Google Voice has been popular among people calling for huge mobile communications and extra phone numbers without the need for extra phones. However, Google Voice has also disadvantages like high expense and local restrictions. If you’re looking for its alternatives, this article is a Bible.
What is Google Voice?
Google Voice is a telecommunications service offered by Google that provides call forwarding and voicemail services, along with voice and text messaging. It was first launched in 2009 and has since become a popular alternative to traditional phone services.
How does Google Voice Work?
Google Voice works by assigning you a unique phone number that you can use to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, and access voicemail. You can use the service on your computer, smartphone, or tablet, and you can even use it to make international calls at rates that are significantly cheaper than traditional phone services.
Google Voice international rates vary depending on the country you are calling, but they are generally much lower than traditional phone services. For example, calling Mexico from the United States costs just 2 cents per minute with Google Voice, compared to 10 cents per minute with AT&T.
How to Use Google Voice?
To use Google Voice, you need to sign up for a Google account. Here are the steps to use Google Voice:
- Create a Google Voice account: Go to voice.google.com and sign in with your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, create one first.
- Choose a phone number: Google Voice will offer you a selection of phone numbers to choose from based on your location. Select a phone number that you like.
- Set up your voicemail: After selecting your phone number, you will be asked to record a voicemail greeting.
- Forward calls to your phone: To receive calls on your phone, go to the Google Voice settings and select “Add a new phone.” Enter your phone number and follow the prompts to verify it.
- Make calls and send texts: To make calls, open the Google Voice app or website and enter the phone number you want to call. To send texts, select “Messages” on the app or website and enter the recipient’s phone number.
- Customize your settings: You can customize your Google Voice settings, including call screening, call blocking, and voicemail transcription.
That’s it! You can now use Google Voice to make and receive calls and texts.
Can I Use Google Voice for Business?
Yes, you can use Google Voice for business. The service offers a range of features that are particularly useful for small businesses, including call forwarding, voicemail transcription, and the ability to set up multiple phone numbers for different departments or employees.
Is Google Voice Safe?
Is Google Voice VOIP?
Yes, Google Voice is a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service. This means that it uses the internet to transmit voice and other types of data, rather than traditional phone lines.
10 Best Alternatives to Google Voice
While Google Voice is a great service, it’s not the only one out there. Here are some of the best alternatives to Google Voice:
Dingtone is a free calling and messaging app that allows you to make free international calls and send unlimited text messages to anyone in the world. It also offers affordable rates for calling landlines and mobile phones.
- Free and Cheap Calls and Messages: Dingtone allows you to make free calls over Wi-Fi or data networks and send messages between other users of Dingtone. It also has very cheap rates to call cellphones or landlines in more than 200 countries.
- International Calling: Dingtone provides affordable international calling rates for users who need to make calls to non-Dingtone users. This feature is especially beneficial for users who frequently make international calls and want to save on their phone bills.
- Virtual Phone Numbers: Dingtone offers virtual phone numbers that users can use for various purposes. These virtual numbers can be used for receiving calls and texts, making it convenient for users who want to maintain privacy or have a separate number for business or personal use.
- Call Forwarding: Dingtone allows users to forward incoming calls from their virtual phone numbers to their existing phone numbers. This feature ensures that users never miss important calls, even if they are not using the Dingtone app.
- Group Calling: Dingtone supports group calling, enabling users to have conference calls with multiple participants. This feature is useful for business meetings, group discussions, or staying connected with friends and family.
- Multimedia Messaging: Users can send photos, videos, and voice messages to other Dingtone users, enhancing the messaging experience and making it more interactive.
- Dingtone Credits Program: Dingtone has a credits program where users can earn credits by completing various tasks within the app. These credits can be used to make phone calls and send texts.
- Call Recording: Dingtone allows users to record incoming and outgoing calls. This feature can be useful for business purposes or for keeping a record of important conversations.
- Call Block: Users can block unwanted calls and messages from specific numbers. This feature helps in avoiding spam calls and maintaining privacy.
Skype is a popular VOIP service that allows you to make voice and video calls, send instant messages, and share files with other Skype users. It also offers affordable rates for calling landlines and mobile phones.
- Calling and Messaging: Skype allows users to make and receive free video calls over the internet. It also supports instant messaging, voice, and text messaging (SMS).
- Video Chat: Skype supports video chats, which can be one-on-one, group, or conference calls. The video quality can be standard definition, 720p, or 1080p high-definition.
- File and Screen Sharing: Skype allows users to share files and their screens during video calls. This feature is particularly useful for productivity, troubleshooting, and training.
- Calls between Skype and Landline/Mobile Phone Numbers: Skype users can call landline and mobile phone numbers using Skype Credit or a calling subscription. They can also purchase a Skype Number that lets contacts call their Skype client from a landline or mobile phone.
- Caller ID for Outgoing Calls: Skype offers a feature allowing users to set the caller ID for outgoing calls to telephone numbers.
