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How to Use Wi-Fi for Calls and Texts
A simple guide to setting up Wi-Fi calling on Apple and Android devices
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If you live in a rural area or have spotty reception in your home, then setting up Wi-Fi texting and calling could be a game-changer. It’s easy to do on most phones and cellular plans. Just follow the simple steps outlined in the sections below.
But before we jump into the details, there are a couple of things you should know:
- You need to have an active account with a cell phone carrier before you can enable Wi-Fi calling. (Though there are other ways to make voice calls over the internet using apps like Google Voice).
- All three major carriers—Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile—support Wi-Fi calling, but some smaller MVNO carriers may not. Check with your phone company if you’re having issues setting up Wi-Fi calling.
In most cases, your cell phone provider will treat Wi-Fi calls as normal calls. That means if you’re not on an unlimited plan, the calls may count against your minutes (same with texts). It also means that international calling rates will probably apply.
Because you’re on a Wi-Fi network with the internet, you shouldn’t use up any of your mobile data when using Wi-Fi calling or texting.
How to turn on Wi-Fi calling on iPhone
Enabling Wi-Fi calling on an iPhone is very easy. Just follow these steps:
- Go to Settings
- Select Cellular
- Click on Wi-Fi calling. If you don’t see this option, then your carrier might not support Wi-Fi calling.
- Toggle the Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone button to the on position.
Image Source: Screenshot from author’s iPhone
- You may be prompted to enter your home address for emergency services. This allows 911 operators to see your location if you’re calling from your cell phone using Wi-Fi.
That’s all! You should be ready to make calls using your Wi-Fi network, even when your phone is out of network range.
You’ll need about 2 Mbps of internet speed to make calls over Wi-Fi. If your Wi-Fi network is too slow to keep up with this (and the other things you use it for) then you should upgrade your internet plan and/or equipment.
How to turn on Wi-Fi calling on Android
Turning on Wi-Fi calling and texts is also relatively simple on Android devices, though it depends on what phone you’re using.
Usually, you can turn on Wi-Fi calling on an Android phone with the following steps:
- Go to Settings.
- Select Network & Internet.
- Click on Mobile network and then select Advanced.
- Toggle Wi-Fi calling to the on position.
If you’re having difficulty finding these settings, then just search for “Wi-Fi calling” in the setting’s search bar.