Does anyone else remember having to pay for long-distance calls? Thanks to our modern cell phone services and unlimited minutes, those charges are mostly a thing of the past. But what about free international calls?
Maybe you have a loved one who is studying or living abroad, or maybe they’re in the military. Perhaps you made a friend on a trip and want to stay in touch.
Or maybe you are planning a trip and want to stay in touch with people back home. No worries – there are lots of ways to make free international calls and stay connected across the miles!
Table of Contents
How to Make Free International Calls
Most of the time, free international calls use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology. This allows you to call a number while using your internet service.
Here are the best ways to make international calls for free, almost all of which use the internet.
Skype is one of the easiest ways to make free international calls. It’s been around since 2003 and is used by hundreds of millions of people! Skype is now a division of Microsoft.
To use Skype, you can download the mobile app for Android or iPhone, use the desktop app, or just access Skype in your browser, no installation needed.
Besides using your phone or computer, you can also access Skype on your tablet, Alexa-enabled device, or even your Xbox!
You’re probably most familiar with Skype for video calls, but it can also be used for audio calls if you don’t want to or need to show your face.
If you want to talk to a lot of people at once, set up a group call with Skype and you can talk to up to 100 people at the same time!
Another perk of using Skype is that you can record your call. This is great if you’re talking with loved ones and want to view those happy memories later, or if you need to record an important meeting with international colleagues.
Other features include screen sharing and live subtitles.
International calls between Skype users are free if you’re both using Skype to access the call. Otherwise, you can pay for a subscription to make calls to international mobile phones and landlines.
Rates to China, for example, start as low as 1.9¢/minute. Unlimited plans are also available. You’ll also be able to send SMS text messages internationally if you pay for a plan.
Please note that as with all VoIP providers, you cannot make emergency calls with Skype.
WhatsApp is another easy – and popular – way to make free international calls. It’s used by more than 2 billion people in over 180 countries!
This company joined the Facebook umbrella in 2014 but continues to operate as a separate app. There’s no mention of Facebook whatsoever on their home page.
It’s another VoIP provider, which means you’ll need to have internet access on your device to send or receive calls.
Users can connect with WhatsApp via a web browser or mobile device (Android, iPhone, Mac, or Windows PC). The app seamlessly syncs all your chats so you can move between devices as needed and continue your conversations.
WhatsApp primarily started as a way to send and receive texts, but you can also send photos, videos, and documents via WhatsApp and make voice or video calls.
You can use the app to connect with other WhatsApp users, but you can’t use it to make calls to non-WhatsApp numbers.
WhatsApp also allows group chats where you can share messages, photos, and videos with up to 256 people at once! Small business owners may be interested in using WhatsApp Business to communicate with clients.
Please note that WhatsApp will use your data if you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, so keep an eye on your data usage each month if you don’t have unlimited data available.
If you’re an Apple user, you’re probably already familiar with FaceTime. This is an app that is only available for iPhone and iPad devices that allows you to make audio and video calls to other iPhone/iPad users.
And yes, FaceTime allows for free international calls, too!
FaceTime is built into your Apple device, so you don’t even need to download a separate app. Just choose FaceTime as an option when you’re making a call. It works just like a normal phone call – the phone rings and everything.
I like that you don’t have to set up a different account to use FaceTime. It’s truly seamless if you’re already on an Apple device.
This app has some nifty features that set it apart from the others on this list. You can watch videos and listen to music together with SharePlay and share your screen to bring your favorite apps into the call.
If your friends don’t have an Apple device, that’s OK – you can still invite them into a call using a web link that they can join from their browser. They won’t be able to call you through FaceTime, but you can still call them.
Other features include Voice Isolation to block out ambient noise, Portrait Mode to blur your background, video effects, and more.
You can even set up a Group FaceTime call with up to 32 people at once!
FaceTime works over Wi-Fi and cellular, so keep that in mind if you have limited data on your device.
Viber is another great option for making free international calls and sending texts. It’s used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide to communicate.
Use Viber to make voice and video calls to other Viber users via the mobile app or desktop download. The mobile app is available in the Google Play Store, App Store, and Huawei AppGallery.
When you install the app, other Viber users can find you just with your phone number – you don’t need to create another username or anything like that.
Besides making voice and video calls, you can also send messages to individuals or groups. Stickers and GIFs enhance the conversation, and all chats are synced between your devices.
Viber allows you to record quick-sending voice and instant video messages, delete and edit seen messages within a chat, and even set disappearing messages.
This is another VoIP service, which means that you’ll need to have internet access to make and receive calls.
Only calls between Viber users are free, but if you want to make international calls to a landline or mobile device (non-app), the Viber Out service lets you call people for cheap.
