Non-Fixed VoIP Numbers – Everything You Need To Know
You cannot talk about non-fixed VoIP numbers without understanding what VoIP is. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a tried and tested technology that helps users communicate with anyone irrespective of geographical barriers at a lower cost compared to the traditional phone lines.
The conversation about non-fixed VoIP phone numbers is not complete without understanding what makes it different from the fixed VoIP phone numbers.
As a business owner, VoIP is an alternative to your traditional phone services because of its lower cost and advanced features such as call encryption, enhanced audio sounds, and others. However, you have to choose between the fixed VoIP phone number or the non-fixed VoIP phone number.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about non-fixed VoIP numbers. You will learn its meaning, who uses it, and the differences between non-fixed VoIP numbers and fixed VoIP numbers. The article also touches on how VoIP works, and the meaning, pros, and cons of Fixed VoIP numbers.
Let’s get started.
How Does VoIP Work?
VoIP which is an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) relies on the internet to function. Other names for VoIP include internet telephony and IP technology.
A VoIP system works by placing calls through the internet to the receiver. It converts your analog voice signals into digital signals and sends them over the internet.
In other words, once you initiate a VoIP call, your voice is converted into data packets (that the internet can read). The VoIP system then sends the data packets over an IP network.
Unlike the traditional phone services which function through physical phone lines, VoIP does not use such phone lines (mobile network or a regular line connection). It works 100% on the internet, making it faster for communication purposes.
The strength of your internet connection can make or mar your VoIP experience. As a business, you can make use of the best business internet service providers such as Verizon. AT&T, Viasat, Ooma Connect, and Spectrum.
When you use VoIP to make a call, the person you are calling sees your VoIP number. This feature is possible thanks to the Caller Name Delivery (CNAM) which is a key component of your caller ID. It is your caller ID that passes your information to the phone service provider used by the number you are calling.
Since your VoIP number is hosted on the cloud, your caller ID information varies. Both fixed VoIP and non-fixed VoIP can affect the way your calls are received. It is crucial to know the differences between both. Such knowledge empowers you to choose the right VoIP number option for your needs.
What is a Fixed VoIP Phone Number?
A fixed VoIP phone number refers to a number attached to a physical address such as a company’s office and an individual home. This type of VoIP phone number is tied to a location. Your VoIP provider assigns you this number with a broadband network linked to the common public switched telephone network.
The fixed VoIP phone number shares similarities with the office phone systems. The office phone system requires a physical address to provide landline services to users. Both fixed VoIP phone numbers and office phone systems are attached to a physical address.
As a result of its linkage to the physical address of a VoIP account owner, it is less likely to be used for scams by fraudsters and spam by people. Fixed VoIP phone numbers have a higher degree of authenticity and reputability in the receiver’s eyes.
Users of fixed VoIP numbers enjoy more success in placing calls to 911 and emergency services. Fixed VoIP numbers send your exact location to the public safety answering points (PSAPs) for easy tracking by emergency services.
First responders can use the address on fixed VoIP numbers to respond quickly to emergency calls. VoIP is more likely to support these calls on fixed VoIP numbers than on non-fixed VoIP.
Fixed VoIP numbers are connected to a VoIP service provider telephony station, usually through a SIP trunk. It still operates on an internet connection.
Users of fixed numbers are usually paid accounts. Free VoIP service providers with quick sign-ups such as Skype do not offer fixed numbers.
What is a Non-Fixed VoIP Phone Number?
Non-fixed VoIP phone number refers to VoIP numbers that are not attached to a physical address. Another name for a non-fixed VoIP phone number is a virtual phone number. Both the fixed VoIP number and the non-fixed VoIP number are used as business or residential phone numbers.
Non-fixed VoIP numbers do not require a fixed address. You do not need to have a physical address that matches your number. It is a fantastic solution for reaching customers in locations where your business does not have a physical location.
Businesses use non-fixed VoIP numbers for their global communications with global stakeholders such as customers, partners, investors, and others. Remote teams can also use it for easy communication and collaboration among themselves.
Non-fixed VoIP phone numbers are easier and faster to get than fixed VoIP phone numbers. They are issued by free VoIP service providers such as Google Voice and Skype. The registration requirements needed to get these numbers are simple, usually just an email address and payment method.
However, because it is available to anyone for free and not attached to a physical address, fraudsters and scammers use it to perpetuate their fraudulent activities and scams.
