What is a VoIP Number?

Learn what VoIP numbers are and why they are necessary for businesses.

VoIP_Dialer.jpg

What is a VoIP Number?

Learn what VoIP numbers are and why they are necessary for businesses.

VoIP_Dialer.jpg

What is a VoIP Number?

Learn what VoIP numbers are and why they are necessary for businesses.

VoIP_Dialer.jpg

What is a VoIP Number?

Learn what VoIP numbers are and why they are necessary for businesses.

VoIP_Dialer.jpg

Technology has changed the way we interact with our world and how we communicate. Phone technology is no different. The biggest advance in telecommunications in recent years is the rise in VoIP systems and virtual phone services. This cloud-based tech allows you to make a call anywhere from any device.

The best part of VoIP technology is that you can make and receive calls from any device using a single number. But just what is a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) number, and how does it work?

Don’t worry - we’ve got it all covered for you:

What is a Voice Over IP Number?

Let’s start with the basics: what exactly is a VoIP number? It’s a virtual phone number that is very much a real telephone number assigned to a user. VoIP numbers differ from regular phone numbers in that it isn’t connected to a specific, physical phone line.

Because VoIP numbers aren’t connected to a physical phone line, they can be used by any device that can access the platform that hosts the number. With VoIP providers like 8x8, this can include:

  • An IP phone (like a regular desk phone but for VoIP)
  • A cell phone or other mobile device
  • Desktop computer or laptop

Why would someone use a business VoIP number?

Why would someone use a business VoIP number?

Why would someone use a business VoIP number?

Why would someone use a business VoIP number?

If you already have a traditional phone with a perfectly good number, why would you switch? There are plenty of advantages to having a virtual number over a traditional landline.

FeatureVoIP phone numberTraditional phone number
MobilityYou can make internet-based calls from anywhere 24/7. Long-distance calls are free, and international calling is affordable.With traditional Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems, you can only make voice calls from a phone connected directly to the physical line. International calling can be very expensive.
FlexibilityIf you use it for business, it can grow with you. You can add or reduce users as needed with a hosted PBX.Getting additional landline numbers for your business requires expensive copper wiring, installation, and maintenance.
Cost-efficientIt doesn’t require expensive equipment or maintenance. The cost per line is affordable, even for small businesses.It requires a desk phone and additional equipment. It also often comes at a higher cost per line and high maintenance costs.
Shared linesYou can have one business number that gets routed using rules that you set.You can have a shared line, but it doesn’t come with routing rules. Your team also has to be at the desk to receive a call.
Custom numberYou can choose any number you want including local, toll-free, and vanity. You can even port your existing business number.You get what you get. The number is assigned to you and any customization comes with a hefty price tag.

Make phone calls from anywhere

Using a virtual number, you can make non-fixed VoIP calls from anywhere using any of your devices. Your VoIP number isn’t tied to one physical location, so if you have to move to a new location or work from home, nothing changes! Simply use a softphone or appropriate mobile device, and receive business calls as you would in the office.

With VoIP service providers, you can use your number and operate normally no matter where you are. You never have to skip a beat if you need to change your business's normal operations.

Convenient

With your VoIP service, you can get signed up in minutes, giving you connectivity across the country (or even the world). All you need is a sufficient broadband internet connection to ensure appropriate call quality.

Managing your calls and business has never been easier. You can also easily track analytics connected to each of your business numbers to keep an eye on how your customer support team is performing.

Flexible

VoIP numbers are there to work for your business, whatever that means. Because it requires no additional equipment or technical expertise to add or remove a line, it can be done with a few clicks of a button.

There are also more features included than with traditional phone systems. This allows you to use a more unified communication strategy that allows more flexibility in your day. For example, business VoIP phone services like 8x8 usually come with features like SMS messaging and video conferencing. You can switch from audio calls to video calls all while sending text messages to your team.

Cost-efficient for most businesses’ phone systems

From flexible pricing plans to affordable phone bills to low maintenance costs, businesses can save money by switching to a VoIP number. You don’t have to pay expensive setup fees, maintenance costs, or buy desk phones. With VoIP numbers, you probably already have what you need to get started.

Also, the portability of your phone number means that you can reduce operating costs by having some level of remote working. With additional features like text messaging, voicemail, and integrations to CRM software, your company will operate more efficiently. All of this helps your bottom line.

Have shared lines

While this is a feature that traditional phone lines can have, VoIP numbers do it better. With traditional lines, you must be in the office to answer the phone. Plus, all phones on shared lines will ring at once.

With VoIP, you can decide what to do with incoming calls on shared lines. Special call routing rules can be set to route calls on a shared line in a specific order to a set group within your team. You can also set it to route to the person best suited to help the caller.

Choose your custom phone number

This is probably one of the greatest features of VoIP numbers. You have the power to choose your own number. Let’s look at some options.

Local area codes

If your business stays within your local area, you may opt for a number with a local area code. A local number may help you to instill trust with your customers. This type of number will also be easier for them to remember.

Toll-free numbers

If your business has a customer base that is regional or even national, you may want to adopt a toll-free number. Toll-free numbers are also familiar to customers and help build your reputation as an established company. These numbers even include toll-free texting.

Vanity numbers

A vanity number is a phone number and a marketing tool in one. Vanity numbers, like 1-800-FLOWERS, use the letters on the phone dial pad to make phone numbers memorable. It makes dialing your number easy for customers.

This feature is available with traditional phone companies, but it’s often extremely costly. With VoIP numbers, even small businesses can be a little vain.

Bring your business phone number with you

Do you already love your phone number? That’s great! You can keep it if you decide to switch to a VoIP network. Porting your existing number to your new service is easy and comes at a low cost. You don’t have to lose anything by switching and you can gain so much.

What do I need to support my VoIP phone system?

You need very little to get calling with your new virtual number. You just need a device capable of making business and personal calls over the internet, a reliable internet connection, and a VoIP carrier.

The first thing you need to consider is the quality of your broadband network. From there, it’s a matter of deciding which are the best devices for you.

Internet connection

In order to make high-quality calls, you need an internet connection. Make sure you:

  1. Check with your VoIP provider to see what speeds their service needs.
  2. Run speed tests with your existing network to ensure you have the minimum required.
  3. If it’s insufficient, check to see if you need to update your router, modem, or cables.
  4. If the problem is with your internet provider, talk to them about increasing your speeds.
  5. If they can’t, shop around for another internet service provider.

Device

With complete business phone systems, you have multiple options that you can choose from when it comes to devices:

IP Phone

An IP phone is an internet phone that disguises itself as a traditional desk phone. It has all the advanced features that come with a VoIP number but suits a workforce that is attached to their desk phones. These types of phones also include conference phones.

Softphone

Softphones allow you to make and receive internet calls from your number through an application. VoIP services provide call center software and mobile applications that allow you to use your computer, smartphone or tablet to call with your virtual number. That means you don’t have to give out your personal mobile number to make or receive business calls away from your desk.

Existing phones

If you are happy with your hard phones, that’s okay too. All you need is an adapter to use your new VoIP number with your existing desk phones. This gives you easy access to all the advanced features that come with modern telephony’s cloud technology.

How to choose a VoIP provider

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to getting a VoIP provider for your virtual phone number. Here’s what to consider before you abandon your old analog number.

Make sure you can choose your virtual phone number

A VoIP service that is worth anything will allow you to choose your own number. Being able to port existing numbers and choose the local or toll-free numbers is one of the best parts of switching to VoIP.

Have all the features you need in a business phone system

When you decide to get a VoIP number, you are also taking advantage of all the best features in modern telephony. Make sure your new business numbers come with:

  • An auto-attendant: This is a virtual receptionist that efficiently routes calls for you.
  • Call recording: Recording calls is great for quality assurance and to keep a record of meetings.
  • Call forwarding: You should be able to start forwarding calls to a different number no matter where you are. You should also be able to use call transfer features.
  • Team messaging: You should be able to send business texts to your team from your virtual number.
  • Video conference calling: Especially if you are a dispersed workforce, it is important to meet with your team face-to-face using your business number.
  • Online faxing: Faxing can also be something you can do from anywhere. You can use your virtual fax number to send faxes to a real fax machine or another email.

Has high-quality VoIP calling

Make sure that your provider prioritizes call quality. Ideally, you want HD-quality calls to ensure that your staff and customers are on the same page. You want to be able to make calls and impress your customers with how clear and crisp you sound over the phone.

Conclusion

VoIP numbers are the medium from which you can take advantage of all voice over internet protocol has to offer. From the advanced calling features to the ability to work anywhere in the world, there really isn’t a reason to not take advantage of what they have to offer.

To learn more about getting VoIP for your business, talk to one of our specialists today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I start VoIP calling?

To get started with unlimited calling all you need is an internet connection and a device that can make the calls. If you are using an IP phone, simply connect it to a power source and the internet.

If you’re using a softphone, you’ll need to download the software and log in to your account. From there you make the call just like you would normally - just type in the number or click on the customer with your CRM integration.

Can you trace a virtual phone number?

To trace a virtual number, you need to use tools available online. These reverse phone number lookups can be free or paid. However, you can also set up call screening on your device to display the caller ID name and IP address.

Should I get a VoIP number for my business?

Many legitimate businesses today operate using VoIP numbers. With the rise of remote working, we’re likely to see most businesses using these numbers moving forward. In fact, even residential VoIP is on the rise as the world starts embracing the power that comes with having a number you can take anywhere.

Is a VoIP number a cell phone?

No, it is a number that works over the internet, not with cell towers. However, you can make calls using your cellular data and you can use your mobile device to make calls with your VoIP number.