Google Voice/GrooveIP phone number schematics

Greetings

I am considering service with Ting. I would utilize GrooveIP and Google Voice to reduce minutes usage.

I have some questions.

A big concern for my wife is having multiple phone numbers and/or losing her existing phone number (we have Verizon). I understand that we can perform outgoing calls using the GV number. And people can call our GV number.

I guess I am just a little confused as to which phone numbers are valid once I begin using GV/GrooveIP.

Is there a way that people can just continue to use our existing phone numbers to call us? 

If not, when I make the switch to Ting from Verizon, should I port our Verizon numbers to GV and get a new phone numbers from Ting?

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Regards,

 

Chris

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Comments

25 comments
  • Pick the number you want and use it for ting either way. You can port your existing GV number here, but it takes 36 hrs. Grooveip is pretty unreliable. The sound quality is inconsistant. voicetimes people can't here me. Sometimes there is an echo for them.
    The other problem is that. Both the Groove ip dialer and the cell phone dialer rings in and you can have two calls on at once tha can't here each other. They can both here you and you can't hang up on either. I find it useful only for outgoing calls.

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  • Sorry about all the typos. Using a phone to respond.

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  • I thought I would add that porting a GV number to Ting, or anyone for that matter is not easy. I requested a port a while back, and it just got done today.  Ick, its a have ported mess.

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  • Ugh....half ported, not have.

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  • Graham, did you port the number from your old carrier to Google Voice, or from an existing Ting subscription to Google Voice?

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  • I ported from Ting. The number was originally ported from Sprint. 

    Google let go of the number last night, several hours after the porting happened. I lost patience with this process, and finally it seems to be working better.

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  • Graham -- GrooveIP is only as reliable as the data coverage you have in your area. I've found the quality to be excellent on WiFi or 4G, but not so good on 3G. If you have a spotty data coverage, then Groove IP will not work as a replacement for actual mobile voice coverage for incoming calls, but you could still turn it on when you are on WiFi and not use mobile minutes on outgoing calls (see below).

    Also -- if both the Groove IP dialer and the cell phone dialer are ringing, then you need to change what you've set up on the Google Voice website for which phones ring ... You don't want it to ring both the cell phone number and "GoogleTalk" (which is what rings GrooveIP). GoogleVoice should ring one or the other, not both.  You can still use Google Voice for the voicemail on your phone, even if Google Voice doesn't ring your mobile number.

    To use Groove IP effectively, you have to decide how you're going to use it. Assuming that people primarily call the Google Voice number and not your mobile number... here are to main scenarios:

    1) If you have very dependable mobile data (preferably 4G) coverage wherever you are most of the time, then GoogleVoice/GrooveIP can completely replace your actual mobile voice usage... In that rare case, you can set Google Voice to ring only "GoogleTalk" (which will ring GrooveIP), and NOT to ring the mobile number, and keep GrooveIP turned on on your phone all the time. Then you'll never use mobile minutes for incoming calls, and you'll use mobile data when out and about and your WiFi for calls when at home or in the office. If someone actually calls the mobile number directly, it will ring, and if you don't answer, it can go to Google Voicemail... and GV will be your voicemail for both numbers, in one easy place. You can call out either way... the most cost effective being to use GrooveIP when on WiFi and mobile minutes when not.

    2) If your mobile data coverage is spotty, then you pretty much have to use Google Voice to forward your calls to your mobile number, and use mobile minutes. In that case, set Google Voice to ring the mobile and NOT GoogleTalk. But you can still have GrooveIP on your phone, and whenever you are on wifi, you can turn it on and make outgoing calls that with GrooveIP and save mobile minutes.

    You might find that a hybrid of these works for you ... there is separate phone app that lets you manually change which of your GV phones ring, and there are a few plugins for Locale that will change them based on variables like location and WiFi connection. So for example, you can program that plugin could tell GV to ring your GrooveIP when you're on WiFI, and to ring your mobile when you're not.

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  • I wasn't planning to use it for a replacement, but as a minute saver at home on wifi.  I cant see 3g data being cheaper than minutes.

    I finally got my new number away from google voice and only use grooveip at home to save some minutes for outgoing calls.

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  • Chris -- you will have two numbers, a Google Voice (GV) number and your Ting number. You can give out just one of them, or both of them, depending on what you're trying to do. See my comment to Graham above for some possibilities.

    Remember that GoogleVoice/GrooveIP calls don't use minutes, but they do use MegaBytes, and on Ting, MB are at least as expensive as minutes, and in some cases more. The savings of using GrooveIP really only applies when you make calls via GrooveIP when you are on WiFi, and therefore not paying for mobile data.

    I would say that very few people have a situation where GoogleVoice/GrooveIP can completely replace their mobile minutes for both incoming and outgoing calls.

    As for what to do when you port... I assume the number on VZ is one that all your friends and associates know, and that's the number you want them to keep calling? 

    If you're uncertain about the whole GV/GrooveIP thing, then port your VZ number to Ting, and get a Google Voice account with a new, different number, and experiment with how it works, and if you find a combination you like, you can port your main (now VZ) number to Google and get a new number on Ting, and if you don't like it, you can just throw away the Google Voice account or use it only as a VoiceMail service.

    If you're confident and ready to take the plunge, get a whole new number on Ting, then port your VZ number to GoogleVoice. Then set up Google Voice to either "GoogleTalk" (which will ring the GrooveIP app), or your new Ting number.. NOT both. Then make sure that your new Ting number is set up to forward any "busy / no answer" calls to your GoogleVoice number, so that GV can act as your voicemail service.  See my comment to Graham above to decide which one should ring. #1, if you can make it work for you, has the advantage of simplicity, once its set up... you dont have to think about which way to make a call... #2 is more complicated in day to day use, but far more likely to work.

    Even if you never use GrooveIP at all, having your main number on Google Voice has many benefits... GV allows very fine controls over which phones ring and when, based on who is calling you, and what voicemail messages different people hear. A third scenario, not using GrooveIP at all, is that you could just forward GV calls to your mobile number, using GV as a "receptionist" and voicemail service, then set your phone to make all outgoing calls through GoogleVoice (not GrooveIP), so that when other people see the caller ID, they see the same number they dial to call you. This doesn't save you any minutes.... both incoming calls use Ting minutes even though they were routed through Google, but you get the other features.

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  • Graham -- Sounds like you have it worked out. If you only use it for outgoing when on WiFi, and you don't mind people seeing the alternate GV number when you call them that way, that is perfect.. and the simplest possible scenario, too, with the fewest things that can go wrong... at worst, you decide that GrooveIP/GV is no good, and you just fall back to normal cell phone use.

    As I was just describing to Chris, there is a half-way solution, where all your calls come in and out via your Google number, but still use minutes (because that is the most dependable (especially for incoming, where you can't control where you are and whether you are on 3G, 4G, or WiFi), but you can still use some of Google Voice's cool features, and you can manually fire up GrooveIP when you know you have a good WiFi connection.

    However, for that to work, the main "public" number needs to be on Google, and it sounds like you have not had a pleasant experience with porting into/out of Google.

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  • Another way to save money is using the Vonage Android App. It uses SIP to make calls over IP. The only downside is that both parties (caller and callee) have to have the app installed.

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  • So far, I'm really impressed with Groove IP and Google Voice and have the majority of my calls, incoming and outgoing, using it.  I've only had one complaint from a caller about barely being able to hear me, so I increased the mic volume in the Groove IP settings. I usually ask the person about the quality while I'm testing it out.  Your ping has alot to do with call quality, not just your upload/download speed.  They now have a Lite (free) version you can use with some features removed and ads. That is the version I'm currently using.

    I have GV set up to ring me on several phones, at different times of the day, including my work landline.  To bypass the problem of ringing both my Ting number and Google Talk number (this happened once, but I did not have the problem stated above), I simply put the phone in airplane mode with WiFi enabled when I'm at home (or on any other reliable WiFi).  This saved me having to make any changes in my Google Voice account, and saves me from making any accidental voice/messaging.

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  • I think that Anthony's setup could even be automated, using Locale, or Setting Profiles, or Tasker, such that it would automatically go to Airplane Mode, but leave WiFi on, when connected to any WiFi network, and revert to normal settings when you leave that WiFi network... and you could start and stop GrooveIP with the same settings.

    If I'm understanding his description, he has Google Voice forward to both "Google Talk" and his Ting number, but controls which one rings by changing network settings on the phone, rather than changing the forwarding settings on Google Voice... genius!

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  • In addition to Vonage, line2 is worth your consideration. Unlike GrooveIP, it is a pay service, but it's quite reasonable and doesn't violate Google Talk's TOS.

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  • I use the AutoAir app, which turns off cell service when I'm logged into WiFi, and turns it back on when I am out of WiFi range. I have GoogleVoice set to ring my cell number, my GoogleTalk/GrooveIP, and also my home phone number. So, I get my calls whether I am at home on WiFi, or out and about on the Cell network, and often at home there is a handset nearer to me than my cell phone, so I can just pick that up. Nobody needs to know my actual Ting cell phone number (or even my home phone number), just my GoogleVoice number.

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  • A newbie to a smart phone needs help!  I have Google Voice and I have Groove IP.  I have Google Voice set to forward to my cell #.  I think this may be wrong!  When my son calls my Google Voice #, AND I am at home signed in to our wifi AND signed in to Groove IP, I am still being charged minutes on Ting.  The only other option that shows on Google Voice is to forward calls to Google Chat.  But that seems to be instant messaging?  How do I configure Google Voice and/or Groove IP to make my phone answer via wifi when I'm at home on wifi?  I don't want to IM, and I don't really want Google voicemail, so some of the other advice on settings doesn't fit what I need.  I also have the Autoair app, which I haven't had success with, it just seems to turn on the airplane mode, so won't let me do anything?  I think I'm a mess!!

