Pros and Cons of WiFi Calling – All you need to know
When Skype was released in 2003, it turned the telecommunications world upside down. The ability to use your computer to make a call (video or audio) to another computer over the internet was revolutionary. Today, wifi calling is available on our smartphones. But what exactly does that mean? What are the pros and cons of wifi calling? Is wifi calling cheaper? Which is more stable? This all-you-need-to-know guide on the pros and cons of wifi calling answers these questions and more.
By the end of the article, you’ll know:
- Exactly what WiFi calling is
- How it became so popular
- How to activate wifi calling on your phone
- How much wifi calling costs
- How to use it to make free calls
- The pros and cons of wifi calling
- Whether wifi calling is right for you
- How to use wifi calling to call any phone in the world
And much more.
What is Cellular WiFi Calling?
Cellular wifi calling (wifi calling) allows you to make calls that connect via the internet instead of over traditional cellular telephone networks. Wifi calls are made almost the same way as a traditional phone call. Because they utilize the internet for their connection, the costs associated with making domestic and international wifi calls only come from what you pay to access the internet. If you don’t pay for your internet access (public wifi), then your wifi calls are completely free.
Years ago, VoIP technology emerged, enabling software like Skype on a computer to call anywhere in the world over the internet to another computer with Skype installed, completely for free (aside from the internet bill).
While VoIP is an intimidating term, you’ve most likely already used it, either in your personal or business life. Some popular VoIP apps include WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, Telegram, Facebook Messenger and even Facetime.
The reliability, convenience and low cost of VoIP technology sent mobile carriers into action. They soon adopted this technology and started offering ‘wifi calling’ for their subscribers. This essentially serves as an additional layer of support for connectivity. This is a key part of the list of pros and cons of wifi calling.
With wifi calling turned on, calls are automatically routed through an internet connection if the wifi connection is stronger.
How to Turn On WiFi Calling
The exact method for turning on wifi calling will depend on whether you have an Apple, Android or Huawei device. In general, it can be done in settings. Look for ‘Cellular’, ‘Network and Internet’ or a similar menu. There should be a clear option to turn on wifi calling here.
Is WiFi Calling Cheaper Than Cellular?
Many people ask, ‘Does wifi calling cost extra?’. There is usually no additional cost for wifi calls, unless you are using a WiFi app that charges you a very minimal fee for calls to a mobile or landline. This is another key point on the list of pros and cons of wifi calling.
Which Carries a Better Signal, WiFi Calling or Cellular Data?
Is WiFi calling better quality?
Because of the advancements in VoIP technology, these days it’s difficult to say whether wifi or cellular data carries a better signal. In most cases, they are equally as strong and reliable.
This is a key point on the list of pros and cons of wifi calling. The strength of wifi connectivity makes it a very attractive backup connection for many people.
Should I Enable WiFi Calling?
WiFi calling offers an additional support layer of connectivity for when your cellular network is spotty. This is one key point in the list of pros and cons of wifi calling and a major reason people enable wifi calling.
Should I Leave WiFi Calling on All the Time?
Should I have wifi calling on or off? You can leave your wifi calling On all the time. However, you may save some battery life if you turn it off when you know you will be away from a wifi connection.
What is the Difference Between WiFi Calling and Cellular Calling?
Wifi calling entails calls that are connected over the internet, whereas cellular calls are connected over a cellular network.
Is WiFi Calling Safe?
In general, WiFi calling is as safe, reliable and secure as cellular calling. Many wifi calling apps offer increased levels of security and data encryption to offer further protection to their users.
This point, in particular, is another key point on the list of pros and cons of wifi calling.
Does WiFi Calling use Cellular Data?
Wifi calling uses cellular data. If you are using a wifi calling app, the app most likely will not charge you for the call, but you can incur data charges from your carrier.
Does WiFi Calling Use Cellular Minutes?
Because WiFi calls are connected via the internet, they may not cut into your cellular minutes. However, many carriers often count ‘wifi minutes’ as regular cellular minutes.
This may be considered a disadvantage and is a key point on the list of pros and cons of wifi calling. You’ll have to confirm this detail with your carrier.
What ‘WiFi Calling’ Means Today
Today, wifi calling has quickly evolved into a market filled with an array of apps, like the ones mentioned above, that allow you to call anywhere in the world from your smartphone with an internet connection and avoid crazy phone bills. Yet, there is a large list of pros and cons of wifi calling.
