39.99 per line per month
3. MiCloud Connect
Mitel’s MiCloud Connect is a business VoIP system built on Google Cloud that supports calls on both its apps and on desk phones. Its basic plan includes audio and video conferencing for up to eight, plus Google Workspace integrations. With a single upgrade, which is still cheaper than using Grasshopper, you can access:
- Outlook, Google Workspace, and CRM integrations
- Call recording (on-demand)
- Voicemail transcriptions
Just like Vonage, MiCloud Connect will be pretty fee-heavy if you need to use call recording a lot. And again, that’s on top of starting prices that are significantly higher than OpenPhone’s:
- Essentials: $20.99 per user per month
- Premier: $26.59 per user per month
- Elite: $38.49 per user per month
Though Nextiva is often used by enterprise-level businesses, it does offer plans that are more affordable than Grasshopper with many more features. This Grasshopper alternative can link mobile apps, desktop apps, and desk phones together, while supporting the following for less than the cost of a basic Grasshopper plan:
- Outlook and Google Contacts integrations
- CRM integrations
- Unlimited internet fax
- Unlimited video conferencing
Unfortunately, since Nextiva is often used by larger teams, it doesn’t support integrations with Gmail, which is heavily used by small businesses. It only integrates with Outlook. Nextiva also doesn’t connect with Slack. To integrate Nextiva with a similar tool (Microsoft Teams), you’ll need to upgrade from Essential or Professional to a costly Enterprise plan that’s over three times OpenPhone’s starting price.
- Essential: $18.95 per user per month
- Professional: $22.95 per user per month
- Enterprise: $32.95 per user per month
- Ultimate: $57.95 per user per month
Talkroute is a Grasshopper alternative that offers mobile, desktop, and web apps for your business calls and text messages. Though Talkroute can be pricey too, its higher-tier plans do cover the essential features (and more) that Grasshopper is missing for a similar price. These include:
- Call recording
- Custom integrations
- Scheduled and live call forwarding
The biggest downside of Talkroute is the fact that it, like Grasshopper, is not built for collaboration. Its Basic plan only allows for one user, and its next tier only allows for three (more logins means more fees). And unlike OpenPhone, Talkroute doesn’t offer the ability to chat with your team or see when they’re typing or on a call.
Here are Talkroute’s starting costs:
- Basic: $19 per month
- Plus: $39 per month
- Pro: $59 per month
- Enterprise: $99 per month
OpenPhone: The Best Grasshopper Alternative
If you’re looking for a Grasshopper alternative, look no further than OpenPhone. ✨ OpenPhone is the only phone system on this list to offer call recording, shared phone numbers, and key integrations without locking everything behind extra fees or enterprise-level plans. It’s also the most affordable option on this list — and you can test it out before you commit. Start your free trial of OpenPhone today.