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JOFTAA provided this useful information 4 years, 6 months ago:

How to get a FREE U.S. Phone Number to Use in Germany

  • This is better than Skype. $Fee varies depending on service you use
  • This is better than NetTalk. $40 a year
  • This is better than Magic Jack. $30 - $40 a year depending on which service you use
  • This is better than Vonage. $26 per MONTH
  • This is better than Deutsche Telekom or TKS's "Country Flat" plan that is 3€ or more each month


This is better than any other service I have used. Period.

Imagine having a fully functional phone that behaves like it is in the U.S., while it is actually in Germany. Now imagine this costing you absolutely nothing. No monthly fee! No annual fee! No fee, period!

I have personally used this while in Germany, and continue to use it now.

Before I continue, here is the scenario...

You have orders to Germany (or perhaps you are already in Germany), and you want to be able to continue to receive calls from your family and friends. You also want to be able to call your family and friends. As a bonus, you will receive (also for FREE) a U.S. phone number. And, since your phone has a U.S. number, you can take advantage of toll free calls to 800 / 888 / 877 (etc.) numbers. So, shopping by phone is as easy as being at home, stateside.

Here is what you do.

1. Go to Google Voice. If you don't already have a Google account, set one up. It is free. If you do already have a Google account, go ahead and get yourself a phone number. You can choose the area code, and you can even customize your phone number. Nice, eh?! Google Voice now makes it mandatory to confirm a forwarding number which is stateside. If you are still stateside, this is not a problem. Just use your own stateside land line or cell number. Even if you cancel the number later, it doesn't matter because the number is only used once to verify you have a number for Google Voice to forward to. If you are already in Germany, ask a friend if you can use their number as a forwarding number. Your friend will need to answer the phone and enter a two digit code that you will provide. Once this is done, you never have to use that number again, so your friend has no worry about their phone ringing. All you need to do is make sure you remember to set that forwarding number not to ring in your settings. If you have any problems, please let me know. I am happy to assist you, as I have been using Google Voice in this manner for years.

Hint: If you are already in Germany, you can sign up for a VPN service, which will give you a U.S. IP address, which will in turn trick Google into thinking you are stateside, which will allow you to get a Google Voice phone number. 

2. Once you have your phone number, you can make calls directly from your computer.

If you don't want to rely on a computer being turned on to make and receive calls, you can setup an OBI adapter. An Obi adapter can be compared to having a phone jack in Germany that acts like it is in the U.S. By using the Obi adapter, you can have a telephone in your house that works just like your telephone, stateside. You will receive calls, make calls, have callerID, call waiting, etc., all for FREE. The only thing you pay for is the Obi adapter. Please support EverythingKMC. If you use one of the above links to purchase your Obi adapter, EverythingKMC gets a small commission. The Obi device pays for itself in just a few months! This does not add anything to your price. Thank you for your support.

I have the Obi adapter setup at my house, and use a cordless phone with it.

The beauty of Google Voice is that you can configure it (super easy to do!) to only ring during certain hours. That way, with the time difference between the U.S. and Germany, your phone won't ring while you are trying to sleep.

To see how easy it is to setup the Obi to work with Google Voice, check the end of this post.

Remember, you need to be using a router with your Internet service to make this work. Most people use a wireless router, anyway, so this is as easy as plugging the Obi adapter into your router.

Suppose you have a cell number that you want to keep. You can pay $20 to Google and they will take (port) your cell number from your cell carrier. This will allow you to keep your existing number for as long as you want. Make sure you call your cellular carrier prior to porting your number to Google to let them know what you are doing to avoid any kind of early cancellation penalty. Your cell carrier can simply issue you a new number to use.

If you have a land line that you wish to keep, you will have to port your land line number to your cell carrier, and then from your cell carrier to Google Voice. Google Voice does not port land line numbers as of this writing.

Note: The prices mentioned above are accurate as of the writing of this post. Each purchase using the link for the Obi adapter helps support this site.


+++++++++++++ Simple Obi Adapter Setup +++++++++++++</h3scenario<>



4 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like a great option!

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4 years, 6 months ago

Thank you very much, this is great info! I will certainly look into it and pass the information on to others.

4 years, 6 months ago

Does the device take 220v power?

Also can the iPhone app available on a German iPhone, so I could call the U.S. on my german data plan on my iPhone through Vodafone?

4 years, 6 months ago

Quote by BillyHo:
Does the device take 220v power?

Also can the iPhone app available on a German iPhone, so I could call the U.S. on my german data plan on my iPhone through Vodafone?


I just checked my Obi. It has a U.S. plug, but the input voltage is 110~220v, so all you would need is an adapter. As long as you can install the app on your iPhone, you can use it with your data plan. It works with 3g/4g/WiFi. All I can suggest is for you to install the App on your German iPhone. If it installs, you are good to go.

4 years, 4 months ago

I've set up an Obitalk with Google Voice number that works here in Germany. Few problems initially getting it setup (I obtained my Google number before we PCS'd) but after deleting all the settings and starting over it works like a charm. I'm now in country trying to setup an Obi for a friend already stationed here. As mentioned in the above thread you can't obtain a Goggle Voice number without the VPN service establishing a presence in the US.

4 years, 4 months ago

Quote by WillyT812:
I've set up an Obitalk with Google Voice number that works here in Germany. Few problems initially getting it setup (I obtained my Google number before we PCS'd) but after deleting all the settings and starting over it works like a charm. I'm now in country trying to setup an Obi for a friend already stationed here. As mentioned in the above thread you can't obtain a Goggle Voice number without the VPN service establishing a presence in the US.


If you want me to setup the number for you, I can. Just give me the username and a temp password for the account. I will login, get a phone number, and then you can login, change the password, and do what you need to do. I just need to know the area code and possibly the prefix you want. You guys did get your Obi boxes through our site link, right?

Or, you can register with APOVPN.com. You'll probably want the service for TV, anyway. I am happy to help if you wish.

4 years, 4 months ago

As long as you are using Google Voice for your phone service, here are some really cool tricks you can try.

http://lifehacker.com/5571978/top-10-clever-google-voice-tricks

4 years, 4 months ago

I obviously do not know all the capabilities of Google Voice but I was under the assumption that you had to have a US forwarding number (such as a land or cell line) to use Google Voice. How are you able to use it from oversease without a forwarding number? Thanks!

4 years, 4 months ago

Initially you do. This is a mulit-step process. Get Gmail account. Get Google Voice number using state side phone number. Establish link between ObiTalk and Gmail. Forward all calls to Google Voice number to Google Chat. Then delete the US based number you used to establish a US presense and Google Voice number. When you initially setup it will forward calls to the number you used....the state-side number. Once the Google number is forwared to Google Chat, which is linked to your Gmail account...all is well in Europe....free calls both ways.

4 years, 4 months ago

Quote by gstanc:
I obviously do not know all the capabilities of Google Voice but I was under the assumption that you had to have a US forwarding number (such as a land or cell line) to use Google Voice. How are you able to use it from oversease without a forwarding number? Thanks!


This is all much simpler than it looks. If you need help with configuration, let me know. I can walk you through it, or I can remotely access your account and get you setup. I have been using GV for many years, and don't mind helping.

This is what the Obi adapter (detailed in the first post of this topic) is for. The Obi adapter stays logged into your Google Voice account and accepts all of the calls coming to your GV number and in turn rings your phone. When you place a call, it goes through the Obi adapter, and therefore shows your GV number on the receiving end CallerID.

Please remember to use our link if you decide to order the Obi. The link is in the first post of this topic.

If you still don't get it, feel free to ask.

When you are first signing up for Google Voice, they will require a stateside number to verify as a forwarding number. If you are still living stateside, just use your own number. If you are already in Germany, surely you know someone stateside that will verify a land line number for you. Once that number is verified, it never has to be used, again. No calls will go to that number, so the person whose number you use will not get any calls. Making it mandatory to have a stateside number is something new with Google Voice.

What WillyT812 says
Then delete the US based number you used to establish a US presense and Google Voice number.
used to be true. Google has made some small changes. Now Google requires you to keep the number in your account. This is not a big deal because all you do is keep this number unselected as a forwarding number. The number still remains in your account, but will never ring.

4 years, 4 months ago

I just set mine up a couple of weeks ago, no problem deleting the US based number I used to establish it. Mine wouldn't ring, so I deleted everything and started over, phone rings like a champ. Going to set up another this weekend for a friend. Will post on how it goes.

4 years, 4 months ago

Thanks yall, it makes sense now. This site is great by the way, glad I found it. Looking forward to joining yall soon over there, can't wait. In the meantime, I have a lot to learn from this site.

4 years, 4 months ago

Quote by WillyT812:
I just set mine up a couple of weeks ago, no problem deleting the US based number I used to establish it. Mine wouldn't ring, so I deleted everything and started over, phone rings like a champ. Going to set up another this weekend for a friend. Will post on how it goes.


Interesting. When I try to delete my forwarding number, I get a message from Google saying that I have to have at least one forwarding number, and I cannot delete it.

I have heard of Google experimenting with different configurations on different accounts, so perhaps this is one of those cases where your account and my account are given different permissions by Google.

Quote by gstanc:
Thanks yall, it makes sense now. This site is great by the way, glad I found it. Looking forward to joining yall soon over there, can't wait. In the meantime, I have a lot to learn from this site.


As long as you are still stateside, setting up a forwarding number is easy. You can use your cell number or a home phone. Either way, you are all set.

4 years, 4 months ago

Here is the ObiTalk's forum. Installation and Setup is the one you'll need to cruise through if you're having problems. Under installation and setup is a thread...How to use Google Voice and Obitalk.
http://www.obitalk.com/forum/

4 years, 4 months ago

Quote by WillyT812:
Here is the ObiTalk's forum. Installation and Setup is the one you'll need to cruise through if you're having problems. Under installation and setup is a thread...How to use Google Voice and Obitalk.
http://www.obitalk.com/forum/


Check the link at the bottom of the first post in this topic, as well. Between the link WillyT812 just posted, and the link up at the top, installation and configuration is a breeze. The Obi actually comes with an instruction sheet that makes it super simple to install.

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