Whether you are a marketing professional, blogger, writer or consultant, your home business needs a phone system that gives you a level of professionalism – and also, security. Handing out your personal cellphone number to random clients you meet, vendors you chat with, or potential business partners means you are giving out your personal contact information to potential strangers – and no one should have to sacrifice security for business communications.A virtual phone system lets you separate your personal and professional calls, but still gives you the flexibility and cost savings of operating your home business using your cell phone if you want. While there are plenty of virtual phone systems out there advertising themselves as the ideal partnership for home-based businesses, there are five key features that will help you identify companies worth your hard-earned dollars.
It can be dangerous to give out your phone number to people you don’t know, and that’s normally the case when a website asks you for your virtual phone number. Fortunately, just like with anonymous email addresses and debit cards, you can also grab an anonymous, virtual phone number to mask your real number.When you use a virtual phone number, only that number is known, not your real number, even though the virtual number might ring your real phone to establish the phone call. Anyone you call, and anyone who calls your virtual number, cannot see your real phone number.
Here is a list of the best virtual and anonymous phone services that are perfect for both business and personal use:
Linked Phone is totally free and gives you access to a completely different phone number that you can use to make and receive calls and texts.Linked Phone works on a computer and via their mobile app. When someone calls your virtual number, it’s forwarded to whatever phone you want it forwarded to (you can even have calls forwarded to multiple numbers at once).Then, you can pick up the phone on any of your forwarded numbers that are ringing, and your caller won’t know your actual number. You can even prevent incoming calls from ringing your phones and just send all requests to voicemail.Making calls works similarly through the app or website.
Some other features include the regular ones like voicemail and call screening. More »
Virtual Phone is a service that offers both local and toll-free numbers in over 120 countries and includes features like call recording, SMS, call schedules, voicemail, fax, IVR, call forwarding, and more.Virtual Phone is really easy to set up compared to the other services in this list. The web dashboard is simple to use for managing your account, and the mobile app makes it easy to send texts and make phone calls wherever you may be.Virtual Phone also works as a web button so that you can put a special code on your website for your visitors to instantly call you using your virtual number.Virtual Phone is free for the first 100 minutes or text messages but does not renew and requires a purchase after the limits have been reached. There’s a pay-as-you-go plan and several others depending on how many texts and minutes you require. More »
With Vumber, you can choose a virtual phone number from any area code, so you can choose a local one or one from a different area (or even a toll-free number), and it will all work the same.To receive calls, anyone can call your virtual number and it will ring your phone like a normal call. If you want to make a phone call with your anonymous number, just call your Vumber number from the phone you’ve registered as a forwarding number.When your phone rings, you can decide to take it, send it to voicemail, play a tone, put it on hold, and a few other options.Vumber is not free but it does offer a 14-day trial for any of its three plans. Each plan includes the same features as the others but with a different number of phone numbers, you can use plus a different number of minutes that the plan supports.You can check out their current prices when you choose your Vumber plan. Only US and Canadian numbers are supported by a forwarding number. More »
Tossable Digits is a paid service that gives out an anonymous number and features like call forwarding, rules, recording, caller ID control, and screening; voicemail; do not disturb; RoboCall blocking; etc.There are over half a million virtual numbers you can choose from in over 60 countries, including toll-free numbers.There are four plans you can choose from, each with a different number of virtual numbers you can use and a different number of minutes supported by the plan. The pay-as-you-go plan lets you choose how many virtual numbers and minutes are available as you need them.Each Tossable Digits plan supports unlimited SMS for US and Canadian numbers. More »
Choose a toll-free or local number with Talkroute to get a virtual phone number that you can use to mask your real phone number when making or receiving phone calls and texts.Much like some of these other virtual and anonymous phone number services in this list, Talkroute supports mobile devices with their free app.One important feature to note is that you can forward and route incoming calls to your virtual number to any other phone number or even a sequence of numbers in a calling line to make sure the caller can reach someone.There are also customized greetings, hold music, audio prompts, and similar features that make Talkroute perfect for business users.Talkroute gives you unlimited minutes when you buy one of their plans, plus limited or unlimited texts depending on the plan you choose. All of the plan features can be seen in the link below.There are three Talkroute plans you can choose from, with each plan progressively including more features. For example, the Basic plan is the least expensive and does not include caller ID, a call menu, scheduled forwarding, or live call transfers like the Pro plan supports. More »
eVoice stands out as a virtual phone number service in that voicemail sent to the virtual number can be transcribed as text and emailed to you so that you don’t even have to listen to voicemails anymore.There’s also call routing, greetings, conference calling abilities, the option to buy a local or toll-free number, and access to the eVoice mobile app.eVoice has four plans you can choose from, with the least expensive offering 300 monthly minutes with two extensions and six virtual numbers, and the most expensive giving out 4,000 monthly minutes with 15 extensions and 45 numbers. More »