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 for 2019
|Virtual Phone Number Provider||Best For|
|Grasshopper||(Best Overall) Small businesses wanting a good combination of affordability and functionality.|
|Google Voice||Consultants and small companies wanting a free virtual number with basic functions.|
|Nextiva||Small companies wanting a virtual phone number and a complete business phone system.|
|Phone.com||Business owners, consultants, and freelancers wanting a vanity or custom virtual phone number.|
|Jive||Companies needing a virtual number and free international calling to 52 countries.|
|Freshcaller||Organizations desiring a combination of virtual phone number and call center software.|
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 numbers also feature voicemail, multiline 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: Each service was assessed for how easy its system is to set up and use.
- Call management: The types of call management features each provider offers were evaluated, including voicemail call screening, call forwarding, and call block capability.
- Multiline management: We assessed how easy it is to separate your business calls from personal calls on a landline or mobile phone.
- Extensions: Options for routing calls via phone number extensions were noted for each solution.
- Auto-attendant: We assessed whether the provider offers an automated attendant for greeting and routing callers.
- Call quality: Online customer reviews of each virtual number provider’s call sound and quality were evaluated.
- Customer support: We assessed the type of customer service support each provider offers.
We recommend Grasshopper as the best provider of virtual phone numbers 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 like 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 for 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.
Grasshopper’s features include the following:
Grasshopper’s automated attendant answers inbound calls, then forwards them to the employee or department the customer 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 because it is not a multilevel 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 Jive 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 virtual 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 multilevel 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 basic virtual phone numbers 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 to use 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 free virtual phone numbers 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 1 cent per 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 Grasshopper and Nextiva, 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 Jive’s call-divert 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, you can direct specific inbound calls to different phone numbers via the advanced settings. If you need extra extensions, virtual phone 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 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 business 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 voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) option, provides virtual phone numbers, more robust business phone features, and service plans starting at $19.95 per user, per month. 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 starts at $19.95 per user, per month, Pro Plus from $20.95 per user, per month, and Office Enterprise beginning at $27.95 per user, per month. Features include unlimited calling, voicemail-to-email transcription, unlimited fax, and a conference bridge, depending on the plan selected.
Nextiva Tiered Features
|Professionally Recorded Greetings|
|Unlimited Calls & SMS|
|Free Local & Toll-free Number|
|Analytics & Reporting|
The Office Pro plan includes your choice of local or toll-free virtual phone numbers, 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 can go as low as $19.95 per user, per month with 100 or more users on the network. Office Pro 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 Freshcaller’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 professionally 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, but unlimited calling and access to a 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 Phone 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 that start at $12.99 per month. 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 $29.99 to $59.99 per user extension for unlimited calling, depending on the number of users and plan chosen. 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 has 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 Jive, 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; 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 Jive 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 the flexibility of the calling plans that 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 Virtual Phone Number for International Calls: Jive
Jive is a virtual phone number provider that offers unlimited free calling to 52 countries. It also features unlimited domestic calling and unlimited extensions, with plans starting at $19.95 per month. Jive is a great option for businesses that have international clients or team members, and companies that expect to expand internationally.
Jive offers five monthly plans ranging in price from $29.95 to $19.95 depending on the number of users, with annual contracts available for additional cost savings. Virtual phone numbers are an additional 50 cents per month. All plans include unlimited domestic calling, free international calling, mobile apps, conference calling, and an auto-attendant.
Here’s how Jive’s pricing tiers break down based on number of users:
$29.95: One to four users
$25.95: Five to nine users
$23.95: 10 to 24 users
$21.95: 25 to 49 users
$19.95: 50 or more users
In addition to virtual phone numbers, free calling to 52 countries, and unlimited domestic calling, Jive also features mobile apps, call recording, and call reports. Jive’s service plans include integration with several business apps, including Salesforce, Zoho, and Redtail.
Jive’s auto-attendant greets and routes callers based on how the caller responds to prompts for keypad input. Similar to Nextiva, it also features customizable call routing rules to accommodate different business hour schedules such as holidays and weekends. However, unlike Nextiva, Jive doesn’t offer professionally recorded greetings with its auto-attendant.
Jive offers a variety of call management tools, including call waiting, caller ID call transfer, and forwarding. It also includes do not disturb, auto-reject, and automatic call queue distribution to minimize caller wait times. Unlike some virtual phone number providers, including Google Voice, Jive users can make emergency 911 calls from any phone on its system.
Extensions & Call Routing
As with Nextiva, Jive offers unlimited extensions so each agent can have a direct line to their mobile device. Each extension includes a voicemail box, a customizable auto-attendant, and call routing features like auto-divert and auto-reject to blacklist calls from specific numbers. 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.
Jive Setup & Ease of Use
Setting up an account with Jive is quick and easy. The company’s web interface is neatly organized, so it only takes moments to set up an account, choose your virtual number and service plan, and access configuration options directly through the dashboard menu. If you need help along the way, Jive offers 24/7 customer and technical phone support in English and Spanish as well as an online ticketing system.
