How to Build Your Own Virtual Phone in Minutes

(Thomas K. Running) #1

One question I see over and over and over again, is how to deal with your phone and number(s) when traveling a lot and switching SIM cards more often than some people change their underwear.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Paul RYKEN) #2

Wowsa! This is so detailed, but man so needed. We are heading to Europe for at least a year from December and this is exactly what we need.

Thank you so much for providing a solution that resolves all sorts of issues.

That said, wish we’d had it when we were in Latin America and the Caribbean last year when our Australian provider didn’t have a roaming relationship with those countries.

(Tiago De Silva) #3

Cool idea, and I went through the process. In my case, the Plivo account got disabled straight away (they said they’ll come back to me to let me know what’s going on) and so there’s no way to see if the phone number works. The Zapier process stalled at the point where it checks for the test SMS. So I’m stuck at those stages for now. Did anyone else try this process and have it work completely?

(Lewi Verdatama) #4

Hi there, this is awesome tutorial and I’m trying to following any detail. But got stucked in Zapier after putting Message URL in Plivo, Zapier gave me “Looking for the hook, this might take a sec…” and then show error message “We could not find the hook”. Any idea how to proceed to next step?

(Thomas K. Running) #5

@lewi & @tiago, did you sent a text message to your Plivo number at that stage? Can you see it in the Plivo log? And did you choose a Plivo number with SMS support?

(Lewi Verdatama) #6

Hi Thomas, works perfectly! Thank you for clear tutorial.

(Tiago De Silva) #7

@tkrunning, I’ve got it all working now. This is seriously awesome. Thank you so much.

(Henrik Mark Fly Hansen) #8

I’ve gotten stuck at Zapier as well, after I put in the message URL. I picked a US phone number that should support SMS, but the SMS I send it from my phone is not showing in the log either. Calling the number works. Any ideas of what is wrong? :slight_smile:

(Henrik Mark Fly Hansen) #9

Everything is working now :smiley: Thanks a lot for the guide!

(web-dev1) #10

Try Dingtone app for android and iOS. It gives you real phone number which works like real number. You can get hundreds of minutes & texts by topping up only $9 through PayPal.

Dingtone is the best solution. It works anywhere in the world… as long as you get access to wifi, you can text and call anyone in the world.
You can get phone numbers of US, UK, Canada, Netherlands.

(Tak) #11

Dingtone is reasonable. Annual fee for standard US number is $1.99 with “100 credit” they mention. But it is not true. You get 15 credit only, still enough for receiving SMS code.
I am not sure their security nor encryption.

(RG) #12

Semi-related PSA: If you want to register with Google Voice, but you don’t have a US sim card for verification, there is now a workaround:

I successfully was able to use a US number of the app “Hushed” for Google Voice verification. The verification was done through the google Voice Android app. In the past Google Voice in Desktop always rejected virtual numbers.

(Thomas K. Running) #13

That is great! I’ve tried that in the past, but Google rejected it.

I’d recommend anyone to grab a Google Voice number this way ASAP while the workaround is still working :rocket:

(Tak) #14

Virtual # sometimes works: it seems Google is not perfect. On the other hand, there are so many app for free transient numbers. So you can randamly try to get pass code and get GV # under VPN tunnel to US. Be sure to have google account in the US and one US number for call forward GV. Then, you could receive GV via Plivo, skype number, etc all over the world. ie. Plivo
If you use security app ie Kaspersky, that send you location abroad to Google and you will be rejected, so in such cases you had better beat it.

(wischi) #16

Awesome article. I am still looking for a good SIP app to make calls as well. Or do you have any other suggestions for making calls with your new number.

Be careful when using a US number as a way to receive TAN numbers by SMS. Banks might see it as a indicator that you are related to the US in some way and might require you to fill out a extended FACTA form.

Better use a UK number, sounds like a better option.

(Tranquilledusoir) #17

The plivo website requires a ‘‘workemail’’. I only have personal email (Gmail) that are not accepted by the site. I tried to register in an office 365 email, same symptoms. Any idea?

(Thomas K. Running) #18

Did you try to sign up for free a forwarding address? Perhaps it will accept that?

(Tranquilledusoir) #19

Thanks. I will try this one and let you know.

(Tranquilledusoir) #20

It worked for subscription. Thanks so much. By the way happy new year 2019!

(Filo Vaga Bundo) #21

For me it is not working at all, i’m trying to redirect a Australian phone number ( provider: boost) on a Madagascar phone number (orange) trough a US virtual number, but the call fall straight away