You can call any country in the world for free. You can save money if your internet connection is strong.
Although it sounds difficult, making calls over the internet is simple, especially if your smartphone has a web browser. This guide will show you how to make free calls from your phone, which apps allow you to call for now and what the best way is to call friends that don’t use internet calls.
This guide will help you.
How to make free internet phone calls
You can call your friend online if you are both online.
You can make free calls over the internet in many ways. You will need an internet connection to make free calls. However, depending on which service you choose, you can use your phone, your computer or your mobile device to make calls.
The best route depends on the service you use with your friends and family. They will be able to give you free calls. These are the main options. We then list the best apps and services lower.
- Smartphone-to-smartphone. Free apps are available for smartphones with web access. This will allow you to make free calls as long your friend is using the same service.
- Computer-to-computer (and tablet) You can also use your internet connection to make free calls if you have a tablet or computer.
- Tablet/computer-to-phone (and vice versa). You can use a computer to make a free phone call online so long as it’s a smartphone using the same service. The reverse is also true. It doesn’t matter if it’s a landline phone or mobile number that you call from your computer.
What is the cost of calling a landline phone via the internet?
To call someone in the US using Skype, a person can use Skype on their smartphone in the UK. For web-to-phone calls however, you will need to pay.
To call the US from the UK, you can use Skype to connect with your iPhone. It would cost only 1.7p per minute. For PS12/month, a Vonage package includes unlimited calls to landlines in 34 countries (including Australia, Canada and the US) and unlimited calls to mobiles in 68 countries.
Although you may not have heard it, most people use internet telephony every day. It is becoming a background technology for normal calls.
How does VoIP work?
This is the science part… Traditional phone calls have a constant open pipeline that streams information both ways.
You can make a free internet phone call using VoIP. Your voice will be split into small packets of data using high-speed technology.
These messages are then written along the line, and decompressed at one end. The line is also used to bulletin other people’s conversations. This makes it easier to use and cheaper.
VoIP allows you to save money while abroad, and also reduces your costs when calling home. Don’t use data abroad, it will be expensive. You can call for free or very cheap internet access via your PC, your mobile, or a tablet. This can save you a lot of money on your hotel phone bills and is often cheaper than using an overseas phone card.
VoIP has its limitations, so you might not want to give up your mobile or landline.
VoIP calls require an internet connection. You won’t have the ability to call if your internet connection goes down or your power goes out.
Your broadband connection and the quality of your call depend on how good you are at calling. Poor call quality could be caused by temporary broadband.
Some VoIP providers do not allow you to call emergency numbers. You would need to dial 999 from your landline or mobile phone.
Top apps and services for free calls
VoIP providers can be very similar and you will find the one that suits your needs best. It is important to make sure you have the same application. Make sure to include your handset type, and whether you wish to make video calls.
To make VoIP calls, you can use mobile data (3G/4G). This can severely limit your mobile data allowance. Free wi-fi is available wherever you can.
All of the below-listed are available for free. You and the person calling you must use the same provider to make free calls. You’ll have to pay if you don’t. These are our top VoIP providers:
The most popular web calling service is free, but calls to real numbers cost more
Skype has been used by more than 600 million people worldwide. It allows you to make free voice and video calls to other Skype users.
It can be used on Macs and PCs with speakers and headsets, as well as some smart TVs. Download the mobile app for free. It works on iPhones, Android phones, and Windows phones. Skype calls can be made using your landline phone via adapters or cordless phones with Skype built in.
No matter which method you use, if the other person is using Skype, they won’t be charged. For example, a person calling from the UK using Skype to call someone in the US using Skype on their iPhone is free.
Never use Skype to make a call.
Although it is free to call Skype contacts, calling real numbers overseas from Skype is not the most cost-effective way to make calls. To call the US from the UK, Skype would cost you 1.8p per minute plus a 3.1p connection charge. Call via provider Localphone and you’ll only pay 0.5p per minute (no connection fees). Make sure to compare rates with other providers.
- Cost to Use: Calls to other Skype users are free, or you can be charged if calling a mobile number that is not on Skype. However, the app uses very little data, which could cost extra if you’re not connected to wi-fi.
- Can be used with: Mobiles and tablets, Windows computers, Macs. Landline phones. Some smart TVs.
- Feedback: Skype feedback forum discussion
- Video calls free to Apple users
FACETIME FOR IPHONE, IPAD & MAC
You can free-of-cost make video calls to other Apple users if you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. iOS 7 and later users can make audio-only calls using “FaceTime Audio”. FaceTime is compatible with Mac computers running OS X 10.6.6 and above.
All new Apple devices come pre-installed FaceTime, so you can get started right away. Just turn it on with your Apple ID (instructions ).
iPhone 4S and newer users can use the service with or without a data allowance. However, it is only available over wi-fi for iPhone 4 users. Although calling via 3G/4G may eat into your data limit but the usage is minimal. Vodafone claims that a FaceTime call lasting 10 minutes will consume about 30MB of mobile internet data.
- Cost to Use: Calls Are Free, but the app requires a small amount data. This may be a problem if you don’t have wi-fi.
- Can be used with:iPhones and iPads, iPod Touches and Macs
- Feedback: Facebook feedback discussion
- All-in-one messaging and calling
The popular instant messaging app WhatsApp offered free calling for its users earlier this year. It can be used on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. After the first year, it is 79p/year.
