Saurabh Arora

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How to get Google Voice number outside US?

Many people have asked me this question. For the benefit of everyone, am sharing here the steps to get your own Google Voice (GV) number. There is no guarantee that this method will work and this may require some bit of technical competency. But if you know how to install a program and read your email, you should be fine.

I’m not going to detail the benefits of Google Voice but you may want to see a quick short intro video embedded below if you are unfamiliar with the service.

Now, let’s get you a GV number.

Get a US number

Before you can have your own GV number, you would need a US number (why?) that GV can forward the calls to.

Zero Cost Option: The zero cost option is to first get a free SIP number from any of the providers such as FreeWorldDialup or Gizmo or Gtalk2Voip. I would recommend to go for Gtalk2Voip since it will ring your Gtalk for every incoming call. Once you have your SIP number, you can register the SIP number with IPKall. IPKall gives you a local number in Washington state that rings your SIP number whenever someone calls your IPKall number. That’s it, you now have a US number but there are few things to consider with this option:

  • It may take about a week before IPKall gives you a free US number
  • IPKall may release your number unless you make/receive at least one call a month
  • IPKall requires one to enter SIP phoner number and SIP proxy, which you can get from your SIP provider

Dollar a month option: As you might have noticed, the zero cost option requires some bit of technical competency and patience but if you are willing to spend a dollar a month, you can get a US number easily. Sign up on Spokn and get a US number for a dollar/month. Your Spokn number can work with any of the SIP clients (see settings) or download the Spokn client from the Spokn site for Windows Desktop, Mobile, Nokia or Blackberry devices. That’s it, you now have a US number.

Get a Google Voice number

Earlier, one needed an invite in order to register for GV. But recently, Google opened up GV to public with no invitation required. However, there is one small caveat.

Update 10:38 am: Just to clarify, though we’ve opened up sign-ups, Google Voice is still limited to everyone in the U.S. for now.

Since you are outside US and if you try to register for Google Voice, you will get the below message.

Google Voice not available in your country

Google Voice not available in your country

In all probability, Google has tracked your IP and knows that you are accessing the service from a non-US IP address. However, you can use a proxy server in order to circumvent this restriction. Basically, all your requests the browser makes goes through the proxy server and the site you are trying to access believes the requests are coming from the proxy server instead of your computer. Google “free proxy server” and you will find dozens of options available but I would recommend HotSpot Shield. Download the client and run the software. Now, if you try to register for Google Voice, you will be taken to a welcome screen and ask to choose a Google Voice number! Follow the steps and register your US number with the Google Voice number.

If you want, you can now uninstall the HotSpot Shield software since Google doesn’t restrict accessing GV site once you have registered for the service. That’s it. You now have a working Google Voice number!

Fine print: If you choose to go with above steps only to have Google shut your Google Voice account,  I take no responsibility.

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Saurabh Arora is is crunching numbers at Faceboook. Previously, he got his hands dirty doing product development, online customer acquisition, product marketing and online revenue generation for one of the India's leading online job portal.

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