FlyNumber Reviews



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FlyNumber Review by WhichVoIP

FlyNumber is based in Brooklyn, New York and is aimed at those looking for low cost inbound calling options for the USA or other countries around the World.

The Good

FlyNumber is primarily focused on inbound calls and the ability to own a local phone number anywhere across the planet. If you have family or friends on the other side of the World, just purchase a virtual phone number in that location and they can call you using your virtual phone number. It is a local call which greatly reduces the cost to your friend or family member and also to FlyNumber! The cost for unlimited inbound minutes starts at just $2.95 per month but varies based on the country of interest ($2.95 is the cost for USA, Canada and the UK).

You can use your virtual number and simply forward it to a phone number of your choosing. Keep in mind that forwarding a call is essentially an outbound call. If this is to a Skype, Gtalk, Asterisk or another PBX platform it is a VoIP call and the forwarding is free of charge. However, if you are forwarding it to a landline or cell number you will be charged per minute pricing. Pricing is reasonable and can be found on the FlyNumber Website. For example, forwarding to a USA or Canada number is 1 cent per minute. Pre-funding is required for all outbound calls (i.e. forwarded calls). You can also forward to your own PBX (Private Branch eXchange) such as 3CX, Asterisk and Freeswitch or to an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP) such as Callcentric or (and many more). A lot of customers will likely take this approach, using FlyNumber as a low cost International inbound provider and routing the calls to either a PBX or to an ITSP and using that service for forwarding and outbound calls.

You can add multiple virtual phone numbers to your account, each with unlimited inbound minutes but of course there is a fee for each virtual number, determined by the location. If you have friends across the planet or a small business focusing on specific countries, this may be a great option for you. All of the numbers can then be handled in the same manner or handled independently.

If you already own a phone number you wish to keep you can port it over to FlyNumber free of charge.

Recently FlyNumber also added the ability to forward SMS messages to email so now any text messages to your virtual phone numbers can be sent to your email address on file. There is no additional fee for SMS forwarding.

Inside the FlyNumber portal (i.e. their phone system in the cloud) you can manage your call flows, for example voicemail greetings, call queues, ring groups and menus. There is no cost to use this service.

Signing up for service couldn't be easier. Pick a country and an area code and select how you would like to handle your calls. If you select forwarding to a regular phone, simply enter the forwarding number and country. If you select VoIP enter the the protocol (eg SIP) and the host name and credentials. If you select ITSP, choose the provider you already have for handling your calls. You also have the option to select PBXww, this is FlyNumber's own PBX which is still in Beta at this time of writing. Presumably their plan is to eventually become a true ITSP. Once logged in you can change your selection at any time.

The Bad

If all you need is a virtual phone number and the ability to receive calls from family and friends or forward calls to a local cell phone, FlyNumber is a very cost effective service. However, if you need more advanced calling features or the ability to connect your own landline or IP phone, you will need to use a third party ITSP in which case what is the point in selecting FlyNumber in the first place. This is likely why FlyNumber is currently working on their own full featured PBX (Beta).

There is no faxing and conference calling is limited to just two callers, likely because of internal limitations that FlyNumber forces on inbound calls (i.e. 2 incoming channels). The PBXww full featured PBX will likely resolve this limitation.

The service promises unlimited minutes for inbound calling. Normally a reasonable use policy is stated in the terms and conditions for services such as this but there is no such policy statement in the T&Cs. We would recommend asking about this if you know you will have a high volume of inbound calls.

Support is online only through a support ticket system and there is very little on its Website in terms of support articles and guides.

The Bottom Line

  • Unlimited inbound calling starting at $2.95 per user per month (for USA, Canada and the UK). Pricing varies per country.
  • Can forward calls to a phone number of your choosing. This is free for SIP calls to a Skype, Gtalk or PBX but charged per minute for landline and cell phone numbers. Must pre-fund.
  • No hardware to connect to the service, relies on forwarding to existing devices such as cell phones.
  • Free porting.

Overall Thoughts

The FlyNumber service has an interesting business model and may work great for those that just need a public facing phone number anywhere in the World to handle inbound calls using ring groups, menus, voicemail and call forwarding options . It is very cost-effective and can be used with third party PBXs and ITSPs to expand the feature set. For those looking to connect a landline or digital phone to the outside world and support inbound and outbound calls there are likely better options available to you.

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