VoIP Features Explained

VoIP delivers an abundance of useful features to the phone user and they are, in most cases, included free when you sign up with a provider. This guide will take you through a comprehensive list of VoIP features associated with both Home and Buinsess phone services, providing an explanation of each one.

VoIP Features

Features are listed in alphabetical order for you to browse through.

3-Way Calling

Often referred to as an ad-hoc conference call, this feature enables you to quickly add a 3rd person to the call while keeping the initial call active.

For home phone users you can now talk to your mom and your brother or sister at the same time, or maybe your two best friends. For business users this is a great feature to bring in a colleague when you need to discuss ideas or get more an expert involved. Whoever it is, 3-way conversations are very convenient for saving time when spreading good news, making plans with a group, catching up with friends, or closing a business deal.

411 Directory Assistance

Call and speak to a person if you are looking for a phone number for a local business. This feature is declining as using a Smartphone is much quicker and easier. Some providers may even block this number. From a business perspective you may want to get your number listed with 411 directory services.

A useful feature to those people who like to use this service. This is purely dependant on the person, some people like to use this service and some people may never use it. Directory assistance is usually up to date with new businesses that may not be in the phone book yet. This usually comes at a premium since you pay for each 411 call.

7-digit Dialing for Local Numbers

Most people are use to dialing all 10 digits these days but many providers can offer the ability to not have to enter the local area code every time you a make a local call. This typically is set for ONE area code.

This can be a time saving feature if you mainly call local numbers inside your own area code.

Anonymous Call Blocking

If someone is using caller ID blocking (i.e. blocking their caller ID information) then their call will show as an anonymous call. This feature will ensure that you never receive any call that does not pass through a caller ID.

If you are fed up with getting anonymous phone calls, then you'll love this feature. With this great feature you can automatically block calls that do not have an originating number.

Area Code Selection

The area code is the first 3 digits of a 10 digit phone number. The next 3 digits are also part of the code but are more granular and specific to a certain town within an area code. So keep that in mind if you want an area code that is tied to your city.

Regardless of where you live you can choose the area code you want for your phone number. Maybe you are moving to a new location with your job, going to college, or just want to have a new start somewhere else, you can still select your old area code for your phone number. This means that you will still be a local call away from family and friends back home. This can also be an advantage for businesses that want to have a local feel in adjacent cities/areas.


For a more detailed explanation of what this feature is, how it is configured and what types of scripts are required, please visit our Auto-Attendant guide.

In short, an auto-attendant is a recorded message that is played when someone calls your phone number. It is often set up to provide options to the caller, for example, a voice prompt that states please press 1 for sales, press 2 for shipping etc. It then routes the caller to the appropriate person based on the selection made by the caller.

This feature is mainly focused on busines users. It can provide any size of business a large business appearance, with multiple departments or selections. It is also a great way to provide information like location and hours of business.

Call Blocking

Any phone number can be added to a call block list which will then prevent this number from being able to call your phone.

This can be a very useful feature especially with the rise in "robocalls", or telemarketing calls generated by call center auto-dialers. These are effectively SPAM calls that are no use to anyone. Often this feature provides a list of recent calls inside a secure portal that you can login to and then select the numbers you want to block. It can also be useful if you want to block certain phone numbers, for example an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend from calling your home number. This can be a lot easier than changing your phone number.

Call Center Support

This is a busines focused feature and provides the ability to add call-center features to a VoIP service. Call queues, automatic call distribution and CRM integration are some of the features to look out for.

Call Conference

Some businesses may require conferencing calls from time to time, to talk with multiple parties at the same time. This is typically over and above the 3-way calling option and when you may need to schedule meetings with multiple departments or groups that are in different locations. Sometimes referred to as Conference Bridge.

Typically an add-on feature with many business service providers and pricing is often dependant on usage.

Call Groups

This feature is often referred to as Ring Groups, or Hunt Groups. When a call comes in it is routed to multiple phones that will all ring at the same time.

Caller ID

Sometimes also just called Call ID. This is a standard feature with practically every modern phone service. The number of the caller will show on the phone screen when the call is coming in and you can determine whether or not you wish to accept that call or ignore it.

If you don't like answering the phone not knowing who is calling, this is a must. You can see straight away if it's a number you know and who is calling. This VoIP feature helps you easily manage and screen your incoming calls. Also see the feature Anonymous call block, which is related to this feature for cases where the Call ID is blocked by the caller. Caller ID also is important for outgoing calls as this is what other people will see on their phones when you call, if they have the caller ID feature of course. The outgoing Caller ID Name usually defaults to the name you supplied when you signed up for service. The Caller ID Name can usually be edited in your login portal at the VoIP service providers website or in some cases you need to get them to edit it for you.

Caller ID with Name

This feature goes hand in hand with Caller ID, except the name of the person is also displayed on your phone as well as their phone number.

A great feature for managing your calls. With this feature you know the name of the person who is calling you, as well as the phone number, before you pick up the phone. You can then decide whether you want to answer the call or let it go to voicemail. Please note that you will need a Caller ID enabled phone to use this feature.

This is a must have for businesses as you want people you are calling to see your company name and number. This can improve the percentage of callee's that answer your call as often people may not know your number alone and discard it as a spam call.

Caller ID Blocking

Enabling this feature will result in hiding your caller ID from the people you are calling. Your call will show up as an anonymous call. Be aware that some people use a feature called anonymous call rejection to automatically reject these types of calls and their phone will never ring.

A great feature if you want to stop your identity from showing up on Caller ID enabled phones. Keep in mind that people may not answer a call if they are checking their caller ID and don't see a phone number they recognize.

Call Forwarding

This feature allows you to forward incoming calls to a different phone number, such as your cell number.

This can be a very useful feature if you don't want to miss any important calls while you are away from your home or away from your desk. You can configure this feature as and when you need to forward your calls to your cell phone, your work phone, your home phone, your voicemail, or any number you want.

For more information on this feature consult our article How to do Call Forwarding.

Call Groups

Calls can be forwarded to multiple extensions that ring simultaneously. This feature is often referred to as Ring Groups.

A great feature for businesses that have departments, or groups, where anyone can answer the incoming call. Having it ring everyones phone in the group provides a better chance of the call being answered also.

Call Hold

On most IP Phones, there will be a hold soft key that appears during a call. If you wish to either answer another call or perform some other activity while still on the original call, simply press the hold button and the caller will hear music.When a call is on hold the hold soft key on the IP phone will change to a Resume key. Press the Resume key to rejoin the call on hold.

Call Logs

Detailed call records by extension or account (often referred to as Call Detail Records or simply CDRs). Access to call records are typically provided via a secure web portal login. With changes in privacy laws you may have to sign a declaration to get access to these types of records.

A great feature for businesses that might need to monitor times on a call with a client for billing purposes or for monitoring the number of calls by extension.

Call Monitoring

Call Monitoring provides the ability for a manager or trainer to listen in to calls between an employee and a customer, without the customer hearing the person monitoring. It can also include the ability for the party listening in to talk directly with the employee and/or to enter the conversation with the employee and the customer (similar to 3-way calling).

A great training tool for helping new employees with handling sales or support calls. With the ability to talk to the employee without the customer hearing can be a useful resource to the new employee finding their way.

Call Recording

Record calls based on set parameters (for example, certain extensions/groups) or on-demand with keypad entries for starting/stopping the recording. One of these options or both may be offered by a service provider. Read our Call Recording article for more detailed information on this feature.

Some businesses like to record certain customer calls for their records. They can also be accessed at a later date if a disupute arises over payment or what was agreed upon over a phone conversation.

Call Transfer

If the calling party needs to talk to someone else other than yourself, press the transfer button and then enter the extension or phone number of the person that you wish to transfer the call to. Some IP phones have a specific button for transferring calls and some will have a Transfer soft key that will display when a call is active only.

This feature is generally more useful for businesses where there are multiple people in a department or group. There are two forms of Call Transfer; Blind transfer and Attended Transfer. Blind Transfer is where the call is transferred directly to another number and Attended Transfer is where the answering party actually talks to the person they are transferring the call to, making sure they are available to take the call, before completing the transfer.

Call Waiting

If this feature is enabled, you will typically hear a little beep every few seconds when a call is coming in while you are already talking on the phone. You can use this in conjunction with caller ID to take a quick look at the number coming in and then decide if you need to take the new call or let it go to voicemail.

No more worries about missing that important call. Typically, you will hear a succession of beeps letting you know that someone else is trying to get through. You can then simply connect to the incoming call, generally with a touch of a button.

Cell Phone Integration

This typically refers to using an App on your Smartphone. The App, often referred to as a Softphone, is a SIP client that provides an extension to your VoIP phone service. The App is tied into your VoIP service so you can receive or make calls as if it was your home phone or your work phone.

Refer to Soft Phone below for more information.

Change Phone Number

This is fairly self explanatory. If you decide you want to change your phone number for any reason, just login to your online portal or give your provider a call.

Quite a useful feature as you can change your phone number without changing phone companies. Problems with unwanted callers, decide you want to change your area code, moving house, business changing location, whatever the reason, with this feature changing your number is easy. Some providers allow you to request a new number on-line with a click of a button, others may require you to phone customer service.

Conference Bridge

Set up conference calls using a pre-assigned call-in number. Also known as simply Conferencing.

This feature is often marketed as an add-on feature and requires additional monthly fees, which cen be dependant on usage or number of users. A lot of small businesses may decide to use a separate conferencing solution like Webex or GoToMeeting.

Contact Lists

In this day and age many people don't remember anyone's phone number anymore as you people typically call people using their phones contact list. You might still want to memorize the important numbers though in case you ever need to call them, but don't have your phone handy or have access to your contact list.

You can use Contact Lists to personalize what your Caller ID displays. You can have Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Bob, whatever you want. Use this feature in combination with the Caller ID with Name feature.

Day/Night Mode

This feature is like a toggle switch, where you can toggle something to be either on or off, or have something do A under one scenario (e.g. day time) and do B under a second scenario (e.g. night time).

One example might be a different way for incoming calls to be routed during day time hours (open times) and night time hours (closed times). It can alos be used for any A/B scenario where you need to toggle between A and B, or B to A.

Dial by Extension

This is a simple but powerful feature. You can dial an extension to reach the person you are looking for, regardless of their location. This is a more obvious feature for most businesses that share one location, but for a business that has multiple physical locations you can still dial someone "inside" the company by extension dialing regardless of whether they are at your location or a different location.

An example could be that you are in your office in Seattle and you dial a colleague in the San Franciso office by simply dialing their 3 or 4 digit extension number. No need to get an outside line or dial the 10 digit phone number for that location and go through a receptionist or phone tree to get through to them. You can dial directly to any phone extension within the company.

Dial by Name Directory

This feature allows a caller to use the phone dial pad to spell out a first or last name. The feature will then search the names programmed in the directory based on the spelled out name to give the user matchig options. The caller can then select the appropriate person they are trying to reach and be connected to their extension.

This can be a useful feature for a business where callers generally know who they want to connect with. They call in and get the directory, hit keys 5646 to spell out JOHN, here the matched employees with the name JOHN and select the one they want to talk with.

Distinctive Ringing

This feature allows you to setup a specific ring tone for specific phone numbers such that when that number calls you, a distinctive ring is heard, and you will likely know who is calling just from hearing the ring.

This feature can be useful for both home and business users. For home users you can set specific ring tones for your Mom, Dad, friends etc so that as soon as you hear the ring tone you know who is calling. For a business, it can be useful to distinguish between specific ring groups or for specific extensions.

