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Best Virtual Phone Number Companies

By Lars Lofgren

RingCentral logo

Few people want to manage their business phone calls using their personal phone numbers.

It can be frustrating, hinder privacy, and blends the worlds of work and regular life.

The good news is that you don’t have to use your personal number.

A virtual phone number can take charge and allows you and your team to use the same number across multiple platforms, both mobile and desktop.

I’ve put together a list of the best virtual phone number companies to help get you started.

The Top 7 Best Virtual Phone Number Companies:

  • RingCentral — The Best for Advanced Features
  • 800.com — The Best for Toll-Free Numbers
  • CallHippo — The Best for Vanity Numbers
  • Google Voice — The Best for Free Virtual Phone Numbers
  • VirtualPhone.com — The Best for International Numbers
  • eVoice — The Best for Faxing
  • Talkroute — The Best for Call Centers
  • Now you know our picks, let’s get started.

    #1 – RingCentral — The Best for Advanced Features

    Visit RingCentral

    • Vidconferencing, meetings, & more
    • Supports toll-free & local #s
    • Cloud-based PBX
    • Unlimited business SMS

    Sign up today

    RingCentral focuses on advanced and robust features for businesses that need it all.

    From video conferencing for up to 200 people to file sharing and team messaging, RingCentral is a deep and fully-featured option.

    Growing teams that need a system to keep up with them will be well-served with RingCentral.

    You’ll be able to set up new users and departments quickly and efficiently, and there are extensions, shared lines, and a useful auto-receptionist feature available from the start.

    The admin portal enables you to view usage, track service quality, and even manage dynamic call routing. That’s without mentioning automatic voicemail transcription, live switching, and call delegation.

    Other features of RingCentral include:

    • Unlimited business SMS
    • Toll-Free and local numbers
    • Online meetings
    • Multi-level IVR
    • Mobile and desktop apps (both iOS and Android)
    • Internet faxing
    • Cloud PBX
    • Third-party integrations

    For all the features it provides, you might expect RingCentral to cost a lot, but that isn’t the case:

    At the time of writing, all of the tiers are discounted, and the first three provide a free trial so you can see if it’s for you.

    The one drawback I see with RingCentral is that its bevy of features may be overwhelming for those that just need the essentials. Try RingCentral risk free.

    #2 – 800.com — The Best for Toll-Free Numbers

    800.com logo
    Visit 800.com

    • Great for support centers
    • Easily get toll-free numbers
    • Take & share notes on calls
    • Call recording included

    Sign up today

    800.com is a virtual phone number provider that is best for those looking for toll-free numbers.

    As the name might suggest, a toll-free number allows callers to reach businesses and individuals without being charged to do so.

    800.com is a great option for businesses in telemarketing and providing customer service because of its toll-free nature.

    A business number that’s free to call is far more likely to be used by a customer, thereby facilitating higher engagement and potential sales with the brand.

    Other key features of 800.com include:

    • Call forwarding
    • Call blocking
    • Call notes
    • Call recording
    • Call and fax reports
    • Caller ID
    • Voicemail to email
    • Call notifications

    800.com offers three core plans: Personal, Unlimited, and Pro. It’s worth mentioning that each of these can be paid for either monthly or annually, but you will save money opting for the annual option, so I do recommend it.

    The plans vary on features, but the key difference between them is how many toll-free numbers you can access, and the minutes you get.

    The three tiers are:

    • Personal – 1000 minutes, one toll-free number, $19 per month
    • Unlimited – Unlimited minutes, one toll-free number, $49 per month
    • Pro – Unlimited seats, 5000 minutes, and five toll-free numbers, $199 per month

    I particularly like that there are no setup fees, and you can cancel at any time.

    #3 – CallHippo — The Best for Vanity Numbers

    CallHippo logo
    Visit CallHippo

    • Get a memorable number
    • Easy-to-use platform
    • Call segmenting & routing
    • Call reporting

    Sign up today

    CallHippo will be most useful to brands that are seeking vanity numbers. A vanity phone number is when the digits spell out a word or phrase, such as 1-800-LAWYERS or 1-800-FLOWERS.

    Creating a vanity number allows you to pick a memorable number, they’re easier to advertise, and they give your business credibility.

    CallHippo makes the search for vanity numbers as simple as possible. It uses a dedicated module for looking up and then allowing you to purchase any vanity number you desire.

    It’s this easy-to-use and well-thought-out system that stands out among the crowd. If you need a vanity number with the least amount of hassle, then you don’t need to look any further.

    Other useful features of CallHippo include:

    • Automatic call distribution
    • Interactive voice response
    • Fully-optimized segmentation and routing
    • Power dialer
    • Real-time reports
    • Call recordings
    • Call transfer
    • On hold music

    CallHippo offers four payment plans for its service, and keep in mind only one of them, the custom Enterprise variant, offers a free trial:

    Each tier offers more features. For example, with the last two tiers, you can forward calls to other devices and use call barging—the latter allows you to listen to live calls discreetly.

    Ultimately this comes down to how many features you need to get started, but I think a safe option for most is the Silver tier.

    #4 – Google Voice — The Best for Free Virtual Phone Numbers

    Google Voice logo
    Visit Google Voice

    • Great for freelancers
    • Call recording included
    • Feature-rich mobile app
    • Conferencing & collaboration

    Try it for free

    If all you need is a free virtual phone number and you freelance or work alone, Google Voice is the best choice.

    It’s fair to say you get everything you need for the unbeatable ‘price’ of free.

    With Google Voice, you’ll be able to send texts, make domestic calls, and it includes call recording—at no extra cost—which is always handy.

    You’ll be able to choose a free local number with the prefix based on almost all of the central area codes of the US.

    What’s more, there are full mobile apps available for both iOS and Android devices, so you aren’t short on options, wherever you are.

    Google Voice also offers:

    • Collaboration tools
    • Conferencing functionality
    • Instant messaging
    • Real-time reports
    • Caller ID
    • Automatic notifications
    • Activity dashboard
    • Third-party integration

    I’ve mentioned that it’s free to use Google Voice for personal numbers, but if you’re a business, there are options available for you, too.

    Google Voice’s business plans are the following:

    The key difference here is, of course, the number of users and domestic locations available. Think carefully about what’s right for you.

    While I wouldn’t immediately say that Google Voice is the number one option for businesses due to its limitations, you could do far worse, and the service is basically the free version with some added perks.

    #5 – VirtualPhone.com — The Best for International Numbers

    VirtualPhone.com logo
    Visit VirtualPhone.com

    • Over 120 countries supported
    • Live chat and SMS in some plans
    • Great mobile app
    • Adaptable pricing plans

    Try it for free

    If an international number is what you’re after, then VirtualPhone is an excellent choice.

    You’ll be able to use an international, toll-free number in over 120 different countries, making this perfect for multinational companies.

    If you have a small business based in the US that does business overseas, then you’ll know these calls can often be costly and an inefficient way of managing resources.

    VirtualPhone bridges that gap, allowing you to adopt international numbers using a simple lookup tool. Pick the number you want, and you’re good to go.

    Some of the other highlights include:

    • Call forwarding
    • IVR
    • Mobile apps
    • Call recording
    • Live chat with voice
    • SMS
    • Call schedule
    • Voicemail and fax

    VirtualPhone’s pricing could be a bit clearer, however.

    It’s divided into subsections for each of the three tiers and offers free trials for the many different packages within them:

    As you can see, the difference in the Starter tier hinges on the number of call minutes or texts you receive a month.

    The Medium and Large tiers offer more of the same, with the number of minutes and texts increasing quite substantially but with fewer plans to choose from overall.

    It’s worth mentioning that additional numbers of the same type become cheaper the higher the package’s monthly cost.

    The best offer here really depends on your individual circumstances, but it’s worth giving it a fair bit of thought before diving straight in with a package or testing the service with a free trial before committing.

    #6 – eVoice — The Best for Faxing

    eVoice logo
    Visit eVoice

    • Call forwarding, SMS, & faxing
    • Send & receive documents securely
    • Call scheduler included
    • 24/7 live customer support

    Sign up today

    Business calls might not be the only feature you need—what about integrated faxing capabilities, too? Many businesses still use faxing regularly to send and receive documents, though it is mostly digital faxing these days.

    Well, eVoice has you covered. It offers call forwarding, texting, and faxing all in one neat package.

    All of that makes the software ideal for freelancers, real estate agents, and others that need the added functionality for daily use.

    I particularly like its ability to transcribe your voicemail and email or text it to you.

    On top of all that, eVoice also offers the following:

    • Studio recorded greetings
    • Outbound calling app
    • Call scheduler
    • Call forwarding
    • Virtual receptionist
    • Call redirection
    • Dedicated mobile apps
    • Live support

    eVoice’s website only shows one pricing plan, called Elite, which comes with unlimited calls, users, and lines, plus an auto-attendant and 24/7 customer support for $12 per user per month when billed annually.

    With that said, it does, of course, depend on your business’s needs, and you can speak with eVoice to get a customized plan based on your preferences. eVoice offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    #7 – Talkroute — The Best for Call Centers

    Talkroute logo
    Visit Talkroute

    • Easy, powerful queuing & transfers
    • Optional vanity & 800 numbers
    • Set up direct extensions
    • Dial-by-name directory

    Sign up today

    A call center team requires features like call queuing, live transfers, and call reports to keep things running smoothly.

