The best video-calling apps for staying in touch with your loved ones

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If you’re looking to video call your loved ones, there’s a wide variety of apps out there you can use – you don’t need to just text! Even when you’re texting or talking on Facebook, sometimes you need to see a familiar face and speak to a real person, not just type.

Which is why video calling is a thing! Seeing your friends from long distances away has never been so easy, especially given that all these apps are free to use and work really easily. Here’s what we reckon are the top five video-calling apps to use while saving the world by not going outside!

Top video-calling apps

First things first: Picking the right plan

Video-calling is data heavy, so make sure you have the right plan to do it with. If you’re not making video calls too often, or you’re currently a traveler, using a phone plan to stay in touch may be right for you.

Postpaid Plans Under $35

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $35 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Prepaid Plans Under $35

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $35 or less, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

If you’re staying home, you’ll likely have plenty of data for video calling on your home broadband plan. If you’re an NBN customer, your bandwidth won’t be impacted too much by video-calling, and you would barely notice it if your plan is unlimited. To find a better home broadband plan, start comparing NBN options here.

Facebook Messenger Video Call

Facebook Messenger has an integrated video-calling functionality. When using the app, just click the camera icon in the top right when messaging someone, and you should immediately start video chatting to them. It’s easy and it works on any device Facebook Messenger is on – provided that there is a camera.

It’s also one of the more easy-to-use apps given that pretty much everybody has Facebook, which makes the hassle of needing to setup a new account and remember a new password to a service completely go away. You can even video-call groups of people, and have multiple people on camera at once!

Four instances of a Facebook Messenger video call, displaying four screens.
Facebook Messenger Video Calling. Credit: Messenger on the App Store

Download through Microsoft^

Skype

Skype took the world by storm years back when it spearheaded online chatting outside of messenger. Bundled with a free service and free video-calling, Skype is still one of the best apps to use when getting in touch with friends and family. All they need is the app and an account, and you can call them. Skype also supports group calling.

Three people involved in a Skype call, with the option to turn on video.
Skype Video Calling. Credit: Skype

Download through Microsoft^

Discord

Mostly intended for people who play lots of video games, Discord is a brilliant way to see people face-to-face without any contact. You can video-chat with up to 50 people at once right now, raised up from the normal amount of 100 due to the pandemic, and it’s completely free and not resource intensive. That mean you can use Discord with your friends and not notice a huge impact on your computer or internet’s performance!

An image of three people engaging in a Discord video call.
Discord Video Calling. Credit: Discord

Download through Microsoft^

Whereby

Whereby is a super easy-to-use app based in the browser – no download or account needed! Only one person in the call needs a login – guests only need a link to the call and they can access it.

Four people using Whereby to video call each other for a work meeting.
Whereby Video Calling. Credit: Whereby

Google Duo

Google Duo is an easy-to-use Google App solely for video-calling. As long as you have the app and a Google account, you can call other people provided they have it too! Because it’s a Google app, it also means there’s complete Google integration, which means it works seamlessly with the Google Nest, Chrome and Gmail.

Images of Google Duo being used on several devices
Google Duo. Credit: Google

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