Our research shows that Google Voice is the best international call app. It scores 5/5 for security, has plenty of helpful features, offers competitive pricing, and provides both business and personal use functionality. However, there are plenty of other options that might suit your particular needs better.
International calls used to be expensive and complicated. Today, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) apps limit the number of fees you pay and simplify the arduous processes usually involved with calling internationally. Below, we've put together a table of the best international calling apps with the help of our independent research team, so that you can compare their key features quickly and find the best option for your business.
Alternatively, you can use our take our VoIP system survey to find an international calling app better tailored to your needs. It can be completed in under a minute, and all you have to do is answer a few questions about the size of your business and the VoIP tools you'll find most useful. We'd highly recommend this if you already have a VoIP system that's not fulfilling your needs – it'll help eliminate providers that don't have the features you want.
The typical lowest starting price. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
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It can be pretty difficult to determine if a specific international call app or VoIP provider will really be a good fit for your business — especially if you've already invested money in one that no longer meets your requirements, and there's a bit more pressure on getting it right second time round.
It's important to narrow down what you actually need from a VoIP system first, as there's quite a range of different functions on offer from different providers and international call apps.
Whether you're shopping for your first VoIP system or are finding that your current one is no longer meeting your needs, you can use our free quote generator to get a personalized recommendation and pricing quote now. You'll have to answer a couple of questions about your business (this will only take you around 45 seconds), but it'll save you time researching and/or trialing services that just aren't the right fit.
Top 9 Best International Call Apps
Now that you've got a basic idea of what these international calling apps offer as far as price and features, take a look at our in-depth reviews of each of these providers to make an informed decision. We'll explain price points, feature sets, and whether or not the app is better for business or personal use.
- Google Voice – best app for international calls
- WhatsApp – best for personal users
- FaceTime – best for iPhone users
- Rebtel – best for travelers
- WeChat – best for users in China and Hong Kong
- NobelApp – best for users that need money transfers
- Vonage – best for businesses
- imo – best for groups of friends
- Viber – best for users on a budget
Google Voice – The Best International Call App
We've tested every top-rated VoIP provider on the market and found that, while Google Voice isn't the best VoIP provider overall (that honor goes to RingCentral), it is the best international phone calling app by a mile — for a number of reasons.
However, Google Voice for international calls offers great integrations, competitive international rates, and dual functionality for business and personal use — making it one of the most universal international call apps on this list.
“Google Voice is my VoIP of choice,” Martin Gasparian, attorney and owner of Maison Law, told Tech.co. “We've been using it for several years now. It's easy to set up, is already set up with Gmail, and is super convenient. It uses AI to block spam calls, and it integrates with Google calendar, which is so cool.”
“Sometimes, the voicemail transcription can be a little weird” Gasparian added, “but that's really my only major complaint about it. Everything else I love about Google Voice: I don't see myself switching providers for a long time.”
As is the case with most Google products, this app is easy to use and integrates well with most, if not all of your existing platforms, particularly within the Google Workspace ecosystem. Additionally, unlike some of the apps on this list, you'll get an actual phone number to use on smartphones and computers, which is certainly easier than only app-to-app communication.
With Google Voice you'll get access to a great range of features including voicemail transcription, spam call protection, and call screening — all of which is incredibly helpful if you're looking to optimize and streamline your processes. Obviously, Google Voice is always evolving too, with a recent update adding Material You functionality, which matches the theme of the app to the background of your smartphone.
One thing we found that sets Google Voice apart from the rest is its security features — with multi-factor authentication, user permissions on all plans, and the largest number of compliance certificates of all the providers we tested, Google Voice scored top marks with 5 out of 5 in our testing for security. This is super important, especially for businesses that are concerned about cybersecurity risks. Knowing that the software you're investing in is compliant in all the areas that matter is incredibly valuable and could make a world of difference to the success of your business in the long run.
Google Voice pricing
The price of Google Voice depends on how you plan to use it. If you're just going for a personal international call app, Google Voice is great, although you will incur a few very small costs for international calls.
Rates can range anywhere from $0.01 to $2 per minute, although those higher prices are for countries that most people aren't calling, like the UK.