When using a non-fixed VoIP phone number, keep in mind that it is not effective for receiving assistance through emergency services. Since there is no physical address attached to it, first responders cannot easily trace your number. Dialing 911 or other emergency numbers from a non-fixed VoIP number should be your last resort.
Non-fixed VoIP numbers allow users to choose their addresses. It is a great solution for small businesses that want to offer a local presence. You can create a non-fixed VoIP number with any area code or country format.
While non-fixed VoIP lines may have business purposes, they are better utilized for personal use. These lines lack the depth of features that people associate with the use of VoIP telephony.
VoIP service providers such as Vonage, Nextiva, and other Vonage alternatives offer advanced cloud calling features such as call flipping. The call flip feature allows you to move your calls from one device to another by touching a button. You will not find many advanced features with non-fixed phone lines.
Pros and Cons of Fixed VoIP
Knowing the pros and cons of fixed VoIP is important to help you decide if it is the right fit for you or not.
Pros of Fixed VoIP
Fixed VoIP is an authentic VoIP phone number because it shows real physical addresses. It is less used for crime by criminals and fraudsters, giving fixed VoIP a better reputation and appearance.
A fixed VoIP phone number is an authentic business number that gives credibility to the business. Receivers on the other hand of the call can view the caller ID of calls initiated by fixed VoIP phone numbers.
2. Expanded Features
VoIP providers such as Ooma, Nextiva, and Ooma alternatives offer more advanced calling and routing features than fixed VoIP lines. These advanced calling features serve both customers and emergencies.
Signing up for fixed VoIP gives you access to a rich variety of communication tools you can use to boost your business productivity. Depending on the VoIP provider you use, you have access to rich features such as audio and video conferencing, virtual faxing, business SMS and MMS, and more.
3. Emergency Calling
Traditionally, since VoIP uses internet telephony, getting access to emergency services is a huge challenge. However, fixed VoIP phone numbers are suitable for dialing 911 and other emergency numbers and getting a swift response.
First responders can track the call to the physical address associated with the VoIP account and quickly respond to it. With a fixed VoIP phone number, you are almost guaranteed safety in situations of emergencies.
When you dial an emergency number, your VoIP service provider redirects your call to the nearest emergency service center in your locality. To avoid a delay in emergency assistance, you need to register an accurate location. You can update your location when you move to a new location with your service provider.
Security stands as one of the most important advantages of using fixed VoIP phone numbers. Companies take their security seriously. Any leak of information and communication details of a company can lead to many issues such as loss of trust by customers and reputation damage.
Calls from fixed VoIP are secure and encrypted. VoIP providers such as RingCentral, Mitel, and RingCentral alternatives use stringent safety measures and security protocols such as encryption to ensure that no one can spy on your conversations.
Fraudsters stay away from fixed VoIP phone numbers because the address associated with them can be traced to their phone lines. It helps you easily catch wayward employers who want to use your fixed VoIP for fraudulent activities.
Some countries block or place restrictions on non-fixed VoIP phone numbers, thus affecting its usage in such countries. Fixed VoIP phone numbers, because they are traceable, do not have such restrictions or blocks on them.
Cons of Fixed VoIP
1. High Cost
Fixed VoIP calls are expensive and time-consuming to set up compared to non-fixed VoIP calls. Long-distance or international calls are expensive because the pricing is based on your location.
2. Cannot Establish a Local Presence
If your small business grows to have branches outside your country or region, you cannot establish a local presence there. Your fixed VoIP phone numbers will be tied to the location of your company’s address or whatever address is associated with your numbers.
3. More Requirements
To get a fixed VoIP phone number, you have to provide your address and some associated information. Although it is not difficult to obtain a fixed VoIP number, you have to provide more information compared to what you would need to get a non-fixed phone number. If you want to add lots of phone numbers, fixed VoIP can be time-consuming.
Pros and Cons of Non-Fixed VoIP
Non-fixed VoIP numbers give users tons of freedoms such as access to cheap international calls. However, they have their fair share of consequences for businesses and individuals.
Pros of Non-Fixed VoIP
1. Not Bound to a Physical Address or Geographical Location
Non-fixed VoIP numbers are not attached to a physical address like fixed VoIP phone numbers. You have the freedom to change the location of your phone number to any country even if you are not in that country.
2. Easy to Obtain and Re-assign
When registering or a non-fixed VoIP phone number, the only requirement you need is to register your email. You can get more non-fixed VoIP phone numbers easily.
