Everything you need to know about the voice platform

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Google Voice is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service, which means it allows voice calls over a high-speed Internet connection. You can use the service to make and receive phone calls and text messages. Although it may look like a regular phone line, it has a few added benefits. You get the Voice number instantly and can forward calls to multiple numbers just by flipping a toggle. In addition, the price is as affordable as possible.

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Whether you have a high-end Android phone, use an iPhone, or want to use it on a laptop, here’s everything you need to know about Google Voice.

To use Google Voice features, you must have a Google Account and an existing US phone number.

How to set up Google Voice on a PC

Setting up Google Voice on a PC for the first time is easy. Here is an overview:

  1. Visit the Google Voice website at voice.google.com.
  2. Click it Login in the upper right corner of the screen to sign in to your Google account.
  3. Accept the terms and services. You are prompted to select a Google Voice number.
  4. Select your state code and choose a phone number from the list of options.
  5. Verify your existing number, which will be linked to the Google Voice account. You will receive a text code to complete the verification.
  6. Faucet To claim then select Finish to officially take control of the number.

How to set up Google Voice on a phone

Google Voice works on both iPhones and Android devices. To use it:

  1. Download and launch the Google Voice app from the play store for Android or from App store for iphone.
  2. Select the Google account you want to sign in with using the drop-down arrow on the right.
  3. Press the Continue as (name) button at the bottom of the screen. A welcome banner appears.
  4. Faucet Continue in the lower right corner of the screen. You are prompted to select a Google Voice number.
  5. Faucet Look for in the lower right corner of the screen.
  6. Choose a location.
  7. Select a Google Voice number from the list.
  8. Faucet accept number in the lower right corner of the screen.
  9. Faucet Next and grant Voice permission to make and manage phone calls.
  10. Enter the phone number you want to connect to your Google Voice number.
  11. Enter the verification code texted to your phone and select Check.
  12. Faucet To claim to confirm the pairing, then press Finish.

How to use Google Voice

The Google Voice experience is like using your default Phone app, but with more flexibility. You can make calls from the Calls tab by typing the number or by selecting one from your address book if you have granted the necessary permissions. If your Google Voice number is ported to your phone, you’ll be notified that someone is calling the Google Voice number when a call comes through.

When making calls, you can choose to display your Google Voice number, instead of your mobile number, on the person’s caller ID. You can also configure the number to ring on multiple devices for corporate settings where multiple people can be allowed to answer the corporate line. For people with multiple lines (such as a home landline, work phone, and personal smartphone), it merges communication channels and prevents bounce between numbers and devices.

You can set up and receive voicemail just like your US carrier through the app and receive a transcript and recording via email. There’s also a Messages tab for sending and receiving texts through the app using Wi-Fi or cellular data. Messages to US or Canadian residents are free. However, your mobile carrier may charge additional roaming charges for contacting people outside the United States or when Wi-Fi is disconnected.

How much does Google Voice cost?

For the most part, Google Voice is free to install and use, as long as you communicate with US and Canadian numbers using your Google Voice number. However, calls to certain remote locations in either country may cost a token of 1 cent per minute. While calls to the US are mostly free, it’s worth noting that Google makes most of its money from its services and not from fees and subscriptions. So you pretty much pay with your data anyway.

Calls made anywhere else cost money, with per-minute rates that vary from country to country and are subject to change. Charges are minimal for the majority of countries, costing pennies per minute. If you plan to call a foreign location, check Google’s handy tool for call rates. You’ll need credit on your account to make paid international calls with Google Voice.

Use Google Voice to unify all your lines

Google Voice has many useful features, but the standout experience useful to individuals and businesses is the ability to forward calls to multiple phone lines. However, you cannot use Google Voice without a US number. So if you prefer forwarding calls to US carriers, check out our guide on the subject.

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