Make it easy for your customers to reach you

  • Take calls from any device

  • Return calls with one click from your
    online account, softphone, or mobile app

  • Welcome callers with a custom company greeting

  • Track incoming/outgoing calls in call logs

  • Easily set up after hours answering rules

  • Port your existing toll-free numbers

  • Internet fax included at no extra charge

Learn how it works

Frequently Asked Questions

Business Phone Numbers

Virtual PBX

What is a virtual PBX system?

A virtual PBX system is a type of business telephone system that uses the internet instead of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to support a Private Branch Exchange (PBX). It's also occasionally referred to as cloud PBX or hosted PBX, although some argue that virtual PBX only refers to the inbound call management component of cloud/hosted PBX (which supports both inbound and outbound calls).

Many modern businesses are turning to virtual PBX as a type of office communications solution because it's very cost-effective—organizations won't need to buy and house special hardware—and they won't need to worry about hiring in-house staff to maintain it because the vendor will be in charge of its upkeep. As an added bonus, it's also very easy to set up and use because it's eliminated the need for users to rely on special hardware. This allows them to be available to their customers without dramatic overhead costs.

Virtual PBX uses VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), the technology that makes it possible for people to make calls over the internet, as its foundation.

What is a hosted VoIP solution?

A hosted VoIP solution is an IP telephony service for business that lets VoIP providers manage and maintain the system at their facilities and deliver the technology to their customers. Also referred to as managed VoIP, it's the incarnation of VoIP that makes it possible for virtual phone systems to exist. This is in contrast with on-site IP PBX, which uses the internet to transmit voice calls but still requires organizations to manage and maintain the VoIP hardware within their office's premises.

The way hosted VoIP solutions work is by providing users with access to a virtual network that can be connected to their existing communications devices (like desk phones, mobile phones, and even computers), so calls made to the company's virtual phone system and be routed from the provider's servers to the phones employees use. In general, it also gives organizations the ability to make outbound calls—though depending on the plan you sign up for, you may only get inbound call service.

What is a virtual phone system?

A virtual phone system, sometimes also known as a cloud phone system, is an advanced telephony solution that provides businesses a flexible and affordable alternative to traditional or legacy phone systems.

It consists of a virtual number that the organization can use as its business number (this can look like a local phone number, a toll-free number, or even a vanity number) and an inbound/outbound call management functionality that gives companies the ability to connect any of the phones their employees use to their business phone system. This means people within the organization are empowered to make and take calls not just from their office desk phones but also their mobile devices and landline phones at their homes.

Unsurprisingly, this solution has risen in popularity over the years because it makes operating with a dispersed workforce more feasible than it has ever been before. This, along with the fact that virtual phone systems typically include advanced business phone features like auto attendants, phone menus, and custom greetings as well as the ability to add, remove, and modify phone line extensions, makes it the ideal choice for small businesses.

Dial-by-name directory

What is a dial-by-name directory?

A dial-by-name directory is an advanced business phone system feature that allows callers to connect with the specific person or department they want to speak with in the organization even if they don't know that person's assigned extension number. It's part of the auto attendant functionality, which helps guide callers through an organization's phone system so they could get the assistance or information they need.

The dial-by-name function gives callers the ability to use their phone's alphanumeric keypads to spell out the contact's name so they can search for the extension they wish to be connected to. Companies could set it up so that employee last names could be used for search and that extensions could be included or excluded.

Because this is an advanced capability, this may not be automatically activated with your phone system. This is the case for RingCentral. In order to get RingCentral's dial-by-name directory feature, the account administrator needs to enable it in the phone system's settings.

Business Call Forwarding

What is business call forwarding?

Business call forwarding refers to a professional phone system feature that routes calls to specific lines or extensions within the organization. It's important for companies to have this feature because it ensures that phone calls from customers or other contacts are sent to the correct person or department.

Modern call forwarding makes it so that other phone devices that key employees are using can be used to answer business phone calls. For example: if someone dials the organization's trunk line and asks the receptionist to connect them to the accounting department, they can still talk to accounting team manager Bob even if he's out of the office. This is because he could make it so that his smartphone and home telephone are recognized by the company's phone system as devices connected to his department's extension.

How do I forward my calls on RingCentral?

Forwarding calls to different devices through a RingCentral phone solution is as easy as adjusting your user call handling and forwarding settings.

First, you need to log into your RingCentral online dashboard and navigate to the “Call Handling & Forwarding” section via “Settings”. From there, you can indicate special schedule conditions like after hours, holidays, and the like, as well as indicate whether you want the system to connect with your auxiliary phones at the same time or one at a time. You can indicate the phone numbers of the devices you want calls to be forwarded to—the dashboard has three slots for “Work”, “Mobile”, and “Home”, but you can add up to seven more devices.

