JOFTAA provided this useful information 8 years, 3 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<>



5 years, 9 months ago

Quote by Bergman:
Are your cell phones unlocked to accept other sims?


Good question, Bergman. I know I shouldn't assume, but I did. Especially since the question being asked seemed to be asked by someone who had a pretty good clue as to how to make all of this work.

Glad you asked.

5 years, 3 months ago

I wanted to know if using obitalk and google voice still allows you to call the US from Germany for free. In researching this option, I saw the following for the Obitalk website.

"Make calls to U.S. and Canada for Free from within the U.S. and Canada - 1 cent per minute when calling from outside the U.S."

http://www.obitalk.com/info/googlevoice

From the Obitalk website, it seems as though calling the US from Germany is not free. I just wanted to confirm with someone currently in Germany before I purchase the Obitalk.

Thanks!

5 years, 3 months ago

It is free. When you setup your Google Voice number, it is a U.S. number. As far as your Obi device is concerned, you're calling from the U.S.

If you use GV to make a call to a German landline, it will cost you a penny a minute. 3 cents per minute if you call a German cell. Still way cheaper than calling a cell from a German landline.

If you do get an Obi, please use our link to get it. Thanks. And, please remember to get your Emergency Car Kit from us. The link is below each of my posts. Thanks.

5 years, 2 months ago

Jofta

Taking your advice and working this now pre PCS. Everything went well up to the point it asks me to select a number. When I do, I get the following error: There was an error with your request. Please try again.

I've tried several times to get a voice number over the past few days with the same error message every time. Any thoughts?

5 years, 2 months ago

Quote by wagzy:
Jofta

Taking your advice and working this now pre PCS. Everything went well up to the point it asks me to select a number. When I do, I get the following error: There was an error with your request. Please try again.

I've tried several times to get a voice number over the past few days with the same error message every time. Any thoughts?


No idea. Especially with such a generic error. Do you have a U.S. IP address? If not, that could be it.

5 years, 2 months ago

Yes, we are still in the US ... I'll keep working it with Google.

5 years, 2 months ago

Quote by wagzy:
Yes, we are still in the US ... I'll keep working it with Google.


If you are in the U.S., there really should not be a problem. What you may wish to do, anyway, is setup a new Gmail account that is used specifically for Google Voice. That way, anything pertaining to GV will be using the newly created account. Much easier to keep things sorted that way. I've been doing it for years.

Have you ordered your Emergency Car Kit, yet? If not, see my signature, below. Thank you!

5 years, 2 months ago

Ok, I'll try that and yes, we have received your kit! Thanks so much!

5 years, 2 months ago

Quote by wagzy:
Ok, I'll try that and yes, we have received your kit! Thanks so much!


Great! Thank you. Let me know how it works with the separate Google account.

5 years, 2 months ago

GV account is now all set up ... thanks!! Do you foresee any issue with ordering the OBI now and setting it up in the US and then taking it with me to Germany? Or should I wait to set up the OBI up until I'm overseas?

5 years, 2 months ago

Quote by wagzy:
GV account is now all set up ... thanks!! Do you foresee any issue with ordering the OBI now and setting it up in the US and then taking it with me to Germany? Or should I wait to set up the OBI up until I'm overseas?


I'd set it up before you leave, only because you can be assured there is no problem. When I got mine, I did everything, including getting GV, while in Germany.

Did you get your Obi, yet? If not, please use our link for it.

OBI

Thanks!

5 years, 2 months ago

The OBI100 is $60 but there is a newer model, OBI200 for $45. Do you have a link to the new model that benefits this site?

5 years, 2 months ago

Quote by wagzy:
The OBI100 is $60 but there is a newer model, OBI200 for $45. Do you have a link to the new model that benefits this site?


If you use the link I gave you, and you still buy from Amazon (even the other model) I will get credit. Thank you for asking!

5 months ago

Ok so I have a friend willing to use their phone number back in the US. I have just created a google voice number. I'm a little confused though. How do I get them to be able to forward the calls over to my german number? I'm stuck here. You said something about getting them to forward calls and use a 2 digit code. I tried going on google voice and having them forward calls to my german number but i got an error message saying "only US and Canada." Can you please help. I'm stuck

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