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International calls can be extremely expensive, but what if you could just get an American number for free and call from it over Wi-Fi or data? That’s what these apps do, and the result is much cheaper (or even free!) calling to the US from anywhere in the world.

Each of these apps assigns you an American number that you can use to call or text any other American number, and it will behave like you are in the US. They only use your Wi-Fi or data, not your actual cell minutes or SMS text messages. You can even use these to call from a tablet How to Call Phones from Your Android Tablet How to Call Phones from Your Android Tablet If you want to make calls from your Android tablet, these apps can help you out. Read More .

Let’s take a look at your best options for calling to the US without paying international rates.

Talkatone

talkatone1

Talkatone has been around for a while and is one of the most well-known options on this list. It’s gone through a lot of changes over the years, but now it offers unlimited free calls and texts to any numbers within the US and Canada. You can buy credits to make international calls, and those rates vary.

It’s packed full of features as well as banner ads, but the ads can be removed with a one-time in-app purchase Why You'll Never Stop Seeing Ads & IAPs in Mobile Apps Why You'll Never Stop Seeing Ads & IAPs in Mobile Apps Advertisements and in-app purchases in mobile apps and games can be really annoying. Unfortunately, they won't be going away any time soon. Here's why. Read More of $9.99. It has features like setting a custom voicemail greeting, setting a passcode so no one else can access the app, and blocking certain numbers.

Talkatone handles the basics with ease, and the one-time price to remove ads is lower when compared to some of the subscription models in this list. It’s interface is basic, modern, and a breeze to navigate. This app is a good place to start if you want to try calling to the US or Canada for free and aren’t really sure what options are available.

Download: Talkatone (Free)

TextNow

textnow1

TextNow also offers free calls and texts to the US and Canada, but with a slightly different design and much more customization. This app has a menu that slides in from the left side, and you can change the theme’s colors to your heart’s content.

It even lets you sync your texts with your computer (just like iPhone users do with their Macs What Does Continuity Mean for Yosemite & iOS 8? What Does Continuity Mean for Yosemite & iOS 8? OS X 10.10, better know as Yosemite, is a major Mac update that offers numerous features never seen before in an operating system. One of the most important is Continuity. Read More , or other Android users do with MightyText 10 Amazing Apps That Will Change How You Use Android 10 Amazing Apps That Will Change How You Use Android You might use an Android device daily, but if you're not using these apps, you're not getting the most out of it. Read More  or even AirDroid How Do I Manage My Android From My PC? Meet AirDroid 3 How Do I Manage My Android From My PC? Meet AirDroid 3 For a seamless connection between your Android and your PC or Mac, you've got to try AirDroid 3. You can even mirror your device's screen to your computer! Read More ), which is a huge bonus when compared to the other apps on this list.

However, TextNow is a little pricey. To remove ads, “lock-in” your number, and have access to call forwarding, you’ll have to pony up $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. The number “lock-in” part is odd since you’re given a free number, but TextNow’s website says that if you’re not paying for premium, that number could be recycled after a few days of inactivity.

Download: TextNow (Free)

FreeTone/TextMe Up/Text Me

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Alright, this might sound a little weird, but stick with me. FreeTone, TextMe Up, and Text Me are all the same app — just with different color schemes.

Seriously. If you download FreeTone from the Play Store, sign in, and make an account, you’re given a number. If you then download TextMe Up, you’ll automatically be signed in with the same number. And they’re identical aside from the color scheme. FreeTone is a seafoam greenish-blue, TextMe Up is light blue, and Text Me is nearly royal blue.

They’re all made by the same company, TextMe, and I could not tell you why they chose to make three separate apps. But, whichever app you end up downloading, they all work pretty nice. Ads are more integrated than the easily-ignorable banner ads (see the sponsored Uber ad above), which is sneaky and feels like the ads are too mixed in with the content. It costs $1.99 a month to remove those ads.

Calls and texts to the US and Canada are still free here, but you can purchase credits to call internationally (or earn credits by watching sponsored videos). There’s also a web messenger that you can log into on any device using the built-in QR code scanner.

Download: FreeTone (Free)

Download: TextMe Up (Free)

Download: Text Me (Free)

TextPlus

textplus1

Unfortunately, we’ve left the land of free calls to the US and Canada. TextPlus offers free texts, but not free calls. Calls within the US seem to be about 2 cents a minute, and you can watch videos to get free credits if necessary. It costs $20 a year to get unlimited US and Canada calling, and you can remove ads for $1 a month.

The interface is very green and separated into five tabs, and the first tab is basically just ads and “text messagings facts”. The other four are your texts, calls, contacts, and settings. In the settings, you can easily change your number out for a new one in any area code in the US.

Without free calls to the US and Canada, I can’t see a whole lot of reasons to choose TextPlus over any of the previous options, unless maybe they have cheaper calling rates to a particular country.

Download: TextPlus (Free)

Dingtone

dingtone1

Dingtone’s interface is definitely not as aesthetically pleasing as the other apps on this list. It looks like it was designed a few years ago and never updated. While it doesn’t offer free calls to the US and Canada, it does offer some unique features like Callback, where Dingtone rings you and the other person and then connects you (preventing fees from one of you calling the other).

You can also set up voicemail, call forwarding, call blocking, and earn free credits by watching videos. Unfortunately its prices are obscured by the fact that it doesn’t charge by cents per minute, but by credits per minute, which can make it really easy to overspend.

While the other apps only give you access to US numbers, though, Dingtone can actually get you a number in the US, UK, Canada, or Belgium, which might appeal to some folks.

Download: Dingtone (Free)

Which Is Your Favorite?

I think Talkatone is the winner here, since it offers free calls to the US and Canada without any subscription fee. However, if you’re willing to pay monthly, the customization options in TextNow are solid.

We also tested a couple others, including FreedomPop and GrooVe IP, but the former required a credit card for sign up while the latter just kept popping up error messages and wouldn’t work.

Which of these apps is your favorite for calling to the US? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments!

Originally written by Riley J. Dennis on July 8th, 2014.

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  1. Stefania
    June 16, 2017 at 5:06 am

    The problem here is that anyone of the described tools/apps, from what I see, provide VoIP phone services and not "real" landline numbers.
    This means that from services as "Microsft Rewards" as many others including some Google ones, they text you code or call you only if you provide a "real" (or better) "landline" and not "VoIP" number.
    If someone knows a service, able to provide a landline number to a non-US citizen and for a reasonable fee, please leave a reply.

    Thank you

    • Dude sweet
      July 3, 2017 at 1:27 am

      I would like to know that too. Thanks for posting this.

    • Nancy
      August 3, 2017 at 9:49 am

      I recommend WhatsCall? they released free US phone number and can be used to sign up and receive code.

  2. judy
    November 29, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    The only app I have used that gives u a real US or Canadian number and to which u call and real US or Canada number is Text Now, the only problem is that it only works with iOS devices.

  3. Ninh Ghoster
    November 26, 2016 at 6:35 am

    I need the same app on iOS

  4. Nick
    November 1, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Does anyone know of an app (service) that gets accepted when trying to register a Google voice number from outside the US. Google requires a "real" number to register...

  5. riyas
    August 6, 2016 at 6:42 am

    you can add Grove ip in this list.

    Regards,
    Riyas.

  6. ELIHU ROBERT TORRES
    July 8, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I have living in Mexico for over a year and I have no problems with VOIP from FreedomPop clear voice quality and is free 200 minutes USA AND CANADA AND ISLANDS plus 100 minutes international calls to Mexico all for free... I m so happy coze to communicate in Mexico is so expensive!

  7. Kathy
    June 27, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    I was using magicApp fine for about a year until the weekend June 26th, 2016 when I attempted to make a call. It said my subscription expired,and asked to log into my account which I did. Then a message comes it did not recognize my account, after many attempts useless attempts I got in and it asked me to purchase. I unis talked on my android and reinstalled but still not getting my app to open.

  8. dashin
    May 27, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I use Talkatone so my parents could make local calls to me using landlines;
    I use MagicApp to call their landlines.

    Unfortunately, the solution above worked find until this month(5/2016),

    where Talkatone keeps telling me my password is wrong when I have followed their instructions to change my password like 10 times;
    and MagicApp repeatedly told me my "trial period" has expired.

    • hgjh
      June 6, 2016 at 10:21 am

      Have you found another good app

  9. Haaraya
    February 22, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    I'm so surprised here no one has mentioned Textme. I have used it for over a year. It's amazing. You can choose your number. You can send text, make and receive calls all over for literally free. Of course there are apps. You can get credits by completing tasks or you can buy. You can remove the notification after a while I dint even bother cos I use it quite often.
    The interface is okay too. I would like to know if someone else has tried it cos I have nothing negative to say about this service.

  10. Jacob
    February 2, 2016 at 3:39 am

    Ok, i will post one by one as I notice a FAIL.

    In this instance, you canNOT return the call of the magic number. I tried several times. It's a no go.

    Never mind, NONE of these recommendations that work are FREE!!!

  11. Conny
    January 17, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    My display doesn't show voicemail! Could it be that it is deleted from the free app recently?

  12. Mike Lakewood
    December 3, 2015 at 3:06 am

    Groove IP & Groove IPLite, simply the best!

    • Jacob
      February 2, 2016 at 3:49 am

      no new account creation...it's blocked.

  13. Anonymous
    May 3, 2015 at 1:32 am

    Magicapp does let you select an area code for your "permanent" US phone number with the paid premium upgrade of approx $15/year. Phone & texting work fine with ipad2 on ios8. Another good VoIP & text for Canadian use is Fongo. You are assigned a real Canadian phone number in the area code of your choice. They offer US texting as a paid upgrade. Most phonecalls to major cities/areas both US & Canadian are free. Some have a $0.04 connection fee, with a nominal call charge based on connection time. Certainly a very cheap alternative to the Canadian mobile service providers.

