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What Is A Virtual Phone Number & How Does It Work?



what is virtual phone number and how does it works

There are many ways to promote your business, so deciding on the best method can be tricky. This is especially true if you want to reach a certain type of customer. 

However, one option you may have yet to consider is virtual phone numbers. When used creatively, virtual numbers can be incredibly useful for your marketing.

In this article, you will understand in detail what a virtual number is, how it works, why you should use it, and its types. Additionally, we’ll also talk about the type of virtual numbers, their benefits, use cases, challenges, things to consider, and how you can get a virtual number for your business. 

Let’s begin. 👇


  • A virtual phone number is a telephone number without an associated telephone line that uses VoIP technology. Calls are encoded and transmitted over the internet, then decoded at the recipient’s device like a normal call.
  • The reasons to use virtual numbers include flexibility & accessibility, security &  privacy, professional image, modern telephony features, and no additional hardware requirements.
  • There are four main types of virtual numbers: local, mobile, toll-free, and vanity.
  • The benefits of virtual numbers are consistent branding, remote work, lower costs, separate business and personal communication, improved customer service, and tracking of your marketing campaign. 
  • When selecting a virtual phone number, consider your budget, pricing plans, past customer reviews, ease of use, internet speed, types of equipment, and extra features.
  • Remote teams, small businesses, enterprises with global reach, sales/marketing teams, e-commerce sites, temporary uses, and digital nomads commonly use virtual numbers.
  • Unlike regular phone numbers, virtual phone numbers provided by cloud communication platforms can be accessed from anywhere via an internet-connected device, are not limited by physical locations, and are more affordable and scalable for growing businesses that come along with advanced features.
  • The notable challenges and limitations of Virtual Phone Numbers are technical dependence, network & security concerns, perception & trust issues, and integration & compatibility.

What Is A Virtual Phone Number?

A virtual phone number is like a normal phone number you would have for your cell phone, except it’s not attached to an actual physical phone. You can still make and get calls using the virtual number though, just like a regular number.

What is virtual phone number

Virtual phone numbers are also usually more budget-friendly than actual landlines since you aren’t paying for equipment or a monthly service fee to a company. For example, the number +44 20 1234 5678 could be a virtual phone number in the United Kingdom. 

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Even though it is not tied to a specific physical device, callers within the United Kingdom would see this number as a standard domestic call and be able to reach the user just as if they had called an actual landline or mobile in that country.

👓 Check Out: Virtual Phone Calls: What is it & How Does it Work?

How Does a Virtual Phone Number Work?

A virtual phone number works like a traditional landline or mobile phone number through the use of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology. 

how does a virtual phone number works

When a call comes into the virtual number, the VoIP provider’s servers receive the call request over the Internet using SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) to set up the call session. The call is then routed from these servers through the internet to the user’s linked device, such as a computer or mobile app. 

VoIP encodes the caller’s voice into a digital audio stream using codecs like G.711, compresses it for efficient internet transmission using codecs like G.729, and then decodes the stream back to analog audio at the recipient’s end so they can communicate as if on a regular phone call. 

Why Use a Virtual Phone Number?

Virtual phone numbers have many features that help connect with potential customers. Some of the reasons why companies use a virtual phone number include:

  • Flexibility and Accessibility: Virtual phone numbers are flexible and accessible because they can be used from anywhere globally. This makes them super convenient to use while traveling or working remotely.
  • Security and Privacy: Virtual phone numbers are also very secure. They use powerful encryption so nobody can hack in and listen to your calls without permission. Encryption scrambles the call audio so only the people talking can understand it. 
  • Professional Image: Virtual numbers are a great way for small businesses to look polished and sorted without spending a lot on equipment or monthly bills like a regular provider.
  • Advanced telephony features: With a virtual phone number, you get extra things beyond just a phone number. Some examples are call forwarding, auto attendant, call recording, etc. You also get texts and emails sent to notify you of voicemails or missed calls.
  • No additional hardware: Virtual numbers allow you to make phone calls without the need for any additional hardware. This is extremely convenient since they only require the Internet to work properly. 

