A virtual phone number is a unique internet address linked to your account on any provider. It’s different from having an actual landline or cell phone because you don’t have one specific location for it.
Desk phones, on the other hand, are still prevalent in old-style communications systems. Numbers are linked to PBX exchanges or phone lines using analog connections.
On the other hand, you can obtain virtual business phone numbers from a VoIP service (Voice over Internet Protocol, which is essentially a technology that allows you to make phone calls using your data or Wi-Fi—basically some sort of Internet connection) and utilize those numbers to call and receive calls.
When you receive a call from someone on a virtual number, they won’t be able to tell the difference—to them. It’ll appear as if they’re calling a regular old phone number.
Virtual phone numbers may be obtained on your desk phone or cell phone line, making them highly flexible and useful for workers (such as salespeople) who need to make many business calls from their personal phones.
How Does a Virtual Number Work?
Virtual phone numbers do not require a SIM card or a physical address. Instead, it makes genuine landline phone calls using secure internet technology. A virtual number is a number that can be removed from your contact information if you are sharing it with someone who does not need to have the number.
A virtual phone number has no physical or fixed location on this earth but rather one that its owner only knows. It means nobody will know your actual phone numbers unless they find out through other means, like hacking into an online account where you store the necessary information.
So any person who might want to seriously damage your reputation by using embarrassingly personal photos of you cannot do so easily since they cannot steal or borrow a cell phone without being tracked down by law enforcement officials.
On the other hand, virtual numbers allow you to make calls using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). In essence, it’s the same tried-and-true technology that allows you to communicate via iMessage, WhatsApp, or Google Voice.
VoIP’s popularity stems from the fact that it may use today’s broadband connections to deliver real-time communication. With a cloud communications provider, your phone conversations are digitized and interconnected via the internet and conventional phone networks. Over time, more VoIP codecs have been developed that provide excellent call quality while consuming fewer data.
In the United States, phone numbers are portable, so you won’t have to change them. Number porting is the newest way to transfer your phone number. In addition, it allows you to take your business phone number with you no matter which VoIP provider you choose.
As a result, using a VoIP phone number to make calls does not require access to a wired Ethernet connection. Instead, you can make calls as long as you have a fast and stable data connection, such as 4G LTE or Wi-Fi. It is how virtual phone numbers work; they allow you to receive calls from your mobile phone.
Simply put, a virtual number makes it possible for a user to make a real-time phone call with another person via the internet. Real-time conversations over the internet are made feasible through the use of secure internet technology.
Are Virtual Phone Numbers Safe?
Yes. As long as you are using a reputable Virtual Phone Number service, your number should be safe. A company can’t give out information about its customer base, so there is no danger of being spammed or harassed. It also allows for discretion in who can contact you, so if you want to take a break from everyone or just have some peace, not everyone will be able to reach you.
The only caveat could be that the service provider might choose to disclose your identity to cooperate with law enforcement requests or subpoenas; however, this would typically happen only if the service provider feels obligated by law.
What are the Differences Between Virtual and Regular Phone Numbers?
The difference between virtual phone numbers and regular phone numbers comes down to what information is shared with the public when a caller dials in.
When a caller dials your virtual number, they will be sent a series of prompts asking for their name and company type, if applicable. If the caller answers these prompts successfully, then they will receive a number that matches that response or none at all.
These responses would typically include any text string input, so this can be used to find out about their personality traits from the response given after hearing one of the three possible numbers you might call them back on.
Virtual phone numbers are unique, temporary numbers assigned to a device. They come with the added benefits of not showing up on caller ID and forwarding these lines anywhere.
Virtual phone numbers, unlike physical phone numbers, do not need complex or pricey gear. To place and receive calls, virtual phone numbers do not require a physical phone. If you already have working phone equipment, you can generally utilize a virtual phone number with it.
It doesn’t matter what device you use to make and receive your phone calls, as long as you use the correct software. You can use phones you already have to make and receive calls across computers, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets.
You can establish a presence in almost any region through a phone number with virtual phone numbers. You will be assigned a local phone number if you go to your regular phone carrier. With virtual phone numbers, you may acquire a phone number from any area code.
For firms that do business all over the country, having the ability to buy phone numbers in different area codes has a lot of advantages. Customers can call a local number even if your company or office is located outside of the state. In addition, you’ll be able to save money on incoming phone calls due to this.
You may also purchase toll-free prefixes and vanity numbers if they are appropriate for your company.
