How to make and receive free phone calls using your N810, Google Voice and Gizmo

The Nokia N810 excels as a VoIP Wifi phone.  I previously mentioned the device’s Skype capability, which I am so far pleased with.  It’s inexpensive and works well, and I recommend it.  This article will show you how to take things one step further by setting up your N810 to make and receive absolutely free phone calls to landlines and cell phones within the United States.  I’ll walk you through the entire setup process.

Things You’ll Need

  1. A Nokia N800 or N810 Internet Tablet.   If you don’t yet have one, you can purchase it here. This can also be done with a Wifi capable Blackberry or Windows Mobile device, but since I don’t have either of those, my instructions will focus on the N810.  Setting up other devices should be similar- you’ll just have to find the specific client programs yourself, and they may not be free.
  2. A desktop or laptop computer.  This may not be absolutely necessary, but it is probably faster and easier if you have it.
  3. A free account with the Gizmo Project.  I’ll show you how to set that up.
  4. A free Google Voice account.  These are available at www.google.com/voice.
  5. Dial Central installed on your N810.  I’ll show you how to set that up.

Part One: Setting up your Gizmo account

This part is easiest if you use your desktop or laptop computer rather than the internet tablet.

  1. Go to GizmoProject.com.  Click on “Download for Desktop.”  Follow the instructions for downloading and installing the Gizmo client
  2. When you open the client program for the first time, you will have two choices: “Log in using an existing account name” or “Register a new account name.”  Select “Register a new account name.” You’ll be asked to pick a username and password, and provide an email address.  Follow the instructions to register your free account.  Don’t opt for any of the paid plans unless you already know you want to.
  3. Return to GizmoProject.com.  Click on “Members Sign In” in the upper right corner.  Enter your username and password to sign in.
  4. Scroll down until you see “Account Overview.”  Beneath “Account Overview” you should see “Sip Number:” followed by a 10 digit number that looks like a phone number.  Write this number down- you’ll need it to set up your Google Voice account.

Note: the Gizmo “Sip” number is not a regular phone number, and cannot be directly called from a cell phone or landline.  In order to take calls from regular phones, you have to set up a forwarding service, such as Google Voice.  For a few dollars per month, Gizmo will give you a regular phone number that forwards to your Sip number.  Google Voice does the same thing for free, and I’ll explain how to set that up.

Part Two: Setting up your N810 to receive Gizmo calls

There are two ways to do this.  The way that I will show you uses the N810′s built in internet call client.  It involves some basic configuration, but has the advantage of saving about 10 megabytes of device memory, and will ring when a call comes in, even if you don’t have the client open. The other way is to install the Gizmo client through the N810′s Application Manager.  Feel free to try them both and see which one you prefer.

  1. Open the N810′s “Internet Call” client.  This should be under “Communication,” or under the button with the 3 little people on your home screen.
  2. Open the program menu.  Select “Tools,” then “Accounts.”  When the Accounts wizard opens, tap “New.”
  3. Under “User name:” you will see 2 blank fields separated by the “@” character.  Enter your Gizmo username in the left field, and “proxy01.sipphone.com” in the right field.  Enter your password in the password field.  Check “Use for PSTN calls.”
  4. Tap the “Advanced” button.  Change “Transport:” to UDP.  Tap “OK.”  The Advanced options will close.
  5. Tap “Next.”  Enter an Account name of your choice.  I called this account “Gizmo.”
  6. Tap “Next,” then “Finish,” then “Close” to close the Accounts wizard.

Congratulations!  You’ve finished the hardest part.

Part Three: Setting up Google Voice

Note: For this next part, you need a Google Voice account.  These are available at www.google.com/voice.  If you already have an account or invitation, skip the next paragraph and go directly to the instructions.

Instructions:

  1. If you don’t already have a Google Voice account, click the link in your invitation email.  Follow the instructions to create your account.  If you don’t already have a Google account, you’ll be asked to set one up at this point.  You will have a choice of area codes, and the chance to enter any number sequences you want in your new phone number.
  2. Once you’ve created your Google Voice account, log in and click “Settings” in the upper right corner.
  3. Under “Settings,” select “Phones.”  This is where you set up Forwarding Phones, which are the phones you want your Google Voice number to forward to.  When you place a call through Google Voice, you will choose one of your forwarding phones for the call to be connected to.
  4. Click “Add phone.”  You’ll be asked to enter the type of phone, the number, and a phone name that you select.  If you are setting up forwarding to your Gizmo number, make sure you select “Gizmo” under “Phone Type.” Click “Save.”
  5. After you click “Save,” a message will pop up telling you that the number needs to be verified.  A 2-digit code will be displayed.
  6. Click “Connect.”  Google Voice will call the phone number.  When you answer, you will be asked to enter the code displayed on the website.  This part is a little tricky with the N810.  As soon as you answer the call, tap the “Internet Call” program menu.  Under “Internet Call,” select “DTMF dialing.”  A numeric keypad will appear on which you can enter your activation code.  After you have entered the code, you will be told, “your forwarding phone is set up.  Goodbye.”

