How Can You Receive Direct Calls to Multiple Phones?

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Receiving an incoming call on multiple phones may not, at the face of it, appear to be a useful feature to many business houses. But, strangely there are some people who favor this facility and want to have multiple phones ring on one incoming call. The advantage is when you receive a call, all the programmed phones will ring and you can answer picking up whichever phone is the nearest or most convenient at that time.

You might possibly want your home phone, office phone, mobile phone, including those of your family members or employees, to ring at the same time on an incoming call. But to enjoy this convenience, you need a PBX configured in that manner and that can be quite expensive.

But things are changing and Google has carried forward the concept of 'one number to ring on many phones' in all earnestness and launched Google Voice. Google Voice service is free (except for international calls) and offers a separate phone number capable of ringing multiple phones when anyone calls on that number. In fact, Google offers a package of many free features along with Google Voice that includes voice-to-text transcription of calls, call recording, conferencing etc.

Interestingly, SMS is fully integrated into Google Voice and if anyone sends a message to your Google number, it will be routed to any mobile phones you have connected. You can reply to text messages from any phone or via the Google Voice Web interface.

To those less familiar, Google Voice may be defined as an Internet based phone forwarding service by Google. Its predecessor version was known as Grand Central. Strictly speaking, Google Voice cannot be called as a VoIP service. But Google Voice does take advantage of VoIP technology - using the Internet to allow users to make calls.

Google Voice is quite versatile and you can program it to ring on one group of phones during the day and another group of phones at night. You can also block spamming callers and send some calls straight to voice mail. The basic working principle of Google Voice is nothing complicated.

Any call initiated through Google Voice passes through the traditional phone system (PTSN). The call is immediately handed to the Google space on the Internet, which is where the numbers are pooled. The call is then directed to another Google Voice number that is identified within Google's numbers and from there, the call is sent to its end destination. But it has to be borne in mind that the prime motive of Google Voice is to unify communication channels and not any other commercial motive.

By using Google Voice to control your phone activity, you run the risk of parting with a vast amount of personal information to Google. But Google Voice is governed by a privacy policy that spells out the nature and extent of risk to your data. It is up to you to study this aspect and decide how comfortable you will be.

Despite the fact that the 'one number to ring many phones' concept calls for considerable investment, Google is offering the service free. But now there are providers that are emerging as competitors to Google Voice. A free phone number in your area that will direct incoming calls to multiple phones - both fixed and mobile - can be a big blessing to many small businesses.

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