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19/01/2024 - Jodie Penk

In the fast-evolving landscape of business communication, finding a cost-effective yet feature-rich solution is paramount. Enter 3CX, a powerful unified communications platform that has been gaining attention for its comprehensive features. But the burning question remains

Can you really use 3CX for free?

What is 3CX?

3CX is a software-based unified communications (UC) solution that serves as a complete business phone system. Developed by 3CX Ltd. It enables organisations to integrate various communication tools, such as voice calls, video conferencing, instant messaging, and more, into a single, user-friendly platform. Unlike traditional PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems, 3CX operates on an IP (Internet Protocol) infrastructure, offering flexibility and scalability.

Key features of 3CX include web conferencing, mobile apps for remote communication, integrated chat, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system compatibility. This software is renowned for its user-friendly interface, making it accessible for businesses of all sizes, from small enterprises to large corporations.

check if 3cx is free
Photo by bruce mars

3CX Free Version vs Paid

When considering 3CX for your business communications, it’s essential to weigh the options between the Free Version and the Paid offerings. The Free Version of 3CX provides a solid foundation for businesses seeking a cost-effective solution. Here’s a comparison to help you make an informed decision:

3CX Free Version

The 3CX Free Version is a communications platform that offers essential voice over IP (VoIP) features for businesses at no cost. It provides a cost-effective solution for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to enhance their communication capabilities. 

3CX free caters to basic communication needs, it’s essential to note that when you reach the limit of three free subscriptions or when a trial expires, considering purchasing or upgrading at least one system becomes necessary. 


  • Cost-Efficiency as you benefit from a cost-free communication solution, ideal for small businesses on a budget.
  • Great for small teams, providing essential communication tools without unnecessary complexity.
  • Web Conferencing helps conduct web meetings and conferences effortlessly within the platform, eliminating the need for additional tools.
  • Up to 10 Users which is practical for small businesses, accommodating up to 10 users at no cost.
  • Multiple Subscriptions that create up to three free 3CX FREE subscriptions, offering flexibility for businesses with multiple teams.
  • Trial Options able to explore a trial 3CX Dedicated subscription through the customer portal, providing additional flexibility.


  • You’re restricted to a maximum of 10 users, making it suitable for small teams but limiting scalability for larger enterprises.
  • Some advanced features available in paid versions may not be included, impacting comprehensive communication capabilities.
  • Trial options for 3CX Dedicated subscription are available for a limited period, after which a purchase or upgrade is necessary.

3CX Paid Version

Upgrading to a paid version of 3CX unlocks a wide variety of advantages, providing a comprehensive communication solution for businesses of all sizes which is great for businesses looking to scale.


  • The paid version allows businesses to accommodate a larger number of users, supporting the growth and expansion of the organisation.
  • Enjoy priority customer support, ensuring rapid response times and dedicated assistance for any queries or technical challenges.
  • Access advanced call center features such as call queues, reporting tools, and CRM integration, optimising customer service operations.
  • Integrated web conferencing tools, facilitating virtual meetings, presentations, and collaboration among team members.
  • Advanced security protocols and features, safeguarding sensitive communication data and ensuring a secure communication environment.
  • Customise the communication platform with your brand elements, presenting a professional and cohesive image to clients and stakeholders.
  • Expanded storage capacity for call recordings, voicemails, and other communication data, accommodating the needs of a growing business.
  • Stay ahead with regular software updates, incorporating new features, security patches, and improvements to ensure optimal system performance.


  • The main drawback is the cost involved in upgrading to the paid version. Small businesses with budget constraints may find the subscription fees challenging.
  • Businesses opting for the paid version commit to a subscription model, and discontinuing the service may result in a loss of certain features and functionalities.

Setting up 3CX

Setting up the 3CX Free version is a straightforward process that allows you to experience the benefits of a feature-rich communication platform without initial costs. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

1: Sign-Up for 3CX
Visit the 3CX website and sign up for a free account. Provide the necessary information, including your email address and business details.

2: Login to Customer Portal
After signing up, log in to the 3CX Customer Portal using your credentials. This portal is your central hub for managing your 3CX systems.

3: Create a New 3CX System
In the Customer Portal, navigate to the “Add Systems” section and create a new 3CX system. Follow the prompts to set up basic information for your system.

4: Configure System
Configure your system settings, including your country and preferred data center. This ensures optimal performance and compliance with local regulations.

5: Selecting your plan & Number of Users
Choose the “3CX FREE” edition and specify the number of users for your system. The free version supports up to 10 users indefinitely.

6: Confirm choices
Review your configuration settings and confirm your choices. =

7: Access Management Console
Upon deployment, access the 3CX Management Console. Here, you can manage extensions, set up phone provisioning, and customise settings according to your business needs.

8: Invite Users
Invite team members to join your 3CX system by creating extensions for each user. This allows them to access the communication features provided by the platform.

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