Many virtual phone number providers do not require a contract or service commitment instead of traditional, physical phone companies and numbers. Contracts have been known to trap individuals in a cycle of debt for years, so you may move where the best bargain is without being bound by a contract.
As the number of internet-connected devices grows and telecommuting and businesses that operate in numerous locations become more prevalent, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a firm to do so. Usually, each site has its phone system, which different service providers often provide.
Your organization can be effectively connected under number with a virtual phone number and phone operating system. You may easily route calls to those on the go or employees working from a different desk.
Virtual phone numbers make it much easier to create queues. If you have a queue, it can help one individual on the team handle many calls. Then, based on your company’s demands, the team or department may participate in the project.
There are a few strengths when using a virtual number. Virtual numbers allow marketers to make cold calls or door-to-door sales appointments without having the customer’s personal contact information, which protects the individual’s privacy.
Virtual numbers can also be used as a way for employers to monitor employees who might be making outbound calls from their office phones, as virtual numbers will generally not show up as an incoming call on caller ID systems.
A virtual number provider requires many pre-requirements to be met before it can be generated, which means data is being generated on a large scale. So when you choose a virtual number for your business, chances are there will already be hundreds or thousands of local users who have this same tone selected.
The benefits of a regular home phone number are that it is not linked to social media accounts, gives you the option to use it for both outgoing and incoming calls, allows you to screen out spam calls to avoid unwanted intrusions effectively, and the person on the other end can still contact you even if your mobile service provider goes down.
What are the Benefits of a Virtual Number?
- Establishes Local Presence: Virtual numbers are an excellent way to provide your business with multiple phone lines. They allow you to be reachable in all areas of the country while providing customers easy access and familiarity, making them feel more confident about calling.
- Cost-effective: Cutting costs on long-distance calling is easy with virtual numbers, which only consider where you are located. If customer service agents can be helpful and give out local numbers for easier access, it will surely help our economy.
- Expresses Professionalism: Virtual numbers are a great way to maintain professionalism and make your customer experience more enjoyable. They can be used for all sorts of purposes, including mainline or tech support if you have employees who assist with that process remotely from their office locations. Virtual numbers are a great way to establish multiple phone lines for your small business. You can use them in case of customer service, mainline, or tech support. It won’t affect the professionalism you project because these particular types of calls don’t require an individual’s voice.
- Multiple Phone Numbers: You may assign more than one phone number to your IP phone at your office using virtual phone systems. When you are in sales, this can help you save a lot of money. Salespeople require the freedom to operate in the office and take their phone numbers on the road. A single user may utilize their virtual phone number when on the road with features like “find me or follow me.”
- Offers Flexibility: With virtual phone numbers, customers can now choose to use that number for their landline, mobile device, fax machine, or anything else they would like. This offers flexibility for the customer with reduced costs since you only buy the line (virtual number) you need. In addition, keeping track of multiple long-distance and toll-free numbers is time-consuming enough without worrying about handling customer service issues on them. With one unified virtual phone solution, all complaints are handled with one ticket.
Can You Trace a Virtual Phone Number?
Yes. You can find an unknown virtual number owner by using online tools if you receive a call from it. Reverse phone number lookups are possible with various websites, which are either free or paid.
In addition, several online databases maintain records of numbers and give access to information like the approximate location of the person whose number it is or who they’ve called or texted previously. You may also display CNAM (caller ID name), and IP address on your gadget since caller ID is simple to fake.
Is Virtual Number Legal?
Yes. Simply said, these are entirely legal in every nation of the globe. So if you’re found to own one, this means you won’t necessarily be in legal difficulty. It’s fine.
However, there have been concerns about how specific organizations have used VoIP numbers and technology in general. In reality, the United Nations presently has at least one paper to legitimize the problem and is now regarded as a genuine concern.
For example, it’s been used by a few extremists in Mumbai. But, in the same way, most offenders aren’t overly bright. You don’t need proof of address to get a number from many different nations with non-fixed VoIP.
The issue is that, with this degree of anonymity, anyone, regardless of intentions, has more wiggle room. Although a substantial portion of the globe lacks any regulation, certain jurisdictions have already made efforts to safeguard the technology from all forms of misuse.
How to Get a Virtual Phone Number?
There are plenty of websites that offer virtual phone numbers without a monthly fee. These services will let you pick a local number for any city in the U.S., which you can then set up as your business’ contact number or sell to other businesses looking to profit from their own toll-free numbers.
