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How To Get A Virtual Phone Number? Top FREE Apps & Phone Systems

November 28, 2022
phone system for small business

Getting a virtual phone number is the first step towards giving your business a professional feel. It comes with many advantages and when it comes to choosing the right virtual phone number for your business, there are many things to consider.

We have compiled a list of virtual phone number providers with their features, prices and more to help you choose the right one.

What is a Virtual Number?

A virtual phone number, by definition, is a phone number that is not tied to a sim card or any physical phone. They are cloud-based communication systems that make use of the internet to place and receive calls.

How do virtual numbers work?

There are different virtual phone number systems available in the market today. The most popular ones being Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system, cloud-hosted PBX system, and application-based systems.

Virtual numbers make use of the above-mentioned technologies to place calls, without the need of having a physical number or device.

Once a connection is set using VoIP, cloud PBX system or apps, calls will be placed in a matter of milliseconds to the respective destination, anywhere in the world. The only pre-requisite is to ensure that your business phones are always connected to the internet.

Can I make and receive normal calls?

Yes. You will be able to make and receive regular calls just like traditional phone numbers. Virtual numbers make use of VoIP or software technology to connect to different networks, including landlines, traditional phone providers, and other networks using VoIP or software.

Can I have multiple virtual phone numbers?

Yes, it is possible to have multiple phone numbers. However, you'll need to pay a nominal fee for each phone number you buy.

Can virtual phone numbers receive text messages? How can I get text message verification numbers?

Yes, virtual phone numbers can receive text messages from all over the world. There are many applications, software systems, and platforms that can allow you to do so. You can also receive text message verification messages in your inbox, just like you receive any other text message.

How much does a virtual phone number cost?

The cost of the virtual phone number would depend on the service provider you choose. Many providers have different packages available, so you can choose one as per your business requirements.

Some of the popular add-on features include video and audio conferencing, desktop apps, call recording, voicemail transcription, internet fax, caller info match, hot desking, device reports, and alerts.

What are the differences between traditional and virtual phone numbers?

Traditional and virtual phone numbers, though both let you make and receive calls, are significantly different in terms of the features they offer. Let's find out more.

Traditional Numbers: Traditional phone numbers are associated with specific telephone lines, devices, and usually require expensive equipment. They have location limitations, making it a challenge for companies with a worldwide presence and have limited worldwide redirecting/ routing options.

Virtual Numbers: Virtual phone numbers, on the other hand, can be used on almost any device, be it your laptop, or mobile, or desktop. They are available at pretty affordable rates, thus helping organizations expand their reach in both local and international markets without spending much.

As far as routing options are concerned, virtual phone numbers can be routed/redirected globally to reach the company's staff round the clock.

What are the different types of virtual numbers?

There are three different types of virtual numbers: local numbers, toll-free numbers, and vanity numbers.

1. Local numbers (US list of US local)

A local virtual number is a phone number that can be used anywhere in the world and is not specific to a particular location. Let's say, you are located in Canada, and you need a number in the US for your business.

You can get a virtual number for the US and will be charged in local (Canada) rates. This does away with excessive international/long-distance call charges, saving you a lot of money.

2. Toll-free numbers

As the name suggests, these numbers allow the clients/customers to call the business without charging them any 'toll'; the charges are borne by the organization instead.

3. Vanity numbers

A vanity number is a local or toll-free virtual phone number which is a mix of numbers and letters. The letters generally spell something to do with the business in question. For instance, if your company sells mattresses, you can have a customized vanity number like 1-800- MATTRESS.

Are virtual phone numbers safe and reliable?

Virtual phone number systems offer some fantastic benefits for businesses and are generally safe and reliable. However, just like all other good things, if they are misused, it could lead to scams.

Since virtual numbers are not tied down to a particular device or phone line, some miscreants use them to make telephone calls to random people to extort money, among other thefts.

What is a virtual phone number scam?

Fraudsters buy virtual numbers from service providers so that they can place calls to potential victims located anywhere in the world.

The scammer pretending to be calling from big companies, local government authorities or charities will ask for sensitive information, like your bank details. If you come across any such calls, please report them as reputed companies and agencies won't ask for your personal details.

How can I find out who a phone number belongs to?

Today there are a lot of mobile applications such as Should I Answer, Showcaller, My Number, and TrueCaller that can be used to identify phone numbers. Simply download the application, type the number, and search the caller's details.

