Image of an office environment

Would you like your business to instantly appear more professional?

Do you not want to share your private phone number?

There is a way to address both these issues at the same time.

And that’s by setting up a UK virtual landline.

With plans starting from just £5.95 per month, a virtual landline achieves this quickly and cheaply.

Don’t fancy being tied into long term contracts?

No problem!

You can get an array of exciting tariffs on a pay monthly basis.

Many business owners are finding the edge over their competitors by integrating a virtual number.

Don’t worry though - our guide will walk you through all the why’s, what’s and how’s.

Then, you can make an informed decision that’s best for your business.

Chapter 1

What Is a Virtual Landline?

Graph charting the rise of virtual numbers
This graph charts the rise of virtual numbers.

Are you making the switch from a traditional phone system to a hosted, internet-based one?

If so, then chances are you’ve been offered access to virtual landlines.

You might be thinking, ‘I already have one number, so why do I need another one?’

That’s a good question.

And by the end of this guide, you’ll know exactly why.

But first of all, what is a virtual landline number?

Image of a telephone in a cloud

Let’s cut straight to the answer.

Simply put, a virtual landline is a cloud-based service, allowing you to have your incoming calls diverted to a phone number of your choice.

There are thousands of virtual numbers to choose from, including UK geographical numbers (01 and 02) or national numbers (03 and 0800).

The transfer can be made either through VoIP calls, or through a telephone operator that provides the service.

 30 day free trial of a virtual landline infographic
Did you know you could get a 30-day free trial of a virtual landline?

Here’s a fictional example:

‘Going Places’ is a removals firm in London. They rely purely on their owner’s existing home landline and two separate mobile phone numbers.

Therefore, 3 different contact numbers are placed across all their advertising. This includes Facebook, Yellow Pages, business cards and their removal vans.

As they expand and take on more employees, this set-up clearly isn’t ideal.

So, they start shopping around for the best virtual landline offers.

This gives them a single, professional-looking business number that can be diverted to everyone within the business - including mobile and landline phones.

Graphic of a removals van with business number on the side
Multiple numbers do not look professional!

(We’ll discuss the many benefits of this in chapter 2.)

The ‘Going Places’ removals firm can be translated to any kind of ambitious , expanding business, in any corner of the country.

Virtual UK landlines really do make a difference to the identity of a company.

Chapter 2

What Are the Benefits?

You’d be surprised how incredibly beneficial virtual numbers can be - especially for start-ups and smaller-sized businesses that are looking to expand.

Acquiring the best virtual UK landline is perfect for professionals and companies that want the best value phoneline.

Here are the 7 main benefits:

Feature-rich

The additional extras on offer allow you to tailor the service to your specific business needs.

It can be opened up to multiple channels

Own a growing business? This needs to be on your to-do list.

Low cost

Cheap packages and cheap call cost make this the money-saving option.

Simple to set-up

You only need an internet connection to set up a virtual landline.

Portability

Download the app, and be in the office, basically, anywhere.

Privacy

Virtual landlines can keep my personal and professional life separate.

Brand image

No need to fill up your business card with several phone numbers - you only need one, professional- looking number.

Feature-rich

Once registered with a virtual phone provider, you can automatically divert calls to your usual number, regardless of the operator.

Any incoming calls can be answered by yourself, or received by a mailbox.

The features don’t end there, though.

Providers tend to offer additional extras , whether it’s redirecting calls at a certain time, or blocking certain numbers.

Whisper-tone

This is a short message that tells you that you are receiving a call through your virtual landline.

If you do not wish to accept the call, you can just hang up before the end of the 'whisper tone'

Auto-attendant

This is a welcome message that has options for the caller to choose using their keypad.

For example: if the caller wishes to reach the sales department, they will be told to press '3'. This will direct them to the right number.

Date and time control

You can choose the time period from which calls will be routed to a certain number.

So, if you want to receive work calls when you're at home, you can direct it to your home phone after 5.30 PM, for example.

Studio-recorded greetings

Finalise your professional finish with a recorded greeting for callers.

Call statistics

Missing calls?

Not sure about when you're busiest and need the most support?

Find out your call statistics in real time, and optimise your business accordingly.

Your number can be opened up to multiple channels

This is perfect for a growing business.

