I’m going to share answers to the most common questions about virtual phone numbers.
What is a virtual phone number?
A virtual phone number, also referred to as just a virtual number, is a telephone number whose routing you can change since it isn’t connected to a specific telephone line.
How does a virtual phone number work?
You can think of a virtual phone number as a phone number alias. Just like you can have multiple email addresses forwarding to one email account, or multiple domain names pointing to the same website, you can have multiple virtual phone numbers all routing to the same physical telephone line. For example, while your cell phone number might be 847-555-1234 you may advertise your phone number as 773-555-7859 and forward this virtual number to your actual cell number.
What are some advantages of a virtual phone number?
There are many reasons why you might want to buy a virtual phone number. Here are just a few reasons:
1. Virtual phone numbers are often used for ad campaigns where a company advertises multiple numbers on different variations of ads to track which ads generate the most phone calls.
2. Buying a virtual phone number with a local area code (as opposed to a toll-free number) can give a national company a local presence when advertising in a specific area.
3. Providing customers with a virtual phone number to call in their own area code means they won’t have to pay long distance changes.
4. If you use telephone applications, like a virtual receptionist, Find Me call forwarding, or hosted IVR that isn’t offered by your dial tone provider, you’ll need to get a virtual phone number from the application provider. When that number is called, the phone call is routed from the virtual phone number, through the telephone applications, to the phone number associated with your cell phone, VoIP phone, or landline.
How do I buy a virtual phone number?
If you want a virtual phone number, you can buy a local phone number or buy a toll free number from a phone number vendor. Most, but not all, area codes in the United States and Canada are available. While you search for the best virtual phone number provider, we recommend considering the additional features and functionality that come with the number.