In an age where humans are more connected than ever, we often find ourselves reaching for our phones to call relatives and friends living abroad. Normal sim carriers charge very high prices for these international calls but thanks to these 10 apps we can make international calls for free. Here is some free international calling app for android.
To use the term free here might be misleading as even though these apps are free to use, you will still need an internet connection which you might have to pay for. Nonetheless making an international call through these apps still proves to be cheaper as compared to a normal call considering how little internet is consumed while calling.
How to use an free international calling app for android?
Using a free international calling app for android might be simpler than your expectation, all you need to do is install the app and ask the other person to do so as well and when required you can open the app and call the other person.
The other person gets a notification when you call them and can pick up the call when they see it.
The apps we are going to be talking about here work on both android and iOS so you don’t need to worry in case the other person you’re calling uses iOS as they can install these same apps from the app store.
For all the android users I’ll provide a link that you can use to download and install the app.
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Why use internet calling?
The number one benefit is that internet calling can be cheaper than a normal call.
Secondly, your conversations are more protected when you call using the internet as many apps will by default use end-to-end encryption which makes the call difficult to track.
Thirdly, you don’t need a sim to call people when calling using the internet, all you need is an internet connection, this connection could be your home WiFi or it could be someone’s hotspot it does not matter as long as you have an internet connection.
Also, the call quality is much better on these apps as compared to normal calling.
All these reasons make internet calling ideal for international calling.
Free international calling apps for android
I have tried to list some of the best options here, all of the apps in this list are free to use and some of these apps have some features reserved for premium members but even without the premium features these apps offer way better call quality as compared to normal calling. Here are some free international calling apps for android
First on our list is Whatsapp, almost everyone uses this app. It’s free to use and provides amazing call quality and connectivity.
Whatsapp calling is very similar to normal calling apart from the fact that Whatsapp uses the internet to call people.
When you call people, they see a dialer screen where they can see your name in case they’ve saved your number, or else it will display your phone number.
Along with calling Whatsapp also allows you to message people and share files with them.
At the starting of 2021 Whatsapp was accused of not being safe but Whatsapp has come ahead and clarified that all calls are end to end encrypted. The only caveat being that your activity with business accounts might be monitored which they assure is only being used to enhance their services.
- It offers all its features for free
- You can also send and receive messages and files from the other person
- Works almost like your native calling app ( the app used for normal calling )
- Crisp call quality
- Easy to use
- Your calls might be monitored when talking with a business account
- Whatsapp is banned in many countries including China, UAE and some other countries.
- It lacks background noise cancellation features.
2. Google Duo
Launched in 2016, google duo is one of the most successful video calling apps on android. It allows you to do both voice calls and video calls.
While it’s not as widely used as Whatsapp, it is relatively easy to install and use this app in case it wasn’t already preinstalled on your phone.
You can connect up to 32 people on one call.
Another analogous app to google duo is google meet. They both are similar in many ways and hence I decided to list them both together. Google duo is suited for more personal calls whereas google meet is more focused on meetings and work calls.
- It comes preinstalled on most phones
- It’s free to use
- It has AR filters
- End to end encryption on all calls
- It is the default video calling app on most smart displays
- Has a data saver mode that helps you minimise internet usage.
- You can talk to people across platforms ( web, android and iOS )
- Relatively high internet usage on normal mode
- Google duo is banned in some countries such as China and UAE
Signal rose to the limelight this January when people started stitching Whatsapp due to privacy concerns. Signal is a privacy-focused messaging app that has internet calling features.
Signal is an open-source, peer-reviewed, and grant-funded app. This means that signal does not need to sell your data to third-party apps to be able to provide you with free service.
Signal has its own caller screen which means that you don’t have to keep the app open to receive calls from other people, even if your app is closed, you can see who is calling and pick up the call.
You can send messages and files to others using as well using Signal.
- It is free to use
- It provides great call quality
- All calls are end to end encrypted
- Does not track you or sell your data
- It is open-source, increasing trustability.
- You can pick up a call without opening the app
- It is blocked in countries such as China and UAE
Telegram, a popular messaging app also supports internet calling Just like Signal, Telegram as well is open source.
With Telegram, you can share your username in case you don’t want to give your phone number to people. With a privacy-first focus, all calls made through telegram are end to end encrypted.
Telegram offers secret chats as well which are end to end encrypted and boasts several privacy-focused features.
One of the problems reported by users is that every time someone new joins telegram all their saved contacts are sent a default message stating that they’ve joined telegram. This is annoying for users who joined the app to keep a low profile.
