Save on phone credit and data with free internet calls. Find out what the best free online calling and texting platforms are in 2023.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could make free internet calls anywhere in the world? Not many people know that this is indeed possible.
Free online calling and texting can help you save on call credit and makes it possible to reach friends or loved ones by phone whenever you need to. However, there are restrictions and free internet phone calls may not work for you.
We wrote this handy guide about free online calling and texting, simply by using your smartphone or your laptop and a free calling app. Are you ready to find out more about making free calls online?
The benefits and downsides of using free calls via internet or mobile
The benefits of free internet calls are pretty clear:
- You are not using your call credit or phone data to make a call.
- You can make phone calls, even if your SIM card is not working (or if you lost it).
- It’s possible to call someone (for example by using a free calling VoIP app), even if you don’t have any call credit left.
- You can use a free Wi-Fi connection to make calls.
The downsides of free internet calls:
- Some free calling apps only allow you to call for a very short time, for example for a maximum of 5 minutes.
- Some free online calling and texting services are riddled with adverts, potentially interrupting your calls.
- You may only be able to call landlines, potentially only in your own country.
Different types of free internet calls
Most (free) calling apps that enable you to make a free call via the internet use the Voice over Internet Protocol technology (VoIP). To be able to make free calls with an app or program using VoIP, both you (the caller) and the receiver of your call need to be using the same app.
Other examples of free online calling and texting are these options:
- Calling from PC to PC. With a tablet or computer, you can make free video calls online, as well as phone calls. As long as you are both using the same device. Google Voice is a good example of a free internet calling service.
- Calling for free from smartphone to smartphone. If you have internet access, you can call someone else using the same device with an app, for example by calling via WhatsApp.
- Calling from a PC or tablet to a phone. As long as you are calling a smartphone using the same device, you can make free calls from your computer to a phone (via an app).
- Making video calls (for example by using an app like FaceTime).
The best platforms to make free internet calls
So you want to be able to make a free call via the internet to someone using the same app (app-to-app calling)? Or you’d like to use a free video call online app on your laptop? It’s important to remember to not fully depend on free online calling and texting for work or travel.
Make sure to always top up your phone with credit and data, just in case you end up in a location with insufficient bandwidth or without Wi-Fi. Below, we’ll discuss the best and most popular free calling platforms that can be used on desktop as well as on a mobile. If you’re only planning to make free internet calls or send texts on a mobile, you can also check our review of the best messaging apps for 2023.
Pros: Free video calls online and free voice calls to others using Messenger. This is the best free calling option for those who spend a lot of time on Facebook, as Messenger is an add-on for users of this platform. Messenger offers an easy-to-use web interface. You can also send text messages.
Cons: Not great as a professional option, you need to be a Facebook user.
Pros: This service offers free calls via the internet to mobile phones. Specifically, free calls from iPhones to Android phones and vice versa. Google Duo also offers a free video call online option. The safe end-to-end encryption keeps your conversations private. Can be used on phones, tablets and computers.
Cons: Not that many people use Google Duo yet, but the platform offers a handy way to let friends or colleagues know that you’ve joined.
Pros: Messaging and calling for free is easy with WhatsApp. The free calling service relies on your own phone number and your calls and video chats are end-to-end encrypted. You can use WhatsApp for free calls with an iPhone or with Android, as well as with a Mac or Windows computer.
Cons: Make sure to have a strong Wi-Fi connection when using the free online calling and texting service of WhatsApp, or the sound on your calls could get a little glitchy.
Pros: You get your own phone number and can make free nationwide calls (currently only in the US). Google Voice supports incoming calls from anywhere.
Cons: If you want to be able to make calls to any phone numbers or landlines outside the US, the international call rates vary, starting at $0.01 per minute. The rates depend on where you are calling from. It might pay to check out the rates for numbers that you’d call often.
Finding a Wi-Fi hotspot is your best option if you want to be able to save on phone credit and data – and call someone for free. You may however find yourself unable to connect to public internet or Wi-Fi during your commute or on holiday.
Make sure to always have back-up phone credit topped up on your phone, wherever you go. Recharge.com offers call credit for a wide range of providers, worldwide. Your purchased credit code will be with you in 30 seconds.