Do Not Disturb

This is very popular feature and is frequently a default button or softkey on most IP phones. Turning this feature on simply sends all calls directly to voicemail so that your phone will not ring.

A great feature when you don't want to be disturbed while you have that mid day nap, or the baby is sleeping, or you are busy in an important meeting. All your calls will go straight to voicemail and your phone will never ring. Just remember to disable it once you are done with it!

E911 Service

E911 stands for Enhanced 911. When 911 is dialed the call is routed to emergency personnel at Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) and the location of the caller (address) is transferred to them. The service works like a regular 911 call would, except that the address transferred is the address on file for that number. However, if you move or take your VoIP device when you travel, you must remember to update your location with this service. For more information check out this article about E911 and VoIP.

The user must be aware that this is still not the same as the 911 service that is provided through your regular phone service. However, this is the closest to that service that is currently available with VoIP phone service. As long as you register your location information through your Service Provider your address will be available to the PSAP. Make sure you let any visiting family and friends know of the differences with this service. Also, if you move locations remember to update the address on file.

Enhanced Voicemail

This refers to voicemail being sent to your email or being able to listen to your voicemail by logging into a portal.

Enhanced voicemail brings a whole new host of ways to listen to your messages and to be notified that you have messages. With this feature you can retrieve your voice messages from any phone, not just your home phone. So, if you are out or away overnight, you can dial in from anywhere and check your messages. You can get email notifications sent to you when someone leaves a message for you. You can even have an audio file of the message sent to your email, which you can then listen to on your computer, or any computer. This is a great feature for saving messages from loved ones, old and young, for years to come.


A typical fax machine will have an RJ-11 phone cable connection so to send a fax over your VoIP line you will need to connect the fax to your ATA.

This is dependant on the users requirement, a must for people who use standard analog fax machines and not important to those who don't. Most service providers who do support analog faxing don't provide a 100% guarantee on all fax machines working though. There could be some trial and error with this feature. Some providers may require a second line specifically for a fax machine connection.

Another option to consider is what is commonly known as "e-fax" or "Internet Fax" or "Online Fax". This is a feature that allows the user to receive faxes as email attachments and to send faxes as exletronic documnets through a secure web portal. No fax machine is required.

Follow Me

Calls can be forwarded to multiple numbers that will ring in a designated sequence or at the same time.

This feature, also called Find Me Follow Me, is useful for those that move around or in and out of their work place or home and need to stay connected. You can set any incoming calls to not just ring your main phone but to also ring other phone numbers (extensions, work/home number, cell number etc.). That way you never miss a call no matter where you are.

Holiday Schedule

This can be used to customize how your calls are routed during public holidays.

No one in the office during July 4th or Thanksgiving? No problem, you can set incoming calls go to a specific greeting during these holidays or go straight to voicemail etc. Set it up once and forget about it.


Target phone auto-answers on mute and broadcasts through the speakerphone.

Useful if you need to broadcast a message to a particular area or multiple areas where phones are located. It is typically set up so that a PIN is needed to put the phone into Intercom mode, allowing you to broadcats a message to other pre-designated phones. The phones receiving the broadcast are muted so it is only a one-way audio channel.

International Blocking

Prevents any phone from being able to make any international calls if enabled.

Does your young child like to pick up the phone and dial random numbers and then leave the phone lying around? Ever found those unexpected international charges after friends or family have been visiting? New employee calling his family abroad from work? This feature could save those unexpected charges on your phone bill by allowing you to manage whether or not international dialing is blocked on your phone. This feature can be turned on or off, typically via your online account manager so that it is not easily disabled.

Keep Number For Life

In almost every case you will have the right to keep your phone number and can port it to another provider if you change services.

Never have to change your phone number again. No more trying to remember your new number or trying to remember your old phone number at the grocery store. No more having to let people know your new number, or missing important calls after you have moved house. Move from Chicago to Miami and still keep your number. This is not an everyday use feature but can be very useful when you make that important decision to move.

Last Number Re-Dial

Quickly call the last number that called you by pushing the redial button.

