Many people use their phones to call and not only surf the web, but also to communicate with others. You can save money by dialing from one of these people.
You can use apps that allow you to make free VoIP calls on your tablet or smartphone as long as Wi-Fi is available.
There are some limitations to this, but you can make free calls using smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Let’s take a look at the best ways to make free calls without using up your mobile minutes.
Calls to any U.S. or Canadian number are free
There are some iOS and Android apps that allow you to make free calls over Wi-Fi. These include a requirement for a specific app (like Skype, FaceTime, or WhatsApp); a home service (such the magicApp tied to magicJack); or the need to earn credits by watching ads, inviting friends, or sharing the app with others (such the ePhone, TalkU apps).
Some apps allow you to dial out, but not receive calls.
Talkatone (iOS and Android) was my favorite “no strings attached” solution. You can get an incoming number and call quality is impressive.
Once you have downloaded the app to your tablet or smartphone, it will send you a verification code by text or email. Or you can sign up for Facebook. You will then be assigned an incoming number to your device. However, you have the option of choosing a different one. I was offered options with different U.S. and Canadian areas codes.
You must acknowledge that these services are not compatible with 911 emergency calls. Your physical location cannot be accessed through your virtual number.
You can now dial any 10-digit landline or mobile phone number as you would any other phone. However, you don’t have to pay anything as long as you are connected to Wi-Fi.
You can choose to have banner ads or in-app purchases. These options include international calling, advanced features like call forwarding and no ads.
Talkatone states that your incoming number will expire if it isn’t used for at least 30 days or unless you purchase credits to keep the app running.
These apps are secure, you might ask? Is VoIP more vulnerable to being eavesdropped, particularly with less-known developers? These apps should not be used if they don’t guarantee encryption.
All international calling is free
Talkatone is a great app because it doesn’t require that the person you are calling has a particular app installed. You can only call people in the U.S. or Canada for free.
What happens if your family members, friends, partners, or colleagues are located in Europe, Asia, or South America.
Free calls to any person worldwide over Wi-Fi are possible. Both the caller as well as the recipient must use the same app. Many apps allow you to place a video chat to make it more personal. In some cases, it is possible to have a group chat with several people.
Skype, FaceTime and Google Duo are some of the most popular apps.
You will need to pay for free internet calls on a mobile or landline number. However, there are reasonable rates with apps like Skype.
Smart speakers are also available
You may be able to use your Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers to play music, ask for weather information, or control smart home devices. But you might not realize that you can make free calls to any number between 10 and 10 in the U.S. or Canada.
Amazon’s smart devices allow you to call Mexico free of charge.
There are several ways you can do this. First, say the wake word. For example, “Alexa” is for Amazon devices. Or “OK Google” is for Google Home speakers. Then say “call” or dial followed by the 10-digit number. You can call John Smith, Mary Jones, or Dad if they are in your Contacts. You can also use a smart speaker to call businesses – even though you don’t know their exact address – saying something like “Call Home Depot near Yonge Street & High Tech Road” will work.
You can create caller ID on your smart speaker that is tied to your mobile number in the Settings area of the app. Otherwise, the person you are calling will not see your number. These devices are not compatible with 911.
Amazon smart speakers allow you to send voice recordings to another Alexa speaker or broadcast a message to your family members (such as an announcement that you’re almost home, with pizza in your hand).
You can make free video calls to compatible devices using smart screens such as the Amazon Echo Show and Echo Spot. You can also make video calls over Google Duo with the Lenovo Smart Display or other Google Assistant-powered displays.