Both Google Voice and Grasshopper offer a virtual number that forwards to any phone number you want. Google Voice is ideal for individual users who need one alternative phone number. If you need to forward to several employees or need more than one number, such as a local number and a toll free number, Grasshopper provides more pointed services.
Numbers and Extensions
Grasshopper allows you to set up either a local number or a toll free number. This number forwards your calls to either a mobile or land-line phone. The service also allows you to set up extensions for that number; each extension can forward to a different number, thus allowing you to have employees all over the country accessible at a central number. Google Voice only offers one phone number; it can forward to several numbers, but it does not have any extension services.
Calling and Voicemail Services
Google Voice allows you to record calls and forward them to a different number, even mid-call. You can also screen calls before you answer them and block callers from contacting you. Google Voice also allows you to record custom greetings for different callers. Both Grasshopper and Google Voice send voicemail transcription to your email, allowing you to view your missed messages from any device. Both also offer the option to make calls from any phone using your virtual number so that your real phone number isn't revealed to your callers.
Google Voice allows you to send and receive text messages using your Google Voice number. With this free text messaging service, you can send SMS to any US phone number. This is one feature that Grasshopper does not have; Grasshopper focuses on calling services rather than total number replacement.
Grasshopper has four tiers of service as of December 2013, each with a monthly cost; every plan includes all features and unlimited extensions. The least expensive plan ("Pay As You Grow") offers a pay-as-you-go feature for minutes in addition to the monthly cost, with one number included. The next plan ("Ramp") is more expensive, but it includes 500 minutes and one phone number. The third plan ("Grow") includes two numbers and 2,000 minutes per month. The most expensive plan ("Max") includes two numbers and 10,000 minutes per month. Google Voice offers free calling to United States numbers and free texting; for international calling, calls are priced as a pay-per-minute rate, with rates varying depending on the country.
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