You can even use one as your personal line, but only if it is not published on your personal social media profiles. The following is a step-by-step procedure for obtaining a free virtual phone number in the United States:
- Register with one of the following free trial virtual phone number services:
- Fill out the fields and finish the sign-up process.
- Once you’ve joined, it will allow you to use all of their services for the trial period.
- Choose the company’s home and major consumer hotspot.
- After choosing the location, your virtual phone number will get activated and run by the virtual phone number service provider.
How can I get a Virtual Phone Number for free?
Several companies offer a free virtual phone number, and you can use it for a lifetime. It is a great deal to take advantage of, but how do you get a virtual number for free?
Follow these steps have your virtual phone number without spending anything:
1. Visit the website of phone-number.io
2. Click on the “Get Started Free” button
3. Enter your actual phone number and click “Check Availability.”
4. Select a virtual phone number from the list, or create a custom one by clicking on the “+ New Number” option at the top
5. Click on a “Start” button to get your free virtual phone number
6. Read and accept the terms of services
7. Go to your email inbox and click on the activation link sent by them, then confirm your new virtual phone number.
How to protect yourself from Virtual Phone Scams?
Scams are attempts to create trust by playing on your emotions. The following are some of the emotional reasons behind scams:
- Urgency or threats can make you more ready to act quickly. If you’re concerned that not taking action would result in negative consequences, take a closer look at your options. A genuine business will reply to your concerns and allow you to verify the truth of their claims, whereas a scammer will put you under additional strain. Debts, tax returns, and federal crime accusations are examples of common issues that lead to stress.
- Empathy is a necessity for those who want to feel as though they genuinely care about others. As a result, it’s difficult to refuse a request to help those in need. It might be an indication that you’re being deceived if you have guilt for denying or doubting whether this is a real cause.
- The scammer makes grand promises to encourage you to accomplish what the con artist wants in exchange for a reward. It would be best if you were wary of these offers since they are almost all scams.
You are being encouraged to complete each demand with each attempt at scamming. Here are some of the most frequent scam requests to beware of:
- Pay with cash, especially in cash. It isn’t easy to get money back in these ways.
- Give your social security number, bank account number, or online log-in information.
- To access the internet, you must first create an account on a website by clicking a link or filling out further inquiries on that website.
- Download a program or file that is similar to antivirus software.
If you notice any of these indicators when someone informs or contacts you via phone, be cautious. In most situations, you should either reject or postpone action while investigating the claim that has been presented.
While you should be on the lookout for a scam, you may also raise your security across your personal life.
Here are some valuable tips to be safer against virtual phone scams:
- On public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network (VPN). In transit, encryption is provided by VPN. These services also anonymize your information not to be connected to you via IP address or other methods.
- Use strong passwords. Never reuse your passwords. Use a random sequence of letters for each password. Varying your case and character types, such as symbols, numbers, uppercase, and lowercase, is essential.
- Set up longer PINs. Set your PIN to 6 digits whenever feasible for your lock screen. More combinations are available with 6-digit PINs, making it more difficult to hack into your phone or accounts.
- Add your different passwords to a secure online vault. To remember all of your unique passphrases and PINs. It’s dangerous to keep a notebook of passwords or store them in your phone’s notes. Password managers encrypt your data, making it difficult for hackers to access it.
- Credible freebies do not charge a fee. You’re better off walking away from an offer if someone asks you to pay for a prize; the offer is most likely a fraud.
- Use call-blocking software. These applications identify and eliminate unlawful robocalls and other scams from reaching your phone. The services aren’t always 100% accurate, and they may mistakenly identify a genuine caller as spam.
- Do not return phone calls or interact with the person at the end of the line. It’s best to avoid having conversations since doing so may lead to more contacts. Do not respond to live agents while navigating automated menus by pressing numbers if you believe it’s a scam.
- Only applications that the service provider develops should be used. Using third-party applications for services, such as banking and social media, might provide them access to your account.
- Keep an eye on your phone bill. Unauthorized charges are a clear indication of fraud. If you find any on your account, take action immediately to report and dispute the charges.
- Get a phone with cybersecurity built-in. The most effective method to secure your online privacy and data on your phone is to encrypt it.
Can a traditional phone number become your Virtual Phone number?
Yes, you can convert your current landline phone number to a virtual one. This is referred to as “porting,” It is available from most virtual phone number providers.
