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The best free apps for international calling in 2024

An iPhone on a colorful chair showing phone buttons.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Trends

If you’re planning to travel overseas and need to make a phone call back home, it’s important to figure out the best way to do so before you leave. While your cell phone provider can assist you, using its services out of network will probably result in additional charges. Instead, consider using international calling apps designed for iPhone or Android devices, such as the iPhone 15 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S24.

Typically powered by Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), these apps use an internet connection instead of traditional phone networks. While many of these apps do have a cost associated with them, others do not.

Without further delay, here are the best free international calling apps you should use in 2024.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp app.
WhatsApp

WhatsApp stands out as a top-tier messaging app worldwide. The app enables users to engage in voice and video conversations with WhatsApp users over Wi-Fi connectivity. In addition to its calling capabilities, WhatsApp offers the functionality to exchange text messages, images, videos, and documents. Notably, WhatsApp prioritizes user security by incorporating end-to-end encryption, making it a secure communication medium.

Other WhatsApp features include group chats (up to 256 people) and location sharing. Besides iPhone and Android, the app is available on Windows and macOS.

iOS Android

Skype

Skype app.
Skype

Microsoft’s Skype is a pioneer in the world of VoIP and video calls. It allows users to make free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls. You can also call landlines and mobile numbers at low rates if you add credit to your account. Skype supports international and group calls and provides a messaging and file-sharing platform.

Other features offered on Skype include file sharing (photos, videos, and documents), group chats for up to 100 people, screen sharing, and call recording. You can use Skype on iPhone, Android, Windows, and macOS.

iOS Android

Rakuten Viber Messenger

Rakuten Viber Messenger app.
Rakuten

Rakuten Viber Messenger is another excellent app for free international calls. It is known for its simple interface and secure communication. Like WhatsApp, it provides end-to-end encryption. Viber allows you to make voice and video calls, send texts, stickers, GIFs, and more. It also offers Viber Out, which lets you call non-Viber users at low rates.

Viber offers several features that are missing from similar apps, such as communities, channels, and AI bots. Like many others, you can use Viber on Android, iPhone, Windows, and MacOS.

iOS Android

Google Meet

Google Meet app.
Google

Another popular app available on both mobile platforms, Google Meet, provides numerous free features, including high-quality one-on-one video calls and group meetings. You can also share your screen and collaborate in real time.

If you’re a heavy Google user, it makes sense to do your international calls via Google Meet. Advanced features include live captions and integration with other Google Workspace apps like Calendar, Docs, Slides, and Gmail.

iOS Android

Telegram

Telegram app.
Telegram

Telegram is widely recognized for its secure messaging, both voice and video calls. The app ensures safe and reliable calls with fast connection speeds. It supports group video calls, making it an excellent choice for personal and professional communication.

Cross-platform and open-source, Telegram is available on mobile and on Windows and macOS. Extra features include group chats, channels, and cloud storage.

iOS Android

Signal

Signal app
Signal

Privacy is at the heart of Signal, which provides free messaging and calling features without ads and tracking tools. It uses an open-source Signal Protocol to keep your conversations secure. In doing so, no one else can read or listen to your calls — not even Signal. One unique feature of Signal is disappearing messages, which lets you set messages to disappear after a set time for added privacy.

Signal is available on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux.

iOS Android

Zoom

Zoom app.
Zoom

Technically, Zoom’s international calling feature requires a paid subscription. However, a basic plan allows you to join free meetings with up to 100 participants. Group meetings have a 40-minute time limit, which is plenty of time to say hello to family and friends from overseas.

iOS Android

FaceTime

FaceTime app.
Apple

Apple’s native app for video calls, FaceTime, is an excellent option for Apple device users who want to communicate with others using Apple devices. You can connect via video or audio call to any other Apple device user with just a click. While FaceTime is exclusively available on Apple devices, it provides high-quality calls and seamless integration with your contacts and call history.

FaceTime comes preinstalled on all Apple products, such as iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

iOS

What about paid international calling apps?

Rebtel app.
Rebtel

Some paid international calling apps provide features that need to be added to freebie apps. For example, Rebtel provides a local-number feature that lets you pay local rates for international calls.

Talk360 is another solution that enables you to make calls to any mobile or landline number worldwide, regardless of the recipient’s internet access or smartphone ownership.

Finally, there’s Vonage, a good solution for business travelers who need local, toll-free, and international numbers.

Editors' Recommendations

Bryan M. Wolfe

Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.

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