Can you use Google Voice as a VoIP number?

What is Google Voice?

Google Voice is a phone and messaging service developed by Google that provides users with a single phone number for calling, text messaging, and voicemail. With Google Voice, users can make and receive calls on any device, including smartphones, tablets, and computers using the Google Voice app or by visiting the Google Voice website (

Some of the key features of Google Voice include:
– A free phone number for calling and texting
– Voicemail transcription and storage
– Customizable voicemail greetings
– Call routing to link phones and devices
– SMS messaging from computers or mobile devices
– International calling capabilities
– Conference calling
– Call screening and blocking

In summary, Google Voice acts as a central hub for making calls, sending texts, and managing voicemail using any internet-connected device. Users can consolidate multiple phone numbers into one Google Voice number for streamlined communications and connectivity (

Key Features of Google Voice

Google Voice offers several useful features that make it an attractive VoIP phone number option for businesses and individuals. Some of the key features include:

Voicemail Transcription – Google Voice can transcribe voicemail messages and deliver them to you as text messages or emails. This makes it easy to quickly skim and manage voicemails without having to dial in and listen to each one (Source).

Call Screening – The call screening feature allows you to screen calls and avoid unwanted ones. When someone calls your Google Voice number, you can choose to answer, reject, or screen the call by having Google Assistant ask who’s calling and why. You get a transcript of the caller’s response to decide whether to pick up (Source).

Virtual Phone Number – Google Voice provides you with a virtual phone number that can ring multiple devices. You can configure it to ring your cell phone, landline, multiple phones, and even your computer. This gives you flexibility in how you receive calls (Source).

Using Google Voice as a Business Phone Number

One of the key benefits of Google Voice is the ability to use it as a business phone number. Google Voice provides several features that make it an attractive option for businesses compared to traditional phone services.

With Google Voice, you can get a dedicated business phone number that can be customized with a local area code and phone number to give your business a professional appearance ( This business number can ring multiple phones to make sure calls are always answered.

Google Voice also provides call routing features to route calls to specific people or departments in your organization. You can set up ring groups, call screening, voicemail transcriptions, and other advanced call handling options ([1]).

Voicemail is another useful feature of Google Voice for business usage. Google Voice provides voicemail transcription so you can read voicemails in your email or on the web. Transcribed voicemails make it easier to scan for important messages without needing to listen to every recording.

Overall, the customizable phone number, intelligent call routing, and advanced voicemail features make Google Voice a viable option for using as a business phone system.

Porting Your Existing Phone Number to Google Voice

One of the key benefits of Google Voice is the ability to keep your existing phone number when signing up. This process is known as phone number porting. Here’s how it works:

First, you’ll need to verify that your current phone number is eligible for porting to Google Voice. Generally, mobile numbers and landlines can be ported, but there may be restrictions based on your carrier [1].

Next, you’ll go through Google Voice’s porting process by entering your phone number, account number, and other verification details. Google will then submit the porting request to your carrier [2].

The porting process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete. Once finished, your existing number will work seamlessly with Google Voice.

A major advantage is that you can have Google Voice forward calls and texts to your mobile phone, landline, or both. This allows you to keep your number while taking advantage of Google Voice features.

Making Outgoing Calls with Google Voice

One of the key features of Google Voice is the ability to make outgoing VoIP calls over the internet. This allows you to bypass traditional phone carriers and their per minute charges. To make an outgoing call with Google Voice, you have a couple different options:

Using Google Hangouts – Google Hangouts is integrated directly into Google Voice, allowing you to make calls over VoIP. Simply open the Google Hangouts app or extension and you can dial any number right from your Google Voice account. This will initiate a VoIP call using your Google Voice number as the caller ID.

Calling rates – All calls to the US and Canada are free from Hangouts when using your Google Voice number. International calls are charged at very reasonable per minute rates. See [1] for current international rates.

Call quality – In general, call quality when using Hangouts is very good. Google utilizes cutting edge codecs for excellent voice clarity. Call quality can depend on your internet connection speed though. For best results, use Hangouts for Google Voice calls only when you have a strong broadband connection.

