Fongo Review: Canada VoIP Service

Call and text free with a local Canadian number

Canadian flag, close-up

Arnold Media / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Fongo — the former Dell Voice — is a VoIP app for Canadians that provides a second phone number you can use to make free internet calls and text any phone. When you sign up, you get an actual local Canadian phone number that works much like a regular phone.

The Fongo service is interesting because, unlike most Wi-Fi calling apps, you can use this one only if you're based in Canada. Also, although you can get an unlimited number of texts and calls to your Fongo number, you can call and text for free only if you message another Canadian number or another Fongo user. Non-Canadian residents can get Fongo World (but it isn't free).

What We Like

  • Unlimited free calls to any Fongo number
  • Unlimited free calls to cities around Canada (85 percent of the country)
  • Unlimited free texting with any Fongo user
  • Unlimited free incoming texts from any phone
  • Caller ID, visual voicemail, and call waiting
  • Cheap international calls (calls to the U.S. are just 2 cents per minute)
  • 911 service
  • Transfer of existing number to Fongo for $25
  • Frequent updates
  • iOS and Android compatibility

What We Don't Like

  • Free second number only for Canadian residents
  • No free calls to non-Canadian numbers or numbers outside acceptable cities
  • No free calling and texting with non-users

More Information on Fongo

Some VoIP services let you call others for free only if they also use the same service; WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Skype are a few examples. Some free calling/texting apps also let you call real phone numbers. However, Fongo goes to neither extreme and instead is a mixture of both.

Fongo lets you make free internet calls and send free texts to a limited number of users. As with most messaging apps, you can make free calls and texts with any other Fongo user no matter where they are. Calling a non-Fongo user, however, is not as straightforward: They must have a Canadian phone number, and the number has to be from a specific area in Canada.

See the free calling cities on the Fongo website for more information on where you can call for free. You can't call numbers originating from any of the non-highlighted areas on that map from the app.

According to the service, "Fongo uses 0.5 MB of data per minute so a 500 MB data plan = 1000 minutes of talk time." This means that, if you're using your cell phone's data plan to make calls with Fongo, you could talk for 1,000 minutes within the month and use just 500 MB of data.

On the other hand, because Wi-Fi access is free, you could talk much longer on a Wi-Fi connection without worrying about data usage. In fact, you can use Fongo from a tablet or iPod Touch to mimic a phone because you don't need a data plan to connect to the Fongo service.