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How to get a US phone number from outside the US

Get US number

Looking to get a US phone number for your business? Now is a great time to switch to the cloud. Instead of using a traditional SIM card to make calls, you can use a virtual US number to build relationships with your customers. 

A US virtual phone number can help you call and text US contacts with a country code and area code they’re already familiar with. Have multiple teammates working remotely? Want to create a larger local presence? You can use US numbers to grow your business and help customers connect with your brand.

It’s also a good idea to get multiple numbers to reach US customers wherever you are. A 2023 study of over 13,000 consumers confirms voice is still the best way to connect with customers. Success isn’t just about great customer service — it’s about being present and accessible for callers, too.

The best part about getting a virtual phone number? It’s easier than buying a landline number. You’re not tied to a device or glued to your desk — as long as you have a WiFi connection, you can use your US virtual phone number to call your customers in the US.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to add a US number to your existing devices and why you should get a virtual US number.

Why you need a US phone number

Get a US Phone Number in minutes with OpenPhone

If your business isn’t based in the US, but you’re currently working with US customers (or want to work with US customers), you should have a US phone number.

There are many benefits to having a US phone number, including:

  • Your company looks bigger and more legitimate to US customers
  • No international calling fees when calling US-based customers
  • US customers are more likely to answer calls from recognizable US area codes (you can even select a local phone number in specific cities with a large concentration of your customers)
  • Easier communication with clients and team members located in the US 
  • Better quality of your local calls since you don’t need to worry about long-distance ping or jitter
  • More privacy means you and your team can share a second phone number while directing callers to your customer support number

Most international businesses think a free Google Voice number can help them reach US customers, but this isn’t possible. You can’t create a free Google Voice account unless you already have a US phone number to verify it. Fortunately, you can use plenty of Google Voice alternatives to get a US phone number.

Getting a US phone number is an easy process with the right virtual phone number provider. Instead of working with traditional phone services, setting up expensive infrastructure, or waiting for implementation, you can use virtual US phone number services to get a US business phone number much faster.

With OpenPhone, you can get a US phone number in minutes. See for yourself why thousands of businesses use OpenPhone — sign up for our seven-day free trial today.

How to get a US phone number

Getting a US phone number for your business is an easy process and only takes a few minutes to complete. 

Watch the video below to learn how to sign up for an OpenPhone account and select a US, toll-free, or Canadian phone number.

How to create an OpenPhone account

  1. Create an account with OpenPhone.
  2. Select your city or area code in the US to pick your phone number — you can pick a local number in virtually any city or state in the US.
  3. Once the signup process is complete, you’re done!
  4. You now have a US phone number.
Getting a US phone number by choosing a specific number in OpenPhone
You can pick a local number in virtually any city or state in the US

How OpenPhone stacks up to 5 other platforms

We recommend getting your US phone number through OpenPhone. However, there are other virtual phone number apps you can use as well:

  1. Google Voice 
  2. TextNow
  3. RingCentral
  4. Skype
  5. Grasshopper

Here’s a chart of how these stack up:

ProviderStarting priceUnlimited calling to US & CanadaSMS/MMS to US & CanadaShared phone numbersAdditional phone numbers
OpenPhone$15 per user per month$5 per number per month
Google VoiceStarts at $16 per user per month (must have Google Workspace)Unlimited calls to Canada from the US onlyUS customers onlyRequires upgrade (ring groups only)X
TextNowFree (SIM and add-ons cost extra)XX
RingCentralStarts at $20 per user per month25 messages per user per month$4.99 per number per month
SkypeCredit-based pricingXXXVaries
Grasshopper$14 per account per monthLocal numbers onlyX$10 per number per month

1. Google Voice

Get US number: Google Voice app.

Google Voice needs no introduction: it’s one of the most popular tools for getting a free US number. That said, it’s not a perfect solution — the free version of Google Voice is only available in the US.

The only way to get a US phone number outside the US is to buy a Google Voice for Business plan and add an active Google Workspace subscription (a minimum of $6 per user per month). Even if you do decide to get a paid account, keep in mind texting is still only available to US customers. 

Google Voice for Google Workspace does offer free calls to the US (and Canada, if you’re a US user). But beyond voicemail transcriptions and business hour settings, it provides limited features to help your business grow. There’s not even a desktop app available — you have to use your browser to call with the Google Chrome extension.

Key features

  • Free unlimited calling to the US
  • Free unlimited calling to Canada (US customers only)
  • Free texting to US numbers (Texting is available to US customers only)
  • Google Calendar and Google Meet integrations
  • Call recordings (Requires upgrade)
  • Ring groups (Requires upgrade)
  • Phone menus (Requires upgrade)

Pricing

Get US number: Google Voice pricing

Google Voice’s paid plans require you to have an active Google Workspace subscription (starting at $6 per user per month) on top of one of these three Google Voice plans:

  • Starter: $10 per user per month (maximum of 10 users)
  • Standard: $20 per user per month to access on-demand call recordings, ring groups, and phone menus
  • Premier: $30 per user per month to access automatic call recordings and advanced reporting

2. TextNow

Get US number: TextNow app.

TextNow is a WiFi texting app you can also use to make and receive calls. If you want to send texts without WiFi, you can purchase a TextNow SIM card for an additional fee.

TextNow’s free calling and texting service is ad-supported, but you can always upgrade to an Ad Free Lite plan ($1.99 per month). Plus, your phone call recipients aren’t required to have TextNow installed on their device, which means you can directly call their cell phone or landline without communicating through the app.

