Free Incoming Phone Numbers for Skype

July 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Posted in Computers, Economoney, Internet, Online services, Software | 6 Comments

It’s a common issue. You use Skype for long distance calls but your family or friends don’t. So if they call you, it can be expensive for them. Especially if they’re back in the “Old Country”.

Or you just have a cell phone so have to be careful how long you talk. Or you’re on the road and don’t want those nasty roaming charges.

You can subscribe to a “virtual phone number” just about anywhere that can relay to your Skype. (or another phone, etc.) That’s about $6 – $20 per month per number. Virtual numbers are a growing industry that has not had a shakedown yet, so a little research is useful before you sign up. Skype itself offers the SkypeIn service (now called Online Number). It’s cheaper than others if you have a subscription to other Skype services, such as for unlimited NA long distance. But they don’t have Canadian numbers.

And what if you have friends or family you want to have call you but they’re scattered here and there. It can be pricey to have virtual numbers for every area.

Just ran into a new service called Ring2Skype. [The domain has been taken over by Skype -see comments] It’s free. They only have numbers in certain areas. But they include much of Canada. If one is suitable, it might be a solution for you. Even if you already have SkypeIn, you can add this for other places.

Numbers are available in LA, NY, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Maine, etc. and most major centers in Canada. They also have numbers in a couple of dozen other countries.

They can make it free because it’s one number for each city. The caller then dials a 3 digit extension and it calls through to your Skype. Like calling an office.

One tip – add ring2skype.net to your Skype contact list so a non-approved contact is not blocked. Then calls can get through, whatever your settings.

I picked up numbers in 3 cities in Canada and the US and it worked fine. At no cost. Took just a couple of minutes.
David

PS- actual performance in real world use has been another matter – see comments

6 Comments »

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  1. Well – when I passed out numbers to a few people to try, the experience was quite different. Chicago always announced no lines available. Mississippi didn’t connect. Net result- a good idea but floundering in practice.

    They mention to ensure you have them as a Contact (see article). That’s not the issue. It’s capacity.

    If you want your own dedicated number, they suggest
    http://www.jetnumbers.com/

    Thats one that came up well in reviews I looked at.

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  2. I’m now using “Ring2Skype for about almost 2 years now. Had nothing to complains about, except maybe that some inbound calls disconnect after a couples of minutes. Sound quality is just perfect for this kind of free service. Even better than some paid one I tried in the past.

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    • As this is a call redirection service, call quality would not be their issue. But dropped connections would be. I didn’t find it worked in practice so never used it. I’ve found mixed reports online. Apparently the company is based in Uruguay.

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  3. It would seem Skype took exception to their name in another domain. The old web domain now forwards to Skype. I found the old site at a new domain but the web site is buggy and has not been maintained. I tested an old number I’d gotten in 2010 and it still called through but now I got a Casino ad with URL in the Skype call log. Free to caller, advertising for you.

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  4. Ah, I see by the blog at JetNumbers.com that they launched Ring2Skype. Jetnumbers blog has not been updated in a couple of years and is full of spam comments. They sell incoming Skype numbers but you can’t get a price without signing up. Skip that noise!

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  5. As a followup to this still-popular article, people might be interested in this article on VOIP services. Some include incoming numbers.
    http://lifehacker.com/whats-the-best-mobile-voip-app-1579791681

    You’re probably better to pay for a number with a stable organization, then use it with free services that suit your device and location needs.

    Currently I use a cell and a VOIP service to regular phones. $5 a month with my local ISP. Voicemail and everything included.

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