Viber is the product of a small Israeli startup, Viber Media Inc. They launched the first version of their VoIP app back in December of last year to rave reviews.

Much like Skype, Viber makes free phone calls over Wi-Fi and 3G to other users with the Viber client. Unlike Skype, there’s no need to create an account.

The typical process for making calls with 3rd party applications can be tedious. Signing up for accounts, verifying email address, and setting up contact lists are usually involved when using Skype or similar services. Viber made some waves with their no-username policy, and is set to do so again with the app’s latest update

Posted March 31st, Viber 2.0 brings free text messaging. Free SMS messages can now be sent between Viber clients. While other applications have had this feature for quite some time, it was certainly missing from Viber’s initial release. Free SMS was a much needed addition if Viber Media really wanted to eat into Skype’s massive market share.

Where Viber really shines is the easy setup. After downloading the app, there’s little to do in terms of making your iPhone Viber-capable. The first time you launch the application, it asks you for your phone number. Inputting your number initiates a quick text message with a 4-digit code. Entering this code in Viber both verifies the user, and authorizes the app to access your contact list.

If you have any friends in your contact list that have Viber, they will immediately be labeled in the application. No need to create your own contact list or Viber name, it uses your existing address book. As I figured, none of my friends or family were current users.

I tried the ‘Invite Friends’ feature to get a few people onboard with me to check this thing out. To my disappointment, it just sends a SMS message with the website link. A direct App Store link would have been much more effective.

Overall, the app was enjoyable to use. There were no annoying ads, mention of Viber-points, or requests for in-app purchases. I also enjoyed the fact that the app sent me push notifications to alert me that a contact was trying to reach me.

The app does have to run in the background, but the company claims their app won’t take up any RAM or negatively effect battery life. Text messages came quickly and call quality proved superb throughout my trials.

Although the competition has recently added free video calling to their mobile applications, Viber still has hope to survive. The app is currently only available on iOS, but Android and BlackBerry versions are said to be on the way. This is also a necessity for Viber’s success. Competitors, like Skype, have been on multiple OS platforms for quite some time.

My question is, with no advertisements or in-app purchases, how does a free app intend to make money? At any rate, Viber 2.0 is available for free in the App Store.

Have you tried Viber yet? What do you think? Do you like it more than Skype?

  • amber

    I am trying to connect to viber from uae but get error msg

    • The UAE decided to block Viber, this is why you are getting the error. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it ๐Ÿ™
      Try contacting Etisalat (or the authorities) and ask for the reason for this block.

      Alternately, you can try using a VPN connection. For more details, google it and find more people in the UAE who will guide you how to do it.

      • raza

        Hi viber,
        My question is, I’m from UK and using t-mobile. When i make viber call it says low network and call quality is poor or non existence. Secondly why cant I send video, pics like whatsapp

      • Does viber affect ur down load limit or does it work the same as Facebook as I dnt av unlimited down loads

  • @Raza –
    1. Try using Viber on both WiFi and 3G. Does either work fine?
    2. Do you have other friends on T-mobile trying to use Viber? Does it work fine for them?

    3G networks can sometimes be disrupted and not fully handle VoIP calls (some would say – intentionally). This naturally affects Viber and damages its quality, and unfortunately there is not much we (Viber) can do about it – it’s in the hands of the cellular companies.

    The good news is that in the future we plan to add a feature that’ll “lower” the quality of Viber calls on 3G calls if it detects that the connection is somewhat choppy, thus “sacrificing” on quality in order to assure stable calls on low-reception 3G areas.

    Anyway, a WiFi-WiFi call on Viber should sound clear and with no interruptions.

  • marilynau

    Hi Viber,

    Is there a chance for adding a feature of groupchat in the texting function?
    Besides, the textings on viber seems to have so much delay, is there anything to do to improve it?
    The ability of changing the ringtone will be awesome if Viber hv this in the coming update version.

    Anyways, Viber is a very nice app, we smartphone users enjoy it. At least among my friends n myself.

    Comments from HK. Thanks

  • Hi, Viber!
    I am enjoying Viber. Thanks to u creators.
    There is just one feature i would like to be added. That is- the ability to know or identify if the other party is on wifi or not. I wud like to know who among my viber contacts are on-line. (Fring app has this)

  • Hi , how do I stop the text of the message to flash on the screen …I just want the sender’s name not the text to flash on it!

  • Hi Viber, how do I stop the text of the message to flash on the screen …I just want the sender’s name not the text to flash on it!

  • Hi all,
    We apologize for the delayed response.

    @marilynau – group chat feature is planned in the future, but we still don’t know when exactly it will be implemented. Same goes for changing ringtones. About the delayed texts – please make sure that both sides have a high-speed internet connection when sending messages – if that’s the case, there is no reason for the messages to be delayed (at least we haven’t gotten complaints about this).
    Also – thank you for the kind words. We are happy to hear nice feedbacks from our users from HK ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Aldee Panaligan – you do have an indirect way of seeing who’s online and who’s not.

    When you make a Viber call, if it says “Ringing..”, it means the other side’s phone is literally ringing, meaning they’re online. If it only says “Calling..”, it probably means they’re offline.

    Same for messaging – if you send a text and you see the “โœ”” sign, it means the message has been received at the other side’s phone (he’s online). If you only see the arrow sign, it means it’s been sent from you, but pending the other side to come online (they’re offline at the moment).

    Think of Viber as a “substitute” to your real phone. When you call/text someone, you’re not sure if they are currently available or not. Right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Mrs.Hassan – disabling the auto-preview of Viber messages is going to be available soon (a few weeks probably).

  • abboud

    Hi Viber
    viber can you help me
    I have i phone 4 , am in EGYPT now
    when i do call to any user have viber firstly said that quality is excellent and 3G network in iphone was full but when my friend reply calling , network is poor it said is poor
    what i do in it , I want to know if viper now in lebanon or no ?
    mr viper am in etisalat company in egpyt and i had 50 megabit for using net but when i finished it i return to slow net but it open my emails and pages and download but on slow connect
    if it do any thing with my calling viber user while network full
    and what i do to it problem ???
    please reply about my quesstion mr viber a thank you

    • Hi,

      @abboud – There are some known issues in Lebanon and Egypt with 3G connection. This issue should be fixed on the next Viber version (will be released in few weeks from now).

      Meanwhile we suggest you to try to use it over WiFi.

      • Let me clarify –

        In Lebanon, as far as we understood, the problem is that the 3G network is not developed enough to handle VoIP, and in Egypt we suspect that Etisalat has blocked Viber on there 3G network (like they did in other countries), we will be happy to hear your opinion in order to confirm/refute this suspect.

  • abboud

    Hello Mr viber
    thanx mr viber for replying me about viber network
    but mr viber i used viber with my friend in saudi arabia and network was excllent but when he reply network was so poor while i have full network , but i asked alot of my frineds about viber ,they said to me that viber switch on in egypt but they suffer also from network and alot of them use wifi to viber but some one use etisalat 3G but he found this problem
    YOU SAID THAT VIBER COMPANY WILL PRODUCT ANOTHER VERSION SUPPORT 3G STRONGLY ?
    we hope it . it is good way because alot of people use viber out of the wifi covering so we hope use viber with 3G in our network
    and finally thanz mr viber
    ans i wait your reply about my when new version will come
    slam alikom

  • abboud

    HI Mr Viber
    mr viber how many mega viber app use it when i call 60 minutes becouse i used it today but it taked my credit of megabit
    so i asked you how many take megabit in call as you see in using viber

    • @abboud –

      The bandwidth rate during a Viber call is approximately 240 KB per minute up and down, 14 MB per hour up and down. Texting may be different depending on the font type / language. Our test revealed 1 SMS to be 828bytes for 500 US English characters.

  • ABBOUD

    Hello Viber
    How are viber
    thanx viber
    i used viber and quality calling was very very clear , good
    but i called 6 minutes taked 5 MB , but this is good program i like it much
    but you said
    ( THAT VIBER COMPANY WILL PRODUCT ANOTHER VERSION SUPPORT 3G STRONGLY IN PLACES NOT SUPPORT VIBER WHILE NETWORK FULL ? )

  • @ABBOUD – I’m not sure I have understood correctly what you’ve asked, can you please elaborate?

  • Haley

    Where in the heck do you enter the code?

  • @Haley – On Android phones there is no need to insert the code manually – it happens automatically, but i guess you have an iOS device. Please contact our support team at: http://helpme.viber.com and provide them with the details of your issue, they’ll be happy to assist. Thanks!

  • Cara Fairclough

    how much bandwidth does viber use for text messaging and is it constantly downloading data especially when closed and running in the background? If possible could you give all data Usage/bandwidth for calls, messaging and like I mentioned just leaving it. Thanks Cara

    • Hi Cara,
      Viber uses negligible amounts for text messaging and when idling.
      A Viber text message takes less than 1KB (about 800 bytes for 500 characters) and when idling, Viber uses about 1KB per minute for syncing with our server when idling.

  • Cara Fairclough

    hi it’s me cara again, if I have a 200mb limit per month do you think i will go over? I will be connected to wifi most of the and I probably average around 7 hours a day without that connection so with that figure do you think I will manage? I probably sound stupid but anyway haha. Thanks Cara

    • It’s impossible for us to know how much you use Viber, hence impossible for us to guess if you’ll go over your plan or not.
      We gave you the data, and you can calculate it ๐Ÿ˜‰

      If you use WiFi most of the time, then it doesn’t use up your 3G data plan, remember that.

  • @lorna – I’m not sure I fully understand your question..
    Viber uses 0.5MB per minute of call, so if you have a dataplan, you can calculate how many calls you can make using Viber on your current plan ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Genie

    Does viber use up airtime minutes?

    • No,
      Viber uses 3G data in order to function (0.5MB per minute of call, and negligible amounts of data per text message).
      When you use Viber on WiFi, it doesn’t use up any data plan – completely free.

  • Anonymous

    hi ye, is there any plans to introduced read receipts when a sms is sent this be very usefull. when abroad.it ok knowing when delivered. but when mesage read be a big help.

  • Anonymous

    If I call another viber user I am ringing his cell number. Isn’t that using up HIS minutes

  • On the Viber website info page it says “Viber and all Viber features are absolutely free and do not require any additional “in application” purchase.
    * When you use Viber on a 3G network you might incur operator data charges or internet access fees My question is what the heck is an “operator data charge” and what is a intermet access fee?”

  • Common its blocked in U.A.E , Can some one help me out. Few people are still using viber. But on my side its blocked. Please help me out to solve this problem

    • nick

      Use a VPN

  • hello i am from UAE and i downloaded viber on my ICS asus transformer tf300. but i was confused when i received more than 4 digit viber code. what do i do?

  • Hi.. I currently work here in saudi arabia and im trying to create a viber account but i cant recieve any access code. I use blackberry curve and mobily service. thanks.. i hope someone can help me with this matter

  • mada

    hi viber i installed viber but before its run i got msg that viber needs to access ur adress book and sync and its close plz help

  • CURIOSITY

    Why does viber named as viber? Please response.

  • jumanji

    is viber is block to communicate saudi to israel?

  • RonBon

    How to Add, Change or Remove a Contact Picture in Viber

  • Kevin

    Can the text message screen not be made any bigger. It’s really cramped.