Yes, you really can make free phone calls using the Internet! Free internet phone programs let you make free phone calls, sometimes only to the US and Canada, using special software.
The free phone call applications I below are available in four different forms:
- PC to phone programs are ones that can make a free call from your computer to a real telephone number so you don’t even need a telephone yourself.
- App to phone software are ones that make free Internet calls from a mobile device to a real number. These services support making phone calls to any number, even landlines and mobile phones that aren’t using the app.
- PC to PC Internet calling is when a computer makes a free phone call to another computer.
- App to app services run entirely on mobile devices and results in phone calls that can only work if the recipient has the same application installed. This method can not be used to call landlines or other mobile phones that don’t have the proper software.
No matter how it works, it’s a free call!
To make a free call using an Internet phone, you might have to download free phone call software or use a soft phone from an Internet phone provider website.
Important: A free Internet phone can not be used to make a 911 or similar emergency call. If you need to call 911, use a traditional land-line or mobile phone, or a VoIP telephone service that’s approved for 911 use like Vonage.
Google Voice is the very best way to make free Internet phone calls. With Google Voice, you can make free calls to an actual phone number, PC to PC calls, and free PC to phone calls.
Google Voice is much more than a way to make free phone calls on the Internet. Google Voice is primarily a way to manage the phone numbers in your life and can be used to intelligently route incoming calls to your free phone number provided by Google Voice to any other phone you have. With Google Voice, you can also get free SMS, make a free conference call, and get free voice mail services.
Free calls you make with Google Voice must be to numbers in the United States or Canada.
Google Voice is available as a mobile app (as pictured here) that works with Android, BlackBerry, and iOS users, as well as a web app that works with other mobile devices.
Free phone calls with Google Voice are limited to three hours. However, you can continue to make a free call to the same number over and over again.
magicJack is an app to app and app to phone mobile application that offers a real phone number that can be used to make free Internet phone calls.
Not only can you call other magicJack users for free anywhere in the world, but you can also call any regular telephone number in the US and Canada, even if they don’t use the magicJack app (like landlines). Plus, those phones can also makeincoming calls to your app.
The contacts that are already in your phone will display in the magicJack app, which makes calling existing contacts really easy.
magicJack users also get free voicemail.
iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users can use this app in addition to Android devices. There are no desktop programs available
FreedomPop is very similar to magicJack, as it’s an app to app and app to phone service.
You’re able to call real telephones, like landlines and other mobile phones, anywhere in the US even if they don’t have the app on their phone.
When signing up, you get to choose a phone number from any area code you wish. Because you’ll get a real number to use, they can even call you as well.
To call around the globe, the recipients would need to also be using the app.
A custom voicemail greeting is also supported. Plus, FreedomPop ties in with your existing contact list so it’s super easy to start making phone calls and sending texts.
This app works with iOS and Android devices, meaning iPod touches and iPads are supported as well.
This service offered by FreedomPop allows only 500 texts and 200 minutes of call time for communicating with people who don’t have the app (unlimited for those that do), but it renews every month for free. You can access the settings in the app to see how many you have remaining.
WeChat is a great mobile app with lots of features. It works with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone, and Nokia devices.
You can make free phone calls, like the other apps in this list, but you can only do so if the recipients have the app installed. This means you can’t use WeChat to make free calls to a non-smartphone, phones without the app, or landlines. You can buy minutes, though, which would enable calls to such devices.
In addition to phone calls, WeChat sends photos, texts, video clips, your location (once or live/continually), and other WeChat contacts. The app can also make video calls, group chats, and function as a walkie-talkie.
There are lots of other things to mention, too, like the fact that nobody can call you unless you add them to your contact list. WeChat also uses your contact list to find other WeChat users that you can call for free, as well as your location to find nearby users to communicate with.
You can even find people to talk to from around the globe by simply shaking your device. WeChat will connect you with someone else who is shaking theirs.
WeChat can be used from a web browser on any computer, too, but only the texting feature is supported, not the calling.
WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, and is a popular texting app with hundreds of millions of users. But you can also call your WhatsApp friends right from the app using only your Internet connection (doesn’t count against your phone plan’s voice minutes).
You just need to confirm your phone number to get started. Once you’re using the app, you can start a new conversation to clearly see which of your contacts are also using WhatsApp, after which you can call them for free, no matter where in the world they’re located.
Because WhatsApp requires the app to make free phone calls, you can not use it to make free calls to phones that don’t have the app installed, nor to landlines.
WhatsApp also lets you send videos, photos, your location, and contacts to other users. You can even use WhatsApp from a computer via WhatsApp Web, which lets you send and receive messages and media files.
Both WhatsApp’s calling and texting feature works with iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry 10 phones, while only the texting portion can be used on Nokia and Windows Phone.
TextNow is a mobile app that can send and receive free phone calls with other users. You can also text any phone because you’re given an actual number to use. To make phone calls to non-users, like landline phones, you’ll need to buy or earn redeemable credits.
The interface is very nice. It keeps track of call history right within the message center, it’s quick and easy to start a phone call, and you can even send messages while actively in a call.
In addition to sending text messages, TextNow lets you send photos, drawings, emoticons, and your location. You can also customize the voicemail greeting, get email alerts when you get messages, change the message screen background, use a different alert for different contacts, customize the overall theme, and use a signature with all your messages.
You can login to your TextNow account on a different device, and all your saved messages and phone number will remain and can be used immediately.
Because you don’t need an actual phone number to setup TextNow (just an email address), it works with the iPad, iPod touch, and Kindle, but it can also be used on iPhone, Android, Nook, and Windows Phone devices.
TextNow can also be used on a Windows or Mac computer, but only with support for the texting feature.
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is a mobile application used primarily for sending and receiving text messages. It can also be used to make free Internet phone calls and video calls to other BBM users.
BBM is available for Android, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Kindle, and Windows Phone devices. BlackBerry users have BBM installed by default.
After installing the application, users are given a unique PIN that’s used as a username. Contacts add each other to their BBM address list using this PIN. Or, if your existing phone contacts are already using BBM, you can avoid the invite requirement.
BBM can also share your location once or over a period of 4 hours. The app can send Dropbox files, too, in addition to voice clips, pictures, money (over PayPal), contacts, and calendar appointments. I also like the timed text messages, private chat, and message retraction features.
Internet phone calls made with BBM are not restricted in length or by any other means, however, they can not be made to landlines or non-BBM users.
Textfree is a free application that gives you your own phone number to make free app to app calls and text messages, and you can even customize the voicemail greeting.
The texting feature can actually be used on non-app phones as well, which means you can use Textfree as another way to text your friends over the internet.
Textfree can be used through a web browser on Windows and Mac, plus via the app for Android, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad device.
Every Textfree user begins with a limited number of minutes for free calling to phones not using the app, like landlines. There are ways to get more free minutes like watching video advertisements and completing free offers.
If you fail to use your Textfree phone number for 30 days, it will be returned to the “pool” of numbers for new Textfree users, and thus become inactive.