International phone calls used to cost a small fortune. However, thanks to these phone apps, you can make calls over the internet to anywhere in the world for next to nothing. Some are even free!
Here are the best international calling apps that you can use for business or to call friends and family.
Best International Calling Apps
- Google Voice – An affordable service available the world over
- WhatsApp – Huge in Europe, WhatsApp will let you call anywhere in the world for free
- FaceTime – An iOS only with excellent video call quality that costs absolutely nothing
- Rebtel – Charges local rates whenever you call abroad, while calls to the US are free
- Skype – Works across all devices and allows for simple and easy video and voice calls, plus you don't need a phone number
- NobelApp – Offers very cheap call rates and allows you to send call credit to friends and family abroad
- Vonage – Offers free audio calls to other Vonage app users but has no video call function
- imo – Allows for video and voice calls on very slow internet connections, perfect for people on-the-go
- Voxofon – Allows free voice and audio calls to people on your Facebook friends list (though you could just use Messenger)
- Viber – Offers cheap international call rates as well as free calls to other Viber users
10 of the best international calling & texting 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.
If you're looking for a free long distance calling app, WhatsApp is your best option. 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.
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.
Rebtel has 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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