I remember when my husband and I were dating he would drive to a convenience store down the road from his house and call me from a pay phone. Remember those huge phones that hung on the sides of buildings, or located in their own little building on street corners, that you would put quarters in to make a call? After he called, he would give me the number to the phone and I would call it back to save him putting in any more change. That way, we could talk for an hour for a quarter. And that, my friends, was the cheapest way to talk back then.
The next step in our long distance journey was getting an unlimited long distance package for our landline from AT&T. We did that because we moved 1,200 miles away from Grandma and we wanted to be able to call home as often as we wanted.
Now, we use an unlimited package on my husband’s cell phone. Things have come a long way in the area of communication because a person doesn’t even have to have a cell phone to “reach out and touch someone.” You can call through an Internet connection for free! If you’re looking to cut your expenses, here are some ways you can make free phone calls with your Internet connection.
Skype is a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) that can be used for voice or video (if you have a webcam). Signing up for a Skype account is easy. However, the person you wish to call must also have a Skype account in order for you to communicate with each other. We have used Skype extensively with our son who lives in Haiti and sometimes it just does a mama’s heart good to be able to see her boy’s face. But if you have a slower connection, you may wish to ditch the video and just use the voice service.
2. Google Voice
One of the most popular ways to make long distance calls via the Internet is Google. This service only works in the United States and you must have a verifiable phone number in the US to get a Google Voice phone number. You will also need a Google account and the Google Talk plug-in installed on your computer.
That said, it can be used to call from your computer to a phone, or from your computer to another computer. In addition to talking, Google Voice offers conference calling, SMS messaging, and voicemail all for free.
3. Free Phone2Phone
With this service, you can make a 10-minute call, originating from a US number, to anywhere in over 50 countries. First you dial a local number and listen to a brief advertisement. After the ad, you are prompted to dial the number you wish to call. The downside to using Free Phone2Phone is that the choice of local access numbers is limited. There is not one in my area code. However, if I wanted to use this to call internationally, I could use my cell phone and call any of the access numbers.
4. Free Call
Using their free software download (Windows, Mac, and Linux), you can make up to 300 minutes in free calls per week with this service to anywhere in the United States and a few select countries. Free Call works from your desktop or from your telephone. They also have a mobile app available.
This VoIP offers free calling anywhere in the world, with calls as long as you like, as long as you call another InPhonex member. Once registered with a valid email address, you can call PC to PC or PC to phone.
I found many more ways to make free calls using the Internet. Some limited calls to a minute or less. Some required a complicated download and log-in procedure.
What about you? If you know of any other ways to make phone calls for free, share them in the comments!