Using Google Voice in Canada

Google Voice (GV) can be used to make FREE calls to US and Canada, however it’s not open to Canadian users yet. But with some workaround, it’s not difficult to enjoy the free offering from Google in Canada.

Here are some steps I followed to use Google Voice to make and receive phone calls to US and Canada with ATA and phone, no computer required and free of charge.

  • Register a free account at SipSorcery. SipSorcery (SS) was open again for free account with some limitations, but it’s adequate for Google Voice calling purpose. After the simple registration, you will get your SS username ss_username.
  • Log in your ATA, input following information to make it register to SipSorcery: User ID: ss_username, Password: ss_password, Proxy: Save and make sure it registers to SipSorcery.
  • In SipSorcery account, replace the dial plan with this Simple dial plan. You will need to make necessary modifications to it later. For more information regarding dial plan, please refer to my another post.
  • Register a free accont at IPKall. After the registration, you will get a US phone number ipk_number and you can forward all calls to this number to a SIP URI, which can be set in the account setting. Put your ss_username in the SIP Phone Number and in the SIP Proxy.
  • Get a GV phone number. Assuming you already have a Gmail account gmail_account with corresponding password gmail_password. In order to get a GV phone number, you will need to visit Google Voice from a US IP address because of the reason aforementioned. You can do this by using a US proxy server. A simple Google search will help you on this matter. Now you will be asked to select a new GV number and to verify it. Google voice will call you at a US phone number and you will be asked to enter a code that’s displayed on your screen. Just use the IPKall number ipk_number here.You will be called at ipk_number and the phone connected to your ATA will ring. Pick up the phone and follow the instruction to enter the two-digit verification code and you are all set.
  • Now go back to your SipSorcery account and modify your dial plan. You need to change GV_USER, GV_PASS and CB_NUMBER to your gmail_account, gmail_password and ipk_number respectively.

If you follow all above steps correctly, you are now able to make calls to US and Canada via Google Voice for free. And, all calls to your GV number will be forwarded your IPKall number then forwarded to your SS SIP URI, i.e., received at your ATA and your connected phone.

By tweaking the dial plan in SipSorcery, it’s easy to route calls to another VoIP provider according to numbers dialed. For example, I use to make international calls as well as other features such as voice mail, E911 etc. Meanwhile, I forward calls to my Canadian DID at to my SS SIP URI so I can receive all calls made to all three numbers (GV number, IPKall number and Canada DID) on the same phone; and calls made from the same phone will be routed to Google Voice or automatically. As a backup, I register the line 2 of my ATA (Linksys PAP2T-NA) to so I can still receive phone calls to my DID in case GV and/or SS and/or IPKall are down.

Google Reader theme

Google Reader is my favorite daily online RSS reader, and it’s getting better and better recently. Some of the new features just added include a nice search box (finally!) and some small improvements. But what I am not satisfied is its somewhat boring and long-time-no-change user interface.

There were some tweaks to Google Reader’s interface and I tried some but none of them satisfied me until recently I found this one: OS X Style Google Reader by Jon Hicks. As the name tells, it mimics the Mac OS X look to Google Reader. I feel this one is better than Google Reader’s default appearance by removing some items and changing fonts and colors. In order to install this style, you need to install the Stylish extension for Firefox, then load the script into Stylish. After all the installations, reload Google Reader and you will see the difference! You can find more styles for Google Reader here.

UPDATE: Google Reader just graduated from Google Labs and now is official.

Google toolbar for Firefox

Google Toolbar for Firefox is out and this is what I am waiting for. I uninstalled the old one developed by Mozilla and installed this new one and it looks good (maybe just “familiar” because I have been using Google Toolbar for IE all the time.) Actually only the search form, spelling check and up directory are what I need the most badly.

Google personalized homepage

Google personalized homepage is something like My Yahoo! but comes in a Google style. I feel it’s more “personalized” and neater than its competitors. If you are addicted to Google, you got to try it.

Search MP3 in Google

It’s pretty cool to search MP3′s using Google. For example, search

"alizee" intitle:index.of mp3 -html -htm -php -asp -txt -pls

in Google will turn back all MP3′s by AlizĂ©e.


Google web accelerator

It’s Google again! Google Web Accelerator beta was released days ago. It’s a big news and sparks privacy fears in the community. On the other hand, GWA can also be used as a super proxy and seems the techniques Google uses break through some “powerful” firewalls!

Google blog

Google Blog