Keeping in touch while living in Israel

Hello everyone,

What are the best ways you've found for keeping in touch with friends and family back home while living in Israel? How frequently do you stay in touch with loved ones?

Are there local equivalents to common instant messaging and online video calling services that you prefer or are more widely used?

If there is a sizeable time difference, how do you manage this?

Do you make international phone calls from a landline or mobile phone from Israel? What do you think of the cost?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


WhatsApp looks like the best because it is stable, gives the best sound quality and could also be used on PC.
A bit worse is Viber. It gives also a possibility of the cheap calls on the regular phone numbers.
Skype is possible but is not impressive. More expensive calls to regular phone numbers.
Facebook messenger also good enough.

This has been a SERIOUS issue for me. NONE of the cell phone carriers offer a US number where you can text back & forth with someone in the US.

And they initially told someone I was dealing with that they did only to find out after I arrived & started having issues that they DON'T have it. That was with Golan.

Golan also charges you for the SIM card & I ended up paying twice because it never arrived by the time I arrived & I needed a phone line right away.

So I switched to Hot & they lost my business, but like most companies here in Israel, they don't care b/c they don't know how to run a business properly. Their EGO will override even them making money.

It's been 2 years since I checked into texing, but I think you can text one way, either they can text you, or you can text them, but not back & forth as if you were in the US.

I don't need something to call US numbers because I have a VOiP line that is US, but I DID need a way to text & like I said, there's nothing.

I didn't want to use WhatApp b/c this was for work & you can't tell a client to contact you on WhatApp. They have no clue what that even is in the US nor will they want an app on their phone just to text you.

I started off with Majic Jack which was only $9.99, but their app sucked. It doesn't tell you when you have a text. It's the same ding you hear for all your OTHER notifications & if you miss it, it doesn't tell you at the top where the notificaitons are, or even on your dashboard.

I still used it, but when my year was up, they tried to gouge me for $35 or something like that & I told them to take a HIKE.

I've tried the online texting services where you can text a US cell phone back & forth, but they are both terrible.

One dings all the time whether you get texts or not & it's a very low sound.

The other is louder, but half the time it doesn't ding & it also deletes ALL of my texts after a while or deletes my phone number even if I was using it.

So there you have it.

For phone calls, I use ACN & it's crystal clear most of the time unless you are having Internet issues.

The one issue is that they don't have call block & I was being spammed non stop by a financial company & I had no way to stop it.

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