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Is WhatsApp Video Calling Free? – The Costs Behind Apps

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Texting and calling apps a lot of times brand themselves as “free calling” or “free texting” options. We are not saying that they are necessarily incurring false advertisement infractions. It’s just that the usage of these apps tends to come with added costs. Even if technically the answer to the question “is WhatsApp video calling for free?”, is yes! There are a couple of things that can happen though if you’re making these calls all day every day. Particularly, if you’re not on an unlimited data plan. What happens with apps is that they use up data. Even if you’re not seeing a per minute rate attached to the call that doesn’t mean that you’re not paying for it. 

Data usage is something that a lot of people have come to more or less disregard. Ever since wireless service providers started opening up to unlimited data plans. Data essentially became something that you always assume that you have literally an unlimited supply of. Again, that’s one of those things that is technically true. Specifically for people who are effectively on unlimited data plans. When you travel though that can change. Also, even locally the amount of data that you can spend on WhatsApp video calling could potentially lower the speed of the coverage that you get for the rest of the day, or the month even. As most wireless service companies have speed caps on folks who use up too much data. Even on unlimited plans. Is WhatsApp video calling free then? Yes, but there are different ways that you may end up paying for these calls.      

  • Is WhatsApp video calling free – Yes, And It’s Potentially Going To Stay That Way  
  • The Added Cost of Video Calls
  • Is WhatsApp Video Calling Free – Making Sure You Can Call Without Consequences
  • Using Open Wi-Fi to Make Calls
  • Is WhatsApp Video Calling Free – The Cost Could Vary For Each Caller
  • Know Where You Are To Know Your Costs

Is WhatsApp video calling free – Yes, And It’s Potentially Going To Stay That Way  

A couple of years back there was a sense that WhatsApp was going to start charging for their services. In fact, in the first days of the app before Facebook bought it when you opened an account it literally said that the first year was free. From there, you’d have to pay like a dollar a year. This was actually before video calls or calls in general were implemented in the service. There were people who at one point did pay money directly to WhatsApp. Ever since the Facebook takeover though, the service has remained free. You can access a plus account and add certain features. That, in turn, are going to be costing you a membership fee. You don’t have to pay if you don’t want to. Is WhatsApp video calling free? Yes!  

We are going to get to the added costs here in a bit. One of the debates surrounding this whole issue is how WhatsApp makes money. There are two revenue streams on the app that generate money for Facebook. These are WhatsApp for business, and WhatsApp pay. Businesses have to pay to reply to messages if they didn’t reply within the first 24 hours. The payment service also only charges the businesses and not the end user. There’s a third potential revenue source that a lot of people have speculated over for years. That is selling data to third parties. Mark Zuckerberg has defended his position and said that this wasn’t the case. However, even if they are not selling your contact information directly they do have a lot of data that may or may not be sold for market studies, and other business inquiries.   

The Added Cost of Video Calls

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Although you are not getting charged a per minute fee as has been customary from phone companies over the years, that doesn’t mean that there are no added costs to making video calls through the app. People who are on unlimited data plans sometimes lose sight of the fact that making these calls does take up data. Obviously, if you’re not on an unlimited data plan you should be more vigilant with the amount of data that you’re using up on these calls. Naturally there’s going to be a limited amount of calls or minutes that you’ll be able to spend on a video call if you are on a limited data plan. You can potentially buy more data of course, that would qualify though as the added costs that we are talking about.    

For people with unlimited data plans video calls through WhatsApp can also have an added cost. Even if the cost isn’t necessarily a monetary one. Most unlimited plans have a speed cap on data usage. What that means is that if you use up too much data then the speed of the data that you’ll have available is going to decrease. We’ve mentioned this before, but we wanted to make sure it’s clear. Most companies are going to give you the option of getting your speed back up through an extra fee. There’s the added cost for you! If you make these calls through a Wi-Fi network they can potentially be fully free. If you’re on a shady network though your added cost could be safety related. 

Is WhatsApp Video Calling Free – Making Sure You Can Call Without Consequences

Now that we’ve explored some of the bad things that can happen when making video calls through WhatsApp it’s a good idea to talk about how you can avoid these traps. As we mentioned before, calling through a wifi network is potentially going to be a good option to make sure that you don’t have to deal with any consequences from making these calls. Usually home internet companies don’t impose a speed cap on data usage. At least not to people who are in long term postpaid plans. To make sure then, that you’re able to make a call without too much trouble you can take steps to sure up your connection. 

