Is Google Voice right for you?

By Sarah Nelson, Technology Services Coordinator

Google Voice is a free service that provides you with a phone number you can use to make and receive calls, send text messages, customize your voicemail, read voicemail text transcripts, and more.

Why should I use Google Voice?

You may prefer not to give out your personal phone number to LEAs, parents, or colleagues. Instead, you can use your Google Voice number to protect the privacy of your real phone number. When people call your Google Voice number, the call will get forwarded to you, thus keeping your real number private. You can decide which one of your phones rings, or does not ring, whenever anyone calls that number. For example, when a parent calls, you may only want your office phone to ring. However, if a colleague calls, you may want your cell phone and office phone to ring.

What happens if someone calls my Google Voice number and leaves me a voicemail? Whenever you receive a voicemail, the message goes directly to your Gmail inbox. Even better, the voicemail will be transcribed into text.

What happens to my Google Voice number if I change cell phone provider?

Since your Google Voice number is not attached to a SIM card on your cell phone, it remains yours, even if you switch providers, move states, or change your home phone number.

Are there any additional Google Voice features I should know about?

(1) You can set up your Google Voice account so incoming text messages go to your Gmail inbox as an email message, in addition to being sent to your phone. When you reply to the email text message, it will convert back to a text message and send to your correspondent. (2) You can hold conference calls with more than two participants on Google Voice. (3) Google Voice can ring up to six phones at a time.

How do I get started using Google Voice?

To get started, go to: If you need assistance, please contact Cari Teske (Marshalltown), Kay Schmalen (Clear Lake), or Sarah Nelson (Cedar Falls).

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