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What Android apps are available that will give you free wifi incoming calls (VOIP) to either your existing phone number or a separate phone number in a US area code you can specify?

Requirements

  • Google Voice is not a desirable option.
  • Cost should either be free or less than $15 per year.
  • Video is not needed; only audio is required.
  • Audio quality must be at least as good as cell network.
  • Does not need to work for international calls.
  • Must be reliable.

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  • PS: Meanwhile, you might want to take a look at my list of apps for Cheap Calls: Save via VoIP :) – Izzy Mar 2 '15 at 10:50
  • Thank you. Note that your site throws a security error due to the SSL certificate not having any user chain. – RockPaperLizard Mar 2 '15 at 17:30
  • Uh. Forgot to strike the "s". Yes, I know that – it's due to it using a self-signed certificate. Feel free to use it with plain http instead: no "personal data" transmitted, no cookies or trackers (except maybe the Flattr button if you've JS enabled). – Izzy Mar 2 '15 at 17:34
  • Thanks. I'll take a look in a few hours. – RockPaperLizard Mar 2 '15 at 17:53
  • Btw: Have you checked Skype? They have a feature called "SkypeIn", where you can get a fixed-line number in many countries (including the US). I couldn't figure out, though, how much they charge for it. An Android app is available of course. – Izzy Mar 3 '15 at 9:54
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Localphone has inbound numbers for $0.99/month with a $3 setup fee. You can use their app or any sip app with their service.

2

Any SIP-enabled software (aka softphone or SIP client) will allow you to receive calls on a local or toll-free number. That's not a problem - there are lots of various free or commercial SIP clients out there (for example, X-Lite and , correspondingly). You can either download some SIP clients from providers' websites for free, or download from various software repositories (or buy commercial SIP software online).

Certainly, in order to successfully use that approach, your phone number should be configured on a provider's side. In VOIP terminology, such providers are often called SIP providers (note that using term VOIP provider is a bit confusing, since some VOIP providers do not use SIP as their main protocol, for example, Skype). Phone numbers, which your chosen provider(s) will be routing and terminating SIP calls to, are called DID numbers (DID is an abbreviation of "direct inward dialing").

There is a large number of SIP providers of various sizes, feature sets and quality. Since you have mentioned reliability as one of the main criteria, I would recommend you the following providers (I used them all): Callcentric, voip.ms and Anveo. Local US DID numbers are relatively inexpensive, with Anveo being the least expensive than the other two (for simple plans like personal unlimited or pay-per-minute - more complex (especially, business) plans require more detailed cost-benefit analysis).

Speaking of getting and using free DID numbers, here's what I know. Currently, you can do that either via Callcentric (they offer only New York State phone numbers for that program), or via IPKall - a service, which offers Washington State phone numbers only. Also keep in mind that IPKall doesn't offer customer service and is likely much less reliable than Callcentric. So, if you don't care about the area code of your DID number, I suggest going the Callcentric route. Their program is called "Free Phone Number" and you can find more information about it here. In case, if/when their free DID numbers program will be stopped, you should know about their another program, which offers US and Canadian DID numbers (certain areas) at a reduced price. This program is called "Dirt Cheap DID", has been around a while and you can find more information about it here. Please let me know, if you have any questions. I hope that this is helpful.

  • 1
    Thank you very, very much! That is fantastic info, and I appreciate you spending your time composing it. From what I can tell, none of the services you mention will meet the requirement of choosing any US area code and being less than $15/year. But the info you provided is so very useful nonetheless. And if the requirements cannot be met, then your suggestions will be even more important. Thank you again. – RockPaperLizard Mar 4 '15 at 18:41
  • @RockPaperLizard: You're very welcome! It's my pleasure. I like this topic (VoIP), so I enjoyed composing the answer. Feel free to accept it, if you think it's comprehensive enough. Two notes: 1) keep in mind that, depending on your expected call volume (if it's low enough), it might make more sense to prefer a pay-per-minute plan to a flat rate monthly one; 2) there are some services/providers/gateways that offer free international DID numbers (for some countries), however it's somewhat tricky to set up - if you're interested, please submit another question, and I'll do my best to answer it. – Aleksandr Blekh Mar 4 '15 at 22:04
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    You're a nice person. Thanks! My call volume will be 9 domestic incoming calls per month, each 85 minutes long. No outgoing calls or international use. I think it's best to not accept your excellent answer at this time because the solutions don't meet all the requirements, and I would like to give others a chance. But I've given it a huge thumbs up, and please know that your kindness and generosity have made my day brighter. – RockPaperLizard Mar 4 '15 at 23:53
  • @RockPaperLizard: Thank you for kind words! I'm not worried about the acceptance of my answer - I understand your points. Again, you're very welcome. I'm glad I could help. P.S. Based on your call volume, I think that a flat rate monthly plan would be cheaper. – Aleksandr Blekh Mar 5 '15 at 0:02
0

It is extremely rare to get a US phone number for free because you (or someone) has to pay a monthly maintenance fee just to reserve the number. They are like domain names, but more expensive. CallCentric has cheap numbers, and a VOIP app, and it can forward to your SIP phone too. http://www.callcentric.com/

There was another source for free #'s, but I've forgotten it. It was on my old Android.

This place looks like it has free monthly service, but with a per-minute rate. http://www.phone.com/pricing/

  • Thanks. How about using your existing US phone number? – RockPaperLizard Mar 3 '15 at 4:07
  • Sure, you can port your number, if the service support porting numbers in. A port costs about $40. – Chloe Mar 3 '15 at 4:28
  • Sorry, I meant how about a free VOIP service that uses an existing number so that you don't have to pay for a new number. – RockPaperLizard Mar 3 '15 at 6:34
  • @RockPaperLizard I'm afraid you're drifting pretty much OT. This site is about recommending software, not services – so "how-to-port-my-number" definitely doesn't fit. Besides: If the service should use your "existing number", the current carrier must somehow forward it there. – Izzy Mar 3 '15 at 9:44
  • @Izzy Sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm not looking how to port a number. I'm only looking for an Android app that allows incoming calls to a US number that meets the criteria above. Either it can provide another number or use an existing one. – RockPaperLizard Mar 3 '15 at 17:33

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