Oct 20 2010

Link: Free SIP Calling with Google Voice (sans Gizmo5)

One of the more popular articles on this site is How to use Google Voice for free outgoing calls on an Asterisk/FreePBX system (the easy way), but that article assumes that you own (or have administrator access to) an Asterisk server.  What if you just want to have a softphone or regular phone with Google Voice?  Well, in that case you might find this article interesting:

Free SIP Calling with Google Voice (sans Gizmo5)

The way this works is that it uses an online service called PBXes.org in place of a local Asterisk server.  PBXes org offers a free account that supports up to two voice channels, and that’s all you need for Google Voice connectivity.  The article assumes you will use IPKall as your inward DID provider (you need one of these so Google Voice has a way to send calls to you, since they no longer allow new Gizmo5 signups), but I see no reason you couldn’t use another service like Sipgate One if you want to (only thing I don’t like about IPKall, besides the fact that they’re in the state of Washington which means a bit more latency than I’d like for those of us back east, is that they have kind of a “use it or lose it” policy where if you don’t use your number for a month they shut it off and give it to someone else.  That would not be a problem for many users, but it’s just something you should be aware of).

Also, they show you how to set it up with a softphone (which as far as I’m concerned sort of defeats the purpose, since you can just use Google’s software if you’re willing to go the softphone route, and skip all the intermediate steps).  The real value to this would be setting it up with a hardware adapter such as a Sipura SPA-2000 or a Linksys PAP2, so you can make and receive calls using a real phone, or with a commercial VoIP phone.  I would think that should be possible; it would (in theory) just be a matter of plugging the account information into the adapter, same as you’d have to do with a softphone.  There may be certain other settings you have to concern yourself with (see, for example, Linksys and Sipura adapter users – check your RTP Packet Size and Network Jitter Level) but I have to think it’s at least possible.

Disclaimers: I have NOT tested the method shown in the linked article.  It’s just here for your information (and, possibly, for my information, should I need it at some future date). Also, please remember that you should not use Google Voice as your primary (or only) phone service, because you will not have access to 911 in an emergency!

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