Check these settings on your N810

  1. Under Settings, open Control Panel.
  2. Double-tap “Presence.”
  3. When the Presence menu opens, make sure “Status when connected” is set to On, and “Auto-away” is disabled.  You should see a small green circle in your status bar near your battery meter.
  4. Open the Internet Call program menu.  Under “Tools,” tap “Settings.”  Make sure “Receive calls from” is set to “All.”  You can also select a ringtone by tapping “Tools” then “Ringtones.”
  5. Test your setup by calling your Google Voice number from another phone.  If your settings are correctly configured the call should ring on your N810.

Part Four: Setting up DialCentral for free outgoing calls on your N810

DialCentral is a Google Voice client for the Nokia N810.  You can use it to view your contacts, send text messages from your Google Voice number, view your text messages and transcribed voicemails, and place calls through Google Voice.

Update (8/13/09): Some readers have found this next part confusing.  For clarity, I’ll define a couple of technical terms you need to know:

Forwarding Phone: This refers to any phone number that you set your Google Voice number to forward to.  This is the same as a Callback Number in DialCentral.  You can add forwarding phones by signing into your Google Voice account at http://google.com/voice, clicking “Settings” then “Phones.”

Callback Number: When you place a call through DialCentral, it doesn’t call out directly.  Instead, you tell it which of your forwarding phones you would like the call connected to.  Google Voice will call you on that phone, then connect you with the number you are calling.  Google Voice does not charge for calls within the US. DialCentral refers to this as your “Callback Number.” I’ll explain how this works below.  If you still have questions after reading this section, this post may help.

To install DialCentral, you’ll need to enable the “maemo Extras” repository in Application Manager.  Here’s how:

  1. Go into Application manager.
  2. Tap the menu, then “Tools” then “Application catalog.”
  3. Double-tap “maemo Extras.”
  4. Make sure “Disabled” is not checked.

To install DialCentral:

  1. In Application Manager select “Browse installable applications” then “All.”
  2. Scroll down until you see DialCentral.  Double-tap it, then tap “OK.”
  3. When the Nokia warning notice pops up, select “OK.”  DialCentral will install.

To configure DialCentral:

  1. Start DialCentral.  Enter your Google Voice username and password when prompted.  Make sure you select Google Voice from the drop-down menu. (Update 10/9/09: It is no longer necessary to select the account type during this step.  All you have to do is enter your Google Voice username and password)
  2. Under “Accounts” choose a “Callback Number.”  This is the number of the phone you are “calling from” when you place a call.
  3. To make a call either enter the number on the keypad and tap “Dial,” or double-tap one of your contacts and tap “Dial.”  Google Voice will call your designated Callback Number, then connect you with the phone you want to reach.

What if I don’t have a Google Voice account?

If the Google God is ignoring your intreaties, and you absolutely must have your free wifi phone working right now, try IPKall.com.  You will receive a phone number with a Washington State area code that will forward to your Gizmo Sip number (remember that?).  You won’t have all the features and toys of Google Voice, and you won’t be able to call out, but you’ll be able to receive free incoming phone calls on your internet tablet until your Google Voice invitation arrives.

  1. Go to IPKall.com.  Click on “Sign-up.”
  2. Choose SIP, and an area code.
  3. Enter your Gizmo Sip number.  If you don’t remember what this is, refer back to Part One: Setting up your Gizmo account.
  4. Enter “proxy01.sipphone.com” in the “SIP Proxy:” field.
  5. Provide an email address and password.

IPKall will take a couple of days to review your application.  I submitted mine on a Tuesday and received a reply the following Friday.  You will receive an email with your IPKall number (this is the one you give to your friends).  Once your N810 is configured to receive Gizmo calls, it should ring when you dial the IPKall number on a regular phone.

Whew, that was a long post!

I know.  I spent all afternoon writing it.  I hope it’s helpful.  Feel free to ask questions or share your experiences in the comments.  If you are still on the fence and don’t own a Nokia N810, I invite you to purchase it here.

Did this post save you time or money? If so, please consider making a donation.

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  1. rocketscientist’s avatar

    Thanks! Got my google voice invite yesterday and your description came just in time :-)

  2. jalladin’s avatar

    hey,

    I was reading your thread on maemo.org and followed the link here, but I followed you instructions for the part that applied but i only have a few questions…

    - as far as the gizmo account, is that a number that ppl can call me on ( although i think iread somewhere on maemo that its not) because i cant call out.

    - my Google voice wont work for me since i’m stationed here in south korea, so i was wanting to know if there is any other method i can use to utilize my skype account and gizmo. or is it just going to be easier to just use skype for now. I do have Fring: http://www.fring.com/default.asp which is a catch all type of program but thee only thing its missing is the ability for ppl to call me for free like google voice. well let me know if you have any advice my name is the same on here as it is in maemo.org

    Thanks, great work by the way…

  3. Jon (Fencepost Admin)’s avatar

    @jalladin

    I’m not entirely clear on what you are looking for. Do you want people in the US to be able to call you in South Korea? Do you want other people in South Korea to call you?

    The Gizmo (“SIP”) number cannot be called from normal phones. It can be called from another Gizmo account. For a monthly fee, Gizmo will set you up with a real phone number that forwards to your SIP number.

    If you want friends and relatives in the US to call you for free on your tablet, you might try http://www.ipkall.com. It will give you a number with a Washington State area code that forwards to your Gizmo SIP number. It’s free, but if you don’t use it for 30 days they may cancel your account. For instructions, look toward the end of the article where it says, “What if I don’t have a Google Voice account?”

    There’s also a service called Local Phone- http://www.localphone.com that assigns a US phone number that forwards to international numbers, and charges a few cents per minute. Skype does a similar thing, but Local Phone is cheaper for some countries. I’m considering ditching Skype and using Local Phone for international calls. You’d need to have a landline or cell phone for that to work.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea what options exist for you for outgoing calls besides Skype. Perhaps others who know could comment here?

  4. RS’s avatar

    Thanks for your clear step-by-step guide… Your instructions worked very well! I have a “Wireless Hotspot” phone ready and functional!!!

  5. Steve’s avatar

    Excellent post and with great timing. I had been running Android on my N810 for the last year or so courtesy of the NITdroid project, but since sound never worked, sipdroid was never going to be an option.

    I did this very same thing yesterday, and it works great! The only suggestion I have is that instead of using the native Gizmo5 client, use the “Internet Call” app that ships with the Nokia. The native app is good if you want to IM or do video calls, but if you’re like me and just wanted to add a phone line with unlimited inbound and outbound calling to US numbers, just add your Gizmo account to the Internet Call app as a SIP provider.

    Its MUCH less intrusive. You have a little green dot in the status bar instead of a full-blown app running with features you may never use, and it also features DTMF dialing, key for logging into conference calls. That’s right, you can’t dial any numbers once your call has begun when you use the native Gizmo app.

    Thanks for this post, its well-written and timely. Besides, I don’t think that people realize that with a Google Voice number, a free Gizmo5 SIP-only account, and either a Gizmo client or any SIP-compatible client, then every single Internet-connected person with some sort of device can have a free unlimited phone line.

  6. Justin’s avatar

    Do I have to subscribe n810 to internet in order for this work?

    How much will be the cost except purchase one n810?

    If need monthly subscibe fee, will this make no sense?

  7. Jon’s avatar

    @Justin-
    The N810 is a wifi device. It is not a cell phone. These instructions are for setting your N810 up as a free wifi phone. There is no monthly subscription to buy, and you should be able to make and receive phone calls any place where you are connected to a wifi network. When you are not connected to wifi you will be “out of range” and will be unable to make or receive calls.

    In my case, there were 2 compelling reasons for me to set my tablet up this way: First, cell phone reception in my apartment is unreliable at best, and I wanted a better way to make calls. Second, I can make totally free calls from my home network or a wifi hotspot that would otherwise use my cell phone minutes.

    It is also possible to “tether” the tablet to a data enabled phone so as to connect in more places. I have no experience with that.

  8. SherryPetersMI’s avatar

    I just wanted to let you know how very much I appreciate your detailed instructions! When I got my google voice invite this afternoon I had no idea what to do with my new account on my N810. Your instructions were an amazing help, I’d still be wondering if not for these :). Your efforts definitely weren’t in vain, at least from my perspective…thank you thank you thank you!

  9. Mike’s avatar

    Excellent detailed post. Can’t thank you enough for investing the time to put this together. This definitely adds value to the N810.

  10. Rob Bean’s avatar

    Thanks for this clear walkthrough. Was able to set it all up in about 10 minutes. Tested inbound and outbound calls and it works beautifully.

  11. Steve’s avatar

    Theres seems to be a problem with my set-up. I have two questions: When setting up the account in the internet call program wit service supposed to be used? If SIP is used how come I still receive a network error in the status bar icon for internal calls?

  12. Jon’s avatar

    @Steve

    You need to use SIP.

    What do you mean by “network error?” Are you referring to the green circle in the N810 desktop status bar? Is it red? Does it flash alternately red and green?

    Here are some ideas:

    1) Are you setting up a Gizmo5 account in the Internet Call client. If not, you need to. Google Voice will not work directly with the N810. You have to use it through a free Gizmo5 account. See Parts One and Two for more on this.

    2) Double check your SIP settings in the internet call client. Make sure they are exactly as specified in the instructions above. Specifically, under “Account Setup: User name” tap “Advanced,” and verify that “Port” is set to “5060″ and that “Transport” is set to “UDP.”

    3) Under “Tools” and “Accounts” verify that “Enabled” is checked next to your Gizmo SIP account.

    4) Some wifi networks don’t play nice with chat clients and internet calls. If it is your home network, you might have to enable port forwarding on your router or adjust your firewall settings. You might try using your N810 on different wifi networks to see if you get a different result anywhere else.

    5) Having dual layers of Network Address Translation (NAT) sometimes causes problems with chat clients and internet calls. Is there another router between your wireless router and your internet connection? Is your wireless router set up as a bridge?

    Good luck. If none of these suggestions help, you might try asking your question over at the Internet Tablet Talk forums (http://www.internettablettalk.com) That’s where I got most of the information for this tutorial.

  13. gmed’s avatar

    I cannot get my nokia n810 to work as you decsribed. I have tried every step exactly as you have written. I get a big fat black exclamation point in the middle of the green dot at the top of my screen when I try to set up the built in internet client. Also, if you could help me figure out how to get the audio to work, that would be nice. I have tried lowering the volume and readjusting it. No incoming audio on internet client or gizmo5. This is so annoying.

  14. Jon’s avatar

    @gmed

    Without having physical access to your setup it’s difficult for me to troubleshoot, but here are a few suggestions that might help:

    My first suggestion is to go back through the tutorial, step by step, and verify that your settings. I know you said you followed the instructions exactly, but it’s a long and complicated process, and it’s easy to misunderstand or miss a step. I just had an email conversation with another reader who rechecked her settings and discovered that she had mistyped a password.

    Have you tried using your N810 with any other VoIP services, such as
    Skype or Google Chat? If you have accounts with either of those services, try placing a voice call and see if it works. Then try using your Google Voice setup on another network to see if that makes a difference. That will help you determine whether the problem is with your router settings or your N810 settings.

    Also, see my reply to Steve just above your comment. It sounds like your issue is similar to his.

    As I told Steve, you might find some answers over at the Internet Tablet Talk forums (http://www.internettablettalk.com) That’s where I learned to set up Google Voice on my N810. Some of the guys at ITT are a lot more knowledgeable than I am, and may be able to help you.

    Good luck. Let me know if you get it working.

  15. Lantz’s avatar

    I got everything all set up as described and when someone calls my google number, my nokia rings and I am able to answer… So far so good… however when I speak the caller can hear me but I am unable to hear the callers voice. Have I overlooked something? My sound is on on the nokia and I have also tried it with my bluetooth headset.

  16. Jon’s avatar

    @ Lantz

    It sounds like your network settings might be interfering with your N810/Gizmo setup. I recommend testing it on another network or two. If it works on other networks then your router is probably the problem.

    You may have to adjust your security settings and/or set up port forwarding. I don’t know much about that, but you might be able to find some answers at http://portforward.com or at the Internet Tablet Talk forums http://talk.maemo.org.

  17. SirMikey1’s avatar

    Gizmo is not your only choice for outgoing calls. You can also add a free SIPGATE phone number to your google phones settings as a work number and fwd to that instead of GIZMO.

