The 5 Best International VOIP Services
The affordability of VoIP service makes it a popular choice for those who make a lot of international calls. Whether it’s friends or family living abroad or a business associate overseas, it’s important to have a way to stay connected without breaking the bank. The right international VoIP service for you will largely depend on the countries you need to call and how many minutes you think you’ll use. All companies let you call all over the world for a small, per-minute rate, but that can get expensive if you spend a lot of time on the phone. In this case, it’s better to invest in an international calling plan. The countries included in the plan vary by VoIP provider, so visit their website and check out the full list. The five companies listed below offer a variety of international calling packages that suit all types of customers, so start your search with one of these top VoIP services.
BroadVoice offers three unlimited international calling plans to choose from. The most affordable plan includes calling to landlines in 28 countries and mobile phones in seven countries. For a few dollars more, the World Plus plan lets you call 75 countries and 26 mobile areas. The World Premium plan is considerably more expensive than the other two, but it enables you to call 87 countries, the most any international VoIP plan offers. Using the company’s mobile apps, you’re also able to dial internationally when you’re away from home, which comes in handy for individuals or employees who do a lot of traveling. These international plans also include unlimited calling inside the U.S. There’s also the option to pay a small, per-minute fee if you only need to make the occasional international call. Another alternative for those who need fewer minutes is to go with one of BroadVoice’s USA/Canada plans, which include 60 free minutes of international calling to countries all over the world.
Skype makes a spot on this list because their international calling plans are easily the most flexible in the industry. Rather than purchasing a calling plan that includes dozens of countries for a flat monthly fee, Skype enables you to purchase a plan for a specific country at a significantly lower rate. For example, rather than paying $25 per month for an international plan, Skype offers several plans specifically for, say, China, with some costing less than $2 per month. You’re also able to select how many minutes you think you’ll need rather than paying extra for an unlimited plan. For businesses or individuals who frequently call international lines, choosing a regional plan or Skype’s Unlimited World plan is smarter. On the other hand, if you rarely make international calls, it’s probably best to purchase Skype Credit instead. This way, you only pay for as many minutes as you need for the call. And, of course, calls to Skype customers in other countries are always free.
Vonage’s international calling plans are a little more expensive than those found with some of the other companies on this list. However, they come with free activation and a nice introductory fee for those who commit to a one-year term. The most basic international plan, Vonage World, includes unlimited calling to landlines in 60 countries and cell phones in 10 countries. Upgrading to the World Plus plan earns you an additional 250 minutes for calling landlines in more than 40 countries. Vonage also offers a specialized plan for just Mexico and another for the Philippines. If you have friends, relatives, or business associates who live in one of these countries, going with one of these specialty plans may be a more cost-effective solution. Vonage also gives you the relatively unique option of purchasing a Global Phone card, which is similar to the Pay As You Go plans offered by Skype. You purchase only as many minutes as you need and you can even set up your account to auto-refill when it’s low. The best part about these calling cards is you don’t even have to be a Vonage customer to take advantage of them.
Ooma gives you two choices for international calling. The first is to pay a small fee, usually a couple cents, each minute of your call. This is the smart way to go if you call internationally only on occasion. More frequent international callers should invest in the World Plan. It includes unlimited calling to 61 different countries for $18 per month. You can also call mobile phones in 12 different countries, including Canada, India, and China. Ooma employs HD Voice technology, so you can be sure the sound quality will be crystal clear wherever you’re calling. One thing you should note about Ooma’s plan, though, is that the upfront costs are rather high because you need to purchase the VoIP adapter instead of renting it. This is a one-time fee, but it’s important to factor this in when considering your budget for VoIP service.
Comcast gives their customers plenty of options with six different international calling plans to choose from. The World plan offers 300 minutes for calling over 80 countries around the world. Few other companies enable you to call as many countries, so if you’re not finding the one you need with other global calling plans, Comcast is a good company to turn to. If you find yourself calling a specific area of the globe frequently, consider one of their regional plans. Choose from their Latin America, Western Europe, Asia, and Mexico packages. Comcast XFINITY® Voice doesn’t offer any unlimited international calling packages, however, so you’ll probably find a more cost-effective solution elsewhere if you make a lot of calls to other countries. That being said, Comcast’s plans, which generally offer between 100 and 300 minutes per month, should be enough to suit most people.