6 Best Apps to Use to Make Calls Internationally
They are free! You just need to be connected to the internet.
· 3 min read
In an era where communication is key, finding ways to stay connected with your friends and family back at home while traveling is important. While that can be easily achieved through international calls and messages, that could also rack up roaming charges very quickly. Today, numerous apps have revolutionized the way we make calls, offering free alternatives to traditional phone services. Whether you're looking to make international calls or simply want to cut down on your monthly phone bill, here's a roundup of the best apps for making free calls.
WhatsApp has become a household name in the realm of messaging and calling apps. It is one of the most popular messaging apps worldwide and is supported on most mobile phones. With over two billion users worldwide, WhatsApp allows free voice and video calls over the internet, regardless of your location. The app also boasts end-to-end encryption, ensuring the security and privacy of your conversations. To make calls and send messages via WhatsApp, you will need a stable internet connection, and the person you are calling and/or messaging must also be using WhatsApp.
2. Facebook Messenger
Also part of the Meta ecosystem, Facebook Messenger is a good platform for messaging and calling. Although Facebook might not be as popular amongst teens and younger people today, it still has a very large user base. If you already have a Facebook account, using Messenger for calls and messages is convenient and eliminates the need for an additional app. An advantage of using Facebook Messenger is that it allows you to contact your friends and families even if you do not have their phone numbers!
Telegram as a platform has been gaining popularity in recent years. While Telegram is primarily known for its secure messaging features and variety of stickers, it also supports voice and video calls. The app's strong focus on privacy and security, combined with its user-friendly interface, makes Telegram a reliable option for those who prioritize confidentiality in their conversations. Telegram also allows you to add users by their usernames; and while you do need a phone number to register for a Telegram account, you can limit who can find and see your phone number, allowing you to maintain your privacy.
KakaoTalk is the most popular messaging app in South Korea. And while it might not be as popular as other platforms outside South Korea, KakaoTalk does have its fair share of users worldwide, partially attributed to the K-wave fever globally. Aside from allowing you to send messages, and share videos and photos, voice calls and video calls are also supported. KakaoTalk also allows you to add other users using their user IDs instead of phone numbers. A very useful KakaoTalk has is the OpenChat function, which allows users to join group chats anonymously using an alias (or open profile) that is different from your username — although this feature is currently geolocked to certain regions.
LINE is very similar to KakaoTalk, in that it is very popular in certain regions but rarely used outside of those regions. In the case of LINE, it is one of the most popular messaging apps in Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan. In fact, in these regions, LINE is more than just a messaging app — it is a super app with many features including payment and ride-hailing. However, a lot of these features are region-locked, so if you want to access these features, you would need to have a phone number for those regions. However, for international users, you will be able to still use LINE for calls and messages without issues!
WeChat is the most popular messaging app in China, and is more than simply a messaging or calling app. Similar to LINE and KakaoTalk, WeChat is a lifestyle app. It connects users to many other micro-apps and provides services like payment and ride-hailing. WeChat is popular not only in China, but also in many Chinese-speaking societies in Asia — though it definitely is much less popular in Western societies.
Get a Nomad travel eSIM to stay connected on your next trip
All these messaging apps support calls and messages over the internet, meaning you can call and message without incurring charges for international calls and messages. However, all these apps require you to have a stable internet connection. Of course, they also require your friend to also be on the same app, and for them to also be connected to the internet.
Having a stable internet connection while traveling is essential for you to keep in touch with your friends and family while traveling. A Nomad travel eSIM will allow you to seamlessly stay connected while you explore the world.
Nomad offers data plans in over 165 countries, and you can be sure to find one that is suitable for your travel needs. And if you will be traveling across multiple countries, there are also regional plans available so you can stay seamlessly connected as you hop between countries. Data plans are available from as low as $1.50/GB.
If you are unsure about how much data you need for your trip, Nomad also has a Data Calculator that can help you find the plan that is most suitable for you. Also check out our blog post on data-saving tips when traveling to keep your data usage in check when traveling.