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Adding multiple addresses and your phone number is simply a means for people to message you across multiple devices. Enjoy your trip! I will be visiting my husband in Japan in the next few days. I have read that turning on airplane mode will also restrict the cellular data. Is that true? What is the difference between being in airplane mode and turning off all cellular data? Thanks in advance! Hi Jillian, glad you found the post helpful. Turning on airplane mode will block all data and you can stick to using wifi when available.

However, you can also just turn off cellular data as you suggested which is what I do most of the time. You should be able send iMessage texts with wifi only. Basically, turning off cellular data will give you more freedom and still prevent data roaming charges. I hope that is clear and let me know if you have follow up questions. Thanks and have a great trip! Also, Verizon told me to notify them and suspend my plan. Will that affect the data I can receive over wifi? Thanks for the questions, Alison. I am going to assume you simply want to use the phone for WiFi access while abroad?

If you do not suspend it you will need to be sure to turn off cellular data in the settings or at least data roaming to prevent being charged. Jailbreaking is not necessary to avoid being charged in this case. Basically if you suspend your account your phone will not have access to cellular data and will not be charged but you will be able to continue using WiFi for free which is handy while traveling. Let me know if you have any more questions and have a time studying abroad! Hi Clint! Your information has been extremely helpful. My boyfriend is in the Airforce and was recently sent to Australia.

We have been mostly texting thru iMessage but sometimes wifi isnt available were he is. He has a international plan with his plan, but mine does not. Will I get charged any additional fees for texting his local number while he is in Australia and I am still state side? Hey Amanda, great question. It is likely you will be charged for every regular non iMessage text you send to your boyfriend abroad. If you both download it you will not be charged to text him abroad.

I use it all the time and hopefully it will work for you too. Thanks so much for all the advice. I just have one question, I live in Canada, and am taking a group trip to Mexico. I want to be able to text my friends who all have i phones while in Mexico. But I will also need to text my kids back home.

Thanks Jolene. Well when you have access to WiFi texting home and within Mexico will be free iphone to iphone using iMessage. However, when you do not have WiFi there will be additional costs. I add this feature to my plan for one month and remove it when I get home. Another solution would be to purchase a data package from your carrier. For example, if you bought MB for international data usage that is more than enough to text with apps that use data.

Texting within an app that uses data will not effect your current texting plan at home and you will not be charged for texts sent though the app. If you are going to be texting home a lot and within the country this might be useful. I use the third party app called WhatsApp to text. It uses your data plan to send texts but it is also free when connected to WiFi. When you do not have WiFi you would have two good options: purchase a texting package or purchase a data package. With the data package you will need to send all texts through WhatsApp and all recipients must have it too.

Data is more useful if you need ever need to browse the web or check email but it will be more expensive to add to your plan. Let me know if you have follow up questions and feel email me. There is wifi where I am staying. I have turned off cellular data ,3G and roaming. But I still can sent and receive text msgs even when there is no wifi. Will I be charged for these msgs? Hey Gavin, If you have data off and you are connected to WiFi any text sent over iMessage will be free.

Keep in mind the recipient must be able to receive iMessages too. This means all the text bubbles will appear blue. Traditional SMS texts will cost you money they appear as green texts. Hi Clint, we are the cruise lovers. In every port we try to catch WiFi to stay connected. But on the ship Internet is very expensive and deadly slow, it cost you a fortune to open one email. Can we text from a ship, using any apps without Internet? Do you have any suggestions? Also you recommend to use WhatsApp. As I understand, everybody in my list have to have it too in order to stay in touch.

What about Textfree, Forfone, Textme apps. Are they the same way? To use WhatsApp all parties need to have it on their phones. The only way to use these apps is to have a WiFi or data connection. Do you have any cell service on cruises at all? I have never been on a cruise so I do not know but I would expect not. Check with your carrier if that is an option. I what ways can I call or FaceTime or Skype for free to him? Hi Ruth, you have a few options to contacts friends at home. My friend taught English in Korea for 3 years and had no issues calling me for free. You will not be charged for FaceTime when you are connected to WiFi.

Skype is the same way if you are calling another mobile with Skype or computer. Since both apps can be used over a data network you need to be sure you are on Wifi to connect for free. Feel free to send me follow up questions. It does not send and receive messages over WiFi like iMessage does. Thanks for that answer — is the same for email? Email is free to use over WiFi and you will not be charged. Just to be safe you can even put it in airplane mode and then turn WiFi on to be sure no data is being transferred over the network.

Basically, anything you do with a WiFi connection iMessage, browse the web, email is free. But if any of those are done without WiFi you will get charged international dating roaming fees. Just make sure you are connected to Wifi and you will be fine. What if I begin a conversation with someone via iMessage, and I leave and disconnect from wifi.

You will likely be charged for sending SMS depending on your plan. If you receive an SMS it should be billed at the rate of your home plan. If you reply with SMS there will be international texting rates. I would check with your carrier but this is how many are handled and my own. Hello, I have the IPhone4S and used it in Europe but I put it in airplane mode and when I had free wi-fi, I could send and receive e-mails with no charge. My question is: how can I send text messages with no fees? Do I need IMessage app? And the recipient needs that app as well?


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Your Jan. Is that truewith Verizon? Thank you. It is built into your iPhone as long as you are running anything over iOS 5. It will automatically detect another user with an iPhone and send an iMessage to them. This is free when sent over WiFi. For example, WhatsApp is one of my favorites for this. When you are connected to Wifi no data is being sent over the networks. You can use your phone as if it was your laptop and do things for free such as browse the web, make skype calls, facetime, send iMessages, etc.

If you are in airplane mode with WiFi on you should be free of additional charges. This is the same for Verizon or any other carrier. Your phone basically becomes a mini-laptop and does not use any cellular data, only WiFi. Hope that is clear and feel free to email me with questions. Hi Clint, Your site is very informative; thank you for putting all this together! Is there any way we could text without incurring international charges?

Hey Jamie, you are correct that both parties need to have the app. Any chance you have another iDevice such as an iPad or iPod Touch? You can use those apps with any of those devices over WiFi. If not, I will look into some other solutions for you. Do let me know if you find some other alternative and thank you for all your help!

I used google voice app while in in Nassau on my iphone with wifi. I was still charged on my ATT bill for international calling. I thought I should have only been charged for standard minutes since I was calling a domestic number via internet. Other apps, like iMessage or TigerText never tried this one can use email addresses to link your phone. My guess is that number will no longer be linked once you suspend the account. However, it is possible that your SIM will tie your number to the app even while suspended at home. This is not something I have tried.

If you really want to keep using WhatsApp over other messaging apps you may consider picking up a local SIM card. This way you will have a new number tied to your phone to use WhatsApp. Of course, you will have to give your new number to all of your contacts but it is an option. Thanks for the great info. I wish I had seen it sooner. One thing that applies to my situation is not clear, though. My son just left for Australia and he will have limited texts he can send each month.

He has an iPhone, but I do not. But I do have a WiFi-only new generation iPad. Hi Candy, as long as you are using iMessage over WiFi it will be free on both ends. I use my iPad like this often and have never had any issues.

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When in doubt, stick to Wifi and use iMessage and you will not be charged. Hi My son lives in Ca. And his girlfriend lives in Canada. They use texting as their main communication however his international plan does not even begin to cover the hundreds of texts he sends monthly.

He has unlimited data plan but no wifi where he lives. Will his phone be charged if they text with Facebook messenger? Sherri, Facebook messenger, like many similar apps, uses data to send messages. This means you can send messages to anyone, anywhere, with the app on your current data plan. For example, I use WhatApp a similar data app for sending messages to text friends abroad from the US but I am not charged for this. As long as you have a standard data plan on your iPhone it should be fine.

You do not need WiFi unless you are abroad and away from your home data plan because then you are roaming. At home in the US he should be fine texting to Canada for free. WiFi is not needed when you are on your home cell phone plan. They both allow you to message people around the world for free.

If you do I would be interested to see which you like better. WhatsApp has been more convenient for me simply because so many people I message already have the app installed but there are many free messaging apps out there. I use IMessage to talk to people. Yes, I have unlimited text. Are you outside of your home country right now?

If you are traveling be sure to only message over WiFi and only to people who also have iMessage with an iPhone. Otherwise you will be charged for sending regular text. Let me know where you are, if you are always on WiFi, if you recipients have iMessage and we can try to solve this for you. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give us!

Thanks Lynne! When you suspend your iPhone the phone will still be able to operate as a mini-computer and messenger. The phone will still fully operate over WiFi. Perhaps she needs to check the settings or add additional information to her iMessage settings. You can send iMessages tied to your phone number or email accounts. See if either of those work, be sure she is connected to WiFi and give it another shot. Let me know how that goes and we can try to fix this for you. Hi thanks for your help.

I have an iPhone 4S, and most of my friends have iPhones. If I have data and everything off, will I still receive texts? I only want to receive iMessages when connected to wifi. Any ideas? Hey Jessie, It sounds like you are on the right track. If you are connected to WiFi you can send iMessages freely as you know. Sounds like that is not an issue for you with most friends using iPhones. However, I always leave my roaming turned off but still allow for incoming texts and do not put my phone in airplane mode.

You should double check with your carrier but typically as with ATT , incoming texts are free. Either way you should be fine as long as you do not reply to texts when you are not connected to WiFi. Have a great trip! Let me know if you have follow up questions. All you need to do is turn on airplane mode, then manually go to your WiFi settings and turn it back on. From there connect to an available network. Now you have disabled all cellular data but still have WiFi.

It would show the carrier name there and signal bars instead. Just be sure you connect to WiFi before messaging. You will not be able to use iMessage to text your wife if she has an android so you would be charged for the green texts that show up. Your daughters are free to text with their iPhones.

Blue bubbles are free, green are not. You can still text your wife for free using WiFi and a third party app. Download WhatsApp. You will be able to text her through the app over wifi with no costs. She needs to download the app as well. It is well worth the 99 cents to have free messaging. No problem, Juan. Happy to help. When you are in WiFi you can do pretty much everything for free. Just think of your iPhone as a little laptop.

If you were on a laptop connected to WiFi all of the same features would be free without cellular service. You will be able to stay connected whenever you have WiFi at no cost. Enjoy your time in Mexico. It is one of my favorite countries. Hey Clint; here bothering you again, question; I download some games to my iphone and notice that even connected to wi-fi, my screen says Extended instead to say Roaming like in the past, this happen just overnight, that this means I already used all my data in my plan even though I was connected to wi-fi?

Hey Juan, no problem. Extended network basically means your carrier does not have a cell tower nearby but a carrier they have a partnership does. This means your phone will extend its network and connect to a partnered carrier at the same cost as your carrier. Roaming means there are no partnered cell towers in reach so your carrier is connecting to the nearest tower and paying extra for it. They will then most likely pass that cost on to you. No matter what if your games use data you will want to be in connected to WiFi and not roaming and getting those charges.

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Your modem can affect signal strength. You should have no trouble using FaceTime over Wifi but perhaps your signal is weak for other reasons. Try resetting it or moving closer to the router for a stronger signal. It can lose strength as you move away from it. He has Verizon, the old unlimited plan! Well this is a tough situation. You can add it to your plan and cancel when returning. That may be the best option in this situation. Hey Clint, my girlfriend is in Europe and we text over wifi. Sometimes her phone will get knocked off the wifi and my message will be sent as a text and appear green.

Will I be charged for the texts? Hey Tyler, this is a great question. If they are being sent as texts and not as imessages it is likely you are being charged for those texts and this depends on your plan and carrier. Have you considered using a 3rd party app like WhatsApp? This way you can guarantee yourself you will never get charged for a text message by your carrier.

And if you find you have sent accidental text messages you can always go back and backdate a small text plan with your carrier. Hope that helps but let me know if you have additional questions. Great thread you have here. I was living in the U. I have linked my iMessage accounts with my U. So now my China iPhone and iPad are linked. My friends who are iPhone users can text my U.

So I am confident I am not getting charged or my friends are not getting charged even though I am not on WiFi, but using the China network.

However, what about FaceTime? Hey George, this is new to me as well but I think you are on the right path. It sounds like you know how to keep everything free and have set-up a great situation to communicate back home.

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You are using the date from the local carrier to FaceTime home and not roaming since it is your local network. This would lead me to believe it is free. When in doubt stick to WiFi. But if iMessage is working just fine I think FaceTime would work as well. Let me know what you find out. Thanks for this question since it was new to me as well.

I have read the entire thread and did not find the answer I was looking for. So here goes. My service on my Iphone 4s is temporarily interrupted but I am able to use Imessages when connected to WiFi. My question is when people try to send me an imessage while I am not connected to WiFi will I eventually receive it when I do connect to WiFi…say hours later? Is there anyway to receive backed up Imessages? Any help would be appreciated. Here is what I know:. If someone sends you an iMessage and you are not connected to WiFi those messages will come through as a regular SMS text message if you are abroad or have data roaming turned on chances are you do not.

I have honestly not attempted this abroad because I always allow regular texts to come through. I am going to look into this further for you because this would be valuable to know. Great question and let me know if you find an answer out there. Also will he lose his contacts if his phone is suspended? Thanks for your help.

WhatsApp does require a phone number verification when it is set-up. However, once you go into airplane mode no cell service WhatsApp and all other WiFi based apps still function. Assuming he is already set-up with WhatsApp and other apps before you suspend it I think it should still work just fine over WiFi but I have not tested this.

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If you find it is a problem there are other quality messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger that work over WiFi. A suspended phone is essentially an iPod touch once the cellular service is deactivated. You can still perform every task over WiFi. Set it to manual and only check mail, data apps, and messaging over WiFi. He can simply keep it in Airplane mode and connected to WiFi to be sure no data is being used. I will be traveling in France with friends who all have iPhone 5s next week and have been told the best way to stay in touch with one another is to buy a international Nano SIM card from a French carrier once we get there.

Do you know anything about these? Hi Patti, that is the best way to stay in touch overseas. Picking up a local SIM card is a great if you have an unlocked phone. This article focuses on people without unlocked phones, but if your phone is unlocked you will be able to enter a local SIM card and pay as you go for local minutes and data.

That is actually the best case scenario if your phone is unlocked. I assume you cant use your international data plan if you dont have cellular data turned on, and you cant use an international data plan with airplane mode on. Basically, how do I take advantage of using an international data plan when not connected to WIFI without incurring uncontrollable incoming calls or texts? Really hoping you can help! I pretty much do the exact same thing you are describing. Any incoming text messages will be taken out of your domestic bundle. So basically an incoming text will be treated the same as it is as home under your current plan.

However, you will be charged for incoming calls and voicemails. So you need to set up call forwarding so your phone will not ring. You can avoid incoming calls that way. They are usually pretty quick to reply. Hope this helps and have a great trip! I can text anyone just fine with iMessage within my country, but I am trying to iMessage family abroad. This person cannot be reached by iMessage at this time. Do you have any clue whats wrong? Another thing I am experiencing is with only one of my contacts. I can only seem to receive her texts if I am hooked up to some wifi.

Yet I receive everyone elses texts just fine. First of all I am assuming the people you are messaging also have an iDevice since iMessage only works between two parties with iMessage. Also, be sure they have iMessage enabled on their devices. Check those firsts and let me know and then we can try something else. If you are only having this messaging problem with one contact then is is likely not a problem on your end since you are in your home country.

Make sure your cellular data is turned on as well. Is the sender only sending messages when connected to WiFi or are they using a local data plan? You could also try using a third party messaging service such as WhatsApp. Both parties will need to install it but it is a very simply app to use. I have a question. I am traveling in France now I am a US resident and am using my iphone 4S as a wifi device, with phone number forwarded to skype, cellular data, 3G and roaming turned off.

Hey Susan, great question. To text you will need to turn back on cellular capabilities. This is very helpful because of course you want to save when traveling so that you can spend some of your money for souvenirs and gifts. So, to avoid having them run up huge bills, all I need to tell them to follow the instructions above to turn off the data and cellular so no charges? Awesome, sum up of the article! You could also unlock your phone and use a local overseas carrier although not free it is very inexpensive and allows normal usage of your phone. Maybe you should instruct your daughters to not text, keep a journal and contacts their friends when they return to the US.

All of their texting will focus them on that and not on the trip. All of you will enjoy the trip more and they might learn something. S and brought it to mexico brand new, now that i live here in mexico will unblock it so i can get service, my question is that once i set up my iphone as an a first boot what happens if i choose the U. This is a good question and I missed this question sorry about that. If you tested it out I would love to know how it went. I just wanted to know how can i set up my iphone if im gonna use it in another country as itouch with only the wifi connection….

