What Is Google Voice?
Back in the beginning of September, Google introduced “Google Voice”, a free service to anyone with a Gmail account. What is it you ask? It’s a free phone number that can be forwarded buy google voice numbers
to any home phone or cell phone you already own. You can also make calls from your laptop or desktop computer using the Google Voice interface or right from Gmail.
Now you ask, why and what would I do with another phone number? Simple, use it for your side business or as a new personal number that you only want certain contacts to know about. The Google voice number lets you adjust settings to forward to one or more phones, choose when (what time) to forward the calls, and set up a separate voice mail to handle all calls that are not picked up.
Let’s say you have a website that you have a contact number for. You don’t want to miss an opportunity for a new client, but you also don’t want to be bothered after 6pm or on weekends. Google voice allows you set the time and day for forwarding or going straight to voice mail. So how would you know (assuming you have caller ID ) that the person calling is someone from your website or just one of your friends calling. Simply set the Google Voice to display the “Google Voice Number” instead of the incoming caller. Now you can answer (or not) your phone properly.
Programing your Google Phone number to go straight to voice-mail after hours or weekends also helps keep telemarketers at bay.
There are also some new VOIP products such as the “Ooma Telco” that integrates Google Voice with additional features. So whether you use a land line, cell phone, VOIP via DSL, Google Voice can enhance your business and home communication options.