What Are The Types Of Virtual Phone Numbers?

There are several different types of phone numbers because of factors like where the number is located and what kind of service it’s used for (mobile phone service, landline phone service, VoIP phone service).

Furthermore, there are 4 types of virtual phone numbers: Local phone numbers, Mobile phone numbers, Toll-Free numbers, and Vanity numbers.

  • Local Phone Numbers: These are phone numbers specific to local regions or areas. They have codes attached to them, like the beginning three digits of the area code, that represent a certain geographic location. This could be a town, city, county, or other place where phone numbers are given.

For example, (213) 123-4567 is a local phone number for Los Angeles, California

  • Mobile Phone Numbers: Phone numbers attached to mobile phones are usually called mobile numbers, and they are meant for a person’s personal use. When you sign up for cell service, the phone company provides you with your own unique mobile number. That number sticks with you even if you get a new cell in the future.

For example, New York phone numbers area code mobile number would be formatted as +1 (212) 555-0123.

  • Toll-Free Numbers: Toll-free numbers, also called free phone numbers, let people reach your business without any calling fees. These special numbers start with 800, 888, or 866 at the beginning. If someone sees one of those codes when contacting a business, they’ll know they can dial the full number without it costing them anything extra on their phone bill. 

For example, 1-800-SAMSUNG-GS (1-800-726-7864) is a toll-free number for reaching Samsung Galaxy smartphone support.

  • Vanity Numbers: Vanity numbers are set up to be easy to remember or have a catchy ring to them. These memorable vanity numbers are desirable for companies to advertise, so businesses will invest in “porting in” or transferring ownership of catchy number combinations that will be easy for customers to recall. 

For example, 1-800-FLOWERS is a vanity number since the word “flowers” makes it easy to recall.

Additionally: If you switch to a virtual phone system, you don’t need to give up your current business phone number. With KrispCall number porting, you can keep your existing number without losing your existing customer.

Benefits Of Using A Virtual Phone Number

Virtual phone numbers make it easier for businesses to connect with their prospective customers. Here are 6 benefits of using a virtual phone number. 

1. Keep Business And Personal Communications Separate

Sometimes, you don’t feel comfortable giving out your real cell number to people you don’t know that well, like customers of a business you’re running. Posting your personal number all over the internet promoting your company isn’t a great idea. 

That’s where a virtual number is useful. It lets you have a separate phone line just for professional contacts that are not mixed up with the number close friends and family call you on privately. But even better, both your real cell number and the virtual business line can be used on the same phone.

2. Consistent Branding For Your Business

It matters a lot for companies to look good whenever customers call or text. People may think differently about a business if the owner answers casually compared to a formal introduction. With a virtual phone number just for work contacts, you have full control over the voicemail message.

With a virtual number, customers will hear a professional voicemail introducing your company. It presents a polished brand image through a consistent message on one dedicated work line, avoiding an unorganized impression. A virtual number builds respect by maintaining professionalism.

3. Work From Anywhere

Cloud-based phone systems work well for people who don’t always work in an office. These setups usually have apps you can easily install on your cellphone. 

Through the app, you’ll get all your business calls and messages sent right to your phone. This means no matter where you are – at home, in your car, at a coffee shop – you can answer calls or texts for work. As long as you have your phone and internet connection, you’ll never miss an important call from clients. 

4. Lower Communication Expense

If you have a tight budget, virtual phone numbers are a really affordable choice. They are especially good value for businesses on a tight budget

The plans are usually based on how many employees need phone service each month instead of expensive equipment. And you only pay for what you need right now, knowing you can easily add more lines later if your company expands. This makes it flexible to fit your budget whether you have 2 staff or 20.

5. Better Customer Services

Providing good customer service is extremely important for companies to be successful nowadays. Missing customer calls can hamper the business in getting new clients. Virtual phone numbers are designed to give constant contact 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

As long as the phone or device has an internet connection, virtual mobile numbers allow continuous operation from anywhere. This means that dedicated teams will be available to solve technical and non-technical issues and queries at any time of the day.

