Technology

The Best Apps That Allow You To Make Internet Calls

Google Voice is the best Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), service to call landlines and mobile numbers from a computer. Calls within the US are free and you get a phone number for free. If your carrier supports Wi Fi calling, you might consider switching to that. You can turn it on or off with a tap of a finger.

Messenger, the most popular and free app for voice calling over the Internet, is ideal if you don’t want to call a mobile or landline phone.

Pro tip:

To make sure you are having the fastest internet connection, run our internet speed testing. To give you an idea about what is best for internet calling, we provide a guide on how fast Zoom requires. To see what options are available for you if you require an upgrade to a higher plan, simply enter your zip code.

These are the 6 best internet calling apps

  • Best for landline calls: Google Voice
  • Best for availability: Skype
  • Best for personalization: Viber
  • Best social media option: Messenger
  • Best for iPhone-to-Android calls: Google Duo
  • Security is best: WhatsApp

The best apps to call telephone numbers

*Price as of the date of writing. Prices subject to change.

App-based calling: The best apps

*Prices correct at the time of writing. Prices subject to change.

What to look for in an internet-based calling app

You will need a VoIP service to make free calls online to a mobile or landline phone number. These services usually charge a fee for each minute of use, depending on the location you call. They may also offer a monthly subscription. Many don’t charge for calling other people using the same service such as a Skype-to Skype call.

Even if you don’t have a mobile or landline phone, many communication apps offer app-to-app internet calls, including Google Duo and Messenger. Many of these apps allow you to video chat free of charge.

The best apps to call telephone numbers

These VoIP services can be used to call landlines or mobile numbers via the internet. Although they are free at first, some features require credits or a monthly subscription to use certain features. Skype and Viber offer additional features, such as instant messaging and video calling.

Best for landline calls

Pricing

  • Maximum $9.50/min

Features

  • Free calls within the US
  • Call support for incoming calls from any location
  • Included is a free telephone number
  • Stores downloadable voice messages
  • Transcribes voicemail
  • Spam calls are blocked
  • Google Home Supports

Availability

  • Desktop Web
  • Mobile: Android, iOS, iPadOS

Google Voice is the best option for simple internet calling to phone number. You can call the USA free of charge and get a number that never expires.

You can make international calls by adding up to $70 to your credit card or bank account in your Google Account. Google’s international calling rates are $0.01 per minute, and vary depending on the destination.

Sign in to Voice.google.com from a web browser, or via the mobile app ( android, IOS/iPadOS). You can also use the service to send text messages, voicemails, and archive voicemails for free.

Pros

  • All-inclusive nationwide calling
  • No cost phone number

Cons

  • No emergency calling
  • No direct customer support

Best for availability

Pricing

  • Subscriptions start at $2.99 per Month
  • Skype Credit starts at $5.00
  • Receive landline and mobile calls for $6.99 per month
  • Toll fees vary

Features

  • Included is a Microsoft 365 subscription credit for a monthly payment
  • Free audio and HD video calling between users
  • Send SMS and instant messages
  • Apps and desktop software available
  • You can receive calls from landlines or cellphones with a separate subscription
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa, and the newer Xbox consoles

Availability

  • Desktop: Windows, macOS, Linux, Web
  • Mobile: Android, iOS, iPadOS
  • Other: Xbox, Amazon Alexa

Skype is the best tool for a universal solution. Skype is natively available on Windows-based devices. However, it can be used in a web browser on a Mac or Linux, and even on the Xbox One gaming consoles.

Skype-to-Skype calls can be made for free. However, unlike Google Voice, it is necessary to pay for calls to national landlines or mobile numbers. Skype Credit is required to make calls. You can also subscribe for $2.99 per month. A Skype Number costs $6.99 per monthly to receive calls from mobile or landlines.

Skype offers instant messaging, video calling and screen sharing. Skype is a pre-installed native app on Windows 10 computers. However, you can also download the desktop client to make it less integrated into your operating system. You can also download the desktop client for macOS, and three versions for Linux.

Pros

  • Native to Windows
  • Available in a wide range of languages

Cons

  • To receive landline calls, you will need to subscribe again
  • No free calls nationwide

Ideal for personalization

Pricing

  • $0.019-$2.99/min
  • $5.99/mo. Unlimited international calls

Features

  • Included autodestruct timer to delete messages
  • Free calls between users
  • Use this tool to create stickers and GIFs
  • Send messages, videos and files
  • Supports group chats and calls
  • User-built Communities Supported

Availability

  • Desktop: Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Mobile: Android, iOS, iPadOS

Viber is similar to Skype. Viber allows you to make calls to landlines or cellphones, as well as video calls. Viber allows you to make video calls with other Viber users, initiate group chats and send instant messages. You can also create stickers and GIFs and set a self destruct timer that will delete all your messages after a certain time. You can also create and manage unique chat rooms by using the community component.

The calling feature– Viber out–is not completely free, but it is similar to Skype. You can either purchase credit to pay for minutes or subscribe to a monthly package. You can call any place in the United States for $1.99 per monthly, which is more expensive than Google Voice.

Viber doesn’t have a web client that works with browsers. To use this service, you must download a desktop or mobile app.

Pros

  • Support stickers and GIFs
  • After a certain time, messages are automatically deleted

Cons

  • No web client
  • There is no nationwide free calling

App-based calling: The best apps

These apps do not have the ability to call telephone numbers. Instead, these apps offer app-to–app internet voice and video calls. Both the receiver and caller must have an account in order to send or receive calls. Messenger, for example, requires both the caller and receiver to have a Facebook account.

The best social media platform

Pricing

  • No cost

Features

  • Voice and video support
  • A web client that can be used by browsers
  • Includes AR effects
  • Chat themes available to personalize conversations
  • Face recognition and fingerprint scanning are supported
  • Send recorded voice or video messages
  • Facebook Pays for Support

Availability

  • Desktop: Windows, macOS and Web
  • Mobile: Android, iOS, iPadOS
  • Messenger needs no introduction. Messenger doesn’t need introduction.

Messenger Kids is available for children younger than 13. It allows you to chat with them via video or send messages. Parents can monitor and manage their children’s activity and add friends. Children can also block contact as necessary.

Facebook offers Messenger apps for Windows and macOS. You can also download the Messenger app from the Microsoft Store or the Mac App Store. Or, you can access the web version using your favorite browser.

Pros

  • No cost
  • Voice and video calls

Cons

  • Can’t call landlines
  • You can’t call contacts other than Facebook

Best for iPhone to Android Calls

Pricing

No cost

Features

  • Allows for video calls between Android phones and iPhones
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Share your phone’s screen
  • Allows support for up to 32 people in a group conference
  • Video calls can be sent to Android devices without Google Duo installed
  • To use on multiple platforms and devices, you will need a Google Account

Availability

  • Desktop Web
  • Mobile: Android, iOs, iPadOS

Google Duo is Google’s answer to Apple’s FaceTime. Google Duo can be downloaded on iPhones, but FaceTime can only be downloaded on Android phones. This gives Google an advantage in multidevice battles for your calling needs.

Google Duo supports audio and video calling over the internet. You can also use the Family Mode to doodle on your screen while you are making video calls. You do not need to have a phone number to use the service. However, you will need a Google Account in order to access this service across multiple platforms and devices.

Google Duo also provides encryption for voice and video calls. Encryption stops hackers listening in on your conversations as you communicate over the internet.

