Google Voice's Screening feature allows you to configure your phone's reaction to calls from outside your contact list. Actions include sending directly to voicemail or asking for the caller's name. You can keep your normal phone number, or you could even get a whole new number! An alternative is Nomorobo for iOS, which compares a caller's number to known scammers/robocallers. However, it requires a paid subscription, unlike Google Voice.
Paul got an Obihai 200 and now does VOIP with his phone and Google voice. It's not perfect, but it does work. Leo says that the big issue is 911, but Paul said that he can get 911 with CallCentric for $1.50 a month.
Johnny uses Google Voice and bought an ObiTalk to use with some older phones. Is that a good idea? Leo says he used the ObiTalk for a long time. It's very cool. However, It doesn't work with Google Fi, so if his Google Voice is tied to Google Fi, he'll have issues. Johnny would have to use a second Google Voice number, but that doesn't do him much good and he can't forward that number to his other Fi account.
Paul is getting ready to cut the cable on his telephone service and he's moved his number to Google Voice. But how can he get his phones to work with Google voice? Leo says that phone numbers are portable, and as such, his home phone number can be ported to Google Voice. And then he can have his mobile phone ring when his number gets called. Up to 5 different phones can do that.
Chip has trouble texting to radio stations using Google Voice. It keeps getting bounced back. Leo says it's likely because the service that the radio stations use doesn't support it. Until they do, there's not much he can do.
Gary is about to get an Android phone and is concerned about security. Leo says that mobile phones have enhanced security with apps sandboxed from one another, and as such, are extremely secure. Android also has a mobile kill switch for apps, so if a bad app is installed, Google can kill it. So he doesn't really need an antivirus app for his smartphone. He should just make sure to only install apps from reputable sources.
Derek has to create a Google account, but he wants to prevent Google from having his information. He tried to use an app to mask his phone, but it won't work. Can he use a burner phone? Leo says that he'll have to jump through a lot of hoops to prevent it, but it can be done. A burner phone will work. Then he can create a Google Voice number to use with that. Or he can just put the burner into his car for emergencies. But every time he searches, Google will know what he searched for, even when he's using a private window. The reality is, his phone carrier and ISP will know everything.
Tim would like to make free calls online. How can he do that? Leo recommends Google Voice. He can call the US, Mexico and Canada for free, and other international calls are about $0.02 a minute. There is no such thing as free service from a phone company, but he can get LifeLine service for under $10 a month.
Tom got rid of his landline in favor of a TracFone. Now he wants to use Google Voice and port his number over, but it won't work. Leo says Google voice can't port a landline, and that's what it originally was. It's better to let Google Voice generate a phone number for him and then have Google Voice forward the calls to his TracFone number. It will continue to work, and he'll avoid the hassle.