Every now and again I’m afforded the opportunity to spend a lot of time using a service before writing a review.
For the past five months I’ve been using the hosted VoIP phone service from Nextiva, one of the fastest growing hosted VoIP providers in the US. What follows is my review of Nextiva’s service based on this usage.
Nextiva’s service offered all of the features and reliability that a small business should expect from a VoIP provider. Save for the lack of G.722 wideband (HD) codec support there’s little negative to say about the service. That makes Nextiva an excellent solution for home offices and small offices up to about 20 seats.
Activation and Set-up
Activating a Nextiva account was a straight forward experience. Basic account information was asked along with your standard account details. Pretty standard stuff here.
This was coupled by a painless device set-up. Even though I chose to bring my own device. (Most Nextiva customers would receive a more plug-n-play experience out of the box in sourcing their device directly from Nextiva.)
Connect is Nextiva’s basic that starts at just $8.95/month and is designed for entrepreneurs and sole proprietors. It offers a toll free number, auto-attendant capabilities, voicemail to email and 3 way conferencing.
Connect360 is Nextiva’s service for small offices. The service starts at $19.95, but offers more expansive calling options than the Connect service.
Both services come back with a 30 day money back guarantee.
Each Nextiva customer is given a web-based management portal where they can control their account features and settings.The menu’s are easy friendly and setting up a basic auto-attendant was very simple.
Even though menu’s and set-up was easy and straight forward, one can really get pretty advanced with their auto-attendants, call tree’s, ring groups, etc. So if you have a small yet complex business, Nextiva should have more than enough functionality to meet your needs.
Service Quality and Reliability
When it comes to VoIP service quality there are a number of different factors. Fortunately I was able to use Nextiva’s service using a variety of VoIP phones and internet connections which gave me a broad experience with the service.
In logging well over a dozen hours of calls on the Nextiva service, there were no real issues to report. Call quality and service reliability are on par with what I’d expect from a business class VoIP provider.
All of Nextiva’s service plans support your standard voice codecs. But unfortunately no support for any of the current wideband (HD) codecs.
After expressing my disappointment, I was told that Nextiva was working on supporting wideband codecs in the near future. Given wideband telephony hasn’t reached the masses its use is still limited so it is not an essential, but it would have been nice to have.
Other than this little issue, Nextiva’s service was solid. Not complaints here.
At the end of the day there isn’t much that separates one hosted VoIP provider from the other. This makes comparing them and ranking them incredibly difficult.
However in using Nextiva’s service for an extended period it proved to perform as well as any other service I have tried AND better than some.
Personally I was impressed by the overall ease of set-up and activation. Anyone with some basic computer/IT knowledge would have no problem getting themselves set-up.
Service quality and reliability was solid. Given their future plans to offer wideband codec support, Nextiva’s service offerings will match just about anything out there today.
So if you are operating out of a home office or in need of a small office phone solution, take a look at Nextiva. It’s simple, easy, affordable…and works!