Google Voice As Office Phone
I just recently activated a Google Voice number, and wondered how I can start using it as part of my work. It's free (for now), it's easy to setup, it's super cool how they allow you to browse and choose from dozens of phone numbers in your area code - but it's tied to the computer. Or so I thought.
Like Skype, but There's More
If you've used Skype, you already know about free phone calls over the Internet. It's mostly good quality, easy to use, and offers a number of excellent features. And if you want to use a regular phone instead of just your computer speakers, or a headset, you can - they sell USB Phones that you plug in to your computer and use with Skype. These same devices could work with Google Voice as well. But I wanted to #1, use my office cordless phone, and #2, be able to receive calls even when my computer is off.
I did a little research and found that with an ATA device, you can use a regular old phone with a service like Google Voice. It's similar to what I've had with Vonage for years - they ship you a router (aka Vonage Box), and you add it to your Internet or wireless network. And you plug your own phone in to the phone jack on the back. Boom, you're in business with an VOIP phone.
But how to do this with Google Voice? As I said, you need an ATA device. I came across a company called Obihai Technologies that offered one with tools specially tailored to this task. For $50 or so on Amazon.com, you can order one of their boxes (I bought the obi110), and they have a simple process for setting up their box with your Google Voice account.
And now I'm doing it! Google Voice with my office phone, as my office line. And for now, it's free. I love it. I'd say go ahead and give me a call. But honestly, I'd prefer you just leave your comments below, or contact me online.Tags: