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What is a Virtual Phone Number?

When you purchase a sim card or set up a landline, you are usually offered several local numbers to choose from. Once you’ve picked one, the number is assigned to the chosen device. What happens is that the number you’ve chosen becomes associated with a separate phone line — the passage through which the caller directly reaches your phone. A virtual phone number, on the other hand, is not bound to any particular user device at all. When a call is placed, it leads the caller to a forwarding service and directs the call to a pre-set number or numbers.

What a virtual number can do

There are two major ways virtual phone number can work:

  • One device–multiple channels

A virtual number can forward calls to any device of your choosing, including the mobile phone that you already have. There’s no need to buy a new device — your business calls are directed to your personal phone, but you can easily determine whether it’s a business call or a personal one. That way you can separate your personal and business lives, still using the same device. What’s more, you can have multiple virtual phone numbers connected to the same phone, if you want to test different ad campaigns, for example. Just put different numbers there and see which one performs better.

  • One phone number–multiple devices

Since a virtual number works through a forwarding service, the number of devices it can direct calls to is almost unlimited. If you run an enterprise with several partners, there are several phone numbers your business can be reached by. A virtual phone number can combine them into just one for callers to access. When a call is placed, it can be forwarded to all the numbers you have at once with all the devices ringing at the same time, or just go from one number to another after a couple of rings.

Across borders

As mentioned earlier, when you buy a cellphone or a landline you usually get a local number with its own area code. A virtual phone number works in a slightly different way. As it’s not associated with a physical location, you can purchase Alaska number residing in California and have it ring on your regular mobile phone or even landline. Depending on the number you choose, it can come at a very low cost for you and free for callers, which makes virtual numbers a great cost-effective solution for small businesses looking to establish local presence throughout the country, or even worldwide.

A virtual number is really more than just a number. Check these articles to find out what else a virtual phone number is capable of:

The Benefits of IP Telephony For Business

Top 6 reasons to switch to an Internet phone service