Select from unlimited minutes to 60 countries for $5.99/month, or purchase minutes for specific countries on a monthly plan. The most flexible option is to purchase World Credit that you can use anywhere at your own pace.
LINE is an app that is huge in Asia, but still available to use worldwide to make free international calls.
There’s a mobile app available in both the App Store and Google Play Store, or you can opt for a desktop download.
LINE lets you make short calls (up to 5 minutes) for free to almost anywhere around the globe after you watch a quick ad. These calls can be made to mobile phones or landlines and the recipient doesn’t need to have the LINE app.
But don’t worry – you can make longer calls (still for free) if you’re both using the LINE app. The messenger features let you make voice and video calls and send texts with fun stickers, emojis, and themes.
Again, remember that you’ll need to have Internet access on your device to make the free calls, so keep an eye on your data usage or you’ll end up owing your cell phone carrier big time.
Messenger is a widely used app that allows you to make free international calls and send messages across the globe.
You may know this better by its former name, Facebook Messenger, but with Facebook’s recent rebrand to Meta, it’s now just Messenger.
Messenger is available as a free mobile app as well as a desktop download. With it, you can make audio or video calls to other Messenger users. You’ll also be able to record and send video or text messages.
This app also allows you to watch movies, music videos, TV shows, and more with your friends, and you can customize your reactions and conversations with fun emojis and effects.
One downside is that you need to have a Facebook account (or Instagram, Portal, or Oculus) to access Messenger. If you’re skittish about having a Facebook account, I get it.
Here’s a tip: You can deactivate – not delete – your Facebook account and still be able to use Messenger.
Messenger easily syncs with your phone contacts and your Facebook friends list, so you’ll be up and running in no time.
As with nearly every other option on this list, you’ll need to have Internet access to make your free calls.
7. Google Voice
Google Voice is an easy way to make international calls for free…if you’re only calling Canada. If you want to call another country, you can use Google Voice, but you’ll need to pay a per-minute rate (still cheap, though).
One perk of Google Voice is that it creates an entirely new phone number for you for free. You won’t have to share your current cell phone number and you can call any of your Google contacts within the U.S. or Canada.
It’s easy to find the rates by country for calling other locations. India, for example, is only 1¢ per minute for landline calls. You’ll pay just 2¢ per minute to call a Chinese landline or mobile device.
So, while not free, Google Voice is still a good option for cheap international calls.
8. Google Duo
Google users may also be interested in using Google Duo to make free international calls. All you need is for both users to have a Google account!
It’s a free and simple video calling app that works on Android and iPhone devices as well as tablets, computers, and smart displays.
Connect with your friends and family on Google Duo with one-to-one calls, or leave a note, video, or voice message for later. You can even start a group video call with up to 32 participants!
If you’re worried about Google Duo using too much mobile data, note that Google Duo will automatically lower your connection to 1Mbps if you can’t connect to a Wi-Fi network.
You may not have heard much about WeChat if you’re in the U.S., but it’s huge in China. It’s the world’s largest standalone mobile app with over 1 billion monthly active users.
WeChat is available as a mobile app in the App Store and Google Play, and you can also access it via a web browser. You’ll need to have a WeChat account to call across the globe for free.
Besides making free video and voice calls, you can send messages and share photos and videos with WeChat, like other social media apps.
WeChat’s Sticker Gallery offers a wide selection of fun stickers to make your chats more fun, with designs from artists around the globe.
PopTox allows you to make free international calls to any number – even landline phones – without downloading a separate app or setting up an account.
It uses VoIP technology from your web browser (accessed on your computer or smartphone) to make calls. Just go to the website, enter the phone number you wish to call, and click the “Call” button.
So…what’s the catch? Well, PopTox is limited in the number of calls that are possible in a single day.
If you’d like to make unlimited calls, you’ll need to sign up for one of their plans which start as low as $10/month.
11. VoipBuster and VoipStunt
To use either of these services on your computer, you’ll need to either download their software to your computer or call directly from your browser (Chrome or Firefox).
If you prefer to call from your mobile device, you’ll need to install the MobileVOIP app which is available in the App Store, Google Play Store, and Microsoft Store.
Please note that it’s only free to call select countries (landline only), but you can call other countries at a very discounted rate.
Of course, you can make in-app calls to any country for free if you’re both using the app. These will be voice-only calls, not video. Also, you can’t send text messages.
RELATED: 23 Ways to Get Free Stuff Online
In our ever-connected world, there are thankfully plenty of ways to make free international calls. You’ll just need to have a reliable internet connection via Wi-Fi or a data plan.
Whether you’re communicating within an app or using an app to call a mobile phone or landline, it’s easy to keep in touch across the globe.