Benefiting from inevitably tracked data

SMS messages and voice calls are already collected and monitored. So would services like Google Voice (VoIP) give you at least a payback for your already tracked data?


  • Using a carrier: data is collected, you only basic SMS & calling experience
  • Using Google Voice: data is collected, you get your SMS on your email, can call over the internet, and you can turn on airplane mode without missing a message.
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Receiving SMS 2FA is the only acceptable use case. But maybe I am merely losing my imagination…

This is also for US only.

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Cons I can think:
Some services could detect you are using a virtual number and block you?
You still need a SIM for data

It’s more secure since you don’t risk sim swapping.

I think it makes more sense to get Google FI, but imo the only advantage would be not having to deal with a phone carrier.

It should not be an issue if you are using a VPN because all the cellular provider are seeing is that you are just connecting to one service and nothing else.

I am assuming this means a second bill and number, tho. Unless Google voice is “free”

I would rather use something like, which has all those benefits but I trust them a lot more than Google (see their privacy policy here: JMP: Privacy & Transparency Statement). They also now have an eSIM for cellular data that has served me very well and saved me a lot of money.

Regarding services blocking you for using a virtual number - one trick is to get a real number (maybe via mint mobile or something) and transfer it to a virtual phone service. It will take some time for companies to realize that your number is now virtual.

Thanks for the suggestion. I didn’t know about this.

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