VoIP Applications: What to know?
(Translation of an original PlanHub article)
VoIP, also known as “Voice over Internet Protocol”, allows you to converse by voice and text from a cell phone, computer or tablet directly through the Internet without going through the conventional cellular network. If you can use the data of your cell phone plan for VoIP calls, the best is to take advantage of the access to a residential internet connection to which you will connect with your cell phone via Wi-Fi.
If you are looking for a cellular plan:
If you’re looking for a residential internet plan:
Current plans may include unlimited talk time, but making VoIP calls has long been popular and still has many benefits for Canadian residents.
Remote workers can participate in meetings and migrants can easily contact their families using their internet plan. Also, for jobs where data and source confidentiality are paramount, can take advantage of applications that can encrypt calls and messages from end to end. For these reasons, calls via VoIP continue to be popular mainly for reasons of cost and privacy that a traditional cellular subscription does not yet offer. In case you need to make calls via applications, we recommend keeping an old phone in a drawer. If something goes wrong with your cell phone, the other one can always take over.
There are different VoIP applications, but not all have the same level of confidentiality. On the other hand, the CLOUD Act. in force in the United States and obliging any American company to keep and reveal the conversations of its customers also poses problems of confidentiality.
Finally, if free VoIP calls are still very popular, it is because they still have many advantages. Beyond phone calls, VoIP calls allow you to lighten your cell phone plan or to do without certain options such as calls to the United States or overseas countries. The ability to activate the camera is also very popular with users to keep visual contact with their family. Finally, video conferencing options are very practical and allow several members of a family to meet virtually.
What are the best Apps to make VoIP calls?
Signal: Among encrypted applications, Signal has naturally become the leading software due to the numerous security protocols in place and the robust encryption of user data. Easy to use from a computer or phone, Signal is recommended by the European Union and is also exempt from the CLOUD Act. Several countries such as Iran, Egypt and Qatar have tried to block the use of Signal, but so far, their attempts have been in vain.
WhatsApp: for a long time popular, WhatsApp is still a practical and easy to use application. However, since its acquisition by Meta (Facebook), the application is losing momentum. It has to be said that linking WhatsApp accounts to Facebook accounts despite promises to the contrary at the time of its acquisition did not help. Even if WhatsApp data remains encrypted, the fact that Meta is the owner of it makes the Application fall under the CLOUD Act, an American law that obliges to keep conversations encrypted in order to hand them over to the American authorities if necessary. This reason was enough to make some of its users switch to its big competitor Signal. However, WhatsApp is still convenient to call your correspondents, even to their landline numbers, without paying a single cent more on your internet package.
Messenger: The messaging service integrated into Facebook remains popular for making WiFi calls to your “friends”. Its only drawback comes from its separation from Facebook, which now requires two applications to be installed. Otherwise, Messenger offers excellent call quality and remains popular for keeping in touch with strangers.
Telegram: founded by Russian opponents of Vladimir Putin’s regime who wanted to create an application capable of evading the FSB, Telegram has grown rapidly and has even been adopted by politicians in countries like France. Despite security protocols that are regularly questioned as not being efficient enough, Telegram remains popular for its features such as multi-party conference calls, even if these exchanges are not encrypted.
Wire: Wire is an application mainly intended for collaborative work, but like the other applications it allows you to make calls to your contacts. Originally, Wire was created by former Skype users who wanted to launch a secure communication software. Known for its ease of use, Wire offers different applications for businesses and professionals. However, by moving its headquarters from Luxembourg to the United States in 2019, Wire fell under the CLOUD Act which earned it a lot of criticism.
Skype: If Skype still offers the possibility to call its contacts for free via VoIP, paid options are also offered in many countries. For this, you will have to subscribe to a package. Several packages are offered, but the prices differ greatly depending on the destination and sometimes lack consistency. For example, in 2023, the subscription for 800 minutes to India is offered at $12.60 while it will cost $22.20 for 60 minutes of calls to Haiti. Of course, Skype must surely adapt to the laws of each country and deal with local telephone operators. Finally, you should know that Skype automatically renews the charges every month. Fortunately, it is easy to terminate your subscription by going to your account options.
Discord: This application was originally designed for video game players, but its capabilities and quality have made it popular with the general public. In addition to audio and video calls, Discord allows you to create rooms or groups, without any limitations. It also allows you to send files and even share your screen and especially allows conference calls with up to 25 participants.
Collaborative work applications can also be used to call your correspondents via an internet connection. Like Discord, their advantage is allowing calls between several people in one click. Among the most popular applications, we can mention Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet.
All these applications can be used from a smartphone and are available for download from the App Store and the Play Store. On the other hand, they can also be downloaded on a Mac or a PC running Windows or Linux.
If you want to make your calls via VoIP, an internet package is of course mandatory. In order to find out which provider offers the best prices in your area, the PlanHub search tool will allow you to easily and quickly find the best offer at the best price.
VoIP: To save on calls while travelling?
When travelling abroad, it is now much cheaper to use a VoIP application with a temporary eSIM than to pay for a daily plan. Roaming charges average $15 per day while a 10GB eSIM card costs around $30. Taking into account that a call via internet takes on average 0, 2 Mb/ minute and web browsing (without videos) consumes about 1 Mb/ minute. We compared the following two scenarios:
Scenario 1: You go on a trip for 2 weeks and use your roaming plan for a total of 10 days out of the 14.
Total cost: $150
Scenario 2: You go on a trip for 2 weeks and use a 10 GB eSIM. Each day you are entitled to approximately 45 minutes of web browsing and 225 minutes of VoIP calling.
Total cost: $30 (and you won’t even have used up your cell phone plan)
In conclusion, it’s simple, if you want to prioritize savings and confidentiality think about using a VoIP solution. To that end, nothing is better than a cell phone plan adapted to your needs.
Search on PlanHub to find the right plan for you.
Other related articles: