In reality, non-fixed and fixed VoIP numbers don't differ too much. The differences aren't difficult to grasp. However, this information probably doesn't seem obvious to those who aren't already at least a little familiar with VoIP. So what are non-fixed VoIP numbers? Put succinctly, VoIP numbers which are non-fixed aren't associated or tied to any address. Fixed VoIP numbers, on the other hand, have an address associated with the account.
While the primary difference between non-fixed and fixed lines can be summed up quite easily, that statement doesn't quite capture the entire story. There are finer points that should be expressed. Greater flexibility, reputability, and security are all major factors that vary greatly between these to versions of VoIP. Let's explore more to gain a better understanding.
What's a fixed VoIP number?
Since non-fixed VoIP numbers are essentially an off-shoot of the standard, it's best to start with fixed versions. Just for clarification, fixed lines are linked with an actual address. This can be the account owner's company office or home address. This isn't unlike classic office systems which still often require a company's address to function. Mobile accounts are another example.
These numbers are less likely to be used for fraudulent activity and spam because there's a clear address linked, which can reveal the owner quite easily. With that in mind, it's easy to see why fixed lines are seen as being more reputable and authentic. These fixed VoIP numbers are also more likely to host 911 calls than their non-fixed counterparts because of the associated address where operators can send first responders.
In addition to this link with a user's physical address, fixed lines are typically connected with the actual provider's station. This connection can be through a SIP trunk, for example. Either way, it operates completely through the internet. Fixed VoIP numbers aren't issued for free or with a short application, which you expect from things like Skype for example. These lines require paid accounts and have longer sign-up processes.
What's a non-fixed VoIP number?
Non-fixed lines don't need to be linked to any physical address, unlike fixed VoIP numbers. Instead, these lines become associated with a general geographical location. Also, the owner of a VoIP account doesn't even have to work or live in the area where the line is associated.
Due to their lack of location-specificity, these lines are sometimes dubbed "virtual phone numbers." Google Voice, Skype, and other free services commonly issue these types of numbers. It's rare for these applications to require more than an email and some minor payment information when relevant.
Since these services are great for global communication and offer some unparalleled flexibility, non-fixed lines are very popular in business. Many web-based services that utilize these types of VoIP numbers make it easier for remote teams to collaborate and communicate. A company that employs people in more than one country can keep tight communication without having to pay exorbitant fees for international or long-distance calling. Check out our guide on business VoIP providers if you're interested in learning more about business VoIP.
Non-fixed lines are perfect for facilitating some features that are more related to business. For example, someone who's been using a fixed VoIP line might have to pay a small fee for every virtual number offered by their provider. These numbers could possibly be issued each with an associated area code. This ensures that the call gets registered as local when someone dials the virtual line. It can still be forwarded to a number that's non-local if needed.
VoIP telephony comes with a lot of technological advancements. Unfortunately, non-fixed lines don't represent the breadth of these capabilities. These types of numbers will generally be lacking professional features found on fixed lines. For this reason, many people opt to use non-fixed lines for personal use.
VoIP services utilizing Vonage, Nextiva, and many other providers normally come with many advanced features. For instance, call flip allows users to move a call from device to device through the click of a button. It's tough to find these types of features and other business-oriented abilities on non-fixed lines.
Overall these non-fixed numbers are easier to dispose of because of their accessibility, simple set-up, and affordability. Unfortunately, these are the same reasons that many criminals decide to use non-fixed lines for their wrongdoing. We'll touch on this again in a bit.
How Do You Get a Non-Fixed VoIP Phone Number?
To get a non-fixed VoIP phone number, you will have to choose a VoIP provider that offers the ability to get a non-fixed VoIP number. You can compare the best VoIP service providers using our guide. You'll want to call the provider or check their website to see if they provide non-fixed VoIP phone numbers before you sign up.
The Pros and Cons of Non-Fixed and Fixed VoIP
In summary, let's take a look at some of the disadvantages and advantages of each type of VoIP number.
Pros of non-fixed VoIP lines
The most obvious advantage of these lines is the lack of association with a physical address. They're very easy to obtain without having to give up too much personal info. Users don't have to pay anything or comparatively little. Another advantage is the ease with which users can make international calls.
Cons of non-fixed VoIP lines
These numbers are seen as less trustworthy and authentic because they're commonly used for criminal activity. They appear less professional as well, especially when using it as a business line. Users might not be able to call 911 since no location is associated with the number.
Pros of fixed VoIP lines
Fixed VoIP lines are seen as more authentic and can give users a better reputation and appearance. They aren't used by criminals as much as non-fixed lines as well. Users will find more call routing and advanced calling features on fixed numbers. They also offer dependable 911 calling.
Cons of fixed VoIP lines
Some cons of fixed numbers include more expensive fees, a longer application process, and a required address. The services provided aren't free and take more time to turn on. International calls are more expensive and there are strict prices associated with location.
As mentioned before, non-fixed VoIP lines aren't connected with a physical address and can easily be opened by a user in a different country.
New, non-fixed lines are easily generated and the caller information is easy to fake. This gives criminals a window of opportunity to impersonate certain people or to call anonymously. The affordability, easy access, and bulk-dialing capabilities of these systems make non-fixed numbers appealing to spammers.
Fortunately, there's been a response to this type of fraudulent activity. New technologies continue to emerge to help counteract times when spammers use non-fixed numbers for fraud. Whitepages Pro Phone Solutions, along with other APIs, give users insight into the type of number that an incoming caller is using. This is determined through a series of data points that get mixed together into a sort of reputation score. When a line receives a bad rating, there's a higher likelihood that it's being used for spam.
Similarly, it's now possible to ID calls from non-fixed lines solely based on the number that's linked to a certain VoIP service provider when the caller information is retrieved successfully.
Non-Fixed Numbers: The Bottom Line
Both non-fixed and fixed VoIP lines have advantages and disadvantages that make each ideal for particular scenarios. Fixed VoIP lines make a great deal of sense for companies that require support for emergency calls and advanced calling features.
On the other hand, non-fixed numbers are useful when users are searching to gain access to a quick line to be used for cheaper international calls, personal calls, and to gain access to some call forwarding abilities.
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