Free calls to US using Google Voice & Gizmo (with IPKall or a Friend in US)

[Update: Gizmo5 has been acquired by Google and so new user sign-up has been suspended. Use to get a SIP number instead of Gizmo5 and Express Talk instead of Gizmo5 client. Gmail can also be used as a client for Google Voice. An updated guide can be found at Digital Inspiration, titled Get Google Voice from Outside the U.S.]

So how did I get my Google Voice number from outside US… Yeah I live in Sri Lanka, and I have registered my Google Voice number and use it without any restrictions…!

Google Voice is a wonderful service that functions like a virtual phone switchboard, and you can manage calls and route them to your various phones, voice mail, etc. It gives you a free phone number that can receive regular phone calls and route them to any other actual phones you have connected to your account.

Unfortunately, currently its forwarding abilities are limited only to US phones. Also you are not allowed to access service registration when you are outside US. But I was able to do some workaround with the help of couple of online guides to create my own Google Voice number.

How to signup to Google Voice?
Currently its only by ‘invite mode’ but you can get an invitation within a week or so. During the signup process you will be required to verify your account via a US telephone number.

How to access the Google Voice website for signup from outside US? (After you are signed-up you are allowed to access even from outside US)

  1. Get a friend of your’s in US to do this.
  2. Use a SOCKS Tunnel to access. (I won’t suggest this as its risky, also web based proxies won’t help)

How to get a US number and verify it when you are outside US?

  1. Get a friend of your’s in US to add his home number and verify it for you.
  2. Buy a US number as a CallIn number on Gizmo, or any other similar providers, (priced around 10 – 20 $). (Callcentric, Voxalot)
  3. Get a free US number from IPKall (forwarded to Gizmo or any other VoIP service) that can be added to Google Voice signup.

How to connect this with Gizmo?

  • Register for a free Gizmo account and get your Gizmo number (which is a SIP number, that can be used on any SIP client, on PC, on mobiles, on ATA devices)
  • Add your Gizmo number in your Google Voice settings page.
  • Add your Google Voice number in your My Gizmo page.

What I have got now?

  • I have a Gizmo account I can add to any SIP enabled device.
  • I have a IPKall number which is also a US phone number forwarded to my Gizmo account, but I’m not going to use that at all.
  • I have a Google Voice number (thats what we wanted to have…!).
  • Any one can call my US number 540-IMN-IMAL (540-466-4625), and it will ring in my Gizmo phones, SIP applications or any other device. Its free for me.
  • I can call any US (& Canada?) numbers for free, (at least for 3 minutes).

Thats how I got my nice Google Voice number. I’m ready to help you if you want to get your own Google Voice number, just leave a comment.

Further Reading:

  1. Gizmo Voice – A mashup using Gizmo5 and Google Voice
  2. Adding a Gizmo number to Google Voice
  3. Taking calls from Gizmo
  4. Google Voice from Wikipedia

By Nimal

I am a grounded nomad. I love a bit of art and science. #thappillai


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