Calling India from USA is not an easy affair. Of course, you have several web options like Skype, GTalk etc but what if you wanted to call to landline phones and mobile phones in India from the USA? What is the cheapest way to call – let us check the options and compare rates of various services.
Ways to call India from USA
There are two easy methods of calling India from USA> One, is to use your computer and call another computer in India.
In this case, you would need to have certain software installed on both computers. The most common way is to use a chat/IM program like Google Talk or Skype.
Skype can downloaded from here, and both parties need to have a registered account to login and call each other.
You can use your Gmail ID to call via Google Talk (Hangouts) which you can access right from your Gmail account.
Both are great quality software, and if you have good internet connection (good speed and bandwidth), you can call smoothly without any interruption.
But many a times, internet connection in India is not so great. In remote villages and some cities, internet connection is still sketchy. Due to this, even if you have the right software and a good computer, call quality may not be good and calls will keep dropping during the conversation.
How to call a landline in India from USA for cheap rate?
Many a times, parents in India may not be well versed with computers and if there are internet connection troubles, it even makes the process difficult for the elderly. In such situations, it is good to resort to call them via their landlines.
But calling landlines in India from USA can cost you some money, but choosing the right vendor and the company can save you a lot of money. Do not believe all the offers they advertise for or you could land in a trap.
Cheapest ways to call a Landline in India from USA
I checked all the different ways to call India from USA, but the cheapest so far is Google Voice.
Look at Google Voice rates.
Google Voice is currently offering 1cent/minute to call any landline in India. This is less than any other vendor at the moment.
Is Vonage the cheap way to call India?
Vonage is another popular vendor that lets you call India from USA for cheap rates. Let’s check out their rates and see if their rates are any lower?
Vonage’s one-year agreement plan comes at $9.99/mo for 3 months and then $27.99/mo plus taxes and fees (Comes to about ~$40/month). But you can call unlimited calls to any landline or mobile phone in India. Vonage defines “unlimited” as 3000 minutes in a month. so it’s not actually unlimited. If you go beyond the 3000 minutes, they will upgrade your plan to $49.99 per month.
Plus, you have to use the Vonage phone to call which is limited in range and is more like a land line. On Google voice you can call from anywhere from your mobile phone.
Google Voice v/s Vonage Comparison
So comparing between Vonage and Google Voice, both has the same per minute cost that is 1 cent per minute but Vonage has a 3000 minute restriction. If you go beyond that you will be upgraded to $49.99/month and also, if you don’t call those 3000 minutes, you still have to pay the monthly $29.99 cost.
On Google Voice, you don’t have any contracts and no restrictions. If you call for 10 minutes a month, you only pay for that much and when you call for 4000 minutes, you only pay 40$ and your balance never times out on Google Voice. The money you deposit in your account stays for ever, unlike Vonage.
So comparing between Vonage and Google Voice, Google Voice is a better option if you are a frequent caller and don’t want to to limit yourself to contracts.
Bonus: Check out these India calling cards – They offer great rates to call India.