About three weeks ago, I finally got an invite for Google Voice, the new phone-managing service from Google that I’d been itching to try out since before it was even called Google Voice (back then, it was called GrandCentral, and I still wanted it really, really badly).
Google Voice has a ton of great features, and in a lot of ways fundamentally changes the way you’ll use your phone. A lot of things suddenly become easier with Google Voice – checking your voicemail, sending text messages, and more – and they’re all best dealt with through your computer.
Update: Google Voice lets you make calls from your computer now so that you don't need to go through the lengthy process anymore listed below.
But, as of now, Google Voice doesn’t inherently let you make calls from your computer. I mean, I’ve got a microphone and speakers on my computer, as well as a fast Internet connection – why shouldn’t I be able to make calls, ideally for free?
Disclaimer: This is all assuming you’ve already got a Google Voice account. They’re sending out invites at lightning-speed, so if you don’t have one, go get on the list!
Now, to make calls:
The whole process only takes about five minutes, and doesn’t cost a nickel. Because you're using a SIP number, all the data is transmitted over your cable connection rather than your phone network. That means you'll need fast Internet to really make this work, but also means it doesn't cost a thing!
I’m not sure how long this will be around (I’m sure carriers won’t be fans), but for now it’s a fantastic solution for making calls directly from your computer.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.