A VoIP number is a virtual phone number assigned to an individual rather than a specific location or device. Although it works like your traditional phone number, it places calls over an internet connection instead of a local telephone company. VoIP phone numbers work with any internet-enabled device, including laptops, tablets, desktops, and smartphones.
A VoIP phone number is suitable for individual and business use. However, businesses are more likely to benefit from this service since they make a large number of calls daily. Some VoIP phone number providers offer advanced calling features to businesses for a premium to cater to call recording, call forwarding, and auto attendant services. Businesses can use their existing phone numbers by porting to a VoIP number provider.
There are several merits to using a VoIP phone number over conventional phone systems. Some of these include:
Making calls via a VoIP number is significantly cheaper than traditional phone calls. VoIP uses the internet to make calls instead of landlines, removing the cost of hardware and eliminating costly phone bills for international or long-distance calls. Also, new subscribers can use their existing systems for VoIP phones, eliminating the need to purchase additional hardware components. Also, VoIP charges are pay-per-user, billed each month. When you subscribe to a VoIP number plan, you know upfront how much it would cost you monthly. This makes your monthly phone expenses predictable.
VoIP numbers offer flexibility. You take it with you wherever you go and can always access the service as long as you have an internet connection. A VoIP number is not tied to a specific location or dependent on a line. Therefore, you can easily commute with it without physical limitations. Another flexible aspect of VoIP is that it allows you to use one VoIP number on numerous devices. In the same way, users can also store and control all communications from a single device.
VoIP phone number calls are faster and more reliable than traditional landlines. VoIP uses fiber optics and broadband cables to provide faster speed on the internet. Also, most networks use 4G and 5G wireless networks known for their connectivity speed, which also translates to clear voice calls for users.
VoIP number calls allow you to store conversations and other details in an onsite or cloud-based data warehouse for future retrieval.
VoIP number calls offer additional features, including call recording, conferencing, voicemail, speed dial, as well as call waiting and forwarding. Features also include instant messaging, call queueing, live chat, call whispering, and digital faxing.
There are some factors you must consider before selecting a VoIP service provider. They include:
The purpose of getting a VoIP service may be defeated if it is more expensive than your traditional landline. Some service providers are expensive because they offer add-on features for a premium. Be sure to choose a service provider that breaks down costs and also offers affordable plans based on your personal or business needs.
The best VoIP number providers offer high-quality audio. If the VoIP network has poor quality calls, you may experience a lot of static and long pauses during conversations. Pick a service provider that ensures consistent quality over one with poor and choppy calls.
VoIP number providers offer various plans to customers. You should ensure that the features you subscribe for suit your needs and budget. Also, try to confirm if fees are one-off or recurring.
The number of downtimes a VoIP service provider experiences is a crucial factor. Poor connections lead to reduced call quality and strain communication. Therefore, choosing a reliable service provider is very important.
There’s also the problem of security. Since the calls are over the internet, VoIP services are vulnerable to risks. You should make sure that the service provider offers end-to-end encryption to protect your conversation from cybercriminals.
The longer a VoIP provider has been in business, the higher the chance they provide better services. Also, some providers have specific expertise and experience handling VoIP phone numbers for some sectors, especially those that require compliance or are highly regulated.
Some VoIP number providers offer support only during business hours, some charge an extra fee for customer phone support, while others offer free 24-hour assistance. You should choose a VoIP number provider that offers multiple support channels, including emails, phone calls, website communication, and messaging.
The five best options for getting a VoIP phone number include:
Grasshopper is the top choice, especially among small business owners and individuals. They offer great features, including automated attendants, unlimited calls, instant response, virtual fax, call transfers, and call forwarding. They also offer add-on services, such as call blasting, multiple numbers, and international calling for a fee. Grasshopper is affordable and provides 24/7 support.
eVoice offers users multiple phone numbers, toll-free numbers, unlimited calls, auto attendants, conference calls, call forwarding, call queueing, and call routing. It does not require hardware or tedious setup. Also, you get to pick your VoIP number and customize it with additional features based on your needs. Add-on features include web and audio conferencing, call recording, faxing, live receptionist, and voicemail for mobile. eVoice is easy to set up, affordable, and works best for businesses with significant faxing needs. The service also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Nextiva works best for individuals and small businesses who want to work remotely as it provides subscribers unlimited domestic calls. The service offers multiple affordable plans with secure VoIP phone numbers and allows people to operate from any location via video conferencing, CRM, text messaging, online faxing, voice and live chat, and call routing services. For a fee, subscribers can get add-on features, including call recording, unlimited calling plans, and journey mapping services. The company provides 24/7 email, chat, and phone support for subscribers.
Ooma Office offers one of the most affordable pricing for VoIP number setups. Essential features of their basic setup include a virtual receptionist, music on hold, digital fax, email audio enhancement, and one toll-free number. Users can expect additional features on higher packages, including voicemail transcription, call analytics, hot desking, call queueing, and video conferencing. Ooma Office also offers website chat and phone call support to customers.
RingCentral provides subscribers with affordable VoIP number solutions for just under $20 monthly. Their setup is simple and easy to use, turning your laptops, smartphones, and tablets into a mobile office that you can access anywhere. Users can expect features ranging from unlimited calls and toll-free numbers to real-time analytics and video conferencing with up to 200 participants, depending on the package subscribed.
Signing up for a VoIP number service plan is the best way to get a cheaper alternative phone plan. It also gives the user more features that traditional landlines do not offer. Some service providers offer free VoIP numbers, while others charge to obtain the number. However, most of the free VoIP numbers have limited features. The ultimate decision on the best option for getting a VoIP number depends on the user's needs, desired features, multiple phone numbers, budget, and special regulations tailored to each subscriber’s needs.