We read on Gizmodo earlier today that Google had just integrated it’s Skype-like Google Voice function into Gmail. The article also said something that made us perk up – that calls from a US IP to another US or Canadian number would be absolutely free. Since our VPN changes us to a US IP anyhow, we decided to give it a try.
And it worked! To call someone, click on the little “Call phone”-plus-phone icon right under your name in the Gchat section. Gmail will then proceed to download and install the calling app. Then you just input the US or Canadian number you want to call and it get’s a-calling. That is, if you have a VPN with a U.S.-based IP (which I know for a fact that both Freedur and Witopia provide).
My test call to a cellphone in Michigan lasted about two or three minutes before it got fuzzy and dropped, though that could have been because of the internet connection I’m using. If you’ve tried it, tell us how it went in comments.
Apparently, you can also sign up for a US Number through Google Voice, but you must have someone confirm it in the States with their real number. If you have a friend who can do this for you, then technically anyone could call you from the US and Canada for free – or at least without long distance fees – for free too! If you’re worried about the confirmation number you used receiving calls, just go into options and change it to send to voicemail.
Anyone want to try me? My number is…
Just kidding, I’d never give any of y’all my number.