If you're looking for a business phone solution, on the other hand, Google Voice offers three different pricing plans: Starter, Standard, and Premier. The Starter plan is $10 per user, per month and offers Google integrations, free calling in the US and Canada, and up to 10 users. The Standard plan is $20 per user, per month and is for unlimited users, adding features like auto-attendant and desk phone support. The Premier plan is $30 per user, per month and adds analytical tools and ad-hoc user call recording to the platform.
Importantly, however, you will need a Google Workspace subscription (starting from $6 per user, per month) to use Google Voice. But of course, you'll get all the other useful applications included in Google Workspace, such as Google Docs and Google Sheets.
In comparison to other providers, Google Voice is good value for money, even with the workspace subscription. Its pricing plans are affordable — with most VoIP software plans ranging from $25-30, and come with the basics you need to make international calls, including unlimited calls and texts with all of its plans. For calls to Mexico, for example, it'll cost you 2¢ per minute for mobile, and 1¢ per minute for landlines, whereas calls to the UK will cost $0.01 – $2.50, depending on the carrier or service.
In our series of VoIP testing, it scored 4 out of 5 for pricing, based on the fact that it will fit most budgets. For a closer look at costs, you can use our free VoIP price comparison tool to find the best software to cater to your needs. All you'll need to do is answer a couple of queries about the size of your business and the tools you'd want inside your VoIP app.
Is Google Voice better for business or personal use?
When we compared Google Voice with other VoIP providers, it was clear that Google Voice wasn't the best VoIP service for businesses overall. While it is relatively affordable, provides the most secure VoIP software according to our research, and offers good functionality for both business and personal use, it lacks the advanced features and collaborative tools (such as toll-free numbers and built-in team messaging) needed to be truly beneficial to high volume international callers and businesses. Because of that, we'd say it's better for personal use.
However, every business is different, and the size of your company matters. So, if you are looking for the best VoIP provider for your individual needs, you'd benefit from using our taking our free 45-second survey which will provide you with a quote tailored to your business's requirements.
Although WhatsApp is completely free and perfectly serviceable for making international calls, Google Voice is a much better fit if you'd like an app that's suitable for both business and personal use.
As one of the most popular global mobile messaging apps, WhatsApp also offers some convenient international calling features that can make life a lot easier. By simply connecting with other WhatsApp users, you can start a call in an instant without incurring a single fee.
The limitation, however, is that you can only internationally call other WhatsApp users. Granted, that can be pretty convenient in some countries, as the app boasts nearly 2 billion users worldwide. Still, with limited usage in the US, you can run into some roadblocks for easy international calling.
WhatsApp also just crossed a serious threshold of 200 million active monthly users, and celebrated by launching new business features, including click-to-WhatsApp ads and coupon codes within buy links.
WhatsApp is absolutely, 100% free of charge at all times. Yes, it does use data when you're not connected to Wi-Fi, so it could incur charges from your service provider, but as far as pricing plans go for WhatsApp, there are none.
Is WhatsApp better for business or personal use?
The great thing about WhatsApp is that it's constantly updating its offering. When we first collated this list, WhatsApp was best for personal use as it didn't have any business options available. Since launching WhatsApp for business it can now cater to a new clientele, allowing companies to communicate and respond with customers in real-time, provided they download the free WhatsApp for business App. We'd still recommend using WhatsApp for personal use though, given that the service is only available for Android users. However, given the ever-evolving nature of WhatsApp for Business, it may still be worth giving it a go.
I use Whatsapp regularly to stay in touch with family and friends.
Image: Conor Cawley, Tech.co
If you have an iPhone, you've used FaceTime before. This video chat app also comes with calling functionality, so you can use it as a phone to contact people overseas. If you're an Apple user, you'll be able to call from any iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer.
FaceTime is naturally updated on a regular basis, adding new features to go along with new iOS launches over time. As of writing, the iOS15 is the most recent option, although a wide range of minor updates have occurred since its 2021 launch, including additional SharePlay functionality in iOS 15.4 in March 2022.
