Sunday, February 14

4 Simple Steps to free North American phone calls with Google Voice, Gizmo5, and Empathy

Image representing Gizmo5 as depicted in Crunc...
If you've got Google Voice and you have wondered, "How can I make free phone calls using this thing?", then you've no doubt seen the many articles telling you how to use Gizmo to forward to Skype.  The problem in the past has been the limited call time.

Image representing Google Voice as depicted in...Well, I just made a 15 minute outbound call using Google Voice+Gizmo+Empathy, obviously surpassing what has been a 3 minute limit in the past.  I am not sure if the limit has been lifted, increased, or if it was something to do with forwarding Gizmo to Skype, but when I use Empathy as a softphone connection to Google Voice it is working great.  Perhaps its a feature of the Gizmo5 aquisition by Google.

The important difference here is setting up a SIP phone rather than using call forwarding to Skype.  I had it set up at one point but it always seemed like a shaky solution.  While I have not been a huge fan of the Ubuntu decision to go to Empathy from the stalwart Pidgin, this seems to be the first realization(at least for me) that it will be a better long term solution.

Here's how to set it up.
1. Sign up for a Gizmo5 account at  Sorry, if you don't already have a Gizmo5 account you are out of luck as they are not accepting new users until they relaunch.
2. When your account has been set up you will need to set up Empathy(or your softphone of choice).  On the Account Overview page, make a note of your SIP number.  Then use the SIP settings for configuring your SIP account.  An important note, your user id is your SIP number, NOT 17471115555.  Do not copy and paste it because it won't work.  Below is an example of what the SIP setup should look like in Empathy.

At this point it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to make a phone call to this number to make sure it works correctly.

3. Set up Google Voice

4. Once finished, you will have to verify the phone number.  Make sure you enable the dial pad on your softphone in order to enter the verification number.

And that's it.  4 simple steps to free phone calls to the US and Canada.
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1 comment:

jc said...
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