Seeking an #indieweb alternative to Google Voice

2 min read

The whole time I've been in the US, I've been using a Google Voice number to communicate.

Here it is: +1 (312) 488-9373.

The reasons are numerous: I can get phone calls on any of my connected devices, even when I'm out of the country. I can change phone service providers at any time. I can make calls in places with wifi but no cellphone reception. I get voicemails as text, so I don't have to listen through an endless series of recorded messages.

Phone numbers themselves are kind of an archaic technology, but it's not feasible to ditch them just yet. So I was disappointed to read that Google Voice is going to be rolled into Hangouts.

That's Google's prerogative. Any silo service provider could make a similar decision at any time. So the question becomes: how can I create my own Google Voice setup on my own infrastructure?

I want four things:

  1. Phone calls that come to me wherever I am, on whatever device
  2. The ability to change phone provider without hassle
  3. Voicemails in my email
  4. Cheap international calls

I also don't want to use Skype or another proprietary provider.

I'm really not sure what to look for here. I know about SIP and Asterisk, but setting up and maintaining them sounds like a pain to me. Is there something user-friendly I can use?

I'll be following up in a subsequent post with what I discover.