If you sign up for a free Google email account, you can get a Google Voice account with your own phone number, and make free phone calls to any phone in the United States, until the end of the year.
Before I retired last year, I was a phone administrator for a company that was implementing a change from standard phones to voice-over-ip-phones, and the ip phone system appealed to me. When my wife and I moved in October, 2008 to a different house, we got an ip home phone, bundled with Internet and tv service from a cable provider. My 10-digit phone number has the right area code, but the exchange number, digits 4 through 6, are different from others in the area. Remember when you could tell where a person lived, or a business was located, by looking at their exchange number?
I also have Skype on my computer, and when they offered free calls to phones a few years back, I used it. Just recently, I downloaded an app on my cell phone and used Skype.
So, when Google offered a free number, I had to have one. If you live in a large metropolitan area, you may be able to get a number in your own area code. If you live in a smaller city or rural area, you’re still in luck. Try the last six numbers of your cell phone number. I picked a number that is the same as my cell number except for one number, with a different area code. You also select a four-digit pin number that you use to retrieve your voicemail.
So, to put it all together, if you live in the US, call your new Google Voice number on your cell. When prompted, enter your pin. You will then hear your messages with options to save or delete. Finally, you will hear an option to place a call by entering 2, then the ten digit number that you are calling, followed by the # symbol. You will hear a recording informing you that this is a free call. How decent is that?