There has been a rumor going around that telegram is an Indian alternative to Whatsapp. This is a false rumor, it is a Russian app made by a man named Pavel Durov.
As of now this app is funded by Pavel himself but he does plan on releasing monetization features soon, so you don’t have to worry about your data being sold off to other apps to provide you with free service.
- Its free and open source
- All voice calls are end to end encrypted
- It has noise suppression features as well
- You can screen share on video calls
- You can talk to people across platforms ( web, android and iOS )
- Up to 200,000 people in a single group
- 2 GB upload limit for files
- The app can be slightly cluttered for new users to get used to
- Normal chats are not end-to-end encrypted
- Telegram is banned in countries such as China
This app that started with a focus on gaming has now expanded beyond gaming and transformed into a fully-featured chat app.
The way that discord works might be slightly difficult for new users to grasp but over time you can learn the UI with experimentation. A lot of people use Discord daily to talk to friends while playing a game or stream their game.
Discord has multiple features when it comes to voice calling and video calling as well. Voice calling is implemented through web RTC which means that none of your data passes a central server making your call more secure.
Even though discord is available for everyone I’d not recommend using it with people who are not new to the platform as from personal experience I’ve seen that they usually find it very difficult to get the app set up.
- Free to use for all users
- You can screen share
- Up to 50 members in a call
- Background noise cancellation
- Fully featured chat
- Lacks the same standard of privacy as some of the other apps on this list
- Sometimes call quality just drops in the middle due to technical glitches
- Very difficult to set the app up
- keeps on running in the background, slowing down your computer
Finally, we’ve reached the app that’s been making headlines. It’s one of the most used video call apps. Boasts up to 30 minutes for free talk time to all users with a limit of 100 members per call in the free feature.
Although end-to-end encryption is available on zoom, it’s not enabled by default and needs to be toggled on by the account owners/admins.
One of my main concerns with zoom is the interface and internet usage. I’ve noticed higher than average internet consumption on the days I do a zoom video call ( as compared to other days when I use google meet for my classes )
The free tier is pretty limiting in my opinion but it does work well in countries like the UAE where other methods of voice calling are disabled, this proves to be one of the cheapest ways to talk to people living there.
- It works in countries like UAE as well where VOIP calls are banned
- Screen share options are available
- You can change your background
- Can record meetings
- You can only talk for 30 minutes at a time in the free version
- You can’t have more than 50 participants in the free version
- End-to-end encryption is not enabled by default.
- No noise cancellation features
- You have to decide a time to meet beforehand
Anyone who’s used Facebook will be very familiar with Facebook messenger. The messenger is a powerful cross-platform chat app that can do international calls on the internet.
Given that most people are frequent Facebook users this app is perfect for people trying to talk to old friends who you might have just met on Facebook or in case you don’t want to give your number to people.
With Facebook finding people has become very easy. Thanks to the messenger app you can talk to them as well.
Although Facebook does support end-to-end encryption, it is not enabled by default and needs to be enabled
- It is free for all users
- Great call quality
- Can call without a sim
- Facebook uses your data to show you ads, for some people this could be a breach of their privacy.
- End-to-end encryption is not enabled by default
- You have to have a Facebook/Instagram account to use this service
Finally coming down to the original video call app, the one that we’ve all grown up with.
Unlike its competitors, skype has not been able to keep up with the current day standard of video calling.
I definitely would not suggest using this app unless you have no other choice. It does have quite a few bells and whistles but users suffer from lags during the call.
Due to skype constantly running in the background, your phone can get slower.
- It is free
- 25 people can join the meeting simultaneously
- It’s rolling out end to end encryption slowly to all its features
- Skype is outdated
- Finding other peoples contacts can be difficult
- Calls are reportedly laggy
- All in all less support
Comparison of international calling app for android
|Google duo||Signal||Telegram||Discord||Zoom||Facebook messenger||Skype|
*the limit is for the free version
After comparing all international calling app for android. Whatsapp sounds like the best option to me as of now, there are some privacy concerns but the fact that virtually everyone has Whatsapp makes it the best alternative to normal calling. Signal would be an app that I’d look into if I were slightly more concerned about privacy but as of now, Whatsapp is the clear winner in my opinion.
No, you don’t need to pay for the call, you might have to pay for the internet though.
End-to-end encryption ensures that nobody other than the intended recipient can read get your message.
Go to the play store and search for the app and download it in case the link for the app isn’t provided.
The process depends on the app you are using but most of them involve adding the other person in your contact book for the app and then proceeding from there.
Varies from app to app.