Virtual phone number systems allow you to add a business number to an existing personal landline or mobile phone. We evaluated a variety of virtual phone number providers and narrowed it to the six best. We then evaluated them based on price, features, and service to learn which one stood out as the best overall.
Top 6 Virtual Phone Number Providers 2019
|Virtual Phone Number Provider|
How We Evaluated Virtual Phone Number Providers
Virtual phone numbers keep business calls on your landline or mobile phone separate from personal calls by allowing you to use two phone numbers on a single device. Some virtual phone numbers also feature voicemail, multi-line management, and call routing. The service should be affordable, easy to use, and backed by reliable customer support.
Therefore, we evaluated virtual phone number providers based on:
- Price – We compared the price and features of each virtual number provider.
- Ease of Use – We evaluated how easy each service is to set up and use.
- Call Management – We evaluated the types of call management features each provider offers, including voicemail call screening, call forwarding, and call block capability.
- Multi-line Management – We assessed how easy it is to separate your business calls from personal calls on a landline or mobile phone.
- Extensions – We looked at what options were available for routing calls via phone number extensions.
- Auto-Attendant – We assessed whether the provider offers an automated attendant for greeting and routing callers.
- Call Quality – We looked at online customer reviews of each virtual number provider’s call sound and quality.
- Customer Support – We assessed the type of customer service support each provider offers.
We recommend Grasshopper as the best virtual phone number provider for its affordability, unlimited extensions, integrated faxing, and many customization capabilities. Here’s how the six providers we evaluated stack up when compared against each other for price, features, and customer support.
Best Overall Virtual Phone Number for Small Businesses: Grasshopper
Grasshopper is a virtual phone system that provides key business phone features without any equipment to install on your personal device. Prices start at just $29 per month for a solid set of features. With unlimited calling, auto-attendant, and call forwarding, this is the best service for small business owners or remote employees who need a competitively-priced business number with extra functionality on their mobile phone or landline.
Grasshopper offers three competitively-priced service plans: Solo for $29 per month, Partner for $49 per month, and Small Business for $89 per month. All plans offer all of Grasshopper’s virtual phone system features, such as auto-attendant, unlimited minutes, voicemail-to-email, and extensions for forwarding.
Each plan includes phone numbers and extensions:
- Solo Plan: One number and three extensions for $29 per month
- Partner Plan: Three numbers and six extensions for $49 per month
- Small Business Plan: Five numbers and unlimited extensions for $89 per month
Grasshopper includes a number of features that give solopreneurs or remote employees the same tools that many traditional business phone systems provide, like call routing, voicemail, and fax. It also features a customizable auto-attendant, hold music, a dial-by-name directory, voicemail-to-email, and business texting.
Its features include the following:
Grasshopper’s automated attendant answers inbound calls, then forwards them to the employee or department the customer or client is trying to reach. Users can route calls to any phone number, including mobile phones, landlines, or another business phone. Auto-attendants are a common feature of other virtual phone number providers, including Nextiva and Phone.com; however, Grasshopper’s is not as robust as it is not a multi-level solution.
Grasshopper’s call management tools include call forwarding, call transfer, call block, and custom call control that can be scheduled around your business hours. The call screening feature allows you to hear the caller’s name or number before deciding whether to take the call, which is helpful if you take personal and business calls on the same phone.
Extensions & Call Routing
Extensions give customers control over how incoming calls are routed. Users create extensions, choose the numbers where calls should be routed, define the order in which those numbers should ring, and how many rings before switching to the next number. Extensions are a common feature of virtual phone number providers and also offered by eVoice and Phone.com.
Grasshopper Setup & Ease of Use
Grasshopper requires no equipment other than your phone and is very easy to use. The user interface is clean, with separate tabs for all configuration options. The setup process is intuitive and easily describes each step. You get a local or toll-free number with virtual extensions to route calls, and the home page notifies you of any missed calls and voicemails.
What Grasshopper Is Missing
Grasshopper is a call forwarding service and its list of features isn’t as extensive as its competitors. It lacks options like call recording, a multi-level auto-attendant, video conferencing, and integrations with programs like Microsoft Office. Therefore, if your business needs physical phones or phone lines, Nextiva is a better option.