Businesses that need to expand their communication lines to supply more phone numbers to clients can easily get them and assign them to new users. You can also easily assign non-fixed VoIP phone numbers from one user or device to a new one in a few minutes!
3. Free or Inexpensive Services
Non-fixed VoIP phone numbers are easy to acquire. Many VoIP providers that provide non-fixed VoIP phone numbers such as Skype and Google Voice offer access to the numbers for free. The cost of calls is inexpensive compared to what is obtainable with the fixed VoIP phone numbers.
4. Cost-Effective for International Calls
If your business handles a lot of international calls, and you want to cut down on your phone costs drastically, get a non-fixed VoIP number. The cost of international calls with this type of VoIP number is cheap because the number is not tied to a specific geographic location or country code.
5. Easy to Configure
Setting up a non-fixed VoIP phone is easy. You do not need to spend much time trying to configure it. You can edit the CNAM tag on a non-fixed VoIP number easily. This feature makes it easy to set the appearance of your non-fixed VoIP phone number to look the way you want recipients to see it.
Cons of Non-fixed VoIP
1. Commonly Exploited by Criminals
Criminals make use of non-fixed VoIP phone numbers to perpetuate their criminal activities. Unlike fixed VoIP phone numbers which require information about the user, non-fixed VoIP phone numbers are easy to acquire with very little information required of the user. People find it difficult to brand free things as authentic.
Non-VoIP phone numbers are not easily traceable, making it a suitable cover for scammers and fraudsters to carry out their fraudulent activities. If the non-fixed VoIP number gets blocked, they can easily get a new one or dispose of their non-fixed VoIP number after carrying out their scams and robocalls.
2. Less Professional Appearance
If you use a non-fixed VoIP phone number as your primary business line, it can give your business a less professional appearance.
Many people will not be able to spot a non-fixed VoIP phone number by just checking the caller ID. However, if they activate spam filters, it will mark the call as a potential scam or block it.
3. Cannot Make Emergency Calls
Non-fixed VoIP numbers are a huge disadvantage in emergencies. You cannot use them to make emergency calls because there is no location assigned to the number. VoIP providers cannot route the call to the nearest emergency call center because of the lack of a location.
Even if the call goes through, emergency service centers will find it impossible to find your location and send the necessary first responders.
4. Not Usable in Some Situations
There are some situations where having the non-fixed VoIP phone number counts as a disadvantage. For example, you cannot use a non-fixed VoIP phone number as your contact phone number on an account. Since it is easy to change non-VoIP phone numbers, it is viewed as unreliable to serve as a contact phone number.
Who Uses Non-Fixed VoIP
The majority of the people who use non-fixed VoIP phone numbers use it for personal purposes and not mainly for businesses. They use it to communicate with others through Skype calls.
However, businesses also use non-fixed VoIP phone numbers. The benefits of non-fixed VoIP phone numbers such as cost-effectiveness for international calls and easy configuration are better utilized for business uses than for personal ones.
Here are the most common business use cases for non-fixed VoIP phone numbers.
1. Call Centers
Many call center software uses non-fixed VoIP numbers to run their operations effectively without spending a fortune to build call center teams. Some call center providers that use non-fixed VoIP numbers include Five9, Answer National, and MAP Communications.
Call centers can use these non-fixed VoIP numbers to assemble call center teams on-demand to serve their customer needs. These numbers are easy to acquire and configure.
Non-fixed VoIP phone numbers make it possible for call center teams to work remotely from any part of the world. The call center provider provides them with non-fixed VoIP numbers that match the local area codes of the place where the majority of the inbound calls come from.
Businesses can quickly assemble teams consisting of a diverse workforce from all over the world with non-fixed VoIP. They do not have to worry about the costs of running a physical location. Communication within teams in the company is affordable.
2. OTT Communication Apps
OTT (Over-the-top) communication apps use non-fixed VoIP phone numbers to provide voice communication services inside the app. They are popular all over the world and are used for social media communications.
Some examples of OTT communication apps include Skype, Google Voice, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. There is no doubt you know these OTT communication apps, but do not know that they use non-fixed VoIP phone numbers to enable voice communications.
Remember that non-fixed VoIP numbers need little information about users? Users can create an account with just their email addresses and have access to the voice call services in the app. When you make a voice call, you are temporarily assigned a non-fixed VoIP number.