Much like WhatsApp, FaceTime offers easy international calling at absolutely no cost, but it does come with the caveat of having to only call other Apple users. Particularly outside of the US, iPhones aren't nearly as universally popular — especially in Asia, where Android market share is approximately 83% — so this could create some obstacles in the long run. However, there are 728 million iPhone users out there, so it's certainly worth a try.
Again, much like WhatsApp, FaceTime is absolutely free no matter what. You may incur data charges if you use it without Wi-Fi, but you will never have to pay for the app or the specific calls you make internationally.
Is FaceTime better for business or personal use?
FaceTime is certainly aimed at more personal than business-use scenarios. Even with the built-in video capabilities, you wouldn't want to rely on the app to stay in touch with your team. For personal use though, FaceTime is a great option for free international calling, as long as you're talking to iPhone users.
Call reliability and quality are huge when it comes to international calling, and that's where Rebtel really shines. This app works through landlines rather than Wi-Fi, so you get crystal clear audio no matter where you are.
Outside the obvious benefits of call quality, Rebtel offers a traditional phone service app that works great and isn't difficult to figure out. Plus with its unique Red Box feature, you'll be able to get a unique, catered experience based on your specific usage.
Rebtel is a bit more traditional when it comes to international calling. It offers a $10 per month unlimited plan, which allows for unlimited calling to 50 countries, mobile or landline. Additionally, Rebtel offers very competitive international by-the-minute rates for countries all around the world with calls to India from as low as 2.39¢ per minute, and calls to both the UK and Mexico from 2¢ per minute.
Is Rebtel better for business or personal use?
This kind of depends on how you run your personal life and your business life. If you're an avid traveler in your free time, Rebtel would make for a perfect lifeline to stay in touch with loved ones on the road. Additionally, if you travel a lot for business, Rebtel would be incredibly convenient for attending meetings without Wi-Fi or cellular coverage. Otherwise, if you don't need the added connectivity and quality around the world, you could probably opt for something a bit less costly. You can use our free comparison tool to find the best VoIP system within your budget.
What's New for Rebtel?
August 2023: Rebtel now supports unlimited calling for a total of 50 countries, having dropped support for Israel since our previous update.
The Rebtel settings page in the app
Image: Conor Cawley, Tech.co
While its user base is a bit selective, only offering international calling for users in the US, Italy, Thailand, Laos, Australia, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong (the platform is now banned in India), WeChat represents a very popular option for messaging and calling, making it a great option for international calling as well, if you're in one of those places.
Dubbed WeChat Out, this app works very similarly to the recently-discontinued Skype app, allowing users to call actual phone numbers and landlines through the app. The Chinese-based app is probably best suited to those in China or Hong Kong, as its more than one billion users are primarily based there, but it's still an easy to use option for anyone.
WeChat international calling is free to anyone, as long as you're contacting another WeChat user. If you're hoping to call a landline, you are going to incur some costs, which unfortunately, WeChat is a bit vague about. The company says that a dollar will buy you approximately 100 minutes of call time.
Is WeChat better for business or personal use?
When it comes to WeChat, your best bet is to stick with personal use. Unless your business is based in China and primarily interacts with other Chinese businesses, it's unlikely you'll have enough people familiar with the app to get a business account going. If you are interested in VoIP for business though, you can use our free VoIP comparison tool to find the best software for your needs.
NobelApp is a great international calling app that offers some seriously low rates and the ability to call anyone from anywhere. It's not free, but the simple credit system allows you to make international calls easily without incurring too many fees.
That's not all though. NobelApp is filled with a whole bunch of extra features that are great for the average user. For one, you can transfer money anywhere in the world with ease. Additionally, NobelApp even has a small newsfeed, so you can stay up to date on what's happening in the world in between calls.
NobelApp doesn't offer any specific plans or business-focused prices. Instead, all calls are charged based on specific international rates, and paid for via credits through the app. For example, calls to India will cost 1.35¢ per minute, calls to United Kingdom 1¢ per minute and calls to Mexico will cost 1.4¢ per minute.
Is NobelApp better for business or personal use?
NobelApp is almost certainly better for personal use. For one, there are no pricing plans for businesses to get a coherent phone system up and running. Additionally, the money transfer feature is convenient for everyday people, but could certainly muddy the waters of a business environment if used incorrectly.
