There now are a number of ways to make free calls to anyone in the U.S. and Canada using Google Voice without having to jump through the hoops of calling into your voicemail and having Google Voice call you back. There’s our Asterisk® implementation using pygooglevoice which lets you transparently place calls through Google Voice using any phone connected to your PBX in a Flash system. You also can set up a Sip Sorcery account and make free calls through that interface using a SIP phone. And now there’s Dogface05’s stand-alone Dialer for Windows that lets you place calls from the Windows command line in seconds. Because this is such a simple alternative, everyone should add it to their Windows toolkit. Here’s how.
Prerequisites. You’ll obviously need a Google Voice account. If you don’t have one, just register for an invite. Next, you’ll need a phone number to use for placing the outbound calls. And, finally, you’ll need to download and install Dogface05’s dialer on your Windows system.
Google Voice Setup. Log into your Google Voice account and click Settings, Phones, Add Another Phone. Add the area code and phone number of the phone you’ll be using to place calls and mark it as an Office phone. You’ll have to go through Google’s confirmation drill to successfully register the number with Google Voice. After the number is confirmed, be sure there’s a check mark beside this Google Voice destination so that incoming calls to your GV number will be routed to this number.
While you’re still in the Google Voice Setup, click on the General tab. Uncheck Enable Call Screening. Turn Call Presentation Off. And set CallerID to Display Caller’s Number. Finally, uncheck Do Not Disturb. Now click the Save Changes button.
Dialer Setup for Windows. From your Windows machine, open a browser and download the Google Voice dialer to your Desktop. Unzip the downloaded file and drag gvdial.exe to your \windows directory so that it’s in your path.
Placing a Call. Let’s first make sure everything is working properly. Open a command prompt window from the Windows Desktop and enter a dialing command using the following syntax:
gvdial username password destination ani [phonetype]
- username = your Google Voice email address
- password = your Google Voice password
- destination = 10-digit number of person to call
- ani = your 10-digit phone number registered with Google Voice
- phonetype = 3
The phonetype is actually optional and can be ignored unless you happen to be using a Gizmo number in which case it needs to be 7. Never enter the brackets. That merely signifies that the entry is optional.
Assuming your registered email address with Google Voice is email@example.com, your password is secret, the number you wish to call is 6781234567, and your number is 4049876543, the dial string should look like this:
gvdial firstname.lastname@example.org secret 6781234567 4049876543
Your phone should ring at this point, and Google Voice will complete the outbound call to 678-123-4567.
Creating Speed Dial Batch Files. Using Notepad, you now can create batch files for frequently dialed numbers. For example, the entry above could be saved in a batch file called joe.bat. Then simply create a desktop icon for Joe and link it to joe.bat. Double-click on the Joe icon whenever you wish to place a call to Joe. Here’s how the batch file might look:
gvdial email@example.com secret 6781234567 4049876543
echo Press ENTER key after the called party answers.
Surfing the Google Wave. We’ve got a dozen Google Wave invites to give away during the next week. Just post a comment on any Nerd Vittles article, and we’ll put your name in the hat. Be sure to provide a Gmail address with your comment as this is required to take advantage of the Google Wave Preview. Here’s a sample for you to try once you have Google Wave credentials:
Need help with Asterisk? Visit the PBX in a Flash Forum.
Or Try the New, Free PBX in a Flash Conference Bridge.
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New Vitelity Special. Vitelity has generously offered a new discount for PBX in a Flash users. You now can get an almost half-price DID and 60 free minutes from our special Vitelity sign-up link. If you’re seeking the best flexibility in choosing an area code and phone number plus the lowest entry level pricing plus high quality calls, then Vitelity is the hands-down winner. Vitelity provides Tier A DID inbound service in over 3,000 rate centers throughout the US and Canada. And, when you use our special link to sign up, the Nerd Vittles and PBX in a Flash projects get a few shekels down the road while you get an incredible signup deal as well. The going rate for Vitelity’s DID service is $7.95 a month which includes up to 4,000 incoming minutes on two simultaneous channels with terminations priced at 1.45¢ per minute. Not any more! For PBX in a Flash users, here’s a deal you can’t (and shouldn’t) refuse! Sign up now, and you can purchase a Tier A DID with unlimited incoming calls for just $3.99 a month and you get a free hour of outbound calling to test out their call quality. To check availability of local numbers and tiers of service from Vitelity, click here. Do not use this link to order your DIDs, or you won’t get the special pricing! After the free hour of outbound calling, Vitelity’s rate is just 1.44¢ per minute for outbound calls in the U.S. There is a $35 prepay when you sign up. This covers future usage and any balance is fully refundable if you decide to discontinue service with Vitelity.
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