- Voicemail: Skype Voicemail allows callers to leave voicemail messages for Skype users who are unavailable.
- Skype Number: Skype Number allows a Skype user to receive calls to their Skype client dialed from mobiles or landlines to a Skype-provided phone number.
TextNow provides free phone numbers with unlimited calling and texting within the United States and Canada. Its app-based service also offers voicemail transcription and call forwarding, making it a comprehensive alternative to Google Voice.
- Wi-Fi Calls and Texts: TextNow allows users to make calls and send texts over Wi-Fi, which can help lower monthly bills.
- Cellular Coverage: TextNow uses Sprint’s CDMA network and T-Mobile’s GSM-based network for cellular service. This means that users can make calls and send texts even when they are not connected to Wi-Fi.
- Phone Selection: TextNow offers a variety of phones at affordable prices, with the cheapest phone costing less than $100. The company also allows users to pay for their phones in monthly installments over three, six, or 12 months.
- Data Plans: TextNow offers different data plans, with the most popular one offering unlimited LTE data for $39.99 per month. If users do not need LTE data, they can opt for a $9.99 plan that only offers talk and text.
- Special Features: TextNow allows users to add credit to their account by completing surveys, installing apps, or watching ads. It also offers international calling from within the U.S. at competitive rates.
- Floating Chat Feature: TextNow has a floating chat feature that allows users to see incoming calls or texts without having to open the app. This can be turned off if found distracting.
- International Calling: TextNow allows users to call and text within the United States and Canada for free. If users want to call outside of these countries, rates start at $.10 per minute. Users can also earn credits by viewing ads and completing offers.
TextFree, from Pinger Inc., provides free phone numbers and unlimited texting within the US and Canada. It allows users to call or text non-app users for a nominal fee, making it a versatile option.
- Free Texting and Calling: TextFree provides free texting and calling services. Users can communicate with others who do not use the app via texting and calling. Users can call within the US and Canada, while texting is free in 35 countries.
- Web-Based Version: TextFree also has a web-based version of its application that allows users to send and receive text messages directly from their computer.
- Permanent Phone Number: TextFree provides a permanent number to its users, which they can use to send free texts for a lifetime.
- New Account Features: New accounts receive a new phone number and 60 free minutes.
- Cross-Platform Compatibility: The mobile app runs on both iOS and Android devices, and there is a desktop version available for download on macOS and Windows. Users can also access TextFree’s services online via a web browser.
- Ad-Supported Model: TextFree is supported by ads, but users have the option of paying for an ad-free version with enhanced features.
- User Reviews: TextFree has received positive reviews for its simplicity, reliability, and the ability to communicate with others for free. However, some users have mentioned that the interface is somewhat “cheap” and has large ads all over.
Talkatone offers free US and Canadian phone numbers with calling and texting capabilities. It integrates with Google Voice and supports ad-supported free services or an ad-free premium version.
- Wide Device Compatibility: Talkatone works with most of the latest iOS and Android devices, including smartphones, tablets, and some media players like the iPod Touch.
- Free Calls and Texts: The app offers free calls and texts to most U.S. and Canadian phone numbers. It also provides unlimited free calling to most Toll-Free numbers.
- No Subscription or Per-use Fees: Talkatone can be used without any subscription or per-use fees.
- Internet-based Service: Talkatone requires an Internet connection to work, meaning you can use it whenever your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network or a cellular data connection.
- Travel Phone: Talkatone is useful for international travelers as it provides a free U.S. or Canadian phone number that allows you to text or call back to most U.S. or Canadian phone numbers, free of charge.
- Use on PC: Besides mobile devices, Talkatone can also be used on a PC, offering the convenience of a larger screen and a physical keyboard for typing out messages.
- Enhanced Productivity: Talkatone can enhance productivity by allowing you to stay connected with friends, family, or colleagues without interrupting your workflow.
- Content Sharing: Talkatone allows you to send documents and videos, making it a versatile communication tool.
Catering to those who seek disposable numbers for temporary use, Burner provides virtual numbers for calls and texts. It’s ideal for temporary communications without revealing personal information.
- Disposable Phone Numbers: Burner provides users with temporary phone numbers that can be used for various purposes such as online dating, classified ads, business transactions, and more. These numbers can be “burned” or disposed of after use, ensuring privacy and security.
- Call and Text Privacy: Burner allows users to make and receive calls and texts using their temporary phone numbers, keeping their personal phone numbers private. This is particularly useful for maintaining privacy when interacting with unfamiliar individuals or organizations.
- Customizable Voicemail Greetings: Burner allows users to personalize their voicemail greetings for each burner number, adding a personal touch or providing specific instructions to callers.
- Auto Reply: Burner offers an auto-reply feature that automatically sends a pre-set message to incoming calls or texts. This can be useful for informing callers that the number is temporary or providing specific instructions.
