Free Long Distance for DSL

Many of you probably aren’t like me long distance-wise, but for anyone who is, I will tell you the secret to free long distance.

Here is my situation:
1.  We live in a rural area so we do not have many local phone carriers or internet service providers available.
2.  I’m actually a fan of the local phone company because they are local and provide good jobs to the community.  They do not, however, offer an unlimited long distance package like the local phone companies do in most other areas.
3.  We have DSL through that local telephone company.  They have the best service and best value here for internet access.
4. Cell phones do not work in my house.  We’ve tried GSMs and CDMAs and they both don’t work here.
5. My loved ones live in far away place like New Jersey and New York.

Let me translate what this means for us:
1.  There are no long distance unlimited packages available here.
2.  We make a lot of long distance calls.
3.  We can’t make long distance calls on cell phones in the house.
4.  If we got VoIp or Magic Jack or something, we’d have to still keep the phone line to have DSL to have internet so they can work.  We’d have to have two numbers for that.  Keeping an extra phone line would eat away at our savings, too.

Here you can see my corded phone, DSL modem/ router and my local phone book. Yes, that really is the local phone book and it covers an area geographically bigger than New Jersey. And, yes, I keep a corded phone.  My old one broke and I found this one at a garage sale for 25¢.  A corded phone is necessary out here because I like to have a usable phone if the power goes out (and my cell phone doesn't work in the house).  Also, being that the corded phone is attached to the wall by a phone wire and therefore cannot move, I always know where it is.  I have six kids six and under.  Phones migrate and sometimes they loose charge when they are lost.  (This happened when my old corded phone broke and my pasture was on fire three years ago.  I had to go to the neighbor's house to call 911.)

Here you can see my corded phone, DSL modem/ router and my local phone book.
Yes, that really is the local phone book and it covers an area geographically bigger than New Jersey.
And, yes, I keep a corded phone. My old one broke and I found this one at a garage sale for 25¢. A corded phone is necessary out here because I like to have a usable phone if the power goes out (and my cell phone doesn’t work in the house). Also, being that the corded phone is up high attached to the wall by a phone wire and therefore cannot move, I always know where it is. I have six kids six and under. Phones migrate and sometimes they loose charge when they are lost. (This happened when my old corded phone broke and my pasture was on fire three years ago. I had to go to the neighbor’s house to call 911.)

I have the cheapest long distance service that I could find (Pioneer) but at 2.9¢ per minute, long distance calls still add up.

I have solved the long distance problem with GoogleVoice. GoogleVoice is a free service which enables one to have free texts, multiple numbers rung by one number, free voicemail, etc.

I use GoogleVoice three ways:
1. I text from the house.  I am the worst text-er. Lots of people use texts and I have joined the bandwagon, too.  I used to not have texts on my phone plan.  Even now that I have free unlimited texts, I have no signal in my house and horrible technological abilities to actually send texts.  I sometimes text people using GoogleVoice from my desktop computer.  It’s free, works in my house and I get to use my real keyboard.
2. I use GoogleVoice to make free long distance calls.  I enter in the number and click “call” and they ring my home number.  When I pick up, I hear the other phone ringing and GoogleVoice connects me.  Yay! Free long distance.
3.  I use GoogleVoice differently for my very frequent calls.  We all have a few numbers that we call more frequently than others.  For me these most frequent calls are to my mom and a friend of mine in Jersey.  I have given them local-to-me GoogleVoice numbers that ring into their respective phone lines.  So when I call them, I simply dial that local-to-me phone number and they pick up their phone in New Jersey.  (Note that GoogleVoice only allows one GoogleVoice to ring into a phone line, so if your loved one also has another GoogleVoice number, it won’t work.)

This is a screenshot from my GoogleVoice screen.

This is a screenshot from my GoogleVoice screen.

(Also note that I had to set this up with a verification code and email.  It’s easy.)

(I do keep my Pioneer Long Distance available for emergencies, internet outages and calls that I know will only be two minutes. My bill runs about $3 per month.  This is doable.)

I realize that I’m probably one of the only people stuck in the stone age with DSL, no unlimited long distance available in my area, no cell phone service in my house and up until a few months ago pay-per-message texts, but if there is possibly anyone else out there somewhere like me, GoogleVoice may be your answer, too.


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