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How Google Voice Works

Making Google Voice Work for You

Google Voice is perhaps best suited for business professionals who have multiple phone lines and e-mail accounts to manage. Many of us have a home phone, cell phone and work phone (and maybe even a work cell phone), and at least one work and one personal e-mail address. With the way information flies around and the speed with which it can go stale, we live in an up-to-the minute, can't-wait-'til-later society.

Small businesses can truly benefit from using Google Voice. Consider the money a business can save by outfitting each employee with a Google Voice number. As it is, most small businesses use some sort of elaborate phone system. Not only does this entail high startup costs with expensive equipment purchases, each phone line adds to the overall cost of the phone bill, too. With Google Voice, employees would receive many of the features they'd get with a phone system. The one major concern small business need to take in account is their identity with established phone numbers. Unfortunately, Google Voice cannot port existing phone numbers. At least, not as of this writing. Also, the voicemail to e-mail transcribing we mentioned earlier probably isn't adequate enough to use for business purposes. We'll get more into that in the next section.

In addition to GrandCentral users, Gizmo5 users were integrated with Google Voice after Google purchased the latter in 2009. Gizmo5 is a voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) communications network similar to Skype that once worked hand-in-hand with GrandCentral. So those who used Gizmo5 were able to set up their account with Google Voice without any major hurdles to overcome.

Google Voice can eliminate costly features on your existing phone service and in some cases, replace elaborate phone systems if you're willing to take time setting it up and learning how to optimize its features. Sounds perfect, right? But before you ditch every phone service or system you have, make sure to read about some of the snags you may face in the next section, just to make sure it's something you'll be comfortable using.