Some OTT communication apps allow you to use a non-fixed VoIP number and make it look like you are calling from your personal mobile phone number or landline.
3. Managed Service Providers (MSP)
Managed Service Providers (MSP) is a third-party company that offers remotely managed services to clients. Some MSPs offer phone services to their clients. They can take advantage of the pros of non-fixed VoIP numbers to set up new phone numbers for their clients easily and quickly.
However, if the client needs phone numbers with a fixed physical address, they cannot offer non-fixed VoIP phone numbers because of their address limitation.
Non-fixed VoIP phone numbers are easy to configure. It allows MSPs to give their clients more control over the set up of their non-fixed VoIP phone numbers. Doing this can drastically help reduce the customer service workload for most Managed Service Providers (MSP).
Non-Fixed VoIP FAQ
Yea, you can call a non-fixed VoIP number. If you have a non-fixed VoIP number, you can make and receive calls on that number. You can also configure your non-fixed VoIP phone number to forward calls directed at it to other phone numbers.
There is no special way to call a non-fixed VoIP number. You dial the number the same way you do a landline or mobile number.
Pinger is a VoIP service provider that provides non-fixed VoIP phone numbers. You can only use the non-fixed phone number provided by Pinger for sending and receiving text messages (it is free).
You can only use Pinger non-fixed VoIP phone numbers on an iOS or Android app that supports it. One advantage of using Pinger is that the number is non-traceable.
Unfortunately yes, scammers use non-fixed VoIP phone services because of their amazing features that help them conceal their identity. They can easily replace the non-fixed VoIP phone number if they get blocked. The number is not easily traceable to them because it is not associated with any physical location.
Scammers can easily manipulate their caller ID to appear legitimate at the receiver’s end. This cool feature that helps businesses such as call centers operate effectively from remote locations is unfortunately exploited by scammers.
The use of non-fixed VoIP numbers by scammers is a well-documented topic on the internet. Scammers use it to make anonymous calls or impersonate other people. Non-fixed VoIP numbers are cheap, flexible, and allow users to be anonymous. Put these three reasons together, and it is easy to see why scammers love and use non-fixed VoIP phone numbers.
Yes. You can block a non-fixed VoIP number. There is no special technique about it. The same way you block other phone numbers on your device or through your telecom service provider is the same way you can block a non-fixed VoIP number.
You can block a non-fixed VoIP number by locating it in your call log, selecting the number, saving it as a contact on your phone, and adding it to your blocked list. Another option is to get a call blocking device or gadget such as Digi tone Call Blocker Plus, CPR Call Blocker V202, and Pro Call Blocker Version 2.2.
When you get the call-blocking device and connect it to your phone, it will load your contact list from which you can select the saved contact you want to block. The next time the blocked number calls, the device will automatically disconnect it.
Yes, you can configure your non-fixed VoIP phone number to send and receive text messages.
No, you cannot track a non-fixed VoIP phone number by yourself. However, there are situations where you can try to track a non-fixed VoIP phone number but it is far from perfect.
If someone uses a non-fixed VoIP number to commit a crime, you can report the number to the authorities so that they can track down the user. Note that the authorities may not be able to find out who is making calls from the non-fixed VoIP phone number.
Scammers quickly dump their non-fixed VoIP phone number and the number can easily be reassigned to a new user or device.
Getting Started with a Non-Fixed VoIP Phone Number
Despite the disadvantages of non-fixed VoIP phone numbers, its advantages supersede any limitation for businesses and individuals. Free-market data warehouses, secure internet services, and frequent updates of the CNAM help address most of the concerns with the non-fixed VoIP phone numbers.
Choosing the right VoIP provider is essential if you want to take advantage of the benefits of a non-fixed phone number. Some of the best free VoIP service providers include CloudTalk, Bitrix24, and RingCentral.
CloudTalk is a user-friendly VoIP provider that helps sales or support teams deliver a first-class customer experience. If you need a VoIP service provider with the best advanced features such as video conferencing, AI, advanced chat, faxing, and others, RingCentral is the ideal choice.
Some of the best business VoIP providers include Nextiva, Ooma, and Vonage. If you are a small business owner, Nextiva is the best choice for well-rounded VoIP solutions such as communication, collaboration, and CRM tools.
Ooma is the best VoIP provider that offers high scalability for small businesses. If you are looking for a VoIP provider that provides high-quality services even with low internet connectivity, Vonage is the ideal solution.