Google Voice is a voice over internet protocol (VOIP) service that was created by Google in 2009. This service gave people the ability to obtain a virtual phone number, which people can use to make and receive call and text free of charge over the internet. When Google Voice first released most people ended up adopting it so they can ditch the landlines and consolidate multiple phones into one number. However, this soon changed as smartphones started to gain popularity. Google Voice was stagnant till 2017 where Google gave Google Voice a major overhaul which was long needed.
The main purpose of Google Voice is to be able to make and receive calls over the internet for free in the US and at a low cost internationally. There are a number of different features that are provided with Google Voice such as Group messaging, Domestic calls (US & Canada), Cheaper International Calls, Voicemail transcriptions, Personalized greetings for different groups, Call forwarding, Call recording, etc. Google has come out with a new mobile service called Project Fi and this service also utilizes the Google Voice number as the primary number.
There are a few ways to properly set up Google Voice, however, instead of describing each way we will explain how to do it the way we think is best. First thing you must do is confirm you have a Google account and go to https://voice.google.com once you are here if you have never set up google voice you will need to follow the onscreen instructions. During this process, it will ask you if you would like a new number or keep your current number. Chances are you would want to set up a new number so in order to do so you would select that option and type in the desired area code, zip code, or city and state to retrieve the available numbers for that area. Once the number is select you are ready to go and can use the number like every other number.
The setup described above is simple and basic mainly because it is meant to get the ball rolling. However, as stated above there several features Google Voice offers that most people overlook or do not realize and these are one of the reasons we recommend using Google Voice for businesses to save some money. If you intend to use Google Voice for business a few things we recommend you do are
Setup a custom greeting
Setup call forwarding as needed
Setup your office schedule (to prevent the phone from ringing all the time)
If you intended to use it in a home office and you have internet you can either use a computer or you can use a device called Obihai phone or module to connect and use Google Voice like a regular landline (click here to learn more).