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Flowroute is a well established carrier-grade wholesale SIP trunking provider that started out in Irvine, California, in 2007. More recently it has relocated its headquarters to Seattle, WA, citing favorable tax rates, low cost of living and the "vibe" of the city as reasons for the move.
The core services offered are SIP trunking and DIDs (Direct Inward Dialing, or "phone numbers"). As a wholesale provider it supports everyone from small businesses through to the enterprise level with availability covering most of the US and Canada. Phone numbers are available in over 17,000 rate centers across North America.
WhichVoIP tried out the flowroute service for outbound calling and it seemed very reliable during our testing. You can learn more by reading our guides on setting up the Cisco SPA303 IP phone with Flowroute service and setting up an Asterisk PBX with Flowroute.
Quality is of paramount importance and many factors have been considered with its platform to ensure quality. For example geographical distribution of servers, automatic failover and hardware redundancies maximize uptime for your calls. Also there are no middlemen, so calls are connected without any transcoding requirements and with minimal latency and jitter, which is of paramount importance for high quality VoIP calls. Currently it supports G.711, G.729 and T.38 for fax over IP. SIP is supported over UDP, TCP and soon TLS. Custom x-tag headers are also supported, which can be very useful for resellers so they can have one account and use custom tags to differentiate customers for billing purposes.
We liked that this service is available to everyone, whether it be a hobbyist at home or a huge enterprise. Too often these days, providers turn away the small guy and only go after the big fish. There is also a free trial available so you can setup an account and make some test calls to kick the tires. The online portal is very straightforward to use and clearly states the costs for each service offered.
For advanced users, APIs are available for free to check things such as usage and spend, change routes on the fly, add, drop and route phone numbers and blocks in real-time and forward calls as needed.
Fraud control is an important feature for those in the wholesale world as VoIP hackers can steal your SIP credentials and run up huge spends. Flowroute has a few tools to prevent fraudulent activities. For example all calls are pre-paid so this is a good insurance policy for both parties, should hackers get hold of your credentials. When your balance runs out, no calls can be made. It also allows you to block outbound destinations by country or by setting up a maximum rate per minute for your account. Destination white-lists can also be created so only calls to those destinations are allowed.
The pre-payment may not be appreciated by all, but at least there is an auto-replenish feature, so your balance can be topped up automatically when it reaches a certain level. Likewise, a low balance notification can be sent to you by email when your account is low in funds.
Support desk forums, ticket requests and an email address is available to get your questions answered. Support is also available by phone at 1-855-356-9768 or 1-206-641-8000.
Interoperability is a huge factor for businesses and Flowroute has certified numerous phones and ATAs from Grandstream, Snom and Yealink. Extensive testing has been performed to ensure these phones work with its service. A complete list of certified phones is available on its website. Note this does not mean other phones will not work, it's just that these devices have been thoroughly tested.
All calls must be pre-paid
by keeping a positive balance in your account. This is to protect both parties against fraud and seems perfectly reasonable. However, the only method of payment is through Amazon Payments which may not be convenient for all businesses.
UPDATE - MAY 2015: Flowroute now accepts credit card payments through Stripe. You can add a credit card, configure auto renewals, and manage low balance notifications.
Pay phone surcharges may occur for any toll free calls originating from a pay phone. This is likely not a concern for most businesses but worth noting.
Flowroute offers a high quality trunking service that promises direct routes with no middlemen thus ensuring minimal latency and jitter for your calls.
Pricing is reasonable and in addition to inbound and outbound calling, it also offers number porting, toll free, E911 and caller ID which covers the services that most businesses are looking for in a SIP trunking service. Also multiple tools are provided for fraud protection, which is something that cannot be taken lightly these days.
We like that APIs are available to configure routing, add or drop phone numbers and look at spending reports all via simple API calls. If you use the online portal, you will find that it is very user friendly and easy to use.
We have a limited number of user reviews for Flowroute but the ones we do have express delight for its service.
...Several years of positive experience with Flowroute...
Flowroute reviews are listed in chronological order.
#26 : Jay : FEB 13th, 2015
FlowRoute is an excellent service provider. Line quality is perfect. Service is incredible. No issues with any part of their service. Great to deal with!
#25 : Satish : NOV 6th, 2014
I used to run a small call center, ad used Flowroute for Foreign to local calls. I moved to the US, and kept my account for personal telephony. Recently, I used the built-in Android client to place calls to a very expensive destination. The calls didn't go through, nor did they terminate. I ended up with a huge bill. I called Flowroute to dispute, and they dug deep, and I mean DEEP into the protocol negotiation, and figured out that it was because the call was placed from an IPV6 network. I appreciate that they took the trouble to investigate the root cause and issue a refund (rather than simply say 'bad client - your problem').
#24 : Ray : OCT 17th, 2014
Best tech support of any provider I have tried and most responsive. Only downside is they don't offer voice mail. If you have a standard answering machine or only plan to use them for outbound they seem great. Very good voice quality, DTMF seems to work fine. Calls to 800 numbers are free. Other calls to the US about a penny per minute. Their policy on "high priced" calls to certain US destinations is fair.
#23 : Tom : OCT 16th, 2014
You gotta love the supervisor that actually answers the phone and provides live customer service. As an Avaya business partner I use Flowroute for every customer. We use them for our own service provider for business and residential service.
#22 : Larry : OCT 16th, 2014
I have been with Flowroute for 5.5 years and have been very happy with their service and especially their support. The service is reliable. When I need help, they are quick to respond and very knowledgeable. I tried about 5 providers before settling on Flowroute. I would never change and recommend them highly.
#21 : Larry : SEP 3rd, 2014
Very helpful with setting up PBX, both Asterisk and Freeswitch. Ongoing service is excellent. When trouble arises (very infrequently and usually on my side) they are quick to respond, usually the same day. I rarely write reviews since I am difficult to please. I only have positive comments about this company.
#20 : Eric : AUG 14th, 2014
I found Flowroute's web site very easy to navigate, and setup the service. Once I had my first DID line, and it worked so well, I ordered another to use on my iPad. Flowroute rates are very competitive, and far cheaper than conventional phone service, and their customer support is the best.
#19 : Jonathan : JUN 27th, 2014
We were with Aretta which was bought by CBeyond (a big fish) and ruined the customer service. CBeyond failed at providing support for SIP services and didn't seem to care about us as a customer. Flowroute stepped up to the plate for us and really came through. CBeyond should take lessons from Flowroute in how to support their customers. Our printing company is in good hands with Flowroute. Jonathan, President
#18 : Eric : JUN 8th, 2014
Thank you flowroute for your e911, and outgoing toll-free sevices. The good instead of excellent for value is because I am also a buyer and find for my need other prices but, flowroute's prices must reflect quality...
#17 : Barry : MAY 10th, 2014
Excellent people there. No frills and no BS.
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