How to decide between Google Voice and a VoIP Provider

In their quest to find the best phone service for their home office or small business, many business owners often turn to the cheapest solution on the market to serve their communications needs. The majority of low-cost phone services is web-based or in the form of a Smartphone app, and features a free service. Although they all might be business phone services, there are however many differences between regular VoIP solutions and certain online services such as Skype, Magic Jack, Viber and Google Voice.

Today we are making a comparison between regular business VoIP services and Google Voice, the popular voice service provided by Google. Google Voice provides users with a US phone number (that can be chosen from the available area codes or ported) that can be forwarded to one or multiple US existing numbers.

VoIP providers offer voice-over-Internet services that can be used on specialized hardware or software, as well as forwarding for virtual numbers. The phone lines and numbers can be combined to create complex business phone systems with advanced features such as IVR, Call Queuing and Hunt Groups.

As a conclusion to our comparison, we consider that thanks to its gratuitousness and many features this service might be ideal for occasional personal use, however we do recommend that for more complex requirements such as business a Hosted PBX solution should be acquired.


Google Voice VoIP phone service
Availability The service requires an existing US number Can be used without an existing number, or forwarded to any number in the world
Portability Porting is possible for a $20 fee. Corporate, landline, and VoIP numbers can’t be transferred Porting is possible and usually free of charge. Any active number can be ported
SMS Available Available
International calling Per minute Per minute
Hardware Google Voice can be used via a web app or a Smartphone app VoIP phone services can be used on Smartphone apps, desktop apps, IP Phones and Analog Telephone Adapters (ATAs)
Voicemail to email Available with transcription Available sometimes with transcription
Call Recording Available for free Usually VoIP Call Recording is available either included or for an additional fee
Emergency calling Emergency calling is not possible Most VoIP service providers allow 911 calling
Conferencing Available for up to 3 callers plus the receiver Available, limited to the number of lines you subscribed to
Answering rules Can be set to ring depending on the time of the day or contact that is calling Can be set depending on the time of day or number that is calling
Customer service Direct Client Care is not available, users have the Google Voice Help articles and forums The majority of VoIP providers offer direct Customer Care by phone and email
Call forwarding Multiple numbers cannot be forwarded to one number unless it’s a landline. Forwarding can only be done to US numbers Multiple numbers can be forwarded to one number, no matter the number type and destination.
Call Blocking (Black List) Available, including blocking calls from numbers identified by Google as telemarketers Available
Phone numbers available Only USA numbers are available Usually an array of International local numbers are available
HD voice HD voice is not available HD voice is available for hardware or software supporting it. Both receiving and calling party need to have HD Voice compatible software or hardware
Call Waiting/ Call Swap Available Available

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