Originally known as GrandCentral, Google Voice is an online telephone service that gives you a unique telephone number for personal or business purposes, without the phone line. While Google Voice has many of the same features as a traditional phone service, it comes without the phone book listing and is generally untraceable.
Using Google Voice
Google Voice works in conjunction with your Gmail account. You must have an active account with the email service to sign up for a Google Voice phone number. After signing up, you receive a phone number within your area code. The service has several features; for example, you can make and receive calls and place text messages. Your Google Voice account comes with a voice mail service that automatically transcribes voice mails and sends them to your Gmail account.
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Google does not publicly list your Google Voice number. Since the phone number is registered to an online account, and not a traditional land line account, your Google Voice number does not appear in phone books or on online websites that list phone numbers. If you commit an illegal act using your Google Voice number, such as telemarketing to person's on a Do Not Call list, Google does have the right to cancel your account or provide your information to authorities.
While your number isn't publicly listed, certain actions can make your Google Voice number traceable. For example, if you post your Google Voice number on a website, search engines may be able to find the number and post the results in a related search. If you use your Google Voice number as your primary telephone number on a Website, such as a web forum or social networking site, the number will also become visible to others.
Public Access to Your Number
If you want to keep your Google Voice number private, do not give the number out to anyone you do not know and do not use the number on any websites. If you do want your number to become more public, you can include your Google Voice number on your email signature, add it as contact information to social networking sites or include it on your website or blog.