How to set up Google Voice on your computer or mobile device, and use it to make calls and send messages

GoogleYou can use Google Voice to link phone numbers and connect multiple devices for calling, texting, and more.

Google Voice is a free in internet telephone service that allows you to combine all your other phone services, and forward calls to several devices at a time.

Let’s say, for instance, that you have a landline at home, as well as a business phone and your personal smartphone. Rather than bouncing between three different numbers and devices, you can give out one simple Google Voice number and when someone calls, all of them will ring.

You can also use Google Voice on a computer to place and receive calls, as the service works over Wi-Fi.

For the user who simply has too many phones and numbers to manage, Google Voice is a great resource for merging multiple communication channels. It’s also good for regular travellers who are forced to bounce between carriers, changing phone numbers and paying a fortune for international calls, or for those users who are looking to record incoming calls for free.

Here’s a step-by-step to get you started using Google Voice. Be aware that you’ll need to have a Google account first.

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How to set up Google Voice on a computer

The simplest way to set up Voice is by going to the Google Voice website on a computer and clicking “Get Google Voice.” You’ll need to be signed into your Google account.

Web 1 Get Google VoiceOlivia Young/Business InsiderStart by signing into your account and downloading Google Voice.

1. The page will then prompt you to select which device you’ll be using the service on (Android, iOS, or Web). Click Web.

2. Per usual, you’ll be asked to read and accept Google’s terms and conditions. Click continue.

3. Google will give you a phone number to match your region, so type in your city or area code and choose one from Google’s available selection.

Web 2 Choose a numberOlivia Young/Business InsiderType in your area code to find an available number.

4. You’ll then be prompted to verify your existing phone number, so click “Verify,” type in the number you want Google to forward your calls to and click “Send Code.”

Web 3 add a numberOlivia Young/Business InsiderLink an existing phone number.

5. Once you receive Google’s text or call, type it into the website and click “Verify.”

6. To confirm that this is the number you want your calls forwarded to, click “Claim.” You can add more numbers later.

7. It will prompt you to click “Finish” twice, then you’re done setting it up.

8. If you’d like to add more numbers, then find the “Linked numbers” section in your settings, under which you can click “New linked number.”

Settings google voiceOlivia Young/Business InsiderLink additional numbers in the ‘Linked numbers’ section of your settings.

9. Repeat the process of entering in a phone number and Google will send a verification code via text or calling, which you will then enter into the website.

10. To see all your numbers, return to the settings page and locate the “Calls” tab on the left side of the page (pictured above). All the numbers you’ve added should be checkmarked.

How to set up Google Voice on a mobile device

1. Download the Google Voice app on your iPhone or Android phone.

Mobile 1 get Google VoiceOlivia Young/Business InsiderDownload Google Voice from the app store of your mobile device.

2. Once downloaded, open the app and sign into your Google account.

3. Accept the terms and conditions by clicking “Continue.”

4. Search for your area code or type in your city to pick out a new phone number, then tap “Select” once you’ve found one you want.

Mobile 3 Choose a numberOlivia Young/Business InsiderTap ‘Search’ to find an available number by area code or city.

5. Follow the prompts to finish setting up and customise your settings by following the same steps from the computer section above.

How to use Google Voice

You can treat Google Voice just like your normal Phone app, with even more flexibility.

To make a call through Google Voice, simply go to “Calls” and type in the number. In settings menu, you can set up and listen to voicemail, block numbers, and customise other preferences.

You can also send and receive text messages through Google Voice using Wi-Fi or cellular data, but there are certain restrictions. Texts are free if you’re sending messages to anyone in the US or Canada, but when you’re outside the US and not using Wi-Fi, “your mobile phone company might charge you extra roaming fees to send a text,” according to Google.

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