Coming Soon: Port Your Number To Google Voice For $20

Looks like soon Google Voice will let you port your own phone number over to their service for $20.

Previously you had to get a new phone number if you wanted to use the low-priced PC-based calling service. The service was rolled out to a few test users before word leaked and the info page was taken down, but Google told Engadget they “plan to offer this feature to all users in the near future.” Just keep those peepers poised on your settings page for the option to reappear.

For people who want to ditch their cellphone plan and go all Google Voice, this move takes down one more barrier. (You’ll still have to deal with any applicable early termination fees, though.)

Google Voice now lets you port your own phone number (update: option disappears [Engadget]


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  1. HogwartsProfessor says:

    So then your number would be all on the computer, and you would do it through there, like Skype? I’m still a little hazy on the whole Google voice thing.

    This would be good if you were having issues with the phone or the carrier, I guess. Keep the number, ditch the hardware / evil company without losing your number.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      You can just use Google Voice like Skype, or you can have it forward calls to any phone you like. You can even set rules for which contact numbers or which contact groups ring through to which number, which is what I do.

      I *so* want to do this with my home number.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      As I eluded to below, if you were allowed a data-only plan, you could run a free phone number through your data plan to make calls. But I don’t think that’s an option. When it becomes one, I will jump on the GV bandwagon. I’ll also jump on the smartphone bandwagon. Currently on a dumbphone.

    • Rachacha says:

      I use Google voice so I can have the calls forwarded to my cell phone or home phone from the office. My work does not issue me a cell phone, and occasionally I need to work from home or a remote location, so I can set up my message at work to tell the caller that I am out of the office, but they can try my personal cell phone at “555-1212”. This way, people can get in touch with me, but I am not giving out my real number, and I can turn off forwarding at any time and easily block callers.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Not being savvy with the current state of smartphones, he asks: Does this in any way make it possible to pay for a data only plan on a cellphone and then use google voice through your data plan?

    If not, is there a good use for this?

    • Darrone says:

      Not really, simply because there are no major carriers that offer only data plans. HOWEVER, there are tons of awesome GV features that are only available with a GV number (or a ported number) such as controling what devices ring, at what times, for what people. For example, during work hours, my desk phone and cellphone rings. nightime, my home phone and cellphone ring, and at night, only my cellphone vibrates.

      I can also record calls, take free calls on my computer, screen my calls, and do about 15000 other cool things. its super useful.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        How do you do the scheduling? Under Settings>Groups, all I can do is change greetings, turn screening on or off, and choose which phones ring.

    • Necoras says:

      Usually no. Most carriers require a data plan on top of your normal phone plan and will not allow just a data plan. I suppose you could try it with Clear or something similar if you could get a phone that talked to their network.

      Google voice has some nice features that aren’t otherwise available. You can more easily screen calls, or redirect calls from or too certain numbers. For example, you could have calls to your work phone number redirected to you GV number so that your cell phone rings, but then have them automatically directed to a specific mailbox. There are some other benefits, but I’m not sure what all they are.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      My new prepaid T-mobile phone was wi-fi enabled right out of the box even before I signed up for a T-mobile account. It’s great if you have access to free wi-fi as you don’t spend your minutes. Works with Google Voice & Skype.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      Google Voice wifi calling is just a function of the computer based service running inside your Gmail. Google Voice on your cell phone does not operate as a VOIP service. It just allows you to call from and receive calls to a different number other than the device you are holding. Using Google Voice on your phone does not require any type of data plan at all.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Then I await Google VOIP, and data-only cell plans. Or perhaps Google VOIP and an iPad.

  3. mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

    But I already have an awesome Google voice # AND an awesome cellphone #. (Well at least for a crazy cat lady) lol. I’ll keep them both as is thankyouverymuch.

  4. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    so, if i don’t want to pay an ETF, do i just need to wait until my contract is up?

  5. Darrone says:

    This is cool, if u were actually too afraid to give up your old number. I took that plunge, and once you do this becomes unnecessary.

