Google Voice has been available for several years, but it's U.S.-only. It gives you a free U.S. phone number that can forward calls for free to any other U.S. number, and includes SMS, voicemail and optional automatic voicemail-to-text-email transcription. You can pay for international long distance, but GV itself is free and always has been. You can sign up for GV using any existing Google account and a VPN. Just go to https://voice.google.com. But there's a catch: GV has no web phone app, it must link to an existing valid phone number, and that phone must be a U.S. number. Google makes a verification call to that number and you must answer and enter the 2-digit verification code they give you online. They will not accept a non-U.S. phone number, and you cannot create the GV account in the first place without an initial U.S. home number. You can use a VoIP account with a U.S. phone number, but a loophole that existed early on was that Google accepted 403 as a U.S. area code.
That allowed Canadians
to register with Freephoneline.ca for a 403 number, and in turn use
that as their GV home number. Google fixed the 403 loophole, but they
didn't turn off existing accounts that used 403 as their home number.
In more recent times Google integrated Google Talk with Google Hangouts and came up with the new Google Hangouts Dialer
that allows you to make free phone calls throughout North America. You
just have to install Google Hangouts and Google Hangouts Dialer on
whatever platform you use (PC, Mac, Android, iOS all supported).
Hangouts does not give you a free phone number for incoming calls, but
they allow you to link your GV number to your Hangouts account, so that
incoming calls to your GV number will ring Hangouts on whatever platform
you are running it on. You can also send and receive SMS that way.
Canadians can get Hangouts and Hangouts dialer no problem, but still not
Google Voice because Google isn't interested in giving out free U.S.
phone numbers to non-residents.
For those with a google voice number, it works on the computer as well.