Using Skype + Google Voice for Free Calls!

Recently, I started messing with Google Voice to try and see all the different things that could be done with it. I wondered if it was possible to make calls from a computer, through Skype. This would eliminate all of the complexities of dealing with Gizmo5′s application AND web interface. Additionally, it would let you have completely free calls to ANY phone (cellular or otherwise) in the US and Canada. As it turns out, it is as easy to use Google Talk and Skype with Google Voice. Here’s what you need to do to get Skype working as a “Phone” for Google Voice.

Getting Started

If you already have a Gizmo5 and Skype account, go on to the next step.

First off, you’ll need a Gizmo5 Account. Gizmo5 is similar to Google Voice, except it relies more on a local program, similar to Skype (which we’ll get to in a little bit). Setting one up is really, really easy, and totally free. You’ll just need a username, password, and email (which you should have). You shouldn’t need to download the Gizmo5 program, unless you really want to. Next, if you don’t have one yet, you’ll need a Skype account. Skype is the premiere program for video and audio chat. It also supports an IM feature, although no one really uses it (except in conjunction with a video or audio chat). Go to Skype’s website, download the skype program (make sure you select the right version for your operating system), run it, and set up an account.

Setting Up Redirection

Next, we’re going to have Gizmo5 forward all incoming calls to your Skype account. This is where things get a little interesting. Go to Gizmo5′s website, click on the “My” tab, and select the “Call Forwarding” tab. Select “Forward all calls” on the left hand side, and on the right, select “Skype” and enter your Skype username. If you’d rather use your Google Talk account (Google Talk is Google’s video chat program), then you can select that instead.

Adding Gizmo5

Finally, we’re going to link your Gizmo5 account with your Google Voice account. Leaving your Gizmo5 “My” page open, open a new window/tab in your web browser and go to the Google Voice website. In the upper right hand corner, click “settings”. Then select the “Phones” tab. At the bottom of the page, click the “Add another phone” link. Enter a name that will remind you that this is the Skype forwarding number (it doesn’t have to be anything specific). For a number, you’ll need an SIP number from Gizmo5. Every account gets an SIP number. To find out what your number is, go back to the Gizmo5 “My” page. On the general settings page, you’ll see a field that says “SIP,” followed by an 11 digit phone number (it’s a 10 digit number plus a 1 digit country code). Copy this number, and enter it in the “Number” section in Google Voice”. Make sure the “Phone Type” is set to “Gizmo,” and then hit “Save.” Don’t worry about advanced settings.

Verification

Google Voice will now attempt to authorize your Gizmo phone. A window will pop up with a 2 digit number and a “Connect” button. If you don’t see this, check the “Phones” tab for the Gizmo phone you just set up. You should see a message telling you to verify it, and a link that says “Verify Now.” Click this link. If you don’t see this message or your phone, then you should try to add the phone again.

Make sure your Skype program is running, and that you are logged in, and click the “connect” button in the Verify window. Google voice will now call your Gizmo5 number (the SIP number you gave it earlier). When the call reaches Gizmo5, it should automatically redirect the call to your Skype account. When Skype detects a call and starts ringing, answer it. You’ll hear some automated woman’s voice asking you to enter your two digit verification number. Make sure you have the audio chat window selected, and just press the two digits on your keypad. I wasn’t sure how to do this at first; I had tried sending it to the google voice number via an IM chat, or by trying to dial it into Skype’s on-screen number pad, neither of which worked.

If you can’t verify your Gizmo5 account with Skype, you can alternately try downloading the Gizmo5 program and running that. You’ll need to go back to your Gizmo5 “My” page and turn off call forwarding first, and then try verifying again. You’ll receive a call through Gizmo5 asking you to verify your account. After this, you’re all finished!

Other Notes

It turns out that Gizmo5 forwards calls to your Skype account through a service called OpenSky, which is not entirely free. If you use a call for less than 3 minutes (per call, not total), you should be fine, though. I haven’t tested to see what the results are for Google Voice, so if anyone does, let me know. Regardless, I have been able to successfully make free calls to US and Canadian home phones and cell phones. How’s that for impressiveness?

My first youtube video hits 85 thousand!

This is more of a personal achievement, but I was ecstatic to see that my first youtube video, “How to control your computer with your iPod Touch,” reached 85 thousand hits. Its been over a year since its been up, and it has a lot of flaws, but for my first video, I was pretty impressed with myself. If you’re intent on following the video tutorial, I strongly recommend that you read the “More info” section of the video. It has updated links, edits, and shortcuts that make the video actually work a year after it was published. As always, let me know if you have any issues.┬áRegardless, here it is;

How to Control Your Computer with Your iPod Touch

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z17xS9xRb8

Views subbar

Make sure you comment, rate it 5 stars, favorite it, or subscribe to my youtube channel. I really appreciate it. Thanks to everyone for all the hits. I love it. I owe you guys one.

Surfing any website, on any computer

Don’t you hate it when those computers at the library block you from viewing your email? Ever get stuck working on a computer that has important sites blocked by a bad firewall? Worried that other potentially dangerous websites might log your IP? Well, I have the answer, finally; Peacefire.org.

Peacefire.org has a newsletter service that produces a new proxy website, or a website that allows you to browse other websites via a third party server. I use it whenever I want to visit a website that is suspicious, as a proxy hides your IP address (the third party server’s ip is used in place). It also allows browsing of websites that would normally be blocked, for whatever reason. A popular website to visit via proxys is facebook, seeing as it is blocked in public places due to the risk of people accidentally staying logged in. Myspace is also rather popular, as are most email websites.

Want to know how to set up your own proxy to run off your computer? The benefit of this is that you don’t have to deal with ads, and you don’t have to worry about the 3rd party server logging your private information. Read on to find out how to set one up.

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How to speed up your computer’s hard drive

My hard drive is slow.

So is my processor, but thats not the point. I think my hard drive is something like 5,600 rpm’s, which is slow. my computer makes up for it by having a sweet graphics card, but again, thats not the point. I hate my slow hard drive, and I wanted to fix it. Being my lazy self, though, I didn’t look into it until something popped up in my inbox today. The letter is from Tuneup, the makers of the software I use to speed up various parts of my computer. I experienced a noticable boost in load times of some applications after following their advice, and I can now copy files to and from my hard drive about 25% faster. Awesome.

How did I do it?

All these nifty speed boosts can be obtained by activating your computer’s “Cache.” Normally, your computer writes 100% of everything it needs to save directly onto the hard drive. Because hard drives can only write so fast, this slows your computer down as it waits for an accumulating list of files to be written. By using a cache, files that need to be written are saved on a portion of your RAM, so that whenever your computer is under less of a load, the files that are ‘cached’ can be written. In the mean time, your computer just keeps on going full speed ahead. Read on to see just how I did this. Be warned that this tutorial is Windows-specific. Sorry, Mac users. Continue reading

Making those dvd’s useful

Don’t you hate it when your dvd’s can only be played on your computer or tv? Want a really, really easy way to copy your dvd’s to your computer, and from there to pretty much any movie player you want? I’ve put together a really, really easy tutorial that’ll have you ripping your vids in no time. All you need are 2 pieces of [free] software and a dvd drive.

The software you’ll need is…

Read more to continue.
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Openoffice.org Easter Egg!

Do you own Openoffice.org? No? Get it. Its like Microsoft Office, but free. Thats not what I want to talk about, though.
Once you’ve installed it, open up “Openoffice.org Calc” and in the first row and column, enter this:

=GAME(“StarWars”)

And watch the fireworks. I won’t tell you what this does, but I can tell you that it has no detrimental effects to your computer, nor does it do anything visually displeasing. Just try it. Its rather entertaining, in fact.