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I Need an Alternative to Google Voice

Posted on 2014-03-06
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Last Modified: 2014-03-07
Can someone recommend a VOIP service that operates similarly to Google Voice?

I want to get a virtual phone number that can auto-forward all incoming calls to my cell phone. In addition I would like to be able to make outgoing calls (from my smart phone or computer) that will display that phone number in the caller ID of anyone receiving that outgoing call.

Also, it's critical that this number be able to receive text messages and forward those to my smartphone or email inbox. Will need to send text messages from my smart phone that display as coming from this virtual number.

I see there are companies like Grasshopper.com that offer this functionality, but they all seem to charge between $12 and $20 per month. Would prefer a cheaper alternative. Or free would be even better, but ultimately I realize I will probably have to pay something.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:anuneznyc
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Cliff Galiher earned 250 total points
ID: 39911468
The *only* other service I know that provides all the features you listed is called "TextPlus."  There are plenty of VoIP providers out there, but most haven't bothered to set up SMS support because to run VoIP, you still need an "app" of some sort and it is easier just to provide native messaging in the app and not have to conform to the SMS standard and set up SMS gateways that tie into the cellular networks and pay those interchange fees.

That's why you see apps like WhatsApp and Viber gaining rapid popularity, and mainstays continuing to advance to complete, like Skype and even Blackberry Messenger. Is there a benefit to SMS? Sure. Someone can message you without a special app. But most app developers and VoIP providers seem to have decided the cost doesn't justify the service and haven't found a way to monetize it. Even Google Voice is limited (no MMS support, *only* SMS) ...

It's a rough marketplace right now and rapidly evolving. But your SMS requirement, you've really limited the field of options. Since Google Voice doesn't seem to meet your needs, there may not *be* a better option.
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 39912530
Thank you very much, Cliff. TextPlus does look good. But there seems to be a problem for me.

I do NOT want to use my current cell #. I need a brand new phone # that I can then forward to my current cell phone. This does not seem to be an option w/ TextPlus.
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39912853
Textiles does issue phone numbers from their own pool like skypeIn and Google Voice.
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 39912867
Textiles? Please send me a link. Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39912873
Phone autocorrect. TextPlus.
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 39912900
Oh, OK. Great. Let me look into that.

Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 39913316
Yes, you're correct, Cliff. That's perfect!

Thank you very much!
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Author Closing Comment

by:anuneznyc
ID: 39913318
The perfect solution. Thanks!
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