If you are looking for a new phone system, you probably know about VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and the many benefits it offers business and homeowners. However, there is a lot to know about VoIP phone systems before choosing the right VoIP provider.
For instance, nowadays, most VoIP providers offer both “fixed” and “non-fixed” phone lines. We’re here to help you understand the difference, and the top highlights of non-fixed phone systems.
What is Non-Fixed VoIP?
To understand what a non-fixed VoIP phone system is, you have to first understand how fixed VoIP systems work.
Fixed VoIP phones are Internet-based phone lines that are associated with a specific address. Normally, they are hosted PBX systems, and connect with a server that is installed at a single location. When setting up a fixed VoIP system, you will typically want to choose hardware such as desktop or handset phones that can easily sit at your office or home. Fixed VoIP can be either a residential or business phone system. They can be substituted for a landline phone if you are looking for a higher quality, multi-functional phone system.
On the other hand, non-fixed VoIP systems, also known as “virtual phone numbers,” are phone lines that are not associated with a particular address. They are typically cloud-based VoIP systems. This allows users to carry their business or residential phone line with them almost anywhere they go. Keep in mind that non-fixed VoIP works by using the Internet. So in order to use a non-fixed VoIP phone on-the-go, you must have Internet access or WiFi.
Non-fixed VoIP is most compatible with mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets. But they can also be connected to laptops, computers, and other devices that connect to the Internet.
Fixed vs. Non-fixed VoIP: Pros & Cons
Of course, fixed and non-fixed VoIP systems have their pros and cons. Each one will be best for different types of business or residential needs.
|– The most reliable upgrade/replacement to a traditional landline phone|
– Easily compatible with desktop and handheld phone models
– Provides 911 access for emergencies
– Traceable, which reduces risk of fraud or scams
|– Must be connected with a physical location, which makes them less convenient for on-the go needs|
– More expensive
– Less compatible with long distance calling
|Fixed VoIP lines are best for business or home owners that most often use their phone system in their office or home.|
|– Highly compatible with on-the-go, mobile, and travel needs|
– Flexible hardware options
– Easy to change locations without the hassle
– Cost-efficient and easy to get started quickly
– Enables unlimited long distance and international calling
|– Very difficult to trace, which can make them susceptible to scams and fraud|
– May not provide 911 access for emergency calls
|Businesses with on-the-go or cloud-connectivity needs. They can also be great for businesses who plan to change locations in the near future.|
Who Uses Non-Fixed VoIP?
Non-fixed VoIP systems can be great options for many types of people. Since they do not require a fixed physical address to be associated with the account, they can be created with almost any geographical location. This allows users to travel easily using their business or personal line, so they can always stay connected. Here are some common users who enjoy the benefits of non-fixed phone systems:
Businesses with remote workers
Non-fixed phone lines give business with remote workers the flexibility they need. Whether a business has employees working in different areas of the country or around the globe, the whole team can stay connected easily using a non-fixed phone system.
Businesses on a budget
When using fixed VoIP systems, your phone bills can easily add up. That’s because when opting for add-on business tools, virtual phone numbers, and other flexible features, your provider will likely charge you for each additional request. Non-fixed VoIP systems have built-in flexibility, which typically allows you to use cloud-based features with no additional fees.
Businesses who want to establish local presence
Non-fixed VoIP phones do not need to be linked to a specific address. This can allow businesses to use a local address to establish a relationship with a particular local community, without incurring extra costs. Similar to the concept of “local dialing,” non-fixed VoIP lines can utilize an address to relate to customers in a particular region.
However, it’s very important to be aware that non-fixed phone lines can be associated with scammers and frauds. Why? It’s easy to change “caller ID” and address information, and it’s difficult to track these phone lines. Many scammers will use non-fixed VoIP to place spam calls.
Rest assured, though, that VoIP providers have now established a system to detect fraudulent non-fixed VoIP users. Providers now have systems in place to analyze data and APIs to detect inconsistent or concerning data. This allows them to determine the likelihood of spam or fraud, and flag those accounts.
How Much does it Cost?
One huge perk of non-fixed (aka “virtual”) phone numbers is that they are very cost-efficient. Because they are typically cloud-based, on-the-go systems that require very little hardware, start-up costs and phone plans are very affordable.
To connect just one virtual phone number, the starting cost is usually free. If you want to add a virtual phone number to your existing VoIP plan, you can usually add this for about $5-$10 extra per month.
To start a non-fixed business phone number with multiple extensions, you may pay between $10-$12 per month per extension, depending on the number of lines. Some providers also charge more depending on the number of minutes you use monthly. To learn more about VoIP costs, take a look at our VoIP cost guide.
Who are the Top Providers?
There are many different VoIP providers that offer non-fixed and virtual phone line options. Here are the most popular providers for non-fixed VoIP numbers.
|Virtual Phone Number Provider||Benefits||Features||Starting cost|
|8 x 8||- Well-known, reliable brand name|
- Easy, cost-effective international calling
- Available in 50+ countries
|- Call forwarding to specified devices|
- Easy-to-use mobile dashboard
|$4.99 per month|
|Google Voice||- One of the most widely used virtual phone providers|
- Ability to choose a local phone number
- Call forwarding to specified devices
- PBX functionality
|- Call forwarding to specified devices|
- Voicemail, text messaging, conference calling, and call transcription
|OnSIP||Good for small to medium sized businessesNo limits to number of virtual phone numbersGreat on-the-go flexibility||- Call forwarding to specified devices|
- Softphone and webphone options
|Free for “website” plan|
Unlimited Plan starting at $18.95 per month
To learn more about VoIP systems, take a look at our VoIP blog for useful information. You can also learn about your specific industry’s advantages using VoIP, such as healthcare, call centers, and restaurants.
Get started comparing VoIP providers - for both non-fixed or fixed VoIP systems! 360Connect can help - our free service connects you with the top phone providers who offer competitive pricing for VoIP. Visit us here to start your search!