This last year I’ve thrived having a cell phone, making calls, texting, and surfing the internet but leaving behind the monthly bill. With a few steps you too can have a free cell phone plan using google voice. It isn’t for everyone but the thing that shocked me the most was how content I would be with it. One of the main things that I wondered about was how connected I would be. How much would I miss not having Verizon? The result surprised me. You know what the best cell phone carrier is? Google Voice. These are the pros and cons of using google voice as your carrier.
I’ll start with the Cons because I feel like that is a shorter list.
Cons of Using Google Voice
Around town isn’t too bad if you have access to hot spots like Xfinity. If I didn’t have Xfinity hot spots I think other people would be a little more irritated with me. I would be fine but that way I am a little more responsive to other people.
The most inconvenient is probably when you are traveling long distances either in car or public transportation. Some airports and planes have free wifi but some do not. This is a little bit of a pain. I combat it by downloading things to my phone or tablet before hand though or making my spouse give me a hot spot.
Bargaining for Buys
Some stores (think thrift stores) or places where you are likely to pick out a good deal don’t have WiFi so trying to make sure you get a good deal (or for good resale value) is a little harder. Once again it makes you plan ahead and in some cases it has made me pass over things that I wasn’t too sure about.
I know that before I had any little folk I would tell myself that I didn’t want my kid addicted to watching tv or using devices. Then I had one. And I ran after it and I played with it and I calmed it down and I entertained it and I died. Well I felt like I died. And so sometimes I just need a little data to stream a little something something.
It seems like this is mostly the case in places that I don’t have WiFi. Luckily for me I am usually with my husband when this happens and he has data to save the day. I think that this isn’t a deal breaker I mean I grew up figuring out how to entertain myself but the little years + car seat for a long period of time = a need for something streaming.
I feel like I have to over explain myself to people all the time. “Oh sorry, I didn’t get your text that you sent me five minutes ago as I was driving over here because I assumed I wouldn’t have WiFi so I didn’t look at my phone. I only get texts when I am on WiFi so ya….don’t hate me.”
I’m sure this isn’t as big of a deal as I make it but I do feel a little shady sometimes, like I’m pretending like I didn’t get a text that but I really did. But I really didn’t.
Calls Going To Computer
I don’t really like answering calls anyway…but this one is sometimes annoying for me. When my gmail is up that is connected to my google voice sometimes phone calls go to my computer. It doesn’t “ring” on my phone just the computer. I don’t have my laptop set up to take calls (no microphone) so it annoys me. But this might be a pro if you have capability for calls on your laptop.
Pros of Using Google Voice
Free Cell Phone Plan. I pay nothing to text, call, stam my instas, pin my terests, tweet my twitters. That is the best pro.
While I am pretty well connected, it is kind of nice to not be connected all of the time. It makes me focus more on my minion when I might not have otherwise. I want to teach him to explore and talk to people and live outside of a device so it is nice to have a reminder that I need to be that example for him.
Then I also kind of like that I don’t have this expectation to receive, read, and respond to everyone’s texts and calls the minute I get them. I don’t know why but that is kind of refreshing. Like I’m not slave to responding and can savor what I am doing at the time.
Better Driving Manners
I spend more time when I’m driving actually driving. My phone is in my bag or put away. I sing to the car radio, talk to my son, spy on the car next to me, oh and focus on driving. I’m not tempted to try to read or write a text or talk to someone.
Other than some spottiness in my connection it works just like a cell phone with an expensive plan. I use the same cell phone as I used on Verizon. The apps are all the same. The interface is a little different for texts because I use google hangouts but I can do group texts just the same. I actually prefer this interface to the messaging one from Verizon.
I can text from my laptop. Meaning, I can type on a full keyboard to text while I am doing other things. This is when my google account that is linked to my google voice is up on my browser. I like this because then I don’t have to go back and forth from my laptop to the phone and because sometimes my fat fingers just struggle with auto-correct.
Have I mentioned that I have paid nothing to text and call?
One of the biggest things that I hated…HATED…was trying to listen to voicemail. I refused. Literally would not listen to voicemail because the whole process was archaic and outright stupid. Using this setup, not only is my voicemail automatically transcribed for free but it is super easy to listen to, skip to certain parts, save, scroll through, etc.
Seriously one of the best things possible.
I’ll have all of my text messages archived where I can go back and search them. With my Verizon text messages once they were deleted (because I had no room left) they were gone. It’s like the same for emails…I don’t ever delete any because sure enough, when it is gone you will for some reason need to reference it.
Quality of Calls
When I call people or get calls from people the quality is quite clear. I was sitting at a light once (not the driver) and got a call from my mom. I was really surprised that I could hear her just as clear if not clearer than when I had a carrier.
My rate will never change. lol. Well, unless google voice decides that they don’t want to be cool anymore.
When buying a phone I’m not bound by a certain carrier’s phone. I currently use one that is a Verizon phone and could really use any phone that I got a good deal on.
As you can see, when tallying up the pros and cons of using Google Voice as my carrier the pros totally outweigh the cons even when you don’t weigh the free part too heavily. This is for me though and my life circumstances. I know it probably won’t work as great for some other people (see below).
Probably won’t work well for you if…
- You live in or travel frequently to rural areas.
- Taking and making calls while you drive is a common thing you do.
- You don’t have WiFi at home.
- Part of your income comes from you looking up the value of things while you are out and about. For instance, if you buy things from yard sales and sell them online and have to look up their value.
- Asking someone else to use their number to get a google number would be impossible.
For me, I will most likely not go back to a regular carrier anytime in the foreseeable future.
Have any questions about my experience or have you had a different experience? Comment below!