You can connect dozens of lines - or users - to a single number, and receive calls from clients.

It’s even possible to set up call-forwarding to separate numbers, so that new incoming calls are automatically split between free lines.

This means that you will miss far less of your customer calls.

And this will provide you with more business and more potential profit.

Who doesn’t want that?

Fictional graph showing a sharp rise in profits
Eager to see profits like these?

Cost

One of the clearest advantages of virtual landlines is the low cost.

Those who make calls to a virtual number will pay the same price as they would for a local call, no matter where they’re calling from.

And the owner of a virtual number will only pay a fixed monthly price, with no long term obligation or contracts.

Starter packages begin at around £10 per month , per number.

Like mobile phone deals, you can choose to include extras, fee calls per minute etc.

The average range of costs can be broken down as follows:

- £4.99 - £30.00/month

- 2,000 - 12,000 minutes per month

- Rate per minute for calls forwarded to your landline: £0.008 - £0.04/minute

Typically, the more minutes you purchase, the lower your per-minute rates will be.

What’s more, most providers do not charge setup fees.

Plus: virtual numbers can help you avoid roaming expenses when travelling abroad too.

All you need do is allocate incoming calls from your virtual line to the relevant geographical SIM.

Image of business owner on the beach
Run your business from practically anywhere!

Simple to set up

Setting up a connection is super simple.

In fact, you can purchase a UK virtual landline and have it running within 30 minutes.

And no, you don’t need extra wires, hardware, or expensive equipment.

You only need internet access.

infographic about wireless businesses by 2025

Portability

In case you haven’t noticed, the way we work has changed.

We run businesses from laptops.

We meet new clients over the phone.

And increasingly, remote work is becoming the go-to.

This is why virtual landlines are fast becoming top-rated tech:

You no longer need to be attached to the office.

You simply buy a phone number from the long lists on offer, and then use it wherever you like.

Then you just install the app on your phone, laptop or tablet, and then make or receive calls exactly like you would in the office.

Graphic of a computer screen with simple interface - a virtual number portal
A virtual number portal

Brand image

It’s a known fact that customers are more likely to trust a company when they see a business number.

Therefore, you don’t want a list of numbers attached to your company.

It’s confusing , and it’s inconsistent.

Plus: if you plan on networking, then you’ll be able to appeal to larger businesses.

You’ll instantly look more credible.

The added flexibility and control the virtual landline provides you with will even increase customer retention.

Statistic - businesses with a virtual number are a third more likely to attract customers

Privacy

Another advantage is this: added privacy.

Trade in advertising with your own personal or private numbers for a virtual number set-up, whereby the calls are later forwarded to a fixed or mobile personal phone.

This way, you’ll avoid sharing your personal phone number to everyone - and keep your personal and work life separate.

Image of business owner with his feet up at home, sitting next to his telephone
Keep your work and your home life in perfect harmony.

Chapter 3

What Are the Drawbacks?

Trust me - this is going to be a seriously short chapter.

Fact is, owning a UK virtual landline actually has very few disadvantages.

In fact, there are only two disadvantages to having a virtual system with your business.

That’s right.

Two.

Connectivity Requirements

Being powered by the internet means one thing: your virtual phone system will only be as good as your internet connection.

So, if your broadband isn’t high-quality, neither will your phone calls.

And this is not good.

However, nowadays, connections have never been so reliable.

Businesses just need to be aware of their bandwidth use.

If you are a growing business and starting to use more devices, then it’s time to upgrade to a faster broadband package.

As long as you remain aware of your connection requirements, this issue should be fine.

Unfortunately, outages can and do happen.

Image of a team of maintenance guys
Typically, virtual landlines have a support team available 24/7.

Maintenance Requirements

Unfortunately, network problems happen.

It could be due to connectivity - but it might be something else.

Perhaps a handset is faulty, or you aren’t able to get one of the applications to work?

Instead of larger companies who hire IT engineers onsite, smaller businesses will need to call the service centre for their problems.

Most providers offer a very swift, comprehensive service.

This can include a live chat available online, and 24 hour facilities.

Image of customer service operators
The support teams on hand make virtual landlines a reliable option for businesses.

Nevertheless - as with any business decision - you need to do your research.

And the same applies for your virtual UK landline.

