How to Make an International Call for Free

By Louise Balle

The cost of making an international can be prohibitive for the average person. Even international calling cards come with a hefty per minute rate. If you're looking for an alternative solution, there is a simple way to make an international call for free using a popular online service called Skype. This service is commonly used by business people and individuals who have to make regular calls to contacts overseas. To make free calls you have to use a computer or other compatible device and the party you are calling must also have the Skype service.

Things You'll Need

  • Skype rogramHeadset with microphone

Step 1

Download Skype (see Resources below)/ The Skype program is available for most popular operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It can also be downloaded to certain Nokia phones. Ask the person you want to contact to download Skype as well.

Step 2

Hook your headset up to your computer (the headset should be similar to the one that customer service representatives use) and open Skype. Click "Test Microphone" and "Test Speaker" on your dashboard to make sure that the headset is working.

Step 3

Add the user name of the person you want to call into your contact list by searching the Skype directory for it. Then click "Contacts" and select the name you want to call. Click the green button to call the person. The line will ring just as with any other call. If the other person is available the line will pick up and you can commence with your free international call.

Step 4

When you are finished with your call, press the red "End" button to disconnect the line.

Tips & Warnings

  • Skype to Skype international calls are free. If you want to make cheap calls to land line phones and mobile phones that are not associated with Skype you can do so with the paid service (click "Prices" on the Skype website for more information).Be aware of the time zone difference when making an international call. If you have a client or friend who is halfway across the world, you may be waking him or her in the middle of the night if you call during your normal business hours. Be willing to stay up late into the night or very early in the morning if you are going to make an international call.You can also do free video calls to international friends, family, and business partners using the Skype service; just hook up the software to a webcam. If you do not have a computer, there are devices you can buy to make free international calls using Skype, sort of like a phone. (See Resources for more information.)
  • You cannot make an emergency call with Skype, so you should always have another backup phone line for this purpose.If you are calling a land line or mobile phone number charges will apply for your call. The only free way to call is when the other party is already on Skype.

References & Resources