Yesterday I posted an article with a title of Google Extends Free Voice Calls in Google Voice for All of 2012. That article is still available at http://goo.gl/Dd5zG. In the article, I mentioned that "I disconnected my old telephone service several years ago and I don't miss it. My new telephone looks like a normal cordless phone; I don't wear a headset and I don't need to leave my computer running to receive calls."
Newsletter reader Sue asked a question: "How do you use it with a regular phone if your phone service has been disconnected?"
I thought I would share the answer here where everyone can see it in case anyone else has the same question.
When I wrote "regular phone," I meant that Google Voice works with any kind of telephone: a cell phone, an old-fashioned phone from your local telephone company, a computer VoIP phone, anything at all. In my case, I use the Skype telephone service. The Skype phone does not connect to the telephone company's wires. Instead, it connects to the broadband Internet connection in my home. Here is a picture of a Skype cordless phone that is similar to the one I use at home:
I also use Google Voice with my cell phone.
Google Voice has complete explanations online. You can start at http://support.google.com/voice/?hl=en and then click on "Google Voice basics" in the left column.
Also click on "Making and receiving calls."
In short, Google Voice uses whatever telephone you already have: an old-fashioned phone from the local telephone company or a cell phone or a computer VoIP phone or most anything else.
Incoming calls simply ring on whatever telephone you specify.
There are at least three different methods of initiating outgoing calls. I normally go to http://www.google.com/voice and log in with my user name and password. Then I click on CALL and enter the phone number I wish to call. Google then FIRST calls my normal phone. When I answer it, Google then dials out on another line to the telephone I am calling and connects the two lines together. When the other party answers, I simply start talking.
A second method is one that I don't use much but you can place a call from your regular phone to Google and then, after Google answers, start a call to another (long-distance) number. This second method works just like most calling cards.
A third method of placing outgoing calls only works for people who use Gmail accounts for their email. You can click on a phone number in Gmail and that initiates a call to that number.
I don't have a headset connected to my computer. All my Google Voice calls are made either through a normal telephone or sometimes my cell phone and at other times through a VoIP phone.
I am presently experimenting with still another computer VoIP service. If I like it and decide to keep it, I will probably write about it in a few days.
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