Jungle Disk Review

The Jungle Disk Drive is one of the few backup services today that provide intermediary software which makes it easy, safe and convenient for users to back up their data. Users get to sign up for an account using the program interface but the data is not stored on the local machine, it is stored online at a remote server.

Data backed up is stored in a reliable and trusted storage provided by Rackspace and Amazon S3. With this backup solution, users will have to pay Jungle Disk for the service fee according the plan they choose as well as pay S3 or Rackspace for storage space where the data is stored.

Jungle Drive is one of the most dominant, reliable and easy to use backup services available today. It has tons of features including sharing, syncing, automatic backup, web or mobile access and archiving. Since the program is installed on the local computer, backing up data is as easy as dragging and dropping files between drives. There are versions for Linux, Mac and Windows but it can sync across multiple platforms.

Features of Jungle Drive

  •  Jungle Disk Desktop Edition comes with a 30 day free trial. The desktop edition costs $20.
  •  Works like a network drive, backing up data is as easy as dragging and dropping files to a ‘virtual’ drive on the application window.
  •  No commitments or monthly subscription fees are required.
  • Data is automatically compressed then encrypted. These are then backed up in multiple Amazon data centers to reduce redundancy.
  •  Applications available for Windows, Linux and Mac platforms. Data can be synced across all the three platforms.
  •  Easy sharing of files across different platforms for users with access.
  • Archiving of backed up data that may not be in use. Archived data can be deleted from the local drive.

Jungle Drive Review – Good and Bad

Jungle Drive is a modern-day backup solution that allows single users and businesses or companies to store their important data remotely and safely away.  However, users who have used Jungle Drive have had some negative points about the product:

  • The maze of billing with Jungle Drive, S3 and Rackspace can be very confusing for most users.
  •  There is no unlimited data backup plan. This means that the more you back up the more you pay.
  •  There is no way to access files via a web interface. Backup files can only be accessed via the program installed on the machine.

Here are some of the most dominant pros of the Jungle Drive as pointed out by users:

  • Data is stored on Amazon S3 or Rackspace meaning that it is possible to access the data using a different application.
  • Simple configuration of the program, easy to use with drag and drop features to back up data.
  • Four different versions to choose from: Workgroup and server editions for business users and simply and Desktop versions for individual users.
  • Jungle Drive implements the industry-standard AES-256 encryption with the option to encrypt file names.

Jungle Disk Drive has many good points…but other cloud-based backup solutions are better, in my opinion:

>>SugarSync review

>>Backblaze review

>>Dropbox review


Egnyte Review

Where other products are focused on solving a specific business problem, the Egnyte Cloud File Server looks to satisfy many needs at once. Egnyte provides online storage, file sharing, a file server, FTP access, local access, mobile access, and computer backup for small companies or departments up to large corporations and their customers.

Egnyte, a Mountain View, CA company, was founded in 2006. The Cloud File Server product was first introduced in 2008 as a means to outsource infrastructure, and lists an impressive array of clients from a variety of sectors, including heavy hitters in technology like Intel and Cisco. The company now has data installations on both the East and West Coast of the United States and in Western European.

The plans provide for a given number of “power users”, each able to administer two computers and the associated files, and a much larger set of “standard users”. Standard users are essentially end users, able to share those administered files.

Read the rest of the EGNYTE Review:

Continue reading “Egnyte Review”

Livedrive Review

Livedrive has two separate modes. In Backup mode, all selected folders are backed up to the cloud as they are changed. With Briefcase mode, identified files are maintained on a local drive and are also synchronized to the cloud for sharing and access from mobile devices. A Pro Suite account includes both modes of operation.

Livedrive is a London-based company founded by CEO Andrew Michael in 2006. Michael had previously founded and later sold Fasthosts, the UK’s largest web host. The Livedrive cloud storage service was introduced in December of 2008. The company claims to be the top cloud provider in both Europe and the United States in terms of growth and ratings.

Read the rest of the Livedrive Review:

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Sugarsync Review

A user selects local folders to be written to the cloud by SugarSync. These folders are then tracked and captured by a background process, are available via mobile devices and the web, and are shareable with others.

SugarSync is a product introduced in March of 2008 by Sharpcast, a California-based company founded in 2004. Customers can easily try the service, as the first five gigabytes of cloud storage are free, and all service plans come with a free 30-day trial.

Read the rest of the Sugarsync Review:

Table of Contents (click ahead!)
Pricing| Supported Devices|Security| User Comments|Pros and Cons| Conclusions

Pricing: 30-day free trial for all plans

– Cloud Storage Quantity = Cost
– 5 GB = Free
– 30 GB = $4.99/month or $49.99/year
– 60 GB = $9.99/month or $99.99/year
– 100 GB = $14.99/month or $149.99/year
– 250 GB = $24.99/month or $249.99/year
– 500 GB = $39.99/month or $399.99/year
– Above are single-user prices. Team prices start at $299/year for 3 users/100 GB.

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Supported Devices

– MS Windows: Windows XP; Vista; Windows 7
– Mac (Intel only): Mac OS X 10.5 and later
– Linux: No
– iPad: Yes
– iPhone: Yes
– Android: Yes
– Blackberry: Blackberry firmware version 5.0 and later
– Other: Windows Mobile 5 and 6; Symbian 3rd and 5th Edition; Sybian^3
– Plus other mobile devices capable of running a browser

Version rollback: Previous five versions retained; only newest counts toward capacity

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                  >>Click Here For a Free Trial of Sugarsync<<


– Encryption: 128-bit AES
– Transfers: TSL encryption, SSL 3.3

Data Storage: Redundant storage in data centers

Proxy Access: Yes

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User Comments

Based on user reviews, SugarSync tends to be a polarizing application with customers tending to love or hate this service. For many, it has provided exactly what they were seeking, thanks to its features and ability to work in the background. The pricing is very attractive compared to competitors. Most complaints regard how problems were handled when they surfaced, or the lack of any support response at all.

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Pros & Cons

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Sugarsync Review


– Free for up to five gigabytes of space and for the first 30 days.
– Able to manage multiple folders.
– Can backup more than one computer.

Sugarsync ReviewCons:

– Lacks a Linux client.
– Customer support deficiencies.


SugarSync is definitely worth a look because of its low cost, including the free storage up to five gigabytes and month-long free trial period. In keeping with a buyer-beware strategy, it behooves customers to at least be cognizant of the reliability and customer support shortcomings flagged by others to avoid being blindsided by them.

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Try SugarSync Free!


Shoeboxed Review

Do you still save your business receipts in a  big, unorganized pile on your desk or in a drawer (or maybe a shoebox)?

Honestly, my time feels better spent trying to make advertising decisions or staff decisions, but the reality is…I also MUST pay attention to the finances of my business. Left to my own devices, I tend to procrastinate when it comes to expense receipts and accounting types of things.

“Oh, it’s just a couple of receipts…” I tell myself, as I toss them into an ever-growing pile on top of my filing cabinet. And every month, without fail, this ‘couple of receipts’ thing has grown to 50 or 100+ receipts…ugh.

Then the first of the month rolls around and I panic once again about my disorganization last month…and spend 3-4 hours getting things organized and sorted out. In time time to start all over again with the next month. Does this sound familiar??

Shoeboxed: Receipt Tracking and Organizing

Shoeboxed is a web-based accounting service designed to ease the bookkeeping burden of small business owners (and road warriors)  by organizing their receipts, bills and even business cards for them.

There are three paid account levels and one free.  Under the paid levels, customers mail their business documents in sturdy, self-addressed stamped envelopes to Shoeboxed, which then scans and organizes them into an account.

You are probably wondering how exactly Shoeboxed is going to  help you organize.  You have several options, and my favorite is the first one. (this is genius, in my opinion)

1.  You can simply take photos of receipts with an iPhone or Android  (or your iPad!) and email them to your secured Shoeboxed address. (your own personal ‘receipt vault’ awaits on the other end)

Apple has an app and there is an Android app, called ‘Shoeboxed Receipt Tracker’.

Simplify your taxes & bookkeeping - Shoeboxed.com

2.  You can e-mail receipts directly from your desktop. (you will need a scanner for small paper receipts)

3. The Shoeboxed premium service allows you to just scoop up the pile of papers and receipts and mail them, in a special envelope, for processing by Shoeboxed. (kind of like your own personal file clerk)

Once processed into the system, the documents can be viewed, e-mailed, printed or downloaded into a variety of formats, including Excel, CSV, PDF, Quickbooks and Quicken.  Shoeboxed also helps get your business ready for tax season by keeping digital copies of records, which are accepted by the IRS, all in one place.

Business cards can be exported to e-mail accounts, LinkedIn and Salesforce.

What About the Security of My Documents and Receipts?

This issue concerns a lot of people, especially those who might want to opt for the mail-in service. “Are my documents safe? What about my personal information that is being sent through the mail?…” You may be wondering the same things.

The security of the website AND the Shoeboxed facility is taken very seriously by the company. Here is what their website has to say about this concern: (source:  www.shoeboxed.com/security)

Your Online Security

Receipts, business cards and other documents are important records of your daily life and business, and we are absolutely dedicated to the security of your information. From day one when we started programming the site, we have kept security as our highest priority, and we believe that it is in fact safer to store your documents on Shoeboxed.com than it is to keep them at home.

When you start using Shoeboxed, the new permanent home of your receipts and business cards is shoeboxed.com, where you can view them from any Internet-connected computer. The connection between your Internet browser and shoeboxed.com is secured by Secure Socket Layer encryption (or SSL), the same strong encryption used by online banks and medical information services. This makes it virtually impossible for someone to intercept and make sense of communication between your computer and our servers.

While your receipts and business cards are housed at Shoeboxed, we are dedicated to keeping them safe and secure. Our networks are designed with security in mind and are constantly monitored.

Shoeboxed has been certified by TRUSTe, the trusted leader on online privacy and security. A nonprofit organization, TRUSTe promotes solid security practices on the Internet. After investigating our privacy policies and our practices securing your personal data, TRUSTe has certified Shoeboxed as a site that protects your privacy.

To insure against hardware failure or natural disaster, our servers are backed up at least every 24 hours to an undisclosed remote location. We are equipped to have the most recent backup of the site up and running on new servers at a remote site within five business days of a catastrophe. For this reason alone, Shoeboxed.com can be much safer than your home computer for organizing receipts and business cards. Our servers also have multiple connections to the internet for uninterrupted access.

Receipt Mail-In Security

While your receipts and business cards are in transit, they are subject to the security policies of the U.S. Postal Service (or whatever carrier you use to expedite them). Once we receive them, an authorized Shoeboxed team member will retrieve them from the USPS bring them directly to our processing facilities. All of our employees are subject to background checking before we hire them, and all employees closely supervised and highly trained.

Our offices are protected by a 24/7 security service. Though we are part of a lively, pedestrian friendly area of Durham, we are the only people with access to our operations facility. Our offices are also protected with digital locks, key-card access and double locks again to our processing facilities.

Say goodbye to paper clutter! Shoeboxed.com

 Shoeboxed Features

  • Pay plans – The Lite Plan is $9.95 per month and includes 50 documents; the Classic plan is $29.95 and allows 150;   the business level is $49.95 a month and provides for up to 500 documents per month to be sent.
  • Security – A 128-bit SSL data encryption system is used to protect information. Shoeboxed will send original copies   back to the customer if desired under the Classic and Business plans, or will shred them on site under other plans or at the request of the sender.
  • Compatibility – Data can be used with Excel, CSV, PDF, Quickbooks and Quicken. Digital receipts are accepted by the IRS and business cards can be exported to e-mail contact lists, LinkedIn and Salesforce.
  • Turnaround – Documents sent digitally are processed within one business day, while those mailed will be done within two to four business days.

Shoeboxed Reviews: What do other users say?

Most users of Shoeboxed report being very happy with the ease of the service and the way it helps to  reduce paper clutter AND save time. The  iPhone/Android apps very are popular. (and again, don’t forget your iPad..that’s how I snap quick photos of my receipts)

     >>Click Here For a 30-Day Free Trial of  Shoeboxed<<

Overall, Shoeboxed  is an asset to any small business owner looking to get away from the mundane tasks of bookkeeping and filing of receipts. It also helps to eliminate paper clutter by digitally organizing documents. Get the 30-day free trial account and see how well it works for you.