On your home or office Wi-Fi network you ideally shouldn’t have to worry about getting hacked, or anything like that. If you want to be extra safe though you can look into adding a VPN on your phone. This is going to help mask your IP address for example. That’s in simple terms, one of the best ways to be able to lure away potential hacks. What’s being created is an extra layer of protection between the network and your device. If you have that down, and 

you feel comfortable using a Wi-Fi connection to be able to make these video calls you are going to be virtually eliminating the added costs behind these calls. Of course, you may have to pay for the VPN network access! So there’s that to think about in the added cost column. 

Using Open Wi-Fi to Make Calls

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One of the ways to make the answer to is WhatsApp video calling free, a yes is to use free Wi-Fi. Some of the common spots to find open Wi-Fi networks are coffee shops, even street centers. Of course, you can also use your home Wi-Fi network to make these calls. That option is arguably the safest way to make sure that your video calls through WhatsApp remain truly free. The thing with open Wi-Fi is that the network itself may not be super safe. You could be putting your own personal data at risk. Navigating through an open wifi network without necessarily adding protection to your connection can be a great way to become a victim of identity theft. 

We are not saying that you can’t make WhatsApp calls through an open network. It’s just a good idea though to be extra safe when you’re connected to these types of networks. If you have a VPN network installed in your phone you’re going to be adding that extra layer of protection to the device that at times can really help you keep some peace of mind. It’s not like you are doomed to get hacked or your identity stolen just because you used an open network once. That being said, it’s one of those situations where nothing happens, until it does. The consequences can be quite severe, and you’re going to want to avoid them at all costs. 

Is WhatsApp Video Calling Free – The Cost Could Vary For Each Caller

There are a couple of reasons why the cost could vary per caller. In any case, video calling through WhatsApp is going to use up data. If you want to use your mobile data or a Wi-Fi network that’s going to be up to you. If you have a limited data plan then you are more likely to want to explore Wi-Fi network options. We mentioned that even folks on unlimited data plans can have to end up dealing with consequences from making video calls through WhatsApp. The amount of data that these calls take up can see you reach your speed cap for data. So if you make too many of these calls the speed that you get from your regular service provider could slow down.  

When you’re not on an unlimited plan then you are certainly going to have to “pay” for Whatsapp video calling. Even if someone else made the call to you the rules that apply to regular calling don’t apply to these video calls. Remember that you’re using up data when you’re making these calls. If you’re on a limited data plan there’s no question that these types of calls can end up being rather expensive. The easy way to get around this issue is to make sure that you are only making these types of calls when you’re connected to your home Wi-Fi network. 

Know Where You Are To Know Your Costs

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This is just kind of a simple word of advice to anyone who likes to make video calls through WhatsApp. Knowing where you are in the world and the type of source that you’re getting coverage from is key. People who are on a limited data plan will be able to relate to this. How much does it hurt when you find out you’ve been watching videos on your data plan when you’re at home? For whatever reason you deactivated your Wi-Fi coverage. There’s no reason to sugarcoat this. This type of mistake when making video calls through WhatsApp could potentially cost you a pretty penny. 

What would we suggest that you do then? It’s pretty simple really. Before making or accepting a video call through the app make sure that you check the type of coverage that you’re on. If you are at home or at a spot where you trust the Wi-Fi coverage you should probably make sure that that’s the primary source that you’re getting coverage from. That way you won’t be using up your high speed data on an unlimited plan. On a limited plan that’s data allowance in general that you’re saving up on! 

Is WhatsApp Video Calling Free? – Conclusion

There can be a ton of added costs that you could come across when making video calls through WhatsApp. Even though this is the case a lot of people do get the sense that the answer to “Is WhatsApp video calling free?”, is a yes! Why is that happening? Well it’s very simple you are never going to see a per minute rate fee that’s going to be attached to one of these calls. Even if you’re traveling internationally, on roaming, or whatever it may be. Know though that these calls take up data. Even though you have an unlimited data plan you can still get in trouble with making these calls. 

There are a couple of things that we wanted to clear up here. Number one is that, most reasonable usage of WhatsApp video calls isn’t going to make you spend a ton of money. In fact, most people on unlimited plans are going to be able to use the app almost at will. Without an overarching fear that something bad’s going to happen. We crafted the article to essentially show the worst case scenario. More often than not though, you’re going to be just fine making calls through these apps. If you don’t have an unlimited data plan or you’re traveling abroad it’s probably a good idea to make these calls when you’re connected to a safe Wi-Fi network!

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