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Google Fi or Google Voice? You no longer have to choose
Google Fi has long been a favorite carrier for those seeking flexibility at home and abroad. Whether you wanted pay-as-you-go data or a powerful unlimited plan, it makes sense as a top MVNO. However, the carrier didn’t always play nicely with Google’s other phone service — Google Voice. The good news is that Google has finally brought the two services together, and here’s what you need to know.
What is Google Fi? What about Google Voice?
We’ve already somewhat explained what Google Fi is, but it’s no regular MVNO. Instead of sticking with one carrier for all of your service, Google Fi runs on a blend of T-Mobile and UScellular towers. It helps to ensure that you always have the best signal possible.
You can also choose from a pair of unlimited plans if you don’t want the per-gig pricing. Simply Unlimited keeps your access within the United States for the most part, while Unlimited Plus offers more travel data options and a Google One subscription.
Google Voice, on the other hand, provides you with a phone number and allows you to make and receive calls for free. You can also use Google Voice right from your computer as the service works over Wi-Fi, making calls even easier. The service also provides transcription services for voicemails and lets you forward calls as needed.
How do you use the two together?
For years, you were unable to have a Google Fi number and a Google Voice number on the same account. That means you would need a separate Google account for work and for personal use if you wanted to have separate contact options. Despite frequent customer requests, it took the Mountain View company until June 2020 to make a change. Whether you want to move your Google Fi number to Voice or vice versa, here’s what to do:
Google Voice to Google Fi
Bringing a Google Voice number with you when you sign up for Fi is as easy as could be. All you have to do is follow the generic steps and choose to port a number. You will have to make sure that you unlock your Google Voice number, but that shouldn’t be too hard.
Google Fi to Google Voice
If you’d rather move in the opposite direction, Google will offer you the chance to pick a new number for your Fi account. This process can take up to 24 hours, but you simply have to follow these steps.
See also: The best Google Fi phones to get
What if you want to use both?
Unfortunately, using both numbers on the same account isn’t quite as clean as it sounds. You’ll have to set up call forwarding and send all of your incoming communications from one number and account to the other. Forwarding calls isn’t difficult in and of itself, but it does mean that you will have to have a second Google account still. You won’t have to use the account nearly as often, but it does not sound like you can get rid of it, either.
To set up call forwarding, head to your Google Fi account. Go to the Phone settings section and select Call forwarding. Now add your number or edit a previous number.
There you go, that’s everything you need to know. If any of these steps change in the future, we’ll be sure to update the steps above.