Pros

  • Video calls can be made between Android phones, iPhones/iPads and Android phones
  • Use Family Mode to call your children

Cons

  • There is no instant messaging
  • Calling limited groups

Security is best

Pricing

  • No cost

Features

  • Relies on your existing number
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Broadcasts one message to multiple recipients
  • Up to 256 users can share messages, photos and videos simultaneously
  • Records voice messages
  • Shares documents
  • Deletes messages after seven days

Availability

  • Desktop: Windows, macOS and Web
  • Mobile: Android, iOS

WhatsApp uses your number to remove the security risks associated username/password combinations. Although there are many ways to use WhatsApp with a SIM card, one must be present to receive a verification code to create an account. Even though WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, you don’t have to create an account.

WhatsApp’s end to end encryption is turned on by default. This means that all messages and calls are protected against hacker eavesdropping during transit. Two-step verification can be manually enabled. This requires a six-digit pin. If someone gets your number and password combination, they will need a PIN code in order to access the account.

Other notable features include document sharing and group chat.

Pros

  • Login credentials not required
  • End-to-end encryption

Cons

  • You will need a telephone number
  • For web version use, QR code scanning is required

Pro tip:

Are you able to make internet calls at the fastest possible speed? Test your internet speed to find out.

Alternative: You can use your carrier’s Wi Fi calling

Verizon Wireless and AT&T offer Wi-Fi calling. This is usually built into smartphones. It uses your existing mobile number. It converts your cellular phone calls into data, which is transmitted over a WiFi network rather than the carrier’s network. Once your Wi-Fi device is disconnected, Wi-Fi calling switches to your carrier’s cell network.

These settings can be used to enable Wi-Fi calling:

  • iOS 14 : Settings > Cellular> Wi-Fi calling
  • Android 11 Stock: Settings > Internet and Mobile > Advanced > Wi Fi Calling
  • Android 10 (Samsung),: Phone > Three dots > Settings > Wi Fi Calling

There are approximately 24 Wi-Fi carriers that support calling the United States.

  • AT&T
  • Consumer Cellular
  • Cricket
  • Google Fi
  • Metro by T-Mobile
  • Mint Mobile
  • Spectrum
  • Sprint is now part of T-Mobile
  • TMobile USA
  • TracFone/Straight Talk
  • US Cellular
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Xfinity Mobile

Our verdict

Google Voice is a great way to call landlines or mobile numbers, especially if you are calling from a computer. You can call anywhere in the country for free, while international calls cost as high as $9.50 per min. Wi-Fi calling is an option, provided your carrier supports it. It is available on both Android and iOS and does not require any third-party apps.

You probably already have Facebook Messenger if you don’t call a mobile or landline number. WhatsApp is a safe alternative to calling landlines or mobile numbers. You don’t have to create a Google or Facebook account in order for this service to work. Google Duo, a FaceTime alternative that allows video calling between iPhone and Android owners, is a great option.

FAQ regarding internet phone calls

What’s VoIP?

Voice over Internet Protocol (Voice over IP, or VoIP) refers to a technology that converts analog signals in data and transmits it over the internet. VoIP data cannot cross over existing telephone networks. A call usually consists of two devices connected to the internet that support VoIP technology.

What is VoWiFi?

Voice over WiFi (VoWiFi), a technology that uses VoIP for converting analog voice calls to data and sending that data over WiFi, is called Voice over WiFi. VoWiFi uses your mobile number to call landlines and mobiles.

This method is significantly better than traditional VoIP calls because your voice data goes through the carrier’s network (PSN). This ensures call quality. Your Wi-Fi connection will drop and the data will switch to your carrier’s.

These calls do not count towards your data allowance.

What is the process of internet calling?

Your analog call will be converted using VoIP to digital signals and sent over the internet. The receiver will decide what happens next.

Your VoIP data can be used to call a landline phone or mobile number. It also includes your public IP address. This is converted into a number by the service’s server. Your data is converted to an analog signal, and transmitted along traditional telephone networks. Because your call passes through circuits, calling rates apply.

You can place a VoIP phone call to another person on the same VoIP service or a different VoIP provider. The recipient’s device or app receives the data and converts it to an analog signal. The call does not pass through traditional telephone networks, but rather uses the typical internet infrastructure.

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