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Google Voice came into existence in 2009, after Google purchased GrandCentral. It allows users to make and receive VoIP phone calls on a PC, a smartphone or even a regular home telephone if users purchase an Obihai ATA. It is estimated that there are over 3.5 million users of this service.
All phone calls inside the US and Canada are free of charge. For incoming calls, it is essentially a forwarding service. To set up your account, you need to log into your secure Voice portal to configure how calls to your Google Voice phone number are handled. They can be routed to any cell phone, home or work number, another VoIP number or to your Google Hangout app on a PC or Android/iOS smartphone. Outgoing calls are free if calling any number in the US and Canada and International rates are competitive. If you are making calls to other Google Voice accounts, for example in a Hangout, these calls are always free of charge, regardless of your location.
You can forward incoming calls to multiple phones, for example home and cell phone, and you can pick it up on either phone. If you allow the call to go to voicemail, you can listen in before answering the call. This can be useful if you like to screen calls.
Voicemails can be forwarded to an email address of your choosing, it does not have to be a Gmail email address. There is also the option to transcribe the voicemail. The results of voicemail transcriptions are not always great but it is a useful feature, especially for the hard of hearing. Text messages can also be forwarded to email.
If you operate an Internet business, you can actually embed a calling widget on your website for visitors to call you. Rest assured, your number is kept private.
Using an Obihai Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) you can take advantage of free Google Voice calls on your home telephone.
Google has a tendency to create great services such as this, only to tear it down a few years later so be aware of this. Also, support is limited and based on website support only (i.e. no phone support).
When you sign up for a Google Voice account, you can either start with a new phone number or port in a telephone number, though this can only be a mobile/cell number. The options for choosing a new number tend to be limited especially for highly sought after area codes. If you decide to port in a mobile number, be aware that this will terminate your account with your mobile provider so be pro-active here and arrange new numbers with your mobile provider, if you wish to stay with this company. It costs $20 to port in a mobile phone number to Google Voice. Porting a number out of Google costs $3, at this time of writing.
Google Voice does not support E911 emergency service calling. This is an important point to be aware of. Before you complain too much, keep in mind the service is free.
The feature set is very basic when compared to other VoIP companies you see on our website, that typically offer a rich feature set consisting of over 40+ features.
It is tough to provide negative feedback against any service that is free of charge. Google Voice is a decent service for residential use and very small businesses. Calls are free of charge to anywhere inside the US and Canada and although the features are very basic, the main features are covered. The major downside is a lack of E911 calling and whether Google plans to keep this service active from a long term perspective. For now though, take advantage of the savings.
Google Voice reviews are listed in chronological order.
#1 : SEP 14th, 2012 : John
Seems to work ok for me and it is free after all. Fine for basic calling but would not consider for business use or for anyone who needs a decent set of features.
Disclaimer: The opinions, views and ratings expressed in these VoIP Reviews are those solely of the reviewer who submitted the review. Whichvoip.com does not necessarily agree with any of the expressed opinions, view or ratings.
#1 : Posted by Jzanolla on February 29th, 2016:
Wanting to port my home phone number to Google Voice. It is not a land line but a verizon fixed wireless terminal device. I understand i can port a mobile number to GV for a $20 fee. My question is the fixed wireless terminal considered a mobile number? I started the process and GV indicated it would transfer. I was afraid to continue for concern I would lose this long standing home number. I have a mobile phone number as well on my Verizon account. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
-> Response: For the fixed wireless device, is it LTE based? If so I think this would be considered wireless and thus a mobile number. You may need to ask Verizon what will happen here. I know GV indicates that when you transfer a wireless number your wireless account will close. However you have another wireless number too it seems, so may be fine here and likely the a/c will stay open.
If GV runs into problems with the port they normally email you to let you know.