What Users Think About Grasshopper
Grasshopper customers who like the virtual number service say they love its pricing and reliability, and that the customer service team is helpful. Those unhappy with the service mostly had difficulties in managing and configuring the call forwarding service. For more reader reviews, visit our Grasshopper User Reviews page.
Where to Find Grasshopper
Businesses looking for a basic virtual phone number with the best combination of features and affordability should take a look at Grasshopper. It gives startups and small teams unlimited calling and a basic auto-attendant while requiring no additional equipment. Even better, the company offers a seven-day free trial with no credit card required. Visit Grasshopper’s website for details.
Best Free Virtual Phone Number Provider: Google Voice
Google Voice is a free, no-frills virtual phone number that can be used on any mobile device or landline for business calls and voicemail. It includes call forwarding, call block, and text messaging from smartphone apps and computers. Consultants, freelancers, and startups wanting a free virtual phone number with basic features should take a look at Google Voice.
Google Voice Pricing
Google Voice offers individuals, freelancers, consultants, or anyone wanting to separate business from personal calls a second phone number for incoming and outgoing calls with no monthly fee. Almost all calls to the U.S. and Canada are free; calls to select U.S. locations and international calls start at $0.01/minute.
Google Voice Features
Google Voice is a virtual phone number service with a small set of features that include voicemail, call blocking, and screening. It allows for business call management but doesn’t have features like multiple numbers, extensions, or auto-attendant functionality, making it good for solopreneurs who need a basic virtual business phone number only.
Google Voice also offers the following benefits:
Unfortunately, unlike the Grasshopper and Nextiva virtual number providers, Google Voice does not have a standard auto-attendant to greet and route callers to different extensions. However, it does have a screening feature that welcomes the callers and prompts them to say their name before the call rings through to your phone.
Google uses information from your address book or contact list to tell you who is calling, offering a variety of options to manage inbound calls. Similar to eVoice’s call screening feature, you can choose to hear the person’s name and answer the call, send it to voicemail, send it to voicemail and listen in live, or have the call come directly to you.
Extensions & Call Routing
While extensions aren’t available with Google Voice, through the advanced routing settings, you can set your preferences so that certain calls will be directed only to certain phones or directly to voicemail. If you need extra extensions, numbers, or call routing, Grasshopper or Phone.com may be a better virtual phone number provider for your needs.
Google Voice Setup & Ease of Use
Google Voice is perhaps one of the easiest virtual phone number services to set up. With a Google account, you can easily add your mobile, home, or work phones. Once your phones are linked, you can receive calls, SMS messages, and reply to messages from either the phone or the web interface. Voicemails are automatically transcribed moments after each call, and you’ll receive notifications of missed calls and messages through email and SMS.
What Google Voice Is Missing
While it works as a great call forwarding solution, Google Voice lacks many of the features that are standard with virtual phone systems, such as an automated attendant, and extensions for multiple users. For a more robust virtual phone number service that also offers business phone system features, check out Nextiva.
What Users Think About Google Voice
Google Voice customers who like the service are impressed with the routing features, screening, voicemail, and SMS functionality. Those disappointed with Google Voice are unhappy with the difficulties experienced in porting phone numbers from landlines, and the lack of individual customer support. For more reader reviews, visit our Google Voice User Reviews page.
Where to Find Google Voice
Solo entrepreneurs, consultants, and freelancers who want a free virtual phone number with basic call management features should consider Google Voice. If you already have a Gmail account, then you also have a Google Voice account. Simply log into your account to choose a virtual number provided by Google or to port your mobile phone number.
Best Virtual Phone Number with a Business Phone System: Nextiva
Nextiva, which ranks as our best small business VoIP option, is also a virtual phone number provider that includes more robust business calling features as well as multiple service plans and unlimited domestic calling. Nextiva is a great choice for small companies and solopreneurs wanting an affordable virtual phone number to use with a complete and integrated business phone system.
Nextiva offers three price plans: Office Pro, Pro Plus, and Office Enterprise. Prices range from $19.95 to $27.95 per user per month, and include unlimited calling, voicemail-to-email transcription, and unlimited fax. Additional VoIP features include a conference bridge, mobile app, and call recording, depending on the plan selected.
