There are several reasons why you might want to call your mobile phone from the Internet.
Perhaps you’ve lost it in the house somewhere, and you want to make it ring so you can find it. It could be that you lost it while you were out and about, and you want to call it in the hope that someone will answer it and return it to you. A sneakier reason could be that you want to get out of an awkward conversation or an irrelevant work meeting by pretending you have to take an urgent call.
Or maybe you want to call someone else’s mobile phone from the Internet because you don’t have access to your own phone or there’s no mobile reception where you are.
Whatever your reason for wanting to make an Internet call, there are a number of ways to do so. In this article, we’ll take you through your options.
There are various online platforms that allow you to call your mobile phone from the Internet, for example:
- Google Chat
Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to use these platforms.
For internet calling to work, you will need to ensure you have the following:
- A stable Internet connection
- A suitable online platform or phone app
If you want to call your mobile phone from the Internet, you can do so using one of the following online platforms:
Provided you have credit, you can use Skype to make phone calls from your computer to a mobile phone. This is how you do it:
- Go to Skype web calling using a web browser other than Firefox (for example, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari or Microsoft Edge)
- If you aren’t already logged in, sign in to your account
- Click on the grid of dots underneath your name and to the right of the search bar
- Select your country from the drop-down menu, then type in the phone number
- Click the phone icon at the bottom of the on-screen keypad
- Wait for the call to connect
To call your mobile using Zoom, you will need to pay a subscription fee. Once you’ve upgraded your account, you will be able to call mobile numbers by doing the following:
- Log in to your Zoom account
- On the My Account page, click “Phone”, which can be found in the Personal menu on the left
- Either dial the number using the on-screen keypad and click the phone icon, copy and paste the number in the text field and click the phone icon or click on one of the contact numbers you have saved
- Wait for the call to connect
With a Google Voice for Google Workspace account, you can start a phone call from Google Chat. Here’s how:
- Log in to your Google account and go to the Chat page
- Open a direct message with the person you want to call
- Click the “Call” icon at the top
- Select the number you want to call from the list
- Google Voice will then open and make the call
Using the IFTTT platform, you can either schedule an automated phone call to your mobile or call your mobile on demand. Here are the instructions for how to do both:
Schedule an automated phone call to your mobile
- Log in to your IFTTT account and enable the Date & Time service and VoIP Call service
- Create a new applet and select Date & Time for the “This” condition
- Choose when you want your phone to ring
- For the “That” action, select the VoIP Call service and specify a text message
- The text message will be read out when you answer the call at the specified time
Call your mobile on demand
- Install IFTTT on your mobile phone and log in to your account
- Create a new applet and select IFTTT’s own Button widget for the “This” condition
- For the “That” action, select “Call My Phone” and specify a text message
- When you want your phone to ring, tap the widget
- The text message will be read out when you answer the call
You can send text messages from the Internet to your mobile phone using an email-to-SMS service like ClickSend or FireText.
These services allow you to turn an email into a text message quickly and easily, and most will support all the main email providers, such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and AOL.
Here are the steps you will usually need to take to do this:
- Create an account with an email-to-SMS service
- Compose your message using your usual email client
- Add your sender ID to the subject line
- Set the recipient’s email address to [mobile number]@sms.[service name].com/co.uk
- Your email will be converted to a text message and sent to the mobile number you provided
- Replies will be sent either as an SMS or to the email inbox that sent the message
If your phone carrier supports it, you can enable Wi-Fi calling to make calls over the Internet rather than your network. Once enabled, when you make a call, your phone will automatically select whether to use mobile or Wi-Fi calling, based on which is the best option at the time. However, if your signal is just strong enough to prevent Wi-Fi calling, but the call quality is poor, you can force Wi-Fi Calling by turning Airplane Mode on and then toggling Wi-Fi back on. When your call is over, remember to turn Airplane Mode off again to allow regular calls.
Here’s how to make Wi-Fi calls on both Apple and Android devices:
Enabling Wi-Fi calling on an iPhone
- Go to Settings, then Phone
- Tap on Wi-Fi Calling
- Toggle on Wi-Fi Calling On This iPhone
- You will know when you are making a Wi-Fi call, as you will see “Wi-Fi” next to your carrier’s name in the status bar of your phone
Enabling Wi-Fi calling on Android
This will vary slightly depending on your device, but the steps to enable Wi-Fi calls on an Android phone will be something like this:
- Go to Settings, then Network and Internet, then Calls & SMS
- Look for a Wi-Fi Calling option, tap on it and toggle on Use Wi-Fi Calling
- You will know when you are making a Wi-Fi call as you will see “Wi-Fi Calling” next to your carrier’s name
If your carrier supports it, but you can’t find the Wi-Fi Calling option on your Android phone, try opening Settings and typing “Wi-Fi calling” into the search bar. If you still can’t find the Wi-Fi Calling option, you may need a special SIM card to use it.
Bear in mind that some VPNs can prevent Wi-Fi calling, so to use it, you may need to turn your VPN off.
Most carriers do not charge extra for Wi-Fi calls. Typically, they will be included in your regular call plan, so if you have a limited number of minutes, Wi-Fi calls will count towards your allowance. If you are making international Wi-Fi calls, you may incur additional charges. However, it’s worth noting that Wi-Fi calling isn’t supported in some countries, including China, Cuba, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. An alternative option for free calling from the internet is to use a VoIP app like WhatsApp, FaceTime or Signal.
What if my carrier doesn’t support WiFi calling?
If your carrier doesn’t support Wi-Fi calling, you can download a VoIP app and make internet calls that way instead. Some of the most popular are:
- WhatsApp — As well as using WhatsApp to send individual and group messages, you can also use it to make voice and video calls to individuals and groups of up to eight people. Calls are made from your internet connection, which means the time spent on WhatsApp calls won’t be deducted from your plan’s minutes.
- Skype — Skype works on both mobile devices and computers, which means you can make desktop-to-phone, phone-to-desktop, phone-to-phone and desktop-to-desktop calls. You don’t need to download the app as it also works on internet browsers, and you can send messages over Skype too.
- Facebook Messenger — If you have Facebook, you can call your friends using Facebook Messenger. Again, you can make free internet calls from desktop to phone, phone to desktop, phone to phone and desktop to desktop, as it works on internet browsers too.
- Google Voice — Another app that also works on internet browsers, Google Voice also allows you to make calls between computers and mobile devices and, as mentioned in the Google Chat section above, you can use it to call phone numbers too.
- Signal — Developed with a focus on privacy and security, Signal uses end-to-end encryption so only you and the person or people you are talking to can hear what’s being said. You can also send text messages over Signal, which is also protected.
- Viber — Viber is another app that supports a range of devices, so you can make calls from either a computer or mobile device. It doesn’t work on Internet browsers, though, so you will need to download the app to use it.
There are many benefits of internet calling, but as with anything, there are downsides too. Some of the main advantages and disadvantages to be aware of are as follows:
- It costs less than a normal phone call
- There are no roaming charges for international calls
- It’s more convenient for work calls when you are sitting at your computer
- It is a great alternative in areas with limited mobile signal
- You have more flexibility as there are a range of platforms and apps to choose from
- You need a strong internet connection
- You may experience call quality issues
- The recipient may need to download the same app
As you can see from the section above, internet calling has more pros than cons. But that’s only when it’s working correctly. Here are some tips to improve the success rate of your internet calls:
- Ensure you have a stable Internet connection
- Verify that your mobile phone is compatible with the software you are using
- Use suitable equipment
To call your mobile phone from the Internet, you will need to ensure you have a stable internet connection. Then you can use one of the many online calling platforms to make the call.