Howto: Google Voice in Canada
Okay, so I just got my invite and I got Google Voice to work. In Canada. Sorta. Here’s how to get it to work from a non-US location:
1. Getting the Invite:
https://services.google.com/fb/forms/googlevoiceinvite/ in case you haven’t already.
You just have to wait for an email invite… I know of no way to speed this up.
3. What to do with the email:
If you just click on the link in the invite email it’ll tell you that google voice isn’t offered in your country (unless you’re in the US) and won’t let you do anything. You need a US IP address. For this, use hotspot shield. Activate hotspot shield and click on the invite link in your email.
Update: According to a commenter, hotspotshield may contain some malware. The point of this step is to make google think you are in the US, so you need a US IP address. I have enabled a proxy through this site which should work. Please try it out and let me know of any problems: Actually, I’ve taken the proxy down due to complaints by some users.
4. Account setup:
You’re not quite out of the woods yet. In the setup section you have to provide a phone number that will ring when someone calls your google voice number (ie a real phone). You put your number in the google voice setup page and it will call you. You then have to type a 2-digit code on your phone to activate the link. As google voice isn’t working outside the US right now you need a US number. Trying a Canadian (or other non-US) number will not work. There are a few ways around this:
Method 1: Just get a US number.
I have a SkypeIn number based in Rhode Island so I used that. If you want one it’s $18 for 3 months.
Method 3: Get a US SIP number
This method requires a few steps.
- Register for a SIP account at IPTel. You will get an address like sip:email@example.com.
- Get a phone number from IPKall. You will have to input your SIP account information from step 1. There will be a bit of a delay before you get your assigned number.
- Set up a new your VOIP router or softphone with the SIP account information. Your username will be the one from iptel (“username” from step 1), and the proxy will be iptel.org
- Test it out by calling your US phone number from IPKall. If it works, then you can use your IPKall US number to activate google voice.
Note: This should in theory work with iPod Touch/iPhone if you set up a new SIP account in Fring. I tried activating this way but could not enter the 2 digit activation code using the Fring client. YMMV
UPDATE: Apparently area code 403 (Alberta) works for google voice natively, so if you have access to a 403 number you can skip step 3 and just use your regular number. Please comment back here with your results if it works.
So yeah, I have google voice with a phone number based in NYC. I also have a SkypeIn number based in Rhode Island.
Even if you get a US number now, you can change your google voice number at any time for $10. Get a US number now, change it to a Canadian (or any other) number later for $10, or just wait until it’s offered and grab a non-US number from the get-go. Of course there isn’t really anything stopping you from getting a US number with one email address now and then getting a number from your home country for free later with another email address (and thus new google voice account) except you wouldn’t have all your old voicemails/settings/etc in your new account.
Once your account is set up, please be sure to click on the “Send Feedback” link at the top of your google voice management page and tell them you’d like to see service in Canada ASAP. Of course be stereotypically polite Canadians when you do it, but don’t spare the enthusiasm!