Google Voice Review: Features & Alternatives for 2023
This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
Google Voice is a voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) provider offering free local phone numbers and low-cost monthly plans. In this Google Voice review, we gave it a high score for ease of use because of its intuitive, user-friendly interface. It got a lower score for niche features since it lacks the comprehensive call functions that most VoIP providers offer. With its Google Workspace app integrations, it is best for existing users of Google’s software services.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Google’s cloud-based phone system. By the end of this review, you’ll learn about the benefits of Google Voice for businesses as well as its pros and cons.
Google Voice Review: At a Glance
What We Liked
- User-friendly interface
- Free local number
- Fast and easy to set up
- Integrates with Google Workspace tools
- Lacks toll-free and vanity numbers
- Limited call management features
- Free version is only available to the U.S.
- Global coverage is limited to 13 countries
When to Use Google Voice
- Cheap VoIP service: Businesses on a budget will benefit from Google Voice phone plans starting at only $10 per user, monthly.
- Home office: Google Voice caters to home-based solopreneurs who simply need a cloud-based solution for placing and receiving calls.
- Free business phone number: Google Voice offers a free phone number without a monthly subscription.
- Google Workspace integration: Google Voice is one of our top business phone systems for heavy users of Google’s cloud services.
When to Use an Alternative
- Advanced call management: Consider other top VoIP providers that offer more call functions than Google Voice.
- Virtual phone numbers: Discover the top VoIP solutions with toll-free, vanity, and international numbers.
- Industry-specific integrations: Try RingCentral, which integrates with 300-plus business applications.
Google Voice Deciding Factors
Google Voice offers an affordable VoIP solution that seamlessly integrates with Google Workspace apps. Users have the option to port their existing number or create a local number for personal or business use. Both personal and business plans include unlimited calls and texts and the ability to switch between connected devices during a call.
Small to medium-sized businesses that are already on the Google Workspace ecosystem
Annual or Volume Discounts Available
No annual or volume-based discounts
Google Voice Alternatives
Google Voice is a promising solution for small businesses looking for a lightweight VoIP platform. However, its limited capabilities don’t work well for businesses with advanced call management needs or large companies that need integration with other third-party software. Here are some Google Voice alternatives for different business requirements:
Companies needing unlimited international calling
Businesses needing extensive third-party integrations and a robust call management system
Remote teams wanting a unified communications platform with rich team collaboration tools
Monthly Starting Price (per User)
Google Voice pricing is divided into two account types: personal and business. The personal plan is free of charge but is exclusive within the U.S. It comes with one local number, voicemail transcription, and call forwarding. The business account is currently available in 13 regions, with monthly plans starting at only $10 per user. It offers more access to features that the personal plan lacks, such as ring groups and an auto-attendant.
Google Voice Plans
Solopreneurs needing a free virtual phone number
Startups or small businesses wanting unlimited calls and texts
Mid to large-sized businesses that need a local presence
Businesses needing advanced call features and global presence
Number of Users
Unlimited Calling to the U.S.
Unlimited Text Messaging in the U.S.
Google Voice Features
Google Voice is a cloud-based phone system that allows you to manage calls from any device you prefer, allowing access to information wherever you want. The features available depend on the type of Google Voice account you have. For instance, the personal plan includes basic call and text messaging, while the business plan offers a broader set of call management features, including the ability to manage incoming call flow.
We awarded Google Voice a score of 4.38 out of 5 because it offers an attractive array of VoIP features, such as a multi-level auto-attendant, ring groups, and call recording. It turns any device into a business phone, allowing users to send text messages, make and receive phone calls, and forward calls from one number to another. On the downside, the personal plan is limited to certain features like voicemail transcription and call forwarding.
Google Voice doesn’t have much to offer when it comes to niche features. Unlike other VoIP providers, Google Voice doesn’t offer international numbers, an interactive voice response (IVR) system, or call analytics, even in upper-tier plans. Still, Google Voice’s straightforward nature makes it an appealing option for businesses that prioritize basic functionality over fancy features.