Nextiva Tiered Features
|Professionally Recorded Greetings|
|Unlimited Calls & SMS|
|Free Local & Toll-Free Number|
|Voicemail To Text Transcription|
|Analytics & Reporting|
The Office Pro plan includes your choice of a local or toll-free virtual number, unlimited calling, voicemail-to-email, virtual faxing, and on-hold music. If you have one to four users, the plan costs $34.95 per user per month, but it can go as low as $19.95 per user per month if your business has more than 100 users. This tier’s pricing is a bit higher than the first tier pricing of virtual phone number providers like Phone.com.
Unlike the Pro Plus or Enterprise plans, this plan doesn’t give you access to the softphone mobile app or conference calling. With those limitations, this plan is best if you only need a virtual phone number with unlimited calling without any advanced features.
Office Pro Plus
The Office Pro Plus adds one professionally recorded greeting, conference calling, and access to the mobile app. If you have one to four users, the plan costs $37.95 per user per month and can be as low as $20.95 per user if your business has more than 100 users. This tier’s pricing is about the same as eVoice’s mid-level plan.
This level lacks the call recording, CRM integration, and reporting features of the highest tier. The Office Pro Plus plan is best if you need conference calling abilities with your virtual phone number and the ability to manage your calls from a mobile app.
Office Enterprise Plan
The Office Pro plan includes three professional recorded greetings as well as a set of analytics and reporting tools. If your business has one to four users, the plan costs $44.95 per user per month and goes as low as $27.95 if you have more than 100 users. This plan level costs a bit more than Phone.com and other virtual phone number providers; however, unlimited calling and the full business phone system provide added value for the money.
Unlike the Pro or the Plus plans, this tier also provides access to Nextiva’s full suite of CRM features, which include customer journey mapping and advanced call recording. If you need a complete phone system with a customer management system to track calls and activity with your customers, this plan is the best one for you.
Nextiva Setup & Ease of Use
Setting up Nextiva is straightforward and the system overall is fairly easy to use. However, the interface can be a bit confusing for those completely new to the concept of a virtual phone system. While it’s easy to manage call forwarding options, the process for configuring business hours and the customized greetings for your auto-attendant could use some improvement.
What Nextiva Is Missing
While Nextiva offers the best balance between price and features for a virtual number, the pricing on their website can be a bit misleading. The prices shown are for a three-year contract for businesses with 100 or more employees. Nextiva could take a page from providers like Grasshopper and offer more clarity in its pricing structure.
What Users Think About Nextiva
Customers are generally happy with the level of service received from the customer support team, how easy the service is to set up and use, and the reliability of the virtual number platform. However, some readers say they find the website portal cumbersome and unintuitive. For more user reviews, visit our Nextiva User Reviews page.
Where to Find Nextiva
Business owners wanting a virtual phone number that also includes a complete business phone system should take a look at Nextiva. The company offers a free demo when you contact a sales agent. Visit Nextiva’s website for details.
Best Custom Virtual Number Provider: Phone.com
Phone.com, which ranks as our best vanity phone number provider, includes an auto-attendant, voicemail, and a choice of unlimited or pay-per-minute affordable calling plans for almost any budget. As a result, it is great for business owners, consultants, and freelancers wanting a customizable virtual phone number, like 1-800-FLOWERS, that’s easy to remember.
Phone.com’s pricing ranges from $22.99 to $27.99 per user extension for unlimited calling plans, and $12.99 to $39.99 per month for pay-as-you-go plans with up to 1,000 minutes per month. One-time fees for custom phone numbers start at $100 and cost $4.99 per month.
Phone.com’s pricing plans include:
- Base: $12.99 per month for 300 calling minutes or $22.99 for unlimited calling
- Plus: $19.99 per month for 500 calling minutes or $24.99 for unlimited calling
- Pro: $39.99 per month for 1,000 calling minutes or $27.99 for unlimited calling
Phone.com virtual phone number provider offers a customizable automated attendant, unlimited extensions, dial-by-name directory, voicemail-to-email, faxing and texting. In addition to a custom virtual number, Phone.com offers solopreneurs and small business owners many of the same tools traditional business phone systems provide.
Specific features include:
Phone.com’s auto-attendant provides callers with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu that with button-press choices for rapid call routing. Similar to Nextiva’s auto-attendant, this feature can be personalized with custom messages, music and voice greetings, and a dial-by-name directory that prompts callers to enter the name of the person they are trying to reach.
