How to Get an Anonymous Virtual Phone Number

Get a second phone number to make anonymous phone calls

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CAROL & MIKE WERNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

It can be dangerous to give out your phone number to people you don't know, and that's normally the case when a website asks for your number. Fortunately, just like with anonymous email addresses and debit cards, you can also grab an anonymous, virtual phone number to mask your real number.

When you use a virtual phone number, only that number is known, not your real number, even though the virtual number might ring your real phone to establish the phone call. Anyone you call, and anyone who calls your virtual number, cannot see your real phone number.

Below is a list of the best virtual and anonymous phone services that are perfect for both business and personal use.

Burner

Burner calls itself the "original second phone number app." Just sign up for an account, pick an area code to select an anonymous phone number, and use it to make calls and send texts and pics without anyone knowing your real identity.

What We Like:

  • Several ways to buy a number
  • Calls show up as your burner number
  • Auto-reply can be set up for texting when you're away
  • Calls can be forwarded to another number
  • Blocks spam calls
  • Lets you send picture messages

What We Don't Like:

  • No free option

Mobile AppsiOS and Android.

There are multiple ways to pay for a virtual Burner number. You can do so on a subscription to get unlimited calls, texts, and picture messaging capabilities or you can buy credits to redeem for different kinds of accounts.

For example, you can buy eight credits for $4.99 and redeem five of them for Standard Burner which gets you 150 text messages and 50 minutes of call time; the number expires after 30 days. Or, you could use just three credits to buy Mini Burner which supports 60 texts and 20 minutes of calling and burns 14 days later.

The smallest number of credits you can buy is three, and the most is 25.

Google Voice

Google Voice is totally free and gives you access to a completely different phone number that you can use to make and receive calls and texts.

Google Voice works on a computer and via their mobile app. When someone calls your virtual number, it's forwarded to whatever phone you want it forwarded to.

What We Like:

  • Completely free and never expires
  • Includes voicemail and call screening
  • You can force all calls to voicemail
  • Incoming calls can ring multiple phones
  • Filters spam messages automatically

What We Don't Like:

Mobile Apps: iOS and Android.

Virtual Phone

Virtual Phone is a service that offers both local and toll-free numbers in over 120 countries and includes features like call recording, SMS, call schedules, voicemail, fax, IVR, call forwarding, and more.

The Virtual Phone setup is really easy compared to the other services in this list. The web dashboard is simple to use for managing your account, and the mobile app makes it easy to send texts and make phone calls wherever you may be.

Virtual Phone also works as a web button so that you can put a special code on your website for your visitors to instantly call you using your virtual number.

What We Like

  • Can be used to receive faxes
  • There's a free option
  • Additional users can be reached on the same number with virtual extensions

What We Don't Like:

  • Free users are limited to just 100 minutes per month

Mobile Apps: iOS and Android.

You can get Virtual Phone for free with a Forever Free Number that gives you 100 calling minutes or texts per month. If you choose to pay, you get the first 100 minutes or text messages free but then you have to purchase it after the limits.

See the Virtual Phone Pricing page for all the plans, including a pay-as-you-go option.

Vumber

With Vumber, you can choose a virtual phone number from any area code, so you can choose a local one or one from a different area (or even a toll-free number), and it will all work the same.

To receive calls, anyone can call your virtual number and it will ring your phone like a normal call. If you want to make a phone call with your anonymous number, just call your Vumber number from the phone you've registered as a forwarding number. 

When your phone rings, you can decide to take it, send it to voicemail, play a tone, put it on hold, and a few other options.

What We Like:

  • You can try it for free for two weeks
  • Three plans let you pick one that's right for you, and you can contact them if you need more numbers or minutes
  • Numbers can be used for calling and texting

What We Don't Like:

  • No permanent free option
  • Only Canadian and U.S. numbers are supported by a forwarding number

Mobile Apps: iOS and Android.

Vumber is not free but it does offer a 14-day trial for any of its three plans. The more expensive plans let you have more virtual numbers and additional minutes and texting per month.

Tossable Digits

Tossable Digits is a paid service that gives out an anonymous number tied to a number of really great features like call blocking and do not disturb mode.

There are over half a million virtual numbers to pick from, including toll-free numbers, from dozens of countries.

What We Like:

What We Don't Like:

  • No free virtual number option

There are four plans you can choose from, each with a different number of virtual numbers you can use and a different number of minutes supported by the plan. The pay-as-you-go plan lets you choose how many virtual numbers and minutes are available as you need them.

Talkroute

Much like some of these other anonymous and virtual phone number services, Talkroute lets you pick a toll-free or local number to mask your real phone number.

However, unlike the others in this list, this service is made especially for business users. You can forward and route incoming calls made to your virtual number to any other phone number or even a sequence of numbers in a calling line to make sure the caller can reach someone.

What We Like:

  • Calls can be routed to more than one phone
  • Greetings can be customized
  • You can customize the music people hear when they're waiting on the line
  • Audio prompts can be made for callers to respond to
  • Mobile apps are available

What We Don't Like:

  • Designed primarily for business users

Mobile Apps: iOS and Android.

There are four Talkroute plans you can choose from, with each plan progressively including more features. For example, the Basic plan is the least expensive and does not include caller ID, a call menu, scheduled forwarding, or live call transfers like the Pro plan supports.

eVoice

eVoice stands out as a virtual phone number service in that voicemail sent to the virtual number can be transcribed as text and emailed to you so that you don't even have to listen to voicemails anymore.

What We Like:

  • Includes conference calling abilities
  • Supports call routing
  • You can set up voicemail greetings
  • Mobile app can be installed
  • You can buy a local or a toll-free number

What We Don't Like:

  • Some of the plans are quite expensive
  • Faxing isn't supported in the Lite plan

Mobile Apps: iOS and Android

eVoice has four plans you can choose from, with the least expensive offering 300 monthly minutes with two extensions and six virtual numbers, and the most expensive giving out 4,000 monthly minutes with 15 extensions and 45 numbers.