You probably have one phone number for your cell phone through which you can make and receive phone calls, send and receive text messages, and perform other related tasks. However, sometimes you can use the second number for personal and professional phone calls and text messages. Or you may want another number to use when creating accounts on the website.
There are various options for capturing a second phone number, some free and some paid. One option worth trying is Google Voice.
With Google Voice VoIP, you are assigned a dedicated phone number that can use the same area code as your current phone number or general location. All phone calls made to your Google Voice number are forwarded to your regular number so that you can receive them directly.
Missed calls go to voicemail, where Google provides voice and text transcripts for you to read and listen to. In addition, you can use this second number for phone calls and text messages not only on your phone, but also on Google Voice.
On the other hand, Google Voice and all its features are freely available for personal use. On the other hand, personal service is currently only available in the United States to individuals. However, Google Voice is available for business and education users with paid Google Workspace accounts in the U.S. and other select regions around the world.
To take advantage of Google Voice, you need a Google Account and an existing phone number. Now let’s look at the steps to use this option as a second phone number.
Set up Google Voice
To set up your computer number, go to the Google Voice website(Opens in new window) and sign in with your Google Account. You can use any of the major browsers, such as Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, or Safari. The page will ask you to search for a number by entering the city or area code. You can choose any city or area code, but you’ll probably want to choose one at or near your location, especially if you plan to share the number with friends, colleagues, and others.
Enter the area code or city to see the available numbers. Click on the link for Show more to view more numbers. Then click on Select button for the phone number you want to use.
Now you need to verify your existing phone number. Click on Verify button on the next screen. Enter your phone number, then click Submit code button.
Enter the code you receive and click Verify. You have been told that your number has been linked to your account. Click Finish, and then click Finish again.
Use Google Voice on the web
You can now use your Google Voice number on the web and on your mobile phone. Let’s try the site first. The Google Voice page displays a toolbar with icons for calls, messages, and voicemail. Click on the voicemail icon to read a message from Google Voice that welcomes you to. Click the Play button to read the message aloud.
To make a phone call from the website, tap the relevant numbers on the dial pad and call. If you have a directory on Google, you can start typing the contact’s name and select the person you want to call. In either case, your Google Voice number will appear in the other party’s caller ID so that your regular phone number is not revealed. During a call, you can mute, put the call on hold, and open the keypad if you need to enter numbers to respond to a call menu. When done, just click on the phone icon and hang up.
If you receive a call to your Google Voice number, you can receive it on the web, but keep in mind that it will also be routed to your mobile phone. To answer the call, click on the green phone icon. The caller is asked to provide a name that Google will give you. To answer the call, open the keypad and tap 1. To send the caller to voicemail, tap 2. Otherwise, hang up.
You can also view all voice messages. Click the Voicemail icon on the left. Select a specific voicemail. The text transcript should appear automatically, although you may have to wait a few minutes for the text for the new voicemail to appear. Click the Play button to listen to the message.
To send a text message from the web, click the Messages icon. Click for Send a new message. Scroll down the contacts list and select the person you want to text or enter the person’s number or name. Enter the text below and submit. All received texts also appear on the message screen.
You can manage your phone calls, text messages, and voicemail on the web. To do this, select a specific call, text message, or voicemail. Depending on the item, click on the Call or Message icon in the upper right corner and answer the caller by phone or SMS.
Click the three-dot icon to display a menu with different options. To add the person to the address book, select People. Select Archive to send the item to the Archive folder. Choose mark as spam if the call is spam. Choose Block number to reject future calls or text messages from this number. For voicemail, select Download and save the message as an MP3 file. To delete it, select Delete.
You can also view and edit Google Voice settings on the web. Click the Sound Settings icon in the upper right corner to adjust the microphone, tone, and speakers.
Click the Settings icon in the upper right corner. On the Settings screen, you can delete, unlock, or port your Google Voice number. You can also change certain settings for your phone calls and voice messages, check your payment history, and turn on security for spam and message filtering.
Use Google Voice on your mobile phone
If you are sitting in front of a computer with a Google Voice website open in your browser, then using the website to handle calls and text messages is certainly feasible. Otherwise, you’ll want to install and set up the free Google Voice app on your mobile phone.
Download the iOS app(Opens in new window) or Android(Opens in new window). Google Voice looks and works the same way on both platforms. Before you make or receive calls, you should decide if you want to use mobile and Wi-Fi data or your carrier(Opens in new window) for calls. In Google Voice, click on the burger icon. Go to Settings> Calls> Make and receive calls.
The first option for Prefer Wi-Fi and mobile data allows you to make calls over the Internet as with any VoIP service, but a small amount of data from your mobile plan will be consumed for each call. The second option for Use only carriers used to make a call from your mobile operator, but if you do not have unlimited minutes, this may result in a charge. If you have a good Wi-Fi connection and limited minutes, use the first option. Otherwise, select the second option.
To make a call, tap the Calls icon at the bottom and select the dial pad icon. From there, select the person’s name from the suggestions or enter the phone number you want to call. Alternatively, tap the Contacts icon at the bottom, select the person you want to call, and tap a phone number.
An incoming call to your Google Voice number will ring on your mobile phone. The procedure is the same as on the web. The caller is asked to provide his name, which will be notified to you. On the dial pad, tap 1 to answer the call or 2 to divert to voicemail. Tap the voicemail icon at the bottom to access your messages. The transcript displays the text. Press the play button to listen to the message.
To send a text message, tap the Messages icon at the bottom, then tap the pencil icon, or tap the contacts icon, select the contact you want to text, and tap the text icon. Write your text and send it. All received texts are displayed in the same place.
Finally, to adjust your Google Voice settings in the mobile app, go to Settings, where you’ll find options for messages, calls, voicemail, payments, and security.
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