Phone.com’s call management tools include call block, call transfer, and call forward. Like Google Voice and eVoice, Phone.com also offers a call screening feature that announces key caller information on incoming calls to help users decide whether to take the call or route it to voicemail.
Extensions & Call Routing
Phone.com offers unlimited extensions with all plan levels. Unlimited extensions are only available with Grasshopper’s Small Business Plan and Google Voice doesn’t offer extensions at all. Similar to other virtual phone number providers, all extensions come with individual voicemail boxes, call routing, call logs, and a conference bridge.
Phone.com Setup & Ease of Use
Phone.com provides a self-service platform so once your signup is complete, the virtual number system is ready to use. Most functions are performed with a few simple clicks, and as your business grows you can purchase the additional adapters or phones directly from Phone.com.
What Phone.com Is Missing
While you can easily reach support agents through live chat, phone, and email, Phone.com does not provide 24/7 support. Also, though Phone.com offers call conferencing and CRM integration, there is an additional charge for each feature while virtual phone number providers like Nextiva and VirtualPhone.com include them at no additional cost.
What Users Think About Phone.com
Phone.com customers are pleased with the affordability of the service and like that the flexibility of the calling plans allow them to add features as needed. However, some users are disappointed with the quality of customer support, long wait times, and delayed responses. For more reader reviews, visit our Phone.com User Reviews page.
Where to Find Phone.com
Businesses wanting a vanity virtual phone number that’s easy for customers to remember should consider Phone.com. Base plans include a 30-day money back guarantee. Visit Phone.com’s website for details or to set up an account.
Best International Virtual Phone Number: VirtualPhone.com
VirtualPhone.com is a VoIP system that provides virtual international numbers at no additional cost. It features unlimited extensions, voicemail, faxing, and an auto-attendant. VirtualPhone.com’s features, as well as its free and low-priced starter plan, make it a great option for solopreneurs or small business owners expanding into international markets that still want to appear local to U.S. customers.
VirtualPhone.com offers a free pay-as-you-go plan and three paid plans. The low-priced Starter ranges from free to $19 per month, the competitively-priced Medium plan costs $39 to $99 per month, and the higher-end Large plan runs between $149 and $499 per month.
Within each plan, customers choose a bucket of minutes or texts:
- Starter: $9 per month for 200 minutes or texts, or $19 per month for 500 minutes or texts
- Medium: $59 for 2,000 minutes or texts, or $99 per month for 4,000 minutes or 3,000 texts
- Large: $199 for 10,000 minutes or texts, or $499 for 30,000 minutes or texts
In addition to a bucket of calling minutes or texts, VirtualPhone.com features include a local or international number, a softphone, call forwarding, SMS, an auto-attendant, voicemail, and fax.
VirtualPhone.com’s auto-attendant includes call routing to any phone number, extension, or department. Like eVoice’s virtual receptionist, users can also customize and utilize pre-recorded greetings for inbound callers.
VirtualPhone.com’s call management options include call forwarding, sequential ring to different phones in a timed order, and simultaneous ring to multiple devices at the same time. Similar to Phone.com and Nextiva, many of the call management options can be configured through the desktop app or VirtualPhone.com’s mobile app.
Extensions & Call Routing
As with Nextiva and Phone.com, VirtualPhone.com offers unlimited extensions so each agent can have a direct line to their mobile device. Each extension includes a voicemail box with customizable greeting and call routing features. When agents use the included softphone mobile or desktop app to dial clients and customers, the company’s virtual number will show up as the caller ID.
VirtualPhone.com Setup & Ease of Use
Setting up an account with VirtualPhone.com is quick and easy. The company’s web interface is neatly organized, so it only takes moments to set up a free account with 100 demo calling minutes. You can then choose your virtual number and calling plan, and access configuration options directly through the dashboard menu.
What VirtualPhone.com Is Missing
While VirtualPhone.com offers a no-frills set of features, multiple pricing options, and a free tier, it lacks the depth of features other virtual phone number providers have to offer. Businesses wanting multiple local phone numbers or a solution with CRM integration should check out options like Grasshopper or Nextiva.
