RingCentral manages your calls, saves money with VoIP

We take a look at RingCentral, a powerful and interesting call management service.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

While GrandCentral may have been stealing headlines lately, there's another suffix-sharing phone call management service called RingCentral that can make small businesses look and function like larger ones with some pretty neat telephonic tomfoolery. The service has been around since early 2004, and today is introducing a slew of VoIP plans called DigitalLine that give users the option to use VoIP instead of, or on top of their existing landlines.

So what can you do with RingCentral? Small business owners will love it, since you can set up a ridiculously extensive set of rules to handle incoming calls, or reroute them on the fly with a virtual phone call manager called SoftPhone. The idea is to take a single or multiline setup and spread it out intelligently, while putting all the options online for you to manage and tweak while away from your office.

Make and control calls on your desktop, be they analog or VoIP. CNET Networks

Like GrandCentral, you can set up calls to be routed to different phones or line extensions, there are also handy business-centric settings to tweak the response people get when they call at off-business hours. For fans of GrandCentral's multiphone ring system, RingCentral has also gone the extra step of letting you add three-digit passwords to an incoming phone call to keep unintended pickups from happening. This feature actually stemmed out of users wanting to keep their children from answering a business phone call when they had forgotten to turn off the home forwarding options off, or couldn't get to their own phone in time.

The new VoIP implementation is fairly straightforward. All incoming calls can be set to be received via VoIP, letting you receive and manage phone calls while away from your landline. You can also get various minute packages to use VoIP to make outgoing calls, including an all-you-can-eat plan of outgoing VoIP for around $25/month. In contrast to consumer VoIP services like Vonage, Skype, or Comcast's DigitalVoice, RingCentral isn't aiming at cheap outgoing long distance providers, as much as the multi-line business crowd who's looking for a way to handle several lines without the hardware or staffing.

For a shot of the call log interface, click the read more link below.

Listen to voice mails in your browser, and check out your call logs. If you want to call anyone back, you can now do so right from your computer with the DigitalLine VoIP service. CNET Networks