Save some money.. and chuck your monthly landline bills.This post describes how to get a free US landline, based on the Google Voice service. Before I start off, I would like to make it clear that this setup is only possible for US residents, because Google Voice currently limits its service to only residents of United States. I have personally set this up a number of times for friends and family who are very satisfied with saving their money and also the quality of the service.
But once the initial setup is complete, this device will work anywhere in the world, as long as you are able to provide this device an ethernet based internet connection.
1. Buy one of the ObiHai devices from Amazon.com. I bought the Obi100 from amazon for $40. The most basic of all models Obi provides. Good enough if you just need a landline at home.
2. Create a new google account. If you are comfortable sharing your personal email ID with Obi, then you can skip to step 7.
3. Use your Gmail account from step 2, and login to Google Voice portal.
4. The first thing you see as soon as you login will be a dialog box asking you to create a new number.
Click on "I want a new number"
5. Search for a few numbers by your zip code and get a number for yourself. Enter a suitable PIN number for security and click Continue.
6. The next step involves adding a forwarding phone to your account. This is the step which requires you to have a US number in order to create a new google voice account. If you do have a number, type in the number here and get it verified by google. The steps on the google voice setup page will guide you on how to get your number verified.
7. Once you get this verified, click on the settings button on top right corner of the screen and click on the checkbox, "Forward Calls" to "Google Chat". This is the most important step in the whole process since Obi technology works by "talking" to the google voice using its chat protocol.
If you like, you can also keep your other forwarded numbers checked, but I usually do not.
Once you complete this, lets move on to the ObiHai setup page.
8. Go to the ObiHai-ObiTalk Website to create a login. Fill in all the required details on the registration form and click Continue.
9. After you successfully create your Obi ID and login for the first time, the site will ask you to add your Obi device.
Follow the instructions on screen to add your Obi device to your account.
10. Once the device is added, go to the "Device Configuration Page" to link your google voice account. The page should look like :
11. On the same page, click on SP1 (Service Provider 1) Setup button and click on the "Accept" button.
12. Select "Google Voice" from the list of service providers.
13. Enter your Google Voice login credentials and click Submit.
14. After clicking Submit, you should see the following message on the screen.
15. Wait for a few minutes and then try making a few calls to test out the service.
You can play with other settings of Google Voice to forward missed call emails, voicemail settings etc to make it more personalized.
If you would like to make international calls using this number, you can add credits to your google voice account and dial international numbers straight from your landline.
You now have a free US landline number based on google voice. !! Enjoy!