In fact, the term ‘wifi calling’ traditionally refers to the feature your cellular carrier offers that connects your calls via wifi. However, the term is loosely used to refer to any call made over wifi, either through your carrier or via a wifi calling app (this is how I’ll use this term in the rest of this article).
The ability to use your phone to make a call over the internet is revolutionary. Call anywhere in the world with an internet connection and avoid crazy phone bills.
Sounds incredible, right? Well, that’s exactly how wifi calling works in most cases. However, when you consider the pros and cons of wifi calling in detail, you’ll see there are some specific limitations. This is why it’s helpful to consider the list of pros and cons of wifi calling.
WiFi Calling vs Cellular – Should You Use WiFi Calling?
Is wifi calling good or bad? Should you use wifi calling? In some cases, wifi calling is a life-saver. In other cases, it’s a mere extra convenience.
The answer to this question depends on your needs and preferences. Let’s consider the pros and cons of wifi calling to help you decide if you need this technology in your life or not.
Here is a detailed outline of the pros and cons of wifi calling.
What Are the Pros and Cons of WiFi Calling? Wifi Calling vs Cellular Calling
The first and foremost reason most people use wifi calling apps like Yolla or WhatsApp is that the connections are reliable, the apps are free to download and, in most cases, the calls are completely free, including wifi calling abroad. But there are important details in the pros and cons of wifi calling.
Pros and Cons of Wifi Calling – The benefits of wifi calling
This is the first point on our ‘pros and cons of wifi calling apps’ list. This one is first because it’s one of the most attractive wifi calling features for many people.
Wifi calling apps offer free and unlimited calling from your phone to other phones with the same app installed.
In other words, if you have WhatsApp installed on your phone, you can call other phones with WhatsApp installed over a wifi connection and WhatsApp won’t charge you for the calls. (your carrier may chart for data)
Offered by many carriers
As I mentioned earlier on in this list of pros and cons of wifi calling, many carriers nowadays offer wifi calling, though wifi calling with your carrier usually serves as a backup to your carrier’s network in spotty areas. Carriers often treat wifi minutes like regular minutes, deducting them from your allotted monthly amount.
As previously mentioned, wifi calling acts as a reliable second layer of support for connecting your calls when your network coverage is spotty.
Available on many smartphones
This is an especially important point in our ‘pros and cons of wifi calling’ list.
Many devices come already equipped with a built-in wifi calling app. One of the most well-known ones is Facetime, on Apple devices.
If you own an Apple device and have an internet connection, you can immediately make free calls to other Apple devices via Facetime (carrier data charges may apply).
Many wifi calling apps can be downloaded to a smartphone for free.
This is a key part of this ‘pros and cons of wifi calling’ list because it’s one of the main reasons wifi calling has grown so much. Many wifi calling apps, like Yolla, utilize reliable, high-quality connections that offer HD quality calls that never lag or drop.
There are an array of apps to choose from that offer an array of different pros and cons for wifi calling. The wide range of choices, in itself, is a positive.
Some specialize in messaging and calling security with data encryption, while other apps offer similar features but happen to be more popular in some regions of the world than others.
Last but not least. The array of extra features on Wifi calling apps cannot go without mention on this list of the pros and cons of wifi calling. With these apps, you can also use an internet connection to text message, video message, voice message, create stories, use secure data encryption and more.
What are the Disadvantages of Wifi Calling? Pros and Cons of Wifi Calling
The biggest limitation of the services they offer is that they are “app-to-app” calling only. This means that you can only call another smartphone and that smartphone has to have the same app (e.g. WhatsApp installed).
This brings us to the cons of wifi calling. While the pros side of this list is long, wifi calling apps have some key limitations.
Pros and Cons of WiFi Calling – The cons
Here is the other side of our list of pros and cons of wifi calling.
Can Only Call App-to-App
The first disadvantage in this list is one of the main reasons people choose cellular calls over wifi calls. Trying to make international calls over WiFi (or even local calls) to a cell phone that doesn’t have the app installed? Unfortunately, you are out of luck. What if the cell phone you are calling is not connected to WiFi or is out of mobile data? Same problem.
Can’t Call Landlines
The second con on this list of pros and cons of wifi calling is one of the main reasons people don’t use wifi calling apps – they can’t make calls to landlines. Landlines don’t use the internet and therefore can’t receive a local or an international call you are making over WiFi.
For better or worse, we live in a world still very much dependent on landlines. Have elderly relatives? They might only own a landline.
Can’t Call Many Businesses
Want to place an overseas WiFi call to a corporate office or business? Alas, they almost certainly use a landline. Need to call a bank, restaurant, airline, etc? Same story. This is a problem that can arise when you are traveling and it’s a key point on the list of pros and cons of wifi calling.
Can’t Keep Your Number
Even with a wifi calling app that allows you to call mobiles and landlines for a price, when you make a call your number doesn’t appear on the recipient’s screen.
Even worse, many large businesses now use Caller ID to identify their clients. For example, banks, credit card companies, and some utility companies use the phone number you are calling from to look up your account.
You can’t use WhatsApp to call locally or abroad to a landline over WiFi so that’s out of the question. But, you’re also in a tough spot if you call from a payphone or borrow a landline (because it’s not your Caller ID and the rates are enormous).
After considering the pros and cons of wifi calling, what do you think? Is wifi calling something you need in your life?
To better illustrate the pros and cons of wifi calling, let’s consider WhatsApp as an example – one of the popular wifi calling apps available today.
Case Study: Using WhatsApp for Wifi Calling
WhatsApp is a prime example for illustrating the pros and cons of wifi calling because it’s convenient, yet has serious limitations.
Calling Other WhatsApp Users
Originally developed as a text messaging app for smartphones, WhatsApp offers the ability to make local and international calls over WiFi using your smartphone to any other smartphone that has WhatsApp installed – all just using the internet, anywhere in the world.
This offers a huge advantage over traditional calling. Have you ever tried to make an international call using your mobile phone plan? Or have you ever made an international call using your mobile phone plan while roaming? If so, you’ll have noticed the astronomical bill you get at the end of the month.
For good or bad, cell phone carriers still haven’t caught up with reasonable pricing for international calls (and at the same time, app-to-app international calls over WiFi are absolutely free!).
By allowing you to make international calls using WiFi, the only thing you are paying for is your monthly cost of WiFi (or not even that if you’re using free public WiFi!). The calls themselves are free and can go anywhere in the world.
Sadly, however, a look at the pros and cons of wifi calling reveals some key limitations. For example, you can’t use WhatsApp to call a mobile without an internet connection or without WhatsApp installed. You also can’t call landlines.
Many businesses use landlines – banks, mobile carriers, airlines, hotels, etc. Many people need to be able to call such businesses, especially when they’re traveling.
Fortunately, we have good news – there is a wifi calling app that solves each of these problems mentioned above.
Yolla – Call Any Phone, Worldwide
The limitations sound pretty unfair. It’s 2021, and you would think that technology has progressed farther than silly incompatibilities over landlines versus cell phones. Well, it has…
With Yolla, the list of pros and cons of wifi calling becomes a list of only pros.
|Yolla is an international WiFi calling app that lets you make calls to any device anywhere in the world – cell phone or landline. It also allows you to make unlimited free calls to any phone with Yolla installed.
Similar to the other apps discussed, Yolla allows you to make local or overseas calls through WiFi or any other form of internet – but with one huge twist: the person you are calling doesn’t need to have Yolla or even an internet connection.
The benefits of Yolla:
- Keep your number: Yolla preserves your caller ID, allowing the recipient to see who’s calling!
- Low rates: make it the best Google Voice alternative for Canada, the USA, India, UK or any other country.
- No tricks or hidden fees: Yolla’s rates and terms of service are incredibly transparent with no hidden fees, secret expiration dates, or vague rules.
- Credits last forever: Unlike calling card credits, Yolla credit never expires
- Reliable: HD voice quality never lags, drops or has interference.
- User-friendly: The easy-to-use interface never confuses you.
- Free, unlimited calling app-to-app
- Cheap international texting
- 24/7 customer support: Our customer support team responds within 2 minutes.
- Free calls: the referral program lets you earn extra credits for absolutely free wifi calling.
- Secondary number: Get a second number from another country so residents of that country can call you and pay local calling rates.
Yolla lets you call any cell phone or landline using the internet, just as if it were a regular call.
If you’re considering downloading a wifi calling app, Yolla might be perfect for you. In one app, you can make wifi calls to any number and any device you like.
We’re waiting for you.