A virtual phone number is a number on the internet and is also known as direct inward dialing (DID). The primary function of a virtual phone number is to forward calls to your primary phone number. The caller will never learn your actual phone number during this process. A virtual phone number enables you to have several numbers, in several countries without having to deal with multiple sim cards and service providers.
Many virtual phone number services also offer more sophisticated functionalities like recording calls, holding virtual phone conferences, texting or allowing for voicemail. If you have ever called a service line that asked you to “Press 1 for Support, press 2 for general inquiries…” and so on, this company most likely uses virtual phone numbers. Once the service line collects all the necessary information from the customer, the system forwards the call to the appropriate employee. You can structure the system to forward some calls to a cellphone instead of a landline in a call center.
The benefit for companies using such a system is an immense reduction in cost. To achieve this goal on an enterprise level, a company would have to buy a lot of hardware and register a large number of phone numbers with a telecommunication company. With virtual phone numbers, they can set up a complex structure of different numbers forwarded to the right employe. Another benefit is that they can serve customers from different countries without having these customers call an expensive foreign number.
Privacy Through Virtual Phone Numbers
When you register for a service or platform you are often times asked to provide a valid phone number. There are legitimate reasons for not wanting to share your private number this way. By using a virtual phone number you can freely hand out a number to any service. If you receive unwanted calls you can either block the caller ID, or change your number altogether. It works just like a burner phone would. Virtual phone numbers also allow you to mask your location. The virtual phone number forwards calls over the internet. If you pick the right provider, nobody will ever know what place a call is actually forwarded to.
Using a Virtual Phone Number
First, you will need to pick a service that suits your needs. There are different options depending on how long you want your number to be available, how many numbers you would like to have simultaneously and which additional features like texting or voicemail you need.
Second, watch out for services that require your personal information to sign up for a virtual phone number. The whole point is to keep your private data to yourself, so be wary if the service provider collects more data than they need. Some services don’t even require you to provide your phone number and use their app to forward messages and calls to you.
Lastly, you should pick a service that you can pay for privately. Using cryptocurrencies or cash cards saves you from revealing more personal data than necessary.
Below we have two articles for you to get you started on your first virtual number.