Click on each feature below to learn about Google Voice’s top offerings.
All Google Voice plans include usage and activity reporting. It provides a great way to monitor employees’ call activity and identify your business’ direction. The Voice Audit Log includes the event name, date, destination, and source. Users may also add filters to export information, display required data, and create email notifications of filtered reports.
Google Voice harnesses the power of Google AI to help process spoken language. Speech-to-text transcribes incoming voicemails across multiple languages, while text-to-speech lets you update your auto-attendant menus without uploading voice prompts. Through machine learning, Google Voice protects users from unwanted calls by blocking unknown numbers.
Google Voice’s integrations are limited to Google Workspace apps, including Google Meet, Calendar, and Gmail. For instance, join a Google Meet session by asking the meeting participant to call your Google Voice number. You can also forward your Google Voice number to Smith.ai, which offers virtual receptionist services.
Google Voice doesn’t do well when it comes to providing excellent customer service. It only accepts sales-related inquiries via phone, which is available weekly from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Google strongly recommends using its help center and community forum for technical concerns. If you need to contact a support specialist, you need to use a Google Workspace administrator account.
As a lightweight VoIP solution, one of Google Voice’s strong suits is its clean and simple website design. Guided by Google’s familiar, user-friendly interface, it allows easy navigation for its mobile app and web interface. It provides separate inboxes for messages, voicemail, and phone calls, helping you organize different areas of your business communications. Additionally, it only takes a few steps to get a Google Voice number and start making calls through your account.
For our expert score, we awarded Google Voice 4.38 out of 5 because while it offers excellent value for money, it doesn’t do well enough for its customer support and call functions. It specifically works for solopreneurs who simply need a cheap VoIP solution to separate their work and personal communications.
Here are the recent Google Voice ratings from popular review sites:
- GetApp: 4.5 out of 5 based on 366 reviews
- G2: 4.1 out of 5 based on 119 reviews
- TrustRadius: 7.7 out of 10 based on 204 reviews
How We Evaluated Google Voice
To evaluate Google Voice, we tested the system ourselves. We compared it to the personal experiences of customers who have used Google Voice before. From there, we analyzed the platform based on six factors: pricing, general features, niche features, customer support, ease of use, and expert score.
Learn how we evaluated Google Voice by clicking on the tabs below:
20% of Overall Score
In evaluating the cost-effectiveness of Google Voice, we checked for the availability of a free plan and discounts for annual billing and volume purchase. We provide additional points if the provider’s base plan costs $30 or less.
20% of Overall Score
We looked at capabilities essential to a VoIP system, such as unlimited calls, audio/video conferencing, and a mobile app. We also considered the type of uptime service level agreement (SLA) it offers. Google Voice gets an additional point for the availability of any of these features.
20% of Overall Score
We checked the niche features of Google Voice to see the additional value users get by subscribing to both personal and business plans. In evaluating VoIP providers, we check if they offer overseas calling, international numbers, and an IVR system. We also give additional points if it has robust integrations.
10% of Overall Score
We assess the quality of customer service by checking the number of hours and days the customer support team is reachable. Higher points are given if it operates 24/7. We also looked at the availability of customer support channels, including email, phone, and live chat.
15% of Overall Score
We evaluated Google Voice’s user interface based on its usability and the technical skill required to set up and operate its entire platform. We explored its web interface and mobile app and considered the firsthand experience of its current users.
15% of Overall Score
We came up with our expert score by comparing Google Voice against other leading VoIP providers. We also relied on reliable Google Voice reviews to see what customers have to say about its features, ease of use, cost-effectiveness, and popularity.
Google Voice is a great fit for solopreneurs or small businesses looking for a straightforward VoIP platform. While it is not as comprehensive as other full-featured VoIP providers, Google Voice does well enough in terms of affordability and ease of use. It is also a smart option if you simply need a second phone number and unlimited domestic calls. If you’re interested in exploring more of its features, sign up for a free trial on the Google Workspace platform.