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10 Apps to Use for International Phone Calls

February 20, 2019

5:10 am

Often travel overseas? Need to stay in touch with your best friend during their semester abroad? Want to keep a free hotline open to any location on the globe? It sounds like you need an app for international calls – which is why we’ve thrown together this list.

If you or someone close to you lives abroad, you likely need to make international phone calls, but feel held back by the high costs. However, there’s no need to worry about those costs anymore, since there are loads of free or dirt-cheap options available for making calls over the internet using apps. Check out the top 10 essential international calling apps below.

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10 Best International Calling Apps

1. Google Voice

Google Voice offers pretty cheap international call rates, as well personalized voicemail, transcription options, and even call forwarding. The only problem is that this app is mostly connected to the U.S. so international callers won't get the very best rates or service, though they are competitive. Versions for both iOS and Android are available, and you can port your mobile number onto the app for a one-time fee.

Google Voice international calls

2. WhatsApp

Google isn’t the only tech conglomerate with a toe in the international call app waters. Owned by Facebook, WhatsApp is a massively popular messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) app that can be used for voice, video, or SMS communication with anyone else who has the app. And with a global audience of more than 1.5 billion monthly users, that’s a lot of people. The minutes you spend calling through Whatsapp won't cost you a cent if you stick to the default settings, but you'll need a strong WiFi connection.

WhatsApp international calls

3. FaceTime

FaceTime is another popular option for free video and audio calls. It comes with one catch: It’s exclusive to Apple devices, so neither the caller nor the recipient can be a Windows fanboy. If that’s not a problem for you, FaceTime away. It’s totally free, so there's nothing stopping you.

Facetime international calls

4. Rebtel

Rebtel have a collection of apps, so you're covered whatever device you'd like to use to make your international phone call. Of course that includes both Android and iPhone options. Calls to US numbers are unlimited and free. When you make an international call, you won't pay too much thanks to the platform's local numbers function: Rebtel will help to ensure you are charged using local rates. Using local landline and mobile call routing also means you won't have to worry about your internet connection.

Rebtel international calls

5. Skype

No list of cheap international phone call options is complete without mentioning Skype. This is basically the most popular of all the VoIP options available on the market. You can use the app for Windows Phone, iOS and Android in order to basically make free calls through an internet connection, although it is also possible to call phone lines at really low rates. The only real problem is the unpredictability of Skype phone call audio quality.

Skype international calls

6. NobelApp

With NobelApp you can place calls through WiFi, data or access numbers, and the call rates on offer are among the lowest available on the market. You can also send international text messages and take advantage of other NobelCom services, such as international phone cards and remote TopUps to friends or family on over 300 mobile networks. The app is available for both iOS and Android.

NobelApp international calls

7. Vonage

Vonage is quite similar to the aforementioned Skype, the only difference being the lack of video chat. It will grant you access to some pretty cheap international call rates, while calls to other Vonage users (app or phone line) are free. One standout feature is that the app supports HD audio, meaning you'll enjoy great call quality. There are also some interesting home plans that can be used in combination with mobile devices.

Vonage international calls

8. imo

imo offers free video calls and chat across both Android and iOS devices. Its claim to fame rests in the low internet connection speeds it requires: You can place calls with just a 2G connection. It's a good pick for someone who wants to place an international call over the internet, but isn't sure they'll have the best connection. Your backpacking friends will thank you.

imo international calls

9. Voxofon

Another 100% free option, Voxofon is available on Android and iOS. The app offers high-quality video calls to any destination, with cross-device functionality for phones, tablets and laptops. The catch? You'll only be able to ring up people on your Facebook friends list. Thanks to the two billion monthly users Facebook enjoys, however, that's not as limiting as you might think.

Voxofon international calls

10. Viber

Last on our list, Viber will give you access to some cheap phone call rates for international conversations, as you use WiFi to connect with other Viber users. The app will scan your phone contacts and identify other Viber users, then allow you to call them completely free of charge. Viber is available for Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and iOS.

Viber international calls

 

These free or inexpensive apps will do the trick when you need to make an international call, but they aren’t the full story. If you need to make calls more regularly, or need a higher quality solution, don’t just reach for Google Voice – there are plenty of next level alternatives! 

Meanwhile, if you’re hunting for a reliable group calling option, we’ve rounded up the top 10 VoIP softphone apps for businesses to use for meetings and catch-ups with colleagues around the world. 

Now you know all about VoIP apps, you need a VoIP provider. Use our online tool to get quotes for your company, and find out how much you could save.

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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for the last decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry (and Digital Book World 2018 award finalist) and has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect. When not glued to TechMeme, he loves obsessing over 1970s sci-fi art.