  14. madan kc
    March 21, 2015 at 10:24 am

    install freetone it's like a talkatone but sound is better than talkatone

  15. Anonymous
    February 15, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Try dingtone....it's great ..

  16. yul
    July 10, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Try textplus

  17. TimKerr
    July 9, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Talkatone tells me that it doesn't work in my area, the UK. It is also clear you need to buy credits after a short time free

    • Anonymous
      October 17, 2015 at 3:37 am

      Dingtone provide UK numbers, they also provide phone numbers of US and Canada. Dingtone phone numbers may need credits, but they also provide many ways to earn free credits. In that way, you may got free phone numbers as a second line for you phone, or you could change your ipod, ipad, tablet to a phone: make free calls to landline and mobile, receive calls. It also support free texts.

  18. Gado
    July 8, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    Can't remove the app notification? Sure you can. You can disable notifications for every app you want directly from settings - > apps - > app name - > unmark disable notifications

  19. beachboy
    July 8, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Talkatone doesn't work here in Brazil. It says the service is not available.

  20. Shawn Rosvolsd
    July 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    My Republic Wireless ($25 month, unlimited data, long distance, texts, no contract) phone works from anywhere in the world to call US numbers for free as long you're connected by wifi. People can call you, but again you must be connected by wifi, and again, it's free for you. The caller would have to pay whatever it usually costs them to call you.

    • Justin D
      July 12, 2014 at 11:35 pm

      wow, Republic Wireless sounds pretty awesome! hopefully we hear more from them in the future.

  21. Miro Costa
    July 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I live in Portugal and my sister lives in the USA. I can make free calls to landline and mobile numbers in the States.
    I'm using Mobile Voip for Android. I bought credits (10$) at freevoipdeal.com
    They have super low rates for a great number of countries.
    All calls to the USA are free. The same goes to China.

  22. Don Gateley
    July 8, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I have a friend who lives in China and I'd like a free phone channel between us. Is there anything that works between the U.S. and China?

    • Justin D
      July 12, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      your friend could try one of these apps, but since it is just one friend, you're probably better off just downloading the same app and talking over data -- like Skype or Tango or something.

    • ali
      May 13, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      can you tell me more apps name

  23. RS
    July 8, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    GrooveIP for android is the best I've used on android so far. You are given a ring.to number where you can make/receive calls. I haven't found a similar app for ios though.

    Another option is to use zoiper app to receive calls. You can get a number, say from callcentric. And configure zoiper with your callcentric account. Then use MagicApp/Talkatone/Mo+/Google voice to make calls.

    • Justin D
      July 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      thanks for the recommendations!

  24. Suleiman O
    July 8, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I just checked Talkatone and it is only available for US residents...why not da good old Canadians? hm..

  25. Suleiman O
    July 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    @michel I am in Canada too, please explain more. How did you get data plan only on your phone. I always want to have that but they keep telling me no no no. I use Windmobile, who is your provider?

    I use Magic Jack app when my phone stop working ( i use prepaid plan). The only problem is you have to be in wifi zone to use it and you will experience static calls if your wifi signal weakens. If @michel shows me how to make my call app works with phone data, I will kiss goodbye to those fat belly, pathetic and greedy phone companies for life.

    I have a high end smart phone but i did not .....i repeat....i did not buy it to make phone calls. This might sound weired but it is true. I take cool pix and video with it, I surf the net like a pro on it, watch my tv shows on it on the go, it is my GPS, and i play GTA San Andreas, Fifa14 and Nintendo Super Mario 64 on it......you read that right.

    You may use these apps to make long distance calls but I want to use them locally. I would rather spend my money on data and be able to use my phone than give it away to those ugly phone companies.

    If you have ditched conventional cell phone talk +data planes and just got data and you were able to use your apps to make calls like @michel, lets talk here ....if Justin permits that is :)

    There is an app also called Viber. You can call people world wide on their cell phones as long as you and them have data plans. I don't know if you can call land lines. I used it briefly and it was not that bad.

    • michel
      July 9, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Virgin Mobile: http://goo.gl/be9bfX I confess I haven't done this - others have, I simply use only wifi. I just don't use the phone much, so it's not worth paying for. Wind probably just doesn't want to do this, but other providers will - including Rogers, I think.

  26. Rudi Pittman
    July 8, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    How well did you test these before recommending them because last I recall talkatone only gives you 10-30 minutes a month of outgoing calls to actual phone numbers. Calls between talkatone users are free.

  27. michel
    July 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    For users in Canada, or who want to call to Canada, Fongo. You get a phone number in the area code of your choice, you can choose among available numbers, all regular phone features (except texting, which is a small extra charge), Canada-wide calling and the ability to choose different "faces". Available on ios, android, blackberry, etc. Free. Works on wifi or data (so you can get a minimal data only plan and otherwise use wifi). It's my only phone. My monthly bill is zero.

    • Justin D
      July 12, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      thanks for sharing! that sounds super useful!

  28. D
    July 8, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Just returned from Europe and used Magic Jack app on my IPhone in the UK, Spain, and Portugal...very undependable with lots of static and dead air, despite having excellent wifi...appreciate your review and will try Talkatone next...