Google voice

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tc101
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Google voice

Post by tc101 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:07 pm

I am reading about google voice. Is there any reason not to sign up for it to experiment? If I associate my existing phone numbers with it, will it cause me to get any unwanted phone solicitations, cost me any money, or cause me any kind of problem?
. | The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert.

NYGiantsFan
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Re: Google voice

Post by NYGiantsFan » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:15 pm

I use it for the side businesses to post online when I don't want my actual number to be tracked to me.
Also, it is useful if you are calling internationally (Canada is free) over wifi . It is much cheaper than my cell phone international rates.

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Don_Qua
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Re: Google voice

Post by Don_Qua » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:18 pm

I've been using it for a few years, it's all been upside for me. Wifi/data calling with Google Hangouts makes it even better.

whomever
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Re: Google voice

Post by whomever » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:28 pm

"If I associate my existing phone numbers with it, will it cause me to get any unwanted phone solicitations, cost me any money, or cause me any kind of problem?"

I don't think so. It has a call screening feature, where people calling the number get asked who they are. I suspect telemarketers stop there. If the person says 'I'm Joe Blow', then your phone rings and you get a 'Call from Joe Blow - press 1 to accept'.

That points to the only gotcha I have found. We don't use the various nifty features; we just use it for free long distance. And the recipient's caller ID shows the google voice number. And when they call back and go through the screening, it seems like even when I press 1 (or whatever it is) to accept the call, google says 'OK, we'll take a voice message'. Some people understand the notion that they should use our actual phone company number, and some persist in returning the call to the caller ID number.

As a bonus, google transcribes the voice messages. The transcripts are frequently hilarious, but rarely accurate.

DoubleClick
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Re: Google voice

Post by DoubleClick » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:42 pm

Google will have a lot more data about you if you care about that. Other than that, no downsides. Plenty of upsides. For eg, there's an annoying number that keeps calling me and trying to send a fax. Two clicks in GV, and they're permanently blocked.

knowsnothing
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Re: Google voice

Post by knowsnothing » Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:41 pm

I've been using it exclusively for outbound calls at no cost.

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Kevin M
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Re: Google voice

Post by Kevin M » Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:53 pm

Have been using it for several years. Don't remember any solicitations on my GV number. No costs.

The only possible cost I can think of is if you don't have a text plan, and forward your GV texts to your phone. I don't have a text plan, so I don't forward GV texts to my phone, and I do all of my texting with GV directly.

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htdrag11
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Re: Google voice

Post by htdrag11 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:00 pm

No downside for me, with the exception that I dropped my VOIP with cable so my alarm company wants to charge me more for their wireless monitoring service. I dropped them too and chose a cheaper provider.

As someone pointed out, I use it with Google Hangout in tandem.

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heartwood
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Re: Google voice

Post by heartwood » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:24 pm

I recently routed the text for the Vanguard 2-factor verification to google voice. I can now see the code on each of my several devices in Hangouts and in email. It saves me from getting up to get to my smartphone if I'm logging in from my tablet or laptop.

It's a slightly less secure situation since now the code goes to the several devices, but I believe I can live with that given my lifestyle.

conroy
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Re: Google voice

Post by conroy » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:48 pm

whomever, you can turn off the call screening if you don't use it.

I use google voice because i can have it forward to whatever phone I'm using at the time. Being able to access voice mails and texts from my computer is nice too

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bertie wooster
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Re: Google voice

Post by bertie wooster » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:59 pm

The only downside I see with Google voice is that it will stop being supported and then be shut down. It's already not pushed as a major service they offer and I don't think they've made any changes/updates in awhile (outside of some functionality in hangouts)

aquifer
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Re: Google voice

Post by aquifer » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:06 pm

bertie wooster wrote:The only downside I see with Google voice is that it will stop being supported and then be shut down. It's already not pushed as a major service they offer and I don't think they've made any changes/updates in awhile (outside of some functionality in hangouts)
I agree with this. Google has a long history of discontinuing services and this one does feel neglected to me.

That being said, I have had GV for several years and I like it for all the reasons others have listed. It is the only number I use online, for utilities, or for a rewards card. In fact, it's the only number I use for any bank or credit card I use as well. It's easy to block callers yet allow legitimate calls to come through. I do not use it for my day to day calls, and my family and friends have my regular cell number. I recommend the service.

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Toons
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Re: Google voice

Post by Toons » Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:26 pm

I have 2 phone numbers,my cell phone and google voice.
If I choose to not share my personal cell phone number with someone(especially businesses) ,I will give them the Google Voice number.
When google voice number is called it transfers to my cell phone,,,then options to accept or reject calls are made available. :happy
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VictoriaF
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Re: Google voice

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:33 pm

aquifer wrote:
bertie wooster wrote:The only downside I see with Google voice is that it will stop being supported and then be shut down. It's already not pushed as a major service they offer and I don't think they've made any changes/updates in awhile (outside of some functionality in hangouts)
I agree with this. Google has a long history of discontinuing services and this one does feel neglected to me.

That being said, I have had GV for several years and I like it for all the reasons others have listed. It is the only number I use online, for utilities, or for a rewards card. In fact, it's the only number I use for any bank or credit card I use as well. It's easy to block callers yet allow legitimate calls to come through. I do not use it for my day to day calls, and my family and friends have my regular cell number. I recommend the service.
If Google does discontinue Google Voice, will you have to change your telephone number for ALL your credit cards, services, etc? Or you think there will be a way to keep the number and transfer it elsewhere?

Victoria
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aquifer
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Re: Google voice

Post by aquifer » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:41 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
aquifer wrote:
bertie wooster wrote:The only downside I see with Google voice is that it will stop being supported and then be shut down. It's already not pushed as a major service they offer and I don't think they've made any changes/updates in awhile (outside of some functionality in hangouts)
I agree with this. Google has a long history of discontinuing services and this one does feel neglected to me.

That being said, I have had GV for several years and I like it for all the reasons others have listed. It is the only number I use online, for utilities, or for a rewards card. In fact, it's the only number I use for any bank or credit card I use as well. It's easy to block callers yet allow legitimate calls to come through. I do not use it for my day to day calls, and my family and friends have my regular cell number. I recommend the service.
If Google does discontinue Google Voice, will you have to change your telephone number for ALL your credit cards, services, etc? Or you think there will be a way to keep the number and transfer it elsewhere?

Victoria
I hope the number would be portable to a new service, but I don't know. I admit I don't care too much, as the companies all have my email address and most communication is done that way. I view GV as a spam filter, and if I sign up for a new service and have to get a new number, I'll be ok with that. Over time I'd likely update my contact information online with the new number.

smackboy1
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Re: Google voice

Post by smackboy1 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:48 pm

VictoriaF wrote:If Google does discontinue Google Voice, will you have to change your telephone number for ALL your credit cards, services, etc? Or you think there will be a way to keep the number and transfer it elsewhere?
GV numbers are portable. IIRC for a $3 fee you can unlock your GV number and port it wherever you want. I've ported a GV number to a cell phone provider.

IIRC for a $20 fee you can also port a cell phone number into GV. Cannot directly port a landline into GV, but there are workarounds to make it work via a cell phone intermediate step. AFAIK if you port your own number into GV, there is no fee if you want to port it back out.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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Toons
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Re: Google voice

Post by Toons » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:59 pm

smackboy1 wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:If Google does discontinue Google Voice, will you have to change your telephone number for ALL your credit cards, services, etc? Or you think there will be a way to keep the number and transfer it elsewhere?
GV numbers are portable. IIRC for a $3 fee you can unlock your GV number and port it wherever you want. I've ported a GV number to a cell phone provider.

IIRC for a $20 fee you can also port a cell phone number into GV. Cannot directly port a landline into GV, but there are workarounds to make it work via a cell phone intermediate step. AFAIK if you port your own number into GV, there is no fee if you want to port it back out.

Good Info,Thanks :thumbsup
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Riceman
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Re: Google voice

Post by Riceman » Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:41 pm

Google voice is great if you are living internationally but need to list an American number on a form or application.

I also put the number on any application to avoid spam calls. I have it set up to sent a transcript as an email to my gmail account (which goes to my phone). The emails are never perfectly intelligible, but you can't tell if it's one you should listen to or not, and the email also has the link to the original voice recording.

acegolfer
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Re: Google voice

Post by acegolfer » Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:58 am

Phone geek here. If you use google service, I can't see any downside but only upside. Here's how I benefited since 2005

Number of google voice number change: 1
Number of phone number change: more than 10

It saved me $10k+ since 2005. My current monthly phone bill for 5 phones (3 are cellular) is <$12.

If wanna know more about gv, let me know. I'll share the forum infor.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Google voice

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:55 am

acegolfer wrote:Phone geek here. If you use google service, I can't see any downside but only upside. Here's how I benefited since 2005

Number of google voice number change: 1
Number of phone number change: more than 10

It saved me $10k+ since 2005. My current monthly phone bill for 5 phones (3 are cellular) is <$12.

If wanna know more about gv, let me know. I'll share the forum infor.
I want to know {raising my hand}!

Victoria
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jayjayc
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Re: Google voice

Post by jayjayc » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:38 pm

I use gmail as my main email service so it's always up when I'm on a computer. Whenever I receive a text while I'm on a computer, google voice will forward that text to my email. Then I can easily reply to the text through my email. I can also type my response from my keyboard as opposed to my phone. This little convenience really appeals to me.

If you do not have a bulk text plan w/ your mobile carrier, you can use the google voice app to send and receive texts through your data plan. Your friends and family will never notice the difference and you'll save some $$ by omitting the text plan.

jayjayc
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Re: Google voice

Post by jayjayc » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:40 pm

acegolfer wrote:\
It saved me $10k+ since 2005. My current monthly phone bill for 5 phones (3 are cellular) is <$12.

If wanna know more about gv, let me know. I'll share the forum infor.
Wow, that's impressive. I'm also curious how you made that all work.

harikaried
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Re: Google voice

Post by harikaried » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:46 pm

heartwood wrote:I recently routed the text for the Vanguard 2-factor verification to google voice.
Probably not with Vanguard, but has anyone else run into issues where automated systems can't text a Google Voice number? I don't remember offhand, but I feel like I had to use a different number at some point for some kind of auth.

aznkaz
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Re: Google voice

Post by aznkaz » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:53 pm

I exclusively use Google Voice. I don't have a phone plan. The hangouts extension for chrome is pretty useful for texting and calling on the computer. I've had some problems with the hangouts app (on a smart phone) making wifi calls recently though.
International calling is also cheap. Calls to Japan cost me 2 cents per minute.
When I'm on the road I have 200MB free data on my tablet (T-Mobile). I use Droidwall to control my data use, so that I don't run out when I need it. 200MB is plenty for texting.
One downside is that it doesn't support group texts, so I always miss those. Also it doesn't allow shortcode texts, and some places may see it as a VOIP number and not allow verification for things.

sk.dolcevita
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Re: Google voice

Post by sk.dolcevita » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:03 pm

I have had GV since 2009. Coupled with My Ooma and prepaid mobile plans, GV has saved me several hundred, if not thousands, of dollars. It is my primary and only number with my contacts and my calls are forwarded to any one of my other devices with numbers that I don't care to remember.

I cannot think of any downside.

I am pretty ticked off at Silicon Valley's brazen encroachment on customer privacy and Google, in my opinion, is the number one offender in this regard. I have contemplated moving away from the Google ecosystem for this reason, or at least diversify my patronage. I can find acceptable replacements for every other app/service but GV. GV is what keeps me tethered to the Google ecosystem and let Google data mine my existence. This is a testimony to how useful GV is.
Last edited by sk.dolcevita on Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Google voice

Post by sk.dolcevita » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:05 pm

harikaried wrote:
heartwood wrote:I recently routed the text for the Vanguard 2-factor verification to google voice.
Probably not with Vanguard, but has anyone else run into issues where automated systems can't text a Google Voice number? I don't remember offhand, but I feel like I had to use a different number at some point for some kind of auth.
Yes, several services using 5-digit short codes cannot text to GV. But the list of such codes is shrinking.

Also, some services like Yahoo cannot text to GV (e.g. for account verification text).

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Re: Google voice

Post by ERISA Stone » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:22 pm

I tried it on a temporary basis to determine if it served a purpose for me. Apparently the guy with the number previously was a tattoo artist and I got all sorts of weird voicemails. I shut it down eventually because I couldn't tell if people were calling to my cell or the GV #. I'm sure there's a way to change the notification but ultimately, I simply didn't need two numbers.

I would love to hear how people are saving a significant amount of money on this.

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Re: Google voice

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:27 pm

heartwood wrote:I recently routed the text for the Vanguard 2-factor verification to google voice. I can now see the code on each of my several devices in Hangouts and in email. It saves me from getting up to get to my smartphone if I'm logging in from my tablet or laptop.

It's a slightly less secure situation since now the code goes to the several devices, but I believe I can live with that given my lifestyle.
So something gets stolen, you don't erase it fast enough, poof there goes two factor safety.

not logged in
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Re: Google voice

Post by not logged in » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:37 pm

Google Voice coupled with an OBI VoIP adapter can also be used for your home phone.

http://www.obitalk.com/info/home

There's an upfront cost for the adapter (~$50) but no monthly cost thereafter except for international calls (which as mentioned are quite cheap). I've had an Obi 202 for 6 months and it's been rock solid. Google Voice and Obi are a great combination.

In addition, Sprint customers can integrate their mobile number with Google Voice. Among other nifty features, this permits forwarding mobile calls to landlines (including VoIP). For example, my mobile calls are configured to ring on my office phone during business hours and my home line the rest of the time.

endospies
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Re: Google voice

Post by endospies » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:44 pm

I use my google phone number as a "spam" phone number. Family and Friends have my cellphone. Everything else gets my google #.

sk.dolcevita
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Re: Google voice

Post by sk.dolcevita » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:10 pm

dolphinsaremammals wrote:
heartwood wrote:I recently routed the text for the Vanguard 2-factor verification to google voice. I can now see the code on each of my several devices in Hangouts and in email. It saves me from getting up to get to my smartphone if I'm logging in from my tablet or laptop.

It's a slightly less secure situation since now the code goes to the several devices, but I believe I can live with that given my lifestyle.
So something gets stolen, you don't erase it fast enough, poof there goes two factor safety.
One of the basic tenets of cyber security is that once you lose physical control of your device, you have lost all layers of additional security applied to that device or a service using that device as a gateway. It is no different from you losing your house key along with some information linking it to your address.

BTW, two-factor authentication will still require the offending party to know your user id and password to be able to request the second factor. Not very trivial especially if a sensible password is being used.

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Pajamas
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Re: Google voice

Post by Pajamas » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:21 pm

I have used Google Voice for years. I actually have two different numbers with two different Google accounts.

One is local and I use it to give to people I won't have regular contact with, such as when I have sold something on Craigslist. It simply rings my regular number but it can also be set to just take a voice message and forward it by email with a transcription. I also use it when a cellular number is required rather than a landline.

The other is not in a local area code but is in an area code where a friend lives and it is also forwarded to my home number. That way she can call me without paying long distance or using her cellular minutes.

I don't use these numbers extensively like most people do, but they are a real convenience when I do use them.

They are free so you really have nothing to lose. You can always cancel them. You have to use them once a year or so or they will revert. Google will email before that happens.

As far as spam calls, yes you will get them, but you can block the number when it happens. I get the rare spam calls and wrong numbers, but much less frequently than on my home number.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Google voice

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:09 pm

not logged in wrote:Google Voice coupled with an OBI VoIP adapter can also be used for your home phone.

http://www.obitalk.com/info/home

There's an upfront cost for the adapter (~$50) but no monthly cost thereafter except for international calls (which as mentioned are quite cheap). I've had an Obi 202 for 6 months and it's been rock solid. Google Voice and Obi are a great combination.
A couple hours ago, I have configured OBi 110 with Google Voice. I am very new to both OBi and GV. I thought that there was a monthly fee, similarly to OOMA. Do you know how OBi manages to avoid monthly fees?

Also, if I make international calls, who will charge me for them, OBi or Google? Should I create some credit with Google for these eventualities? Do I have to use Google Wallet, or there is a way to create credit directly?
not logged in wrote:In addition, Sprint customers can integrate their mobile number with Google Voice. Among other nifty features, this permits forwarding mobile calls to landlines (including VoIP). For example, my mobile calls are configured to ring on my office phone during business hours and my home line the rest of the time.
Are these features of OBi 202, or all OBi devices?

Thank you!
Victoria
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Re: Google voice

Post by Browser » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:36 pm

Years ago when I quit Sprint, I ported the number to GV and it has been my only phone number. I've changed cellphone service providers a few times quite painlessly by forwarding my GV number to the number of whatever service provider I happen to have. I never have to port the number anymore. I couldn't even tell you what that number currently is off the top of my head, since it's irrelevant to me. I never give that number out to anyone, so since nobody knows it (including me) I never get any spam calls on it. Whenever I don't answer a call, a transcripted text message of the voice mail is sent to my cellphone and I can see it immediately as a banner at the top of the screen to see who called and what they wanted. If there's no text message, I know the call can be disregarded.

A couple years ago I got the Obi and use GV with it also. So anyone calling me on my GV number rings both my Obi home phone and my cellphone. If I'm home I use the Obi since calls are free, and if I'm out I use the cellphone - same number for both. One handy thing is that you can block spam calls on GV. It will catch and screen some out automatically if you select that option, but there are always other harassing calls coming through. I smile when I think of these pests getting the "number out of service" message after I've blocked the vermin.

Tell you the truth, I wouldn't want anything other than Google Voice. Why would I need it?
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Re: Google voice

Post by cetavion » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:55 pm

I started to use Google Voice (GV) to save my wife's prepaid phone cost.
My wife is the house maker and stays at home.
I call to her to GV phone number to save her minutes balance.
In case her friend wants to talk over the phone long hours, my wife calls her using her GV phone.
As long as wifi is working, the quality of phone call is nothing different than landline or regular mobile phone.

MKE262
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Re: Google voice

Post by MKE262 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:59 pm

I have also had a GV number since before they were acquired by Google (Grandcentral, if I recall correctly). My main benefit has been a consistent number I can give out, even as I changed prepaid cell carriers and went without a cell at times. We also lived/traveled in 5 continents in the past 5 years and Google Voice made sure we could always be reachable. I originally had it set to forward to my Ooma, but now it rings on my cell phone. It is also easy to customize ... you can set it to not disturb you at certain hours for example :)

smackboy1
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Re: Google voice

Post by smackboy1 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:51 pm

VictoriaF wrote:A couple hours ago, I have configured OBi 110 with Google Voice. I am very new to both OBi and GV. I thought that there was a monthly fee, similarly to OOMA. Do you know how OBi manages to avoid monthly fees?

Also, if I make international calls, who will charge me for them, OBi or Google? Should I create some credit with Google for these eventualities? Do I have to use Google Wallet, or there is a way to create credit directly?
I have a couple of OBi202 devices.

Obihai only manufactures and sells the hardware. There is no monthly fee because you paid to purchase only the device. They do not sell the VOIP service, so the consumer is free to sign up for whichever VOIP they want as long as the Obi device protocols support it. The service provider may or may not charge the consumer a fee. GV is free. Other providers charge fees e.g. Callcentric, Anveo, VOIP.ms.

Services like Ooma or Vonage are different. Consumers must purchase both the VOIP service and the proprietary hardware in a bundle.

One of the reasons using a bring your own device (BYOD) VOIP service with an OBi is cheaper is that the learning curve is a bit steeper. It's not exactly plug-and-play. But once you figure it out, it's cheaper and gives the consumer much more flexibility and power.

I currently use Callcentric to replace my landlines. I tried GV initially, but I found the quality of the voice connection inconsistent. Also I needed fax over VOIP which GV does not officially support, although it has worked in the past.

I use GV on my smartphones to make and receive phone calls/SMS outside the USA. It's almost like having cell service as long as there is a decent wifi connection. It's also cheap for international long distance. All you have to do is to use a credit card to add $10 to your GV account. When it runs low, just add another $10. At $0.02/minute it can last a long time.

The combination of GV with Hangouts and Gmail is a very powerful tool - for free. FB paid $20B for Whatsapp and it can't even do half of that.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Google voice

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:00 pm

smackboy1 wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:A couple hours ago, I have configured OBi 110 with Google Voice. I am very new to both OBi and GV. I thought that there was a monthly fee, similarly to OOMA. Do you know how OBi manages to avoid monthly fees?

Also, if I make international calls, who will charge me for them, OBi or Google? Should I create some credit with Google for these eventualities? Do I have to use Google Wallet, or there is a way to create credit directly?
I have a couple of OBi202 devices.

Obihai only manufactures and sells the hardware. There is no monthly fee because you paid to purchase only the device. They do not sell the VOIP service, so the consumer is free to sign up for whichever VOIP they want as long as the Obi device protocols support it. The service provider may or may not charge the consumer a fee. GV is free. Other providers charge fees e.g. Callcentric, Anveo, VOIP.ms.

Services like Ooma or Vonage are different. Consumers must purchase both the VOIP service and the proprietary hardware in a bundle.

One of the reasons using a bring your own device (BYOD) VOIP service with an OBi is cheaper is that the learning curve is a bit steeper. It's not exactly plug-and-play. But once you figure it out, it's cheaper and gives the consumer much more flexibility and power.

I currently use Callcentric to replace my landlines. I tried GV initially, but I found the quality of the voice connection inconsistent. Also I needed fax over VOIP which GV does not officially support, although it has worked in the past.

I use GV on my smartphones to make and receive phone calls/SMS outside the USA. It's almost like having cell service as long as there is a decent wifi connection. It's also cheap for international long distance. All you have to do is to use a credit card to add $10 to your GV account. When it runs low, just add another $10. At $0.02/minute it can last a long time.

The combination of GV with Hangouts and Gmail is a very powerful tool - for free. FB paid $20B for Whatsapp and it can't even do half of that.
smackboy1,

This is very helpful. So if Google stops supporting OBi, it will be possible to get a paid VoIP service over the same device, just as you are doing it now with Callcentric. Is it correct to assume that Callcentric and other VoIP providers are relatively inexpensive?

What do Google Hangouts add to GV and Gmail?

Thank you,
Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Google voice

Post by Browser » Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:04 pm

Callcentric has been quite good. I use it for my mother's VOIP phone service where I need the advanced configuration options it offers. Only drawback -- it's not free. One weird thing, they assigned a number to her when I signed up that we found, after several months and frequent wrong number calls, was a number already in use by a carpet cleaning service. Also used Phonepower for awhile when it was threatened that GV would not work with the Obi after last May. Phonepower was fine also, but it's not free either. Just went back to GV on the Obi as it still appears to work fine. I've never had any problems with it other than the threat Google would discontinue supporting it.
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yatesd
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Re: Google voice

Post by yatesd » Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:12 pm

+1 for ooma and Google voice. Both are great! Having both options has allowed me to seamlessly keep my home & cell number the same even while moving and switching employers. Will never go back to traditional landline and don't like being held hostage to an employer or cell phone company.

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Re: Google voice

Post by smackboy1 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:19 pm

VictoriaF wrote:So if Google stops supporting OBi, it will be possible to get a paid VoIP service over the same device, just as you are doing it now with Callcentric. Is it correct to assume that Callcentric and other VoIP providers are relatively inexpensive?

What do Google Hangouts add to GV and Gmail?
We do not use the landline much, so for us Callcentric at $8/month, was much much cheaper than plain old telephone service (POTS) at $50/month (2 lines). Even the broadband providers e.g. Comcast, Verizon, didn't have a service plan that met our needs. Callcentric is actually one of the more expensive VOIP providers, but I chose them because fax over VOIP is important for us (T.38 protocol).

Hangouts is Google's latest version of a messaging app. Users can text, call and video call other Hangouts users. But it's much more. By combining with GV you can send/receive SMS to regular cell phone #s and make/receive calls to any telephones. Think of Hangouts as a mash up of a cell phone, Whatsapp, Skype or Facetime.

GV is often going to be the cheapest way to make international calls from your cell phone ($0.02/min). On an Android smartphone you can set the app to just use GV for all international calls. For iPhone you can make the calls from the Hangouts app. That also means that you can use your iPad to make and receive phone calls to and from anywhere in the world.

One thing to keep in mind is that VOIP is very dependent on broadband quality of service (QoS). Speed alone is not enough. The internet connection must have consistent high speed, low latency, low jitter and low packet loss. My Comcast cable broadband is inconsistent so sometimes voice calls are unintelligible. Sometimes hotel or public area wifi cannot support VOIP calls. Test with voipqualitytest.com.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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Re: Google voice

Post by not logged in » Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:24 am

VictoriaF wrote:
not logged in wrote:In addition, Sprint customers can integrate their mobile number with Google Voice. Among other nifty features, this permits forwarding mobile calls to landlines (including VoIP). For example, my mobile calls are configured to ring on my office phone during business hours and my home line the rest of the time.
Are these features of OBi 202, or all OBi devices?
The ability to forward calls is a feature of Google Voice.

RingTo is another phone service that can be very handy.

https://ring.to/home/

Phone numbers can be ported to RingTo and "parked" there for free. Calls to RingTo numbers can be forwarded to another number. RingTo can also be configured on OBi devices for free telephone calls in North America. There is a $12/year charge for separate 911 service however. (Google Voice doesn't provide 911 service either, but OBi/GV don't require that you separately obtain such service.)

http://www.obitalk.com/info/asp/ringto

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Re: Google voice

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:42 am

smackboy1 wrote:One thing to keep in mind is that VOIP is very dependent on broadband quality of service (QoS). Speed alone is not enough. The internet connection must have consistent high speed, low latency, low jitter and low packet loss. My Comcast cable broadband is inconsistent so sometimes voice calls are unintelligible. Sometimes hotel or public area wifi cannot support VOIP calls. Test with voipqualitytest.com.
smackboy1,

Thank you very much for the information!

The paragraph about QoS is ironic. In the 1990s, I was a QoS expert and published two related papers in the IEEE Communications Magazine. The ironic part is that all my professional expertise has been decidedly theoretical, with no hands-on experience. I could recite to you the operation of the RSVP protocol that signals QoS parameters, but when I faced a configuration of a simple device (OBi) I was in panic. I had it in a box for six months until I yesterday bit the bullet when I really needed a working phone.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Google voice

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:47 am

not logged in wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
not logged in wrote:In addition, Sprint customers can integrate their mobile number with Google Voice. Among other nifty features, this permits forwarding mobile calls to landlines (including VoIP). For example, my mobile calls are configured to ring on my office phone during business hours and my home line the rest of the time.
Are these features of OBi 202, or all OBi devices?
The ability to forward calls is a feature of Google Voice.

RingTo is another phone service that can be very handy.

https://ring.to/home/

Phone numbers can be ported to RingTo and "parked" there for free. Calls to RingTo numbers can be forwarded to another number. RingTo can also be configured on OBi devices for free telephone calls in North America. There is a $12/year charge for separate 911 service however. (Google Voice doesn't provide 911 service either, but OBi/GV don't require that you separately obtain such service.)

http://www.obitalk.com/info/asp/ringto

not logged in,

Thank you! I will check out your links.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Google voice

Post by Ketawa » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:19 am

Google Voice still doesn't support group texting, so it's a non-starter for me. I can't be the only one who can't stand it when someone responds to a group text and it appears in its own separate thread. I'd hate to do the same to other people. AFAIK from my limited research, it also doesn't receive group texts, i.e. they appear as individual messages and you can't see who else received them, which is an even bigger issue.

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Re: Google voice

Post by dbCooperAir » Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:25 am

Ketawa wrote:Google Voice still doesn't support group texting, so it's a non-starter for me. I can't be the only one who can't stand it when someone responds to a group text and it appears in its own separate thread. I'd hate to do the same to other people. AFAIK from my limited research, it also doesn't receive group texts, i.e. they appear as individual messages and you can't see who else received them, which is an even bigger issue.
This does stink, with the integration to Hangouts I have to wonder if they will add it at some time.
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Re: Google voice

Post by sk.dolcevita » Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:27 am

There was some mention above regarding faxing in VOIP setups. I have never had a problem with an incoming fax with my OOMA. For outgoing faxes I append *99 prefix to the number and it works 100% of the time. This trick also helped a friend of mine who has VOIP from Vonage. Ymmv.

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Re: Google voice

Post by dbCooperAir » Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:33 am

Being a new smart phone user I can say Google Voice (GV) along with Google Hangouts works great.

We have 2 of the old T-Mobile pay by the minute voice/text plans, the one with no monthly minimum fee. We have a GV # on both phones and it works like a champ, I don't have the exact numbers but I know we have saved a fair bit thus far. At work I have the Hangout App on the desktop and that works very well too.

The only part I don't like is the no group text option as noted in the above post. For free I can live with it :wink:

EDIT:
I did a search on the group message issue, looks like it can be done, I did not see this 6 months ago, will see if I can get it to work.
[url]/http://www.reddit.com/r/androidapps/com ... d_sms/[url]
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Re: Google voice

Post by Browser » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:01 am

I have no idea how to use Google Hangouts with GV to make calls with my Obi. My old setup uses Google Chat and I have to keep using that Google Account because I can't get Chat when I set up a new Google Account. So it would be nice to know how to use Hangouts, but I don't. I don't even understand how to use Chat. It's just there and it works with the Obi when I select it in Setup.
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Re: Google voice

Post by toofache32 » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:19 pm

Ketawa wrote:Google Voice still doesn't support group texting, so it's a non-starter for me. I can't be the only one who can't stand it when someone responds to a group text and it appears in its own separate thread. I'd hate to do the same to other people. AFAIK from my limited research, it also doesn't receive group texts, i.e. they appear as individual messages and you can't see who else received them, which is an even bigger issue.
You can't send/receive photos through text either, at least last time I tried maybe a year ago.

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