With recent recession in India, there’s has been an increase in rates & price hikes in almost all areas of daily life there. Even the telecommunication sectors haven’t been spared much to our chagrin, especially for the college and school students, who are already on a tight budget. What’s worse is that the recent price overshoots have not only affected the call rates, but also the rates of the SMS plans. SMS is the lifeline of students, without which we might be as well stranded on a desolate island. For all those looking for a cheaper & better option, fear not, there’s always an alternative, this time even a better one.

From websites allowing free texts worldwide to apps allowing friends to text while staying connected on the go, there are lots of options not only for those living in India but living anywhere in the world to opt for more high class alternatives to chat, text or file sharing. Let’s look at a few of the options we have.


1. Meebo.com (Android/BlackBerry/iOS/Web-Based, Free):

When it comes to online IM services, Meebo is the undisputed king. It supports a huge number of IM protocols & popular services like AIM, Yahoo, MSN, GTalk, & other lesser known IM services such as Flixster, Threadsy and myyearbook. The best part is you don’t need to install anything, and there’s even a mobile version of it. Just log onto the website, sign in and chat away. Or voice-call & share files, your choice.



2. WhatsApp (Android/BlackBerry/iOS/Nokia/ Windows, Free):

The pioneer in mobile chatting, WhatsApp Messenger is the craze these days. It has a smart scan function which automatically adds all your phone contacts as your WhatApp contacts. In addition to basic messaging, users can create groups, send unlimited images, video and audio media messages.



3. LINE (Android/BlackBerry/iOS/Nokia/ Windows, Free):

LINE is an awesome communication app which allows free voice calls and free messages whenever and to wherever you want. If you want cheap yet quality & fuss free calls, then LINE is absolutely the best messenger out there. There are simple tasks like texting, file sharing, etc. also available. It’s the state of art app, but one annoying feature I find is the signing up, which is quite a hassle. But once you master that, everything is just a piece of heaven.



4. Ebuddy (Android/BlackBerry/iOS/Web-Based, Free):

Their tagline – “Web & mobile messaging, for everyone everywhere” sums up their services pretty boldly. Ebuddy’s IM services have lots of features & allow you to have all your buddies from multiple IM accounts stacked right into one single list. Chats are arranged in tabs and the interface is quite easy to understand. Easily message and share files over ebuddy.



5. Facebook App & Messenger (Android/BlackBerry/iOS/ Java, Free):

Facebook has launched a Every Phone app, which allows fast and comprehensive Facebook experience on over 2,500 different phones. This app includes Facebook’s most popular features, such as News Feed, Inbox, and Photos, and allows you to upload photos and find friends from your phone’s contacts.

Facebook App & Messenger

People all over the world can download the app from http://m.facebook.com. Android, BlackBerry and iPhone users can go here: https://www.facebook.com/mobile/messenger


6. Nimbuzz (Android/BlackBerry/iOS/Web-Based, Free):

It is one of the most popular app in market these days. There’s a browser version too and a native iPhone app. Nimbuzz offers a fabulous web messaging service. Nimbuzz allows voice & video chats, file sharing and group chats.  It also supports Skype, enabling users to make free or cheap VOIP calls.



7. Way2Sms.com

From free mobile recharges to free worldwide texting, this site has a bundle of options when it comes to staying connected. Sign in to your yahoo or gmail account right within the site (& earn while doing so) & send texts within your country or even worldwide. Or play their quizzes to earn a little extra to recharge your cell phone. Just sign in using your mobile’s net pack and text away.



8. Skype :

Skype is famous not only on Window platform for making cheap calls and being one of the best messengers around, but it is arguably one of the best mobile messenger available. Users can avail all benefits of Skype that they get on PC plus the complete portability & the ease of access that comes with it.



9. Google Talk (Android/BlackBerry/iOS/Web-Based, Free):

Google has already conquered the search, web browser and email domain, so why not the IM domain too? Gtalk is one of the lightest messengers around, and is supported by a vast range of platforms. No matter what make your phone is, chances are Gtalk is supported by it where all others fail.

Google Talk


10. Yahoo Messenger (Android/BlackBerry/iOS/Web-Based, Free):

The Yahoo messenger (mobile version) can give gtalk a run for its money, it’s that good. Both are almost identical in functions and it depends on your preference which you would want to choose.

Yahoo Messenger

Again, it is relatively simple to use and supported by a majority of handsets, even older java phones. It might lack some feature but at least it will run on your low end phone.

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