When switching to a VoIP phone system, there are a lot of terminologies to understand. Fixed VoIP numbers and non-fixed VoIP numbers are two of them. In this post, we will discuss the differences between these voice over IP phone numbers so you can choose the right one for your needs.
VoIP Numbers: Definition & Types
Before going through the differences between fixed and non-fixed VoIP numbers, it is important to first understand what VoIP numbers are. Voice over internet protocol or VoIP is a telephony solution that uses the internet to make and receive calls. It does so by converting voice into data packets and transmitting them over an IP network.
When you call someone using your VoIP line, they will see your VoIP number which is a part of your caller ID. But what information is present within your caller ID depends on what type of VoIP number and service you have. This can be a fixed VoIP number or a non-fixed VoIP number.
What are Fixed VoIP Numbers?
A fixed VoIP number is an internet phone line offered by your VoIP provider and attached to a physical location. In other words, it has an account manager and a residential or company address associated with it. Like office phone systems, these numbers require an address to activate the service. If the account manager wants to move this number, they can do so through number porting.
It is almost impossible to steal or mask the identity of a fixed VoIP number as they are connected to a physical address. Because of this, these numbers are more reliable and preferred since they keep fraudulent activity at bay. This connection to physical addresses is also the reason why VoIP providers support 911 and emergency calling services on fixed VoIP lines.
Fixed VoIP lines are not only connected through an internet connection. They also function through SIP trunks providing more reliable service.
What is a Non-Fixed VoIP Phone Number?
Non-fixed VoIP numbers are not associated with physical addresses. On the contrary, they function more like virtual phone numbers. Since they work through the internet (“virtually”) and do not require a physical address, they can function from any geographic location. Small businesses that want to offer a local presence can use this to their advantage.
Virtual numbers allow you to make and answer calls over an internet connection. And this makes it possible to connect with international clients or customers without incurring long-distance calling fees. You can get various local phone numbers and toll free numbers with specific area codes that can be used through your non-fixed line. This way, your customers will be calling local or toll free numbers instead of paying international dialing fees. And incoming calls are forwarded to whichever line or number you desire.
Who can use non-fixed VoIP numbers? Businesses and companies preparing or wanting to:
- Expand their reach
- Enter new markets
- Connect with international customers
- Operate remote or virtual teams (examples: virtual call centers, work-from-home teams, etc.)
Non-fixed VoIP numbers are inexpensive, easy to set-up, and use. But due to these reasons, they may be prone to fraudulent activity. Also note that compared to fixed VoIP lines, non-fixed lines should be a last resort for 911 calls because these calls are not traceable.
Fixed vs Non-Fixed VoIP Numbers: What’s the Difference
How do you decide which is better for your business? This decision largely depends on the needs of your business and its future plans. For a small business starting out, a fixed VoIP number may seem like the better bet. However, if you have international offices and cater to international customers, then a non-fixed VoIP phone number is more appropriate. With advancements in technology, VoIP and ISP providers have been trying to offer more secure services. Here is a more visual comparison:
|Fixed VoIP Phone Numbers||Non-Fixed VoIP Phone Numbers|
|Can work through SIP trunking or an internet connection||Need only an internet connection to work|
|Need to be assigned to a physical address||Does not need to be assigned to a physical address|
|More authentic and secure||Less secure; However, providers are continuously trying to provide more secure internet services|
|Come with advanced call management features||Come with advanced call management features|
|More expensive international calling||Less expensive international calling;
Good for businesses with global communications
|Generally more expensive;
Additional features cost extra
Easy to obtain and quick to set-up;
Additional features may cost extra
|Able to make 911 and emergency calls||Unable to make 911 and emergency calls|
Choose What’s Best for Your Company
Depending on your company’s present needs and future goals, it is important to select a service that is reliable, scalable, and offers great customer support. To learn more about VoIP numbers, speak with one of our experts at 1 (877) 898 8646.