8 Calling Apps to Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere

Save on costly phone plans with free calling apps.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Featured

Do expensive calling and texting plans keep you from staying in contact with friends and family? Ditch mobile calling plans and opt for calling apps to make free calls over Wi-Fi. They’ll also work over mobile data, but make sure you’ve got unlimited data so you don’t get hit with overages. While some of these apps give you your own number, others require both parties to have the same app. Either way, they’re free and you can call, text, and even video chat as much as you want.

1. TextNow

Available for: iOS | Android | Windows

TextNow has become one of the biggest players when it comes to free calling apps. Between what’s offered completely free and the low-cost add-ons, it’s hard to beat. Currently, it’s only available in the US and Canada.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Textnow

Enjoy completely free calling and texting with a free local number you can use as much as you want. For international calls, you’ll need to pay extra. Rates vary based on the country.

Something that sets TextNow apart is the ability to use your current mobile number (if you’re in the US). To do so, you’ll need to buy an activation kit for $0.99, which includes a SIM card that gives you access to TextNow’s Nationwide Wireless Network. You’ll have to check the site to see if your phone’s compatible. Finally, you can also purchase a data plan starting at $8.99/month for 1 GB or up to $27.99/month for 5 GB.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Textnow2

Highlights:

  • Unlimited calls and texts within the US and Canada
  • Voicemail included
  • Other users don’t need TextNow
  • Can fully replace your existing call and text plan

Cons:

  • Ad-supported
  • International calls are charged by the minute

2. Talkatone

Available for: iOS | Android

Talkatone was once only available in the US, but has now added Canada. It’s an incredibly easy to use free calling app that lets you call and text any number in the US and Canada. Even if you travel out of the country, skip roaming charges and call US and Canadian numbers for free.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Talkatone

There are a few add-ons for Talkatone. You can remove ads for $1.99/month and buy credits for international calling, which start at 60 credits for $0.99 (you can see calling rates within the app). There’s also Talkatone Plus, which lets you keep the number you’re given, even if it’s inactive for a while. It’ll also let you forward calls to any US or Canadian number, and provide higher quality audio for your voicemails. You get all this for just $3.99/month, which is lower than call/text plans with mobile carriers.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Talkatone2

Highlights:

  • Get your own local number
  • Make unlimited calls and texts within the US and Canada
  • No roaming when traveling out of the country

Cons:

  • Ad-supported
  • You lose your number if you’re not active every 30 days (you can move your voicemails and texts to a new number for free, though)

3. Google Voice

Available for: iOS | Android | Web

Google Voice is one of the few apps that lets you make free calls without making you deal with ads too. You can only get US-based numbers, though you can call and text both US and Canadian numbers for free.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Googlevoice

Enjoy having a dedicated number for personal or business use. You’re free to make as many international calls as you want, but those will cost extra per minute. What makes Google Voice a major contender here is being able to read voicemail transcriptions and search for them just like an email. You can even block annoying spam calls. Sadly, you must have another number already in order to use the service.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Googlevoice2

Highlights:

  • Unlimited calls and texts to US and Canadian numbers
  • Get a dedicated number
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Spam blocking
  • Ad-free

Cons:

  • Can’t get a Canadian number
  • Must have a US-based mobile phone number already

4. Google Duo

Available for: iOS | Android | Web

If you want to use your existing phone number or email address to make calls, especially video calls, try Google Duo. You won’t get a dedicated number like most other free calling apps on this list, but you can make unlimited free calls to other Duo users.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Duo

Enjoy talking to up to 32 people at a time. Duo is available throughout the world, making it great for international calls. You can also send video and text messages to other Duo users. Like many chat apps, Duo allows you to send emojis and use special effects.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Duo2

Highlights:

  • Unlimited voice, video, and texts to other Duo users
  • Works internationally
  • Use your existing mobile number or an email address

Cons:

  • Doesn’t give you a number to use
  • Call and text recipients must have Duo to use it

5. Skype

Available for: iOS | Android | Web | Desktop (Windows/macOS/Linux)

While Skype has some similarities to Google Duo, it’s a far more robust free calling app. You’ll get free voice and video calls along with texting to any other Skype user around the world.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Skype

