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What is a VoIP number, and who should get one?

VoIP and virtual phone numbers enable you to choose your area code and connect with people around the world like neighbors. Learn how it's all made possible.

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In the olden days, businesses relied on landline numbers to connect with their customers. While these landlines got the job done, they were also severely limited in terms of bandwidth and flexibility.

That meant disappointed customers, bad reviews, tangled lines of communication within the business and with outside vendors, and the list goes on.

But times have changed. Now, a lot of brands are turning to Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to smooth out workflows and scale up the business. 

But don’t take our word for it–the numbers say that by 2026, VoIP will generate $102.5 billion in global revenue.

What is a VoIP number?

A VoIP number is a type of communication technology that doesn’t depend on a cell network. Instead, calls can be made over any internet connection, and the network works more or less the same as the mobile number or landline you’re already used to. 

That makes VoIP a good option for businesses that work virtually and from multiple locations, even worldwide. This is a huge advantage right now, given how many people work from home.

How VoIP numbers work

When a VoIP call is initiated, the voice data from the caller is transformed into packets using a process called packet-switching. These tiny data parcels can efficiently travel across the internet, breaking geographical barriers that once burdened traditional phone calls.

Once the packets reach their destination, they’re re-assembled. The voice data is extracted and played back, completing the communication. 

The process does require hardware, like a router, and a solid, disruption-free internet connection to work. But the beauty of VoIP is that you don’t need a phone network to pull it off. 

5 benefits of using a VoIP number

Using a VoIP number can feel like stepping into the future, and with a substantial list of benefits, it’s no wonder why. Let’s explore a few of these super-powered perks:

  1. Geographic freedom: With a VoIP number, you’re not shackled to your location. You can make and receive calls from any location worldwide.
  2. Cost saving: VoIP numbers can be cheaper than landlines, particularly for international calls. Plus, you don’t need multiple phones at various locations. Everything is accessible right from your device.
  3. Useful features: Call recording, advanced call reports, and user-friendly management systems are just some of the additional features VoIP brings to the spotlight.
  4. Efficiency: VoIP uses packet-switching technology, which means the use of communication lines is optimized, enabling more efficient communication during calls.
  5. Integration capabilities: VoIP integrates well with business services such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, email, and text messaging apps, providing seamless cross-platform collaboration.

The difference between VoIP and regular phone numbers

We’ve explained a few of the benefits of a VoIP number, but we also get that lots of longtime business owners are still attached to their tried-and-true phone numbers. 

Let’s compare and contrast between the two number types to better highlight some of the differences.

  1. The fundamental difference between VoIP and landline is that the former uses the internet, while the latter requires actual wires.
  2. Geographical restrictions are almost zero with a VoIP number. With a landline, calls are limited to your current area. 
  3. Landline numbers don’t allow data to be stored in any data warehouses. When you use a VoIP number, conversations and other details can be stored in an onsite warehouse or cloud database.
  4. VoIP networks are much faster than landline networks due to 4G and 5G wireless connections.
  5. Landlines won’t work where there’s no electricity. VoIP systems can still make calls if they’re connected to a cloud server.
  6. Setup cost is another major difference between landline and VoIP numbers. Landlines are expensive because you need multiple phones at different locations. VoIP only requires that you buy your numbers from a provider (which is often cheaper).

Types of VoIP phone numbers

So, you know what VoIP numbers are and why you might want to put them to work in your business. Now we need to talk about the different types of VoIP numbers available to you. 

We’ll break them down by cost per call and location restrictions.

VoIP number types based on cost

  • A local virtual phone number allows you to receive or make calls within a specific area close to the business. If your business is based in California, you can set up a number where people from Los Angeles and San Francisco can call you, and vice versa. Costs are minimal for local numbers.
  • A toll-free number is one of the most common VoIP numbers often used for B2C businesses. Customers don’t face costs for this type of number. All charges are covered by your business. 
  • Vanity VoIP numbers are customized to the business, and are therefore unique to every user. These numbers are used to increase a brand’s online reputation, create an immediate impact on the customers, and improve customer engagement. 

VoIP number types based on distance range

  • Onsite VoIP numbers are restricted to the business premises. Though you can make or receive calls from around the world, the VoIP device must be on your business’ property and connected to your wireless network.
  • When talking about the cloud VoIP numbers, remote employees can connect to callers without geographical restrictions. You won’t need an onsite LAN connection or business Wi-Fi system. 
  • Hybrid models are a combination of onsite and cloud setups where you have bandwidths for employees connected to the base LAN on-premise and those working from remote locations. 

Top VoIP number and service providers


Among the many VoIP numbers and service providers on the market, CallHippo is one of the best. Its super-fast communication channel offers comprehensive solutions to businesses worldwide. 

CallHippo benefits:

  • CallHippo offers a wide range of features such as auto-dialing, call forwarding, call recording, queue management, and more, which can be beneficial in managing business communication.
  • The platform is known for its responsive and helpful 24/7 customer service.
  • Customers say CallHippo is easy to use, even with minimal technical knowledge.


CallHippo offers three general subscription packages, starting with the Bronze subscription at $16 a month per user, all the way up to a platinum subscription at $40 a month per user.


Another popular VoIP industry standout, RingCentral has an array of features that help organizations manage their call center operations. With plenty of add-ons and integrations, RingCentral is ideal for companies looking to expand their global operations.

RingCentral benefits:

  • RingCentral gives users a central inbox, which means you can store all your voicemails and faxes in a single location.
  • The Admin portal is user-friendly and allows users to easily manage system settings, features, billing, and customization.
  • Easy installation and hassle-free maintenance make RingCentral a must-have investment for companies looking for effective business communication solutions.


RingCentral starts at $30 per month per user and includes unlimited domestic calling, API integrations, texting, and interactive voice response (IVR). 


The ideal VoIP service provider for small to medium-sized businesses, GrassHopper provides seamless communication options. It is an omnichannel platform that enables employees to collaborate and provides robust, scalable solutions for all kinds of organizations.

Grasshopper benefits:

  • Grasshopper allows users to make and receive calls to enhance your global presence and grab the competitive advantage.
  • With Grasshopper, you get access to various essential VoIP features such as call recording, auto-dialers, and voicemail transcription.
  • Great customer service, a user-friendly portal, and innovative features make Grasshopper a winner in the world of VoIP service providers.


Grasshopper’s pricing plans start at $16 per month for one user. It includes call forwarding, voicemail, reporting, and more.


Talkroute excels in providing high-powered features and a user-friendly platform for its customers. It has advanced capabilities to boost contact center operations through functions like call monitoring, call recording, and analytics.

Talkroute benefits:

  • Talkroute offers advanced call reports for real-time business intelligence.
  • The system allows users to manage multiple accounts with separate configurations to ease business operations.
  • Easy installation, timely customer support, and customization options set Talkroute apart from its competitors. 


You can use Talkroute for as little as $19 per month for one user, call forwarding, unlimited calling, 24/7 support, and more.


With Nextiva, you can get dedicated virtual phone numbers to make audio and video calls worldwide. This leading VoIP phone service provider offers numerous advanced features and call reporting capabilities.

Nextive benefits:

  • Nextiva is ideal for businesses looking to improve customer service and response time.
  • Users get a mix of features with Nextiva that include voicemail, call recording, auto-dialers, and caller ID.
  • Superior customer service, ease of installation, and apex business communication features make Nextiva an essential tool for growing businesses.


Nextiva’s plans start at $25.95 and include features like call forwarding, voicemail, Outlook/Google contact integrations, and unlimited voice and video calls.

What you need to support a VoIP number

To set up a VoIP number, you’ll need a few pieces of equipment and software:

  1. Hardware: You will need a router, Internet connectivity, and (preferably) a headset for speaking with the customers.
  2. Internet connection: Make sure your Internet connection is solid and disruption-free. You can either use a WAN or connect with the base LAN on your business’ property.
  3. Bandwidth: You also need a device to control your bandwidth and help you scale it as needed. 
  4. Software: Good software will help you manage your VoIP System, from recording calls to rerouting traffic. 

VoIP number FAQs

Are VoIP numbers free?

Some VoIP services offer free numbers for businesses. However, not all numbers, (like toll-free numbers) are free.
Yes, you can typically port your existing number to a VoIP service. The process is known as “porting,” and the majority of VoIP providers support it however, you should check with your specific provider to be certain.
VoIP numbers are as secure as the security measures implemented by your VoIP provider. Most reputable providers employ robust security protocols, including end-to-end encryption, to ensure the privacy and security of your communications.
Various VoIP service providers (like the ones mentioned in this article) offer numbers to their customers. The process typically involves signing up with the provider, following the steps to choose a number (or port your existing one), and setting up your VoIP service.
The cost of a VoIP number can vary depending on the provider, the type of number (local, toll-free, etc.), and the features included in the service. Some providers offer packages which include a VoIP number along with other services.
Yes, most VoIP numbers can send and receive text messages. The capability is usually integrated into the VoIP service, allowing you to text from your devices just as you would with a traditional phone number.

The wrap on VoIP numbers

Essentially, a VoIP number could be right for your business if you:

  • Have a stable internet connection
  • Work in multiple locations
  • Need to save conversations and call information
  • Want to save money on hardware

And finally, it’s important to note that VoIP isn’t just for calling. Learn more about how VoIP texting works and what you can do with it.

Dani Henion
Dani Henion

Dani Henion is the content team lead at SimpleTexting and is continuously looking for ways to make text messaging strategies and tips more accessible to SMBs. When she's not writing or planning new SMS content, you'll find her decorating elaborate sugar cookies or thrifting in Atlanta.

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