Friday, October 23, 2009

Free Canadian Phone Number (with Free Calling capabilities)

Quite a few people ask me about all the phone numbers that I have as well as the costs associated with the phone numbers. I've already written about magicJack, Skype, some of my GSM service providers, etc. so I thought that I would mention is a service that I've used to get a free phone number in Toronto. You can see all the free features offered by this service on their website. Using a softphone computer program which can be downloaded from the company's website, you are able to make/receive calls. When you are not logged into the softphone program, you can configure the software to forward to certain Canadian phone numbers free of charge. This is what I did with my Toronto number. I would set it to automatically forward to my Montreal number. This way, people in Toronto could call me in Montreal for free. Unfortunately because I didn't actively use the program, the company canceled my free Toronto phone number.

The company allows 1 free phone number per household. During the registration process, you are asked for the standard personal information (name, address, e-mail address, and contact phone number). You are not asked for any credit card information. Using the contact phone number and your e-mail address, the system calls you in order to complete the authentication process.

The company will continue to conduct their verification process and if the company detects any discrepancies with the registration information that you've provided, you will receive an e-mail informing you that your account has been deleted/canceled even though you've already authenticated yourself via e-mail and via your personal contact phone number.

Based on the information that I've read, the service also works with ATA SIP adapter. Unfortunately I've never verified this although I did download the ATA configuration instructions. Using the provided Canadian phone number in your ATA SIP adapter is free as long as you limit your calls to Canadian numbers. It is something that I am looking at trying, if I ever purchase an unlocked ATA VoIP adapter. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, the company deleted/canceled my account because of non-use so I will have to get a new free Canadian phone number when I get a chance.

I've also never used the softphone feature. I would assume that the audio quality is similar to the audio quality obtained by other VoIP solutions like Skype, magicJack, etc.

The only thing that I've used the service was to forward the Toronto number that they provided me to one of my Montreal numbers. I found that this worked well although once or twice people have informed me that they've called me at the Toronto number and according to them the phone was ringing but my Montreal phone did not ring nor was the call forwarded to my Montreal voice mail box. I find the audio quality of a forwarded call to be good. There was the occasional problem but this might have been due to me forwarding my Toronto number to a Montreal cellphone that had poor coverage.

My actual suggestion for anyone who wants a free Canadian phone number is to install the softphone onto their PC and have it log into their server occasionally in order to keep your account active. I didn't do this since I was only using their service as a free Toronto forwarding phone number to one of my Montreal phone numbers.

If you have any questions/comments regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section.

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