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- What Is a Virtual Phone Number?
- How to Get a Virtual Phone Number
- Free Virtual Phone Number: Google Voice
- Virtual Phone Number for Travelers: Tossable Digits
- Virtual Phone System for Small Businesses
There’s a good chance that at some point or another you wished you could easily switch phone numbers, even just for a single call. Well, thanks to technology, that’s pretty easy to do now, and you even have more than one way to do so. In this article, we’re going to show you our favorite way: by getting a virtual phone number.
There are a lot of reasons to get one of these online phone numbers. For example, if you run or own a business, getting a separate number is a great way to keep it away from your personal life. You can also make calls without alerting people’s caller ID, which is handy if somebody is ducking your calls, like your brother-in-law who owes you money (looking at you, Gary).
Virtual phone numbers are also great if you travel a lot, giving you the ability to make local calls — at local rates — rather than using an expensive foreign number. Also, many toll-free numbers will block foreign callers, so this should make the road a little easier. If you travel a lot, you may also want to check out our best VPN for travelers article.
What Is a Virtual Phone Number?
A virtual phone number is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a phone number that exists purely online. If you get one, you won’t be able to hook it up to a landline or anything, but you will be able to switch between different numbers using your computer or smartphone.
Virtual phone numbers are useful for all kinds of situations, but for most people it’ll come in handy to be able to make calls without giving away your number. For businesses, however, it’s a great way to set up several phone numbers on the cheap, without having to hook up some kind of switchboard, virtual or no.
How to Get a Virtual Phone Number
Getting a free phone number over the internet is surprisingly easy: there are several services that allow you to get one, with a country or area code of your choice, sometimes even for free. In most cases, you just sign up, pay the fee if applicable and get to calling.
Below, we’ll round up the best virtual phone services we’ve come across. We’ll first go over our favorite free virtual phone number apps, then take a look at a virtual phone number service for travelers and regular people, before finishing up with a few ways in which you can get an extra business phone number.
Free Virtual Phone Number: Google Voice
The first service we’ll recommend is Google Voice, just because it’s so easy to use and install if you’re eligible; it’s also free. If you’re in the U.S. or have a Google account from the States, all you need to do is install the app and you’re good to go with a custom number. Same goes for G Suite accounts from selected countries. That list is available here.
However, anybody else is out of luck, which is a real shame as Google Voice has some nice features. For one, it’s very easy to set up, requiring nothing more than a Google or G Suite account. This means it integrates with your existing contact list and will work on all your devices, including your smartphone, without any extra setup needed.
It also has a ton of features, like voicemail, call forwarding and a bunch of other stuff, all of which should prove valuable for both individuals and businesses. All this is for the wonderful price of free, so if you’re in the States or another Voice-supported country, we recommend you check it out.
Virtual Phone Number for Travelers: Tossable Digits
Tossable Digits is a great option if you’re on the road and need a local number to make bookings or check public transport times, though you can probably find more creative uses than just that.
Several members of the editorial team have used it themselves while traveling, as it’s a perfectly affordable little service that lets you switch numbers on the go for a nominal fee. Also, there’s no awkwardness when switching numbers; everything works right there in the app.
The plans come with either one, three or seven numbers, with additional numbers costing extra. That cost is a bit steep, we have to say, but the plans themselves are of decent value, especially considering you can choose numbers from around the world.
Another massive upside to Tossable Digits is its flexibility. As advertised on the site, you can sign up for 20 minutes or several months; it’s entirely up to you. Each number you get — and even your account — are completely disposable. You can toss them away without a second thought.
Virtual Phone System for Small Businesses
We’ll finish up this list with three great options for small businesses. All three have quite a bit more oomph than our first two entries, but they are generally also a bit pricier. This is largely by virtue of supporting more features, such as call switching, putting callers into a queue and all the other functions that used to be carried out by switchboard operators.
Our favorite virtual phone number provider for businesses is CallHippo. Its plans are a bit steep, with the lowest plan coming in at $14 per user per month. However, it’s well worth it thanks to the absolutely huge amount of functionality it offers, especially when compared to more small-scale providers like Tossable Digits.
It offers all manner of numbers from around the world and has all kinds of useful features, from call forwarding, message services and the like. However, what drew our eye the most is that it’s the only service of its kind that offers integrations with cloud storage clients and programs like Zapier.
This means that CallHippo is more than just a program you make calls with, it can be part of your full office setup. We really like this approach and have a feeling it will be appreciated by many people that run businesses, too.
eVoice, known as eReceptionist in the European Union, is our second business choice. While it’s less attractive than Google Voice simply because you need to pay for the service, it does give you much greater versatility than Mountain View’s phone system. It has much of CallHippo’s flexibility, as well, though it’s not quite as well fleshed out.
One thing we’re not crazy about with eVoice is that you’re limited to a single number, which at a starting rate of $7.50 isn’t that great. Other services will let you switch between numbers for less money, meaning that eVoice is mostly interesting for businesses that need lots of bells and whistles, but not for more lean-and-mean operations.
That said, eVoice is still cheaper than our third business pick, Vumber, and it offers more extras, to boot. Another upside is that the number can be from anywhere in the world, not just the States, which seems to be a major restriction for most of the services we looked at.
Last is Vumber, which seems to be a much more no-nonsense provider of telephone numbers. In fact, the service refers to the number you get as your “vumber,” which is… different, we guess? Either way, it’s a good service, though a bit drab and corporate. Then again, that’s the audience it’s striving for, so it works.
Starting at just $10 per month, it’s definitely one of the cheaper services on the list, though it comes with only one U.S. number. It’s aimed at businesses, so it’s less about easy switching and more about giving you a dedicated number that you can be called at. We also really like the 14-day trial; it’s the only service we looked at that offered one.
The downside is that it only links up to existing American numbers, so if you’re outside of the States, you’re out of luck. Also, it seems a bit light on features, but then again, you get what you pay for.
Though we wish there were more ways to get a free number, overall there are plenty of options if you want a virtual phone connection of some kind. Though most of the above will set you back a few bucks — especially the business options — the range of motion you get in return is well worth it.
Do you have any suggestions for getting a virtual phone number that you feel we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below. As always, thank you for reading.
- Google Voice. This is probably one of the more popular free business phone services because there are millions of Gmail users worldwide. ...
- TextFree. TextFree is an application available on the iOS and Google Play app stores. ...
- Callcentric. ...
- LINE. ...
Free Virtual Phone Number: Google Voice
The first service we'll recommend is Google Voice, just because it's so easy to use and install if you're eligible; it's also free. If you're in the U.S. or have a Google account from the States, all you need to do is install the app and you're good to go with a custom number.
Virtual phone numbers can be purchased in several ways. If your business already has a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system, you can add virtual numbers to your current package through your VoIP provider. This generally costs $5 to $10 a month per number.How do I set up a virtual business phone number? ›
- Step 1: Select a Local or Toll-Free Business Phone Number. Choose a local or toll-free business phone numbers anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. ...
- Step 2: Add Your Phones & Devices. ...
- Step 3: Set Hours, Business Greetings, and Business Voicemail.
Important: To use Google Voice features, subscribe to Google Voice for business, which starts at $10 USD per user, per month, and to Google Workspace. Google Workspace starts at $6 per user per month and includes the following: An ad-free Gmail account with your company's domain name, such as email@example.com.Which app is best for free number? ›
- OpenPhone: The best second phone number app.
- Google Voice.
A virtual phone number is a telephone number that isn't bound to a physical location. Virtual numbers can be used to make or receive calls on any phone, such as VoIP desk phones, cell phones, or softphones.How much is a virtual number on OpenPhone? ›
OpenPhone plans start at just $13 per user per month. Every user gets a number for free and you can purchase additional numbers for $5 per month.How do I get a business phone number on my cell phone? ›
The easiest and most reliable way to get a business phone number is through a VoIP provider. One or more virtual numbers are included in each available plan, providing access to scalable business phone number solutions with only the features you need.Can I use a Google phone number for business? ›
Google Voice makes it easy for business users to call customers or other team members with a Google Voice phone number. In the user dashboard, the dial-pad, contact list, and voicemail are intuitively organized. Users can call contacts with one-click or manually dial numbers in the softphone app.
Trusted by millions of users, TextMe is the market-leading provider of private custom phone numbers in the US & Canada. With TextMe your calls & texts to any number in the US & Canada are totally free! No hidden cost, no catch! What other awesome features can I get with the TextMe app?What is a USA virtual number for business? ›
A USA virtual phone number is a number that uses internet-based VoIP technology to enable you to make and receive calls without the need for traditional phone lines. This feature allows your business to offer a local area code or toll-free number, simplifying the process for customers to get in touch with you.What do you need to start a virtual business? ›
- Create Your Business Plan. ...
- Decide on a Business Address. ...
- Get a Virtual Business Office Address. ...
- Invest in a Virtual Phone Service. ...
- Consider Hiring a Virtual Assistant. ...
- Set Up a Well-Designed Website. ...
- Use a Project Management Software.
- Sign up for a Google Workspace account. ...
- Choose a Google Voice business plan. ...
- Select a Google phone number for business. ...
- Verify an existing phone number. ...
