Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP phone numbers, is becoming increasingly commonplace. It combines the best features of landlines and cell phones to create a convenient and effective way to communicate.
While the use of VoIP phone numbers has proven to be a cost-effective phone system for many businesses, it’s not unusual to find them in average homes. You’ve probably even used one yourself from your computer or cell phone with the use of services like Skype, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
VoIP phone numbers are generated and assigned to allow phone calls over an internet connection rather than the copper lines used by landlines and cell towers used by cell phones.
Although VoIP, cell phone, and landline services are very different, the actual phone numbers for each are not. So if you need to distinguish between the three, keep reading to find out how.
Landline Phone Number
The original phone lines were copper and still exist today. Therefore, there is still a percentage of the population that still uses them. As a matter of fact, about 40% of residences have a landline. People who prefer to keep landlines do so for safety, cost, and convenience.
Landlines can be more convenient than cell phones. First, they don’t die or have to be charged. Second, you can have one in more than one room in the house and avoid being tied to your cell phone or worrying about locating it when you need it. Third, plain old telephone service (POTS) provides the clearest, most reliable service than cell phones or digital phone lines.
Landlines are useful for large households because a caller is able to reach anyone who happens to be at home. This makes communication more efficient in some cases.
Callers have a better chance of relaying and receiving information if the call is specific to the residence rather than a specific resident, for example. And this way, households with school-aged children can put off purchasing individual phone lines.
Some individuals as well as businesses prefer landlines for their reliable service and clear sound. With a landline, you don’t have to worry about dropped calls, poor or “spotty” reception, or latency (more commonly referred to as “lag”). There is also no risk of a “butt dial” with a landline….
Landlines can also be convenient for particular jobs and industries that still require the use of fax machines.
Although landline phone service can be relatively cheap, this might only be the case for those users who have been “grandfathered” into the service. The cost of maintaining POTS is becoming increasingly more expensive to maintain, and its effectiveness isn’t really worth the cost anymore.
Of those who reported having a landline, about 60% are aged 45 and above. This might be because of aversion to learning new technology, connection to the past, or privacy concerns. But safety is also a consideration. Phone lines work with some hearing aids, heart monitors, and home security systems. A reliable landline could be an important lifeline for home-bound and elderly individuals.
However, landlines can improve security in a number of other situations as well. For example, you don’t have to worry about a “dead” phone in an emergency if it hasn’t been charged. Traditional copper landlines are self-powering, so they will still function in the case of a power outage. And calls to 911 are tied to the specific address where they originate from.
Many phone companies have been known to discourage landlines in favor of fiber optics. Landlines are already quite scarce and are quickly becoming irrelevant.
Cell Phone Number
Cell phones are extremely convenient because they are mobile. About 53% of adults have wireless service only. When you carry your cell phone, you can be reached almost anywhere at any time.
Of course, you can’t be reached if the phone isn’t charged, and a call can end abruptly if the phone “dies” mid-call. You also risk “lagged” and “dropped” calls if connection and reception fail you.
These are embarrassing risks for individuals let alone for business professionals! This is why VoIP is often adopted by business offices and professionals who take frequent client and business calls.
Cell phones do offer the advantage of sending and receiving text messages which streamlines communication. But since cell phones (i.e. smartphones) were designed to provide consumers with an all-in-one tool, call quality tends to suffer since making and receiving calls is not their sole function.
VoIP Phone Number
Copper lines provide the best call quality, but digital landlines (like some VoIP services) provide better call quality than wireless phones. This, in conjunction with their affordability, makes them the optimal tool for making and receiving calls. (For more information, check out our VoIP guide What is a VoIP Number: Everything You Need to Know.)
Unfortunately, VoIP only works with a strong internet connection. However, it’s portable! That means you can take calls with a VoIP phone number on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Or, you can get a VoIP phone or use a phone receiver you already have.
How to Identify Line Type
Cell phone, landline, and VoIP phone numbers all follow the same 10-digit format. There is no way to tell line type from another just by looking at the phone number. However, you can use a phone validator to check the line type of a phone number.
There are a few reasons why it’s important to verify phone numbers. First, it can help you identify the caller. Phone validator results can include location, time zone, area code, and map. If you receive a call that seems suspicious, you can cross check the caller ID information with the results of the phone validator to see if the call originated where it says it did.
Second, a phone validator allows you to check whether a particular number is still valid. This is especially important if you have had a number in your records for a long time. Since more and more people and companies are abandoning their landlines in favor of wireless and VoIP phone numbers, numbers that were once assigned to landlines might not be valid anymore.
Third, you might want to send a text message. Since landlines can’t receive text messages, sending them to these numbers would be a waste of time and money. So you might want to verify the line type of a number (or list of numbers) if you want to specifically send text messages.
Finally, by verifying a phone number, you can also find out whether it’s been registered on the Do Not Call (DNC) list. Depending on the reason for your call, you want to make sure you avoid making certain telemarketing calls to numbers registered on the DNC list. Otherwise, you could risk hefty fines.
To verify a phone number, just enter it and search! Results include phone type (landline, cell phone, or VoIP), carrier (phone company) name, and location. Other search options include DNC list check and reachability of the number. If you have an entire list of numbers you’d like to verify, upload the list to a bulk phone validator.
Although each of these line types has its purpose, the times are changing. Our needs are changing and technology is advancing. While many of us remember (and perhaps miss) the days when we had to make small talk with whoever answered the landline while waiting for the intended callee to pick up the receiver, that just isn’t realistic anymore.
We have become much busier, much more mobile, and—with cell phones and digital landlines—much more reachable. With a greater emphasis on remote work in the last couple of years, calls and meetings via the internet have become a necessity.
One thing hasn’t changed, though, and that’s the 10-digit phone number. So don’t throw out your rolodex just yet; just make sure you double check those numbers before you call!Learn more