The Jack of all Hacks

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How to keep your phone number without ever having to pay for phone service again

Google Voice

by Jack

I just finished doing this for an office work line I still use and I’m super happy I did. I ended up saving almost $600/year versus my old plan with Ring Central.


Landlines, as a whole, are becoming more and more extinct, but many homes and businesses will likely keep using them going forward because of their reliability. If you find yourself in a position where you are unsure if continuing to pay for one is worth it but you still want to keep the phone number associated with it there is a way to get the best of both worlds: Google Voice.


This has been around since 2009 but surprisingly not many people know about it. Google Voice isn’t a separate phone company like Verizon or AT&T. It’s essentially a call forwarding service which means the phone number associated with it can be accessed via another phone number (your mobile phone) or directly through the app/website.


The key is that the number you are porting over must be a mobile line. So, if you have an old mobile number you want to keep, this process will be easy. However, if you want to transfer a landline over, you’ll need to perform the additional step of converting it into a mobile number first.


*If you’re only trying to transfer over an existing mobile number, you can skip this first step*

Easiest way to do that is buying a T-Mobile Prepaid SIM Card and getting a one month plan. You’ll need to call T-Mobile (and maybe even go to a local store) after receiving the card in order to register it and receive a random telephone number. After you receive it you call their porting department in order to port over your old landline number. The entire process usually takes around a week. After the number is fully ported over to T-Mobile, then you can go through the process of bringing it into Google Voice.



Here is how you then get your mobile number ported over to Google Voice:

  1. Make sure you have an active Gmail account (not a G Suite business account…you can use Google Voice with your G Suite business account but it will not be free)
  2. Log into Google Voice and activate the service
  3. Choose a phone number through Google Voice
  4. Check to see if your number is eligible to be ported using this status page (not all mobile numbers can be ported for some reason)
  5. Select option to Change/Port your number
  6. Select I want to use my mobile number and follow the instructions
  7. You’ll be charged a $20 fee to port your mobile number


Once those steps is complete, the process could take a week or so to play out. You’ll receive a confirmation when it does port over and your old contract with your old mobile provider will automatically be terminated. And then, voila, you now have that number through Google Voice forever.