Google Voice Your PBX: Introduction


Eric Hansen

A lot of companies and even consumers now are using PBX systems to handle calls. Most businesses use them to route calls to the appropriate department without having to have a physical human transferring each call, while consumers can set one up to forward calls to different people of the house hold. There are really about an endless amount of ways you can use a PBX system whether its for professional or personal use.

There is usually a catch, however. Typically you need a SIP server along with a phone number to make it useful. There are cheap services (like and more expensive ones that each offer different forms/types of services. One other alternative though is Google Voice, Google's service offering for telephony over IP (VoIP).

Keep in mind that there have been reports that this violates Google's terms of service and/or acceptable use policy but I've never ran into issues and as long as you're not dealing with a large volume of calls I don't see you having issues either (but don't quote me). So basically following this guide is a "at your own risk" adventure.

Now, onto the hardware and all that fun stuff. There's a few popular free PBX systems out there (noticably FreeSWITCH and Asterisk). While I've used both, my luck has been more with FreeSWITCH, so we will be rolling with that. We'll also be using a web-based GUI configuration tool for it in the name of FusionPBX. Granted, it runs through PHP (one of my least favorite scripting languages right now), its a very powerful tool that will help out a lot of beginners.

By the end of this series of articles the goal is for you to learn how to set up FreeSWITCH/FusionPBX with Google Voice, forward calls to different numbers and how to make a helpful welcoming handler.

You do need a Google Voice number before continuing on so now would be a good time to get one (its free!). The number you pick doesn't really matter but just know it'll be the main number you'll be focusing on throughout this series.


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Eric, will you please string these together as a common thread, or post? I can't be the only one worried about missing steps or getting things out of order. I think I've got all the pieces now, assuming I found all the titles with my search, meanwhile that's not exactly a reader friendly way to play this.

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