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Pros and Cons of Wifi Calling – Wifi vs. Cellular Calling

Don’t you just hate it when your cell signal fails when you need it the most? 

The embarrassment and the frustration are almost indescribable. 

However, as always, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

In case you have a good broadband connection and a reliable WiFi signal, know that thanks to technological advancement, we now can make calls without cellular signal at all. 

What are we talking about? 

WiFi calls! 

Yes, you read it right! 

Now you can make calls using your WiFi connection.

How exactly does that work? 

This article will discuss the topic in detail, outlining WiFi calls’ pros and cons, comparing normal calls to WiFi ones, and will have an FAQ section, for those of you who need a quick fix and need answers right away. 

Without further ado, let’s dive in! 

What is WiFi calling?

So what is WiFi calling exactly? 

Well, it’s a call that uses the WiFi signal instead of a standard cellular network like Verizon or T-Mobile. 

These days the new versions of iOS and Android support this new technology and the universal standards of the VoIP. Plus, it can help optimize the battery use, as well as the overall user experience.

Sounds amazing, right? 

But why would you ever think of using WiFi instead of a regular cellular network, one might wonder? 

Reasons to use WiFi calling?

There are many reasons why you might need to turn to WiFi calls. 

Let’s discuss the most common ones and see how you can benefit from unconventional methods of making calls. 

  • Cellular network not available for voice calls

This could happen either because you are too far away from cell towers and the signal is not reaching you, or the signal is not strong enough to penetrate your building – the walls are too thick, there is too much metal in them, too much wiring.

The reasons might be numerous. 

But the results are still the same – no bars on your phone to make a single call. 

  • Save money on calls

The other most common reason is to simply save some money. 

If you have a plan, probably this doesn’t apply to you, as most often than not, on-net and off-net minutes are included. 

But what if your minutes run out, and you still need to communicate with the outside world? 

That’s right  – WiFi calls! 

However, if you don’t have a plan, and you are just travelling to a different place or don’t want to spend money on calls, you can always use the option of WiFi calls. 

  • Where is WiFi available?

WiFi calls, as we have stated before, are made through the WiFi connection. 

You can use it whenever you have access to it. 

WiFi is available in many places these days.

First of all, your house and office. 

It is also available in such public places like all kinds of restaurants and bars, malls and shops. 

There are even WiFi connections available in parks and public transport. 

Of course, the public connection is not as reliable and fast as the private ones in homes and offices; nevertheless, can work. 

WiFi calling vs Cellular calling

Naturally, there are differences between making WiFi and cellular calls, and internet calls have positive and negative aspects to it. 

The major difference is the source of the network, where WiFi uses your internet connection through Voice over Internet Protocol. 

On the other hand, Cellular calls use the provider’s network, broadcasted through cell towers on certain frequency waves. 

Where cellular networks fail, WiFi calls can come in very handy. 

So let’s see in short what are the most common pros and cons of such calls. 

Pros and Cons of WiFi Calling 

Let us start from the good news and discuss all the benefits that WiFi calling can bring. 

Advantages of Internet Calls

  • Drastic improvement of call quality in places where cellular network not available for voice calls;
  • Needs no added charges, as the WiFi calls inside and to the USA are usually included in your monthly plan;
  • No need to install any applications as most modern devices have it built right in;
  • No need for additional registrations and logins as it uses your current phone number;
  • Battery life improvement, as there is no need for searching the cell network, which drains your phone’s battery;
  • No need for special plans and added services.

Disadvantages of WiFi Calling

There is always two sides of the coin, right?

Like any other technology, WiFi calls, as great as they may seem, have their restrictions and areas where they fall short. 

  • Unreliable signal strength – in most public areas, especially crowded places like airports, hotels, universities and such WiFi signal is never strong and steady. It is mainly due to the overload of the network. The lousy signal will inevitably cause a bad call experience in the form of dropped calls and poor voice quality. 
  • Additional charges may apply – in case your WiFi connection is lost for some reason, the call may switch to your data and cause you to pay extra, in case your data plan is up, or you don’t have one. Make sure to set your settings right and check with your carrier, if you want the call to switch automatically to a cellular network. 
  • Unsupported feature of the phone – most new versions of iPhone and Android phones have the feature built-in. However, if you have an older model, make sure it’s there, before contemplating to use the WiFi calls. Check for the feature in your settings or contact your carrier to find out. 
  • International call restrictions – when you are abroad, make sure to check with the carrier to see whether or not the WiFi calls to the US and other countries are supported. 

As you can see, we haven’t created a perfect means of communication yet, but this feature comes very close. 

However, it’s a relatively new means of communication, and many of us still have numerous questions when it comes to setting up and using WiFi calls. 

For that particular reason, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions, so that you can browse through them, and hopefully, find the answer you are looking for. 

FAQs

– Does my carrier support WiFi calling?

Major US cellular providers support this feature. Those providers include such giants like T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, that offer free WiFi calls within the US as well as calls to the US from abroad. In order to see the fees and regulations, make sure you check with your carrier, as additional fees may apply.

Here are some useful websites to check such information: 

Most of the modern smartphone models offer such a feature; however, if you have an older model, make sure to check before attempting to use the WiFi calling option. 

– How to enable WiFi calling on Android?

In order to turn on the feature on your Android phone, follow the instructions below:

  • Make sure you are connected to WiFi
  • Go to Settings
  • Then Network & Internet
  • Click on Mobile Network
  • Turn WiFi calling on.

