Having two phones or phone numbers: regain work-life balance

Why do some people have two phones? What are the pros and cons of having two phone numbers? For most people, it’s a productivity hack. Some want to try two devices at the same time. Some want to separate personal life from work, or to protect their privacy. These are the setups most people have:

Let’s go through the pros and cons of each setup. And also explain the most common issues.

Having two phone numbers on same phone (dual SIM)

What is Dual SIM?

Dual SIM phones are phones that support having two SIM cards in the phone. You are essentially having two phone numbers on one phone. 

Dual SIM cards mostly work in one of three different ways on your phone:

  • You can only use one SIM at the time. You also can’t receive text and calls on the phone number of the other SIM. For that, you have to switch via phone menu to the other SIM. This setup is pretty rare in today’s phones.
  • You can have two SIMs in standby state. This means that when you are calling from the first SIM, you can’t receive calls or texts on another one. This ends when you hang up of course. When not calling, you can receive texts and calls for both SIM cards.
  • The third setup is being able to receive phone calls and texts on both SIM cards at the same time. This is similar to standby mode. The two are the most common dual SiM modes today.

What are the advantages of Dual SIM Cards?

  1. You can use dual SIM if you spend time in two different countries. Having service in two countries eliminates roaming. This is good for someone who travels to another country that doesn’t support their other carrier.
  2. On vacations, people often buy another prepaid SIM to use the cheaper local Internet.
  3. In some countries, people have dual SIMs that have plans with two different carriers. In that way, it’s much cheaper than only having one carrier.
  4. Some people have one SIM for work and another SIM for personal usage. In that way they don’t share their personal number with the workplace. Also, work can’t contact them if  the work phone is turned off. Work phone numbers can also provide service like unlimited data. You can use the data  for surfing in your personal time..
  5. You don’t have to carry two phones to have two SIM cards.
  6. You don’t have to carry two phones with two different numbers at the same time.
  7. You need the second number to protect the first one. Very often it can be a good idea to use a second phone number for online activities. For selling online, you have to post a phone  number online for buyers to contact you. For many services, you need to give a phone number to companies for subscription. For dating, you may need a 2nd phone number to communicate with strangers. There are many reasons why the second number is good for privacy.

What are the disadvantages of Dual SIM Cards?

  1. If you have Dual SIM on your phone, often the first one is for work and other for personal use. Employers often request to install additional software on phones used for work. This is often done for security reasons, since people use phones for reading work emails, work authentications, access to documents, etc. An additional software on your phone, or installing a work profile, can give your employer remote access to your phone. They can track which sites you visit, remotely wipe out all data, track medical or legal info, track your social media and more. This can be a huge privacy issue if you use the same phone for work and personal stuff. In certain cases, it’s good to have another phone for work stuff.
  2. You need to pay attention to which SIM you are using. Using the wrong SIM to surf the web can incur additional charges. Also, calling from the wrong SIM can reveal your other phone number. Though, you can often specify which SIM to use for data and which for calls/texts.

Can dual SIM be on different providers?

Yes, it can. Most often it works like this – you have two SIM Cards in your phone, with different phone numbers. They have different providers, but you can do calling, text messaging and using data on both at the same time. You can also specify via phone menu which SIM to use for calls/texts and which for data.

Having two phone numbers on two different phones

Why would someone have two phones?

Is it worth it to have two phones? Some people think it is. Tech enthusiasts will get another phone for fun. Some people have additional phones for their children to occasionally play games. Some have another phone for stuff that they don’t want other people to know about. 

But most people will have a work phone and a personal phone. The work phone can be issued by an employer, or people just get it themselves. Having a work phone brings certain advantages.

Why is it good to have a work phone and a personal phone?

  1. You can separate personal life from work. You do all business communications over the work phone. When work hours are over, just leave the work phone in the drawer. Then spend your personal time. Also, your coworkers and clients can’t reach you for work related stuff.
  2. You often have to use your phone for work. Employers might ask to install additional software on your phone for security reasons. This software allows remote access to your phone. This means your employer can track your activity or remotely wipe out data on the phone. That’s why a separate phone for work is a good idea.
  3. You can have a burner phone. A burner phone is often a cheap phone that people use temporarily. It often has a prepaid SIM and no formal contract. This is useful if you want to hide your phone from others. Or you need a simple phone to use temporarily and stay anonymous, like when receiving calls for selling stuff online.

Having same phone number on two phones

Can you have the same phone number on two phones?

Some carriers have multi SIM card possibilities. This enables you to have one number on different SIM cards. This is rare, but some carriers may offer this possibility.

Some alternatives to having two SIM cards with same number are:

  1. Having a smartwatch. Some smartwatches like Apple Watch GPS+Cellular contain additional eSIM that allows you to make calls from your watch. For Apple Watch, the eSIM has the same number as the SIM in the iPhone.
  2. Having a Google Voice number. If you get a Google Voice number, you get a regular phone number. But you don’t need a SIM card to use it. You can use Google Voice number on multiple devices.
  3. Using call forwarding. This is the service offered by almost all carriers. It forwards the call from one number to another one. You can also often set up call forwarding on condition, like nobody picking up after ringing once. You can also use Google Voice for that.
  4. Some carriers offer the service of using multiple phones with one number (like Digits with t-com USA) .