No Gizmo5? No SIPGate? Outside the U.S.? Still want it for free? No Problem!
So it came the day when Google decided to close once and for all the rest of the accounts for Gizmo5. On top of that, our most obvious step was to go for an account with Sipgate, but apparently, the demand for free numbers was so great that they claim to have run out of free numbers.
Unless you are ready to spend some money on a paid service, all of us who appreciate free incoming and outgoing calls with Google Voice were left with almost no alternative. “Almost”, of course.
There is another way that we can get around and avoid the VOIP apocalypse of April 3rd. (When all Gizmo5 users will no longer have service).
These next steps to take is for those who, like me, appreciate and support making and receiving free calls using Google Voice, using an internet connection and one iOS device like iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, or if you have an Android phone. No cellular provided needed. Only Internet provider.
Assuming of course that you already have a Google Voice account, which is pretty easy to set up and are available to U.S. users. (There are ways for people outside the U.S. to open a Google Voice account. Just ask)
Also, if you have an Iphone and live inside the U.S., than chances are, you don’t need this. You can still use your Google Voice account with your local cellphone provider.
But for those who need to travel abroad or simply want to have the capability of making and receiving free calls on the Iphone, iPad, iPod Touch or any Android phone anywhere there is an Internet connection available, this is for you. In other words, those who are being affected by the shutdown of Gizmo5 or those who were simply waiting for Gizmo5 to be widely available instead of closed.
I use my Google Voice number as my ONLY number for everything and because I run a business that requires that I’m available 24/7, I need to make sure there is always a way for people to contact me (in case my cellphone battery runs out of juice). Please be an angel and leave me a comment on this post. I’m curious to know if it worked for you and your experiences or suggestions.
Here we go.
Things you will need:
– One Google Voice Account
– One iOS device or one Android device such an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or any Android.
– One app called: Softphone (it’s an application from Acrobits and it cost 6.99$) Yes, also available on Installous from Cydia, but you didn’t hear that from me.
– Lastly, you need an Internet connection. Preferably connected to the Internet all the time (in order to receive calls anytime).
STEP 1: Callcentric (free)
On your computer, go to http://www.callcentric.com and open the IP Freedom (free) account.
You will receive an email confirmation almost right away. Make sure you check your spam folder if you don’t see the email after a few minutes. It happened to me.
When you receive your confirmation email, click on the link to activate your account.
Fill the information requiring a City , Zip Code and Country and make sure you agree to the terms and conditions. I didn’t read the terms. No one does. Just agree like everyone else.
The next screen will basically give you the details of your brand new account with Callcentric. Notice the gray box on the left – top corner.
The gray box gives you your new Callcentric Number. But if you refresh the window or log out and then Log in again, you will see a message saying “Your phone is not Registered.”
Don’t close the page yet, but this is the part when you grab your Iphone and download the Softphone app. For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m using my iPad. But it is exactly the same.
Once you have downloaded the app, go to
SETTINGS ——→ SIP Accounts ——–→ +
(to add a new account on the right top of the screen) and from the long list of providers, select Callcentric.
Enter your username (which is your callcentric numer) and enter your password. And click on Save.
In order to receive calls regardless if the app is turned on or not (but still connected to the internet), you need to turn push notifications. To do this, you need to edit the section that says: “Incoming Calls”. By default, it is always on but that needs to change.
It needs to be “On with Push” . Again, this is not mandatory, but recommended.
Then click on SAVE and on the next screen click on
SETTINGS ——— DONE.
At this point, you should be able to see on the left top corner of your app that the Callcentric account was successfully activated (It turns green). You can refresh the screen on your internet browser of your computer and it will now say: “Your phone is registered”.
STEP 2: IPKall (free)
Now you need a U.S. number that will associate your newly created VoIp account with Google Voice. But it needs to be FREE! Right?
Go to http://phone.ipkall.com
Right on the spot you will create your account in order to request a free U.S. based number using the information from Callcentric.
Select the Area Code you wish, enter your SIP username (which is your Callcentric Number) and very important: The Host or IP Address to enter is: in.callcentric.com I found that out after many unsuccessful attempts.
Also Enter your email address (they will send you your phone number that is located in Washington to this address) and enter your desired password.
After a few second (but it could take a few minutes), you will receive an email from IPKall with your Washington area Number. Again, if not, check your spam folder.
At this point you can test your incoming calls by simply dialing this number from another phone. It should ring on your Ipad or Iphone.
STEP 3: Google Voice (free)
Now you are ready to link your new Washington number to your Google Voice account by simply going to Google Voice Settings and adding a new Phone. Notice how I named the new phone “Callcentric”. You can call it anything you want but it is important that you remember that name for when you are ready to configure Google Voice on the Softphone App.
If you are lucky, your Washington area number has never been linked to Google Voice, If so, then you are set and you don’t need the next steps, but after several attempts, and getting the same message, I got the Google Voice screen that allows you to reclaim that number as yours. (Because it is yours now). I didn’t get any link to reclaim the number, so don’t ask me how I was so lucky, but usually, if your number had linked before to Google Voice, you will receive an error message telling you that this phone number is already in use on another account. Click on the ‘Reclaim this number’ link in the error message and you will be asked to verify that phone again. Enter the verification code when your phone is called to complete the verification process and reclaim the number back in your account.
In any event, you need to verify that number with Google Voice before your calls can ring there.
Once you have verified your number, you can now go back to your iPad or iPhone and finish the settings.
Again, on you Softphone app click on
SETTINGS ——–→ SIP ACCOUNTS ——→ +
(To add a new account). And from the list, select Google Voice.
This is where you enter your Google username (Which is usually your email address) and your Google password. But it is very important that you select Callcentric (or whatever else you called your Washington number during the setup at Google Voice Settings).
Then Click on SAVE ——→ SETTINGS —–→ DONE.
Now you can see your accounts. If everything went well and you got all the settings and passwords right, then you should see the Callcentric and your Google Voice account marked in green and ready to make calls.
And that’s it. You are done. You can now receive and make calls. But In order to make calls from Google Voice, make sure your Google Voice Account is selected on your Softphone App as shown on the next image: