A virtual number is a phone number without a physical carrier (wires, SIM card). It works on the principles of virtual telephony, i.e. the signal is transmitted not through wires or GSM signals but over the Internet.
You can also call them VoIP numbers. VoIP (Voice over IP) means the transmission of voice over the Internet. The VoIP technology is used in Skype, various messengers that allow calls. Virtual telephony equals VoIP telephony, although VoIP doesn't necessarily means virtual telephony.

Sometimes you can see virtual numbers being called DID (Direct Inward Dialing) or DDI (Direct Dial-In), which means the ability of the virtual PBX to redirect calls to an extension.

Advantages of virtual numbers:

  • Having a phone number on your website increases the trust of new customers;
  • You can become more accessible to customers or partners from other regions by connecting a local number for those regions;
  • Calls to other countries at relatively inexpensive and transparent tariffs;
  • It is convenient to receive calls on any device (PC, smartphone, tablet, laptop, IP phone);
  • Recording of conversations for quality control and training of employees, saving details of orders, on-demand in the industry, etc.;
  • Automatic call distribution;
  • Corporate numbers and multichannel numbers for smooth operation of the organization;
  • IVR (Interactive Voice Response), an interactive voice menu for call management;
  • Telephony widgets for the website to instantly contact the store or order a call back to increase the number of incoming calls;
  • Connection of 800 numbers (toll-free) so that customers can contact you for free (often used for hotlines, support, sales, etc.)
  • Branded greeting, voice mail for image building;
  • Call statistics for performance analysis, activity planning, etc;
  • Outbound SMS in bulk to inform customers;
  • Receiving incoming SMS messages from clients;
  • Creating business accounts on social networks, messengers, etc*;
  • Reception of incoming faxes.

*For most numbers, this function is not guaranteed, but nevertheless, it is a very popular purpose of using virtual numbers.