Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to get a free Sipgate account with a US number (DID), and receive calls for free on it through SIP (e.g. on Android)

This guide will help you get a free US number (DID), and receive incoming calls on your Android device *for free* without using minutes on your voice plan, purely over Wifi (or data if you have a good data plan). This guide is part of my larger guide on how to make free calls to USA and Canada using Google Voice.

1) Register for a free Sipgate One account

2) Once you are signed up and your account is active, make note of your Sipgate SIP ID and SIP password.

3) Configure either your built-in SIP client (Android 2.3 and up), or download one of CSipSimple, Sipdroid, or Linphone from the market, and install it on your Android phone. General instructions on setting up Sipgate with a SIP client can be found here.

a) For Android 2.3 and up, you may choose to use the built-in SIP functionality of your device. Go to Settings->Call Settings->Accounts. Select "Receive incoming calls" (this is essential for callback to work), and then hit "Add account". Enter your Sipgate ID and password in the appropriate fields, and under "Server".

b) Once you install and start Sipdroid, hit Menu->Settings->SIP Account (Line 1), and enter your Sipgate ID in the "Authorization Username" field, and password in the "Password" field, and under "Server or Proxy". If you so choose, you can check "Use 3G" (see NOTE below about data usage). If you experience weird audio issues, you can also select Settings->Advanced Options->Use STUN Server, and enter in "STUN Server name", or use the pre-supplied STUN server.

c) Recent versions of CSipSimple have a Sipgate wizard which can be followed to set up your Sipgate account easily. When when you first start it up:
- Select whether you want to be "Always available" or "Available on WiFi", depending on whether you have a generous mobile data plan or not. Also, if using your data plan, check "I'm allowed to use mobile" below.
- On the next screen, click "Add account", then choose the Sipgate wizard, and enter your Sipgate ID and password in the appropriate fields, and under "Server".
- If you experience weird networking issues, one way audio or other issues, you can try enabling STUN, Menu->Settings->Network->Enable STUN. You can elect to use callwithus STUN server ( or the CSipSimple provided server (Thanks for your comment, Ross).
- Finally, you if you want to use your mobile data plan (see NOTE below about data usage), check "Use 3G" in the settings.

d) After installing Linphone, when it is first run, it will do an echo cancellation calibration. After that, you will be in the SIP Account screen. Enter your Sipgate ID and password in the appropriate fields, and under "Domain". You can check "Start at boot time" below, and enter Sipgate's STUN server ( under "Stun server" if you have strange audio problems. Linphone will make use of your mobile data plan by default, so either make sure you have a generous enough mobile data plan (see NOTE below about data usage), or make sure you don't make calls when you are outside WIFI coverage.
(2 - 3 minutes)

NOTE: If you have a mobile data plan, you can tell Sipdroid, CSipSimple, and Linphone to connect even over your wireless provider's data plan (3G), but *beware of potentially very high data charges*, since voip can be very data intensive. In my personal tests, a high quality codec consumes about 1MB per minute.

4) You can either use this number as your real phone number, add it to Google Voice, and make GV forward to it, even use it to activate your GV account. Finally, you can use this number to MAKE FREE CALLS TO USA AND CANADA using my other guide.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The built-in SIP client (Android 2.3 and up) has a serious limitation. It does not handle re-registration, which is needed by This will result in sipgate dropping the client (and incoming calls), while the client still shows "Receiving Calls" status. It also does not support STUN server (sipgate shows my LAN IP, not my public IP), although this has not been an issue so far (audio works both ways). CSipSimple and Linphone do not have these issues.
    Nexus S with 2.3.4 (not rooted).

    Sipgate Settings:
    Register Expire Time: 600 Seconds
    STUN-Port: 10000

  3. Hey Jim,

    Many thanks for reporting this. It should be quite helpful to other people. When I get a chance I'll edit my post to reflect your findings. I wonder if this issue also occurs for my IPKall post? Do you mind testing this, because I don't have Android 2.3 yet. Thanks!

  4. Fron:
    Your SIP client must have STUN enabled or be on a public IP address.

  5. I was able to resolve both issues with SipSorcery. The android client only supports a Re-Register time of 3600 seconds, while Sipgate only supports 600 seconds. SipSorcery will mangle your LAN IP with your WAN IP. This solves both issues and it has one big plus, a ruby dial plan which connects to Google Voice Callback API.

    sys.Log("Log message from default dialplan.")
    sys.GoogleVoiceCall("", "password", "415XXXYYYY", "#{req.URI.User}", "WWWXXXYYYY", 1, 30)

    "" is my Google Voice login.
    "password" is my Google Voice password.
    "415XXXYYYY" is my Sipgate number.
    "#{req.URI.User}" will pass the phone number you dial to GV callback.
    "WWWXXXYYYY" is my GV number. Do not prefix with a 1, and if you have issues, try ".*" instead.
    1=Home, 2=Mobile, 3=Work, 7=Gizmo (Phone type in GV for Sipgate number).
    30 seconds script timeout.

    Don't forget to disable Google Voice Android App from making calls, and set SIP client to make calls. I can make and receive calls over SIP without any additional Android Apps. Too cool ;-)

  6. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the comments. This sounds like a whole new article that I'll have to write when I find the time, as it will not involve the Callback application at all. I'll get on it ASAP.

    Any other feedback is highly appreciated.

  7. As a complete SIP newbie, I look forward to the new article for talking me through SIP and Google Voice, thanks...


  8. Thanks alot for your help. I never thought it would work but when it lit up, I was very amazed and happy. Yep.

  9. hi..... its Mohsin here.... want to buy a sipgate account..... plz tell me if someone wants to give away... i will buy it... thanks bye

  10. Is there another provider besides sipgate? They shut down their services.

  11. "You can either use this number..." Which number? I don't see at which stage I get a valid US or Can number.