How to Call Internationally for Free
Wouldn’t it be great if you were able to make free international calls? Whilst this may not be available through traditional carriers except in high priced packages restricted to specific countries, there are other options out there in order to stay in close contact with friends and family members.
Making Free International Calls from your Desktop Computer
Several services exist which allow users to call free internationally and we’ve noted some below. As you’ll see there are often some limitations to these services.
- EvaPhone allows registered users to make free international calls to dozens of countries, but there are time limits to each call. The allotted time is typically between 10 seconds and 2 minutes, and registration involves providing your payment details for use in the event that you exceed the allowed ‘free’ time. You also have to sit through a short promotional commercial before each call.
- Free phone2phone is a similar service for users in The United States, allowing the first call to any specific number to reach 10 minutes, with any subsequent call to the same number being limited to 5 minutes. Users dial an access number local to their area first, then the number of the party they wish to dial. Advertisements must be viewed before each call, but there’s no sign up and no payment source required, so this service has value. Unfortunately it’s only available for US based residents.
- Skype allows calls to other Skype users all over the world free of charge, provided both users have Skype installed via computer/smartphone/tablet. Charges are incurred for calling landline/mobile phone numbers.
- Rebtel lets you put all of your contacts on an easy to access list, and enables you to make international calls at really cheap rates by pre-purchasing credit. The call quality is among the best in the industry.
Making International Calls with your Mobile Phone
Making international calls no longer needs to be seen as an expensive action, with numerous apps available across multi-platforms including iPhone, Android and Windows phones. Such apps can save users a lot of money over traditional carrier charges for international dialing, and can usually be used with Wi-Fi, therefore also reducing drain on data plans.
Google Voice offers cheap international calling rates, voicemail with transcription, options for personalising voicemail messages for callers, and forwarding calls to different phones. Sadly, Google Voice is still largely restricted to users in the US, and thus isn’t the best option if calls need to go both ways. Google Voice has official apps for Android and iOS, and an unofficial option called GoVoice for Windows Phone.
Rebtel has app for making international calls from nearly any type of device, including iPhone, iPad, Android, Android tablets, and Windows phones. International calling is inexpensive and easy with Rebtel’s low rates and “local numbers” functionality which means that you pay a local rate to call an international number.
Skype is one of the best known VoIP options, with free calling in many cases between users who both have Skype, and reasonable rates for international VoIP calls. Video chat is also available. The main downside is that audio quality on Skype can be unpredictable. Skype apps for international calls are available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
Vonage is similar to Skype, except without the video chat feature. Vonage offers cheap international rates, free calls to other Vonage customers, and uses HD audio for VoIP calls, so call quality is great. The Vonage app is available for Android and iOS, and if you are a Vonage home customer, you can use the Vonage Extensions app for Android or iOS to use your home plan on your mobile device.
Fring is an original app that gained a jump-start on Skype in the mobile market. It offers the same video chat, messaging, and VoIP calling options as Skype. The downside is that Fring’s mobile apps have received critique for poor, buggy performance at times. The Fring app is available for Android and iOS.
Viber is another app that allows cheap international calls using Wi-Fi between Viber users. The app scans your contact list, and notes those who already have the Viber app on their own phone. The downside is that incoming calls on the mobile carrier network usually result in an in-progress Viber call being dropped. There are Viber Apps for: iOS (iPhone), Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry.
Making Free International Calls from your Landline
- Traditional carriers offer various international calling plans. Unless you have a special calling plan that offers free international calls each month, you’ll have to pay international rates for calls from your regular landline.
- Some VoIP services use your ‘landline’ phone and you can get international calling using your regular telephone equipment (such as Vonage), but again, a special plan that includes free international calls is usually required.
- Rebtel’s system allows you to call internationally from your regular landline without a special calling plan. When an international number is added to your Rebtel contact list, a local number will be provided for you, so any call you make is charged at a low rate regardless of whether you are calling a dear friend on the other side of the world. There is a free test call offered to pilot the service, thereafter cheap rates apply.