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The 16 Best Wi-Fi Calling Apps in 2023 (free and paid)
June 19, 2023
The global Wi-Fi calling market size was valued at $3.4 billion in 2022. Impressive, right? Well, it’s just the beginning… It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.2% from 2023 to 2028. Indeed, the number of Wi-Fi calling users worldwide is expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2028!
There are numerous Wi-Fi calling apps in the market today. Some are ‘free’ while others follow a paid subscription model. Let’s compare the two and find the best solution for you.
As the name suggests, Wi-Fi calling is all about making and receiving calls over the internet provided by a Wi-Fi network or cellular service provider. This is known as VoIP technology. You do not need a new phone or any additional device to use this technology. You can even use Wi-Fi calling apps from a desktop or laptop computer. Wi-Fi calling services can be used to make and receive calls from landline numbers, mobile numbers and toll-free numbers.
What are the most popular free Wi-Fi calling apps in the world
Installing a free Wi-Fi calling app on your mobile phone is a great way to free yourself from the limited radius of cell phone towers. The most popular 5 apps you can use on your phone for Wi-Fi calling are:
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging and Wi-Fi calling apps. The Meta app has over 2 billion active users worldwideand offers free voice and video calls over Wi-Fi.
The app is free to download and can be used on Android and iOS devices. The account is linked to your existing number. Voice and video calling is free but only to other WhatsApp numbers as is text messaging and document sharing. WhatsApp also offers group voice and video calling with up to 8 participants at once.
Whatsapp does not give subscribers any way to make calls to landline or cell phone numbers outside the app.
Skype is one of the oldest and most popular Wi-Fi calling apps, with over 300 million active users. This Microsoft-owned app lets users make unlimited free voice and video calls to other Skype users across the world. Text messaging is also free.
To call a non-Skype landline or mobile phone number, you can subscribe to a calling plan or buy Skype credits. Skype subscriptions are available as 1,3 and 12-month plans for fixed-minute or unlimited calls to selected destinations. On the other hand, Skype credit is a pay-as-you-go model that allows subscribers to make calls to non-Skype numbers at location-specific rates. Skype credits can also be used to purchase a virtual phone number.
Facebook Messenger is a free Wi-Fi calling app connected to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You can make one-on-one voice and video calls with other Facebook messenger users, group calls and exchange messages. Users can also express themselves with emojis and fun AR effects.
Facebook Messenger does not have a paid version and does not allow subscribers to call/ message landline or cell phone numbers.
Viber is a Wi-Fi calling app for free, secure voice and video calling and messaging with other Viber users. It also supports group chats and conference calls. Viber can be used on mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops.
Viber subscribers cannot use this service to call landline or cell phone numbers.
FaceTime is a built-in Wi-Fi calling app for Apple devices that allows users to make free video and audio calls to other Apple users. FaceTime was first introduced in 2010 and has since become a popular means of communication for Apple users around the world.
FaceTime integrates seamlessly with the Contacts app on Apple devices. Users can initiate a FaceTime call directly from their contact list by selecting the contact and tapping on the FaceTime button.
FaceTime calls are encrypted end-to-end, which means the communication is secure and cannot be accessed by anyone other than the participants. This ensures that conversations remain private and protected from unauthorized access.
Zoom is a popular video conferencing app that allows users to make free Wi-Fi calls with up to 100 participants.
It was first released in 2013. Zoom quickly gained popularity, particularly in 2020, due to the increased demand for remote work and distance learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, Zoom has become a widely used tool for remote communication, collaboration, and virtual events, providing a reliable and user-friendly platform for video conferencing and online interactions.
Signal is a secure Wi-Fi calling app that offers end-to-end encryption for all calls and messages. It was developed by the non-profit organization Signal Foundation and was first released in 2014. Signal gained popularity for its focus on end-to-end encryption and its commitment to protecting user privacy.
Discord is a free Wi-Fi calling app that is popular among gamers and allows users to make voice and video calls with up to 50 participants. It has expanded its user base beyond gaming communities. While it offers voice and video calling features, it does not function as a traditional Wi-Fi calling app.
Discord operates over the internet and uses servers to facilitate communication between users. It allows users to create or join servers, which are essentially communities or groups centered around specific interests or topics. Within these servers, users can engage in text chat, voice calls, and video calls.
Google Voice offers free accounts for personal use. This service is currently available only in the USA and Canada. Google Voice services include text messaging, voice and video calling, group calling and a few other features like call blocking and voicemail. This one is different from the app listed above because it allows to make actual phone calls to phone numbers and is not limited to other Google Voice users.
Calling local numbers is free but international calls are billed according to location-specific per-minute rates.
TextNow is an instant messaging and voice calling app that offers free local app to app calls and messages within the USA and Canada. Subscribers can also send emojis and stickers and get voicemail transcriptions. Just like Google Voice, TextNow allow its users to make actual phone calls and is not limited to app-to-app calls.
The app does offer subscribers a way to make international calls but these are not free. International call rates start from $0.10 per minute. That said, the app’s call quality is questionable and it is used mostly for messaging.
Free vs paid Wi-Fi calling
When you’re looking for Wi-Fi calling options, you’ll find free apps as well as paid apps. The difference between the two largely comes down to the types of calls permitted, features offered and the intended use.
When you install free Wi-Fi calling apps on your phone, they are linked to your existing phone number. Thus, if you’re looking at Wi-Fi calling as a way to separate your professional and personal calls, this won’t do. You will need a paid subscription to get a virtual phone number.
Free Wi-Fi calling apps typically limit their services to connectivity through voice and video calls and text messages. It’s important to note that the ‘free’ calls are typically limited only to other numbers linked to other accounts with the same service provider. This means you cannot make a regular phone call using free Wi-Fi calling apps. To call a number outside the app, like to a landline or cell phone number, you would need to upgrade/ switch to a paid plan. A paid subscription could actually work out cheaper since most plans include unlimited free calls to certain destinations.