This can be useful and time saving when you call someone and the line is busy. Simply hit the redial button and your phone will automatically call the last number that was dialed on that particular device.

Line Unavailable Forward

Forwards a call if your primary number cannot be reached.

We consider this a huge feature. One of the disadvantages of VoIP is that if your broadband connection is not available your phone service is not either. With this feature, you can have your calls forwarded to another number of your choice, your cell number or other number that you can be reached at, if your broadband connection is not available. With this feature you will never miss any calls.

Local Numbers

Local phone numbers available in all area codes.

Local Number Portability

Number portability is the ability to keep your current phone number and bring it to your new phone service provider by porting the number over. If a phone company offers number portability it means you can bring your current phone number to them rather than losing your number when you switch phone service providers.

This is a common feature and every service provider will offer to port your number as long as it has coverage in your area code. With this feature you can keep your current phone number if you decide to change your phone service over to VoIP. This can be very useful if you are training young children to memorize your phone number, or if you just don't want the hassle of providing friends, family and businesses with your new phone number. Of course, you can always choose a different number if you want to. Check to see if your new provider can support your number prior to signing up.


More commonly known as the Simultaneous Ring feature, setting his up will allow a call to ring more than one phone at the same time. A similar feature is called Sequential Ring where one phone will ring for a specified period and if it is not answered then the next phone in the sequence will ring, and so on until the call reaches the end of the sequence and likely ends up going to voicemail if not answered.

This is a great feature for call management. Never miss an important call again. You can set this feature to ring multiple phones when someone calls your primary VoIP phone line. Most home service providers allow you to choose from any number, US or international, cell phone or regular phone, and up to at least 4 numbers. So, when someone calls your primary phone number, your home phone rings as well as any other numbers you have set up to ring. Whichever one you pick up first gets the call. This can be a great feature for businesses too and can be set up for departments where all extensions ring simultaneously or sequentially. This feature is often referred to as Ring Groups by business providers.

Music on Hold

As the name implies, this feature is a classic large business feature that is available for a business of any size. When you put a caller on hold they will hear music. The music can be the default providers setting or some providers allow custom music or corporate messaging.

Online Account Management Portal

A secure web based portal that you can login to to see your feature settings and account information.

This allows you to control a selection of the available call management features yourself. There is often access to call records and voicemails also. Each provider offers their own web interface, with varying amounts of control over your phone service features and account information.

Outlook Integration

Make and receive calls from your Microsoft Outlook inbox.

This was a popular feature for business users where they could integrate their email with their phone system. This has become less popular with the introduction of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software like Salesforce and Zoho.

PC to Phone Option

This feature is more commonly referred to as a Softphone and involves loading an application onto your PC, connecting it to your phone service provider and then making calls just the same as you would with a regular phone. It does require a headset or some form of microphone and speaker connected to your PC.

This is a great option for those people who travel with a laptop, especially when on business travel. You have your phone integrated into your PC. All you need is a headset (microphone and speakers or headphones) to be able to call anyone. Some service providers have this option in addition to your VoIP phone service, but more typically this is provided as a separate service. This is not a required feature for the typical VoIP user.

With the advent of Smartphones, the PC to phone feature has become a more cumbersome option. With a Softphone App downloaded onto your Smartphone you can turn your personal cell phone into a business phone system. It already has the microphone and speaker so no additional hardware is required.

Repeat Dial if Busy

Set your phone to redial if it receives a busy signal.

Ever get fed up waiting to get through to someone on the phone? Still getting that busy signal? Now you can use this feature to let you know when the phone of the person you are calling becomes free. Your phone will even ring you back when you are being connected. A very useful feature if patience is not your strong point!

Return Call

This is a call back feature for missed calls.

Just got in the bath or shower and the phone rings? Relax, and let it ring. With the Return Call feature you can call back whoever was calling you with the touch of a few buttons without knowing who called or their number.