  18. Jason_Carrick’s avatar

    Thanks!!!! Great instructions. Now I have a wireless Voip phone.

  19. John’s avatar

    I’m trying to setup the last part with dial central but there is no drop down box for the google voice. When i put in my user and pass it asks for it again and nothing happens. I know my user and pass are correct so any suggestions.

  20. Jonathan Johnson’s avatar

    @John,

    The latest versions of DialCentral no longer have the “Account Type” option in the login menu. Just enter your Google Voice username and password when prompted. Don’t worry about looking for the drop-down menu, because it’s no longer there.

    Here’s why:

    Google Voice is a slightly modified version of a service formerly called Grand Central. After Google bought Grand Central, they kept it running for a couple of years while they developed Google Voice. DialCentral was developed during the transition period, and designed to support both services. When Google stopped supporting Grand Central, the DialCentral app was modified to work only with Google Voice.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ll modify the instructions to reflect the change.

  21. john’s avatar

    Ok. i have been trying to input my user and pass for like an hour now and to no luck it wont let me in. it keeps asking for my user and pass 2 times and wont login. I know my user and pass are correct so is there any advice.

  22. Jonathan Johnson’s avatar

    @John,

    Sorry to hear about your frustration.

    Does your N810 automatically capitalize the first letter of a new sentence? If so, it could be messing up your password entry without you knowing. Go to Control Panel -> Personalization -> Text Input Settings -> Languages -> Settings and uncheck “Auto-capitalization.”

    Also, I you’ve probably done this already, but double-check your Google Account username and password.

    If you still can’t log in after doing that, I suggest you ask your question over at http://talk.maemo.org. The creator of DialCentral posts there as “epage,” and he or someone else may be able to help.

  23. Mame4iphone’s avatar

    Now that Gizmo5 is limiting calls to 3 mins do u have another method?

    Also, any chance of writing a tutorial for the iPhone, SipSorcery and Siphon so one do not use AT$T minutes?

  24. Jonathan Johnson’s avatar

    @Mame4iphone

    I’m under the impression that the 3 minute limit with Gizmo5 only applies to outgoing calls. When I place a call, I use DialCentral on the N810, or the Google Voice web interface on my desktop to originate the call. That way, Gizmo5 treats all my calls as incoming calls and I don’t pay a per minute charge.

    You should also be aware that I usually don’t use the N810 for the actual calls. I have an ATA set up with my Gizmo5 settings and a cordless phone plugged into that. When I’m away from home I usually just use my cell phone.

    About the iPhone: I don’t have an iPhone, so I wouldn’t be able to tinker with it and write a precise tutorial. I’m considering acquiring a smartphone within the next few months, and I may choose an iPhone. If I do, making it work with GV will be a top priority and I’ll certainly blog about it.

    Can you access the Google Voice web interface through the iPhone browser? If so, I would suggest finding a SIP client for iPhone that you can put your Gizmo5 settings into. Use the GV web interface to originate your calls, then answer when they ring through to your SIP client.

    I have no idea whether that will work or not. If it does, please let me know.

  25. Chris’s avatar

    This….is….AWESOME. Okay, now that all that geekness is out of the way. Thank you very much for a great tutorial that was very easy to follow. Everything is working perfectly the first time around!

    I do want to point out a recent development with Gizmo — it’s now been taken over by Google and no new accounts are permitted to be created until after the “restart” of the project. Thankfully, I already had a Gizmo account created and had not deleted it, so I was able to do all this. But anyone starting from scratch on this might end up with that as a (currently) insurmountable hurdle.

    Thanks again — I’ll now be annoying all members of my family by showing off what the new toy can do!

  26. Jonathan Johnson’s avatar

    @Chris

    Thanks for the heads-up about the Gizmo5 purchase. There are at least 2 other services being used as the middleman for GV: IPKall, and SipGate. When I get some time I’ll write a more detailed post about those.

  27. Gavin’s avatar

    To anyone who would like to make gv calls using dialcentral or gv mobile (both much better than the normal gv site) but have noticed that there is a bug with them making outgoing calls using your gizmo number, please report if this is an issue for you here:

    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/voice/thread?tid=389db84ff32fb6fc&hl=en

  28. Jim C.’s avatar

    Too bad this no longer works.

    I saw a 2006 article titled “Gizmo Project makes all VoIP to landline calls free. Forever.” This goes to show that, with computers, very few things are permanent. Constant change can be a hassle with older devices.

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