Google Voice on a telephone without a server


Vinh Nguyen


June 13, 2011

I already discussed how one can make use of Google Voice with Asterisk – the possibilities are limitless. However, all this requires a server running Asterisk. I recently explored how one can explore other options of Google Voice (or other VoIP services) without the use of a server.

Since I own routers running tomato and dd-wrt, I can exploit Optware to have asterisk run on an embedded device. Installation is quite easy. You can buy a cheap router like the Asus WL-520GU to get things going. However, it might be kind of slow for asterisk. I own an Asus RT-N16, which based on my readings, is plenty of power of asterisk. However, I only want to use the router as a router, dedicated to that one task, to have a stable home network. I don't want to run asterisk or an embedded web server for the sake of stability. However, knowing I have that option feels quite good.

I recently discovered the OBi100 and the OBi110 ATA's that was released in late 2010 that can connect to Google Voice (and other SIP providers) natively. Based on this review and the reviews from Amazon, the product seems quite good. I went ahead and ordered the OBi110 to try it out, and I might update once I try it out.

Setup is outlined here. The drawback with GV is the inability to dial 911 in an emergency. The end of the post illustrates how you can get around this. I called my Verizon home phone service and once the line is disconnected, 911 service is not retained. I might pay for another VoIP with E911 (local 911 operator + phone number and physical address transmission) capabilities just for the ease of mind, even though we all own cell phones. This is another possibility by routing the 911 to the local police station, but E911 capabilities will not be available.

I just might port my home phone number to GV soon.