- Call Forwarding: Users can set up call forwarding to redirect incoming calls from their burner numbers to their personal phone numbers or other designated numbers. This ensures that users can receive calls without revealing their personal phone numbers.
- Do Not Disturb Mode: Burner includes a Do Not Disturb mode that allows users to silence incoming calls and texts for specific burner numbers. This can be useful when users want to temporarily pause communication from certain contacts.
Hushed offers disposable numbers and private messaging, allowing you to maintain your privacy with temporary numbers for various uses.
- Disposable Phone Numbers: Hushed provides users with temporary phone numbers that can be used for various purposes such as online dating, classified ads, business transactions, and more. These numbers can be “burned” or disposed of after use, ensuring privacy and security.
- International Calling and Messaging: Hushed offers international calling and messaging capabilities, allowing users to communicate with contacts around the world using their temporary phone numbers.
- Voicemail: Hushed includes a voicemail feature that allows users to receive and manage voicemail messages. Users can listen to voicemails directly within the app or have them forwarded to their email.
- Call Forwarding: Users can set up call forwarding to redirect incoming calls from their Hushed numbers to their personal phone numbers or other designated numbers. This ensures that users can receive calls without revealing their personal phone numbers.
- Auto Reply: Hushed offers an auto-reply feature that automatically sends a pre-set message to incoming calls or texts. This can be useful for informing callers that the number is temporary or providing specific instructions.
- Do Not Disturb Mode: Hushed includes a Do Not Disturb mode that allows users to silence incoming calls and texts for specific temporary phone numbers. This can be useful when users want to temporarily pause communication from certain contacts.
TextMe offers free texting and calling within the US and Canada, providing users with a secondary number. It’s particularly useful for those seeking an additional number for casual communication.
- Free Texting: TextMe allows users to send unlimited free text messages to any phone number in the United States, Canada, and 40 other countries.
- Free Calling: Users can make free voice and video calls to other TextMe users worldwide. This feature is especially useful for international calls, as it helps users save on their phone bills.
- Group Messaging: TextMe allows users to create and participate in group chats with multiple contacts. This feature is convenient for coordinating with friends, family, or colleagues.
- Multimedia Messaging: Users can send and receive photos, videos, and audio messages through TextMe. This feature enhances the messaging experience by allowing users to share media files with their contacts.
- International Calling: TextMe offers affordable rates for making international calls to non-TextMe users. This feature is useful for staying connected with friends and family abroad without incurring high call charges.
- Virtual Phone Numbers: TextMe provides virtual phone numbers that users can use for calling and texting. These numbers can be assigned to different countries, allowing users to have a local presence even when they are physically located elsewhere.
- Call Forwarding: TextMe allows users to forward incoming calls from their virtual phone number to any other phone number. This feature ensures that users never miss important calls, even if they are not using the TextMe app at the moment.
- Voicemail: TextMe includes a voicemail feature that allows users to receive and listen to voicemail messages. Users can also customize their voicemail greetings and manage their voicemail settings.
Numero eSIM provides virtual eSIM phone numbers that work over the internet. It’s suitable for users looking for a global presence without the need for a physical SIM card.
- Virtual Phone Numbers: Numero eSIM provides virtual phone numbers from over 80 countries, enabling users to make and receive calls from anywhere in the world without needing a physical SIM card.
- Free US Mobile Numbers: Users can obtain free US virtual phone numbers by collecting coins from Numero’s free coins center.
- Calling Plans: Numero eSIM offers various calling credit options, including local calling plans that enable you to call specific countries at local rates wherever you are, global calling credit to make international calls, and special offers.
- Call Forwarding and Voicemail: Numero eSIM provides call forwarding and voicemail services, allowing you to manage your calls effectively. You can forward calls from your virtual numbers to your primary number or set up personalized voicemail greetings.
TalkU offers free U.S. phone numbers with calling and texting features. It’s particularly popular for its credits system that allows users to earn credits for free calling minutes.
- Free Calling: TalkU allows users to make free calls to any phone number in the United States and Canada. Users can also make international calls at affordable rates.
- Text Messaging: Users can send and receive text messages within the app. TalkU supports both individual and group messaging, allowing users to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues.
- Virtual Phone Numbers: TalkU offers virtual phone numbers from different countries. Users can choose a virtual number to make and receive calls from that specific country, even if they are physically located elsewhere.
- Call Forwarding: TalkU allows users to forward incoming calls to any phone number. This feature is useful for users who want to receive calls on their TalkU number even when they are not using the app.
- Voicemail: TalkU provides a voicemail feature where users can receive and listen to voicemail messages. Users can also customize their voicemail greetings.
- International Roaming: TalkU offers international roaming services, allowing users to use their TalkU number while traveling abroad without incurring high roaming charges.
In conclusion, Google Voice is a great telecommunications service that offers affordable rates for international calls and a host of other features. However, there are also a number of other great alternatives out there, including Dingtone, Skype, and WhatsApp. By exploring these options, you can find the telecommunications service that best meets your needs and budget.