The benefits of online and national telephone directories

Peyton Duplechien • 08 May 2019 • 4 min read

Sometimes, there’s nothing more frustrating than when you’re trying to find a specific number for a business and simply can’t locate it. Or if you’re trying to work out who that mystery number you don’t recognize is. It’s just one of the reasons why having access to online and national phone directories is so useful.

Within their digital pages, you should have no trouble finding the phone number you need (for the most part anyway), regardless of whether you’re searching for a person or business in the United States, or internationally.

And as an added bonus, many online directories offer reverse searches, people searches, links to voicemail, virtual phone numbers, answering services, maps, and more – all to help you get in touch with whoever you need to solve your problem.

Of course, if you’re reading this article, you might not be familiar with what online and national phone directories actually are, or which are currently the most used around the world.

What is an online telephone directory?

Back in the old days, a telephone directory was often referred to as a telephone book, or simply a phonebook, and was quite literally a collection of almost every number for a given area, country, or global industry.

Nowadays, however, we don’t really have these hefty items anymore. Instead, we’ve moved all these numbers online into their own personal libraries, meaning all you have to do is find the virtual phonebook you need and start searching its pages.

What are the advantages of telephone directory websites?

As you may have already guessed, there are several advantages of a telephone directory website – both for those seeking certain numbers and for anyone looking to market their business.

For starters, online national phone directories are always accessible so long as you have Wi-Fi or data access, meaning you don’t need a physical book on hand to search for the numbers you need.

On top of this, many online phone directories often provide you with more than one way to contact a business or individual, such as their preferred email address or even the physical address of their company.

But best of all, online and worldwide directories often have emergency contact information displayed front and center, giving you the numbers you need to reach out the certain emergency services if necessary.

Finally, from a business point of view, placement within an online telephone directory essentially acts as free marketing, boosting both your online presence and making it easier for more customers to contact you.

Where can I find a telephone directory online?

There are many ways to find a telephone directory online, with the most common way being to Google telephone directories in whatever area you’re in. Or, alternatively, you can go to local phone companies.

For example, many telephone companies will keep a phone book of businesses that use their services. Though you can also use whatever national telephone directory is relevant to your current location. So, in the US, that would most likely be SwitchBoard or the Whitepages.

The most popular national and international telephone directories

Now that we’ve cleared up what online and national phone directories are, we’ve gone ahead and pulled together a list of the most common national and international phone directories currently in use that you might find useful:

National telephone directories

Below is a list of the most useful national telephone directories for anyone based in the US:

  • SwitchBoard – Offers numbers, maps, people finder, and zip codes.
  • Whitepages – Lists people and businesses, maps, and reverse phone number lookups.
  • Yellow Pages – Mobile and personal numbers of businesses.
  • LBL – Phone book for Berkeley lab employees from the US Dept. of Energy.
  • 411 – USA online phone directory.
  • Fast People Search – Free and easy telephone and person search directory
  • Area Code – Local National phone directory

International telephone directories

Need to make an international call? The international phone directories below have plenty of useful numbers:

  • Number Way – Services areas such as South America, Asia, Canada, the USA, and more.
  • Iol – White and Yellow Pages for Ireland.
  • Friends Reunited – International telephone directory and people search.
  • Kropla – International dialling codes.
  • Country Calling Codes – International country codes.
  • Numberway – Germany’s online directory.
  • Phone Book of the World – World international telephone directory.
  • Tel – Switzerland phone directory.
  • Fone Finder – USA and Canada numbers.
  • Wayp – USA and Canada numbers.
  • Apnidirectory – Canadian directory and surrounding areas.

800 Telephone Directories

If you need to reach out with an 800 number directly, then these phonebooks have you covered:

  • Inter800 – Toll-free 800 directory
  • Internettollfree – National toll-free directory
  • Freesearching – National toll-free directory

Cell Phone Directories

Finally, to get in touch with a cell phone number specifically, then the directory below is very useful:

  • Mobile Phone – UK, Canada, and USA cell phone numbers

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And for more telephone insights, why not check out our articles on telephone Tuesday and the history of phones?