Today, there are hundreds of VOIP providers out there. Some are large with millions of customers while others just started up last week. It’s no wonder why it’s so hard to make a decision when signing up for one. If you’re the type that makes a handful of international calls on a monthly basis, you’ve probably come to realize that making calls via VOIP is the best way to save money. Unlike land line contracts that are ridiculously expensive, VOIP plans can start as little as one cent a minute. If you’re having a hard time choosing a provider that makes VOIP international calls, here are a few worth checking out:
Top 3 VOIP International Call Providers
Three of the most popular VOIP apps are Skype, Vonage, and Google Voice. None of the 3 are priced the same and each of its own positives and negatives. But what they all have in common is that they all have apps available in the Android Market Place and Apple App Store.
Skype International Calls
Skype is obviously a name that we’re all familiar with. Today, Skype has more than 700 million members using the service! This says a lot as Skype offers crystal clear sound, great reliability and easy-to-use software.
Calling Plans Available
- Unlimited Europe: $8.99 per month. This includes unlimited calling throughout 24 European countries.
- Unlimited World: $13.99 per month. Make unlimited calls to any International landline in more than 41 countries. If these calls are being made to a mobile phone, you’ll be restricted to seven countries. These seven countries include Canada, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.
- Pay as you Go: The pay as you go enables you to purchase Skype credits and use them as you please. Each credit will equal a minute. The credits will greatly vary depending on the country that you’re calling. For instance, if you’re calling Chile, credits will cost 2.3 cents per minute. On average, landlines were a lot cheaper, costing around 2.5 to 6 cents per minute, while mobile phones could reach as high as 25 cents per minute. A small connection fee will apply. The fee will vary depending upon the country that you’re calling from.
- Free: If the recipient has a Skype account, video and voice calls are 100 percent free. You can also video chat and instant message as well. Signing up for an account is easy, and it can be done in less than five minutes. In order to receive a call though, the other party must have their computer, mobile device or Skype on. So if you’re looking for free international calls, Skype might be your best option.
- Easy to use software. Double click the contact name on your interface and a call is made within a second.
- Able to start conference calls and invite more than one person to the call.
- If the other party has a webcam, video chats can be created.
- Don’t want to chat? Consider instant messaging with each other. Skype also allows users to send files to and from each other via the computer.
Vonage International Calls
Like Skype, Vonage offers a few calling plans to choose from. One of the bigger differences is that Vonage will reward those who sign up for a long-term one to two year contract. While a contract isn’t required, you’ll get the best deal possible if you sign one.
Calling Plans Available
- Vonage World: $9.99 per month for the first three months. After the first three months, the rate will be $25.99, plus taxes and fees. In order to receive the first three months at $9.99, you must sign up for a one-year contract. If you don’t want to sign up for a contract, the rates will start at $25.99. With Vonage World, you’ll be able to make unlimited calling to more than 60 country landline phones. If the calls are made to a mobile phone, you’ll be able to make unlimited calls to ten countries, including India.
- Vonage Plus 1000: $54.99 per month. This plan doesn’t require you to sign up for a long-term contract. Because of this, there is no introductory rate. With Vonage Plus 1000, you’ll be able to make unlimited calls to 60 country landline phones, 10 countries via mobile, and on top of that, you’ll have 1000 premium minutes to make calls to other countries outside of their list.
- Extend your Vonage landline phone to your cell phone. With their free application that can be downloaded via iTunes or the Android Marketplace, you’ll be able to make phone calls on the go.
- All voicemails that come to your account with be transcribed and sent via a text or email.
- Other additional features such as call waiting, 3-way calling, caller ID and more.
- If the other caller has Vonage, the calls will be 100 percent free.
Google Voice International Calls
The last plan on our top three list is Google Voice. Again, another massive corporation that we have all heard of. With Google Voice, you can make calls either via your landline phone, your mobile phone via an app or directly through your computer using a microphone and headset.
Calling Plans Available
- Per Minute: Google doesn’t have a subscription monthly plan like Vonage and Skype. Instead, they work like the Skype credit system. All you’ll have to do is pay for each and every minute that you use. All calls that are made from the United States and Canada are 100 percent free. If you make calls to an International mobile device, the rates can greatly vary anywhere from 2 to 29 cents. For example, a phone call made to France on a mobile device will cost 10 cents a minute. A phone call made to India on a mobile device will only cost 2 cents a minute.
- Get your own phone number free of charge. If you don’t need a new number, automatically have Google Voice forward to your own phone.
- All calls made in Canada and the United States are 100 percent free. You can even send a SMS for free as well.
- Block numbers that you don’t want to deal with.
- Transcribes voicemails and sends them directly to your email.
Other Cheap International Call Options
Phone Power: Unlimited calling to both the United States and Canada. No setup fees or contract required. Plans range anywhere from $14 to $29 per month depending upon how much you pay in advanced. For example, if you pay 24 months in advanced, you can get get the $14.99 rate. Phone Power also offers 20 free hours of international calling a month, free equipment, no activation charges and over 45 premium features.
ITP: ITP offers more than six plans that range anywhere from $9 to $48 per month. Like Phone Power, the more you pay ahead of time, the more that you’ll be able to save. Unlimited calling to the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Through their global unlimited plan that starts at $24 per month, customers can make unlimited calls to more than 60 countries.
VoipO: VoipO was founded by the developers of the popular hosting company, HostGator. With two payment plans, customers can receive 60 free international minutes a month, 40 features and unlimited calls to the United States and Canada. When the 60 free international minutes are up, you only have to pay on a minute to minute basis. Depending on the country, rates start at low as two cents per minute. Customers have the option of paying either $129 for two years up front, which comes down to a little less than $5 per month, or they can choose the flat $15 per minute rate with no commitments.
It’s really hard to say exactly who wins out of our top three VOIP international calls providers. It will really come down to which country you’re going to call on a frequent basis.
All in all, Google Voice is probably the most attractive since they don’t push one-year deals, they don’t have any subscription fees and you just pay as you go. If you compare any of their foreign country rates to other companies such as Skype and Vonage, their minute rate almost beats all of them by a landslide. The nice thing about Google Voice is that you can port your own number, you can use your mobile phone, landline phone or even make calls on your computer. The best part? You can even make free calls to United States and Canada.