VOIP & porting multiple numbers?


Senior Member
Right now I have 1 physical landline with one "real" number and two distinctive ring numbers. I would like to convert to VOIP.

Can all VOIP companies port numbers? What if they don't normally have any available in my area code (407 or 321)?

How does VOIP and the hardware handle multiple numbers? I don't need multiple lines, I just don't want to loose my numbers. what are the good companies to consider for cheap multi-number VOIP service? I don't need many minutes or international stuff, just the lowest cost per month for the 3 numbers to start with.

How do the secondary numbers ring? Do the VOIP adapters put out a distinctive ring signal/sound to the phones? I really only need one of the numbers to appear on the real physical phones, the other numbers can probably go to voicemail or softphones.
I did some quick research of jumping to Vonage. I found out that I couldn't keep my landline phone number as that number was associated to my DSL account.

Then, on my recent phone bill, there was a statement that effective this month I will get a surcharge so that I can keep my phone number if I move to a different carrier.

So, will I be able to move to Vonage, keep my current phone number and lose my landline phone service? Or will I have to pay a surcharge and still not be able to move to the carrier of my choice (Vonage or other VoIP service)? I suspect it will be the latter....
Or will I have to pay a surcharge and still not be able to move to the carrier of my choice
You've probably got it right with the later choice. If the new surcharge is the Local Number Portability (LNP) surcharge, then the surcharge is to allow the phone company to recoup the cost of upgrading equipment to support LNP. However, there isn't any relationship between paying the surcharge and actually being able to use LNP. IOW, just because you pay the surcharge doesn't mean that LNP is actually available to you.

Also, if you use DSL, you are stuck with paying for the voice service even if you don't use it. With the exception of Qwest, all the major carriers require you to subscribe to regular service if you want DSL.
Well, I have found that Vonage will not port into a virtual number, so they will not transfer a distinctive ring number "as is". I don't know if they will transfer a distinctive ring number to a second Vonage line, but I am not interested in that.

Lingo claimed (via a phone call) that they would port a line with two numbers to a line with two numbers.

BroadVoice has the cheapest virtual numbers ($2/month vs $5 at most others) but they cannot port any of my numbers.