Make Free Phone CallsTips


  1. pdwhoward

    pdwhoward Active Member

    I've recently have been playing around with ways to make free phone calls. The following is a great setup that I have found.

    First, get a Google Voice number. Go to settings, and setup Google Voice to forward calls your Virgin Mobile number. Also, uncheck 'Forward calls to Google Chat' (if you don't, this will cause problems). Then install the Google Voice app. In the app settings, check 'Via the Google Voice app' under 'Receive text messages'.

    On your phone, go to 'Settings --> Call --> Voicemail settings' and enter your Google Voice number as your voicemail number.

    Next, install Sipdroid. When it first runs, it will ask if you would like to link your Google Voice number to pbxes.org. Say yes, it will do all the work for you. You can uninstall this app now if you wish.

    Next, go to pbxes.org, make an account, login, go to 'Settings --> Extensions', and change your password to something you'll remember.

    On your phone, go to 'Settings --> Call --> Accounts' and add a SIP account. Enter your username that you see on pbxes.org, your password that you created, and 'pbxes.org' for 'Server'.

    Last step to make things easy. Download 'SIP Switch Widget' and place this on one of your home screens. Next, on your phone, go to 'Personalize --> Shortcut --> Toggle Google Voice' and place this next to your SIP Switch Widget.

    OK, here's how all of this works. You will use your Google Voice number as the number that people call and text. Your contacts will only ever see your Google Voice number, they will never have to know your Virgin Mobile number.

    For texting:
    When you send someone a text, use the Google Voice app. Your contact will see your GV number.
    When someone sends you a SMS to your GV number, you will see the text both on your phone and online via Google Voice. You can also send texts online via Google Voice. No one will ever know if it came from your phone or computer. Note that if someone sends you a MMS (picture message), the picture will be sent to your Gmail account.

    For voicemail:
    When someone calls you, and you do not answer, they can leave you a voicemail via Google Voice. You can check this both on your phone and on the computer via Google Voice.

    For calls:
    If you do not have WiFi, toggle the Google Voice icon until it says 'Use Google Voice to make all calls'. When you call someone, they will see your Google Voice number.
    If you do have WiFi, toggle the Google Voice icon until it says 'Do not use Google Voice to make any calls', and toggle the right SIP Switch Widget to 'Using SIP for all calls'. When you place a call, it will show up as your GV number, but you will be calling over the internet, and will not use any Virgin Mobile minutes. If you wish to receive calls over the internet, toggle the left SIP Switch Widget to on (green highlight). When someone calls your GV number, you will get the call via the internet (you'll be able to tell, because you'll see your contact calling from something that looks like 1xxxxxxxxxx@67.123.456.789, where xxxxxxxxxx is their phone number).
    Lastly, if someone calls your Google Voice number and you do not have SIP enabled, it will be forwarded and ring your Virgin Mobile phone and use your VM minutes.

    When I'm at home, I just turn on the SIP. And when I leave, I just turn it off. It's a lot to read, but once it's setup, it's straightforward and saves your minutes. Also, since you're using the native internet call feature on the phone, it sounds a lot better than other options like Skype, Sipdroid, or GrooveIP. At least, this is my opinion. On the other clients, people said my calls sounded terrible. With this setup, no one knows I'm calling via internet. Best part, all of this is free. pbxes.org gives you 2000 free minutes per month.

    Let me know if you have any trouble with the setup.

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    pcorlatan and Raul720 like this.
  2. wncken

    wncken Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, perhaps I'm lazy, but I use GV and spent $5 for GrooveIP. You can now get a free version of GrooveIP, but I gladly support devs. I love GV+GrooveIP and I use less than 200 minutes/month.
  3. pdwhoward

    pdwhoward Active Member

    Nice, I'm glad GrooveIP works for you. I preferred this setup because:
    a) I get to use my native phone's dialer, there's no extra app I have to use once this is setup to make calls
    b) In my tests, the sound quality was better. But other apps may work better for other people.
  4. OverByter

    OverByter Resident Slide Rule Guru

    I've been using Groove IP for over 6 months now, works great for me and the dev is very responsive. Continual updates. Plus it works with the native dialer, just change it in settings.
  5. pdwhoward

    pdwhoward Active Member

    I'm not knocking Groove IP, just presenting another option. I like that this method uses the native VoIP technology built into the phone.
  6. wncken

    wncken Well-Known Member

    I agree - I'm not knocking your method either. I spent months trying different methods as I have no cell signal at my house - zero. I'm just grateful that there are options!
  7. Austrie

    Austrie Well-Known Member

    I think I fixed it...
  8. pdwhoward

    pdwhoward Active Member

    No, what I wrote was correct.

    When you do have WiFi, you'll make calls over the internet via your SIP account, so you'll want to turn your SIP account on. This will not use your Virgin Mobile minutes. Your calls will show your Google Voice number.

    When you do not have WiFi, you'll make calls over 3g and use your Virgin Mobile minutes. To have your calls be placed as your Google Voice number, you'll need to turn on the Google Voice app to allow it to place your calls.
  9. Austrie

    Austrie Well-Known Member

    1. You put "If you do not have WiFi" for both statements, even though one is for 3G and the other is for WiFi.
    2. If you try to call from 3G without any SIP, just the Google Voice app then Google Voice will try to use stock dialer; then your 3G disconnects as normal because when you make calls the dialer will only use network signal and 3G will disconnect. So you would need a app, SIP, to make the calls since SIP wont go through stock dialer. It would go through it's own dialer which uses 3G and not just network signal.
    ~~~
    That was my experience on the Triumph, so I might be wrong but that's how it went for me.
  10. pdwhoward

    pdwhoward Active Member

    My reply is in red.

    1. You put "If you do not have WiFi" for both statements, even though one is for 3G and the other is for WiFi.
    I did not put "If you do not have WiFi" for both statements. Please reread what I wrote, it is correct.


    2. If you try to call from 3G without any SIP, just the Google Voice app then Google Voice will try to use stock dialer; You are correct.

    then your 3G disconnects as normal because when you make calls the dialer will only use network signal and 3G will disconnect. This is incorrect. You can make normal calls over 3g via the Google Voice app. All that Google Voice does is connect your Virgin Mobile number to the number you are calling via your Google Voice number. You will use your Virgin Mobile minutes, you will be calling over 3g, and your contact will see your Google Voice number show up.

    So you would need a app, SIP, to make the calls since SIP wont go through stock dialer. It would go through it's own dialer which uses 3G and not just network signal. I am not trying to make SIP calls over 3g with my setup- in my experience, the call quality is bad. With this setup, when you have 3g, you use Virgin Mobile's network to make phone calls, and it will use your Virgin Mobile minutes.

    I hope all this clarifies.
  11. Austrie

    Austrie Well-Known Member

    I missed this line "but you will be calling over the internet, and will not use any Virgin Mobile minutes". You're right.
  12. joseg5511

    joseg5511 Member

    I get "account registration failed" "transaction terminated" when I try to add my sip account in the phone app ....
  13. pdwhoward

    pdwhoward Active Member

    Just to double check:

    You need to enter:
    1. username from pbxes.org (this should be something like johndoe-200)
    2. password from pbxes.org (which you will first have to login into pbxes.org, and create a new password there [Sipdroid makes a default password for you, but I do not know what they use])
    3. and put 'pbxes.org' in the 'Server' field

    The username and password are not your Gmail username and password (unless you make them the same).

    Are you doing this step correctly?
    joseg5511 likes this.
  14. hchen42

    hchen42 Well-Known Member

    I haven't used sipdroid in awhile. If you don't have a pbxes.org, I believe they use the same password as your google voice account password (since you need to provide this) during initial set up. On pbxes, a google "trunk" is needed and it can only be created via sipdroid apps. Sipdroid is not bad, voice quality wise, but set up is a pain (my experience). Pbxes can "suspend" your account for no reason. To get any support (ie unlock your account), you must pay. Another issue I encountered with pbxes is that they require ping your router, meaning you need to open up your icmp port. Otherwise, I would get calls not pick up properly (caller still hears phone ringing, but I already pick up the phone).

    GrooveIP is easier to set up.

    Right now I am using Obion. To use this apps, you must have a obihai product. Obion has a lag if your wifi connection is not fast and/or fast ping time.

    Overall, op's post is best if you want the free route. It also help you understand some of the basic telephony lingos.
  15. sanman1185

    sanman1185 Well-Known Member

    was like you, but couldn't get the sipdroid, pbxes, and other things to work... GV+GrooveIP was a godsend when I lost my job.
  16. joseg5511

    joseg5511 Member

    It worked! Forgot to add the -200 at the end of my username thanks!
  17. altay

    altay New Member

    I've been using a similar setup for about a year. Instead of setting up a built-in SIP account, though, I've just been using SIPDroid. After seeing this post, I recently tried switching to the built-in version, but couldn't get it to work. It claims to register the number successfully, and the dialer shows "Internet Call" when I make a call, but I never hear a dialtone. After a few seconds it either says "Response timed out" or "Line busy" regardless of what number I dial.
    I tried removing the account from the built-in internet calling and switching back to SIPDroid, but I can't get it to work anymore either. When I start it up it shows the green circle which indicates that it's connected to the server without any problems, but I have the same problem when I try to make a call. There's nothing but silence. No dialtone or anything. It doesn't even show up in my Google Voice history that I made an outgoing call.
    I appreciate any suggestions that may help. It's hard to find troubleshooting information on pbxes. I've tried reverting to a previous nandroid backup and reinstalling sipdroid (after clearing its data) to no avail.
  18. pdwhoward

    pdwhoward Active Member

    I would recommend:
    1. Uninstalling sipdroid
    2. Going to pbxes.org and deleting your account. You can do this by logging into pbxes.org, going to 'Personal Data', scrolling down and clicking on 'Delete Account'.
    3. Re-installing sipdroid, and then allow sipdroid to re-setup a new pbxes.org account (it will be identical to your previous account).
    4. At this point, you can follow the above directions for the built in SIP software, or just use sipdroid.

    I've done this process in the past when I've messed up the settings in sipdroid. It'll restore / fix everything.

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