Private Phone – Get a Phone Number you can Give Out

Have you ever needed to give someone your phone number that you didn’t really want having your real #? Whatever the reason or situation, chances are good that you have.

NetZero has a solution. It’s easy to use and it’s FREE! Of course, they want you to upgrade to their premium service, but the free entry level deal is perfectly usable.

The way it works is simple:

  • You sign up and pick a phone number. You can pick one with your own area code, or get one in another city if you want.
  • Set up your voice mail greeting
  • Tell Private Phone how many rings before voice mail picks up
  • Set alerts to email you or text you on your mobile when you get new voice maik

You’re off and running!People call you and leave a voice mail. You get an alert. The email alerts can even contain the voicemail. If you upgrade to a premium service, you can get the call forwarded.

You have to call them back on your real phone number, so if you want to keep your number anonymous and talk, you’ll need something like Jaxtr (check out the TechCrunch writeup).

The other very cool thing is that you can download messages or even embed links in your web pages/blogs, etc. You can leave yourself voice notes through your phone and save them to your website. I love the idea of being able to visually archive voice mail.

I’ve just started using this myself, so I don’t know of all the kinks, but I’m sure there must be some.

So, here’s a list of phone related links that may be of use:

  • PrivatePhone.com – this is the NetZero offering
  • Jaxtr – allows you to have your computer broker a phone call, thereby protecting the numbers of both parties
  • 2ReCall.com – allows you to record a phone call by first dialing an 800 # before calling the other party
  • GotVoice – similar to PrivatePhone without the extra phone #. Lets you manage your voice mail using your computer. You can get your regular voicemails emailed to you, or listen to them online. This is another one I’m excited about!
  • 1-800-FREE411 -the name says it all…free 411 calls. Need a phone number, you don’t have to burn your cash on 411 calls. Just listen to a brief advertisement and 1-800-FREE411 gives you the info you need…for FREE!
  • [Update] GrandCentral – this service has been getting good/mixed reviews from TechCrunch, NYT, and others. The idea is that GrandCentral will issue you a local phone number that you can give out in lieu of all your other numbers. You can set up rules relating to callers. When someone calls who isn’t whitelisted, they give their name and you get a call and decide whether to take the call or send to voicemail. Whitelisted callers are passed right through based on your rules. Theory sounds great…it’s still in Beta, so kinks may exist.
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