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FreePBX Review and Top Alternatives 2019

free pbx provider review

Looking for an in-depth review of FreePBX with a features and pricing comparison with top competitors? It’s good to weigh all your options before choosing providers, so to help you find the best virtual phone number provider for your business, we’ve created this FreePBX review and pricing comparison. We know you want a reliable PBX provider that delivers consistency, flexibility, easy of use, and takes care of your needs for the most reasonable price possible.

We want that for you too. That’s why we made your search easier by reviewing FreePBX and compiling a list of the top alternatives. Every company on this list has been around for a meaningful period and proven they can handle a range of business communication needs. Sure, we’re confident that AVOXI’s Cloud PBX system delivers an exceptional value at the most competitive rates. But there are plenty of great options out there, and we want you to feel like you made a well-informed decision no matter which service you choose.

In this article, you’ll find:

 

FreePBX is a web-based open source GUI (graphical user interface) that manages Asterisk, an open source communication server. In simple terms, FreePBX providers users with an interface to manage their PBX, as opposed to using Asterisk to build your own interface and phone system.

FreePBX appeals to many because it is free to download, however it needs much time and technical expertise to configure and maintain. Additionally, FreePBX must be integrated with an ISTP (Internet Telephony Service Provider) in order to start making calls. An ITSP provides SIP which connects to the PBX and provides a phone number as well as inbound and outbound calling at varying rates.

FreePBX Features Overview

FreePBX comes with a variety of features, broken into the following subgroups: business, calling, support, administration, and user control. All the features listed below are “out of the box”, ready to use and configure upon downloading FreePBX.

Business Features

  • Calling Queues (ACD)
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • Unlimited extensions
  • Conference Bridge
  • Fax to E-mail
  • Ring Groups
  • Music on Hold
  • Calendar with third party integration
  • Voicemail Blasting
  • Find Me / Follow Me Calling
  • Wake Up Calls
  • Support for Video Calling
  • Secure Communications (SRTP/TLS)
  • Announcements
  • Text to Speech

Calling Features

  • Three-Way Calling Support
  • Voicemail
  • Voicemail to E-mail
  • Caller ID Support
  • Call Transfer
  • Call Recording
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Call Waiting
  • Call History/Call Detail Records
  • Call Event Logging
  • Speed Dials
  • Caller Blacklisting
  • Call Screening

Telephony Support

  • Open Standards Support for Multiple Protocols
  • SIP, PJSIP, IAX2
  • PRI, T1, E1, J1, R2, POTS/Analog, ISDN, GSM
  • WebRTC
  • Softphone Support
  • Specialty Device Support
    • Door Phones
    • Overhead Paging
    • Strobe Alerts
    • Paging Gateways
    • Voice Gateways
    • Failover Devices
  • Desktop/Mobile Phone Support21-day free trial of SIPStation sip trunking

Administration

  • System Upgrade from webgui
  • Bulk Import Utilities (Trunks, Extensions, Users, DIDs)
  • Localization in both GUI and Sound Files for Multiple Languages
  • Backup and Restore Utilities
  • Custom Destination Administration
  • Web-based Config File Management When Needed
  • System Recording Management
  • GUI Controls for DNS, Network Settings, and More!

User Control Panel

  • Supported on Desktop, tablet and mobile devices
  • Widgets to customize popular features
  • WebRTC Softphone
  • Call History (Details and Recording Playback / Download)
  • Contact Management
  • Presence Management
  • Conference Room Management
  • Settings Management
  • Find Me / Follow Me
  • Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, Do Not Disturb
  • Call Confirmation
  • Voicemail
  • Visual Voicemail – Playback and Management
  • Notification Options
  • Greetings Management

FreePBX Pricing

As its name suggests, FreePBX’s software features are free to download, configure, and use --however, there are several costs that will incur before you can start using your phone system. To be able to make calls with FreePBX, you will need to select your own SIP trunk provider, so while FreePBX's core features are technically free, you will have to pay a provider to be able to have inbound and outbound calling.

Additionally, FreePBX has packaged features available for purchase: the Standard Bundle, Advanced Bundle, Call Center Bundle, and Everything Bundle--these features can be built yourself in FreePBX, but come pre-made and ready to install. Pricing and features for each bundle is listed in the dropdown below.

FreePBX Pricing

Starter Bundle Pricing

  •  $299 for 25 year license
  • $149 for 1 year license

Advanced Bundle Pricing

  • $999 for 25 year license
  • $499 for 1 year license

Call Center Bundle Pricing

  • $1,999 for 25 year license
  • $999 for 1 year license

Everything Bundle Pricing 

  • $2,999 for 25 year license
  • $1,499 for 1 year license

FreePBX Functionality

Is FreePBX the perfect fit for your business? Let's take a look at its functionality and offer some possible alternatives to FreePBX below.

Hosted PBX

FreePBX allows companies to secure their communications offsite through their two hosting partners: CyberLynk (North America) and PL (United Kingdom). 