Take the time to check out customer reviews, look deeper into the packages, and the breakdown service on offer.

Chapter 4

How Much Do They Cost?

Graph showing the cost of virtual landline in tandem with physical landlines
Could you save on your business costs with a virtual landline?

Still reluctant to make the switch to virtual landlines?

Maybe the cost will convince you?

But before we get into the prices, we’ll share some perks that reputable phone providers will offer when you subscribe:

No Contract

All you’ll be agreeing to are rolling monthly subscriptions. You can easily unsubscribe and move on, should you wish.

Free Trials

Some providers will even offer you the chance to use their services for the first month, free of charge (this is an excellent option for virtual line newcomers).

Low-cost Inbound Calls

This is a prerequisite, and some companies will also offer cheap outbound calls too.

Free Welcome Credit

Some offer a small top-up amount as a ‘thank you’ for using their service.

Easy Top-Ups

If you use up your inclusive minutes, then it’s easy to top-up. Either call the provider, or use your online account.

No Hidden Charges

You want to know you can rely on honest billing. Read the terms closely, as some charges will apply for forwarding/diverting certain codes.

Low-cost Roaming

Want to make cheap calls from abroad? Virtual landlines skip the high tariffs and only be charge you standard rates.

So what about the actual prices of having a virtual number for your business?

Package Deals

Often, these will come wrapped up in 3 or 4 separate packages, depending upon the size of your business.

What it essentially boils down to this: the number of inclusive minutes you want per month.

How many calls is your business going to make?

Statistic - 67% of business startups use virtual numbers

You can get unlimited calls to UK landlines or UK mobiles in certain packages, on top of a set amount of international countries too.

Also, you’ll find more additional benefits in the premium packages.

This can include extra extensions, call analytics, call routing and web-based control.

text here

Some packages do offer free set-up, but some providers can charge up to £20 for the setup service

For a standard package , you can pay anywhere from £2.99 to £9.95 per month.

Middle-range packages can cost between £12.95 to £19.95 per month.

And pro-business packages can set you back anywhere up to £30 per month.

Image of a thoughtful business owner
Which package will suit your business best?

Number Diverts Only

Of course, you don’t have to subscribe to a comprehensive package with analytics, web control and all of the trimmings.

If you just want calls diverted to a new number, then this is simple to achieve - and cheaper too.

And there are tons of extensions to choose from, such as local numbers, 0800, 0333, 084, London numbers and hundreds more.

The list is extensive, so be sure to take your time when considering the best option.

Graph showing the most popular virtual extensions
This graph shows the most popular virtual extensions.

Chapter 5

Best Providers of UK Virtual Landlines

If you’ve already Googled ‘the best virtual landlines’, you’ll realise how difficult it is to separate the good, the bad and the ugly.

Most of these providers aren’t household names and there are hundreds of offers out there - page after page of virtual number suppliers trying to push you their services.

That’s why we’re going to share with you our top UK virtual landline picks right here:

TollFree Forwarding

Logo of TollFree Forwarding

TollFree Forwarding is a provider based in Los Angeles and judging by their TrustPilot reviews, they’re on the up.

It’s incredibly easy to sign-up for their free trial (it’ll only take 5 minutes out of your day), and is installed with a feature-packed PBX service to try out.

TollFree Forwarding provides 3 main packages: starter, medium and large.

The key points of each package are as follows:

Starter

10 day free trial

Pay as you go or 70 minutes included

Additional minutes - 0.09 ppm

£10.52 per month or £99.16 per year

Medium

10 day free trial

300 minute or 650 minute options

0.08 ppm or 0.07 ppm for additional minutes (including calls to mobiles).

Prices range from £23.29 per month / £279.43 per year to £41.31 per month / £495.77 per year

Large

10 day free trial

1,374 minute or 2,134 minute options

0.73 ppm or 0.69 ppm for additional minutes (including calls to mobiles).

Prices range from £75.93 per month / £911.12 per year to £94.71 per month / £1,136.59 per year

If these 3 packages aren’t quite doing it for you, then TollFree Forwarding also offer virtual landline packages for high volume calling.

Bear in mind that these are customised by you and not pre-packaged solutions.

Global Presence

Choose from the large inventory of virtual numbers, and activate it in 60 seconds.

