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International Student
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Compare VOIP Providers

There are dozens of VOIP service providers that use different infrastructures to allow for Internet-based calling. To assist you in finding the right provider to meet your needs, our VOIP provider guide compares the features and requirements of the some of the most popular VOIP providers for international communication.

VOIP Softphone Provider Comparison

Skype Google Hangouts / Voice VoxOx Viber NimBuzz
Options and Features
International Calling Subscription Premium account N/A N/A N/A Some subscriptions to select destintions available.
Internaitonal Calling PAYGO View Rates View Rates View Rates View Rates View Rates
Local Number? Cost Varies by Location US Customers only US Numbers only Requires existing local number
Call Forwarding? Rates Apply US Customers only
Voicemail? US Customers only
SMS? Sending Rates Apply; Unable to receive Android only Send Internationally; Receive only to US/Canada

Pros and Cons of Each International Softphone Service

Service Pros? Cons?
  • Subscription options to many countries.
  • Large user-base.
  • Rates have gone up recently.
  • Privacy concerns
  • In-app Advertisements
Google Hangouts / Voice
  • Free calls to US and Canadian landlines AND mobile numbers for those in US and Canada.
  • Confusing interface between Hangouts and Voice.
  • Restricted almost entirely to US customers.
  • Must use Chrome browser.
  • Integrates with other chat services
  • Requires a US mobile number to take advantage of most features.
  • Not US-based
  • No registration or account needed
  • No subscriptions available
  • Integrates with other popular chat services like Messenger, Facebook, and Google.
  • Low on features
  • Unavailable from many countries.

These are just a small sampling of the VOIP softphone options out there. Perhaps there is a popular one based in your home country that most of your friends are already using that you can continue to use for free when you go abroad.

Learn more about VOIP Softphones »

Mobile Provider Comparison

WhatsApp RebTel Millitalk VoiStunt
Windows Phone
Options and Features
International Calling No; Just a messaging app that mimics SMS
Can send Voice Messages
Subscriptions for select countries. PAYGO Rates. In-app minute packages PAYGO Rates. The more you top-up your balance, the more "free days" you earn, in which you can call internationally for free.
Local Number?
However,you can use access numbers wherever you are to get local rates.

Pros and Cons of Each International Mobile Service

Service Pros? Cons?
  • Free SMSs if you prefer to communicate via text.
  • Large user-base
  • No calling ability
  • Privacy concerns
  • Costs $0.99 to download
  • Allows you to use your local minutes instead of WiFi or 3G to make international calls.
  • Doesn’t support video calling.
  • Unlimited calls to the US and Canada
  • Only available on iOS
  • Free calls to countries like Germany, Argentina, and Malaysia.
  • Doesn’t support video calling.

Learn more about Mobile App VOIPs »

Compare International Device-based VOIP Providers

MagicJack Ooma
Equipment Required? MagicJack adapter and modem when wired internet is available; MagicJack USB stick when only WiFi is available Telephone, modem, and Ooma adapter
International Calling? Only PAYGO rates PAYGO rates;
Unlimited calls to 61 countries $17.99/month;
1000 minutes to 61 countries $9.99/month
Local Number? Only American and Canadian numbers available Only American Numbers available; Choose your own number
Call Forwarding?

Pros and Cons of Each Device-based VOIP Service

Service Pros? Cons?
  • Equipment is smaller and more portable than the others
  • No all-inclusive international calling plan
  • HD quality sound
  • No recurring fees for calls to the US
  • Extremely high initial cost for the Ooma box

Learn more about Device-based VOIPs »

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