How To Make Free Calls From Your Computer With Google Voice
About three weeks ago, I finally got an invite for Google Voice, the new phone-managing service from Google that Iâ€™d been itching to try out since before it was even called Google Voice (back then, it was called GrandCentral, and I still wanted it really, really badly).
Google Voice has a ton of great features, and in a lot of ways fundamentally changes the way youâ€™ll use your phone. A lot of things suddenly become easier with Google Voice â€“ checking your voicemail, sending text messages, and more â€“ and theyâ€™re all best dealt with through your computer.
Update: Google Voice lets you make calls from your computer now so that you don't need to go through the lengthy process anymore listed below.
But, as of now, Google Voice doesnâ€™t inherently let you make calls from your computer. I mean, Iâ€™ve got a microphone and speakers on my computer, as well as a fast Internet connection â€“ why shouldnâ€™t I be able to make calls, ideally for free?
Disclaimer: This is all assuming youâ€™ve already got a Google Voice account. Theyâ€™re sending out invites at lightning-speed, so if you donâ€™t have one, go get on the list!
- Download and Install Gizmo5 (create a free account, with no call credits â€“ you wonâ€™t need them!).
- Open Gizmo. In the â€œHomeâ€ tab of the application, click â€œEdit My Profile.â€
- In the tab that pops up, youâ€™ll see, filled in, a number for â€œSIP number.â€ Copy that number (everything before the @ sign).
- In Google Voice, click â€œSettingsâ€, and then â€œPhones.â€
- Click â€œAdd Another phoneâ€ and paste the SIP number from Gizmo (again, only whatâ€™s before the @ Sign) into the box.
- Name the number â€œGizmoâ€ or whatever you want, and then Save it.
Now, to make calls:
- Open Google Voice, and click â€œCallâ€
- Enter the number you want to call
- Make sure the Gizmo phone (whatever you called it) is selected as the â€œPhone to Ringâ€
- Click â€œConnectâ€
- Youâ€™ll get a pop-up from Gizmo, with your Google Voice number on the caller ID. Answer it!
- Google Voice will automatically dial and connect the other person, and youâ€™ll be chatting from your computer!
The whole process only takes about five minutes, and doesnâ€™t cost a nickel. Because you're using a SIP number, all the data is transmitted over your cable connection rather than your phone network. That means you'll need fast Internet to really make this work, but also means it doesn't cost a thing!
Iâ€™m not sure how long this will be around (Iâ€™m sure carriers wonâ€™t be fans), but for now itâ€™s a fantastic solution for making calls directly from your computer.Advertisement