6. Track Your Marketing And Advertising Campaigns

Whether you run a small business or a large company, tracking your marketing efforts is important. Unlike regular phone systems, virtual phone numbers come with advanced features that allow generating reports, analyzing call analytics, tracking campaign performance metrics, etc.

These online numbers provide detailed data that lets you see what promotions are successful. You’ll be able to see information like call length, date and time, and recordings. This data gives you insights into how people respond to different advertisements.

What Are The Use Cases For Virtual Phone Numbers Across Different Businesses? 

Here are some common uses of virtual phone numbers by different businesses:

  • Remote Teams and Freelancers: Virtual numbers make virtual agents and freelancers seem like they’re in one office by giving them a shared business line even if they work remotely.
  • Small Businesses and Startups: Virtual phones save startups money compared to regular plans while still letting customers contact the business easily.
  • Enterprises with National or Global Reach: Big companies use virtual numbers to appear local in many places without maintaining real phones everywhere.
  • Sales and Marketing Teams: Sales teams get virtual numbers to look professional when visiting clients, and calls are seamlessly forwarded to their cell phones.
  •  Online and E-commerce Businesses: Online and e-commerce businesses install virtual phones so buyers can call and message them directly from their websites.
  • Temporary Use and Social Media Verification: Virtual numbers let users or companies get temporary contacts for things like ad promotions or certifying social media accounts.
  • Travelers and digital nomads: Digital nomads use virtual numbers as a consistent contact while traveling between places for work.

Virtual Phone Number Vs Regular Phone Number: What’s The Difference? 

FeatureVirtual Phone NumberRegular Phone Number
Location DependencyNot dependent on physical location, accessible from anywhere with an internet connectionDependent on physical SIM card location
AccessibilityAccessible via any internet-connected device like a cellphone, laptop, desktopAccess is limited to devices with SIM card
AvailabilityAvailable 24/7 as long as an internet connection is availableUnavailable if outside service area or device turned off
CostMore affordable per-user licensing plansHigher equipment and license costs, monthly line charges
ScalabilityEasy to add more numbers as business growsRequires new physical lines/numbers for growth
Advanced FeaturesIncludes features like call forwarding, local or toll-free numbers, call analyticsBasic calling and texting capabilities. Additional features require upgrades
🔍 Also Read: eSIM Vs Virtual Number: What are the Differences?

What Are The Challenges And Limitations Of Virtual Phone Numbers?

Although virtual numbers have many proven benefits, they also have challenges and limitations. Here are some of the challenges and limitations of virtual phone numbers. 

  • Technical Dependence: Virtual phone numbers are fully reliant on the Internet. This means that if the internet access is down, customers will not be able to contact the business that relies on virtual phone numbers. 
  • Network and Security Concerns: With virtual phone numbers, there are always privacy worries since data is sent over the internet. Even though companies use encryption and protection, it’s impossible to make virtual systems 100% shielded from hackers. Anyone using the web could possibly sneak a peek at calls and data.
  • Perception and Trust Issues: Some people still think regular landline numbers make companies seem more reliable than virtual ones. This outdated view can cause difficulties, especially for new businesses trying to look trustworthy. Customers may think the business won’t be around for long if it uses newer virtual phone tech instead of regular landlines.
  • Integration and Compatibility: CRM integration is an important part of a business these days. However, not all virtual phone numbers may be compatible and can integrate with a business’s existing CRM. 

How To Get A Virtual Phone Number?

Getting a virtual phone number is made easy with KrispCall. You can get a virtual phone number by following the steps below: 

  1. Create a KrispCall account by providing all the necessary information.
  2. Log in to access the KrispCall dashboard.
  3. Select the virtual number of the preferred country.
  4. Choose the best pricing plan and make payment.
  5. Submit necessary documentation (if required).
  6. Finally, once your number is activated, you can use it immediately.
📖 Related Read: How to Get an Online Phone Number?

Things To Consider While Selecting Virtual Phone Numbers

There are several important things to consider when choosing a phone system for your business, such as:

  • Think about your budget: Cloud-based virtual systems usually cost less than traditional phone setups since there are no installation fees or surprises. Shop around and ask providers questions to find the best value.
  • Different pricing plans: Virtual systems have options to match needs and budgets. Do you want a pay-as-you-go plan or unlimited minutes? Think about your employees’ calling needs now and later as business grows. Don’t be afraid to clarify what works best.
  • Past customer reviews: Check out the provider’s past customer reviews. Reading customer experiences will provide a clearer picture of what to expect from each provider.
  • Ease of use: Check if your team transitions to the new setup easily. Virtual systems should be easy and straightforward to use. They should allow you to dial a number from any device, such as your desk or cell phone, without complexities.
  • Internet speed: You’ll need a fast internet capable of handling calls. Run a speed test to make sure your connection supports quality calls without dropped connections, which would hurt business. Consider upgrading your plan if speeds aren’t good enough yet.
  • Types of equipment: Think about your workspace setup and if the remote team needs extra equipment. Do you want desktop landlines for a professional look or mobile flexibility?
  • Additional features: Things like call forwarding, messages, and menus are standard, simultaneous ringing may cost extra. Ask providers about call management options to choose the best fit.
💡 You may like: 15 Best Free Virtual Phone Number Provider In 2024

Own Multiple Legit Virtual Phone Numbers From KrispCall

If your business needs more than one phone number, owning multiple virtual phone numbers from KrispCall is easy and affordable. With KrispCall, you aren’t limited to just one or two numbers, you can purchase as many as your company requires. 

You can assign unique numbers to your teams, making your business presence appear more reliable and trusted among residents in different cities with toll-free numbers or area codes, and track which employees are best at their work by the numbers they use. 

Plus, KrispCall allows you to send calls from virtual lines to any device like cell phones or office phones. So, whether you are a freelancer,  small business, or large corporate house, KrispCall gives you the power to have many legitimate virtual phone numbers that make your company seem more professional.


Even though texting and emails are common nowadays, studies show that 31% of people still like talking on the phone with a business. So, to connect with clients effectively, you need a good phone interaction solution. 

This is where KrispCall can help your business grow. Its large pool of virtual phone numbers available for 100+ countries over the globe, allows you to reach customers anywhere. Furthermore, KrispCall’s dedicated support teams and tech experts are on call 24/7 to help you develop an effective business telephony strategy.

In addition, using phone service along with modern telephony tools and features gives businesses a well-rounded approach. So, why not explore more with KrispCall’s free demo today!


How Does A Virtual Phone Number Work?

Virtual phone numbers work by sending calls via the Internet. Instead of using landlines like a regular number, a virtual number route calls over the Internet. The Internet also gives flexibility in receiving calls on whatever equipment works best instead of tying the number to one physical landline handset.

Can A Virtual Phone Number Receive SMS?

Yes, a virtual phone number can receive SMS. As long as you have an internet connection, virtual numbers let you send and receive messages online from anywhere. They enable texting right in your internet browser, so you don’t need a phone to exchange texts with clients and customers.

Are Virtual Phone Numbers Legal?

Yes, virtual phone numbers are usually legal, safe, and allowed for personal and work reasons. As long as you get your virtual number from a reputable company, there aren’t any legal issues with giving out the virtual contact info instead of a regular cell phone number.

Can My Business Have Multiple Virtual Phone Numbers?

Yes, your business can have multiple virtual phone numbers. If you need more than one virtual phone number for your business or organization, you don’t have to worry – most virtual number providers allow you to get as many as you need. 

How Do I Get A Virtual Phone Number?

You can get a virtual phone number just by registering for an online phone service. Many voice-over-IP (VoIP) companies offer basic virtual contact plans that don’t cost very much or anything at all. 

What Is The Best Virtual Phone Service?

The best virtual phone service is KrispCall. KrispCall offers a great balance of affordability, features, reliability, and support, making it a top virtual phone service provider that experts and users recommend. 

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Dinesh Silwal

Dinesh Silwal is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of KrispCall. For the past few years, he has been advancing and innovating in the cloud telephony industry, using AI to enhance and improve telephony solutions, and driving KrispCall to the forefront of the field.

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