What Users Think About VirtualPhone.com
Online reviews of VirtualPhone.com suggest customers like the provider for international calling. However, some users report customer service can be slow to respond, particularly where billing issues are concerned, so that merits consideration when making purchasing decisions.
Where to Find VirtualPhone.com
Businesses wanting a virtual phone number for international calling with pay-as-you-go options should consider VirtualPhone.com. The company offers a forever free plan, a full-featured demo, and a risk-free trial. Visit VirtualPhone.com’s website for details.
Best Virtual Phone Number for Inbound Faxing: eVoice
eVoice is a virtual phone number provider with integrated faxing capabilities. It also features an auto-attendant, call forwarding, texting, and call block. This is a competitively priced option for realtors, freelancers, and consultants who would prefer to receive sensitive documents over fax rather than email.
eVoice offers four service plans based on desired extensions, the number of minutes, and phone numbers. Plans range in price from a low-cost $12.99 per month to a more robustly-priced $79.99 per month, depending on the plan selected. Outbound faxing can be added on for an additional fee.
eVoice price plans include:
- $12.99 per month: 300 minutes, two extensions, and six phone numbers
- $29.99 per month: 1,000 minutes, five extensions, and 15 phone numbers
- $49.99 per month: 2,000 minutes, 10 extensions, and 30 phone numbers
- $79.99 per month: 4,000 minutes, 15 extensions, and 45 phone numbers
All plans include features like voicemail, call forwarding, an auto-attendant, and inbound fax. Outbound fax is an additional $1.95 per user per month. eVoice also offers a mobile app that allows users to make and receive calls, read voicemails, modify call settings, and create call forwarding schedules.
eVoice’s auto-attendant greets callers, routes callers to the correct extension, and allows callers to dial by name if they don’t know the extension. As with Nextiva’s virtual receptionist, eVoice customers can choose the auto-attendant’s default greeting, create a different automated voice greeting, have a script-based greeting professionally recorded, or upload a custom message.
eVoice’s call management tools are similar to Grasshopper and Phone.com. They include call block, forwarding, transfer, and call screening. Additional call management features include caller ID, call queuing, after-hours greeting, international forwarding for companies that do business outside the U.S., and call recording for an additional fee.
Extensions & Call Routing
eVoice lets customers create three types of extensions for call routing. Standard extensions connect callers to a specific department or person at your organization and are accessible through your company’s directory. Sub-attendants provide callers additional phone menu options exclusively for a department or group, and information-only extensions provide callers with information like business hours without connecting to a live person.
eVoice Setup & Ease of Use
eVoice’s setup is straightforward and the interface is one of its strong points. To get started, choose a local or toll-free virtual business number, create a custom greeting for the auto-attendant, and then configure your call routing rules. It’s easy to find the options you need because the menu system is intuitive and a breeze to navigate.
What eVoice Is Missing
Unlike other virtual phone number providers like Phone.com and VirtualPhone.com, eVoice doesn’t have a discount for annual subscriptions or multiple users. Furthermore, the lack of unlimited calling could be a drawback, since businesses that need to make a lot of calls could quickly find themselves over budget.
What Users Think About eVoice
eVoice customers say they like that the virtual number plans have standard features across the board except for minutes and extensions. However, some users report dissatisfaction with the quality of customer service from the provider.
Where to Find eVoice
Consultants and business owners wanting a virtual phone number provider that also allows incoming fax for receipt of sensitive documents should take a look at eVoice. The company offers a free 30-day trial of all its plans so customers can try before they buy. Visit eVoice’s website for details.
Why Get a Virtual Phone Number
A virtual phone number is a cost-effective way to create a more professional image for your business and includes call management features found in more robust business phone systems. A virtual phone number also gives you the ability to manage your business while keeping your personal number both secure and private. In addition, many numbers are transferable if the location of your business ever changes, if you choose to sign up for a more robust business phone system later, or if you choose to change your mobile device.
The Bottom Line
Virtual phone numbers are great for separating your business calls and texts from your personal calls and texts. They come with standard features like faxing, voicemail, and auto-attendants that help solopreneurs, small company proprietors, and business owners look and sound professional on the phone.
Businesses wanting an affordable virtual phone number provider with a solid set of features that are easy to use should check out Grasshopper. The company offers a seven-day free trial with no credit card required. Visit Grasshopper’s website for details.