You could also use reverse phone lookup websites like WhoCallsMe and Whitepages to find callers. Moreover, you can use the search feature in various social media pages to check if an organization is associated with the number in question.

Try looking up the number on Google. If it is a popular scam, you might come across forums and pages where it is discussed at length.

If you really need to find out who the number belongs to, but none of the above worked, call the number and find out. It would be wise to add “*67” before dialing the phone number so that you are able to hide your identity.

How to avoid phone scams?

Always remember that no organization, government company, or charity pressurizes people to send money or ask for sensitive information. So, refrain from giving out any personal and financial information

If you realize during the call that it is a scam, hang up, and block the number. Also, filter out scam text messages.

Look out for cues of a scam during the call. You would be asked to pay an amount of money in a specific way and at a very short time period, usually before you hang up. Never give in to their demands, as no genuine company request customers or potential ones to do something like this.

What are the benefits of virtual numbers for businesses?

Below listed are some of the benefits of virtual phone numbers.

Ensured smooth functioning of your business

Offering excellent customer support is crucial to any business. One way to make this possible is to ensure you are available 24/7.

Virtual phone numbers make this possible. With one virtual phone number, staff members will be able to attend to calls in their respective regions, no matter where they are located.

Easy portability

Moving to a new location? You won't have to worry if you have a virtual number, as you can use the same number no matter where you are.

Ability to work remotely

As mentioned above, with virtual numbers, you can make calls and receive calls irrespective of your location. Since you need no physical phone systems and connections but just high-speed internet, your organization would give you the option to work remotely.

Scalability

If your organization has branches across the world, different virtual numbers can be used per location, in the same series, like 800 100 111, 800 100 112, and so on.

Reduced dropped calls

Landlines often have issues with their wiring cables, sockets, connection, or even the device itself. This can lead to dropped calls, which in turn can affect your company's reliability and uptime.

Customers are likely to contact another business offering the same service if the call gets dropped. This won't be an issue when you use virtual phone systems and of course, high-speed internet.

Lowered costs

Though landline devices are available at great rates, getting a connection can be quite expensive. If you have many locations, you would need a landline connection per location which increases your organizational costs. Virtual numbers, on the other hand, are available at affordable rates.

The best business phone systems to get a virtual phone number

A virtual phone number will be an ideal option for your business if you are looking for something reliable, flexible, effective, and affordable. Here is how to get one for your business.

How to get a virtual number with Quicktalk

Quicktalk is one of the best small business phone systems. Activation is almost instant and pricing plans are specifically tailored to the needs of small businesses, entrepreneurs and startups.

You only need a few steps to activate a phone number:

  • You are almost there! Click Get Started in the top menu, right there
  • Choose the country where you want a phone number
  • Choose the phone number that you'd like for your business. If you need a special phone number like a toll-free number for instance, write to us at [email protected]
  • Proceed to payment
  • And you're done! You'll receive an activation email instantly and then will be able to use your new phone number.

It's a no commitment package so you can cancel anytime.

How to get a virtual number with Ringover

Follow the steps given below to get a virtual number with Ringover

  • Register with Ringover. You will be asked your first name, last name, phone number, email, company name, and business size.
  • Sign into your Ringover account
  • Go to the "numbers" section
  • Choose the country you want the number for.
  • A list of available phone numbers will appear on your screen. Choose the number you like from the options

How to get a virtual number with Google Voice for Business

Google Voice is supported by Chrome OS, macOS, and Microsoft Windows as of today. Other platforms may have just limited functionality. The supported web browsers are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, and Safari.

Follow the below steps to get a virtual number with Google Voice.

  • Go to Google Voice for Business.
  • Choose a Google Voice number.
  • Click on the 'Verify' button to verify the number.
  • Enter a non-VoIP phone number to link to your Voice account.
  • You will receive a verification code. Enter the code.
  • A pop-up will ask you if you would like to claim this number. Click on ‘Claim'.
  • You will then be able to view your home page

Pricing: As far as the pricing is concerned, calls made via your Google Voice number will be billed to your organization. To see the region-wise call rates, visit https://voice.google.com/u/1/rates. Type the location you'd like to call, and the price will show up on the right side.