There could be different names to the steps mentioned above, depending on the brand of the smartphone. Contact your provider for instructions specific to your device. 

In case your phone doesn’t support WiFi Calling, you are free to download all sorts of apps that are available in Google Play, like Whatsapp and Viber. However, in this case, the call won’t be transferred to a cellular network, if you leave the WiFi range, but might rather go to data. 

– How to enable WiFi calling on iPhone?

Follow the instructions below to turn on the feature for your iPhone. 

  • Make sure you are connected to WiFi 
  • Go to Settings
  • Click on Cellular and select WiFi Calling
  • Slide the WiFi Calling on This iPhone to green 
  • When you see the popup, click on Enable. 

In case your iPhone doesn’t support WiFi Calling, you are free to download all sorts of apps that are available in the App Store, like Whatsapp and Viber. However, in this case, the call won’t be transferred to a cellular network, if you leave the WiFi range, but might rather go to data. 

– How to use WiFi calling?

In order to use this feature, all you need to do is turn it on and be connected to a WiFi network. In that case, the call will go through the internet rather than your cellular network. 

If however, you leave the WiFi range, your network will switch to cellular, and you will be either charged, or it will tap into your plan minutes. 

– Am I charged for WiFi calling?

Typically, you shouldn’t be charged more and WiFi calls should be free unless you are making a premium call. 

In case you are using data, it will use the monthly data allowance of your plan. 

Another very important point to mention is to check with your provider on any restrictions and policies they have in place for the WiFi calling feature. 

Click to see the policies of Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint on WiFi calling. 

– Can I use WiFi calls overseas without overpaying?

Most carriers provide free WiFi calling options on US numbers, even if you are abroad. However, additional charges may apply if you are making calls on international numbers. 

Make sure to check that information with your provider before you leave or simply use third-party apps like Skype and Whatsapp to avoid the headache all together. Another point to remember is to use WiFi connection in the hotel, airport and so on, and not data, as data on roaming is pricey. And also make sure to turn off the automatic data roaming if you don’t have a roaming plan.  

– Why is WiFi calling not working on my phone?

First of all, make sure your software is up to date. This helps with the efficiency of your phone. 

However, if you are experiencing any issues, check for these reasons:

  • The internet connection is slow or fluctuating 
  • The smartphone is not connected to the internet
  • The device is not compatible with WiFi calling
  • The WiFi calling option is not enabled on the device.  

– How do I know if WiFi calling is working?

If your phone supports WiFi calling, you have enabled it and you are connected to a WiFi network, and then it should be working. 

– Best WiFi calling apps

Fortunately, there are so many apps today that are specially designed for us to be able to communicate with each other via the internet – WiFi or Data. 

You can download those apps on the App Store and Google Play. 

Here is the list of the most popular ones used today:

  • Textnow – This is an interesting app that gives you phone service in an app for free. It works on all devices and with all operating systems. You can buy a sim activation kit and also get unlimited text and voice for free, plus free calling on Sprint network without WiFi. 
  • Skype – it’s a product of Microsoft, and you can install it on both phone and your computer. It also supports all operating systems like Mac, iOS, Android and Windows. 
  • Whatsapp – it’s a very popular chat app, that is also available for all devices, like phones, computers, tablets and such and supports all available operating systems and is now owned by Facebook. 
  • Viber – as the other two apps mentioned above, this one also supports all devices and operating systems. 
  • Slack – this application is a great solution for teams working remotely and helps localize communication. 
  • Imo – this app is only for iOS and Android users and is essentially a messaging, chat and video app. 
  • Maaii – another chat app for only Android or iOS users. 
  • Textfree – this app is available for both phones and desktop computers. All you need to do is download it, choose a number, and start your call. 

– What if my WiFi connection is poor? 

In case you have a weak WiFi connection, cellular calls are your best bet. However, if the cell network is also giving you grief, there is a solution for that too – installing a mobile booster. 

Now, maybe you always used WiFi calling in office and want to continue with that strategy. 

Or maybe you want to use the WiFi calling at home and don’t know how to get your signal better?  

Well, in those cases you are better off simply strengthening your cellular signal and benefitting from the 4G/LTE internet that you can get and using data already available in your plan to make calls. 

In case you decide to go ahead and install a mobile signal booster, make sure you contact us and we help you get the best possible option for you to both make your life comfortable and not break your budget. 

– Does WiFi calling work when you have no service?

Yes. That’s one of the reasons why WiFi calling is so beneficial, as it can substitute the cellular calls and you are still connected to the world. 

– Do you still use data while on WiFi?

You don’t use data while on WiFi unless your WiFi network is weak and the phone automatically switches to data. Turn off that feature in your phone, and next time you make WiFi calls, your calls will be redirected to a cellular network instead of data if you lose WiFi connection.

– Do all iPhones have WiFi calling?

Not all iPhones have WiFi calling. Please check the phone’s settings to see if you have it or contact your carrier.

– Can I still make emergency calls?

Yes, you can. However, cellular calls are preferable in this situation. The reason behind it is that the emergency services can track your location, as the cellular call pings the nearby cell tower. Using this information, they can reroute your call to the nearest PSAP. 

If you still decide to make a WiFi call, make sure to give your detailed location information to the operator. 

– Can I make phone calls while using a hotspot?

Yes, you can. 

– Can I call from the internet to mobile for free?

Yes, you can. 

– Why has my WiFi calling stopped working?

Make sure you are connected to a WiFi network. In case you reconnect, and the calls are still failing, make sure to connect your provider for more information.  

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