Google Voice on Ubuntu Desktop

This article will show you how to use Google Voice on your Ubuntu Desktop. If you don’t have a Google Voice yet, you can sign up for free and get your own local number. I’ll assume you already have Google Voice, and your computer has a soundcard. In addition, you will also need a headset with a microphone.

Once you have those requirements squared away, you will need to download the Linux plugin for Google Voice. By the way, the plugin is also available for Windows and Mac users. Once the Google Voice plugin installed on your system, you can then start making phone calls.

Here’s a screenshot when dialing out with Google Voice. With Google Voice, you can call any landline or mobile phone in the US and Canada for free. Google Voice has competitive international rates as well, for those wanting to call outside of the US.

I recommend that you do an actual test with your cell phone before calling friends, clients and others. This is just to make sure you can actually hear voices on both ends of the line.

Porting From Vonage To Google Voice

If you want to port your phone number from Vonage to Google Voice, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I will explain the process that I went through porting my number. Just to be clear, you can’t port your phone number directly from Vonage to Google Voice. However, it is possible. Porting a Vonage number to Google Voice require two steps. First, you need to port your number to a wireless provider. I chose AT&T. Second, once the number is transferred to the wireless provider, you will need to port it again to Google Voice. Unfortunately, there is no other easier way.

Vonage to AT&T

You can go with any wireless provider that you prefer. I chose AT&T since I’m already a customer.  The porting process usually takes anywhere from 7-10 days.  Since you are only doing this temporarily, I suggest you get yourself a prepaid GoPhone. Getting a prepaid phones will not require you to be tied to a 2 year contract. You just pay as you go, but AT&T require that I purchase a prepaid card.

So, I went to a AT&T store, and told the sales guy exactly what I was going to do. He did not have a problem with it. He asked me for my Vonage phone number, account number and ID. After a few minutes, I received a SIM card in return. I also had to purchase a $25 prepaid card, but there is no need for me to get a GoPhone. The cheapest GoPhone was $20. Unless you need one, you can probably skip purchasing one.

AT&T to Google Voice

Once the porting process is cleared with AT&T, I ported the number again to Google Voice. You can only port once to Google Voice. The porting fee is $20 payable via Google Wallet. Google will check if your number is available for porting. It will then go over the several porting conditions that I detailed below.

The cost of porting is $20.00 (payable through Google Wallet). Your mobile phone service plan will be terminated when you port your number to Google Voice and your carrier may charge you an early termination fee. Once porting is complete, you will not be able to receive calls to your mobile phone until you complete the following steps: Google Voice is not a mobile phone service provider, so you must setup a new mobile phone service plan (with your existing carrier or a new carrier) and request a new number. Once you’ve secured a new mobile service plan and a new number, you will need to add this new number to your Google Voice account as a forwarding phone. You may be unable to receive text messages for up to 3 business days after the porting process is complete. Your Google Voice number will be replaced by the number you are porting. It will remain on your account for 90 days(you will be able to make it permanent for a one-time $20.00 fee).

Google will also ask you for more details, like the wireless account number, phone number, address, etc. The porting process usually takes about 24 hours. Once you have confirmation from Google that the porting process is complete, your Vonage number should now magically work with Google Voice.

Total Cost

I spent $25 for the prepaid card and $20 for Google Voice port fee. The total cost to port from Vonage to Google Voice was $45. It was worth it, if you really want to hold on to your old number. With Google Voice, I can now call any US or Canadian mobile or landline phone for free.

Sign Up for GMail Google Voice

This past week, Google released the integration of GMail and Google Voice which allows GMail users make free phone calls to anywhere in the US and Canada. At this time, the service is only available to US and Canadian users. Making international calls however, is subject to low rates which can be purchased online.

With GMail Google Voice, users can now make and receive free phone calls to any landline or wireless phones in the US and Canada until the remainder of the year. Google plans to make this service free as long as international calls can support the service. To sign up for Google Voice, go to http://voice.google.com.

You will be asked to choose a local telephone number from a list of numbers available. Once you secured a number, you will need to open up GMail to activate Google Voice. Click Settings -> Labs and enable the Google Voice module. To make a call within GMail, you will need to login to Google Chat.

The green phone will light up underneath your user name when it is ready. Dial a number and make your free phone call. GMail Google Voice works best with a headset with a built-in microphone. Enjoy.

Finally, here a video tutorial on how to make calls in GMail Google Voice.