Call forwarding

Never miss another call from your customers.

Calls can reach you from anywhere in the world!

Time/day schedule

Route your calls based on the days and hours of your work week.

Route them to your home phone after 5.30pm, and to your call centre during the 9 to 5.

IVR, or a recorded greeting

Greet your callers with a custom greeting and an intuitive menu.

Call recording

Record your incoming calls for training or security purposes.

VoiceMail2MyEmail

Receive your voicemails as attachments to your emails.

Fax2MyEmail

Incoming faxes are sent as attachments in your email.

Real time analysis

View details about your calls - from your busy periods to customer call habits.

This means you’ll have to complete a form with all your specific requirements.

TollFree Forwarding then whip up a package tailor-made to your needs.

This kind of personalised volume pricing can save your business money, so it’s worth looking into.

With every package comes your very own dedicated account supervisor, as well as access to their support team.

Vonage

Logo of Vonage

Vonage is a big hitter in the virtual telecommunications space.

(Yes, that’s a thing.)

They have a vast array of virtual numbers to choose from for your business, whether it’s UK-based, or even internationally.

And they have a straightforward set up for multiple lines. This will help showcase your business to a wider audience locally.

Through Vonage, you can make or take calls on practically all devices, regardless of where you are in the world!

Vonage extensions

Receive home calls on your smart phone.

boomerang™

Certain contacts can be used with this feature; it means you can both use a Vonage number, saving them the charge.

Selective call block

The phone won't ring for any blocked numbers.

Plus, you can easily block and unblock as is needed

Vonage Voicemail Plus

Receive voicemails from any phone, or get audio transcription of messages sent to your e-mail inbox

Enhanced Call Forwarding

Have your calls forwarded through your Vonage Online Account, or by phone.

SimulRing®

Simulring lets you forward calls to five additional phones.

This can include: desk phones, basic mobile phones or Smartphones that don’t have the Extensions app.

This means that wherever you may be, you’ll always maintain that strong, local presence you need to achieve success.

Vonage like to keep it simple, and only offer two main packages: Premium and Premium Unlimited.

The key points of each Vonage package are as follows:

Talk UK

Unlimited calls to UK landlines

Calls to UK mobiles - 10 ppm

Competitive rates to international countries

Large range of UK area codes and numbers

£9.25 per month

Activation charge - £10

Premium

Unlimited calls to UK landlines

Calls to UK mobiles - 5 ppm

Unlimited calls to 5 international countries

Large range of UK area codes and numbers

£12.25 per month

Free activation charge

With their strong reputation within the industry - plus experience in virtual communications - Vonage are a solid choice.

Offering reliable, personalised support for any business size, Vonage continues to garner positive reviews.

Why not check them out?

eReceptionist

logo of ereceptionist

Signing up to eReceptionist gives you instant access to local, national, and international virtual phone numbers.

This provides your business with the opportunity to only pay the local fee from wherever you are in the world.

Their glowing reviews on TrustPilot speak volumes.

Paired with dependable 24 hour support management, eReceptionist is a team you can trust with your virtual landlines.

24/7 Virtual Receptionist

Give your customers the professional welcome they deserve.

Call forwarding

This common feature can keep you in the office - even when you aren't in the office.

Have your work calls forwarded to your non-office numbers. Whether it's your smartphone or your home phone, always be connected.

Voicemail transcription

Receive your transcribed voicemails via text or email.

So, if you can't take the call, you can still keep up-to-date.

Studio recorded greeting

Complete your professional finish with a recorded greeting.

Outbound calls

Make outbound phone calls via your virtual number through the eReceptionist phone app.

With these guys, it’s easy to manage all your messages, mails, and conferencing needs.

They offer a combination of landline and mobile calls inside their 3 packages, which are outlined below:

Startup

30 day free trial

350 minutes per month

Additional minutes - 3.97 ppm

2 extensions

£9.95 per month

Startup +

30 day free trial

750 minutes per month

Additional minutes - 3.97 ppm

4 extensions

£17.50 per month

Scaleup

30 day free trial

1600 minutes per month

Additional minutes - 3.97 ppm

6 extensions

£24.95 per month

eReceptionist brand themselves as your very own simple-to-use online receptionist - at a fraction of the price.

