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Google Voice setup from Canada

I briefly tried three times before to setup Google voice from Canada with no luck. Many guides exist on the internet to help you with this, problem is they are out of date and just don't see to work. The fourth time was a charm for me. Before thinking about going to all this effort you should realize that you can't get a Canadian google voice number, but with a little effort you can get your US Google Voice number forwarded to any Canadian number. Regardless, using it does give you a chance to play with it so that once Canadian numbers are available, you will be familiar with the service.

The problem with activating a Google Voice account is Google Voice wants to phone you at a US based phone number and have you enter a two digit confirmation code as part of the activation. This requires a number of steps to get working from Canada.

Steps.
  1. Request an Google Voice invite from Google. Invite
  2. Setup a Canadian 403 phone number and forward it to whatever number you want, seems Google Voice will forward to that one Canadian area code(403). See details below*.
  3. Use the phone number generated in step 2 to activate Google Voice. You may need to use a US based proxy, see Hotspot Shield, for this step.
OR


  1. Request an Google Voice invite from Google. Invite
  2. Sign up for a free voip SIP account, SIP account You will get an email with details of your account. Something like :We are reserving the following SIP address for you: sip:89xxxx@freevoip.fonosip.com
  3. Using the information form step 2, signup for a free US based phone number at IPKall
  4. Install and configure SIP phone software from counterpath I used x-lite 4.0 Beta.
  5. Run the software from step 4, while setting up your Google voice account. Use the phone number generated in step 3. You may need to use a US based proxy, see Hotspot Shield, for this step
  6. Setup a Canadian 403 phone number and forward it to whatever number you want, seems Google Voice will forward to that one Canadian area code(403). See details below.


The hardest part seems to be step 4 above, getting that software setup and working is just a bit problematic. Even when I run it now, it seems to fail about 30% of the time. You only need to answer that one phone call from Google Voice as part of the setup, after that, you don't need to be concerned with it.
The settings I used for the x-lite SIP phone software are:
  • Account name: fonosip
  • Protocol: SIP
  • user id: 89xxxx (value from step 2 confirmation email)
  • domain: freevoip.fonosip.com
  • Password: (value from step 2 confirmation email)
  • Display Name: (anything you want I think)
  • Authorization Name: 89xxxx (value from step 2 confirmation email)
After setting this up, but before attempting the Google Voice activation, I would try calling out via the software(call 411 for example) and try calling in from your home phone to verify the setup.

* Update: I was aware that Google Voice had some kind of loophole that allowed forwarding to Canadian 403 area code numbers, but since I don't live in Calgary that was not of much help. It seems a serivce does exist that allow you to sign up for a free 403 number and forward it to any Canadian number. This service is FreePhoneLine.ca Using that service I selected a 403 area code(Calgary Alberta) number and just set it up to allways forward to my cell number. Now my US Google Voice number rings my Canadian cell number.

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