Updated: Jun 24
Do you own a home-based business and would like to have a separate phone number for your customers to call? I've tried many different options over the years including Ooma, Vonage, Magic Jack (Remember those commercials?), Spectrum Business, and adding a phone line to my cell phone plan. When I added a phone to my plan, it was a flip phone... For those who don't know, flip phones were the phones us cool people used before smartphones. Laugh all you want, but you could actually drop them and they wouldn't shatter. In fact, the military uses old Nokia phones as ammunition now.
Anywho... Here is the answer you are looking for! Drum roll please:
Google Voice is a great system - and it’s FREE!
If you want to pick a new phone number - it is completely free! If you want to port-in an existing number, you will need to pay a small one-time fee. I had my number ported over to them. Unfortunately, Google Voice cannot port in a landline number. To circumvent that issue, I used an old TracFone and ported my number to them first. Then, after the phone number was on the TracFone account, I could have Google Voice port it in. After a few days… SUCCESS!
If you are not familiar with Google Voice, here’s a quick tutorial. Google Voice forwards your number to any phone line you would like. If you would like someone to call your Google Voice number, you can redirect it to ring on your home phone, cell phone, wife’s cell phone, grandma's house – anywhere! I used to have my Google Voice number forward to my cell phone.
When I would get a phone call on my business line, my cell phone would ring like normal. You can set up your GV account to even screen your calls, which asks the caller to record their name. When you answer, it will say who is calling you. You can then decide if you want to answer it or send it to voicemail.
I now use an awesome product called OBiTalk. OBitalk is a modem that you plug into your router and then plug into a landline phone. This allows your Google Voice number to ring a landline phone! FREE LANDLINE PHONE! You can also forward the Google Voice number to call your cell phone and use both options.
A few other great Google Voice options:
Free SMS and MMS messaging (texting)
Free Customizable Voicemail
Phone Number Blocking
Call/Text from Your Computer
You pick the number and area code
I know this is a lot of information. If you would like help setting Google Voice up, let us know!
Andrew Pelnar, Owner
Want more Aerodev Recommendations? Check out our Resources Page! https://www.aerodevllc.com/resources
Google Voice: https://www.google.com/voice
OBiTalk Modem: https://amzn.to/3jUNZco