CyberLynk’s Virtual Private Servers (VPS) start at $19.99/month and includes the following features:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited extensions
  • SysAdmin Pro Module
  • Endpoint Manager Module

There are no setup fees or hidden fees, and includes a 30 day money back guarantee. 

PL’s VPS start at £ 30/month and includes the following features:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited extensions
  • 10+ simultaneous calls
  • SysAdmin Pro Module
  • Endpoint Manager Module
  • 1 static IP address

PL can also provide sip trunking on request.

Top Hosted PBX Alternatives

AirCall and AVOXI both prove to be great alternatives to FreePBX if you're looking for a great hosted PBX provider. Both take advantage of hosted PBX services through the cloud, including IVR, ring groups, call recording, integrations, and more.

AirCall Pricing and Features

 

Pricing starting at $30/month/user

  • 1 local or toll-free number
  • Smart queuing
  • IVR
  • Ring groups
  • Call recording
  • Call rules
  • CRM integrations
  • 1 year data recording

AVOXI Pricing and Features

avoxi genius pricing

Genius Essential Plan - $4.99/user

Features Include:

VoIP Softphone

  • Call Transfer
  • Call Hold
  • On Demand Call Recording
  • Mute
  • Outbound Calling

User Management

  • Add/Edit Users
  • Assign Extensions
  • Assign Roles
  • Set Caller ID

Virtual Attendant

  • Add/Remove/Edit
  • Upload/Record Audio Prompts

Call Recording

  • Playback/Download

Voicemail Management

  • Playback/Download
  • Greeting Management
  • Voicemail to Email
  • Voicemail Transcription

Call Forwarding

  • Add/Remove/Edit
  • Time of Day Routing
  • Caller ID Display

Call Groups

  • Add/Remove/Edit
  • Set Sequence Strategy
  • Member Management

Genius Contact - $24.99/user

Genius Essential features, plus:

Call Queues

  • Add/Remove/Edit
  • Set Ring Strategy
  • Queue Voicemail
  • Custom Music on Hold
  • Supervisory Monitoring
  • Whisper
  • Barge
  • Multi-Level Call Disposition
  • Advanced Analytics

SIP Trunking

FreePBX can be used with SIP Trunking, through any SIP trunking provider or FreePBX’s parent company Sangoma’s provider, SIPStation. FreePBX especially encourages using SIP Trunking with SIPStation as it can be instantly integrated. Prices for SIP Station start at $19.99 per month at 2.4 cents per minute, but note that it is only available in North America and the UK.

Top Alternatives for Global SIP Trunking

Unlike FreePBX’s partner SIPStation, Twilio provides SIP Trunking on a global scale, making it a great alternative for businesses that need SIP trunking outside of North America. For those that want a provider that focuses on US/Canada only, Nextiva is a top alternative.

Twilio SIP Trunk Pricing

Pricing depends on call termination and origination. 

USA Pay as You Go Pricing (Calls placed in received in US)

  • Local Numbers
    • Termination - starting at $0.0070/min
    • Origination - starting at 0.0045/min
  • Toll Free Phone Numbers
    • Termination - N/A
    • Origination - $0.0180

Nextiva SIP Trunk Pricing

  • SIP Metered Plan starting at $14.95
  • SIP Unmetered Plans starting at $24.95

FreePBX Commercial Modules

Starter Bundle

The System Builder Starter Bundle includes add-on modules that FreePBX recommends for every system. Pricing is $149 for a one year license, and $299 for a 25 year license. The bundle’s features include:

  • Conference Pro
  • Extension Routing
  • Fax Pro
  • Page Pro
  • Park Pro
  • SysAdmin Pro

Advanced Bundle

The System Builder Advanced Bundle is advertised as a package of all of FreePBX’s most popular add-ons. Pricing is $499 for a one year license, and $999 for a 25 year license. The bundle’s features include:

  • Appointment Reminder
  • CallerID Management
  • Class of Service
  • Call Recording Reports
  • CRM Link
  • PINSet Pro
  • VM Notify
  • Voicemail Reports
  • Web CallBack

Note that the starter bundle features are not included in the advanced bundle.

Top Advanced Bundle Alternatives

If you need a simple software with a Click to Call / Web CallBack widget, Toky is a great alternative to FreePBX. The “Premium” Small Business Plan by RingCentral is also a solid option that has most of the features in the Advanced bundle and more.

Toky Pricing and Features

toky pricing

Plans starting at $20/month/user

Plans include:

  • Unlimited inbound calls
  • Toll free or local number
  • SMS
  • CRM Integrations
  • Website call button
  • Call recording
  • Call reporting

RingCentral Pricing and Features

Premium Small Business Plan - $34.99/month/user

Features Include:

  • Unlimited phone calls within the US
  • Unlimited audio meetings
  • Unlimited video conferencing
  • Toll Free or Local Number
  • Voicemail to text
  • Automatic Call Recording
  • Call Log Reports
  • Unlimited SMS

Call Center Builder Bundle

FreePBX also has a bundle for add-on call center features. The Call Center Builder Bundle starts at $999 for a one year license, and $1,999 for a 25 year license. Features include:

  • QXact Reports
  • Call Recording Reports
  • Class of Service
  • Pinset Pro
  • Conference Pro
  • Caller ID Management
  • Outbound Call Limiting
  • VQ Plus
  • Queue Callbacks

Top Call Center Bundle Alternatives

AVOXI makes a great alternative to FreePBX for call centers that need a lower price point, an easy-to-use interface, an array of standard and advanced features, international calling, and more with AVOXI Genius call center software. With AVOXI Genius, AVOXI gives a convenient one stop shop for call centers that want to be able to have all phone service items handled by one provider.

