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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Google Virtual Phone Step 3

On both Windows and Mac, Sipgate's software is fairly minimalist—if you're used to Skype's mannerisms, it'll seem nearly invisible. It's a rectangular box with just four tabs, and its main purpose is to sit there and wait for you to dial a number or receive a call. That's fine for accepting calls—when you want to make a call, you're going to use virtual phone number google tools.

Sipgate gives you 60 free outbound call minutes with your phone number, but you don't really need to use them. Google virtual phone number free is a pretty ubiquitous service, at least where internet service is available. From a laptop or desktop, you can use a few tools to place an outgoing call—which will technically callyou on your Sipgate number, then connect the call when you pick up.
  • Browser extensions: Google has an official Chrome extension that's pretty nifty, and Chad Smith regularly patches up an unofficial, experimental Firefox add-on that offers similar capabilities: click-to-call, call logs, SMS, and the like.
  • Google virtual phone number web site: Keep it open in a tab, or maybe as a stand-alone browser app, and learn the basic shortcuts—specifically, "c" to make a call. 
  • Desktop tools: In addition to the single-site browser tools we've detailed that would work great with Google Voice, a few tools have been put together to tuck voip virtual phone number calling onto your taskbar or system tray: google virtual phone for Adobe AIR (all platforms), and Voice Mac (Mac only).
  • Big thanks go to reader Justin, who originally came across the Sipgate/Voice combo and blogged about it, along with tipping us.
    Got your google virtual phone number/Sipgate setup running and digging it so far? Having a problem, missing a feature from Gizmo5, or have another tip for a better free phone life? Tell us your take in the comments.

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