Shoeboxed.com - Scan Receipts and Business Cards


Dropbox and Dropbox Alternatives

dropbox review
dropbox review

Dropbox allows a user to access files – documents, photos, videos, etc. – from the office or on the go.

A user selects files to be controlled by Dropbox by placing them in a designated folder on a local drive.

Changes made in this folder are replicated to the cloud storage, making the latest versions available to mobile devices or for restoration.

(We use dropbox on a daily basis for sharing client files with large numbers of photographs, and also large documents. Because we often exchange mutiple types of files, it is a simple solution for our team…and WAY better than emailing tons of attachments back and forth)

>>Try Dropbox – Free 2 GB Account!!

Dropbox Review


Table of Contents (click ahead!)
Pricing| Supported Devices|Security| User Comments|Pros and Cons| Dropbox Alternatives

Dropbox Pricing

– Cloud Storage Quantity = Cost
– 2 GB = Free
– 50 GB = $9.99/month
– 100 GB = $19.99/month
– Above prices are for a single user. Team pricing is available starting at $795/year.

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Supported Devices

– MS Windows: Windows 2003; XP; Vista; Windows 7
– Mac: Mac OS X 10.4 and later
– Linux: Ubuntu 7.10 and later; Fedora Core 9 and later
– iPad: Yes
– iPhone: iOS 3.1 and later
– Android: Android OS 1.5 and later
– Blackberry: Blackberry OS 4.5 and later
– Plus other mobile devices capable of running a browser

Version rollback: “Yes” for teams

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– Encryption: AES-256 standard
– User encryption allowed: Yes
– Network security employed: DDoS attacks; MITM attacks; packet sniffing
– Transfers: 256-bit SSL (where supported)

Data Storage: Outsourced to Amazon S3

Cloud backup: Multiple-location, redundant backups

Data privacy: Yes

Third-party Application Access: Yes, but security is not guaranteed

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What Users Say About Dropbox

Checking the Dropbox user forum, the users’ primary concern tends to be file deletions mysteriously occurring in the Dropbox folder. These may be due to user errors or configuration issues.  There is also a consensus that read-only sharing would be a beneficial addition.

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Pros & Cons

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Dropbox Review


– No cost if less than two gigabytes of data requires cloud storage.
– Files exist both locally and on the cloud, so they can always be accessed.
– Active and knowledgeable user forum.

Dropbox ReviewCons:

– Maximum of 100 gigabytes for a single user will be too limiting for some.
– Design requires using cloud in addition to local drives, not as a replacement.

Dropbox is a good option for those making a cloud storage debut or owning a small amount of data requiring backup. It may also be the best fit for customers slightly off of the beaten path, such as Linux shops. For larger installations,  you may wish to look at dropbox alternatives, due to cost.

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Dropbox Alternatives

It’s become a popular file sharing and cloud storage service…but it does not have enough features or flexibility for some tastes.


Blackblaze Review

Backblaze is backup software that strives to be easy to install and use.  If you have heard of the widely publicized Carbonite software, this is really similar. But it’s also less expensive — and in our opinion, it’s easier to understand.

Backblazewas announced in June of 2008, so it now has a track record of 3 years in business, as of this posting.

Rather than have the user make decisions regarding which folders to back up, Backblaze will by default back up everything except system and application software files and files greater than nine gigabytes in size.

Backblaze fills a niche in that anyone, even those who are not computer savvy, will be able to back up all of their data and know exactly what it will cost from the start.

It also backs up external drives. Customers can access their backups over the Internet, restore PC files to a Mac, Mac files to a PC, or even have their files sent to them on a DVD or USB drive for a cost.



