If you’re in Canada and want to try Google Voice, here’s a way around the US-only verification system. This should work for free, but requires a bit of patience. It should work in other countries as well. I’ve done this twice in Canada, and now have two Google Voice numbers. This should allow you to set up Google Voice outside the USA.
Step 1: Get a Google Voice invite & get a google account
First, you’ll need a Google Voice invite.This you’ll have to accomplish on your own.
If you can’t find one online, you can sign up at http://google.com/voice and they will eventually send you an invitation. If you don’t already have a google account (for gmail or google reader), then you should sign up for one of those as well, as you’ll need it to use your invite.
Step 2: Sign up for Skype
In order to receive a verification call from Google, you’ll need to download and install Skype. You can sign up for a free account right from the application if you don’t already have one.
Make a note of your Skype username. You might as well leave it running, as you’ll need to answer a call soon
Step 3: Sign up at Gizmo5.com
Gizmo5 will give you a phone number, which you can forward to your Skype account. (Note: you can skip this step if you pay for Skype’s Skypein feature)
Hit that little Register button there, and sign up. Gizmo5 will give you a phone number (usually starting with area code 747), and then you can go back to gizmo5.com and click the blue “my” link in the menu. Scroll down to the Forwarding Gizmo5 Calls section and select “Forward All Calls” and put in your Skype username.
Step 4: Sign up for Google Voice
Sign up using your invitation link, choose an area code and number for your new Google Voice number, and then enter your Gizmo5 number as your main home number
You should now get a call from Google on your Skype. Accept the call, and switch over to the number pad, and type in the two digit code. Do this slowly and quietly 😉
Congratulations, you should now have a Google Voice account. Send me a text message if you get it working!
If Google Voice doesn’t accept your Gizmo5 phone number (with the 747 area code), you’ll need to do one extra step — sign up at a service such as ipkall.com or sipgate.com and then forward that number to your Gizmo5 phone number (which will in turn forward to your Skype).
I’ve tried ipkall, and it works just fine, but it takes a few days for your account to be activated. sipgate.com also apparently works, but you’ll need to use an anonymous proxy to pretend you’re in the US.