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  • @Lindsay, having Google Voice forward to your cell number is correct, but it also needs to be setup to forward to Google Chat. GrooVe IP uses the Google Chat service to place phone calls. If the AutoAir app is turning on airplane mode, then it is functioning correctly. It sounds like the only change you need to make is to forward Google Voice calls to Google Chat.

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  • Thank you, thank you!  Do I also need to change the settings on my ting dashboard?  I already have "Call Forwarding can be set on phone" unchecked.  But must I check "Forward 'No Answer' calls to this number," and type my GVoice number in the box if I don't want Google voicemail?  Maybe I'll slowly get there with a lot of help!

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  • When you signed into the GV app on your phone, if you dialed the *28 number and heard some beeps, you shouldn't have to mess with the forwarding settings on the Ting dashboard. If you had "Call Forwarding can be set on phone" unchecked at the time you signed into the GV app, the *28 number wouldn't have been successful. If you don't remember (or didn't dial/didn't hear beeps with the *28), enter your GV number in both forwarding boxes on your Ting dashboard.

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  • Thank you again.  I don't remember having to dial *28.  So I changed the settings on my dashboard as you suggested, and got my son to call me again.  Now I know it's working as the echo is back. :-))  Will have to play with those settings.  What can I say?  Customer service at ting is wonderful!

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  • Thanks everyone for input in this thread.  The following is how I have finally configured Google voice to give me optimal performance and maximum reduction in Ting service needed.  I was using Grooveip, but call quality for up and down, so I went with the following:

    -Google voice number is the only one I use to keep things simple.  When I joined Ting, I just got a new number, but never give it out: opting instead to use 100% my google voice number to take advantage of its many features.  

    -Tasker has been an essential app in making all of this work.  When I am connected to my home wifi network, I have created a Tasker profile that shuts off my phone's wireless radio to conserve battery and keep two phones from ringing.  When I disconnect from my home wifi, it turns the radio back on.  I was using the autoair app, which would still work, but I wanted more control (like to be able to turn off wifi at night, and being able to easily make an emergency call if needed- I'll explain below).  I can give more details about how to create the Tasker profiles if anybody needs it.

    -I purchased the Obi100 adapter and set it up to my home router, and plugged in a regular home phone.  Now all calls to my GV number ring on this phone and I can make free outgoing calls.  I'm at home when I make most calls, so this cuts down my use significantly.

    -Now, when I am at home, only my Obi100 connected phone rings when someone calls my Google Voice number and my cell does not (Tasker has it connected only to wifi, no radio).  When I leave home (as soon as I disconnect from wifi), my radio turns back on and now both phones ring (but I don't hear the one at home).

    -Note about 911 calling: all of this created the conundrum of how to make emergency calls, since when at home my cell phone can't make calls (Tasker has the radio turned off) and I can't call 911 with the Obi100 connected phones because Google Voice doesn't support 911 calls.  I created two workarounds that should be seamless.  The first is programming a speed dial on my home phones that has the local 10 digit dispatch number.  This works OK, but not perfect.  The dispatch goes to the same call center as 911 calls, but are not always handled with the same priority.  The second and better workaround is again through Tasker.  Tasker supports the creation of widgets by long pressing an empty spot anywhere on a home screen and selecting "add widget".  I created a profile that displays a "911 emergency" logo on my screen (an image I found on the internet), that when tapped, enables the phone's radio and automatically enters 911 into the phone's dialer.  Then all I have to do is hit send.  Everyone in the family has been shown how to use both options. 

    Hope this helps someone.  I'm loving the new system.  For about $12 a month to Ting, I've got a smartphone that meets all of my needs and a home phone service.  Couldn't be happier.

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  • I don't think it is that 911 calls won't work from from the OBi device. There can be issues but the most important is that there is no location awareness. When making a 911 call you will need to let them know your location. 

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  • I just called the administrative number of my local 911 office and the operator confirmed that most VOIP calls should complete but that you may need to provide location. The operator suggested that since they weren't busy that I should call 911 to test but make sure I told them it was a test. I did make the call and the OBi device / Google Voice did NOT connect so what I said is probably not correct. You can however program the non emergency number into your OBi connected handset. The same operators answer both lines.

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  • I believe that is correct.  Both Obi and Google Voice make it clear there is no 911 service.  Other Voip providers have it for a fee (I think a lot of Obi users use something called Callcentric).  

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  • I do use Call centric and they do have e911.If I remember it costs 1.50 a month. 

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