Business Phone Auto-Attendant

What is auto attendant on phone systems?

Auto attendant, also known as an auto receptionist or virtual receptionist, is a business phone system feature for businesses that ensures calls are picked up quickly and routed to correct departments or persons. Most people know it as a pre-recorded message that recites a menu of options for the caller—for example: "If you know the extension of the person you are calling, please dial it now. For billing inquiries, press ‘1’. To speak to technical support, press ‘2’. To access our directory, press ‘9’. To speak to an operator, press ‘0’."

Having an auto attendant feature provides companies with a professional but affordable approach to handling incoming calls. It not only helps the business appear well-established but it also eliminates the need to hire a human receptionist just so someone can pick up phone calls.

Real-time call control

What are answering rules?

Answering rules are an advanced virtual phone system feature for businesses that allow users to customize how calls are routed to their extensions.

In the case of RingCentral, calls can be handled according to the time of day, the day of the week, holidays, and even the caller's identity. Depending on the rules, some calls can be sent to voicemail while others are pushed to an employee's mobile phone when people are out of the office. Recorded greetings for user extensions can also be customized based on business hours and the like.

How can I set business hours?

The process for setting business hours so you can customize answering rules is different for every provider. Here's how you can do it with a RingCentral phone system:

  • Log into your RingCentral online dashboard.
  • Navigate to “User Details” in the “Settings” section.
  • Go to “Settings and Permissions”, and click the "Edit" button under “User Hours”.
  • Set your user hours by selecting either 24 hours a day/7 days a week or custom hours. If you pick custom hours, indicate your working hours.
  • Click the "Save" button.
  • If you're working in a company that has employees operating from different time zones, don't forget to tweak your regional settings as well!
  • In the “Settings and Permissions” section, click the "Edit" button under “Regional Settings”.
  • Adjust your “Time Zone” and “Time Format” using the drop downs.
  • Save the settings.

Fax: send and receive

What is fax and how does it work?

Fax, sometimes known as facsimile, refers to the technology that allows you to send and receive copies of documents via telephone lines.

Traditional faxing involves the use of special hardware called fax machines, which scan documents with light, translate the images into data, and course said data through phone networks to the recipient, whose fax machine will receive, decode, and print the data.

These days, the preferred method of faxing is online faxing. In this model, digital documents are copied as images, translated into data, and coursed through the internet (instead of through phone lines).

What is the best online fax service?

The best online fax service is the one that will give your company everything it needs out of a fax service and more.

This immediately takes free, one-off internet fax services that don't even give you a number you can use for fax out of the running. Your best bet would be subscription-based services that don't just give you a fax number, but several different options for faxing: through email, through applications, or even from your cloud storage apps. RingCentral is a cloud communications provider that definitely offers this.

Of course, what would be even better is an online fax service that comes as part of a robust business communications solution. With the RingCentral Professional Pro™ and ProPlus™ plans, you get inbound call minutes along with internet faxing capabilities. Sign up for the Office All-in-One Standard plan, and you get other features like business SMS, team messaging, and video meetings with screen sharing.

Business SMS

Can I text my customers?

Many virtual phone system providers now give companies the ability to send text messages—both SMS and MMS, actually—using their virtual business phone number.

RingCentral happens to be one of those providers. If you sign up for a RingCentral Professional Office All-in-One Standard plan, you get unlimited business SMS. Just navigate to the text tab in your RingCentral app for mobile, select a contact, type in your message, and send.

Voice Conferencing

What is the best conference call service?

The best conference call service addresses all the virtual meeting needs of a company. In other words, they need to have features and capabilities that ensure the teleconferencing participants can quickly and easily jump into real-time conversations as needed.

The RingCentral Office All-in-One Standard plan includes unlimited conference calling—it even allows up to 1,000 participants in one call and is available in more than 60 countries.

What is a conference call?

A conference call is a phone call, the only difference being that several people from different locations are participating in the call (rather than just two people talking).

The way it works is that conference participants are given a conference bridge number they can call to start a conversation. Traditional conference calls are coursed through phone lines and could, therefore, be costly and limited in function. But virtual conference calls, like the ones you can make with RingCentral, give you the ability to make as many conference calls as you need, invite up to 1,000 participants, and even include participants from other countries.

Conference calling is available with the RingCentral Office All-in-One Standard plan and all RingCentral Office plans.
*24/7 customer phone support available for Office customers with two or more users.
Phone support: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. ET / 5 a.m.–6 p.m. PT for Professional and Office customers with one user.
Customers with Fax or Professional Pro plans should open a case at

What is RingCentral Professional?

RingCentral Professional is an inbound call management service for mobile professionals. You can use your existing mobile device to route calls, connect virtual employees, and reduce costs without the need for hardware, and there’s no set-up or activation fees.

Learn more


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