Google Voice, Skype and Burner are three online services that generate real phone numbers for registered users. Google Voice gives users a single phone number, Skype lets callers register for multiple numbers and Burner offers an extra layer of privacy by generating disposable numbers.
Callers must have a Google account and a preregistered U.S. mobile number to sign up for Google Voice. All subscription plans include international calling and personalized greetings, but some plans include more advanced features, such as call forwarding, call recording and conference calling. A Google Voice number works across landlines and mobile devices.
Skype is Microsoft's subscription-based phone service that lets users obtain up to 10 different online numbers. Users can choose numbers from different area codes and, in some instances, from different countries for use with a single Skype account. Those who call a Skype number pay the same rates as they do for a normal number. Users can also assign their Skype numbers to different devices, giving each device its own Skype facilities.
Burner is an app that generates unlimited, disposable online numbers to hide a caller's identity. Burner uses real numbers for text and voice calling and lets users manage active numbers and dispose of unwanted numbers at the touch of a button.