Ring Groups

Also called Hunt Groups, or sometimes referred to as Multi-Ring or Simultaneous Ring. Ring Groups are used to set up a group of phone numbers (10 digit or extensions) that ring when an incoming call is routed to it.

It's always good to be included right! Well with Ring Groups you can include all the employees phones in a department or group to ring when someone calls them. If someone is on a call someone else can answer. Ring Groups typically have an exit event that can be set so if no one answers the call can be routed to a department voicemail box or it can be routed to another department. They can also be set for sequential or simulataneous ringing.

Sequential Ring

This feature will allow for a group of phones to ring in a specific order. For example if the first phone is not answered within the programmed timeframe, the second phone will ring, then the third, and so on.

Simultaneous Ring

This feature will allow for a group of phones to ring at the same time. Whoever picks up their phone first will get to answer the call and the other phones will stop ringing.

Simulataneous Ring is often referred to as Ring Groups. With Ring Groups you can typically set them up for sequential or simultaneous ring.

SMS Texting and Instant Messaging

Send and receive SMS texts from your Web portal and/or your VoIP App. You can also do Instant Messaging with colleagues that are on your phone system. Some providers also offer the ability to receive SMS notifications when you have a new voicemail.

Speed Dialing

Program your phone with your most frequently called numbers and then just hit a key once to dial.

This is a great feature for those phone numbers that you call the most. No more dialing 10 digits and getting wrong numbers, just dial the pre-programmed digit(s) and connect. Just make sure you put your mom at number one!

Softphone Support

A Softphone is a SIP client App that can be downloaded to your PC or Smartphone. The Softphone acts as an extension to your VoIP phone service allowing you to receive and make calls through your service provider.

Most people have Smartphones these days and there are several Softphone Apps available through iTunes and PlayStore. Some providers have their own proprietary versions also that only work with their service. The great advantage of a Softphone is that it will use the Caller ID information of your home or business phone service so you will protect your personal cell number (i.e. the person you call will see your home or business number rather than your cell phone number).

This feature is a great option for employees who are in and out of the office. It provides mobility while keeping you connected to the office.

Telemarketer Blocking

Block those unwanted telemarketing calls. Have you noticed that there is often a few seconds of quiet when you answer the phone? Well this is almost always because it is an auto-dialer and it is waiting for someone to answer before it will connect them with an agent. This feature will not allow them to waste your time as it will immediately disconnect the call before they can talk.

It is probably safe to say that everyone will love this feature! Especially if you are fed up with telemarketers phoning just as you sit down for your evening meal at home. This feature typically sends out a special tone that fools the telemarketers auto-dialers into thinking that your number is not in service. The auto-dialers disconnect immediately and move onto the next number, leaving you to eat your evening meal in peace.

Time Conditions

This feature allows you to set up how your incoming calls are routed during specific times of the day or days of the week.

Great for companies that want their calls routed to employees during the 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday work week and then routed to a message or voicemail outside those times/days. Also great for young families at home where you do not want the phone ringing late at night. Just send it straight to voicemail during the night time.

Toll Free Numbers

Many companies offer this as an option for people/customers to call them while avoiding charges. The owner of the Toll Free Number will pay for the call at a premium rate, but there is no charge to the caller (toll free).

This feature can benefit both homes and businesses. There are many examnples where this might be worth considering. Have kids at college who complain about how much it costs to phone you each week? Have a small home business and want it to look professional? Your grandmother is on a fixed income and can't afford the charges to phone you? With a toll free number anyone in the US can call you for free. When someone calls your toll free number your primary VoIP phone line will ring. Service Providers typically charge a monthly fee (around $5) for this service, with some incoming minutes free of charge, and then a fixed rate for minutes that you use over your free monthly quota (typically 4 to 5 cents/min). Other providers may provide plans by the minute or unlimited calling at a fixed rate.

Travel Globally

Avoid expensive international calling charges by taking your VoIP system with you abroad. Just connect your ATA to the Internet and your phone will be up and running exactly as if you were using it at home.

One of the great features and advantages of VoIP is its portability. All you need is a broadband Internet connection and your VoIP enabled phone, ATA adaptor, or PC based Softphone and away you go. Your phone number is associated with your VoIP device (either your VoIP enabled phone, your ATA or your Softphone feature), so no matter where you go, your phone number will be the same. As long as you have your phone plugged into a broadband Internet connection, your phone will ring when someone calls your phone number, no matter where you are in the world. If you are going to visit the in-laws for a week but want to keep in touch with people back home, then just take your ATA with you, plug it in and make and receive calls as if you were back home. Going on a business trip for a few days. Take it with you and keep in touch with family and friends. Please remember when traveling internationally that you are responsible for your ATA which often belongs to the Service Provider. The device may not be compatible with local electrical power standards.

Unlimited Calling to US/CAN

This is unlimited calling in both the United States and Canada. Be aware that reasonable usage limits always apply and are typically around 2,500 to 3,000 minutes per month. If you exceed these limits regulary then the provider may adjust your plan or charge you for overage minutes.

Do you find yourself caught chatting with your mother, sister or brother back home for hours? Stopped calling all your old college friends due to high long distance charges? Do you dread those phone bills each month, wondering how much the charges will be? With this feature you can talk for as long as you like to anyone in the US or Canada, safe in the knowledge that your phone bill will be the same every month. No hidden charges and no extra fees for minutes used. This is truly one of the great features and advantages of VoIP telephony service.

Virtual Phone Numbers

Add extra phone numbers to the same phone line. For example, you can have a California number, Colorado number, and Florida number all ring on the same line. If you want to call out using one of these numbers you will be limited to the number of physical lines your phone model can support

Virtual Phone Numbers are just phone numbers that you can purchase through your provider and add to your primary line, with any area code of your selection (in line with area code availability from the provider). So, if you are from San Francisco and let's say your child decides to go to college up in Seattle, you can add a Seattle 206 number as an additional number (virtual number) on your primary San Fran line. This allows your child to call the Seattle 206 number which essentially maps to your home number in San Francisco and it is a free local call for your child.

With the increased use of cellular Smartphones and unlimited calling included means that this feature is not as popular as it maybe once was. It can still be agreat feature for small businesses that want a local number in a different area code than they are located. Local numbers provide an appearance of a local business.


Allows you to leave a message if there is no one available to take the call.

With VoIP your messages are stored in the cloud as opposed to on a physical answering machine device in your house or business. Simply dial your access code to listen to messages. Also, see Enhanced Voice Mail.

One great advantage of voicemail with a VoIP phone service and it being stored in teh cloud is that if your phone service goes out due to power or Internet outages, incoming calls will still go to your voicemail greeting and the caller can leave a message.

Voicemail to Email

Receive voicemails as email attachments. This is typically in the form of an audio file attachment of the message but can also be a speech to text transcription.

This is a great feature if you are travelling and cannot access your desk or home phone but get messages directly to your email. With Smartphones every one is so connected and can access their email at all times.

Any Missing?

If you are looking for a feature explanation and you do not see it above then please use the comment form below to let us know and we will add it. This will help us keep this guide up to date.

Published by WhichVoIP

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


WhichVoIP Visitor Comments

#3 : Posted by Eugene Sturm

How do I set up caller ID?

-> Response: Caller ID Inbound is normally on by default. For outbound you may need to tell your provider what you want it set to.


#2 : Posted by Joe Pierce

Interested in Basic Talk but have a couple of questions related to features: 1) Do they support call forwarding. 2) Can I fax with them.

-> Response: Unfortunately no you cannot do either, it is a very basic service. So no call forwarding support and no official fax support. There are lower cost providers that are full featured and support both of these items Joe - see our residential home page (use tab at top of page)


#1 : Posted by Jane

can I transfer my number to voip?

-> Response: Jane you can transfer your landline number to VoIP in probably 90% of cases. There are a couple of corner cases but rare these days. Thanks for your question.


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