How To Get A Skype-In Phone Number For Free

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imageA lot of us here at MakeUseOf use Skype to get in touch with each other. Skype, for those who may not know, is a Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) service which allows unlimited free calls between users using the desktop, mobile or iPhone application.

If you pay for Skype credit, you can call out from Skype on your computer to normal phones (wireless or landline) at a discounted rate. Also, for an additional cost, you may get a “Skype-In”Âť phone number, which is essentially a Skype number disguised as a local land line, so that all calls to that number will be forwarded to your Skype account, allowing you to take the call anywhere and on any computer with Skype installed. This benefits the caller — if Skype is not available, he/she can always contact you simply by dialing a local number.

It’s a cool thing to have, but outside of this site’s staff I don’t have much use for the service (many of my friends are still using AIM for goodness’ sake). That changed today when I signed up for phone numbers to forward calls to my Skype account, and unlike the Skype-In service, they didn’t cost me a thing.

So, how to get a Skype phone number?

get skype phone number

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If you don’t have a Skype account, please be sure to set one up first. You’ll need to provide your Skype ID when you register at Ring2Skype.com, which is where you get your free “Skype-In” numbers. There are a lot of countries to choose from, and you may register multiple numbers. For example, I’ve registered numbers in Windsor, Canada and London, UK as well as a US (New York City) number. My friend in Manhattan can call me up as if I lived there. Co-workers in London and Canada can now call me without ringing up international charges.

ring2SkypeNumbers

Here in the US, we have but a few choices as to our number’s calling area. I could get a number (with a three-digit extension) in California, Florida, Maine or New York. Japan’s numbers are limited to Tokyo, and Israel to Tel Aviv. It’s going to be a bit odd giving friends in Louisville my Manhattan number, but these days when long-distance and local calling are often the same price, it shouldn’t be too big a stretch.

There really is no catch. Call quality for me was as good as a regular Skype, Gizmo or Mobile Phone call. I plan on giving these numbers out to business contacts, and once Google Voice (which I hope to review for you soon) allows forwarding my GV number to extensions, I plan on using this service with friends and family as well.

Do you have s Skype-In number? Are you aware if any alternative way to get a Skype phone number? How do you plan on using your Ring2Skype numbers? Let us know in the comments.

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18 Comments - Write a Comment

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Victor V.

But what about the reliability of the service? Can I be sure it’ll be working 2 years from now?

Tim Watson

Well, no, we can’t be sure of how long the service will last. For now, it’s still a nice free option over paid Skype-In.

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jan geronimo

This is very useful. My Jedi blogger friends would love this as well as my tweeter friends. Thanks, Tim – you never fail to delight us with your great tips and how-to’s. “,)

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ext numbers

fyi: you get a system number plus a dial in extension–you don’t get your own 10 digit US phone number; area code choices are also very limited as of now. May want to add that in, Tim!

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ext numbers

ok, i see the ext portion now..my blog skimming sucks..sorry Tim…

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nadya

It’s only for USA?

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SkypeBuzz

Finally! In the Netherlands Skype still does not offer SkypeIn numbers, so this is a very welcome service (albeit with the handicap of having to use an extension number).

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rob1951

Why Skype?

I use sipgate.co.uk, that gives me on screen phone, FREE UK phone number, FREE voice mail.

The .com site offers US numbers, .de German etc, not sure if a UK user could get a US number for example (I think it used to be an option).

I mostly use an IP phone with conventional dialling buttons and handset connected to my home router so my PC doesn’t need to be switched on to make/receive calls but I use their free on-screen phone too.

I do pay for the equivalent of Skype Out (call prices are similar, some are slightly higher or lower compared with Skype). Sipgate credit doesn’t expire (for various reasons I had some unused credit for over 3 years) whereas Skype wipe out your balance if you’ve not used any credit for 180 days – what a rip-off.

The (free) voice mail has the option of emailing me an audio recording of the missed calls but I can also log on the web, phone from SIP or PSTN phone to pick up voice mail.

It’s great, all I use Skype for now is video calls and a few international calls where Skype is slightly cheaper.

SIP is an open standard whereas Skype is proprietary so wheres skype can only call other skype users free, SIP can work between different providers SIP networks.

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mchlbk

A more interesting feature would be how to get free Skype Out.

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Juliann BookieBlog

Very interesting post. It’s funny ’cause recently a friend of mine was looking to get a free number. Except Ring2skype don’t work for France … (yet ?)

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wobaidan

Could this be a way to rig getting SkypeIn calls on a Skypephone? I’ve been reading in the forums that SkypeIn doesn’t work on the phones.

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The Crypticone1

I can’t wait to try these features.

So cool

follow me @
http://www.twitter.com/thecrypticone
http://www.myspace.com/thecrypticone1

mchlbk

So… You just wanted to flash your links… Ah well…

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skype user

thanks this will work gr8

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Doc

Ring2skype is now charging people per minute to call in, so much for that crap.

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tim

ring2skype free service sux, no callerid no voicemail, i switch to the paid 10$ plan from http://www.onekingtelecom.com , they have more features including callfwd to cell anywhere us-canada for just 10 bucks a month.

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Jeremy Epstein

ok, so here’s a tricky one to figure out…

let’s say I have a Google Voice number (I do) and I want it to ring my cell number and my Ring2Skype number.

How do we get it so that the Google Voice number will do that, given that the Ring2Skype has an extension which must be keyed in? (the commas don’t seem to work).

I love you guys and have to say, if you get this one, I’ll be VERY impressed!

Thanks for the tip!

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Mark O'Neill

Why not ask the question in our MUO Answers section to see if any of our readers can answer? You never know, you may strike lucky :-)

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