Everyone has an answering machine right? If not they probably have voicemail provided by their cell phone carrier, voip carrier or telephone company right? Well maybe.
If you don't currently have voicemail there are many reasons you might want to consider setting up this service including if you're:
- Living with your parents or with a bunch of roomies and you never get messages when people call or you just want some privacy
- Trying to live on a pay as you go wireless plan or restricted minutes on your cell phone
- Collaborating with a group and want shared access to a common voicemail box
- Tired of having to call into access numbers and enter passwords from your phone
- Wanting a dedicated voicemail for job hunting or any other reason you might want to categorize or prioritize the messages you listen to
- Without a voice memo feature on your cell phone
- Having lots of great ideas on different subjects and want to categorize your thoughts
- Constantly on the go or spend a lot of time driving and want to dictate voice messages you can later email to people.
If you answered yes to any of these, and don't mind a USA based number then you are in luck since there are a number of internet services that provide FREE voicemail.
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Drop.io is easily my top pick in this category. You can set up an unlimited number of Drop.io "boxes" with a unique descriptive url.
[Acquired by Facebook in 2010. Service is no longer being used.]
In addition to the many other features of Drop.io boxes, you get your very own voice mail box where a mp3 of the message is available moments after the call has ended. Once recorded you can add written comments, download the voicemail, send a link to it and rename it if you wish. Setting up a drop is easy and can be accomplished in as little as two clicks and the drops can be secured with a password.
If you enable their new Present.io feature you can invite others to access your drop and control playback while discussing the message on the free conference call that is also provided.
K7 Unified Messaging provides you with both a voicemail box and fax capabilities. This service also limits you to the 20 most recent messages. However, it can be configured to email you any new messages and faxes in industry standard formats with no special viewer required. They are a little more generous with the access requirements than Laser Voicemail, but you must access the service at least once every 30 days.
Laser Voicemail provides an easy setup of a private voicemail number. Setup and all access is done on the phone so a PC or web access is not even required once you have the setup instructions. It's easy to use and allows custom greetings. Since it is a phone only based system there is no website and no way to be notified of any new messages and you can't save your voicemails. You are limited to only 20 messages (it will just drop off the oldest when a new message arrives) and you must access your mailbox at least once every seven days or it will be deleted.
With all the services in this category the biggest drawback is that it is limited to USA based phone numbers and long distance calls will be required for people to leave you messages and you will get an obscure area code.
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If you live in the UK there is one option available to you called callin box.
K7 Unified Messaging
voice, mail, voicemail, service, message, notification