Vancouver Virtual Phone Numbers

A virtual telephone number is a phone number used specifically as a forwarding number. Incoming calls to the virtual number are automatically forwarded to another telephone number that you designate - the destination number.

Virtual numbers are also known as DID or direct inward dialing numbers.

Virtual numbers are often coupled with a VoIP phone service as a means to make cheap international phone calls. But virtual numbers can also be used over traditional phone networks, too, though the cost will generally be higher.

The incoming calls can be forwarded any distance - locally, nationally, or internationally - and to any type of receiving number - landline, mobile, fax machine.

There are two basic types of virtual phone numbers: virtual local numbers and virtual toll-free numbers. Each forwards incoming calls in a similar manner, but number availability and cost may differ significantly. Either type can be forwarded to a VoIP service.

When buying a virtual number, you normally are buying buy two things: the actual phone number and the forwarding service that routes calls to the destination number. How these two items are 'packaged' varies from vendor to vendor.

For the caller, the cost of the call is just the leg associated with reaching the virtual local or toll-free number. In most cases, this is going to be free to the caller.

For the virtual number subscriber, the cost includes at least the subscription fee for maintaining the number and the costs for the 'forwarded' leg of the incoming calls. In the case of a toll-free virtual number, it will also include the inbound leg of the call to the toll-free number.

Read on for additional information and recommended vendors for Vancouver virtual numbers. Topics covered:

Virtual Phone Numbers in Vancouver

Virtual telephone numbers are readily available for Vancouver, British Columbia area codes. They are also available for nearby area codes.

Virtual numbers located in other area codes or countries can be forwarded to Vancouver area codes without no problems.

Virtual Numbers in Vancouver for Outbound Calling

Virtual phone numbers with Vancouver area codes are readily available and can be bought from a variety of providers.

See the list of recommended providers below for suggestions.

Inbound calls received at a Vancouver virtual number can be forwarded anywhere in the world. Forwarding costs will vary depending on the location and the provider you use.

Forwarding a Virtual Number to Vancouver

Virtual numbers located in other area codes or other countries can be easily forwarded to a destination number in Vancouver. There are no restrictions on forwarding calls to Vancouver numbers.

Back to top

Recommended Virtual Number Providers

The table below identifies several vendors you can buy Vancouver virtual phone numbers from. We've personally checked out all these vendors to confirm that their pricing and rates are reasonable.

In all cases, you will need to buy both the virtual number itself and the call forwarding service to route incoming calls to your destination. You cannot easily separate these two elements.

Each company offers something slightly different, so we suggest you look at a few of them to see what works best for you. In addition to price, other factors that may influence your choice could include:

  • Allowed destination countries
  • Other countries where they offer virtual numbers in case you want more than one
  • Whether forwarding charges are part of an inclusive service plan or based on actual call minutes forwarded
  • Whether service plans include your destination country or not
  • Whether or not additional equipment is required for the service
  • Whether company's overall calling plans fit with your general calling needs

In most cases, we have tried to find vendors focused on serving individual consumers as opposed to business customers. Business customers tend to have additional needs - like sophisticated call tracking and logging analytics - that are not required by consumers.

Vancouver Virtual Number Providers
Company Type of Number Number of Countries Vancouver Numbers Avail? Destination Country Charges
Skype Local 25 Yes Any country - $60 / yr standalone
50% off with an optional service plan
- Without plan, per minute rates to destination country apply*
Cloncom Local 14 Yes 17 - ~$20 / mth for unlimited inbound calls
- Prices vary by country / destination route
Mobivox iNum** n/a n/a Any country - FREE during beta launch
- Per minute rates to destination country apply*
Vonage Local 8 Yes US only - $4.99 - $9.99 per mth
- Service plan required
Lingo Local 15 Yes US only - $5 - $10 per mth
- Service plan required
Gizmo5?? Local 28 Yes Any country - $35 / yr
-Per minute rates to destination country apply*
TerraSip?? Local 60+ Yes Any country - ~$35 / yr, including set-up fee
- Unlimited free inbound calling
- NO service plans or per minute rates apply

Figures in US$, unless otherwise stated

Check provider websites for current prices

* Applicable per minute rates charged for the forwarded leg of the call

** iNum is a 'global' virtual number with a unique country code (+883). Inbound dialing to +883 numbers is widely, but not universally supported. More on iNum

Back to top

What is a 'Virtual Phone Number'?