Skype also lets you record calls and share your screen with others. This is why it’s often used for meetings as well as calls between friends and family. Skype even goes a step further and lets you upgrade your free service to make calls to anyone, whether they have Skype or not. For $2.99/month, enjoy 2,000 minutes in the US. Or, call anywhere in North America for $6.99/month. You can also purchase your own phone number for others to use. Costs vary based on the location and number of calls per month.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Skype2

Highlights:

  • Unlimited calls and texts to Skype users
  • Free video calling
  • Upgrade to call anywhere around the world

Cons:

  • Calls to non-Skype users costs extra

6. Dingtone

Available for: iOS | Android

Dingtone offers one of the best free calling apps for true worldwide calling. Calls within the US and Canada are free, but you can earn credits to make international calls free as well.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Dingtone

Unlike most other free apps to make calls over Wi-Fi, Dingtone offers local numbers in the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Belgium, France, Sweden, and more. And, if you’re calling other Dingtone users, calls are always free, no matter where you’re located. While you can pay for credits (starting at $9.99 for 500), the app lets you complete free activities, such as playing a game, to earn credits. The number of credits you’ll need for international calls varies. You can also remove ads for $0.99/month.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Dington2

Highlights:

  • Get a dedicated local number (supports multiple unique numbers on one account)
  • Send unlimited calls and texts to other Dingtone users and numbers within the US and Canada
  • Earn credits for free international calling (15 free for signing up)

Cons:

  • Ad-supported (remove ads in premium plan)
  • Voicemail only available in premium plan for $3.99/month
  • Number can expire within 30 days without premium plan

7. TextFree

Available for: iOS | Android

TextFree is only for unlimited free texting, but it’s being included on this list thanks to the fact that you get your own dedicated number. However, you can text anyone worldwide.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Textfree

Of course, you can also use TextFree for calling, but it costs $9.99/month for unlimited calling. You can also earn credits by watching videos for making international calls or calls to non-TextFree users. The good news is that it’s always free to receive calls on TextFree, so have your friends and family call you to save money. Between earning credits and receiving calls, you can turn this into a free calling app for short calls throughout the month.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Textfree2

Highlights:

  • Unlimited texting to any number
  • Earn credits for free calls
  • 60 call minutes included free

Cons:

  • Premium plan needed to call other TextFree users
  • Credits needed to call non-TextFree users
  • Ad-supported free version

8. textPlus

Available for: iOS | Android

textPlus is mainly focused on MMS and SMS, but it’s also a great free calling app if you’re calling other textPlus users. Text any number in the US and Canada completely free. You even get your own phone number.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Textplus

As with most free calling apps, textPlus is ad supported and the ads on this one are more intrusive than you might like. However, you get free international calling whenever you’re calling another textPlus user. You also get free unlimited inbound calls from any number around the world.

Rates for domestic and international calls start at $0.02/minute for non-textPlus users. The exact rate appears when you enter the number. Of course, you can earn credits through various activities. A variety of add-ons are available, such as going ad-free for $5.99/year and unlimited US and Canada calling for $19.99/year.

Calling Apps To Make Free Phone Calls From Anywhere Textplus2

Highlights:

  • Unlimited texting
  • Free calls to other textPlus users
  • Dedicated free number

Cons:

  • Your number can expire
  • Ad-supported

Frequently Asked Questions

Are calls on free call apps private?

There is no guarantee that your calls are private when using free calling apps. Check the privacy policy of any app before you use it. This will also include details on how any information collected is used and if you can opt out.

Can I use free calling apps if I just want a second or temporary phone number?

Yes. If you want a dedicated number just for dating apps, getting verification codes when testing out apps/services, or for any other reason, these apps work well. Some of them allow you to switch numbers whenever you want, while some delete your number after 30 days of inactivity, so they work as temporary numbers too.

Can I just use my favorite chat app for free phone calls?

Yes. If you and most of the people you call use the same chat app, it’s usually easier to stick with that. For instance, WhatsApp lets you make unlimited calls to other users, and includes texting features of course. You can even use WhatsApp via your browser.

Can I really replace my mobile calling and texting plan with these apps?

Absolutely! Just make sure you have unlimited Wi-Fi available or an unlimited mobile data plan. These apps can eat a lot of data, especially if you’re also watching video ads to earn call credits.

Image credit: Vincent Wachowiak via Unsplash

Crystal Crowder
Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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