Kindly enlighten me. I just upgraded to the new version and im having a hard time setting it up…. Hope yo hear from you soon… Thanks… Analyn here from manila. HI Analyn, are you using your iPhone without a phone number and only as an iTouch? Your phone will operate just like an iPod when you are not using cellular service however you will need a WiFi connection to use most of the features you need.

I communicate a lot with friends in the States who have Iphones. Which is the most economical way for me to communicate — via text message or e-mail? Many thanks for any advice you can give. Hi Su, you can communicate a number of ways. If you both have iMessage, which you should on your iPhone, you will text for free over WiFi connections. Another great way is to install WhatsApp messenger. This will allow you to text over your own data plan and WiFi to anyone location in the world. I use it a lot to text friends in other countries. Facebook Messenger is another good app for texting.

Email of course is good for longer messages but if you are texting throughout the day I would download a third party app, my favorite being WhatsApp. Good luck! Myself and son both have an iPhone 5 on UK contract, is there a way that we can keep in touch on the mountain and in the town for free?

Using a third party app for texting such as WhatsApp will allow you to message anyone else who has the app back home. You may consider buying a small data package for messaging. That is a the best paid solution and the best free solution would simply sticking to WiFi, but that may be more difficult when on the mountain. I just want to take photos and use instagram. Hey Sherry, you can simply put your phone in airplane mode to use those apps.

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You can re-enable WiFi after putting your phone in airplane mode which will allow you to share the photos on Instagram or via email. Thanks Clint! Hi Clint, I will be traveling with about six others to Morocco in a few months so I was very happy to see this article about using IMessage to communicate with family and friends back in USA. I plan to become very familiar with this info. Any suggestions as to how to communicate with the others traveling in our group should we get separated?

Please clarify: How will persons who I plan to text back in the states know that they are receiving an IMessage? Will they have to adjust their Iphone setting? Will they be able to IMessage me back? I hope not to incur any additional charges but I want to stay in contact with family while away. Thanks for your help! Hi Judy, sounds like a great trip. You will be able to use iMessage to communicate with anyone back home who has an iPhone. Your iMessage uses data at home to send messages which is why it is essentially free but when you are abroad and do not have data that is why you need WiFi that is where it gets confusing.

Basically stick to WiFi and consider buying a small data plan for backup emergencies if you want. You can also download the facebook messaging app or WhatsApp to communicate with friends back home. It will also send free messages over WiFi. Your friends can use it for free without usuing WiFi or iMessage to send you messages from home. Hope this all makes sense. Feel free to shoot me an email if you want to go into detail further.

Please can you help me. You should always be able to continue using WiFi with or without other services enabled. So you will still be able to use WiFi on your phone even when only using it for SMS with data disabled. Just connect to a WiFi connection and proceed as normal. Prices vary based on which model you want and how much storage you prefer. These days, pretty much everyone pays the full price for their iPhone more on why that is in the next section , so don't expect major discounts. But you can choose to pay full price up front or to pay in monthly installments.

The major phone companies offer a monthly payment plan when you purchase a new iPhone from them. This offers a lower upfront cost, but you must stay with the carrier until the iPhone is paid for or else pay the balance due before you change to another carrier. Alternatively, if you want to buy your phone in installments, but not be stuck with a phone company, check out Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program. The iPhone almost never goes on sale. You might find short-term discounts when new models are released , or around the holidays, but those are usually small savings.

Apple doesn't really put its products on sale, so don't wait for one. Just buy what you want when you want it. Not anymore. In recent years, the major phone companies have done away with subsidies that allow customers who sign a two-year contract to pay significantly less for their iPhones. It's very unlikely that the subsidy system will return, so expect to pay full price for your iPhone from now on. These carriers don't always have the latest models, have more-limited monthly plans, and their service tends to be focused specifically on smaller, rural areas, but they are a cost-saving option for some users.

You should factor in the monthly cost of the voice and data service provided by the phone company you choose when thinking about the cost of an iPhone. Monthly iPhone plans typically include costs for data service, calling, texting, and other services.

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