The option to have multiple cell phones sharing the same number is certainly an ability that some crave more than others, especially in an office setting. Imagine getting an important call, but you’re not at your desk to answer. Instead, your phone rings too and you never missed the call. Wouldn’t it be nice if two cell phones could have the same number? Can it be done?

If you want a short answer, it’s a “no,” chief. Well, your cell phone carrier won’t activate a single number to multiple devices. Does that mean it’s impossible? Not at all. In fact, it can be done if you’re willing to put in the effort to make it happen.

Can Two Cell Phones Have the Same Number?

Believe it or not, there’s quite a few options you have available to you, some easier than others. For example, while carriers generally don’t support multiple cell phones sharing the same number, it’s still possible.

The options available are relatively easy to set up, nor require the need to set up an entire private branch exchange (PBX).

Share a Number with Google Voice

Google Voice is certainly one of the better solutions to the question. By linking your number to a free number Google Voice offers–it can be based on your area–Google Voice will offer an entire suite of features. On top of that, you can then link the free number given to multiple devices. It essentially serves as a hub when people call.

You’ll also gain access to voicemail, voice to text transcription, call recording, conferencing, and even visual voicemail.

Download Google Voice for: Android | iOS | Visit Google Voice

Speaking with Your Phone Carrier

Not every mobile carrier will offer the ability to share the same number with two or more cell phones. The security and privacy risks can be a major concern, seeing as losing one of the devices means someone else could retrieve it and catalog information on you. Can you imagine someone listening in on your calls? Not an ideal situation.

However, many major phone carriers offer such an option. For example, if you fly the AT&T flag, you can speak with them on gaining access to NumberSync. This gives you the power to answer a call even if your phone has died, turned off or isn’t within reach, but the device connected to your phone number has to be compatible. If so, you’re in the green.

Another prime example if Verizon’s One Talk. Any compatible device can share your number, whether that’s another mobile device, a desk phone or computer. However, it’s usually marketed towards businesses. If you have any questions on using it for personal reasons, then speaking with a Verizon representative is going to be far more lucrative.

Lastly, T-Mobile offers their own service called DIGITS. Unfortunately, its name does very little to clue you in on what it actually does. DIGIST, like NumberSync and One Talk, you can take a single number and apply it to several devices such as another phone or a computer. Furthermore, the other device doesn’t need a SIM card.

Use a Voice Calling Application

If you want to take the lazy route, simply install a voice calling app to your device of choice. Apps like Skype, FaceTime, even Facebook Messenger all have voice calling capabilities.

Facebook Messenger, for example, can give you the ability to call people with your Wi-Fi and save your precious data. Skype, on the other hand, can link your account to multiple devices and make phone calls to various locations (can cost you depending on where you call).

However, FaceTime is limited to iOS. Sorry, Android.

Download Skype for: Android | iOS | Computer (visit download page and choose a platform)

Download Facebook Messenger: Android | iOS | Visit Facebook

Download FaceTime for: iOS

Bottom Line

It isn’t the olden days anymore. Having a single number shared between multiple devices is more of a reality than anyone could have imagined. You aren’t subject to sitting by the phone anymore, waiting for a phone call when you could simple link devices and be about your day.

But let this serve as a warning: take extra care of your devices and know where they are at all times. Having that kind of information being shared with each device means you open the window for malicious activity. Ensure that each of your devices using your number are well protected. All it takes is breaching one of your devices to access everything.