A virtual telephone number is a phone number used to forward incoming phone calls on to another telephone number - the 'destination number'.

Virtual numbers can be used for many reasons by both consumers and businesses. Some examples:

  • Individuals use them to make it cheaper and easier for family, friends or business associates in another country to reach them
  • Small businesses use them to take calls or orders from customers based in another country
  • Large companies use them for customer service lines which are routed to call centers in other countries

Virtual phone numbers come in two flavors:

  • Virtual local numbers which use a regular local landline or mobile phone number as the virtual number. The virtual number has an area code associated with a specific geographic location.
  • Virtual toll-free numbers which use a normal toll-free phone number as the virtual number. The toll-free number typically has a generic area code associated with toll free calling. The number may be on a plan that allows toll free calls from a specific region or nationwide.

Both types of virtual numbers work roughly the same way, except for 2 main differences.

One difference is that virtual local numbers are free to the inbound caller if the the number's area code is included as part of the caller's calling plan. Callers from outside the local service area would need to pay any long-distance charges themselves. For example, if you had a local virtual number for Vancouver, then callers from in and around the Vancouver service area would be able to call that number for free. As well, people on nationwide calling plans might also be able to call the number for free.

In contrast, with a toll-free number the inbound caller pays normally nothing regardless of where they are calling from - any long distance charges are passed along to the toll-free number subscriber.

The second main difference is the monthly cost of a local vs. toll-free virtual numbers to the virtual number owner / subscriber. Generally, toll-free virtual numbers are considerably more expensive than local virtual phone numbers. Not only does the toll-free number have a higher baseline monthly subscription cost, but also the toll-free subscriber must pay any charges related to inbound leg of any calls.

As a result, toll-free virtual numbers are generally not a viable cost saving solution for individuals, though they may work well for businesses.

Back to top

How Virtual Phone Numbers Work

Virtual numbers are used to forward incoming calls to another location - usually in another part of the country or in another country altogether.

voip virtual numbers

Generally, the incoming calls to the virtual number are forwarded to their destination via VoIP internet calling technology. Given that VoIP telephony is much less expensive than traditional telephony, this allows either the inbound caller or the virtual number subscriber or both to reduce calling costs.

To be clear, virtual numbers can be forwarded over traditional telephone networks, too - but it will cost more.

Unlike normal phone numbers, virtual telephone numbers generally do not have an actual physical landline or mobile phone assigned to them. Meaning that they don't actually ring anywhere.

Instead, virtual phone numbers are used as a mechanism to get the incoming call onto the telephone network - sort of like an entry ramp onto a roadway. Once 'received', the calls are then immediately routed forward to the end destination telephone.

Virtual telephone numbers can be forwarded to any type of end destination phone number - a mobile phone, a landline phone, a VoIP phone number, a fax machine, etc. The end destination number can be domestic or overseas.

Typically, the destination number can be easily designated using an account management interface. The subscriber simply specifies what end destination number they want to use - whether for a few hours or forever.

Assuming they are available, virtual phone numbers work much like a regular landline or toll-free phone number in terms of billing and payment. You subscribe to the service and then pay a monthly fee. The exact cost is determined by the provider, the calling plan you select, and the rates to the destination number, among other factors.

Back to top

Availability of Virtual Phone Numbers

Virtual telephone numbers are available for purchase in many countries around the world - but not available in many others. For instance, virtual numbers are not allowed in India as of this writing.

In general, countries that restrict use of virtual numbers are also countries that regulate use of VoIP internet telephony - and, usually, telecom markets in general.

In such countries, governments are typically trying to nuture incumbent telephone companies and protect them from low-cost competitors, especially from low-cost VoIP companies.

In countries with liberal telecom regulation, like Canada, virtual numbers are easy to obtain with few, if any, restrictions on their use.

Back to top

Back to top

Related Pages

Sorry, no related content.