With many call solutions for scaling businesses, they are a strong addition to the UK virtual landline space with their competitive prices.

Including all the latest features such as call forwarding, custom greetings and advanced voicemail options, eReceptionist have all bases covered.

Telecoms World

Logo of Telecoms World

Telecoms World provides virtual numbers in over 500 area codes.

This gives you the opportunity to promote your company in almost every town or city in the UK.

With 4 distinct packages , Telecoms World cater to everyone, from fresh start-ups to seasoned business owners.

Their online portal is a great way to have full control on your virtual numbers. This web-based portal puts them at the forefront of the virtual landline arena, and all at very competitive rates.

text here

Outbound calling

You can make outgoing calls from any number you purchase with Telecoms World .

SMS forwarding

Incoming text messages can be sent to any email address which you choose.

Voice to email

Your transcribed voicemails will be sent via email.

Call recording

You can record every inbound call you receive.

Add to this their near perfect score on TrustPilot, and Telecoms World look like an attractive prospect for all.

Here is a breakdown of their packages:

Bronze

1,000 minutes per month

Additional landline minutes - 3 ppm

Additional mobile minutes not included

Call management not included

£4.99 per month

Silver

2,000 minutes per month

Additional landline minutes - 3 ppm

Additional mobile minutes - 6 ppm

Call management included

£9.99 per month

Gold

4,000 minutes per month

Additional landline minutes - 3 ppm

Additional mobile minutes - 6 ppm

Call management included

£19.99 per month

Platinum

10,000 minutes per month

Additional landline minutes - 3 ppm

Additional mobile minutes - 6 ppm

Call management included

£49.99 per month

Featuring an endless list of numbers available, a simple set of packages, and a support team that scores 10/10 with countless customers, Telecoms World are a fantastic overall choice.

Our Verdict

Logos of all four with a thumbs up in the centre

It’s never easy finding the right virtual phone provider for your business.

Over-crowded markets can make finding the ideal package a real head-ache.

Comparing all the pros and cons such as price, customer support, features etc. is both time-consuming and confusing.

Therefore, we hope this breakdown of 4 of the top UK virtual landline providers helps assist in your search.

Our top-rated provider for overall coverage is Telecoms World.

But, it’s worth considering TollFree Forwarding for their feature-rich , custom packages.

Ultimately, any of these companies will serve you well and free you from stress when it comes to deciding on providers.

Chapter 6

How Do I Set up a Virtual Landline?

Found your chosen virtual number provider? Great.

Getting set up with a virtual landline in the UK couldn’t be easier.

It can be achieved in just 3 simple steps…

Choose your preferred number

This might take you a while.

And this is because there are literally thousands of potential numbers available.

You can have:

Geographic numbers, starting with 01/02

Nationwide numbers suchs 0333

Business rate numbers like 0844

Local rate lines such as 0845

A freephone number like 0800

Set up an account

Registering with your provider is straightforward.

Input your personal details, and you’ll be set up in no time.

In fact, we’ve even pulled out a stopwatch.

And guess what?

The time it takes to set up and activate a virtual landline is under 5 minutes.

However, if you are setting up outside of regular working hours, some lines will not be activated until the following day.

Image of a business owner chatting at their desk

Add your target number

This is the number you want your new virtual line to be pointed towards.

There are tons of standard features you’ll get when you sign up.

And these range from an online management portal, call blocking, call statistics, voicemail, email reports and many more.

You can also select from optional features, too: call recording, call whisper and advanced call management.

Conclusion

Setting up the best virtual landlines in the UK is quick, easy, and risk-free.

Statistic - Virtual numbers lead to a 42% rise in brand recognition

Why not start using your virtual phone number and start receiving calls today?

There are no setup fees or minimum contracts.

And you can even cancel anytime.

Every plan comes with 20+ features at no extra cost , including 15 days of free call recording, conferencing, and advanced VoIP call forwarding rules.

Image of a business owner shaking hands with a provider employee
Find your provider here!

Business Telephony continues to be a fundamental requirement when it comes to success.

And for new companies , it represents their main means of contact with customers.

In this sense, a virtual landline number may be the answer to some of these connection requirements.

Having the best UK virtual number is the solution to your communication issues.

(Whether you're inside, or outside the office.)