There are an endless number of apps out there that can be used for making calls over the internet. Some of these apps can be used to contact people abroad, while others only work for people in Canada and the United States.
Whichever of these options suits you best, you’ll find that there are an overwhelming number of apps to choose from. From online business numbers with voicemail to fun apps with GIFs and photo-sharing functions, there are a ton of choices out there.
This article will list just a few of the very best apps out there, helping you find the one that will best suit your needs. It will break down some of their pros and cons, making it easier for you to decide what the right app is for you.
The apps this article will consider are Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Google Voice, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Skype. This is a broad list that gives an idea of the variety of apps out there and all the features they can offer. Of course, with the sheer number of messaging apps out there, this list is not an exhaustive one. Nonetheless, we hope that it gives you an idea of some of the more popular options and that this gives you a good place to start.
Facebook is a familiar name to most people worldwide. Its free-to-use messaging app, Facebook Messenger, is an extremely popular choice for people looking to make internet calls. Given Facebook’s popularity, many people already use the app, meaning that it’s easy to get in touch with people through it.
Messenger can be used for sending text messages as well as making voice and video calls. The app works both on smartphones and computers, and its web client works on any browser. Messenger is super simple to navigate and easy for just about anyone to use, even those with minimal technological experience. All you need to start a call with someone is to add each other as “friends,” then call them from the chat screen.
As well as being simple to use, Messenger has some fun features. You can personalize your chats with a selection of themes and emojis, and there is an option to set chat nicknames.
The app is not without its downsides, however. It can only be used to call other Facebook contacts through the Messenger app or client, meaning it can’t be used to call landlines, etc.
If this doesn’t bother you, however, Facebook Messenger is an option worth considering, especially given its pre-existing user base.
Telegram is another popular choice for making internet calls. Like Facebook Messenger, it works across a lot of different devices; the app is available not just on smartphones but through Windows and Linux, also. You can also run Telegram through your browser, just like Messenger.
Text messaging is supported on Telegram as well as internet phone calls; this flexibility is part of why the app is so popular. Another reason is that Telegram claims to encode messages and calls made with the app. This gives its users a greater sense of security, knowing that their personal data is safe.
Telegram is simple to use. Similar to Messenger, you have to add a user to your contact list before you’re able to call them. Once you’ve added a contact, simply navigate to their “Info” page and select the phone button.
Unfortunately, you can only call other Telegram users with the app, meaning it can’t be used to call landline numbers. Even so, its streamlined user interface and variety of features still make it a popular choice for many.
Unlike the other examples we’ve given so far, Google Voice actually lets you make calls to landlines and other “real” numbers. This is a big feature of the app; it’s part of why it’s so popular and is why Google Voice finds itself on this list.
This feature isn’t the only benefit Google Voice offers, however. As well as being able to make free calls between either computers or phones, the app also makes it easy to manage your phone contacts. It can forward calls to other phones or can just send them straight to voicemail.
Google Voice also includes call screening functions and allows you to make custom away messages for different contacts in your contact list. Other helpful features included with the app include voicemail transcription functions and free voicemail archival.
However, despite all of its pros, Google Voice isn’t without its cons. For one thing, even though it allows calls to landlines, the app does not allow emergency calls. There also isn’t any direct customer support for users of the app, which can be a problem if you come up against any difficulties.
Furthermore, while calls within the United States are free, calls made abroad will cost you. There is also a restriction on how long one call can last, though this isn’t as big an issue as it initially sounds since you can call back as many times as you like.
Even in spite of these downsides, however, Google Voice is an extremely helpful app—not just because of its call functions but also because of how easy it makes it to organize your numbers.
WhatsApp is another messaging app owned by Facebook. Like Messenger and Telegram, it offers instant messaging as well as voice and video call functions. It works across a multitude of devices and also through web browsers and is popular for its end-to-end encryption and other security features.
To start using WhatsApp, all you have to do is confirm your phone number. No matter where in the world your contacts are, you’re able to phone them for free through the app and can also take part in group calls of up to eight people.
You can also use WhatsApp to share different forms of media—for example, pictures and GIFs, videos, and voice messages.
Since WhatsApp needs a phone number to work, it isn’t ideal for people who don’t have a working phone number. That is one of its downsides.
Another downside to the app is that it cannot be used to call people who do not have the app installed, meaning, by extension, that it can’t be used to call landlines either. Nonetheless, WhatsApp remains a popular choice for people looking to make internet calls.
Snapchat is a massively popular messaging app, most well-known for its texting and image sharing features. However, you can use the app to make free voice and video calls as well. To do so, simply tap on the contact you wish to call. This will open up a chat with them, and, from there, you can tap the phone icon to begin a call.
Snapchat’s fun image-sharing feature makes it a popular choice among many. As an app for making calls, though, it does have several downsides.
For one, Snapchat is only available on a limited number of devices: iPhone, iPad, and Android. Anyone who does not own one of these products will not be able to make use of the app.
Another issue is that, like several of the examples we have listed so far, you cannot use Snapchat to call landline numbers or, indeed, any devices which do not have the Snapchat app installed. Given the limited number of devices that can run the app, this is doubly problematic.
However, despite these issues, Snapchat remains popular with people of all ages.
The final app we will be considering is Skype. Skype is a messaging service that is native to Windows but can also be used on Linux, Mac, in a web browser, or on a smartphone. The app’s cross-platform nature is one particularly useful feature.
It’s easy to sign up for Skype and simple to use once you have it up and running. You have to make an account with Skype in order to use it and can find other users by either searching for their username, their phone number, or their email address.
Skype has a number of other useful features, including, but not limited to, screen sharing, file sharing, and compatibility with some Xbox consoles and Amazon Alexa.
You can use Skype to call landlines and cell phones; however, it is not free to do so. If this is a feature that you would be interested in but one you are not willing to pay for, this is obviously a significant downside to the app. However, its wide availability and cross-platform compatibility make Skype a popular choice for many people all over the world.
This article has taken a look at some of the leading voice and video calling apps available. Each app has a range of useful features that set it apart from the others—but, on the other hand, each app comes with a few downsides, too. To figure out which is the best option for you, consider experimenting with some of these apps and exploring their various features.