  6. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Last I checked, no MMS through Google Voice numbers… only text. If they have that feature and a way to dial-through my Google number (so outgoing calls don’t show up as my natural phone number) I’d be all in.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      You can have GV place a call for you; it will ring your home phone (for example), then when you pick up it will ring the other number. The caller ID at the other number is your GV #. I’ve been doing this when calling businesses that I don’t completely trust (like when calling around to inquire about estimates for services; some contractors or vendors will harass you, thinking somehow that if they annoy you enough, you will give them money).

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        Oooh, gotta try that trick. Sometimes Google apps are mysterious in what neat features they can do. At least to me anyway.

  7. Hotscot says:

    I must admit…I’m confused.

    If you port your number to GV are you then giving up your normal provider, for example AT&T?

    How then can you use your cellphone in normal use?

  8. sirwired says:

    I have about a 30% failure rate trying to make calls with GV… I’d give it a couple of years before I’d even think about doing something like this.

    • TooManyHobbies says:

      I’ve had no problems, myself. I’ve talked to people for up to 2 hours at a time and can’t tell that I’m not on a normal connection.

      • johnva says:

        I’ve had some problems with Google Voice’s sound quality, myself. And that’s even on an otherwise very fast broadband Internet connection. I usually don’t get many call failures, but the voice quality is noticeably worse than my normal cell phone. I’m using the iPhone Google Voice app, if that makes any difference.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      I love google voice’s voice-to-text translations into my email. They are good but also good for a laugh.

  9. The cake is a lie! says:

    I’m not sure how this would really be useful. I LOVE my google voice. It is a magic number which forwards calls to multiple phones. With my Android phone I can call using normal plan minutes and service, but to the person I’m calling it displays my Google Voice number. I put this number on business cards and resumes and everything else which requires a phone number. Even if I change service providers or lose my phone or whatever, calls will still get to me wherever I am. Nothing sucks more than to have your number on business cards and then have your number change, so this saves me a lot of trouble.

    It also allows you to screen your calls just as you would with your answering machine. Put your resume with your phone number on Career Builder’s website and you are going to get slammed with spam callers. With Google Voice I can tell it is not a real person before I answer it. The same goes true with any caller. They are asked to identify themselves before it passes the call to your cell phone, so nobody sneaks up on you. In my business I rely on a lot of referral type customers, so I don’t always have their numbers in my cell phone. I like being able to tell when it is someone I want to talk to compared to someone I don’t without having to actually talk to them.

    Anyway, Google Voice is an absolutely amazing thing and probably one of the best things about carrying an Android phone for me. I couldn’t live without it at this point. However, I don’t see the value of porting another number to Google Voice. The beauty of this is that you get a new number which is essentially disposable. Other than the advantages of free voicemail and being able to control your caller ID number when you are calling from your computer or google voice app, I just don’t see the draw and I certainly don’t see it being something worth $20 bucks.

    Sorry for the rant. I love Google Voice and if you don’t have one then you really should look into it. It is open to everybody now and not just invite only like it was when I got mine. It is a great thing that Google offers and has really helped me out a ton!

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      wait… I just figured it out. So if someone is in the situation where they are shutting off a phone which has the number on all their business cards, they can port their number to Google Voice and continue to use it. I can see that. Actually, now that I understand that, I will probably do that when I shut off the cell phone that 80% of my customers still have and use. I’ve only been keeping that phone on because I haven’t been able to communicate the new number to all of them and people still use it. I don’t want to lose the business, so I keep the phone active and just don’t use it. I see now. This is actually a great thing!

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        A more proactive approach is only give out your GV number and forward it to your business line, then when your business line closes nothing changes for your clients.

        • AustinTXProgrammer says:

          Sure, that works great with advance planing, but now they let the rest of us do something.

  10. hennese says:

    I am confused, why would this result in my cell service being shut off? My cellphone has 2 #s now, a GV and its own # from Verizon. If I port my home # to GV, cant I just forward that to my existing phone line. It looks like it can only port CELL phone #s to GV, not homephone, or am I reading this wrong? I dont give a rats ass if my home phone gets cut off since there is no contract for that. What I ultimately want is to have my current home phone # to ring on my cell phone.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      It would only shut off your phone if you port your cell phone number to Google. Not if you have your google number forwarding to your phone. Look at Google as being a new provider and you are moving your phone number to them. If you are shutting off your land line and don’t want to have to tell everybody that you have a new number then you can port the number to Google and still receive calls. It is a great idea, actually. it took me a minute to understand it too.