What Jive Is Missing
Jive offers several help features for managing customer calls, such as wait time announcements, unlimited call queues, and queue call recording. However, it’s notably lacking customer relationship management tools to allow agents to make notes on calls or integration with existing CRM platforms. Businesses wanting a solution with CRM integration should check out options like Nextiva or Phone.com.
What Users Think About Jive
Our readers give Jive good reviews on average, with a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. Users emphasize its knowledgeable customer support and say they like that all of the provider’s features are available with each service plan. However, some customers say the mobile app is outdated and would benefit from more features. Read more customer reviews on our Jive user review page.
Where to Find Jive
Businesses wanting a virtual phone number for international calling to 52 countries and unlimited domestic calling should consider Jive. The company offers a free demo of its product when you contact the sales team. Visit Jive’s website today for details.
Best Virtual Phone Number for Call Centers: Freshcaller
Freshcaller is a virtual phone number provider with a built-in call center system including call queue visibility, agent presence status, and customer interaction history. Service plans range from free to $40 per user, per month. Freshcaller is right for businesses and sales teams wanting virtual phone numbers to use within a call center environment.
Freshcaller offers three service plans. Sprout is free, Blossom costs $25 per user, per month, and Garden is $49 per user, per month. All plans include per-minute call rates that start at 16 cents. Local virtual phone numbers are $1 per month and toll-free numbers are $2 per month.
Freshcaller Tiered Features
|Basic Call Queues|
|Call Forward to Mobile Phone|
|Advanced Call Queues|
|Business Hours Call Routing|
|Non-business Hours Routing|
|Advanced Call Metrics|
|Custom Call Center Reports|
Freshcaller’s free Spout plan supports an unlimited number of users and includes basic call queues and custom greetings. It also features ringtone customization and call forwarding to mobile phones. With its limited number of features at this level, the Sprout plan is best for solopreneurs, freelancers, and consultants who want a budget-friendly virtual number with pay-as-you-go calling.
This level doesn’t include voicemail or call recording as offered by the next tier. It also lacks the variety of call management tools offered with Google Voice’s free virtual phone number service. However, unlike Freshcaller’s Sprout plan, Google Voice doesn’t feature custom ringtones or call queues.
Freshcaller’s Blossom plan adds advanced call queues, call routing during business hours, and voicemail. It also includes call recording for training and quality assurance purposes. The Blossom tier is great for workers who want to take calls wherever they are and for sales teams that need call recording for record-keeping and training.
This tier doesn’t include conference calling or advanced call metrics that come with the upper-level plan. It also doesn’t feature a robust auto-attendant like Phone.com. However, the Blossom plan is on par with Phone.com’s entry-level price plan, and also includes a call center system.
Freshcaller’s Garden plan adds non-business hours call routing and custom call center reports that include detailed data on queue time, hold time, talk time, and more. The Garden tier also features conference calling and call monitoring tools to increase agent productivity and manage calls remotely. This plan is the right choice for sales teams and mid-size businesses wanting a complete call center system.
This plan doesn’t feature advanced voicemail tools such as voicemail-to-email or voicemail-to-text, like virtual phone number providers Grasshopper or Google Voice. That said, Grasshopper is more expensive than Freshcaller, and Google Voice’s free service doesn’t include as many features.
Freshcaller Setup & Ease of Use
Freshcaller is very easy to set up. In fact, the company says customers can have an account set up and running in two minutes. All that’s required to run the call center system is a stable internet connection and a web browser to access the user tools and admin dashboard.
What Freshcaller Is Missing
Similar to Jive, Freshcaller does not include virtual phone numbers in the cost of its service plans. Local phone numbers are $1 each per month and toll-free numbers are $2 per month. Businesses preferring a virtual number provider that includes a local or toll-free number should look at Nextiva or Grasshopper instead.
What Users Think About Freshcaller
Reviews of Freshcaller are favorable overall. Customers say the platform is intuitive and the call center system readily handles the needs of a busy call center environment. However, some users say the Freshcaller dashboard can be somewhat cluttered.
Where to Find Freshcaller
Sales teams and companies looking for a virtual phone number provider with built-in call center software and tools should give Freshcaller a try. The company offers a 14-day free trial that includes the features of all service plans. Visit Freshcaller to learn more.
What Is a Virtual Phone Number?
Virtual phone numbers are phone numbers that aren’t associated with specific phones the way landline and mobile numbers are. Virtual number providers assign customers a number or allow them to select their own while setting up an account. Users then choose which of their existing landline or mobile devices should ring when the virtual number is dialed.
Why Get a Virtual Phone Number?
Virtual phone numbers serve multiple purposes. They allow freelancers, solopreneurs, and consultants to give out a business phone number that’s discreetly forwarded to their personal phone. They also allow workers to make and receive calls on their personal phones without revealing their private number. And, finally, since business owners can choose their own area code, companies can give the appearance of being local no matter where they’re located.
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.