NobelApp call log interface in the app
Vonage is a name that needs no introduction. It's incredibly well known in the phone business, and even if you're yet to try it, you probably already know that its international calling options will more than suffice. Admittedly, the Vonage set up was a little more complicated than we expected when we did our testing, but I'll do my best to explain how it works.
To put it as simply as possible, Vonage requires you to sign up for the home phone or business service to make international calls, which has a variety of international pricing options. If you want to make international calls on your smartphone, you'll have to then download the Vonage Extensions app, which will give you control over your home or business phone service on your device. After this, it's just a matter of how many minutes you have, or whether or not you signed up for the unlimited plan. See? Not too complicated!
Vonage is committed to security as well, recently announcing in July 2023 that the Protection Suite would offer end-to-end encryption on business communications.
In comparison to other VoIP providers like Nextiva or Google Voice, Vonage features knocks it out of the park — providing everything you need to handle large levels of inbound calls including call queue, spam shield, company-wide call recording, on-demand call recording, toll-free numbers, virtual mailboxes, visual voicemail, group paging and more, in the packages it offers. When we put it head to head with other VoIP providers our researchers found it to be one of the best, scoring a total of 4.4 out of 5 in our VoIP features category.
Vonage offers two consumer pricing plans for international calling: North America and World. The North America plan covers the US, Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and will cost you $9.99 per month for unlimited calling.
The World Prime plan, on the other hand, will cost you $14.99 per month for unlimited calling to U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and to over 60 other countries.
However, Vonage also has plans geared towards businesses. The Mobile plan is available from $19.99 per line, per month (includes mobile and desktop apps, unlimited calls and SMS, and unlimited team messaging).
The Premium plan is available for $29.99 per line, per month (includes all mobile plan features, plus unlimited meetings for up to 100 participants, multi-level auto attendance, CRM integration, and IP desk phone capabilities), and the Advanced plan is available from $39.99 per month (including everything in the Premium plan, call recording on-demand, visual voicemail and more).
Prices for international calls aren't bad though, with calls to Mexico setting you back just 2¢ per minute for mobile and 1¢ per minute for landline, and UK calls costing 2¢ per minute for both mobile and landlines.
Is Vonage better for business or personal use?
Whether Vonage is better for business or personal use will depend entirely on your needs. It's a great VoIP system for retail and customer service businesses, due to its strong training features, but for those with less that 50 employees, you may be better off finding a VoIP alternative.
If Vonage is a match for your business needs, you should opt for the Advanced plan. In our testing, we found Vonage to be great for scalability and customer service in businesses of 50-250 people who could afford its Advanced package, while its premium package was notably expensive in comparison to other VoIP providers, and didn't offer the same level of security features and external connections.
Overall, we scored Vonage 4.3 out of 5 for businesses. It should go without saying that the home phone plan is better for personal use.
As you can probably tell, imo is one of those lesser-known video chat apps that offers an effective means of calling internationally. The fun, simple interface allows for a wide range of stickers and other fun additions to messaging, along with the simple international calling functionality on any device to anyone in the world.
You may have also guessed that imo suffers the same drawback as WhatsApp and FaceTime in that you can only use the app to call other imo users. Subsequently, you're going to have trouble reaching landlines or other mobile devices without the free app installed.
No worries on pricing here! imo is fortunately completely free no matter how you use it, so you can enjoy international calls at absolutely no cost, as long as you're calling another imo user. However, it does show ads within the app – so there's the catch.
Is imo better for business or personal use?
This one is easy, imo is clearly better suited for personal use. Yes, it allows for cheap international calling and offers great, high-quality video calls built right in, but it's missing some of the more important features of a business service, and there's no price plan to fix that.
If you're looking for a dual threat when it comes to international calling, Viber offers two distinct ways to contact people around the world. First, it allows for the standard practice of calling landlines and mobile devices in many countries for an affordable rate depending on the country. This service is called Viber Out, and does not require cellular data or Wi-Fi to work.
Additionally, Viber offers a similar service as FaceTime and WhatsApp, in that you can call anyone internationally for free, as long as they are also using the Viber app. Granted, it's not as popular as WhatsApp or FaceTime, but it's free to download, which could make for an easy and affordable alternative.
