A virtual phone number opens up opportunities for your business. Not only does it provide a completely separate second number customers can use to reach you, but it can also be customized. Which of the best virtual phone number providers to choose depends on how many numbers or extensions you need, whether you want a toll-free 800 or local number, your budget, any special regulations your business needs to follow, and the types of features you want included.
Based on our research, here are the best virtual phone number providers for a small business:
- Grasshopper: Best overall, and top choice for small businesses and solopreneurs that need a quick local, toll-free, or vanity number that’s easy to use and budget-friendly
- eVoice: Best virtual phone number provider for businesses wanting an international presence
- MightyCall: Great option for virtual phone numbers for businesses with larger teams looking to save money on per-user costs
- TalkRoute: Top choice for businesses looking for a virtual phone number provider that protects patient data with a business associate agreement (BAA)
- CallHippo: Best virtual phone number provider for businesses needing a contact center as a service (CCaaS) solution
- 800.com: Best option for businesses looking for a straightforward, toll-free virtual phone number plan that doesn’t require they pay for features they don’t need
Grasshopper: Best Overall Virtual Phone Number Provider
*Pricing is based on annual payment.
Grasshopper provides a second number that is ideal for small teams and solopreneurs who want to make and receive calls from customers without using their personal number. Grasshopper provides every customer with a virtual phone number on the Solo Plan, three virtual numbers with the Partner Plan, and five numbers on the Small Business Plan. Any of these virtual phone numbers can be a local, toll-free (800), or vanity number.
Grasshopper also includes all of its available inbound and outbound calling features on every plan. This is similar to what’s offered by 800.com, but Grasshopper includes local numbers, which aren’t available from 800.com. While we wish Grasshopper had a multi-level interactive voice response (IVR), its features, such as simultaneous call handling and incoming call control, are really helpful for new and small businesses.
- Instant response: Instant response automatically texts your caller when their inbound call can’t be answered. The caller can then respond with the best time to call them back, making the customer experience more streamlined.
- Custom greetings: Record your own greeting to welcome callers and give them information or options for what to do next.
- Voicemail transcription: Transcripts of caller voicemails are sent to your email so that you can read as well as listen to messages, easily cut and paste to respond via text or email, and keep track of important conversations.
eVoice: Best Virtual Phone Number Provider for International Businesses
*Based on annual payment. Monthly billing is available at a higher cost. Discounts are available for multiple users.
While there was a time when international business was reserved for massive corporations, these days, any size business can easily do business overseas. This is where eVoice shines as a provider because it has all of the standard options for virtual numbers, such as local, 800, and vanity phone numbers, but it also provides numbers in international territories.
International numbers cost extra, similar to providers like CallHippo and MightyCall, but eVoice’s international forwarding feature augments your ability to send calls to your businesses in foreign markets. It comes standard, so you have this option even without a dedicated number for overseas customers. eVoice also has all of the standard features that make it competitive, including call screening, hold music, call queuing, an auto-attendant, and conference calling.
- Advanced call routing: Make sure callers get to the person they want to speak with right away. This ensures that call times are shorter and focused on the reason for the call, and prevents any frustration a caller might experience trying to reach the right person.
- Custom greetings: Each phone number can play a customized greeting that gives your callers the information they need about your business. This message could also contain important news that you want callers to be aware of.
- Live Receptionist eVoice Plans: The Live Receptionist eVoice plans start at $139.95 per month, and each plan includes 2,000 eVoice minutes. With this add-on, live receptionists answer incoming calls, respond to questions, and schedule appointments. There is also after-hours coverage you can set up to ensure calls are always answered.
MightyCall: Best Virtual Phone Number Provider for Larger Teams
*Plans are paid per team instead of per user like most other providers featured in this guide.
MightyCall offers a seven-day free trial period as well as a demo where you can explore the user interface (UI) elements so you can determine if the provider is right for your business. Still, the best feature of the provider is how well it plays with larger teams.
Typically, providers have per-user costs associated with virtual phone numbers and calling. With MightyCall, you are allowed to connect a virtually unlimited number of users to your account. This is a great way to save compared to a provider like TalkRoute, which charges a similar monthly charge to MightyCall with their Plus plan that’s limited to three users, or Grasshopper’s entry-level plan that includes just three extensions.
However, it’s important to understand that you’ll only have 1,000 calling minutes at the base tier. For some, this might be limiting compared to a provider like Grasshopper that offers unlimited calling and texting at the introductory tier.
- Voicemail transcriptions: When you receive a message, you will receive an email with the transcribed message text.
- Unlimited users and extensions: Your business will only have a single monthly fee regardless of the number of employees you have using the system. All but the base plan includes unlimited minutes, which is great for growing teams that make numerous monthly calls.
- Client contact book: Maintain your customer contact information and see their communication history to help serve them better.
TalkRoute: Best Virtual Phone Number Provider for HIPAA-sensitive Calling
*Each plan is designed with a set amount of users. Additional users and phone numbers are available for $5 a month.
TalkRoute stands out because its top two tiers, Pro and Enterprise, provide business associate agreements (BAA) that are required for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance. This is critical for businesses dealing in electronic protected health information (ePHI). While its business texting and voicemail-to-email features aren’t HIPAA-compliant, every other feature of the service is, which can be helpful for businesses needing to protect data.
In addition, TalkRoute works well as a contact center solution. It has a multi-level IVR, call blast that rings multiple phones simultaneously, and call stacking, which enables you to place multiple callers on hold so there’s no busy signal even if all your lines are in use. TalkRoute is also on our list of the best Grasshopper alternatives because, like Grasshopper, it has a voice studio that allows you to use professional voice-over actors to record your messaging.
