What Is Google Voice?

Google Voice is a virtual phone number and call forwarding service provided by the search giant Google. Originally named GrandCentral and innovative for its time, the product was first launched in 2005 and acquired by Google in 2007.

Although Google Voice updated their apps in 2017 with a promise to continue adding new features and support it going forward, it is still unclear as to the role of Google Voice among their suite of communications products, which also include Hangouts, Allo, Duo, and Android OS.

Updates to Google Voice and support have been spotty over the years, and the 2017 update was the first significant one that Google Voice users received in five years. Additionally, cross-compatibility with Hangouts and other dialing and messaging apps, on both Android and iOS, remain confusing to many users.

Burner and Google Voice

The inbox on Burner (left) and Google Voice (right)

What Are the Differences Between Google Voice and Burner?

Google Voice provides single virtual phone numbers to US residents. Unlike Burner, which allows unlimited numbers on a single device, you can only have one number on Google Voice.

Both services offer robocall blocking. We use Nomorobo. Google Voice uses their own proprietary system to block spam calls (which is likely more than your carrier number does).

Google Voice numbers are attached to your Google account. Many people already store a lot of personal information with Google, both overtly and indirectly through search and other behaviors, and Google is ultimately an advertising company that targets ads and profits from this kind of information. We think Burner is a clearly better choice if privacy is a priority.

Google Voice is not designed for temporary or semi-permanent use cases. If you delete a Google Voice number, it continues to forward to your phone for 90 days. When you burn one of our numbers, you're disconnected immediately and all history is wiped.

Finally, Google Voice doesn't come with many of the smart features that make Burner so useful, such as auto-replies to texts, integrations with Dropbox, Google Drive, Slack, and more.

Why Choose Burner Over Google Voice?

If you just need a single phone number with no additional functionality that you don't anticipate ever needing to get rid of, Google voice is a decent option.

But if you may want additional lines, easy swaps (number changes), or better privacy, then Burner is the right choice. Many Burner users find it convenient to keep multiple lines active at the same time, for example using one for a work project and the other to give out as a general “spam” line.


  • Unlimited calls, texts, and pics

  • Up to 3 auto-renewing lines

  • Spam and robocall blocking

  • 1 swap per line per month

How Much Does Google Voice Cost?

With a Google Voice number, you get unlimited free calls and SMS anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, up to three hours in length. International calls start at $0.01 per minute and go up from there. You can find Google Voice international rates on their website.

What Are People Saying About Google Voice and Burner?

I love having this option to use one line with an additional number. I can keep my business and my personal life separate without the need and the hassle of carrying to different phones and the unnecessary expense of additional cellular service. Whoever thought of this is a genius!
— Earl Stahl, Android Reviewer
Great app to keep your private number private, and still be sociable. Have business calls on same phone, and for fun. Talk about user friendly, simple with all kinds of features I didn’t even realize existed. An absolute must. Probably best app I’ve ever used. 10 stars in my book. Thanks for a great app that’s simple and offers so much!
— Brad Wyss, Android Reviewer