- Sign into the Google Voice app.
|Google Voice Starter||$10 USD per license. For example, if you have 6 users, you're charged $60 USD each month.|
|Google Voice Standard||$20 USD per license. For example, if you have 25 users, you're charged $500 USD each month.|
|Voice Pricing plans||Starter||BEST VALUE Standard|
|$10 USD||$20 USD|
|USERS AND LOCATIONS|
|Number of users||up to 10||Unlimited|
Your Google Voice phone number helps you make and receive calls and send and get text messages. You can hide your caller ID when you make calls on Google Voice. You can also change the caller ID for incoming calls.What are the disadvantages of Google Voice? ›
- Texting is for US customers only. ...
- Works only with other Google apps. ...
- Costs more than other VoIP providers. ...
- Caps users. ...
- Collaboration is limited. ...
- Getting the right context takes extra time. ...
- No toll-free numbers. ...
- No auto-replies.
- Top Pick. Hushed. Hushed is a temporary & second phone number app that offers you plenty of disposable numbers. The best part about Hushed is that it allows users to register for a toll-free number. ...
- #1 Top Pick. Hushed. 5.0. ...
- #2. Numero eSIM. 4.9. ...
- #3. SMS-MAN. 4.8.
If you receive a call from an unknown virtual number, you can trace its owner by using tools available online. Try reverse phone number lookup sites, which can either be free or paid. You can also set up your device to display CNAM (caller ID name) and IP address, since caller ID alone is easy to fake.
The most significant difference between a virtual phone number and a physical phone number is that virtual ones are not exclusively tied to a specific phone, device, or address. This flexibility allows users significantly more flexibility in how they use telephone communications.How do I get a virtual phone number app? ›
- Nextiva. Nextiva is the top virtual business phone number service provider on the market. ...
- Ooma Office Phone. ...
- Grasshopper. ...
- Google Voice (Free) ...
- Phone.com. ...
- eVoice. ...
- Freshdesk Contact Center.
Google Voice converts your voice into a digital signal that travels over the internet. It is a VoIP service with which you can make calls directly from a computer. If you are wondering how Google voice works on Android, you can simply enable it from the settings of the Google app.Is OpenPhone free to use? ›
Each OpenPhone user is $13/user/mo billed annually (or $17 per user billed monthly). This comes with one phone number per user. For each additional phone number, it's $5 per month.Can you text on a virtual phone number? ›
Virtual phone numbers aren't limited to just making and receiving calls. With your virtual phone number, you can also send and receive texts. The texting experience is exactly the same as on a regular cell line.Can you have two numbers on one cell phone? ›
If your device has more than 1 SIM and is capable of Dual SIM/Dual Standby (DSDS), you can have multiple numbers on 1 phone. With DSDS, each SIM can be activated on a separate mobile phone number. Options include: Each number can be with a different carrier (domestic or foreign).Can I use my personal cell phone number for business? ›
To give you a short answer, yes. However, there will be disadvantages you need to consider. Taking your personal phone for work purposes may be your first instinct, and it may even function well at first, yet soon you will discover that there is a reason why most users end up switching to a separate business phone.Is a business phone number necessary? ›
A business phone number provides more than a direct line to your company. It also demonstrates your local, national and international presence. Even if the vast majority of your customers are unlikely to call, the simple existence of a phone number presents a level of credibility that customers desire.How do I get a Google Voice number 2023? ›
Just go to the Google Voice website, and sign up for an account. After you've done that, you'll be able to choose your own Google Voice number.How can I use Google for free for my business? ›
- On your computer, sign in to your Google Account, or create one. ...
- Go to create a profile.
- Enter the name of your business. ...
- Search for your business category.
- Click Next.
- Choose whether you have a location customers can visit. ...
- Enter the service area of your business.
As a general rule, your Google Voice account can have only one number associated with it. If you already have a Google Voice number, you can transfer it to your Google Fiber Phone number, or choose a new Google Fiber Phone number, which replaces your Google Voice number.What apps give you a phone number? ›
- Burner. As long as you live in the U.S. or Canada, Burner can provide you with a phone number for calls, texts and voicemail. ...
- Cost. Up to $4.99 a month for one line.
- CoverMe. ...
- Cost. ...
- Hushed. ...
- Cost. ...
- Line2. ...
Yes, police can trace phone numbers from anonymous texting apps like TextFree, and TextNow, back to an individual through a court order. Through a valid court order, they are compelled to hand over user information, which helps police to trace a number back to an individual.What text app can t be traced? ›
Text Vault is the best texting app for protecting your real phone number during texting by keeping your personal phone number private and secret. Text to strangers with a disposable temporary anonymous phone number.How can I get a US permanent number for free? ›
- Create an account with OpenPhone.
- During signup, select your city or area code in the US to pick your phone number.