WhatsApp’s advantage over other messaging apps is its widespread use and compatibility across all mobile operating systems. It is also great for keeping all your contacts and web chats in one place.
WhatsApp Web allows you to use the messaging function via a browser. However, web calling cannot be done through the smartphone app. WhatsApp cannot be used to call non-users. It can only be used for free calls and messages to other users.
We’ve heard that the audio quality can be poor and calls sometimes drop off if you don’t have the strongest Wi-Fi or data connection. As the service develops, we expect this to improve.
- Cost to Use: Calls Are Free, but the app requires a small amount data. This may be a problem if you aren’t connected to Wi-Fi.
- Can be used with: Mobiles and tablets, Windows computers, Macs
- Feedback:WhatsApp comments forum discussion
- Viber-to Viber calls free – superior call quality
After a rapid rise in global popularity, Viber is now used by around 600 million people. It allows you to make free voice and video call to your friends and family, just like Skype.
Viber can be used on all devices, including tablets, mobile phones, and computers. You must first install Viber on your tablet or computer before you can use it on that device.
Download the Viber app for free to get it on your smartphone. You can call Viber users around the globe for zero cost. It will automatically recognize contacts in your phonebook who have it and list them in the app.
Although Viber can’t be used to call a landline phone, it charges a reasonable rate for calls from mobiles and non-users via Viber Out. This is available from both iPhones and Android phones.
We have also heard that calling quality is superior to what you get from other providers.
- Cost to Use: Calls to Viber users are free, but charges may apply if you call a mobile number or landline that is not Viber. If you don’t have wi-fi, the app may use a little data.
- Can be used with:Mobiles and tablets, Windows computers, Macs
- Feedback:Viber discussion
- International calls at the most competitive rates
Vyke is another popular VoIP provider. It also offers a free smartphone application that you can use to make low-cost calls to landlines, mobiles, and mobiles over Wifi or your mobile 3G/4G connection.
Vyke transfers you to a network provider (e.g. BT) and then to the number you call. This, according to Vyke, improves call quality over a Wi-fi connection.
Vyke was the most affordable VoIP provider for most destinations when we compared their pay-as you-go rates. You can also opt in to its VykeZone and call any landline within its eligible countries list, including Australia, China, and the US, and pay only 10p per hour.
Free trial of the service: First 10 minutes worth (to certain numbers only)
- Cost to Use:Cheap calls made to landlines and mobiles, but the app requires a small amount data. This may be a problem if you don’t have wi-fi.
- Can be used with:iPhones, Android phones, Blackberry, iPads and tablets, Windows computers
- Feedback:Vyke discussion
- Simple to use, decent rates
Localphone allows you to call other Localphone users free of charge and offers a variety of ways to make calls. Calls can be made phone-tophone, PC to PC, or phone-tophone. However, charges may apply.
Call rates to landline and mobile numbers are competitive. It will also show you the rate before you make the call. This is useful if you’re calling premium-rate or overseas numbers. Sign up to receive a five-minute free call.
Localphone has received positive feedback. It’s definitely worth it. You can also get free calls to regular phones. Students can receive double credit up to PS10 on their first topup.
- Cost to Use:Calls can be cheap for other Localphone users or charged if you call a mobile/landline not using Localphone. However, the app uses very little data, which could cost extra if you aren’t on wi-fi.
- Works on: iPhones and Android phones, Windows computers, Macs, landlines, and Macs
- Feedback:Localphone input discussion
- It is ideal for calling from mobile phones that are not smartphones
Rebtel can be used on smartphones (including Apple, Android and Windows), iPads, and Android tablets using an app that uses a mobile internet connection (wi fi or data) or a PC. Calls are not free for other Rebtel users, but you will have to pay to call users who aren’t Rebtel members.
Rebtel can be used on any non-smartphone by calling a ‘local access phone’. It doesn’t cost a connection fee which is great if you make fewer calls.
Although it is generally cheaper than Localphone’s rates, calling certain countries can sometimes be more expensive. Always check before you make a call.
- Cost to Use: Free calls to other Rebtel users via web to int’l destinations. However, the app requires a small amount data which can be costly if you aren’t on wi-fi.
- Works on: iPhones/Android phones/devices. iPads. Windows computers.
- Feedback: Rebtel feedback forum discussion
- You can make cheap calls over the internet from your landline
Vonage plans start at PS12/month if you plan to make many international calls. The adapter plugs into your broadband router. There is a PS5 delivery fee.
You can also get unlimited calls to UK landlines with a PS8/month plan, but it is not much more expensive than what you could pay your provider directly for such an option, so we don’t recommend it.
The cheapest plan to call abroad is Talk World. It allows unlimited calls to the UK and international landlines in 60+ other countries. You also get 400 minutes of free calling to India, Nigeria, and Bangladesh.
Vonage offers a free app that allows you to call and message other Vonage Mobile users via Wi-Fi. However, if you have a specific purpose, it is better to choose a more popular platform such as Viber or WhatsApp.
- Cost to Use:Calls can be charged in the form plans. Prices start at PS7/month
- Can be used with: Landlines and Windows computers. Macs (with additional software).
- Feedback: Vonage input forum discussion