Viber offers affordable international rates for a wide range of countries, although at first glance, they do look a bit more expensive than your average platform. For example, calls to India will cost you 1.5 ¢ per minute and calls to Mexico will be 1.2 ¢ per minute, where calls to Nigeria will knock you back 7.7 ¢ per minute. Still, with international calling available for app users, you can get around those costs if you think it's too much.
Is Viber better for business or personal use?
Viber's international calling app is probably best suited for personal use. Given the more expensive rates for international calling and the fact that most of your clients probably don't have the Viber app, it's safe to say it's not ideal to run a business on it. However, if you're trying to make personal calls, it's safe to say it would be much easier to get them to download the app to avoid the cost. Still, you can always use our free VoIP comparison tool to find something a system that's more tailored to your needs.
Even better, Viber updates like the best of them, adding new messaging features in April 2023, including improved message visibility for advanced analytics and quick replies to save your team time.
What's New with Viber?
August 2023: Calls to Mexico are now 1.2 ¢ per minute, down from 1.5 ¢ per minute.
The Viber home page after signing up
Image: Conor Cawley, Tech.co
International Calling Apps Pricing
When it comes to the price of calling internationally, people can get pretty confused. From unlimited plans to per-minute rates, the industry is filled with a wide range of approaches that may not be immediately obvious to the average user.
Fortunately, we're here to help. Below, we're going to explain how you might need to pay for calling internationally, and whether or not your personal use or business needs are met by a particular provider.
In most cases, a phone system or app will offer per-minute rates when it comes to international calling. These rates can range anywhere from $0.01 to $2 depending on which country you're calling. For example, calling from the US to the UK on these plans is often free or extremely inexpensive. However, if you're trying to make calls to Antarctica, you could end up paying a lot per minute.
If you don't want to worry about paying by the minute, we wouldn't blame you. Fortunately, a lot of these services offer a variety of monthly plans that allow you to enjoy unlimited access to international calling. These plans often come with country restrictions, and you'll have to pay more to have access to unlimited calling in more counties.
While this doesn't apply to all the apps on this list, some of them offer specific business plans that are designed to act as your company's telephone system. Rather than investing in physical phone systems, you can get something like Google Voice for Business or Vonage to turn everyone's smartphones into a connected communications hub. This costs a bit extra, but the overall savings could be a huge benefit for your business.
Alternatively, you might be downsizing (the tech industry certainly has been dealing with layoffs across 2023), in which case a switch from an existing VoIP provider to a smaller, more simple international calling service might make sense.
Benefits of VoIP Phone System
Now that you know what kind of VoIP providers offer international calling apps and what they might cost your business, it's time to get a clear picture of how these services can actually help. Here are some of the benefits of VoIP phone systems over traditional landlines.
- Save money – Landline infrastructure is expensive, but VoIP can use existing technology like smartphones to enable communication.
- Add flexibility – VoIP systems work with computers, smartphones, and traditional handsets, so you can stay in touch on the go.
- More features – VoIP phone systems offer more features, like the ability to forward, block, or re-route calls. You can even send instant messages.
- Improve analytics – VoIP systems have better analytics, so you can better understand how your team communicates in the long term.
For a better understanding of how VoIP software can benefit your business, check out our in-depth explainer video below:
At Tech.co, we have an insights team that spends its time conducting market research, creating research frameworks, and road-testing all of the software, services, and products that we write about.
Recently, the team spent a number of weeks researching the business telephones market and putting the best VoIP software solutions money can buy through their paces. During testing, they focused on key areas that matter to Tech.co's audience, such as value for money, integrations, security, and scalability.
We do have commercial partnerships with some of the providers we write about, but we exclusively use our independently-conducted research to rank and review them.
Verdict: What is the best international calling app?
However, all the apps on this list have their own perks and may be a better fit for your particular needs. For example, FaceTime is a no-brainer when making personal international calls between iPhone users, and Vonage would be our top pick for established businesses.
If you're still unsure and want to keep exploring international calling options and prices, you can always try out our free comparison tool to get a custom quote catered to you and/or your business.
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