While TalkRoute doesn’t grant international numbers like eVoice, MightyCall, or CallHippo, you still have access to local, 800, and vanity numbers. This allows you to create a presence in national and local markets.
- Extensions: Having extensions makes it easier for callers to reach a specific individual. As you reach higher tiers, multi-digit extensions are available.
- Multi-level IVR: The multi-level IVR enables you to route calls efficiently using menus and submenus to better understand the customer’s needs.
- Custom configuration: Create custom greetings, set your hours of operation, and set parameters for when each extension can receive calls.
CallHippo: Best Virtual Phone Number Provider for Call Centers
*Payment is based on an annual payment schedule, saving about three months’ cost each year.
CallHippo is a virtual phone number provider offering local, toll-free, vanity, and international numbers with plans starting at just $16 per month. This makes them a reasonable choice for anyone looking for extended number options, but where this provider shines is in contact center as a service (CCaaS) features. Starting with the Silver tier, you get contact center features that are very useful for teams with high agent counts.
For example, there’s internal team calling when a supervisor might need to coach an agent, gamification for teams wanting to incentivize performance, call barging to ensure high-quality customer interactions, and a power dialer at the third tier. There are also 100 built-in integrations and custom integrations that your team can build when needed. Plus, its call monitoring features make it a better solution for call centers than TalkRoute, since that feature is missing with that provider.
- Call cascading: Prioritize all incoming calls based upon when each call is received.
- Smart call forwarding: Calls can be forwarded to any number within the system, and the call routing experience is customizable.
- Intelligent call recording: Recording can be set differently based on the country to comply with any legal restrictions.
800.com: Best No-frills & Toll-free Virtual Phone Number Provider
*Pricing is based on annual payment, which saves approximately 20% compared to a monthly payment.
800.com stands out because of the vast number of international phone number options it provides. At no additional charge, the provider routes calls to more than 60 international destinations.
As the name implies, 800.com has several options for toll-free numbers for your business—choose from 800, 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888 numbers. Similar to Grasshopper, 800.com bundles all of the same default calling features into every plan. The chief difference between each plan is the amount of toll-free numbers and the monthly allotment of minutes.
When it comes to voicemail, 800.com lets you set up both SMS text and email notifications when you receive a message in your inbox. This makes it simple to keep up with your missed calls, and the provider also makes it easy to record and change your voicemail information when needed. All plans include call recording, so businesses looking to store interactions for future review can do so easily.
- Mass texting campaigns: With this, you can easily send customers information and your latest promotions.
- Call recording: Calls can be recorded and stored online for future reference. This provides a better customer experience because calls can be accessed as soon as about five minutes after the call is completed.
- Voicemail transcription: Voicemail message transcripts are automatically sent to your email.
How We Evaluated the Best Virtual Phone Number Providers
There are many reasons businesses invest in virtual phone number services. For example, small business owners often want to separate business and personal calls in order to better partition their professional and private lives. Additionally, some businesses invest in these services to create a local or even national presence.
For example, if your business needs a national presence, you can get an 800 number through a virtual phone number provider for customers to call toll-free. Conversely, you can brand your number locally or even internationally with a business phone number based in the same area as your customers. Plus, many of the best business phone systems have some form of virtual number selection you can use to find a custom or vanity phone number for your business.
We narrowed down the list of providers to the best six. When evaluating, we took a look at pricing, general features a business expects, and advanced or niche features some businesses might desire. We also evaluated expert and customer reviews to see what people say as well as our own experience with the providers and compiled it into an expert score. These statistics helped us establish which providers stand out and provide the best virtual phone number experience.
Based on our research, Grasshopper wins out as the best overall virtual phone number provider, in part because it provides local, toll-free, and vanity numbers. We also found its business calling features to be a major draw, as well as its fast and easy setup and incredible ease of use. The service has a free trial and very competitive annual rate pricing. Check out the free trial for yourself to see how Grasshopper’s virtual numbers match up with your business needs.
Learn how we evaluated the best virtual phone number provider by clicking on the tabs below:
20% of Overall Score
Budget is an integral consideration for most small businesses, and finding a service with affordable virtual number options that will not bankrupt the company is pretty important. For this reason, we considered subscription prices and any annual or volume user discounts that would make a provider more economical.
30% of Overall Score
General features are very important, and we considered aspects of each that affected not only the virtual number experience but also the calling experience. We measured whether the provider delivered both local and toll-free virtual numbers, and we also weighed useful business calling features like voicemail, the overall call management experience, and call quality.
25% of Overall Score
Advanced and niche features may not be needed by every business, but could be very valuable to some companies. First, we considered whether providers offered international and vanity number options. Not every provider has these, but they can be very useful if you’re looking to expand globally into new territories or want a business number customers can easily remember. We also considered advanced calling features some businesses might need more than others.
25% of Overall Score
After evaluating all of the other quantitative factors, we also took the time to explore the providers ourselves to determine how they weighed against each other. We measured ease of use, first impressions, and how well each provider functioned in terms of voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) calling. We also included how other expert and customer reviews rank each provider for its features and general user experience.
Virtual phone number services enable you to better define your company’s identity and separate business from personal calls. If you want to appear local, national, or even have an in-country presence internationally, you have options. Each provider has unique features that make it better based on use case, so it’s critical that you evaluate your organization’s needs before choosing a provider.
Based on our criteria, the overall best virtual phone number service is Grasshopper. With the exception of international dialing options, Grasshopper offers options for local, toll-free, and vanity numbers and has a comprehensive set of business calling features. Check out the free trial and read our how to use Grasshopper guide to learn the provider’s ins and outs.