How to get a virtual number with RingCentral

Here are the virtual number account creation steps for RingCentral

  • Go to RingCentral's webpage
  • Click on Plans and Pricing. Choose the plan you like and click on ‘Buy Now'
  • Log in to your RingCentral account.
  • On the phone system, choose the phone numbers on the sidebar
  • Select add number and select the relevant country.
  • Choose the type of virtual number you want (local number, toll-free, or vanity number).
  • A list of numbers will appear on your screen. Select the one you like and click on confirm.

Pricing: RingCentral has 4 plans currently (Essentials, Standard, Premium, and Ultimate), ranging from $29.99 to $59.99. Each package has its own unique features and benefits, so you can go through the features and decide what would suit your company best.

How to get a virtual number with Ooma

Visit Ooma's official website. Go to “Small Business”.

When you scroll down a little, you will see a section ‘Choose your business phone number' Type in your area code in the box provided.

A list of local numbers and toll-free numbers will appear on your screen. Click on the one you prefer and click the ‘Next' button.

  • Choose the package that works for your organization. Click on ‘Next'.
  • Select the number of employees who would need a designated phone.
  • Confirm your selection by clicking on the ‘Activate your account' button.

Pricing: As of now, Ooma has two plans with different core features. While the basic plan (Ooma Office) is available at $19.95 per user per month, the Ooma Office Pro plan has many features and is available at $24.95 per user per month.

How to get a virtual number with Talkdesk

  • Log into your Talkdesk account as Admin.
  • Select the Admin tab and go to Numbers.
  • Click on the button ‘New Phone Number'.
  • Fill in the details on the next page (country, area code, pattern, phone number type). Click on ‘Search for numbers'.
  • A list of numbers will appear, choose the one you want for your business.

Pricing: The prices for each virtual number will be listed to the available choices and could vary depending on the type of number (local number, toll-free number) and country.

Prices for each phone number are listed next to the corresponding phone type (may vary depending on the country and number type). For every new number you buy, the price gets deducted from your available credit.

The best mobile apps to get a virtual phone number for free or at a good price

As virtual numbers have been gaining popularity, a few companies have started bringing out virtual numbers for mobile applications for free! However, it is to be noted that even though the application is free, you still need to pay to buy a virtual number.

There are only a handful of applications that offer numbers for free; these numbers can be used for personal use or text message verification processes. Since businesses require extensive features like call forwarding, conference calls, etc., these free virtual numbers are not suitable for business requirements.

Get a free virtual phone number with Google Voice for personal use

Here is how you can get Google Voice for personal use number:

  • Visit voice.google.com
  • Click on ‘For personal use'
  • Select the operating system/web.
  • Download the application from App Store or Play Store.
  • Login to your Google Account.
  • Choose the area code and a list of available numbers will appear.
  • Select the number you want. And click on ‘Claim' to claim the number

Get a virtual number with TextNow

To get a TextNow number:

  • Download the application from App Store or Play Store.
  • Create an account using Facebook, Google, or Apple accounts
  • Sign in using any of the above and create our TextNow
  • Enter the Area code for any US city and click on ‘Continue'

You will be given a list of available options, choose one from the list

Get a virtual phone number with 2nd line

  • Download the 2ndLine application from Google Play Store
  • Signup with your account information
  • Enter the area code (US/Canada)
  • Select a number from the list provided

Get a virtual number with TalkU

  • Download the TalkU application from Google Play Store or App Store
  • Sign into your account
  • Start making calls

Get a virtual phone number with FreeTone

  • Download the FreeTone application from Google Play Store or App Store
  • Create an account using your Facebook, Google, or any email address.
  • Start using the application

Get a virtual number with Temp Number

You can receive SMSs for free using this application.

  • Visit TempNumber's website: https://temp-number.com/
  • A list of countries appears on the home page, click on the country you want the virtual number from.
  • Select one of the numbers from the available set
  • Receive SMSs on the web page
  • Refresh the page to view new text messages

Get a virtual phone number with Wabi

  • Choose the country of which to get a local number from
  • Pick a number from the list.
  • Download WhatsApp Business app from Google Play Store or App Store
  • Create a WhatsApp Business account by inputting your virtual number in the phone number verification screen.
  • Click on the 'Call me' button.
  • Use the verification code to create your account.

The key here is to choose a service provider that can best suit your needs and budget. The right communication provider can help you convert more prospects into sales.

If you have any questions about how to select the best Virtual Phone provider for you, feel free to contact us.

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