Google voice is a service that gives you a free phone number and Google hangouts is an application that lets you use your number to send text messages and make phone calls. Together with Google voice and hangouts allow you to keep one phone number as you switch from carrier to carrier, phone to phone and it increases your coverage area by allowing you to use Wi-Fi to send text messages and make and receive phone calls.
Google voice and hangouts will even sync your messages across all your devices and allow you to send text messages and make phone calls right from your computer, all of these features are completely free, so in this post I’m going to be doing a full review of Google voice and hangouts and why this is a service worth signing up for. In order to sign up for Google voice, you need to have a Google account and an existing US phone number.
Sign up for Google Voice for free in https://www.google.com/voice
when you first sign up you can either get a new number for free or report your current phone number for $20 but reporting your current phone number will terminate your cell phone plan and may result in early termination fees.
In case you sign up with a new phone number you still can report your mobile number at any time from your account settings.
The next step is to enter a phone number that will be used as a call forwarding number and to activate your account, you can change your call forwarding settings at any time, so you can get away with entering a friends number if you don’t have one. After entering a phone number then click call me now and get an automated call from Google voice to verify the phone number.
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You enter the verification code then you’ll be given the option to create a voicemail but you can choose not to create a voicemail at this time and then select a Google voice phone number after entering your area code or a word for user number.
Google will give you a wide selection of phone numbers to choose from, it’s important to choose your number carefully as it costs $10 to change your Google voice number in future. Once you’ve selected the Google voice number you can then click continue and then finish.
At this point you have successfully completed the initial setup process, you can now send and receive phone calls and text messages from your Google voice number.
The online version of Google voice has a lot of settings to play around with, such as which phone numbers ring when you get a call, your voicemail, text settings and call settings. You can also view all of your voicemail’s online.
However, once you have everything set up on Google voice you’ll probably spend the majority of your time using the Hangouts application.
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Google Hangouts is a free application available for both iOS and android, when you first download the application you’ll have to sign into your google account, you’ll need to make sure show SMS, voicemail, and hangouts are turned on and I suggest you turn on sync contacts as well.
you may also want to enable incoming phone calls this will ring the hangouts application instead of forwarding the call to another phone number the advantage to this is that you can continue to use hangouts application while you’re talking on the phone and this will not count against your cellular minutes, instead the phone call can be made over Wi-Fi or cellular
This is ideal for plans like T-Mobile’s $30 a month prepaid plan when you only have a hundred minutes of talk time but you have 5GB of LTE data, it would also be ideal for ring plus as it would allow you to avoid hearing ads during your phone calls.
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A phone call uses up about 1 MB of data per minute of talk time, if you don’t wish to use your cellular data then there is a setting to only allow phone calls on Wi-Fi.
Everything will continue to work normally but you’ll get a popup reminder when you’re off Wi-Fi if trying to make or answer a phone call.
If the call is important then you have the option to call using your cellular data otherwise the Call is sent to voicemail and you’ll be able to listen to the voicemail when you’re back on Wi-Fi.
The other great part about hangouts is the ability to send text messages for free over Wi-Fi or cellular data these are real text messages that can be delivered to anyone’s phone number.
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Group and picture messaging are also supported by hangouts and all the messages will be synced across all your devices.
You can send text messages from any device with an Internet connection including your computer tablets and smartphone.
You cannot change hangouts ringtone, leaving the call forwarding future on will allow you to select a ringtone but any incoming call will count against your minutes.
Google voice and hangouts is a powerful communication service that allows users to connect with one another for free over Wi-Fi or cellular data you can keep one phone number regardless of which phone or provided you have and all of your messages will be syncs across all your devices. Google voice and hangouts are by no means for everyone both such amazing features I think it is absolutely service worth considering.