Does Google Voice Cost Money?
Most people would be surprised to find out that Google Voice has been around for over a decade. Google hasn’t exactly been investing heavily in increasing the visibility of its Voice service, which is a shame. Voice over IP (VoIP) technology is nothing new, but Google’s service stands out for many reasons, not least of which is that it is (mostly) free.
There are a few circumstances in which Google’s service will have an associated cost. However, even when a cost is incurred, it will be trivial when compared to similar options. Continue reading to find out how to use Voice for free and in which situations you may have to pay to use it.
What Is Google Voice?
In a nutshell, Google Voice is a service offered by Google that provides a telephone number for Google users. This mostly means that you can get call forwarding and a voicemail inbox free of charge, in the form of a United States phone number. The service has its roots in GrandCentral, a phone consolidation service that was acquired by Google in 2007.
Users are given the freedom to choose a phone number from those available in their area. Once the number is chosen, it can be configured to forward calls to multiple numbers. The call may be answered on any of the numbers configured on the service or on a web portal for answering calls.
Even considering that it’s only available in the US, Google voice has been slow to attract users. The features and convenience that it provides are unmatched in the market. The number of users will rise gradually, however. It stands to reason that once it is made available globally, it will see a massive influx of users.
When Is Google Voice Free?
Google markets this as a free service. In truth, for the most part, it is free. To create a Google Voice account and claim a phone number, you won’t be charged anything. There are a few exceptions, but any calls you make within the US and Canada are free as well. Some remote areas in the United States will cost one cent per minute to call, but by and large, the calls will be free.
It’s good to remember that Google is in the “Big Data” business and the way they extract value from this particular service is by analyzing the things you say. Google doesn’t keep any of this a secret; if you’re ever in the mood for an unusual experience, head over to your Google audio history page and listen to your recordings.
When Is Google Voice a Paid Service?
As stated above, calling certain areas of the US is going to cost you, but only one cent per minute. If you want to make international calls, those will have associated charges. You can find the rates for each country listed on the Google Voice official site.
If you use Google Voice to make calls outside the US, you will be charged the listed fee. This is also true if you are using your US number to make a call to a foreign country while you’re actually in that country.
In case you didn’t know, Google Voice allows you to use your US number to make calls from anywhere in the world. If, for example, you are in Germany and use your Google Voice number to call another German number, you will be charged as if you were making an international call. Similarly, if you use your US number to call another US number while staying in Germany, you will also be charged the international rate.
On top of this, if you use a mobile device, your calls will be made on your carrier’s network, so they will count towards your allotted minutes. If you want to use any of the paid services offered by Voice, you can add credit to your account in the main menu on the landing page. You can have up to US$70 credit at a time.
What Can Google Voice Do for You?
Getting a Google phone number is a simple process. You can do it online on their website, or you can install the Voice app on your mobile device. When you first launch the app, you will be guided through a process to select a phone number and then you’re in business.
The Voice service brings some really amazing features to the table. The main offering from Google Voice is the ability to consolidate multiple phone numbers with call forwarding. Small business owners, in particular, can benefit greatly from this. In addition to that, you can also record incoming calls, receive transcripts of your voicemails, and create individualized greetings.
All in all, it’s a very useful service and one that will continue to rise in popularity. Those are only some of the features, and more are added regularly.
OK Google, Make a Call
For users in the United States, calling to the United States and Canada is completely free with Google Voice. If you call from a mobile device, your network minutes will be used to make the call. Some very remote areas will incur a nominal fee but the vast majority of calls will be free. If you want to make international calls, however, those will attract charges based on the country.
Some users prize the ability to have multiple numbers routed to one phone, others use Google Voice in lieu of a phone entirely. Why do you use Google Voice? What features would you like to see implemented in the future? Share your thoughts in the comments below.