What Is a Virtual Number?

Many of the tasks once performed by dedicated hardware are migrating into software. One area where this is highly apparent is in the telephone industry. Once dominated by analogue-based devices, phones are now digital wonders that can perform a number of complex tasks. The virtual phone number is a prime example of this transformation.

In this article, we’re going to dive into the unique world of virtual numbers, and how your business can benefit from using them.

Virtual Number Defined

Most people associate phone numbers with a physical phone or line. In the case of landlines, each number maps to one or more phone connections at a single location, while mobile numbers are associated with specific device IDs. Virtual phone numbers are a bit different. Instead of being tied to a specific location or phone, virtual numbers are purchased and assigned to existing phones. Because of this, they can offer the benefits and appearance of having a presence in a given location without actually being there.

For instance, a virtual phone number might feature a 404 area code, giving it the appearance of being in Georgia even though it is not. Callers have no way of knowing whether the virtual phone number is coming from a a landline, mobile phone or VOIP softphone.

How Virtual Numbers Work

Virtual numbers work in tandem with VoIP. These technologies bridge the centuries-old telephone network with the internet, replacing copper phone lines with high-speed fiber optic cables that transmit high-quality voice signals.

Even though a virtual number relies on VoIP to work, it can still forward calls to any landline or mobile number. Callers don’t need to know that their call to Portland is being routed through data centers in other cities, ultimately arriving at a landline in Colorado. The VoIP technology that powers virtual numbers works quickly and silently, making the interaction seamless and quick.

Benefits of Virtual Numbers

Virtual numbers offer many benefits for companies both large and small. International companies might use them to create presences in other countries, which would spare customers the costs and inconveniences of calling across borders. They also partition calls so that business and personal numbers can coexist on the same line, helping to filter out after-hours company calls and otherwise separate concerns. Multiple numbers can also let multiple individuals share one line, always knowing the intended recipient of every inbound call.

Whether you’re a large multi-national company, or just an individual with a small business, virtual phone numbers offer many advantages. The virtual phone number is a great example of how technology continues to change the ways we live and work.