Google Voice Alternative

Hoping to organize resources here for me and others to move from Google Voice to affordable alternatives.

Some people on the riot or reddit chat suggested these:
Twilio with SIP trunking (https://www.twilio.com/sip-trunking)
OpenPhone (https://www.openphone.co/)

I am still tinkering to find what works for me, Twilio seems difficult to set up and OpenPhone is a little pricey for my use case.

Anyone else have feedback on these or additions?

Thanks,

One can get a lot of GV’s features with SIP and, depending on provider and what one wants, a self-hosted Asterisk PBX. No reason to limit oneself to Twilio, there are lots of good SIP providers (and a bunch of shit ones). There is also a VoIP.ms app on Fdroid that works well for SMS. That gets one pretty close.

Don’t know anything about OpenPhone, though their website doesn’t seem very privacy focused. There is no mention of opensource, etc.

I’ve suggested it elsewhere on the forum (so search if curious) but JMP.chat is quite nice. It uses a mix of SIP and XMPP in order to offer both voice and SMS/MMS. There code is opensource. You can pay with crypto if that’s your thing. I don’t send many MMS though get them from family. For that use case, it’s a good replacement. The only weakness is that with multi-party SMSes you don’t know who else is part of the conversation. This is being fixed supposedly but it’s been real slow in coming. I keep my fingers crossed.

I am also investigating options for an alternative to a cell phone number. VoIP.ms sounds like it might be a good option. The website says SMS is only available with certain numbers though and it is still beta. I like though that you can send your SMS messages to an email address.

How about Linphone, has anyone used that? You don’t get a phone number, only SIP address. The website says it also has encrypted messaging.

I have jmp.chat as well. It does work well for sms, but understand that the xmpp messages are not encrypted at this time. I don’t use it to make voice calls at all, I just intended it as a number to give out to businesses I don’t want calling me. It does have voicemail and sends you a transcription when you get one. It’s not too expensive, about $35 per year.

Also an option for iPhone users is the MySudo app. It gives you a real phone number with SMS. The lowest usage plan is $1 per month.

1 Like

So I decided to try out voip.ms and see if their DID with SMS would work for carrying a wifi only device instead of a phone. So I signed up for an account, and had to give an email address, a phone number and mailing address. Reluctantly doing so, they sent me a verification email which I had to open to click a link to verify I control that email address. So far fairly standard.

When I logged in it said that my account had to be manually verified, and there were no options for me to do anything while logged in at this point. So I opened a support chat with them, and was told they needed a high resolution scan of my driver’s license or passport with photo and expiration date. No I’m not going that far. So just a warning for anyone thinking of using this service.

1 Like

Just today I saw MySudo (iOS + paired browser only currently) mention they will support number porting soon: https://nitter.net/MySudoApp/status/1173980088028864513

well, for me i use textnow (its very bad from privacy side but i use it for lite things so yeah)

I went on the App Store and it seems a little pricey.

Compared to what? The $0.99/mo plan gives you a phone number with 30 minutes calling out but unlimited incoming calls. The highest plan at $14.99/mo gives you unlimited everything and 9 phone numbers. Vonage with just one phone number and no SMS costs more than that.

Perhaps it’s because I take a long view of costs.
Monthly vs. yearly.
My problems are not your problems.
I am fiscally conservative.
:star2: