What is a VoIP number?
A VoIP number, otherwise called a virtual phone number or online number, functions like a standard phone number. The difference is that the number is not tied to any physical location or device. Instead, a VoIP number can be used on computers, smartphones, tablets, and modern desk phones from anywhere in the world.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, which is a series of telephony protocols that allows for the transmission of voice data over the internet rather than through traditional telephone networks. A VoIP number is issued by a VoIP service provider, which hosts the VoIP number and monitors the service.
A VoIP phone number can do everything that a traditional phone number can do. You can get local, international, and even toll-free phone numbers from VoIP providers. Many firms are migrating to VoIP phone systems because the technology offers dozens of useful features that traditional phone plans cannot provide, including intelligent global call routing, video and voice conferencing, and seamless device-to-device transfers.
With a wider feature set, lower pricing, competitive international calling rates, and more predictable monthly costs, it’s easy to see why millions of businesses have modernized their phone communications with VoIP.
How are VoIP phone numbers different than traditional numbers?
VoIP numbers and traditional numbers share a lot of similarities. In fact, VoIP numbers and traditional numbers are identical in appearance and can interact with each other, meaning VoIP users can call traditional phone users and vice versa. However, there are some key differences between the two relating to how they function behind-the-scenes.
VoIP phone numbers offer all the advantages of a traditional phone number with additional features, including:
- Global availability
- Ability to work on wide range of devices
- Seamless call transfer between devices, such as laptops, computers, and mobile devices
- Simplified call forwarding and auto attendant features
- Frictionless global call routing
- Use of business numbers on personal devices, eliminating the need to give out personal numbers
- Ability to leverage advanced features like video calling, online messaging, and more
- Versatile, flexible, and low-cost
A traditional phone number offers the standard features that you are likely familiar with. Of course, traditional phone numbers fall short in some aspects in comparison to a VoIP number. A traditional phone number:
- Is tied to a specific geographic location & device
- Requires physical phone hardware and on-premises infrastructure
- Has limited routing options
- Can be more costly
- Is less scale-ready
- Makes it difficult to separate business and personal calls while remaining connected
Getting started with a VoIP number is easy
Check your internet service
VoIP calls are routed through the internet rather than telephone networks, so you’ll need a reliable high-speed internet connection to use VoIP to its full potential. While VoIP requires relatively little bandwidth, every additional user you add to the service will require additional bandwidth resources. You can run an online internet speed test and compare the results to Zoom Phone’s recommended bandwidth requirements.
Sign up and select your numbers or keep your own
If you have existing phone numbers that you’d like to transfer over, you can begin the porting process on your own (this typically requires contacting your existing provider). For new numbers, Zoom Phone allows you to select from a list of available phone numbers. Additional numbers can be purchased for as little as $5 per month.
Make sure your phones are VoIP-compatible or skip them altogether
A VoIP number can be used on compatible physical office phones that support VoIP technology. You can see a list of compatible phones on our support page. Alternatively, remember that you don’t actually need any physical phone hardware to use a VoIP number. VoIP can be used from desktop or laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, and more.
Add users and assign numbers
Zoom Phone makes it simple to manage your business’ communications, whether you have 5 employees or 5,000. Administrators can easily add or remove users, assign new phone numbers, and utilize a suite of powerful administration features. Managers can also oversee call quality and volume in real time, and even monitor and step in on calls where needed.
Take advantage of VoIP features
Once you’re set up, you can begin to enjoy all the advanced features of Zoom Phone. Intelligent call routing can be set up to ensure that important calls always reach the right people, 24 hours a day. And powerful integrations with tools like Google G-Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce and more allow for enhanced productivity throughout your business. Zoom Phone is built into the Zoom platform, allowing for ultimate versatility. Users can elevate a 1:1 phone call into a video meeting with the click of a mouse. You can explore all of Zoom Phone’s features here.
VoIP number FAQ
With traditional phone services, calls are routed through whichever telephone company is local. However, with VoIP, calls are placed over the internet using a broadband connection. With a strong connection, VoIP calls go through to the receiver just as with any other call you’d make.
When you purchase a new number through Zoom Phone, you can choose from a list of available phone numbers. Only numbers that are not in use, or otherwise restricted, are available for signup.
Yes. Zoom Phone allows you to select from domestic area codes in the United States. International numbers can also be obtained in dozens of countries. Zoom Phone makes it easy to have a powerful local presence in every market your business serves.
Yes. Toll-free 1-800 numbers are supported. Existing numbers can be ported in, and new numbers provisioned, using Zoom’s online tools.
Yes. Zoom Phone supports phone number porting. This means that you can transfer in any existing numbers you have from your current provider. Generally, this requires contacting your existing provider to begin the process.
Yes, as with most experiences regarding the internet, your VoIP call can leave a digital footprint. VoIP calls are traceable if the call has to travel across the internet or if the public has switched the telephone’s network at some point during its run.