Google Voice (not only) in the USA

Google Voice (not only) in the USA

Now that you are familiar with Google Voice services comes the sign-up guide,
what will you need?
  • Get an active American phone number
  • Connect for initial sign-up while camouflaged as you are located in the USA.
  • Sign-up
  • Install relevant applications for using the service (or you can settle for the web access provided by Google).

Getting a USA phone number

In order to activate the service you will need an active American phone number which you can validate by getting an incoming call and dialing a code to verify you are indeed the owner of that line.
If you don’t already have an American phone number – follow the instructions on this post for you free number or you can sign-up to any number of SIP services that provide a phone number such as SIP gate (but I do recommend the options described on my post as the simplest way to get it done).

Getting access to Google Voice sign-up

If you are located in the USA – you can skip this part and go directly to this address http://www.google.com/voice.

Otherwise you’ll need to gain access using a proxy server to a VPN service

 

Camouflaged Browsing
Camouflaged Browsing
 I highly recommend ibVPN – a company offering an easy service of “camouflaged browsing” using various proxy servers around the world including the united states. This is a paid service however the prices are reasonable and the support service is very friendly, you can find detailed guides on how to connect with various devices and most important – you’ll have a clear address to verify you are not messing up with unwanted unknown people with issues concerning information security on your computer. You can read about their service in more detail in the following post.
The is a free alternative, Hotspot Shield who promises to allow you camouflaged browsing in return for displaying ads on the pages you browse too. Installing this alternative is slightly more complicated and if truth be told, it does not inspire a lot of confidence with all the alerts I got during the process… try it out at your own risk (like everything else actually…).
Eventually, when you go to the address http://www.google.com/voice with camouflaged browsing as if you are in the US, you’ll be allowed to sign-up for the service.

Signing-up to Google Voice

Assuming the site recognizes your browsing as if it’s coming from the United States, you’ll immediately be taken to the first stage of the signup process:
  • Choosing your new Google Voice phone number
GV11
Find an available number by area code / zip code and a combination of letters and numbers
GV22
Pages through and select your number
  • Type in your pin code (for use with the voice mail and as secondary identification)
GV31
Type a 4 digit code
  • Type in your existing American phone number (the one mentioned about, your Whistle phone or other), go through the validation process (Google voice will dial your number and ask you to enter the validation code presented on your screen in your phone)
GV41
Type in your existing American number from stage 1
GV51
Click “Call now”, wait for an incoming call and enter the validation code on your phone
Once you’ve completed this process you can disconnect the proxy used for the camouflaged browsing and work directly with the Google voice site without having to camouflage your origin (unless you’ll want to change your Google voice number in the future).
At this stage you can add other American numbers you may have to the service and control which one will ring and when.

Using Google Voice services

If you are using Google Talk you can also transfer calls to that account and manage the whole thing from your computer using the web services of Google Voice.

iPhone / iPad / iPod users have several alternatives:

The free (most unfriendly) solution

  • Get incoming calls
    • Using the Whistle phone app you should already have.
    • You can also use Fring or any other SIP phone app you may have that can work with SIP service that provides a number.
  • Sending and receiving text messages, managing your voice mail, checking call history and setup can all be done by directly accessing www.google.comevoice from your mobile device.
  • Making outgoing calls – you’ll need to switch to the “old version” of the Google voice web site using the link at the bottom of the page.
    • Once your type in the number to call and selecting the Whistle phone number – you will be getting a call back which will ring on your Whistle phone (You’ll get an instant push if you’ve set it up), once you answer – the call will ring for the number you typed and you will be connected.
NEWGVhtml1
New Google Voice web app
oldGVHTML1
Old Google Voice web app,
allows making outgoing calls using callback feature

A small price, a bit more friendly solution

  • Getting incoming calls – same as above
  • Everything else (sending and receiving text messages, voice mail management, call history and setup) can be achieved using GV mobile + (2.99$).

The advantage of GV Mobile + is with easier outgoing call interface to get your call back, you’ll get the transcript of your voice mails and the recordings inside the app as well as the call history for offline access – even if you are not connected to the internet. The down side is that you’ll have to disable use of multiple accounts in Google if you have it since it interferes with the app operation for some reason.
(I’ve seen some indications that Google may release a native app which may serve as an attractive alternative and I’ll post a note of that as soon as I have more information).

The best solution

Making outgoing calls from one app, getting calls in another app is most unfriendly… in order to achieve both tasks from the same app, I’ve found 2 very well executed, friendly solutions by Acrobits that offers 2 relevant apps:
  • Softphone (6.99$)
  • Groundwire (9.99$)

A detailed review HERE

Did you give this guide a try? Was it clear? Did you make it? – Please share your story in the comments!
Question? Problem? Share in the comments as well so I’ll be able to update the guide…

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