    The good news is that Talkroute offers all of these, making it the best option for remote call center teams or those that just need powerful features.

    You’ll be able to make and receive calls from desktop or on the go, and there are toll-free, vanity, and even some 800 numbers available.

    I particularly like the extension option of Talkroute, which allows callers to get through to the appropriate team without fuss. These can be adjusted in a simple but effective dashboard.

    Talkroute also provides the following essentials:

    • Text messages
    • Call stacking
    • Call recording
    • Users and permissions
    • Caller ID
    • Automated messages
    • Dial-by-name directories
    • Hours of operation

    I’m pleased to say that Talkroute offers a free trial for seven days—not all that common with other providers—and you can book a live demo to get a taste of things.

    On the pricing front, there are four main tiers:

    I would recommend the Plus tier here as a reliable first option, mainly because it offers two local and toll-free numbers, unlimited text messaging, and three account users.

    If you need more users, then it’s not until the Pro variant that you receive 10 of them.

    How to Find the Best Virtual Phone Number Company for You

    Finding the best virtual phone number company or provider for you pivots on your individual circumstances.

    For example, if you work alone or freelance, then it’s unlikely you will need a suite of tools as powerful as RingCentral offers. Google Voice would be a better option here in most cases.

    On the other hand, these extra features could be critical for medium-sized and enterprise-grade businesses.

    So, the first most important thing to think about is: what exactly do you need now and for the future?

    Different providers target various scenarios. For example, eVoice and its faxing capabilities would be best suited to real estate agents, freelancers, small law firms, and other document-heavy businesses.

    How about international calls or number porting? Number porting takes an existing business number and ports it over to the new provider where available. How essential would that be for you?

    The other thing to mention is the different types of virtual phone systems. The main ones are cloud-hosted systems, VoIP-based virtual systems, and app-based virtual providers.

    The good news is that you don’t have to think too hard about this. App-based virtual providers are basic, and I wouldn’t recommend them for long-term growth. That leaves us with cloud-hosted systems and VoIP-based virtual systems.

    The difference between these is minimal when it comes to general use. It’s worth noting that both terms are often used interchangeably, and some providers merge VoIP systems with cloud-hosted ones.

    The bottom line is that both systems move away from more traditional, physical landline systems and therefore simplify matters. Cloud-based systems tend to have the edge overall, as your provider and their platform handle any issues, but both are good options.

    After you’ve thought about all of that, you can then break things down further by thinking about the following criteria to help you decide which virtual phone number company will be best for your needs.

    Toll-Free Numbers

    Toll-free numbers are essential for most businesses because customers don’t have to pay anything to call you. It almost goes without saying how important that is to increase engagement with a brand.

    Making it free for customers to call you can supercharge trade, and companies that focus on customer service should make this a top priority. Most providers on this list offer toll-free numbers.

    Of course, this again depends on general circumstances. A freelancer or solo worker probably won’t need to place this high up on their list.

    Extensions and Routing

    Extensions and the ability to route calls enable you to direct inbound calls to the right place. A multi-department company is an example of when this would be an essential feature.

    You can often determine the number of rings before a call is routed and the order in which the numbers will ring. Keep in mind that not every provider on this list offers extensions or call routing.

    If you’re a growing company, this functionality may also be something to consider for future growth.

    Setup Process

    Some setup processes differ between virtual phone number companies, but it’s fair to say that few will be complicated or time-consuming.

    Most of the providers on my list offer quick and straightforward setup processes that allow you to spend the time elsewhere. With that said, it’s always worth asking about the installation and deployment process in detail before opting for a specific provider.

    For example, what’s needed from you to get up and running? Some virtual phone number providers require very little and promise instant setups, while others might require a local number or additional details.

    Most people will want a quick to set up provider with support available if they become stuck along the way.

    On the other hand, you might be okay with spending additional time getting a system set up to precise requirements.

    Summary

    As more and more people turn to virtual phone number systems, the number of companies that provide these services increases to meet the demand.

    As a result, it can sometimes be overwhelming to know where to start.

    These picks on my list should kickstart your search for a good virtual phone number company:

    • RingCentral — The Best for Advanced Features
    • 800.com — The Best for Toll-Free Numbers
    • CallHippo — The Best for Vanity Numbers
    • Google Voice — The Best for Free Virtual Phone Numbers
    • VirtualPhone.com — The Best for International Numbers
    • eVoice — The Best for Faxing
    • Talkroute — The Best for Call Centers

    The most vital part is to be clear about what you need. Once you’ve thought about that, deciding on a virtual phone number provider will become much easier.

    From there, check the details and research any hidden costs and extra fees.

    Most providers aren’t out to get you, but it always pays to be prudent and to double-check before signing up.

    Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Quicksprout/~3/_iGkl_-Dfqs/