In addition, many of the other features associated with Wi-Fi calling such as call distribution or custom greetings are not available with these services. They may be offered by some service providers as add-on services billed at an additional cost.
The key reason for the difference is that free Wi-Fi calling is intended for personal use. This is great for keeping in touch with friends and family but relying on it for communicating with your customers and business partners may risk lowering your brand image.
Benefits of Wi-Fi calling
Wi-Fi calling has proved to be very beneficial for businesses.
VoIP apps allow you to make domestic as well as international calls. These calls are billed at a fraction of the rate charged by cellular service providers. Depending on the service provider and the plan chosen, domestic calls and calls to certain other international locations may be free. Thus, your overall operational costs are dramatically reduced.
Unlike traditional landline connections that require extensive cabling and technical know-how for installation, VoIP services are quick and easy to set up. There is no cabling required and the setup can be handled by anyone with basic computer skills. All you need to do is download the app and set up your account.
Wi-Fi calling is not linked to a device but rather to a number. Thus, calls can be made and received with the same number through a mobile phone as well as a laptop or desktop computer. The account can be accessed from the base location as well as from other cities across the world.
VoIP subscriptions let you communicate through voice and video calls and text messages and include a number of other services as well. Some of the common features offered by most VoIP service providers are live call monitoring, call recording, auto attendants and call forwarding. There is no additional charge for these services.
Best paid Wi-Fi calling apps (for businesses)
When it comes to business communication, choosing a paid VoIP subscription is a better choice as compared to using free apps. These accounts can be used to communicate with domestic as well as international phone numbers. Features like auto attendants and call routing are considered quite common for these subscriptions. They allow you to project a stronger brand image.
Some of the best paid Wi-Fi calling apps are:
Quicktalk is a VoIP service + call forwarding service targeted at meeting the needs of startups and growing companies. You can get a local or toll-free number in 30+ countries and enjoy unlimited free calling to numbers in 36 countries.
For $19 per company per month, subscribers get access to a business phone number that can be shared by 3 users and accessed from mobile and desktop devices. Calls to numbers not included in the free calling list are billed at a nominal location-specific per-minute rate. In addition to communication services, Quicktalk subscribers can set up custom greetings in 15 languages, direct incoming calls through an interactive phone menu and monitor live calls. Calls can also be recorded for later analysis.
Ringover is a Wi-Fi calling app for small and growing business. It offers unlimited calls to numbers in 110 global destinations along with a number of features such as device switching, call forwarding, call statistics, etc. the number of features available increases with upgraded plans.
Ringover subscribers can choose from three plans starting from $21 per user per month. A subscription is inclusive of a free local number in 43 countries and can be accessed through web, mobile and desktop apps. Ringover also offers voicemail transcription, storage and security, etc. as add-on services.
OpenPhone is a popular business communication app that leverages Wi-Fi calling. It has an extensive network coverage with free calling to numbers in the USA and Canada. It can be used on Android and iOS devices as well as desktop devices.
OpenPhone offers 3 monthly subscription plans starting from $17 per user per month. The standard plan includes calling as well as features like call recording, basic IVR and voicemail transcriptions. Features like group calling and call transferring are available only in upgraded plans. Businesses must also pay an additional fee for campaign messaging with assured delivery.
Nextiva is a business communication service that has been around since 2006. This service has plans for entrepreneurs and startups as well as large enterprises. There are 3 monthly subscription plans with variable pricing depending on the number of users. Monthly subscription fees range from $17.95 per user per month for 100+ subscriptions to the Essential plan to $ 37.95 per user per month for up to 4 subscriptions to the upgraded Enterprise plan.
Nextiva subscriptions are inclusive of unlimited free calling in the USA and Canada, video calling for limited participants, voicemail notifications, an auto attendant and call log reports. Features like call recording are available only in the upgraded plans.
Dialpad is a cloud-based phone service provider aimed at simplifying business communication. Subscribers can communicate through voice and video calls, SMS, MMS and conference calling from a local number in one of 50+ countries. Calls to numbers in the USA and Canada are free while calls to all other locations are billed at per-minute rates.
Dialpad offers 3 monthly subscription plans starting from $15 per user per month. The base plan includes a range of features like a multi-level auto attendant, call routing, call recording and voicemail transcriptions. Upgrades are worthwhile if you have a larger team and you’re looking at more app integrations.
8X8 is a communication platform for larger businesses. This American VoIP service provider offers easy solutions for voice and video calling and text messaging. Subscribers can enjoy free calling to a limited number of countries depending on the plan chosen and paid calls to all other destinations.
There are 2 plans to choose from priced at $28 and $57 per user per month. The plans differ in terms of the countries included for unlimited voice calling as well as the inclusion of features like a front desk, live call listening, call whispering, supervisor analytics and more.
Is Wi-Fi calling free?
Free Wi-Fi calling is available but when it comes to business communication, a paid subscription offers more reliable service and access to features that build a strong brand image.
What is the best Wi-Fi calling app?
Quicktalk is one of the best Wi-Fi calling apps. With a single, all-inclusive monthly plan, it offers unlimited calling to numbers in 30+ international destinations and several features for better call management and higher productivity.
Is Wi-Fi calling safe?
Wi-Fi calling is quite safe but it is best to ensure that the service you sign-up with takes care of cal encryption.
Can you make international calls with Wi-Fi calling?
Wi-Fi calling apps like Quicktalk can be used to make domestic and international calls.
Paul is a tech and business phone system enthusiast always open to discuss ideas. If you’re interested in collaborating on content projects or getting a product listed on our blog, don’t hesitate and reach out to us: [email protected].