Details: Google Voice. Choose your own number and have just one number for all your phones. Comes with voicemail you can read or listen to. Has free US long distance calling and low rates for international calls. Can port your number for a fee. Has other calling features, like call forwarding, text messaging, personalized greetings and ringers, etc.
My Review: Due to a recent move and changing phone plans, we have been using Google Voice. The advantage of this is that we just need to remember our Google Voice Number, and it can ring any of our other phones. We had a land line and changed phone plans, and our phone calls were not missed or lost, as we had issued our Google Voice number as our new phone number to people. We don’t have to be at our computer to take the calls. I have my Google Voice set to ring my cell phone as default. If I’m not at the computer with my Gmail account open for calls, it will automatically ring my cell phone. When that happens, I just need to push the “1” button to take the call and I can converse as normal.
Sound quality has been great. The only problem we have encountered was headsets/speakers for the computer. You’ll want to get a decent headset/speaker for sound quality. It is nice with the potential of changing cell phone plans frequently, or land line companies as well, all I have to do is just give out my Google Voice number, and it doesn’t matter what the other phone numbers are. Just make sure when your cell phone or land line number change you change that with Google Voice.
There are many options which I haven’t had the time to explore, like personal greetings and ringers depending on who is calling you. You can record incoming calls, not outgoing calls. You can screen calls and block calls. It’s a great way to protect your private cell phone number, or like us, where ours is constantly changing to keep just one basic number.
Pros: Sound quality has been great. I can use my cell phone to answer calls, or my land line. I don’t always have to be at the computer. With our cell phone and land line numbers changing frequently, I don’t have to make that change with everyone who needs my number, they just need my Google Voice number. If you miss a call you can read the message, if one was left, on the computer through your gmail account. Sometimes they are kind of funny to read, but you do have the option of listening to the message as well. It’s also great for those junk calls or emails that you need to provide a phone number for, then just be sure to block that number if you don’t want to hear from them again.
Cons: If you don’t have an unlimited minutes plan with your cell phone company, Google Voice will use up your minutes if you answer on your cell phone. It will not use up your cell phone minutes if you answer on your computer using a headset or speaker system, or have an unlimited minute use on your cell plan. Can’t record outgoing calls.
My Ratings: I give this a thumbs up because my phone numbers are changing a lot, and I just have to give out my Google Voice number, which I got to choose, and still get phone calls.
Labels: Google Voice, phone, cell phone, land line, free phone, cheap phone, free phone calls, cheap phone calls