The ability to communicate and socialize is the cornerstone of humanity. And talking to one another is, in fact, what makes us human. Our need to socialize has led us to extraordinary developments in telecommunication, like the Internet, the telephone or the pen and paper before that. Now, in this new age, we all revolve around socializing, we use social networks, like Facebook or Google+, we send text messages on our phones, we call our friends and so on.
Free Calling: Basic Need for Budget Wary Persons
But nowadays, because we extend our network of friends well across borders, to distant countries, the ability to communicate is fairly limited. To call friends from other countries can be quite expensive. Although roaming prices have decreased lately, it’s still rather expensive. And other ways to keep in touch are necessary. But for those of you who have friends all over the world who you’d like to keep in touch with, these are solutions that can help you call them and avoid huge roaming rates.
How cheap? Well, some services even let you talk for 10 minutes on $1, but for the purpose of this tutorial, that is also too expensive. I’ll try to give you some tools that you can use to call anywhere in the world for free. Yes, you’ve read correctly: for free! What do you need to have in order to call for free? Not much, just a few things that you already have in your house:
- an Internet connection
- a computer, tablet or a smartphone
- someone to call (I imagine this is the hardest part)
5 Useful Solutions for Free Calling
If you have all of the above ingredients, it’s time to start calling. The only catch is that the other person needs to have these ingredients as well. There a few software programs and smartphone apps that allow you to call free of charge anywhere in the world using VoIP (Voice over internet Protocol). This communication protocol uses the Internet to make calls rather than telephone lines. Although the internet bandwidth it requires is a bit higher than normal (almost 2 Mbps), but the result is awesome. Great quality sound both ways and in some cases, even for video calls you get exceptional quality, although, for video calls you need more bandwidth.
The best known program for making VoIP calls is without a doubt, Skype. It allows users to make international calls to other Skype members for free. Also, it has the option for video calls and it can support conference of multiple members (paid). The quality of the call depends, of course, on your Internet connection, but alas, it provides excellent quality and all the options you need: IM, video and audio calls and file transfer. The simple interface of Skype is one of its best features.
There are no multiple windows and confusing options to work with. Also, Skype is available for both Android and iOS users, and the same principles apply: free calls to other Skype members, video calls and IM. Also, I prefer the video call option on Skype Mobile over the PC one because it can use the phone’s camera and it gives excellent quality to the image and sound. Keep in mind, if you use Skype on a mobile device, try using it over Wi-Fi because it can take a toll on your data and also it gives you better speed. Skype allows you to call phones as well, but it will require you to purchase credit. Even this method, although not free, is cheaper than a direct telephone call.
2. Google Talk
Google offers an entire battalion of web services, and one of those services is a free calling service that anyone can use to call all over the world for free. The app is ready installed on Android devices and it can be downloaded for computers to use. Probably the simplest of all IM programs, with a minimalist interface, Google Talk lets you call or send IMs in just a few seconds. Also available for Apple users, Google Talk can unite any friends no matter the distance. I particular like it for its ease of use and great performance, although, as with Skype, if you are using it on a mobile device, look for a Wi-Fi hotspot before calling anyone, or stick with IMs if you are running low on data.
Yahoo! is Google’s biggest enemy on the web. Offering a variety of web based services and quality products, one of which is Yahoo! Messenger. Apart from its primary role as an IM service, Y! Messenger can offer users free calls to other friends also using Y! Messenger. I use Y!M for over 7 years now and I’m very happy with it. It provides lots of options and features I like and it works pretty good on low speed Internet connections. Although not as clean and minimalist as Skype or Google Talk, it does the job pretty good. Also, Y!M is available for mobile devices and it offers all of the features the computer version does. Just pay attention to the data it consumes on calls.
4. Fring Mobile
Fring is a Mobile service that allows you make video and audio calls completely free. Although its main purpose is for video calls and group calls, it also accommodates audio calls very well. The app is available for Android, iOS and Symbian so you can talk to your friends despite the different manufacturers of the smartphones. The downside is that Fring does not support computer or Blackberry devices at this moment, but we might see this setback eliminated in the future.
Related Article: 10 Best Free Apps for Video Calling on Android
Viber is an app that unites everyone. Being available for Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Mobile, it makes it easy for anyone to connect to friends all over the world, completely free! Using VoIP services, Viber allows you to call anyone in the Viber network for free. The app is very simple and does not have complicated options. It gets the job done in a matter of seconds. Also, it provides excellent sound quality, but it does use quite a bit of bandwidth, so stay close to your Wi-Fi hotspot when making a call.
Using these tools will make it very easy for anyone to keep in touch with their friends abroad, and because they use VoIP, they are completely free! Give them a try and see how much fun you can have with your friends, spending hours and hours on the phone.