- Once the signup process is complete, you're done!
- You now have a US phone number.
|Included local US numbers||Additional local numbers|
|Phone.com||1 local or toll-free number||Starts at $4.99 each per month|
|Grasshopper||1-5 local or toll-free numbers, depending on plan||$10 each per month|
|Avoxi||1 local or toll-free number||$12.49 each per month|
|Nextiva||1 local or toll-free number||x|
What is a US virtual phone number? A US virtual phone number has no physical phone line associated with it but looks like a regular US phone number. Think of it as a programmed phone number with intelligent cloud features that can be used to manage your business calls the way you want.Do you need money to start an online business? ›
In fact, you can get many internet businesses up and running with no money at all because so many free services facilitate the possibility. For example, you can set up a website or blog for free using WordPress. Or you can leverage a third-party site like Amazon or eBay to sell goods with no inventory costs.How can I start an online business with no income? ›
- Find a free business idea.
- Write a business plan.
- Choose a business name.
- Launch a website.
- Validate ideas with preorders.
- Source funding to grow.
Amazon is an excellent example of an organization that has pioneered virtual business. Other successful organizations include: e-Bay, Zappos, and Netflix. There are some businesses that may not initially seem to be virtual organizations. Jet Blue is one of those companies.
A googol is 10 to the 100th power, which is 1 followed by 100 zeros. While this is an unimaginably large number, there's still an infinite quantity of larger numbers.What is the difference between Google number business and personal? ›
The difference between Google Voice Personal and Business is also in the number of users and locations. The Personal Plan is exclusively for the United States, meanwhile the Business plan has available telephone numbers in 13 countries/regions for callers: Belgium.Is Google Voice free in 2023? ›
In 2023, Google Voice is phasing out its free personal plan. If you want a number for business use, pricing starts from $10 per user per month.Does Google Voice cost money to text? ›
With your Google Voice number, you can send text messages at no charge to U.S. and Canadian numbers (excluding U.S. territories American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands).What is the best number to use for a business? ›
If appearing local is important to your business, a local number is the clear choice. They make your business feel familiar and relevant to customers within a certain area. Not to mention cheap to call – consumers understand this, too.
The benefits of Google phone service for business are primarily the flexibility to make and receive calls on any mobile device, low costs as compared to landlines or a separate SIM card, and the small business call features it provides.How can I get a free second phone number for my business? ›
- Google Voice: integrates well with other Google apps.
- Talkatone: the simplest and most straightforward.
- TextNow: offers conference calling.
- FreeTone: great quality video calls.
- TextFree: allows customization.
800, 888 and 900 numbers are a major way for telemarketers to obtain your phone number. When you call these numbers, your phone number may be captured with a system called “Automatic Number Identification” or ANI. ANI uses equipment that automatically identifies and stores the number from which you are dialing.What is the lucky number for successful business? ›
Numbers in series 6 like number 51, 33, 15, 42, 24, 87 are all considered as fortunate in terms of business. 1, 9 and 5 are such numbers that will enhance your business prospects. Number 5, in general, is very auspicious as it rules the mass and communication which is the very essence of any business.What is the cheapest way to get a phone number? ›
To get a cheap phone number, you should try free trials, Google Voice, a VoIP phone system, a virtual local phone number, and compare as many phone number providers as possible. The key is finding the ways that best suit your company.
Try opening https://www.whatsapp.com/business/ on your mobile phone's internet browser to see if you're connected to the internet. If you're registering through a landline, tap Call me to request a phone call to receive your registration code.How much is Google Voice per month? ›
Your Voice subscription
$20 USD per license. For example, if you have 25 users, you're charged $500 USD each month. Supports an unlimited number of users or licenses for regional businesses, for example, European countries. $30 USD per license.
No toll-free numbers
The lack of toll-free numbers or vanity numbers is one of the other cons of Google Voice. If you want to expand into different markets, this could be a real problem. It also forces some callers to pay for their calls, which wouldn't look good for your business.
Google Voice: The best free way to get a burner number
You can use this number to call and text anyone in the U.S. without charges, although you can't customize it. Instead, you choose from a short list of unclaimed numbers. You can also select the city and area code you want to use, but not every city is available.
TELUS Communications | 768 Seymour Street Vancouver, BC V2Y3C6. 1-888-811-2323.What is number spoofing business? ›
There has been a recent increase in reports of 'number spoofing'. This is when scammers change their caller ID to disguise their identity from the person they are calling. Many phone handsets now let you see the number of the person calling before you answer.What is a VoIP number? ›
A VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) number is basically a virtual phone number. You use it like a regular phone number, except VoIP numbers facilitate phone calls using an Internet connection.