How to Get a Free Virtual Phone Number in Canada in 2023: 20 Best Providers

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Written by SnappyRates Team

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Canadian citizens pay among the highest rates in the world for wireless phone service, with monthly costs that hover around $144 for a 4G phone plan, on average. Many people blame the lack of competition in the telecommunications industry. 

To solve that problem, enter virtual phone numbers. If you’re searching for a discounted way to talk and text, look no further.

Virtual phone numbers have plenty of applications for both personal and business uses, and we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best free virtual phone number providers in Canada to help you make an informed decision.

What is a Virtual Phone Number?

A virtual phone number is actually just like any other phone number – but with one key difference. Virtual phone numbers aren’t connected to any physical phone line or linked to a SIM card.

Instead, they’re powered by the internet. Typically, you’ll be able to make calls with free apps for your Android, iPhone, or laptop. 

In Canada, you can purchase either a local number or a toll-free number as a virtual phone number. Toll-free numbers begin with 800, 888, 855, or other similar sequences.

Local numbers, on the other hand, use the area code for a city such as Toronto (area code 416) or Montreal (area code 438) to associate themselves with those places.

When you’re looking to get an online free virtual phone number in Canada, you have plenty of options. Here are our top 20 picks. 

Best Free Virtual Phone Number Providers

1. Google Voice

How it works: Google’s free voice plan is fairly limited for independent users in Canada, but it’s a great option for business if you’re already using Google Workspace. You’ll be able to get Canadian or U.S. numbers. 

Pros:

  • Numbers in a variety of different countries
  • Easy-to-use interface

Cons:

  • Requires Google Workspace membership
  • Texting not supported
  • No toll-free numbers

2. TextNow

How it works: Download the free TextNow app to get a local phone number with unlimited calling and texting. It only works while you’re connected to WiFi.

It’s hard to beat the price point of completely free, making TextNow a top-tier option for getting your free virtual phone number in Canada. 

Pros:

  • Totally free
  • Texting and calling capabilities

Cons:

  • Only works over WiFi
  • Local numbers only

3. Dingtone

How it works: Get a free phone number through Dingtone to make unlimited calls and texts to the U.S. and Canada. You’ll need to be online for Dingtone’s services to work, and it’s dependent on a WiFi connection. 

Pros:

  • Free service
  • Calling and texting are available

Cons:

  • Limited to U.S. and Canada for free
  • Other international calling and texting have a fee
  • No toll-free numbers

4. Talkatone

How it works: Get the Talkatone app to use a free virtual U.S. or Canadian phone number. Call and text over WiFi or cellular data for no cost – even across continents. The person you’re calling or texting doesn’t need to have the app installed, too, for it to work. 

Pros:

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  • No roaming fees no matter where you travel
  • Calling and texting for free

Cons:

  • No toll-free numbers
  • Area codes limited to U.S. and Canada

5. Nextplus

How it works: Download the Nextplus app to get a free, full-service phone plan packed into a user-friendly app. You can choose a new number or use your own, and it’s perfect for setting up a second line for business or dating. 

Pros:

  • You can import a previous phone number
  • Calling and text available

Cons:

  • Sometimes drops incoming calls
  • Spotty customer service

6. Textplus

How it works: Download the free Textplus app to get free unlimited texting and a free virtual phone number.

You do have to pay for calls, starting at two cents per minute, but texting over WiFi is completely free. If you’re more of a texter than a caller, Textplus might be the ideal option for you.

Pros:

  • Free unlimited texting
  • Choose your Textplus number

Cons:

  • Calling costs $0.02/minute
  • Need to be connected to WiFi

7. Fongo

How it works: Get unlimited calling across Canada with Fongo’s free app. You’ll get a local Canadian number, and you’ll be able to text other users who have the app. You’ll also get voicemail services. 

Pros:

  • Free calling in Canada
  • Totally free service

Cons:

  • Texting is only free with other Fongo users
  • Canadian numbers only

8. Sonetel

How it works: Make and answer calls using your Sonetel virtual phone number through their free app. You can try a Canadian number for free for a few days and then upgrade to keep it for the low price of as little as $1.79 per month.

If you use their business messenger system, having your virtual phone number will remain free. 

Pros:

  • Free trial and some free options
  • Lots of data storage
  • Toll-free and local numbers are available

Cons:

  • Transitions to a paid subscription
  • Lacks 24/7 customer service
  • App interface can be confusing

9. RingCentral

How it works: One of Canada’s premier virtual phone number providers, RingCentral, is made for business use and offers calling and texting capabilities.

You can view plans on their website, and there’s a free trial period that you can cancel at any time before it transitions to a paid subscription. 

Pros:

  • Many add-on business features
  • Free trial available

Cons:

  • Transitions to a paid subscription
  • Occasionally call dropping reported

10. Vonage

How it works: While it’s normally a paid subscription, Vonage has an attractive free trial period so that you can experience its offerings. It has options for both personal and business use, and it’s WiFi-based, so you can call and text from anywhere. 

Pros: 

  • Calling and texting are available
  • Local or toll-free numbers
  • Free trial for two weeks

Cons:

  • Transitions to a paid subscription
  • Limits on video calls

11. OpenPhone

How it works: OpenPhone provides U.S. and Canadian numbers so that you can text and call from anywhere. It offers a free trial period so that you can see how well it works for you. Even when it does upgrade to a paid subscription, OpenPhone is quite affordable. 

