These days we live in a world where communication is constant and easy. We have become spoiled by the ubiquity of the internet and texting and expect to be able to talk to the people we love for free wherever we are in the world. That’s why so many people are searching for ways to talk to Europe for free or to phone Europe free from the US – when our friends and family head to Europe for their holidays and business trips we expect to be able to talk to them still and don’t want to pay the high charges that our mobile service providers expect from us.
But is it possible to talk to Europe for free? Have we come to the point where technology genuinely allows us to talk to anyone from anywhere in the world? Or is that one step too far?
The good news is that yes, you can call Europe for free from the US and they can call you; the only problem is choosing which of the myriad methods is best for you. Read on to see some of the ways you can make free calls to Europe and choose the one that best suits you.
How it Works
The reason there are so many ways to call Europe for free, is that it’s now so easy to find WiFi connections. Using WiFi you can call friends and family over an internet connection rather than having to use your mobile network and this will then immediately allow you to call smartphones and computers using a range of software.
The best programs and apps for this are as follows…
Vonage: Vonage is an app that can be installed on most Android and iOS phones and allows you to call anyone else with the same app for free. This works by looking at your address book and requires a phone number (much like WhatsApp), which means that you can’t call someone on a computer. For smartphone users though this is a convenient method which allows you to receive calls without agreeing a meeting time just as you would using a normal phone (it will even work over 3G and 4G – though the quality will be considerably worse). On the downside however, it also has a lot of lag and a rather tinny quality to it which means you might not have quite the same natural flow of conversation that you’d be used to.
Line: Line is a similar idea to Vonage, allowing you to call people wherever you are by using WiFi. In some ways it’s actually a superior way to talk to Europe for free as the quality is a little better. That’s why more people are heading over to Line. Line also has a PC version and decent support for messaging (and picture messaging). The best solution for now? Download both apps and that way you’ll be able to speak to Europe for free regardless of which apps your friends have
Face Time: Face Time is the much-vaunted video-calling feature available on iPad which makes it easy to not only talk to your European friends, but also see them allowing you to include body language and props to make your point. If you’re on a business trip in Europe and missing your children, then using Face Time is a brilliant way to be able to chat to them on a beach with WiFi.
The only downsides? First: you’ll likely need WiFi unless you have a 3G iPad and don’t mind paying. Second: you’ll need an iPad…
Skype: Skype was Face Time before Face Time existed and it’s still a great option across multiple platforms. If you have an Android phone and your family have a PC then Skype is a great way to chat with sound and video. You hear about Skype a little less these days, but having been recently purchased by Microsoft one might expect that to all change soon.
Using these methods, you can call your friends in Europe using a smartphone or tablet with no need to pay extortionate rates. However there are some limitations here – they do rely on a WiFi connection being present and you won’t get the same kinds of features and versatility that you would get from a phone. Read on then for a few more tips on how to talk to Europe for free…
WhatsApp: If it’s just messaging you’re interested in, then Whatsapp is a great little application that can be found on almost all smartphones (but not tablets). Again this allows you to send messages and picture messages but is a lot more popular for this use than apps like Line.
Kindle: If you just want to use e-mail and are right out in the sticks with no WiFi and don’t want to use expensive data roaming, then a good alternative option is to use a Kindle. Kindles have free 3G all around the world and the experimental browser will allow you to check your Gmail and Hotmail for free. If you get the Kindle with the built-in keyboard you’ll even be able to respond to messages – though don’t expect this to be a quick or convenient method.
Reversing Calls: If you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere with no connections and you desperately need to call home, then a good options is to try reversing calls. Your recipient will have to ‘accept’ the call, but this way they’ll pay instead of you. Useful in an emergency if you have no local currency and are in a bit of a pickle…
Packages: Another option is to try and get a ‘bolt on’ for your mobile phone package. This way you can pay a little more up front and that way get some free calls and some free internet access – or at least significantly reduced tariffs. Different mobile providers offer different options and not all will have this option at all, but it’s at least worth asking yours to see if there’s something you can use.
Posted under Europe
This post was written by admin on May 19, 2013