Flowroute

Flowroute Reviews

4.4/5

Average Rating

84%

Recommended

Total:

31

5-Star:

24

4-Star:

2

3-Star:

0

2-Star:

2

1-Star:

3

WhichVoIP.com Flowroute Review

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.

The Good

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.

The Bad

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.

The Bottom Line

Inbound

  • Single DID : $1.25/month and $1.00 setup fee.
  • 20 DIDs : $14.95/month and $19.95 setup fee.
  • 100 DIDs : $59.95/month and $49.95 setup fee.
  • Per minute rates : from $0.012/minute. vPRI pools for unlimited inbound volume for $17.95/month.
  • Number port : $4.00 per number.
  • Caller ID : identify callers for $0.0039/lookup.
  • Toll free : Free port and $1.25/month for each toll free number. $1.00 setup fee. US originated toll free calls for $0.0195/minute.
  • CNAM lookups for $0.0039/lookup

Outbound

  • US/CAN : $0.0098/minute. UK for $0.0082/minute.
  • Caller ID : Free CNAM storage so your calls are branded with up to 15 characters.
  • E911 : Connect E911 to your Flowroute number for $1.39/month.

Recording

  • 3rd party, costs $15 for up to 30 words. Additional charges beyond 30 words.

Overall Thoughts

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.

Popular Providers

Provider* Highlights Startup Reviews More Info
  • 100% Uptime Since 2014
  • Aggressive Relationship Pricing
  • 100% US Based Support
  • Incredible Documentation & Portal
Sign up for Free today 5

Read Reviews
  • Free Phone System (H/W & S/W)
  • 99.999% Network Uptime
  • 24/7 US-based Phone & Email Support
30-day Trial 4.8

Read Reviews