Unfortunately, TextNow is only available in the US and Canada. If you’re located outside the US, you have to sign up with a VPN installed on your device. Plus, it’s possible to lose your phone number due to inactivity unless you pay an extra $4.99 per month to ‘lock in’ your number. You can also upgrade to a Premium Number (also $4.99 per month) to protect your number from deactivation.

Key features

  • Free phone number (fees apply to premium numbers; you must unlock your iPhone or Android to use the mobile app)
  • Voicemail transcription (requires upgrade)
  • Incoming caller ID (requires upgrade)
  • International calling and texting (requires the purchase of credits)

Pricing

TextNow is free to users with ads, or $1.99 per month for a ‘reduced ad’ experience. Removing all ads costs $9.99 per month. If you want to purchase a TextNow SIM card, you have to pay an additional $0.99.

3. RingCentral

Get US number: RingCentral.

RingCentral is a VoIP service provider offering unified communications to businesses. This means you can access call, text, and video calling tools on your mobile phone, laptop, or desktop computer.

Unfortunately, there are many drawbacks to using RingCentral’s service, even if you are located in the US. Many of their basic business features require upgrades to a higher tier — the base plan only includes 25 messages per user per month, for example. Since you can only have up to 20 users on the basic plan, you may feel pressured to upgrade before you’re ready.

Plus, RingCentral’s shared number feature only works for fielding calls, which means you can’t manage texts together as a team. And since its shared inbox separates calls, texts, and voice messages into different inboxes, you may struggle to get context from your team members.

Key features

Pricing

Get US number: RingCentral pricing
  • Core: $20 per user per month to access unlimited calls in the US and Canada and 25 SMS messages per user per month
  • Advanced: $25 per user per month to get 100 SMS messages per user per month, automatic call recording, and CRM integrations
  • Ultra: $35 per user per month to get additional storage, device analytics, and 200 SMS messages per user per month

4. Skype

Get US number: Skype app.

Skype provides one of the easiest ways to get a US number. It offers better security than platforms like WhatsApp or FaceTime, since they encrypt all voice, video, file transfers, and instant messages. You can purchase up to 10 local phone numbers for your business — just keep in mind you can’t port over existing phone numbers.

Getting a Skype plan is relatively straightforward. First, you pay for subscription credits to reach your US customers. Then, you can make free voice and video calls for as many as 100 people at a time – as long as the callers are Skype users.

Unfortunately, Skype doesn’t include any business phone features besides two-way SMS and caller ID. Even then, it doesn’t support MMS messages, and you can’t receive text messages unless you’re located in the US. Since domestic calls aren’t included in the price unless your clients are Skype users, this may be an expensive way to reach US contacts.

Key features

  • Free calls to other Skype users
  • Two-way SMS (requires Skype credits)
  • Outbound calls (requires Skype credits)
  • Caller ID

Pricing

Get US number: Skype pricing.

You must purchase credits to call and text non-Skype users. Skype credits are available in three increments: $5, $10, and $25. The rate to reach others varies by country and the currency you choose to pay with.

5. Grasshopper

Get US number: Grasshopper app.

Grasshopper is a popular choice in the world of virtual phone providers, especially if you want to get extensions with your US phone number. You can add unlimited users to any plan except for the True Solo tier, made for folks self-employed. Since every available feature is included with every plan, you won’t have to pay for upgrades to access more features.

On the downside, Grasshopper’s platform is a bit outdated and doesn’t come with modern features such as call recording and shared phone numbers. It also costs nearly twice as much to purchase additional numbers compared to OpenPhone.

Keep in mind Grasshopper is only available to customers in the US and Canada. This means you need to be physically present in the US or Canada to sign up, or you need a VPN to create a Grasshopper phone number for your business.

Key features

  • Local texting (Grasshopper doesn’t support international texting; MMS texting isn’t available with toll-free numbers)
  • Voicemail transcriptions
  • Phone menus
  • Auto-replies
  • Call transfers
  • Simultaneous ring (additional $10 per month)

Pricing

Get US number: Grasshopper pricing.

Grasshopper charges based on how many telephone numbers you need. Their platform offers these four plans: 

  • True Solo: $14 per month for one number and one extension (one user only)
  • Solo: $28 per month for one number and three extensions
  • Partner: $46 per month for three numbers and six extensions
  • Small business: $80 per month for five numbers and eight extensions

Why OpenPhone is the best option for a US phone number

OpenPhone is a virtual business phone built specifically for startups, small businesses, and individuals worldwide. Our platform works on iOS and Android devices on mobile and web browsers for desktop users.

For international businesses and US-based companies looking to expand to other cities, OpenPhone gives you the ability to create a US phone number in just a few minutes.

You can use this dedicated US phone for talking and texting with customers in the US. Calling and texting any US or Canadian number is free with OpenPhone. Best of all, your OpenPhone number works anywhere with an internet connection.

Why should you use OpenPhone? We have many required features for international businesses, including:

If you already have an existing US phone number, OpenPhone can port the number over, taking care of the logistics for you.

Try out your new US number for free

Using a US number from the OpenPhone mobile or desktop app
Preview of the OpenPhone mobile and web apps

Ready to get a US phone number? Start calling and texting with your new OpenPhone business number.

FAQs

Is there a way to get a US number without a US address?

Yes. With OpenPhone, you can purchase US numbers without an address — as long as you verify your identity for security reasons.

Is there a way to get a free US number?

You can get a US number through OpenPhone free for seven days. Once you’ve confirmed we’re a good fit for your team, you can register for our Starter plan at $15 per user per month.

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