Table of Contents (click ahead!)
Pricing| Supported Devices|Security| User Comments|Pros and Cons| Conclusions


– Unlimited backup for $5/month or $50/year for each computer
– Free 15-day trial

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Supported Devices

– MS Windows: XP 32-bit; Vista 32-bit and 64-bit; Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit
– Mac (Intel only): Mac OS X 10.4 and later
– Linux: No

Version rollback: Up to four weeks of file versions are retained

User-initiated backups available: Yes

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– Encryption: 128-bit AES encryption
– User encryption allowed: Yes, user can supply encryption key
– Transfers: SSL

Data Storage: Shared data center with Sun, Esurance, and Cnet

Data privacy: Yes

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User Comments

The top user concern seems to be backups that mysteriously stop occurring for a paid customer. When this happens, customer support is reportedly inadequate.

Media reviews tend to laud it for being the easiest backup to use, while noting its limitations.

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Pros & Cons

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Blackblaze Review


– Fixed cost for unlimited cloud backup space.
– Designed to be very simple to use.

Blackblaze ReviewCons:

 – Not designed as a file-sharing vehicle for mobile devices.
– No Linux client.
– Support available only through email and problem reports.


For customers interested in only backup capabilities, Backblaze is likely the way to go. This is particularly true if the client wants to be able to turn on backup, get it operational, and not spend a lot of time figuring out what to include or exclude to save a few dollars.

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Freshbooks Review

Freshbooks is an online accounting service geared toward small business owners who may need help with bookkeeping duties but may not have the resources to hire someone. The service is especially useful for billing purposes and tracking employees’ time.

(Admin note:  I personally use this software and would not be without it.  I despise technical, geeky software programs and invoicing software — I found it simple to set up and it is simple to use ongoing)

A company logo can even be added to invoices created through Freshbooks, enhancing the professionalism of the documents.

The system helps owners by sending out reminders on invoices and has been designed to work well with many other cloud-based accounting applications. Freshbooks accepts online payments from several different sources.

Because it works on cloud technology, a business owner can access financial information from any Internet-capable computer or even an iPhone. For example, an owner flying on a trip could receive up to the minute information on their company during the flight. The information remains protected through an encryption system and the data is regularly backed up and saved.

Freshbooks features

*Tracks income and expenses

*No monthly fee if three or fewer clients are billed

*Create or import databases of companies, contacts and products

*Customizable invoices can be e-mailed or sent via U.S. mail

*Payments collected from a variety of online sources

*Clients have online access to invoices and account history

*Status page shows all open invoices and estimates, as well as the last time clients logged in

*Project estimates can be created and e-mailed to clients for approval

*An auto bill feature is available to bill customers’ credit cards

*Data security includes 256 bit encryption, data backups and firewall

Freshbooks User Reviews…

The system receivs almost universally glowing reviews from those who use it.  Since many small business owners prefer to concentrate on ways to grow the business rather than the day-to-day details of actually running it, Freshbooks ease of use and simple setup are especially popular features.

The multitude of add on programs Freshbooks is compatible with also seems to be a nice feature.  The customer service received very good reviews, which is an area some similar online accounting services seemed to be lacking.

Freshbooks Allows You To Use Multiple Payment Sourcesf

Another advantage for the system is its ability to accept online payment from up to 11 different sources, including PayPal, Google Checkouts and e-checks. One user enjoyed how simple it was to use and even commented that it encouraged him to do more work. Whenever he logged time for a client the submit button changed to an encouraging statement like “Way to go” or “Nice work.”

Small business owners generally prefer to use their time thinking about the product or service they provide and how to make it better rather than worrying about sending out bills. Freshbooks seems like a good solution at an economical price. It has loads of options available and requires no accounting training.



Small Business Bookkeeping

Cloud-based help available for small business Bookkeeping

small business bookkeepingStarting a small business and making it successful is the dream of many Americans. In light of the struggling economy, more people are deciding to strike out and start their own venture. Today’s technology in many ways makes starting a new small business easier than ever.

Unfortunately, the creativity and drive that can lead someone to start a small business may not translate to one of the most important aspects of running a company, keeping the books. Small business owners must not only market their product or service and attract customers, they also have to maintain accounting records, send out and keep track of invoices and stay up to date on tax codes. Overlooking any of these can be detrimental to the business.

Luckily, many companies are offering cloud-based computer solutions to these problems. Most of them offer free trial periods to try their program out to see if it will work for you and some even provide a very basic level of service free of charge. These applications help organize a business without requiring any formal training for the person using the programs. Many users report they are able to cut out hours of paperwork each week.