DialPad also has a great contact center platform, though it is a bit more expensive. Features and pricing for both AVOXI and DialPad are as follows:

AVOXI Pricing and Features

avoxi genius pricing

Genius Essential Plan - $4.99/user

Features Include:

VoIP Softphone

  • Call Transfer
  • Call Hold
  • On Demand Call Recording
  • Mute
  • Outbound Calling

User Management

  • Add/Edit Users
  • Assign Extensions
  • Assign Roles
  • Set Caller ID

Virtual Attendant

  • Add/Remove/Edit
  • Upload/Record Audio Prompts

Call Recording

  • Playback/Download

Voicemail Management

  • Playback/Download
  • Greeting Management
  • Voicemail to Email
  • Voicemail Transcription

Call Forwarding

  • Add/Remove/Edit
  • Time of Day Routing
  • Caller ID Display

Call Groups

  • Add/Remove/Edit
  • Set Sequence Strategy
  • Member Management

 

Genius Contact - $24.99/user

Genius Essential features, plus:

Call Queues

  • Add/Remove/Edit
  • Set Ring Strategy
  • Queue Voicemail
  • Custom Music on Hold
  • Supervisory Monitoring
  • Whisper
  • Barge
  • Multi-Level Call Disposition
  • Advanced Analytics

Dialpad Pricing and Features

dialpad

Plans starting at $75/month/agent

Features Include:

  • Unlimited calling (expect toll-free numbers)
  • Real-time reporting
  • Integrations (Service Cloud, Zendesk, Slack, and more)
  • Live call monitoring (listen, barge, whisper)
  • Call Routing
  • Call Queuing
  • Real-time alerts
  • Unlimited SMS

Everything Bundle

As its name suggests, FreePBX’s Everything Bundle includes all of the features in the Starter, Advanced, and Call Center bundles. Prices start at $1,499 for a one year license, and $2,999 for a 25 year license.

Top Call Center Bundle Alternatives

As stated above, AVOXI Genius is a great alternative to not only FreePBX's Call Center Builder Bundle, but also the Everything Bundle due to its wide array of features at a low price. 8x8 also has a good FreePBX alternative, with their X Series Cloud Service Plans, which have a multitude of features that go far beyond FreePBX's Everything Bundle.

8x8 Pricing and Features

8x8 pricing

Plans starting at $25/month/user (for 1-99 users)

Features Include:

  • 4,000 minutes within 47 Countries
  • Advanced Auto Attendant
  • Call Handling (Caller ID, Call Forwarding, Call Queues, Ring Groups)
  • HD Secure Voice
  • Mobile & Desktop Apps
  • Presence; Voicemail
  • Team Messaging & Business SMS2
  • HD Audio and Video Meetings with Screen Sharing
  • G Suite & Office 365 Integrations
  • Single Sign On, Okta & CRM/Service Integration
  • Call Recordings
  • Unlimited Internet Faxing
  • Cross-Platform Team Messaging
  • Mix and Matching of Editions

Premium Features Include:

  • Operator Switchboard
  • Analytics & Call Quality Reporting
  • Skills-based Routing
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
  • Queued & Web Callback
  • Post Call Survey
  • Native CRM & Knowledgebase
  • Reporting & Analytics
  • Chat, Email, SMS, Social Media Channels
  • Co-browse
  • Outbound Predictive Dialer
  • Quality Management and Speech Analytics

    Enterprise Grade Security
    Compliance and Certifications (GDPR, HIPAA, ISO27001)

  •  

Who Should Use FreePBX?

FreePBX is best for: Businesses that want a highly customizable PBX system and can have a dedicated and trained employee to maintain, configure, and update the system. Good for businesses that want the ability to select their SIP trunking provider.

An alternative to FreePBX is best for: Businesses that do not have the technical knowledge FreePBX requires, want a quick and easy PBX setup with little technical expertise, or want a one-stop shop for their phone system.

Which PBX Right for Your Business?

We hope that this review of FreePBX and information on FreePBX alternatives was useful in your search for a PBX provider. If you didn’t find what you were looking for, send us feedback and let us know how we can improve the information! Be sure to check back with us regularly as we create new reviews with other top phone service providers.

Interested in AVOXI Genius?

If you're interested in implementing a Cloud PBX for your business, take a moment to check out ours! Our cloud contact center software allows you to have all the features you need starting at $4.99 per user. Click the button below to start your free trial of AVOXI Genius!