8×8 Full Review
Click here to go to the 8×8 website.
The name 8×8 is derived from the number of dots, or video pixels used as the starting point from which many image files and video transformations are built upon
The name 8×8 is derived from the number of dots, or video pixels used as the starting point from which many image files and video transformations are built upon. A group of 8×8 pixels are the standard foundation of the Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) function used in MPEG and ITU video compression. The company, 8×8, Inc. was a forerunner in the implementation of these functions in a variety of programmable voice and video solutions.
8×8 is now a leading cloud communications and computing solution provider. The company strives to deliver reliable business products that are easy to use, inexpensive and at the cutting edge of technology. Their products include VoIP phone services, secure contact centers, hosting, unified communications and crystal clear video conferencing.
Since 1987, the company has been a prominent contributor to the advancement of voice and video communication technology, earning them 91 US patents.
Features of 8×8
Whether you need a VoIP system to replace your traditional home phone service or a professional business solution for your office, 8×8 can satisfy your needs. There isn’t anything special or particularly unique about the services provided by the company. However, it does offer superior support options and it is surprisingly simple to install.
8×8 offers a good selection of calling plans. Plans offered include free in-network calling, which means you can call other 8×8 subscribers without using any of your allotted minutes, calls to Canada and Puerto Rico without additional charges and mobile apps that allow you to make calls from your smartphone or tablet.
Additional services ideal for businesses include the ability to set up multiple lines, option for a toll free phone number and sending and receiving faxes over your VoIP connection.
Additional features include:
- Voice mail
- Caller ID
- Call waiting
- Call conferencing with up to three other callers
The service doesn’t offer call transfer capabilities or support 411 directory assistance.
The 8×8 website is clean, professional looking and very easy to navigate, which can’t be said for the websites of some of their competitors. This makes it quick and easy to find answers to any questions you may have.
Ease of Set Up
This system is one of the easiest VoIP services to install. Even if you are a complete novice, you can have the system up and running in no time.
The site offers a comprehensive FAQ section and a large selection of user guides and online manuals. During regular business hours, you can call their toll free number or access live online chat. You can also submit a support ticket from their online form, however responses to these are slow or nonexistent. A phone call or live chat is the quickest way to receive help if you can’t find the answer on the site.
Plans and Pricing
Unlimited Extension – $29.99 per month, includes unlimited outgoing and incoming calls to the US, Canada and eight other countries. $39.99 activation fee.
Metered Extension – $24.99 per month, 250 minutes of calling to the US and Canada, plus 2.9 cents a minute thereafter, and long distance charges for international calls. $39.99 activation fee.
Unlimited Global Extension – $79.99 per month, additional benefit of unlimited outgoing and incoming calls to over 40 select international countries. Calls to mobile phones and service numbers are not included. $39.99 activation fee.
Virtual Office – $350 per year, includes unlimited outgoing and incoming calls, without long distance charges within the US, and to Canada, the UK, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, France, Spain, Italy and Ireland, and unlimited in-network calling to other 8×8 Virtual Office subscribers around the world. $39.99 activation fee.
Each plan also comes in a Pro version with additional features and slightly higher cost. Additional features include online meetings, call recording, internet faxing, 1 GB of cloud storage space to enable virtual meetings and recording calls, and an iPhone app which allows you to use your calling plan on your iPhone.
Prices are based on one extension. The company offers volume discounts on most of the calling plans, and special sign up bonuses for new subscribers.
You have to sign up for an annual contract. If you decide to break the contract, you will be charged a steep penalty. All the plans require an activation fee. Customer support can’t be reached by email. If you submit a support form, there is a very good chance that it will go unanswered.
Overall, 8×8 is an excellent VoIP service provider. A major drawback is that it lacks the flexibility of month to month plans, which means you are locked in for one year or you pay a steep cancellation fee. However, this is typical for most VoIP providers. 8×8 is worth considering if you are interested in unlimited minutes or a wide range of international calling options.