There are several of these applications available and many are cloud-based, meaning your business data is saved on their secure servers. If the business computer goes down or is stolen, that data remains intact. Each one offers bookkeeping and organizational services in different ways.

Outright Online Accounting organizes all the business information by pulling it into one place. It also automatically categorizes transactions into the proper tax areas, keeping owners up to date on what they will owe the IRS.

For those who do not want to enter their own information, Shoeboxed allows users to mail or electronically senddocuments to them for entry. The information is then organized into proper categories and can be searched using name, date or payment type.

Freshbooks specializes in sending and managing invoices online. It also helps a business accept payment through PayPal, e-checks or credit card and even will send out automatic payment reminders to clients so you don’t have to keep track of those.

One of the most well-known bookkeeping aids is Quick Books. It also allows business owners to create invoices, track expenses and sales and keeps track of taxes.

Wading through piles of receipts, bills and business cards can be the bane of any small business owner. Those documents are all important to growing the company, but sifting through them can be time consuming and takes away from finding ways to improve sales. By taking advantage of a cloud-based accounting service, that time can be recaptured and put to better use.


OneBox Review- The Best Virtual Phone Solution For Small Business?

Sure, there are numerous phone and communication options for businesses, but small business owners crave simplicity, flexibility and lower costs than traditional PBX systems. (For those of us who need more than just a cell phone and voice mail greeting, ‘virtual phone sytems’  like Onebox  fill that sweet spot between price, features and ease of use.)

onebox review
Click For OneBox Trial!

OneBox offers an all-in-one virtual phone solution that features professional greetings, auto-attendant, online faxing, voicemail, conference calling and VoIP solutions to make business management and professional and personal communications easy.

OneBox offers  a 30 day free trial, free set up, no long-term contracts, anytime cancellation and a wide range of calling and communication solutions.

The plans include VoIP plans such as Receptionist, Messaging, Executive and LIVE Receptionist.

OneBox Plans

  • Executive offers 100 minutes for $16.95, 400 minutes for $19.95 and 2000 minutes for $29.95 per month and 1 mailbox;
  • Receptionist offers 2000 minutes and 4 mailboxes for $49.95 and 2000 minutes and 10 mailboxes for $79.95 per month.
  • Live receptionist offers 100+2000 minutes for $199.95 and 250+2000 minutes for $499.95.
  • Additional minutes are billed 10 cents for executive and receptionist plans and 3.9 cents for live receptionist.

If you are looking for a solution to calling and communications, OneBox offers business phone solutions at affordable prices and with convenient payment options.  The Onebox virtual PBX system only bills for the actual talk-time;  meaning that calls on hold are not charged and calls to voicemail are not charged against your account minutes.

Features of OneBox

  • No fees to transfer to an existing toll free number
  • No set up fees, minutes are not billed for calls on hold, when transferred to you or when leaving a voicemail message
  • Different plans available including Executive, Receptionist, Unified messaging and Live receptionist
  • Low cost per minute billing. Availability of international phone numbers
  • Free to port existing numbers into the servic
  • Simple online interface, professional greetings available
  • Messages deliverable via fax. Spoken words can be converted to text at $.02 per word
  • Text to call speech feature, speed dial list of frequently called numbers
  • Online calendar and email. Direct Inward Dial (DID) for receptionist plans
  • Month to month billing,  no long-term contracts or commitments
  • 30 DAY TRIAL

Onebox Reviews and Feedback – What Users Like (and dislike)

  • It is free to transfer an existing toll-free number
  • No set up fees, no commitments and no contracts
  • Free 30 day trial
  • Free to port an existing number to use OneBox services with your number
  • Availability of international numbers and purchase of vanity numbers at a one-time fee of $30.
  • Accounts are easy to create
  • Calling interface is easy to understand and use
  • Plenty of call recording options and call screening options

OneBox ReviewWhat some users do not like?  In researching Onebox, we found that a small  number of  users don’t like the online interface, though most are happy with it. If you find it confusing at first, they do have dedicated support people to answer your questions.

OneBox is feature loaded and a solution to business and personal calls because of ease of use, affordability and convenience of calling from your PC.