  11. TooManyHobbies says:

    I just went with another number. It’s less painful to change a phone number than to change an email address. I just call the 10 or 15 people who ever call me and give them the new number.

    I use a redirector for my email too, on a domain that I own. If I ever change providers I don’t have to bother telling anyone, I just change where the redirector sends my mail.

  12. MyTQuinn says:

    It seems clear that Google Voice is misunderstood. If you port your cell number to Google Voice you’ll end up canceling your cell service. This doesn’t mean that you can’t sign up for service again using the same or different phone. Also, Google Voice is not (by itself) VOIP, and will use voice minutes to make or receive calls (not taking into account any friends and family type features of your cell phone plan). Even the author seems poorly informed here… you can’t go “all Google Voice” – it must forward to an actual phone with working service.

    • hennese says:

      Not entirely true, or I am slightly misinformed. If you use Verizon, and GV, and someone calls your Google Voice # and that # is forwarded to your cellphone, the callerID will come up as either the actual # the person is calling from, or a generic GV access # (not yours) – if you add this GV# to your 10 Friends and Family, it is counted as a free call. Now, you won’t ever know who is truely calling you, but the call is 100% FREE. Same for outgoing calls. You can use the GV dialer, and somehow configure it to call the # for you, then call you back, connecting you to the outgoing call, again 100% free since it actually uses one of the 10 friends and family free #s. Now, I do not have this setup, so I may be a little incorrect on the details….

  13. Red Cat Linux says:

    I’ve used Google Voice for incoming calls only a few months as an experiment.

    The reception is not awesome, and I frequently have to hang up and return the other persons call using either the landline or the cellphone (non GV) connection.

    I don’t wanna port my number to them.

  14. There's room to move as a fry cook says:
    To reduce wireless bills, some try an ‘iPod phone’

  15. benh999 says:

    Sounds pretty useless. Why port a cellphone number to a non-cellular service? Porting a landline number on the other hand would be great.

  16. arachne says:

    I use Google voice for all of those things that want a phone number. I put the number on the Do Not Call list and then use Google Voice to 1) flag calls from telemarketers and after the first call they play a special message saying the phone is not in service; 2) take messages that also are transcribed to text and emailed to me– fairly accurate depending on how clear the speaker’s voice is– telemarketers are very clear. 3) use the number and the message to file complaints with the FTC. I cannot believe that they are still running that extend your warranty on your car scam.

  17. HighontheHill says:

    This is something for which I have been waiting a long time, we have had our current home phone number for twenty plus years and want to ditch the land line entirely, we both have cells to which these calls can be transferred and each can pick up the calls from those to whom they are (most likely) intended.

    For me GV is fantastic, I have 2 dozen people white listed and my phone rings when they call (this white list is dynamic), for the balance of the couple hundred who have my GV number I can check my messages each evening on the PC; this number is for a side business and people call me 24/7, these calls I do not take while at my primary business…

  18. samandiriel says:

    Google Voice is not a new concept – there are lots of other services out there that do the same thing. The difference is that GV is free :)

    Call quality has gotten steadily worse since Google first started offering GV (I have been using GV since the start; it was actually originally Grand Central, which Google bought). I get lots of people complaining about choppy voice, and since about a year ago there has been a huge problem with a 1 or 2 second delay when I speak when calling Canada. Calls have often staticky as well since GV went public.

    Yay, free. Boo, you get what you pay for :P

  19. wagnerism says:

    I won’t be porting my home land line number over when I drop it.

    Almost all of the calls on my landline are unsolicited calls. Do-not-call list be damned – and the politicians wrote themselves as an exception.

  20. FixinTo says:

    We ported our landline number to Clear VoIP when we changed to Clear’s internet service (excellent, by the way!). It was very inexpensive to add the VoiP service because Clear service then became a “bundle.” Then we got rid of all our landline phones so nothing rings. Voicemails left on the old land number arrive as .wav files via e-mail. I can listen to the first 3 words of a VM and delete the recording if it’s a junk call. When the Clear contract expires, I’ll port the number to Google Voice so I can save a little time by reading the message instead. Even though the accuracy of Google Voice transcriptions are terrible, you can tell whether the call is important or junk.