Luckily for all Europeans, the EU has already eliminated roaming. Now you can talk and surf at no additional cost, use WhatsApp abroad, throughout the Union.
However, if you leave it you may end up with a surprise. We explain how you can avoid paying too much and use WhatsApp abroad for free.
Through the form that we make available to our readers to answer questions about the use of technological devices, a reader has left us the following query:
“At home, I have a phone with data plan, I’m going to travel to another country but I want to continue using WhatsApp.
If I put my phone in plane mode and the site I reach I connect to a wireless network, my communications in WhatsApp will affect my phone bill?
Am I using roaming? I am afraid to come to my country and find an astronomical phone bill to pay”
Roaming or roaming data rates have dropped a lot, but it is true that they can still be quite costly depending on several factors.
On the one hand, there are companies that already offer free roaming for a large number of countries, such as Vodafone. On the other hand, in some European countries, the cost is quite lower than in years, but the reality is that in most cases, using our mobile data and making calls abroad can still mean a significant increase in the bill.
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The trend is that over the years roaming disappears and we can travel at no extra cost when we use the Internet and calls on our devices, at least in the EC countries.
The current target date for the complete disappearance of roaming in the European Community is June 2017, but for other countries, we will have to continue to pay extra.
Can I use WhatsApp abroad?
Yes, but to avoid roaming we must use only Wi-Fi connections. Neither WhatsApp nor any other similar service that simply uses the Internet for communication will cost us even if we use it from abroad.
Of course, if our company offers free roaming in the country that we are going to visit or we have contracted a data rate of the place, we should not worry and we will be able to use our mobile data quietly for this service and for any other that we need.
What measures should I take if I travel where I am charged for roaming?
- We will have to look for information in our company about the current cost of the calls and use of data in the country where we intend to travel. The only way to be sure of the rates abroad is to consult the company itself. We can call or search your website, where we will surely find enough information.
- If we decide that we do not want to assume the cost, we must turn off the use of data before arriving in the country. In this way, Internet communications, including WhatsApp, will be interrupted and we will not reach or send any messages.
- The best we can do is turn off the data when we leave our country. For it, we will find different forms according to the device, but in general, we will find it in a pair of places.
How to turn off the data
- Through the list of icons, we see when we move our finger from the top of the screen on Android. The “blind” that appears has a direct access to this function.
- The specific section that we will access through ‘Settings> SIM card> Mobile data’, although this route may be different depending on the make and model of the phone.
- We can tell if we have disconnected from the data by looking at the small icons that appear at the top of the screen. In this example, we see how a letter H + disappears, but in other models, the badge may be different.
Our phone will surely connect to a telephone company in the country as soon as we arrive, so we will have access to phone calls and SMS.
Remember that not only the calls we make from there will have an extra cost, also the ones we receive, regardless of their origin.
Connections to Wi-Fi
Therefore, if we do not want to incur additional costs when using WhatsApp, we must do so exclusively when we connect to a Wi-Fi network, for example, those offered at hotels.
But for security, we must avoid unprotected public Wi-Fi networks, that is, those in which we can connect without a password.
Public Wi-Fi networks, even with a password, also carry risks, so we can use some advice:
- Do not access pages where we need to write our user and password?
- If we are forced to do so, it will be advisable to change the password as soon as we have a more secure connection.
- It is never a good idea to make payments through these public networks or write sensitive data such as ID or bank account.
- It is recommended to have some anti-spyware application installed for these occasions.
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