Google Voice is a service that enjoys popularity thanks to the smart features that it supports. However, many users are still unsure about what it does and how it works. In essence, Google Voice allows you to manage your voicemail features and it is available to Gmail users free of charge. With Google Voice, you can customize your voicemail, read voicemail text transcript and set up rules to route your calls. It is a convenient way to configure your call preferences and it enables you to do things like specifying what calls should be routed to your work phone, and which to your mobile phone, depending on the time.
Google Voice offers many other practical features such as cheap international calls and when you connect to it, your calls, text messages and voicemails are automatically saved. The service works for Android and iOS devices. When you sign up with Google Voice, you get a Voice Number that works along your other phones, but the majority of features are only supported if you use your Google Voice number as your main number. Users who prefer to keep using their regular phone numbers, port their number into Google Voice to be able to enjoy all the options.
Some mobile phone companies like Sprint in the United States, integrate Google Voice natively, but there are other cases in which things are not that simple. For instance, in services that don’t offer Google Voice natively, when you use your regular phone number, outgoing text messages would only display your Google Voice number if you use the Google Voice app. This is not an issue for iOS and Android, since there are official Google Voice applications for these operating systems. However, users of Windows Phone and other platforms only have available third-party apps and some of them don’t offer the same level of quality.
You may experience issues to receive text messages if you don’t have a consistent data connection and while you can enable text forwarding, this cuts the sender’s phone number. Porting out of Google Voice allows you to get your number back to your phone. While many people used to experience issues when porting away from Google Voice, including delays to receive text messages from other Google Voice users, the truth is that porting out has become much easier. If you want a hassle-free solution to port out of Google Voice, keep the below tips into consideration.
Porting out – The simple way
1. The first thing you will need to do is to enable your Google Voice account for porting out. In order to do this, go to https://www.google.com/voice/unlock. There you will be able to unlock your number to let other mobile phone service providers take your phone number from Google.
2. Get your service provider to start the port out process. You will be asked for your Google Voice phone number, Google Voice account number (this is the same as your 10 digit Google Voice number without any spaces or dashes) and your password, which is the PIN that you use to check your Google Voice voicemail. Make sure that you set up a PIN number on your voicemail before starting the porting out process.
3. The port process would only take a couple of hours, but you should be prepared to wait at least 24 hours since this is the timeframe that most companies set to check on the port. You can follow up with your provider to check the status of the transfer.
4. There may be notices or exceptions applied to the transfer request, but you can ask the mobile company to clear them in order to continue.
5. While you are waiting for the process to be completed, or in case something goes wrong, a good option to ensure that you have a backup is to get a SIM card with prepaid service. These are usually available for less than $30 and they are offered by multiple carriers.
The porting out process would only take you two days and you would only need to spend about twenty minutes per day to get your number back. You should receive an email message from Google, letting you know that your number is gone and that you can now request a new Google Voice number on your account. This would enable you to add your old Google Voice number again to your Google Voice account as a forwarding number and it should work as it used to do, before porting.