Friday, November 5, 2010

PhoneGnome as a free alternative to Gizmo5

Gizmo5 was a popular free SIP service but it is now closed to new subscribers.

In addition to the PhoneGnome hardware box, PhoneGnome also offers PhoneGnome accounts without the hardware box - this is basically a free SIP service with open SIP credentials that allows users to use any SIP softphone or SIP compatible hardware device with the PhoneGnome service.

There are a few ways to sign up for a new PhoneGnome account:

  1. The easiest is if you already have a PhoneGnome account, you can setup an auxiliary account at the following link:
  2. Next, if someone you know has an account, they can send you an invitation, using the following link:
  3. Or Finally, anyone can create a free account simply by applying an initial credit balance of $5.00 USD or more to the account, using this link:

Once you have the account setup, navigate to Features / SoftGnome Remote Access / Activate to setup your SIP credentials and then use Features / SoftGnome Remote Access / Edit / View SIP Credentials to view your new SIP Credentials.

Next, you need to decide if you want to use your computer to place and receive calls (free) or whether you want to use a physical hardware SIP phone ($$). If you want to use a real phone, you might consider purchasing the PhonGnome box, because it makes setup fully automated, but if you already have a SIP phone, or want to use some other ATA hardware, you can do that too.

If you decide to use software, PhoneGnome provides a free PC softphone that you can download here: or you can use any SIP software that you like, such as X-Lite

And there you go - now you have a free SIP account just like with Gizmo5. You can add credit to the account to place calls to any number or simply use it to call other SIP users directly.

Going Further

Once you have the software or hardware setup to use the PhoneGnome account, you can get a free US number from IPKALL at when setting up the SIP forwarding of the IPKALL number, use your SIP credentials username and as the host (SIP server) (if you have the PhoneGnome Box, your SIP address will be shown on your home page at

Now, anyone can call you at this number and it will ring to your PhoneGnome account phone (or softphone). You can even set this number up with Google Voice as a ring-to destination or for placing GV calls.