Android Free or Cheap Calls

I’ve been trying out several options for free or very cheap wifi calling on android phones.  I have an LG Optimus V and most of my time is spent at home because I work from home.  So far here are some options I have come up with.

Free Outbound Calling – Nettalk

Nettalk is a free android app that lets you make free outbound calls to real telephone numbers.  Call quality is sketchy and calls drop pretty frequently.  It is free so you can’t get mad but I still find it too unstable for frequent use.

Cheap Outbound Calling – Skype

Skype out costs $2.99/month.  Call quality is pretty good.  So, if you don’t mind paying a little per month is is a good option.

Free Inbound and Outbound Calling – GrooveIP + Google Voice

GrooveIP is an android application that makes it possible to use a Google Voice account for free inbound and outbound calling.   You have to setup your Google Voice phone number to forward to your Google chat (it is an option in your Google Voice account).   Somehow the GrooveIP app hooks in to the Google chat API.  Call quality is pretty good and this option offers both inbound and outbound calling.  The GrooveIP app costs $3.99 (one time charge).

Free Inbound and Outbound – IPKall, CallCentric, CSipSimple, Google Voice, Google Voice Callback

Setting this one up was complicated but it works well.  You need:

  • free Call Freedom SIP account.  This allows you to receive unlimited incoming SIP calls
  • gives you a free Washington area phone number.  This number forwards calls to your SIP account.
  • CSipSimple android app receives SIP calls
  • Google Voice account setup to forward calls to your IPKall phone number
  • Google Voice Callback app makes it so when you dial a number, it instead uses Google Voice to call you back and connect you with the phone  you were trying to call

When you make an outbound call, you use the normal android dialer to place a call.  It tells Google Voice to call you back on your IPKall phone number.  The IPKall phone number routes to CallCentric and then to the CSipSimple app on your phone.

When you receive an inbound call on your Google Voice phone number it routes to your IPKall number which routes to your CallCentric SIP account which routes the call to your CSipSimple app on your phone.

This one has been working pretty well for me.  It was a pain to setup but it is pretty clear and makes free inbound and outbound calling possible.


Magicjack – Not Working

After reading a lot about how you could set Magicjack up to forward calls to a SIP app like CSipSimple, I went through the trouble of decyphering my Magjcjack SIP username, password and proxy server.  Then I realized that this option hasn’t worked since 2009/2010.  Apparently Magicjack changed something about their password authentication scheme to prevent people from using Magicjack with a SIP app to make calls from any SIP calling application (android or other).




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