A virtual number for WhatsApp - the pros and cons.

We all know WhatsApp, and that it requires a phone number to work. That's fine, if you're using it for personal use and sharing your messages with friends and family. However, there may come a time where you would like to communicate with WhatsApp to colleagues or business partners but not necessarily give out your private number. In this case, you would require either a separate SIM card or a virtual number. Keep in mind, you would need to have two SIM card slots in your phone to accomodate a second SIM card and this is sometimes not practical or possible.

Virtual numbers pros and cons

Using a virtual number for WhatsApp makes sense, because it does not require a physical SIM card, plus, all of your calls and SMS messages sit in the cloud so you can check them from anywhere. For example, if you get a 2ndNumber virtual SIM card, you messages will go to a cloud based SMS inbox so that when WhatsApp sends you a confirmation SMS, you can access it easily

However, some providers of virtual numbers do not conduct the according dilligence with the FCC (the communications provider in the US). Recent legislation in the US requires that all virtual numbers are registered with the Robocaller Mitigation database - if the virtual number is not registered in this database, it is almost certain that WhatsApp will block the number. Burner numbers, or disposable numbers, will not be registered in this database and are therefore not suitable for use with WhatsApp. It's worth noting that 2ndNumber numbers are registered with the FCC and they cannot be changed or 'burned' - meaning your 2ndNumber stays yours and cannot be swapped. Do check when purchasing a virtual number that it can be used with apps and services such as WhatsApp

It is also worth pointing out that UK numbers are under less regulatory restrictions than US numbers, so if you plan on using a virtual number purely for WhatsApp and other apps and it isn't quite as important from which country the number is based, then perhaps a UK number is for you.

Additionally you may be required to comply with local laws and regulations. WhatsApp for example will often honour foreign policy and laws and while someone in the US might be able to sign up to WhatsApp with a virtual number, the same person with the same number but signing up from Hong Kong or Pakistan may not have the same luck. In these cases you would need to firstly ensure you are signing up to WhatsApp inside of working hours in the USA. If you're signing up with a virtual US number at 3am in the morning US time, it is detected as a red flag and you may not be able to sign up. Secondly, you may be required to connect to a VPN first, and then try signing up. But do check local laws and regulations because the use of VPNs in some countries is prohibited.

If you have any questions about the advice above, do drop us a line or give us a call and we'll make the best recommendations for your use case. support@2ndnumber.tel