Real phone numbers provide the majority of Virtual Phone Number services. A traditional phone number can act as your Virtual Phone number, but it’s not the only type of line available.
While you might assume that a traditional number is the best choice since it will seem like your business is more professional, there are also a lot of benefits to virtual numbers.
What are the Virtual Phone Number Providers?
There are hundreds of companies that offer Virtual Phone Number services. Depending on your needs, here are some ideal choices.
This company provides Virtual Phone Numbers with unlimited calling and international coverage. The service also guarantees the highest level of privacy protection with complete anonymization for subscribers at all times.
Unlike other providers, Nextiva offers a local number outside your primary working hours. As a result, it is perfect if you need to divert calls to multiple company phones or Gmail voice mailboxes during the day.
Ring Central provides Virtual Phone Numbers for seamless connectivity with other Ring Central services. You can also customize your business line to fit your needs and budget. In addition, they offer assistance in over 40 countries worldwide, so you’ll always have a local number no matter where you live or work.
This company is best for small teams and solopreneurs. Grasshopper offers local area codes in 200 cities across the United States, plus international Virtual Phone Numbers for Canadian and U.K.-based companies. The business has no limits on-call time or several lines.
How does a Virtual Phone Number work for businesses?
Virtual phone numbers provide more benefits than traditional landlines. Here are some of the best benefits they bring to help you decide on getting one for your business.
Link Business Locations with One Phone Number
Many locations worldwide use a single, centralized number to answer calls with a virtual phone number. Customers in a specific time zone receive assistance from agents in their region of the globe if they need it. Extensions with virtual numbers are also feasible, so they’ll be connected to the proper department if a customer requires more specialized service. Even when the primary number’s center is hundreds of miles away from the extension.
Access to a Large Pool of Talented Individuals
There are no physical restrictions when it comes to establishing a worldwide phone center with virtual phone numbers. It implies that your company’s phone system connects clients with their proper agent, regardless of where they start or where the agent is located.
Agents on the road can receive calls from their cellphones and computers since virtual numbers are not dependent on traditional PSTN/ public phone lines. Sales agents can become productive from hotels and coffee shops and those who live in locations where call centers are often unavailable.
Receive Calls from Anywhere
Employees who aren’t in the office will benefit from virtual phone numbers, which provide more freedom. For example, even if a receptionist must work from home, they receive all calls intended for the firm. Desktop or mobile apps are used to accomplish this. In addition, it’s simple to connect with other departments utilizing virtual phone numbers, including call management software, because of call forwarding.
Provide dial-in numbers for foreign countries.
There are several reasons why you should build up your call centers overseas. Some products do well in other countries, and one of the most effective methods to enter new markets is to offer clients a local phone number to contact you. Virtual numbers don’t just include American area codes and 800 numbers. Some providers sell international phone numbers for use by foreign consumers. It’s a great option if you expect clients from different countries.
Analyze sales and marketing performance
When it comes to marketing or sales, you need to keep track of the number of calls you get, especially if they’re from several campaigns. You may link specific phone numbers to marketing campaigns rather than using your primary phone number and properly evaluate their performance and conversion rates.
It’s simple to map success in different markets with a virtual phone number. For example, if callers dial your phone number in the 515 area code more frequently, this indicates that your campaign may have more Des Moines callers. Perhaps the campaign in that city can be expanded into another region to boost sales.
What countries can you get a Virtual phone number in?
You can get a virtual phone number in almost all countries across the globe. However, some countries have not yet authorized virtual numbers. These include Somalia, South Sudan, and Afghanistan. Some other countries have set up stricter rules for having a virtual phone number. These include Russia, China, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
The easy way to get a Virtual Phone Number is to use one of the many providers who offer them. Check this list if your country allows you to get a virtual phone number:
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- South Africa
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- United Kingdom
- United States
Can you text with a Virtual Phone number?
Yes, you can. You may use a virtual SMS phone number to send and receive SMS text messages online or do sms marketing without utilizing a physical phone. Various text messaging platforms provide this service to users.
These include sms marketing apps like Jooksms, Talkatone, WeChat, and Google Voice. One of the benefits of using these services is that your virtual text message phone number is portable. This means you can switch between devices which will allow you to send or receive SMS messages on different gadgets. You just need to activate this service on all devices and they will sync automatically without having to resend any message history.
The only downside with this service is that it may be limited to certain countries.