Receiving Incoming Calls on Google Voice

One of the key features of Google Voice is its ability to receive incoming calls to your Google Voice number. There are a couple different ways you can receive these incoming calls:

Forwarding Calls to Linked Numbers

You can forward your incoming Google Voice calls to any phone number you want. This allows your Google Voice number to ring multiple devices at once. For example, you could forward your Google Voice number to ring both your cell phone and landline simultaneously. To set up call forwarding, go to the settings in your Google Voice account online or in the mobile app and enter the phone numbers you want calls forwarded to [1].

Answering via Web or Mobile App

Another option is to answer your Google Voice calls directly in the Google Voice web interface or mobile app. When someone calls your Google Voice number, you’ll get a notification on your computer or phone. You can then answer the call through your device’s microphone and speakers. This allows you to answer calls to your Google Voice number from anywhere, even if you don’t have access to your regular phone [2].

International Calling with Google Voice

One of the key features of Google Voice is the ability to make international calls to other countries. However, international calling rates and quality can vary compared to traditional phone services.

According to this source, Google Voice international calling rates are quite restrictive for businesses located outside the US. Calling rates to other countries can be expensive at up to $0.25 per minute.

In terms of call quality for international calls made through Google Voice, this analysis found it can be inconsistent. Factors like a weak internet connection can lead to choppy audio or dropped calls. The call quality is not on par with traditional international calling plans.

Overall, while Google Voice enables international calling, it works best for domestic US calls. Businesses should evaluate alternatives like Skype or local calling plans for cheaper and higher quality international calls.

Comparison to Other VoIP Services

Google Voice compares favorably to other VoIP services like Skype in a few key areas:

Features: While Skype offers video calling, Google Voice focuses just on voice calls and voicemail. Google Voice includes call screening, blocking, transcription, and forwarding features that Skype lacks. However, Skype offers video chat, screen sharing, and group calling features.

Cost: Google Voice is free, while Skype charges a monthly fee for unlimited calling plans to landlines and mobile phones. However, Skype-to-Skype calls are free. Google Voice charges low per-minute rates for international calls, while Skype’s rates are generally lower.

Overall, Google Voice wins for convenient voice calling features from your existing number and cost for domestic calls. Skype is better for international calls and video chat. So they both have advantages depending on your needs.

Limitations of Google Voice

While Google Voice offers many benefits as a VoIP phone service, it does have some limitations to be aware of. One major limitation is that Google Voice currently does not support 911 emergency calling in the same way a traditional phone line does. When you dial 911 using Google Voice, it will attempt to route your call to an emergency dispatcher, but will not provide your exact location. For true 911 emergency calling, a regular phone line is recommended.

Another limitation of Google Voice is the lack of video calling support. At this time, Google Voice only supports voice calls and does not offer any video chat or video conferencing abilities. Services like Skype or Zoom would be better options if you require face-to-face video conversations.

According to, other limitations include no administrator login for business users, no call queues, and no unlimited phone numbers. While useful for personal use, Google Voice lacks some key features required for operating as a full business phone system.

Overall, Google Voice excels at providing low-cost VoIP phone service, SMS texting, voicemail, and convenient features like call forwarding and screening. But businesses and those needing full-featured business phone capabilities may find the limitations too restrictive compared to dedicated VoIP business phone services.


In summary, Google Voice can function as a VoIP phone number with both incoming and outgoing calling capabilities. The service is free for domestic calls within the US and Canada and provides features like voicemail transcriptions, call screening, call forwarding, and more. Google Voice integrates well with other Google services and apps, allowing you to make and receive calls across multiple devices.

However, there are some limitations to using Google Voice as a primary business phone number. The major drawbacks are lack of outbound calling support internationally, inability to port phone numbers in many countries, higher costs for international inbound calls, and reliance on Google services for full functionality.

For US-based businesses that do not require international calling support, Google Voice can be a cost-effective VoIP alternative to pricier solutions. The flexibility to use it across devices and integration with other Google tools make it well-suited for solopreneurs, freelancers, and small business owners on a budget. However, larger enterprises may require more robust PBX features only offered by paid VoIP providers.

Overall, Google Voice is a viable VoIP option for domestic calling needs, but businesses with international clients will likely need to utilize another business VoIP service that enables global outbound calling and inbound phone number porting.

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