Need suggestions in finding call forwarding/virtual phone number service
November 30, 2008 8:55 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a call forwarding service. I would like to have a single phone number that would not change. I would then like to forward any calls to this number to multiple phones simultaneously. No call screening needed, just have whichever phone picks up the call first take the call.

I would also like the service I choose to handle voicemail so that I could deactivate voicemail on the “destination” phones and just have one voice-mail box. Perhaps explaining my situation might help …

I have a PDA phone that I like quite a bit (let’s call it phone A), however there is one problem. The cellular provider that Phone A is sold through does not have the best coverage in some of the areas that I travel to. There is another cellular provider that has better and more complete cellular coverage in my area; however it is impossible to use Phone A on this network. I would like to carry a second phone (let’s call it Phone B) that works on the network with more coverage for those times when I am going to be in areas where Phone A does not have coverage. By having a single number that rings through to both phones I can be pretty sure I won’t miss a call. I would only need to turn phone B on when Phone A is out of coverage (about 20% of the time).
There are many services out there. That’s why I was hoping to get some feedback from the “hive” and perhaps some suggestions. Here is some data about my usage that might help.

1. I receive anywhere between 500 to 700 minutes a month in calls.
2. I do not have the need to make or receive calls outside the United States.
3. I would like my phone number to also be able to receive faxes in addition to forwarding voice calls.
4. I need to have all “destination” phones ring at the same time. Not in sequence as the caller might hang up by the time it rings on the second “destination” phone.

Well I know that’s a lot of info to post, but I wanted to explain the context in which I would be using this solution. Here are some services I have looked at in case others are interested in the same thing.


I have also found that several of the VOIP providers (Vonage, ViaTalk, PhonePower, etc ...) offer these services as a package when someone installs a VOIP phone in their home; however, I am not sure if I could still use these services if I didn’t have a VOIP phone installed at my residence. I only use my cell phone and have no need for a VOIP phone at home. Thanks everyone!
posted by DerekTheGeek to Technology (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Just wanted add as a comment that I have tried It works great and it's free, however I am not to fond of Google's privacy policy and frankly I am concerned if the service is going to continue or are they going to charge through the nose once I am "hooked". Once I give out my number, I don't want it to change. Also, it doesn't handle faxes.
posted by DerekTheGeek at 9:03 PM on November 30, 2008

I use Ringcentral.
Works for me.
posted by Xhris at 9:06 PM on November 30, 2008

Sounds like minus Faxes, GrandCentral is your best bet.
My brother gives it to car dealers when searching for a new car, works wonders when you're done talking to them.

Screen Callers
Know who's calling and screen unknown callers

Hear why someone is calling before taking the call

Call Record
Record calls on the fly and access recordings online

Block Callers
Unwanted callers won't be able to reach you anymore

Receive voicemail notifications via email or SMS

Ring Different Phones
One number that rings different phones based on who's calling

Personalize your voicemail greetings by caller or group

Go beyond the ring and choose ringback tones for your callers

WebCall Button
Let people call you from a web page without showing your number

Switch phones in the middle of a call

Call from your addressbook and save your typing

Mobile Access
Visual voicemail for your mobile phone
posted by BoldStepDesign at 9:06 PM on November 30, 2008

You could do this with vonage. I have my home phone (which is voip) and cell phone ring at the same time with vonage. I used to also have my office phone ring, so I know you can set it up to forward to at least two numbers.

I don't think you'd have to hook up a voip line in your home. The reason I say this is that instead of a home phone setup, with vonage you can choose to carry a USB phone. Let them ship you the USB phone and then just don't use it if you don't want to. Of course, you'd still be paying for the VOIP line and I believe all the minutes you talk on the phone would be billed as VOIP minutes, in addition to cell phone minutes.

Oh...and can't you get your phone unlocked and use it on whatever service you prefer?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:07 PM on November 30, 2008

Oh...and can't you get your phone unlocked and use it on whatever service you prefer?

An iphone can't be used on Verizon. Perhaps the OP is in a similar situation.

posted by Monday at 8:16 AM on December 1, 2008

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