Pros:

  • Free trial available
  • U.S. and Canadian numbers
  • Calling and texting functions

Cons:

  • Transitions to a paid subscription
  • No video calling

12. Grasshopper

How it works: Grasshopper gives you lots of options when you’re looking to set up a free virtual phone number. You can import your current number or choose a new number, whether local or toll-free. It has a generous free trial period. 

Pros:

  • Free trial available
  • Toll-free or local numbers
  • Calling and texting

Cons:

  • Eventually, upgrades to a paid subscription
  • Fewer business integrations

13. DotMobile

How it works: DotMobile is a new phone service provider for virtual phone numbers, and they have a strong vision. Because it’s still in beta mode, it’s totally free to join and get calling and texting through their mobile app. 

Pros:

  • Free to join and use
  • Calling and texting capabilities

Cons:

  • Only available for iOS/iPhone users
  • Some kinks to work out in beta mode

14. Ooma

How it works: Ooma offers free home phone line service that allows you to make calls at no cost to you throughout Canada. It’s not a texting service, but it’s hard to beat a price point of completely free.

You will have to buy Ooma Telo though, the technology that powers free phone calls through a landline. 

Pros:

  • Totally free calling
  • Bring your old number or get a new one
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • Must buy Ooma Telo 
  • No texting service is available 

15. Yodel

How it works: Yodel allows you to start a trial for a free virtual phone number with no credit card or registration needed. That makes it one of the easiest ways to get a new Canadian phone number at no cost to you. 

Pros:

  • No credit card needed
  • Free trial available
  • Texting and calling

Cons:

  • Eventually paid subscription needed
  • Limited business add-ons

16. JustCall

How it works: JustCall is built for the moments when you’re looking for a virtual phone number for business purposes. It offers a robust suite of business services and offers a free trial to get you set up and started. 

Pros:

  • Numbers available in 70+ countries
  • Free trial period

Cons:

  • Transitions to a paid subscription
  • Overcrowded for personal use

17. CallHippo

How it works: While CallHippo is typically a paid service, you can get a demo that’s useful if you need a free virtual phone number for a limited amount of time.

It’s also built for business, meaning that it has tons of add-ons to boost productivity and efficiency. 

Pros:

  • Free trial period
  • Calling and texting are available

Cons:

  • Transitions to a paid subscription
  • Focused on calling, not texting

18. PopTox

How it works: While PopTox won’t give you your own free virtual phone number, it’s a great way to make calls to Canadian numbers for free.

If you’re looking for a communication solution that will save you money and give you the utmost privacy, this is a good one. 

Pros:

  • No fees
  • Calling across Canada

Cons:

  • Does not give a permanent number
  • No texting available

19. TextFree

How it works: TextFree gives you a number that you can use to text and call your contacts throughout Canada. Texting and calling are free to other app users, but it costs minutes to make calls to users without the app.

Pros:

  • Free texting and calling with other TextFree users
  • Compatible with iPhone and Android

Cons:

  • Image and video messages not supported
  • Costs to make calls outside the app

20. Zadarma

How it works: Zadarma’s interface may look dated, but it gets the job done. It’s a great place to get a free virtual phone number in Canada. Local numbers cost $2/month, but toll-free numbers are totally free for your use. 

Pros:

  • Toll-free numbers are 100% free
  • Easy to set up

Cons:

  • No texting service
  • Local numbers cost money

Why Do You Need a Virtual Phone Number?

Whether you’re using your virtual phone number for personal or business purposes, it has several important benefits.

First of all, it can be a great way to cut the high costs associated with traditional phone bills. It also gives you more flexibility to use the number across devices, around the world, and with increased privacy.

From a business standpoint, having a local Canadian phone number allows your business to be listed in Canadian directories. Plus, it can help you stay close to clients and prospects.

You’ll build recognition and trust by strategically choosing a local Canadian phone number so that you can highlight your presence in a specific geographic area. 

Pros and Cons of a Virtual Phone Number

Virtual phone numbers have several associated pros and cons that are worth considering when you’re looking into getting one. 

Pros:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Access across the globe
  • Security and encryption lead to privacy
  • Typically saves money

Cons:

  • Connectivity issues at times
  • Can be dependent on the WiFi
  • Service is not as good as traditional providers

FAQs

How can I get a free U.S. virtual number?

Many of the services listed above allow users to select U.S. or Canadian numbers for use. For instance, OpenPhone makes this possible, and so does Talkatone

Can I get a free Google phone number?

In Canada, Google Voice is limited to business users through Google Workspace. If you are a Google Workspace user, you can get a Google virtual phone number for free.

Otherwise, it costs money to get a Google phone number in Canada. Many of the other sites on our list will let you get a free virtual phone number without registering or sharing a credit card number.

How do I get a Gmail phone number?

Getting a phone number associated with your Gmail account is the same thing as getting a Google Voice phone number. In Canada, Google Voice is reserved for business users who have Google workspace. If you do have a business account, you can use it to get a number.

Can I make my own phone number?

Some of the providers listed above allow you to choose your own number when you’re getting a free virtual phone number in Canada. For instance, JustCall is one source that allows you to make your own phone number. 

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SnappyRates Team

The SnappyRates Team comprises personal finance writers who have reviewed and personally tested hundreds of financial products in the Canadian space. With over 20 years of combined experience to draw from and expertise in all things credit cards, banking, insurance, and mortgages, our goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive guides and resources to help you on your financial journey.

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