Welcome to the instant messaging platforms addicts’ world! If you are here, it means that you are about to travel, and you want to know whether you will be able to send and receive WhatsApp messages at no charge, right? Fancy being abroad with no warnings, no messages, no photos, no nothing: suddenly the world seems to have forgotten about you, leaving you in an almost surreal silence. It seems like the plot of a horror movie, doesn’t it? Lucky for you I’m here, and once you’ve read this article, you will know how to use WhatsApp at no cost when abroad – the best solution to save money as you’ll be able to send messages through the app free of additional charges.
How does WhatsApp work?
Subscriptions fees apart, to chat through WhatsApp you must have an internet connection since the app requires a data network to work. In fact, to use WhatsApp Messenger, you must have a cellular data plan with your mobile operator like Verizon, Vodafone, Etisalat, or Orange, or you must be connected to a Wi-Fi network with your smartphone. When you are abroad, you will connect and use the internet service of your local mobile operator partners at a cost. Ultimately, when you are outside the boundaries of your country, you should pay the roaming service to text your friends via WhatsApp.
How can I use WhatsApp for free in another country?
The best way to chat with your friends without incurring any charges is to find a safe and reliable Wi-Fi network. Many shops, bars, and restaurants offer a free internet connection so you can avoid running up your phone bill with text messages. Let’s see some useful tips to find free Wi-Fi spots to avoid extra charges while using WhatsApp.
Where will I find free Wi-Fi hotspots abroad?
The following are places where you can connect to local Wi-Fi without using up any of your data allowance.
The largest chain of coffee shops in the world offers free Wi-Fi for its customers. Before crossing the border to a different country, check to see if there are any Starbucks in the city you are going to visit (there are about 21,000 cafes in 62 nations) and save the address on Google Maps if you find any. Then download the city map on your smartphone , so that you can use it offline without needing to be connected.
The connection procedure varies from country to country; in some cases the network is available without a password, while in others you must request the password at the checkout. The connection time will vary, but you can always just renew the session and stay connected for as long as you want.
Even the most popular fast food chain in the world has a free Wi-Fi service. The login process depends on the country; in many places you must pre-register and enter the number of your mobile phone to receive the password to log in.
Hotels and B&Bs
If you are going to stay in a hotel or B&B, check whether the connectivity service is included. There is also a free service offered by the hotelwifitest that lets you know which hotels provide the best internet connection in the city you are going to visit.
How to find other free Wi-Fi spots worldwide
To easily find Wi-Fi spots while you are on holiday, use the free app for iPhone and Android Wi-Fi finder by Jwire. Once you’ve downloaded the application just click on it and access the main page.
You have three available options:
– Find Public Wi-Fi near me (locate free Wi-Fi spots where I am)
– Search for Wi-Fi worldwide (looks for Wi-Fi spots around the world)
– Offline Wi-Fi Finder available (download the offline version of Wi-Fi Finder)
On Android devices, you can use another app called Wefi to find free Wi-Fi networks around the world. The developers state that the app locates over 130 million hotspots.
Use WhatsApp by data bundle sharing between smartphones
If you have an Android smartphone, you can exploit the cellular data of the people around you while abroad. Yes, that’s right!
How does the app work?
When you open CrowdRoaming, your device automatically searches for other smartphones around you with an internet connection that have installed the app and have a portion of unused data.
Indeed, not all those who have an internet connection plan for roaming fully use the data provided by the mobile company. And what about all the data that’s not used? It simply returns to the mobile operator.
But this unused data could be used in a different way: it can be shared with foreign tourists.
In practice, through the app you may share part of your data with the other users around you. You set a limit on the amount of data that you will share.
When you consume the available data given by a user around you, the app automatically searches for another user to continue to surf for free on the internet.
How to choose the right roaming plan to chat via WhatsApp
You might consider buying a roaming data plan before leaving. Mobile companies offer dozens of cellular plans based on the MB usage. The questions that often arise from this are: How many MB does WhatsApp use to work? How much do I need to pay? What’s the message size on WhatsApp? Let me help you.
On average, a WhatsApp message ranges from 1KB to 50 KB (if you attach pictures). Then, keeping the app running in standby will take about 400/500 KB per day as it checks who’s online and constantly update the latest messages. So if we do the math, sending and receiving 30 messages with texts and pictures and keeping the app on standby will make the data count shows from 600 to 1000 KB every 24 hours. On balance, a roaming data plan with 10 MB (1024 KB equals 1 MB) would be enough to stay in touch with your friends using WhatsApp abroad if you are not a chatterbox. If you intend to surf the net or watch videos, in addition to sending free text messages internationally using WhatsApp, you should take into consideration a plan with greater data if you don’t want to breach your data limit.