Have you ever gone to the bank or the post office and thought to yourself, “What am I doing here?” The joke is usually that only our grandmas go to the bank to make a withdrawal or to the post office to buy a book of stamps. Going inside a branch to bank already felt like an unnecessary exercise as far back as the ’90s with the proliferation of ATMs. Now with the advent of debit cards, the internet, mobile deposits, and touchless payments, stepping foot inside a bank in the 2020s seems as archaic as cranking a lever to get your automobile started. Another social norm going the way of the dodo are phone numbers tied to a fixed location.
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Back in my day … phone numbers were as immobile as Mount Everest. The phone line used to physically stretch from a telephone pole to the house and from a phone jack to a handset. The receiver itself used to keep the user tethered to a certain radius — just a few feet from its base. Cordless phones were a revelation! Now, people can carry on a conversation from the bathroom to the train to the boardroom and back without ever hanging up, their battery willing. But even traditional cell phone calls are tied to a SIM. Lose the tiny card and your smartphone becomes a grossly overpriced iPod (remember those?).
Enter the Virtual Phone Number
A virtual phone number is a line that isn’t tied to a physical location or SIM card. Voice over internet protocol (VOIP) is the most common example of a virtual phone number. You may know it from your job: the past several years, companies have begun de-tethering their employees from their desk phones, instead granting them virtual lines that they can answer anytime, anywhere.
A virtual phone number requires its user to make fewer concessions too. You can place and receive phone calls, use voicemail, even send and receive text messages. Several add-ons can easily be included with a virtual phone number without the hassle and cost of a regular phone line you set up with the phone company. Think of it, adding a second phone line to your home takes hardware setup by a technician. If you want a virtual line, all you need to do is set up a username and password. Done.
Virtual phone numbers even trump cell numbers in terms of versatility. Once upon a time, the cheapest way to get a new cell phone (especially those high-demand Razrs and iPhones) was to sign up for a carrier contract and cash in on the new phone offer. For those that liked having the latest and greatest, their cell phones (and phone numbers) were practically burners getting swapped out every two years. Soon, phone companies began allowing users to take their phone number with them to their new carrier. It’s still useful to this day, though a bit of a hassle.
Virtual phone numbers on the other hand allow users to run through as many carriers, devices, and OSes as they please without any worry about back-end logistics. Got a new phone on a different carrier? No sweat: just download the app tied to your virtual phone number, log in, and you’re back up and running in seconds.
How to Get a Virtual Phone Number
Look no further than YouMail for your virtual phone number. You can use it as a business number by setting up a unique greeting independent from your main greeting. Or use it to simply protect your privacy by giving it out instead of your cell number. Set it up to ring your phone or go straight to voicemail. It’s perfect for freelancers, small-business owners, and others who want two lines but only one physical phone.
You can select from YouMail’s massive pool of available numbers across hundreds of area codes. Not happy with your current number? Swap it for a new one at any time. And when a call comes in, YouMail will always let you know which line you’re being called on so you never get your wires crossed!
Receive and place outbound calls through the YouMail app, which displays your extra virtual phone line as the caller ID.
Our virtual phone lines can send and receive text messages as well. You can even view said text messages through your online YouMail account via the inbox.
Virtual phone lines are available on all our Professional plans. Optimize your communications setup with YouMail right away.