With traditional landlines set to be switched off by 2025, many people and businesses are now considering getting a VoIP number. While the whole concept of VoIP might seem a bit daunting, getting a VoIP number (whether for free or not) is actually easy and fast. There are many benefits to VoIP numbers - here we take a look.
What is a VoIP number?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. Basically, a VoIP number works in a very similar way to a normal phone number, in that you use it to make and receive calls. However, where regular phones use traditional copper landlines, VoIP numbers transmit over the internet.
Can I get a VoIP mobile number?
Because VoIP numbers are used to make calls over the internet, you can use them on any internet-connected device - including your mobile phone, laptop or tablet. This makes them incredibly versatile, allowing you to run your business from anywhere in the world, as long as the internet connection is reliable. Ideally it should be a fibre broadband connection if possible, especially if you’re looking to make a lot of video calls.
Many businesses also find using a VoIP phone number so much cheaper when it comes to calling abroad. Phone companies will often charge per minute and costs can soon add up. But with a VoIP phone you can often buy a bolt-on international calls package for a fixed price. With bOnline this can start from just £5 per month - far cheaper than paying for international mobile phone calls by the minute.
Where to get a VoIP number
There are many VoIP phone providers out there offering various pricing packages and features. But this is where you’ll really need to do your homework, as reliability, pricing and extras can vary a lot.
Many small businesses and start-ups choose a company that prides itself on a quick, simple set up, low prices and good customer service (like bOnline!)
With bOnline we set up your VoIP number remotely for you, so you don’t need any particular technical expertise yourself. There’s also no down time, so you won’t miss calls from customers, and our team is on hand whenever you need us. As it’s done remotely, we won’t even need to come out to you.
Make sure you’re happy with the contract length you’re signing up for too. Some of the big providers tie you in to contracts that are at least 18 months long, which doesn’t suit everyone. At bOnline we think that long contracts are unfair on small businesses, which is why ours are for 12 months only.
Can I keep my landline number with VoIP in the UK?
Yes you can. It’s understandable that if you’ve had the same number for quite a while you’ll want to keep it. After all, your customers and suppliers are familiar with it, and it’s quite possibly all over your marketing materials and vehicles too!
The good news is that your existing number can be ‘ported’ over - at bOnline we'll handle all this for you. Simply let us know when you sign up.
Can I get a VoIP number for free?
Some free VoIP services exist out there, with Google Meet and Zoom often used for video calling. However, there are some notable pros and cons to free VoIP numbers that you need to be aware of.
Advantages of free VoIP services:
- You don’t need a physical phone line
- They’re simple to set up and use yourself
- Calls are often made and received for free
Unfortunately that’s pretty much where the advantages of free VoIP services end as the disadvantages include:
- Often poor sound quality
- Fewer features than paid-for services
- Less reliability - they may ‘drop out’ often when you’re in the middle of a call
- They may not be compatible with some models of mobile phone or other gadgets
- They’re not always as secure as paid-for services that have additional layers of security added
- Some services restrict the number of calls you can make, and/or how long each call can last before you’re cut off.
Is a VoIP number right for your business?
The benefits of a VoIP phone, particularly for small businesses, are huge. However, whether a VoIP number is the best way forward for your business depends on several factors, and it’s important to make the right decision for you.
That’s why many of our customers decide to sign up for a free 7-day trial with bOnline before taking the plunge. It’s a great way of testing out all the different VoIP features we offer, but without the commitment. Then, if you like how it’s working for you, it’s easy to sign up to one of our monthly low-cost packages from your personal dashboard.
Key features you can get with a VoIP number
Again, these vary depending on which VoIP provider you go with and what features come with your package. But at bOnline, we offer a broad range of VoIP features as standard, including HD quality calls, call forwarding, hold music, voicemail, call analytics data and much more. You can also add extras like an international call plan.